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Archived Releases

News Center – 2015

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  • July

    July 29, 2015 -- State education and health agencies issue reminder for immunizations as students prepare for new school year
    As students are preparing to head back to school, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) encourage parents and guardians to ensure their children’s immunizations are up to date. There is a new school-entrance immunization requirement for the upcoming school year.

    July 28, 2015 -- Illinois State Board of Education Recognizes Award Winning Career and Technical Students
    The Illinois State Board of Education recognized nearly 90 students from across Illinois for their performance in National Students Taking Action with Recognition (STAR) Competitive Events at the 2015 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Conference in Washington, D.C.

    July 1, 2015 -- Math Splash Conferences offer deep dive into engaging mathematics instruction
    Educators and parents have the opportunity this summer to dive deeper into engaging model math units during a series of Math Splash Conference events designed to make challenging math skills and concepts come alive for students. The two-day conferences will allow participants to immerse themselves in the state’s new math curriculum models and gain valuable instructional skills and insights.


    June 25, 2015 -- ISBE issues Child and Adult Care Food Program eligibility guidelines for new fiscal year
    The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced the availability of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016. CACFP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered annually by ISBE.

    June 18, 2015 -- State Board, IFT and IEA recognize more than 30 exemplary educators for their performance
    Teachers from across the state honored for their expertise and commitment to specific content areas
    The Illinois State Board of Education, along with the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) and the Illinois Education Association (IEA), will honor 33 educators whose professional education organizations selected as the best in their field of expertise during the 2014-15 school year. The educators, all of whom earned awards for teaching a specific subject, from mathematics to physical education, were recognized during a luncheon today at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center.

    June 17, 2015 -- ISBE to rebate school districts for National School Lunch Program expenses
    About $2.4 million available for warehousing and delivery services
    Members of the State Board of Education today approved the rebate of up to $2.4 million to school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The funds will cover warehousing and delivery service expenses.

    June 10, 2015 -- Nearly 800 Illinois students in Class of 2015 graduate with the Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy
    First year for new credential to be noted on academic transcript and diploma
    Nearly 800 students from across the state are projected to receive the Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy on their academic transcript and diploma this spring, the first year the distinction will be noted on transcripts and diplomas. The new credential is awarded to graduates who demonstrate a high level of proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English.

    June 4, 2015 -- Successful first year of PARCC testing complete
    School district feedback played crucial role in smooth test process, future changes to test format
    Illinois schools have successfully concluded the first administration of the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment, with students completing nearly 2.9 million testing sessions online.


    May 26, 2015 -- ISBE to kick off Summer Meals program
    Ensuring low-income students are well fed while school is out
    The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is making sure children are not forgotten over break by providing access to nutritious meals through the Summer Meals program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. School districts, local government entities and nonprofit organizations serve as summer food sites to ensure children have free, healthy meals and snacks all summer long.

    May 21, 2015 -- PARCC test will be shorter, easier to administer beginning next school year
    PARCC states vote to simplify test administration and shorten test time while ensuring reliable results
    The new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment will return next year with a shorter, simpler format to improve the testing process for both students and educators. The exam was originally divided into two parts that measure different types of knowledge and skills. The PARCC Governing Board voted to consolidate the two testing windows into one and reduce total test time for most students by 90 minutes beginning in the 2015-16 school year.

    May 20, 2015 -- 2015 R&D STEM Learning Exchange Challenges showcase event
    Students from 17 Illinois high schools to demonstrate solutions to real-world Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) problems
    High school students from around the state will gather today to showcase their solutions to Research & Development STEM Learning Exchange Challenges presented to them early in the spring semester. Led by the Illinois Science and Technology Institute (ISTI), students have been collecting data, conducting experiments and working with industry professionals to develop their Challenge solutions.

    May 14, 2015 -- Governor Rauner, Secretary White and State Superintendent Smith encourage students to use free online reading and math resources during summer break
    ‘Find a Book’ Search Tool Aims to Fight Summer Learning Loss
    Governor Bruce Rauner, Secretary of State Jesse White and State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith today encouraged all students across Illinois to access free online tools designed to promote reading, maintain math skills and inspire summer learning. State leaders agree that Illinois’ 2 million public school students can make the most of summer vacation with good books and a plan to continue learning.
    Spanish Version PDF format

    May 14, 2015 -- ISBE celebrates the Year of the Volunteer
    Local volunteers recognized at monthly State Board meetings
    State Board Members are honoring school volunteers as part of Illinois’ “Year of the Volunteer,” an initiative established by a Senate resolution. The initiative aims to “engage all generations as participants, planners, organizers and leaders of the volunteer infrastructure.”

    May 11, 2015 -- Illinois leads nation in Latino student participation on AP exams
    Traditionally underserved populations continue to make strides as more Latino and low-income students test to gain college credit
    Illinois continues to lead the nation in eliminating the equity gap for Latino students taking Advanced Placement tests, providing more minority high school students access to these challenging, college-level courses with each graduating class. The latest AP data shows that the percentage of Latino Class of 2014 graduates who took AP exams during high school exceeded the total percentage of Latino graduates statewide for the third consecutive year.


    April 29, 2015 -- Applications Available to Serve on ISBE’s Student Advisory Council
    High schoolers from across Illinois represent student interests
    High school students eager to learn about state education and policy decisions can apply for one of 13 open positions on the Illinois State Board of Education’s Student Advisory Council. Students who are entering the coming school year (2015-16) as a sophomore, junior or senior in an Illinois public high school are eligible to apply by May 29.

    April 27, 2015 -- Second part of the new PARCC exam begins this week
    Students will take the End-of-Year portion of the PARCC assessment through late May
    The testing window for the second portion of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment starts this week, concluding Illinois’ inaugural administration of this new state-of-the-art exam focused on real-world application and college and career readiness.

    April 22, 2015 -- Illinois school earns federal Green Ribbon Award
    U.S. Department of Education recognizes a Mt. Prospect school for environmental and wellness initiatives
    A Mount Prospect Middle School earned federal recognition today under a program that celebrates schools’ efforts to cut utility costs, develop healthy living practices and offer environmental education. River Trails Middle School is among 58 schools, 14 districts and nine colleges and universities to garner the U.S. Department of Education’s 2015 ED-Green Ribbon Schools Award.

    April 21, 2015 -- State Board, IASA and IPA recognize more than 25 outstanding administrators for their leadership
    Superintendents and principals from across the state honored for their expertise in leading districts and schools to student success
    Illinois education leaders are taking time out at noon today (Tuesday) to honor some of the state’s top school district superintendents and principals. The Illinois State Board of Education will host the inaugural recognition event at the Executive Mansion for 26 exemplary school leaders.

    April 20, 2015 -- Illinois community colleges approve use of PARCC for class placement
    Students who earn certain scores on new PARCC assessment will be placed directly into credit-bearing classes
    Illinois community college presidents have agreed to start using the state’s new elementary and high school assessment results to determine a student’s readiness for college-level courses. This decision means students who earn certain scores on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam can be placed directly into classes that earn credit toward their college degree without spending extra time and money on other placement exams or remedial courses.

    April 15, 2015 -- State Board of Education names Dr. Tony Smith new State Superintendent of Education
    Longtime educator and former Oakland, California, superintendent selected to lead Illinois’ K-12 education agency
    The Illinois State Board of Education Wednesday named longtime educator and administrator Dr. Tony Smith as the 28th Illinois State Superintendent of Education at its regular April meeting. Smith currently works as the executive director of the W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation, which annually awards more than $5 million in grants that support children’s development and education.

    April 7, 2015 -- ISBE Chairman Meeks challenges ESL community to find a reading mentor for every third-grader
    Six-week challenge begins April 11
    Illinois State Board of Education Chairman James Meeks challenged the East St. Louis community to volunteer their Saturday mornings reading with third-graders to improve the students’ skills and prepare them for academic success. The “Read to Succeed” challenge begins Saturday, April 11, and will run for six consecutive Saturdays through May 16.

    April 6, 2015 -- First PARCC test administration off to a smooth start
    Students will take the second portion of the two-part PARCC assessment starting in late April and early May
    Schools across the state report a strong start for the first administration of the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment and praise the new exam’s utility, technological features and ability to engage students.


    March 19, 2015 -- Illinois school finances continue to show impact of economic downturn and fewer state education dollars
    ISBE analysis shows 64 percent of school districts expected to deficit spend
    Illinois school district finances continue to show the strain of operating with fewer funds from federal, state and local sources, according to an annual statewide review of financial data by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). The number of districts earning ISBE’s top financial rating dropped again this year while those districts that are projected to deficit spend this school year increased to 550 (or 64.2 percent) of all districts.

    March 16, 2015 -- Illinois Green School Award Recipient Named
    Mt. Prospect school earns state recognition for being green
    A Mount Prospect Middle School’s commitment to environmental education and health and wellness practices earned state recognition under a program that celebrates schools’ efforts to “go green” -- and not just on St. Patrick’s Day. River Trails Middle School garnered the state’s Green Ribbon award and is among 87 nominees across the nation to compete in the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools awards program. Winners will be announced next month.

    March 12, 2015 -- ISBE announces poster contest winners to help celebrate annual Illinois Arts Education Week
    Annual arts celebration begins March 16
    Next week marks the 33rd annual Illinois Arts Education Week, a celebration reflecting and highlighting the importance of fine arts. Students across the state competed to create posters reflective of this year’s theme, “Art is Timeless.”

    March 6, 2015 -- Illinois students are 'Pumped for PARCC'
    Videos help schools engage students in fun and creative ways to prepare for success on the new state assessment
    Schools across Illinois are proving that test preparation doesn’t have to be stressful for students as they prepare to participate in the state’s new assessment for the first time next week. Educators have collaborated with kids to make fun, informative videos and popular music parodies to help students rest up, eat well and keep their minds sharp and ready for success on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment.

    March 2, 2015 -- Schools set to give state’s new assessment to third- through eighth-graders and high school students
    PARCC assessment measures how well students are prepared for next grade and, ultimately, college and careers
    Schools across Illinois are ushering in a new assessment system designed to better gauge how well students are prepared for the next grade level and, ultimately, for success after high school. Starting March 9, most third- through eighth-graders and some high school students across the state will begin taking the first of a two-part assessment completely aligned to the new internationally benchmarked Illinois Learning Standards.


    February 24, 2015 -- ISBE’s PARCC Primer events help districts prepare families for state’s new assessment this spring
    Family PARCC nights use sample test questions, practice tests and fun activities to familiarize parents with the new exam
    The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Parent Teacher Association (PTA) teamed up to give families a firsthand glimpse of the state’s new assessment system for third through eighth graders and high school students. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), set to debut next month, is designed to demonstrate how well students are prepared for the next grade level and, ultimately, for success after high school.


    January 29, 2015 -- Illinois State Board of Education seeks sponsors/sites for summer food programs
    Programs ensure low-income students are well fed when school is out
    The thermometer might suggest otherwise, but summer is on its way and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) wants to make sure every child enjoys access to nutritious meals during the summer break. School districts, local government entities and nonprofit organizations are eligible to host children for free healthy meals and snacks as a summer food site sponsor and/or site.

    January 27, 2015 -- Two Illinois schools to be recognized as National Distinguished Schools
    Highland Elementary School in Skokie School District 68 and HH Conrady Jr. High School in North Palos School District 117 recognized for academic success
    The Illinois State Board of Education today announced that two Illinois schools with a high percentage of children in poverty will be honored for their academic gains next month during the National Title I Association’s annual conference. Highland Elementary School in Skokie School District 68 and HH Conrady Jr. High School in North Palos School District 117 will be among schools across the nation honored for serving students in poverty and achieving academic success.

    January 21, 2015 -- ISBE recommends nearly $730 million increase in education funding
    Board members acknowledge fiscal challenges facing state, but urge lawmakers to fully fund General State Aid commitment, increase funding for early childhood programs
    The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today approved a fiscal year 2016 budget recommendation that seeks an additional $729.9 million from the current year to fully fund General State Aid (GSA). Board members acknowledged the reduction in revenue and increased spending pressures facing the state, but noted the pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education budget would still be 5 percent less than FY 2009, when adjusted for inflation.

    January 21, 2015 -- Grant Park School Board President honored at ISBE meeting
    ISBE honors David Dickson, the 2014 Thomas Lay Burroughs Award Recipient, for his leadership and dedication
    The Illinois State Board of Education today honored Dave Dickson of Grant Park CUSD 6 who was named the 2014 recipient of the Thomas Lay Burroughs Award. The award annually recognizes outstanding school board presidents in the state. Dickson has served five years as president of his local school board and more than eight years on the board.

    January 6, 2015 -- ISBE-developed guidance helps schools and teachers implement new math standards
    Math models receive positive feedback and accolades
    Illinois districts are piloting state-developed model math units to help students master concepts at each grade level as schools implement internationally-benchmarked learning standards that emphasize depth of knowledge, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The nationally-recognized units are the first of their kind, developed by a statewide team of educators following legislation that called for more math resources and support.

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