Sent: Friday, September 05, 2003 2:55 PM
To: Regional Superintendents and Special Education Directors District Superintendents
Subject: Weekly Message from State Superintendent Robert Schiller 9-5-03

Good afternoon,


The first Superintendents’ Conference took place this week.  They are going very well, and it is always good have the opportunity to receive your feedback on education issues that concern all of us. 


Next Thursday marks the second anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy.  I would like to encourage classroom teachers and administrators to remind, reflect, and educate students about the significance and impact of this event, with grade- and age-appropriate information.  The following website-hosted by Dickinson College in Pennsylvania is among the many sites intended to assist in the teaching of 9/11:


Today’s message includes:


Teacher Certification Updates

Activities to Assist Teachers in Moving From Initial to Standard Certification

Two electronic application formats for providing programs and services that will assist beginning teachers in establishing their eligibility for the Standard Teaching Certificate will be on line by the close of business on Monday, September 8.  This includes the formats for “X” type CPDUs and induction/mentoring programs, which will be new screens in the existing Professional Development Provider System.  A new screen will also be added in the next two weeks for the two graduate-level courses.  Several of the draft templates have been streamlined.  However, those of you who have planned your submissions around those documents will find that the electronic version requires most of the same information.  We encourage you to use these formats to submit your proposals as quickly as possible.  Background information and a link to the electronic formats can be found at


District Responsibilities for Administrative Certificate Renewal

The new administrative certificate renewal system is in place.  However, as of September 1, only 470 out of 1,117 districts and co-ops have established reviewers on the electronic tracking system CeRTS.  This presents a problem for hundreds if not thousands of individual administrators who must participate in the certificate renewal process.  Until the district or cooperative reviewers are identified on CeRTS, they are unable to enter their plans, submit claims for credit, or complete any reviewer duties assigned to them.


District responsibilities for administrative certificate renewal and the procedures for establishing the reviewer(s) for district or co-op administrators are available on the internet at 

We strongly urge those of you who have not created reviewers on CeRTS to revisit the background information and enter your district’s information as soon as possible. 


The district password for logging on to establish a district or co-op reviewer was mailed with the June 16 memo outlining district and co-op responsibilities.  If a superintendent or co-op director cannot locate the district reviewer login ID and password, it can be obtained by sending an email to Rajesh Iyer (  The email to Rajesh should indicate the subject line as “Request to Reissue CeRTS Login ID” and the body should contain the name of the person making the request, the name of the school district or co-op, and the district’s or co-op’s Region, County, District and Type code.


Please remember that district superintendents and cooperative directors must sign in twice – once for the district or cooperative and once for his/her own plan. 


E-Mail to the Certification and Professional Development Department

With department phone lines now modified to provide only a voice response, the volume of email to the new mailboxes has become almost overwhelming.  Rather than eliminate the email service, we have attached an auto-response to the certification email ( and to the responses forwarded to the Department from the agency help-desk.  This directs the email author to the website for general information and to the new, and very successful, Online Teacher Information System (OTIS) for teacher-specific information; if that does not answer the question, the respondent is asked to resubmit the question.  Once again, we regret that it was necessary to terminate personal phone responses to questions from districts and the public; however, we are trying to provide as many other communication avenues as possible and we appreciate your patience.



House Bill 1180 – Special Education Extraordinary Calculations for FY 2004


ISBE has calculated how much each district can expect to receive during Fiscal Year 2004 for Special Education Extraordinary based on the formula in HB 1180.  On August 12th, Governor Blagojevich returned HB 1180 to the General Assembly with a specific recommendation for change to add language that the bill is effective “for Fiscal Year 2004 only”.  We have received indication that the bill’s sponsor will file a motion to concur with the Governor's amendatory veto (A.V.) in order for each school district to receive the benefits of the legislation this school year.


The total amount calculated for each district will be split into four equal payments that will be paid on September 30, December 30, March 30, and June 20.  The formula dictates that:


The calculations for each district are available on our website at: 


If you have any questions regarding these calculations or HB1180 please contact the Division of Funding & Disbursement Services at 217-782-5256.



Claims deadline for Driver’s Education

Driver Education Claims Required Electronically and Due October 1

Claims for costs associated with Driver Education courses offered by school districts are statutorily due on October 1.  Paper claims will not be sent this year as claims will be required to be filed electronically via the IWAS system located on the ISBE homepage at  The Driver Education claim (ISBE 54-30) will only be available for transmission until midnight October 1.  No claims will be honored after that date.  Questions regarding completion of the Driver Education claim can be directed to Janet Ovall, Division of Funding and Disbursement Services at 217-782-5256 or via email at



New Driver’s Education Blue Slip Procedures

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in cooperation with the Illinois Secretary of State (ISOS) has developed a new electronic process that will eliminate the need for printing 127,000 yearly Driver Education Blue Slips for students who have completed classroom and behind-the-wheel training.  Beginning September 29, 2003, driver education instructors will submit student data via the new Driver Education – Student Coursework Completion system which will be accessed through ISBE Web Application Security System (IWAS) at located on the ISBE homepage.  Email notifications from ISBE will be provided to the instructors that student data has been uploaded with ISOS which will allow students to go to the nearest Secretary of State Drivers Facility with three forms of identification to obtain their license.  Questions about the new procedure can be directed to Janet Ovall, Division of Funding and Disbursement Services at 217-782-5256 or via email at


View News Clips for the Week of September 1, 2003 at:


Robert Schiller

State Superintendent

  of Education