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2013 Archive

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December

December 18, 2013 -- State Board Recognizes Exemplary Educators
Board Presents the Illinois Teacher of the Year and the Milken National Educator with Resolutions
The Illinois State Board of Education honored the 2014 Illinois Teacher of the Year, Pam Reilly, and the 2013 Illinois Milken National Educator, Melissa Leisner, with resolutions and accolades at their regular monthly meeting today (Wednesday) in Springfield.

December 16, 2013 -- Endless opportunities to keep children’s minds active during winter break
Ideas and tips for families to foster continued learning and skills practice at home
As the holidays approach, nearly two million Illinois public school students will take a much-deserved break from school to recharge at home with their families. Just because students are out of school, however, does not mean that learning needs to stop. There are a number of ways to keep children’s minds active and foster learning outside of the classroom.

December 10, 2013 -- Illinois Learning Standards emphasize deep mastery of knowledge, critical thinking and real-world application
Organizations offer resources as schools implement learning standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics for K-12 students
Full implementation of the new Illinois Learning Standards is under way in schools across the state. From Chicago to Carbondale, Danville to Macomb, and everywhere in between, Illinois educators and students are working hard to meet the higher and more rigorous expectations of these new learning benchmarks.

November

November 25, 2013 -- Des Plaines School Board President receives Thomas Lay Burroughs Award
ISBE presents Brenda Murphy with statewide honor at education conference in Chicago
The Illinois State Board of Education named Brenda Murphy of Des Plaines Community Consolidated School District 62 as the 2013 recipient of the Thomas Lay Burroughs Award. The ISBE award annually honors an outstanding school board president in the state.

November 19, 2013 -- Seventh-grade Elgin English Teacher Named 2013 National Milken Educator
Surprise announcement recognizes teacher for her success as role model for students and peers
The Illinois State Board of Education and the Milken Family Foundation Tuesday named Melissa Leisner, a seventh-grade English and language arts teacher at Prairie Knolls Middle School in Elgin as the 2013 Illinois recipient of the Milken National Educator Award.

October

October 31, 2013 -- State Board of Education releases new school and district report cards showing student and school growth in new streamlined format
Local district and school averages reflect higher cut scores to better indicate college and career readiness
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) unveiled a new Report Card today (Oct. 31) showing that under higher performance levels for the state elementary test, students have made continued progress over time as well as from one year to the next.

October 29, 2013 -- State Board Chair calls for development of $250 million Technology Fund to strengthen state’s educational infrastructure
Illinois Schools Technology Fund redirects current funds to meet 21st century learning needs
Illinois State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico today called on the General Assembly to work with him to develop an Illinois Schools Technology Fund to meet the 21st century needs of students. Chairman Chico proposes using remaining school construction funds as the initial startup for a $250 million technology fund.

October 23, 2013 -- Illinois State Board of Education to unveil new, more user-friendly School Report Card
Streamlined Report Card will provide more robust information to reflect schools’ unique qualities
Illinoisans will get a new and improved view of their local schools through a more consumer-friendly State, District and School Report Card, set to debut Oct. 31. The new Report Card features multiple measures of academic performance as well as school climate and learning conditions, rendering a more complete picture of the state’s nearly 4,000 public schools.

October 21, 2013 -- Illinois State Board of Education Announces the 2014 Illinois Teacher of the Year
Second Grade Teacher Pam Reilly of Woodbury Elementary School in Sandwich CUSD 430 Selected From 11 Finalists
The Illinois State Board of Education named a second grade teacher from Sandwich Community Unit School District 430 as the 2014 Illinois Teacher of the Year. One of 11 finalists, Pam Reilly of Woodbury Elementary was announced as this year’s top educator during Saturday night’s 39th annual Those Who Excel/Illinois Teacher of the Year banquet in Normal.

October 9, 2013 -- Illinois announces Green Schools Award program
State Board of Education accepting nominations from schools taking a comprehensive approach to environmental education and management
The Illinois State Board of Education has launched the Illinois Green Ribbon Schools Award program, recognizing schools that are leading the way to promote sustainability and environmental education.

October 8, 2013 -- ISBE honors top educators and school personnel at annual Those Who Excel banquet in Normal
Illinois Teacher of the Year to be named Oct. 19
State education officials will honor more than 180 of Illinois’ outstanding educators later this month at the 39th annual Those Who Excel/Teacher of the Year banquet in Normal. Among the educators will be the 11 Teacher of the Year finalists, one of whom will be named that evening as the top Illinois educator for 2014.

October 7, 2013 -- Illinois State Board of Education announces hearings to guide FY 2015 budget development
State education leaders once again urge local community members to weigh in on what education needs should be a priority as they prepare the Fiscal Year 2015 K-12 education budget
The Illinois State Board of Education is also encouraging citizens to share their opinions and ideas regarding the state’s current funding formula as the Board works with a Senate committee tasked with evaluating the formula and education funding.

September

September 19, 2013 -- State officials visit McLean County Regional Alternative School
State Board to request restored Regional Safe School and truancy program funding to FY13 level
State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch and State Board Chairman Gery J. Chico visited Bloomington’s Regional Alternative School, known as RAS, Thursday following the Board’s monthly meeting in Normal. The RAS helps students stay on track and complete high school. It is one of 77 such schools throughout the state served by state grants that have seen a 66 percent reduction in funding since fiscal year 2009.

September 18, 2013 -- State Board’s Student Advisory Council convenes for the 2013-14 School Year
14 new students join four returning members to voice student education concerns
Eighteen high school students from across the state will get a front seat view of state education policy work and a chance to offer their insight and perspective this school year as members of the State’s Student Advisory Council (SAC).

September 12, 2013 -- State Superintendent of Education named to serve on two National education organizations
Dr. Koch to bring expertise to groups focused on improving teacher preparation, educational policy
State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch will lend his experience and expertise to two national organizations aimed at improving education policy to better prepare students for the workforce and higher education. Dr. Koch, a former teacher and longtime policy maker, will serve a two-year term as the Vice Chair of the Finance Committee of the policy-focused Education Commission of the States (ECS) and as a member of the inaugural Board of Directors for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the new accreditation body for educator preparation.

September 10, 2013 -- Elementary students show growth on state tests under new performance levels; number of students meeting standards drops as expected
Higher cut scores part of move toward more rigor in standards and assessments to better prepare students for college and careers
Eleven teachers from across the state have been selected as finalists in the Illinois State Board of Education’s annual “Those Who Excel,” educator recognition program.

September 9, 2013 -- ISBE Announces Finalists for Illinois Teacher of the Year
2013-14 Illinois Teacher of the Year to be announced Oct. 19
Eleven teachers from across the state have been selected as finalists in the Illinois State Board of Education’s annual “Those Who Excel,” educator recognition program.

August

August 28, 2013 -- Illinois to lead nation with optimal physical education and health standards tied to brain research
Task Force releases evidence-based recommendations to improve school physical fitness programs and strategies
A state report released today calls for new benchmarks and strategies to improve and increase physical education classes, noting the latest neuroscience research linking physical activity with improved academic performance.

August 21, 2013 -- Number of Illinois students who are considered college ready remains steady
Illinois’ ACT score continues to rank among the best for states that test all students
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today announced that the graduating Class of 2013 achieved a composite score of 20.6, giving Illinois the second highest score among the nine states in the country that test 100 percent of its graduates.

August 2, 2013 -- Illinois State Board of Education Announces the Child and Adult Care Food Program
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced the availability of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The CACFP is a federally funded program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that is administered by ISBE.

July

July 29, 2013 -- National School Lunch and School Breakfast Guidelines Set for 2013-14 School Year
Illinois has seen increase in children eligible for free and reduced lunch
The Illinois State Board of Education established its policy for free and reduced-price lunch, breakfast and after-school snacks for those students unable to pay the full price for meals and snacks under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. The policy, effective at the start of the fiscal year July 1, sets the guidelines for schools as they prepare to welcome back students to the classroom next month.

July 23, 2013 -- Illinois State Board of Education awards $22 million in School Improvement Grants
State awards federal funds to reform four schools in three districts
Four schools in three Illinois school districts will launch comprehensive changes this fall as the latest schools in the state to earn federal School Improvement Grants worth $22 million. These new awardees join 20 schools in eight districts that are already undergoing similar overhauls with support of the federal grant and state resources.

July 16, 2013 -- Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program promotes healthy eating habits in schools across Illinois
Nearly $5 million awarded to 239 schools for 2013-14 school year
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today that 239 schools in Illinois will participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) during the 2013-14 school year. The schools, both public and private, will share equally in more than $4.98 million.

June

June 24, 2013 -- Free Meal Program Continues Across Illinois During Summer Vacation
More than 2,100 sites serving free breakfast and lunch
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced that approximately 2,100 sites are expected to serve free breakfast and lunch to children and teens ages 18 and younger across Illinois during summer vacation.

June 10, 2013 -- State Board, IEA and IFT to recognize more than 30 educators for their outstanding performance in specific content areas
The Illinois State Board of Education, along with the Illinois Education Association (IEA) and the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT), Tuesday will honor 36 educators who were chosen as the best in their field of expertise during the 2012-13 school year by their respective professional education organizations.

May

May 16, 2013 -- Students prepare their award-winning school lunch for the State Board of Education
State Board Spotlight shines on George Washington High School after team wins Healthy Schools Campaign challenge
Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) members received a special treat today (Thursday, May 16) as students from George Washington High School in Chicago served their award-winning school lunch during the Board’s monthly meeting.

May 15, 2013 -- State Board of Education to recognize ACT’s College and Career Readiness Award winners at May Board meeting
Four award recipients named for work in College and Career Readiness
The Illinois State Board of Education will take time during Thursday’s monthly Board meeting to recognize four recipients; a student, high school, community college and employer awarded under ACT’s College and Career Readiness Campaign.

May 14, 2013 -- Governor Quinn, Secretary White and State Superintendent Koch Encourage Students to Use Free Reading Tool During Summer Break
‘Find a Book” Search Tool Aims to Fight Summer Learning Loss
Governor Pat Quinn, Secretary of State Jesse White and State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch today encouraged all students across Illinois to access a free online tool designed to promote summer reading and keep students’ brains active before school resumes in the fall.

May 8, 2013 -- Survey shows Illinois teachers gearing up to teach new Illinois Learning Standards
Survey of 1,300 teachers shows implementation plans in place for new Math and English Language Learning Standards
A survey of 1,300 teachers across the state revealed that 80 percent of respondents are working in school districts with implementation plans for the new Illinois Learning Standards, which are based on the Common Core, ensuring more students will be instructed under the more rigorous, internationally-benchmarked standards.

May 7, 2013 -- Illinois State Board of Education seeking applicants for Student Advisory Council
High schoolers from across the state will represent student interests
The Illinois State Board of Education is taking applications from eligible high school students interested inserving on the state agency’s Student Advisory Council (SAC) for the 2013-14 school year.

May 6, 2013 -- Illinois schools developing healthier environments through nutrition and physical activity
132 schools certified in USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge this school year
The Illinois State Board of Education announced Monday that 132 schools across the state have met federal standards that recognize healthy environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity. The schools are among more than 200 in the Prairie State that have earned voluntary certification through the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) HealthierU.S. School Challenge.

May 1, 2013 -- School Wellness Conference stresses the connection between healthy students and academic success
Educators come from across the state for annual event
The research is clear: Healthy kids learn better. Educators, administrators, school nurses, food service staff and others from across Illinois will convene Friday, May 3, to discuss healthy school policies and practices during the sixth annual School Wellness Conference in Springfield. 

April

April 29, 2013 -- ISBE visits Marion to recognize Honor Roll schools in Southern Illinois
Annual list recognizes improving and high-performing schools from across the state
State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch recognized 16 schools in Southern Illinois today (Monday, April 29) for being named to the 2012 Illinois Honor Roll. The schools celebrated during a school assembly at Jefferson Elementary School in Marion represented 12 districts from Alexander, Franklin, Johnson, Massac, Pulaski, Union, Wabash, Wayne and Williamson counties.

April 25, 2013 -- State Board of Education announces promising science students to attend national camp
Two Illinois High School students to serve as delegates to National Youth Science Camp
The Illinois State Board of Education today announced that two Illinois high school seniors have been selected as this year’s most promising young scientists. The two students, from schools in Hoopeston and Normal, will represent the Prairie State during the 2013 national Youth Science Camp this summer in West Virginia

April 22, 2013 -- Twenty DuPage County Illinois Honor Roll Schools Presented With Awards
Annual list recognizes improving and high-performing schools across the state
State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch recognized 20 schools from DuPage County today, April 22, for being named to the 2012 Illinois Honor Roll. The schools were honored Monday morning during an assembly at F. E. Peacock Middle School in Itasca.

April 12, 2013 -- Second grade Joliet teacher named 2012 National Milken Educator
Surprise announcement recognizes teacher for her success as role model for students and peers
The Illinois State Board of Education and the Milken Family Foundation announced today that Stephanie Hawkins, a second-grade teacher at Lynne Thigpen Elementary School in Joliet, has been chosen as the Illinois recipient of the Milken National Educator Award.

April 12, 2013 -- State Board of Education calls for full General State Aid Funding before Senate Appropriations Committee
$875 million increase would mean full Foundation Level per pupil funding for first time in three years
Members of the Illinois State Board of Education urged legislators to accept the State Board’s recommendation for an $874 million increase in the P-12 state education budget in order to restore a nearly equal amount in cuts – $861 million – since Fiscal Year 2009.

April 3, 2013 -- Honor Roll schools honored in Macoupin, Madison, Jersey, Christian and Montgomery counties
Annual list recognizes improving and high-performing schools across the state
State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch recognized 13 schools from Christian, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison and Montgomery today (Wednesday, April 3) for being named to the 2012 Illinois Honor Roll. The schools were honored during a school assembly at Carlinville Primary School.

March

March 28, 2013 -- State Board Announces Winners of School Breakfast Challenge
Partnership Gives Students a Healthy Start, Fewer Sick Days, Better Test Scores
The Illinois State Board of Education announced the winners of the Illinois School Breakfast Challenge, showcasing the link between a nutritious breakfast and classroom performance.

March 26, 2013 -- Illinois State Board of Education announces training for organizations providing free summer meals
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announces training opportunities for organizations that want to sponsor free summer meals for children.

March 21, 2013 -- 2013 Financial Profile shows 100 fewer school districts ranked in highest fiscal category
ISBE analysis reflects significant economic strain facing school districts
A statewide financial analysis shows more than 100 school districts dropped out of the highest financial ranking in the past year and the number of districts in the lowest category doubled, reflecting the significant cuts to the state education budget and decreased local revenues of the past several years.

March 20, 2013 -- State Board recognizes Illinois Honor Roll schools in Monroe, Randolph and St. Clair counties
Annual list recognizes improving and high-performing schools across the state
State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch recognized 17 schools from St. Clair, Monroe and Randolph counties today (Wednesday, March 20) for being named to the 2012 Illinois Honor Roll.

March 14, 2013 -- Students honored during the 31st annual Illinois Arts Education Week
Poster contest winners recognized at Governor’s Mansion in Springfield
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) honored student winners of the statewide arts education poster contest today at the Governor’s Mansion, a highlight of the 31st annual Illinois Arts Education Week that runs March 11-17 and celebrates the importance of the fine arts.

March 4, 2013 -- Sixty-four school districts participating in new process to evaluate kindergarten students for school readiness
`Kindergarten Individual Development Survey’ (KIDS) pilot aims to support youngest learners
The Illinois State Board of Education is partnering with dozens of local districts across the state in a pilot program to assess the school readiness of individual kindergarten students and identify gaps in development.

February

February 27, 2013 -- Students in grades 3-8 to take Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) next month under new performance levels
This year’s ISATs include 20 percent items written to Common Core Standards
Students in grades 3-8 will be taking the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) next month under new, more rigorous performance levels approved by the Illinois State Board of Education earlier this year.

February 25, 2013 -- State Board celebrates the success of eight Honor Roll schools in west central Illinois
Annual list recognizes improving and high-performing schools across the state
State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch recognized eight schools today for being named to the 2012 Illinois Honor Roll. The schools were honored during a school assembly at Dewey Elementary School in Quincy, the only school in the state to have won the Spotlight award 10 times for maintaining high- level performance.

February 21, 2013 -- Green Ribbon Schools finalists named
Illinois’ top three nominees demonstrate comprehensive approach to environmental education and management
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced the state’s three finalists for the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools awards program.

February 20, 2013 -- Record number of Illinois graduates take AP Exams and post successful scores
Low-income and minority performance continues to show significant gains, moving Illinois closer to AP equity and excellence among all students
The number of Illinois graduates who take AP exams during high school has more than doubled in the last decade, with low-income and minority students continuing to make record gains toward closing the achievement gap on these rigorous tests.

February 15, 2013 -- Governor Quinn declares “5Essentials Day” in Illinois
Students and Teachers Encouraged to Take “15 Minutes on the 15th” to Weigh In on School Climate and Learning conditions
Governor Pat Quinn proclaimed today, February 15, as “5Essentials Day” in Illinois to encourage students, teachers and parents to participate in a 15-minute survey on school climate and learning conditions.

February 11, 2013 -- School districts to receive full state aid funding under State Board’s proposed education budget
$875 million increase would mean full Foundation Level per pupil funding for first time in three years
School districts across Illinois would receive the full funding required under statute next school year if the General Assembly approves the Illinois State Board of Education’s budget proposal as part of the state budget beginning July 1.

February 1, 2013 -- Illinois State Board of Education encourages schoolchildren to take advantage of summer food programs
Programs ensure students receive good nutrition year-round
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is spreading the word about free, nutritious meals and snacks available to children this summer at more than 1,600 summer food service program sites across the state.

January

January 30, 2013 -- School Environment Matters: State Board of Education administers first Illinois 5Essentials Survey to help improve student learning
Students, parents and teachers weigh in on school climate and learning conditions
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today that starting Feb. 1, students and teachers will be given the first statewide opportunity to weigh in on learning conditions and school climate, indicators that have been proven necessary for strong student outcomes, including better attendance and improved student performance.

January 29, 2013 -- ‘State Board Spotlight’ Shines on Urbana District
School district representatives invited to State Board of Education meeting to discuss their achievements
The Illinois State Board of Education welcomed members of Urbana School District 116 to Springfield during the Board’s January meeting last week as part of a new State Board Spotlight program honoring successful and innovative education programs.

January 28, 2013 -- State Board celebrates success of 13 Mount Prospect area Honor Roll Schools
Annual list recognizes improving and high-performing schools across state
State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch recognized 13 schools today for being named to the 2012 Illinois Honor Roll. The schools were honored during a school assembly at John Jay Elementary in Mount Prospect.

January 28, 2013 -- More than 600 schools recognized for exemplary performance on 2012 Illinois Honor Roll
Annual list shows continued and improved academic achievement as state moves toward new accountability system in 2014
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and Northern Illinois University (NIU) announced today that 624 schools made the Illinois Honor Roll for their continued academic progress or excellence.

January 24, 2013 -- State Board recommends $874 million increase in education funding, calls for fully funding state aid commitment
$20 million for proposed program to improve school security
The Illinois State Board of Education today approved a Fiscal Year 2014 budget recommendation that includes more than $874 million, or a 13.4 percent increase, in state funding over the current year in an effort to better support schools and classroom instruction and reverse a trend of cuts that is impacting student learning and the financial health of districts across the state.

January 24, 2013 -- Illinois State Board of Education raises ISAT performance levels
New cut scores raise expectations, better align with the more rigorous Common Core State Standards and pave the way for tougher assessments in 2014-15
The Illinois State Board of Education raised the performance levels of the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) for elementary and middle school students during Thursday’s Board meeting in Springfield.

January 24, 2013 -- Two Illinois High School Students Selected for U.S. Senate Youth Program
Delegates will travel to D.C. and receive $5,000 scholarship
The Illinois State Board of Education joins U.S. Sen. Richard J. Durbin and U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk in congratulating the two Illinois high school students selected as delegates to the 51st annual U.S. Senate Youth Program.

January 23, 2013 -- Education Funding Advisory Board: Double education investment by $4.7 billion; current resources a `failure of the state’s moral and fiduciary responsibilities’
New report highlights funding gaps and growing low-income population, now half of all students
The Education Funding Advisory Board (EFAB) submitted its recommendations for adequate education funding in a report to the General Assembly that calls for more than $4.7 billion in additional funding. The report also recommends further study of current state funding formulas.

January 23, 2013 -- Illinois State Board of Education to raise ISAT performance levels
New cut scores raise expectations, better align with the more rigorous Common Core State Standards and pave the way for tougher assessments in 2014-15
The Illinois State Board of Education will consider raising the performance levels of the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) for elementary and middle school students during Thursday’s Board meeting in Springfield.

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