Sent: Friday, November 05, 2004 5:31 PM
Subject: Weekly Message from Interim Superintendent Randy Dunn 11-05-04



It’s been a sunny and crisp fall day here in Springfield.  Having done enough driving around the state through the rain the past couple of weeks, it’s been a welcome respite.


I wanted to use my “bully pulpit” this week to share some information with our readers about service above and beyond the call of duty in our Certification Division.  As you know, that Division has worked continuously and diligently over the past weeks to respond to the Governor’s call to reduce our backlog, and we have already done that for Chicago as you know.


But as well, we try to respond to numerous priority cases when they come to the Division.  Jolene Reddy works in Certification and had a situation of a single mother who was ready to declare bankruptcy, and had been teaching on a Type 39 substitute certificate where days were running out.  Jolene worked to get her application flagged and a certificate issued that day.  Another situation came to my attention Wednesday about a teacher in another difficult case who needed a provisional.  Carolyn Hargrove in Certification personally took care of it that afternoon. 


The point of this is not to have you flood my office with these (please)—but I think these situations are indicative of the way the new State Board is trying to be responsive to both  individual and school system needs.  Clearly, Jolene and Carolyn did everything in their power to deal with, and respond to, these cases, and I wanted you to know that.


Also, since I am aware that the readership of this weekly missive has expanded to include many friends and colleagues in higher education, I wanted to let you know that a new Directory of Approved Programs for the Preparation of Educational Personnel In Illinois Institutions of Higher Education is available at


The Directory lists the standards-based approved programs offered by the Illinois colleges and universities that are accredited by ISBE, as well as the certificates that can be earned through the programs. 


Those of us who have worked in higher education remember this as a paper booklet in years past.  However, through the website, the information is much richer and can be readily updated.  Institutions now report programs offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels, alternative certification programs, satellite locations, and a host of other important information.  Again, to highlight some great efforts from staff, Pat Barto and Becky Gideon, performed some real magic to make this vital document as web-friendly as possible.


And yes—in reference to my condolences in last week’s message to Card’s fans—my new friend Joe Majchrowicz would remind those folks that there are some other baseball fans in our beloved state who have been “waiting for next year” for a l-o-n-g time and, as such, are not quite as sympathetic as I may have been.  See you next week.


Randy J. Dunn

State Superintendent of Education (Interim)


Included in today’s message:


Meet Illinois State Board of Education members and Interim State Superintendent Dunn

Participants of the IASA/IASB/IASBO Annual Conference are invited to visit the Comiskey Room of the Hyatt Regency during one of the times listed below for an opportunity to meet and talk with members of the Illinois State Board of Education and Interim State Superintendent Dunn. 

§         Friday, November 19, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

§         Saturday, November 20, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.


Preventing gasoline burns

A Chicago area medical center warns of the dangers of cleaning sports equipment with gasoline.  Please visit for important information regarding the dangers of gasoline use and proven methods for fire/burn prevention. 


Fall housing reports(schools) and unfilled position reports (districts)

Fall Housing Reports (schools) were due October 31, 2004. District superintendents should log on to the IWAS application and check their status screen to be sure all of their school reports have been received by ISBE.  Regional Programs can fill out one report for Alternative Schools (under 9201), one for Safe Schools (under 9301) and one for ALOP schools (under 9501) rather than submitting reports for each program site.  Next year, this will be the standard operating procedure.

·         Reminder: Unfilled position reports (districts) are due November 15, 2004.


Immunization reports due November 15

If you have not submitted your Immunization Report through IWAS, please do so as soon as possible.  The deadline for submission is November 15, as mandated by law.  There are no deadline extensions.  The State Board of Education no longer accepts paper copies of this report. They must be completed electronically. Failure to submit Immunization records by the November 15 deadline can result in an interruption of services.  If you have any questions about setting up an IWAS account, please contact our Helpdesk at 217/558-3600.


Employment opportunities

An external vacancy list for positions with the Illinois State Board of Education can be accessed at


“Raising Student Achievement” Conference

The Annual K-12 “Raising Student Achievement” conference will be held December 6 through 8 at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois.  The event is sponsored by the Regional Offices of Education in collaboration with Intermediate Service Centers, Illinois State Board of Education and EBD/PBIS.


This year’s program consists of 140 concurrent sessions in an event designed with school districts in mind and offering high quality instructional sessions on Subgroup Populations, Content Instruction, Data Analysis for School Improvement Planning and School Community Culture.


For a PDF brochure please go to


First Amendment Campaign – free curriculum guide

The Illinois First Amendment Center has launched an exciting educational campaign titled: “The First Amendment: Keep It Strong.” The campaign is designed to excite and engage students while assisting educators with a useful curriculum guide.  The curriculum is focused on the role of the First Amendment its effects.


The “Keep It Strong” curriculum is designed to support Illinois state goal #14 in Social Science; from early elementary up to late high school from (14.A.1) to (14.C.5) then (14.F.1) to (14.F.5)   For more information, visit or call 217/241-1300.


Teachers and students invited to join virtual expedition

You and your students are invited to virtually ride along on a free expedition with scientists from Chicago’s Field Museum through email and a website featuring research details, interactive site maps, expedition photographs, and video reports.


Dr. Greg Mueller will deliver a live webcast on Tuesday, November 9, at 9 and 11 a.m. in English and 10 a.m. in Spanish. The broadcast can be viewed online at


Have your students email him questions before the broadcast to be answered live at  You may virtually join him on his quest by signing up at


Audio journal available

As part of an initiative with the IASA, ISBE extends the following opportunity.  Audio Education, Inc., producers of the successful Audio Journal have announced they will waive the $100 website access fee for every administrator in districts that formally join the Illinois electronic learning community.  The only requirement is that districts agree to use Audio Journal as a significant component in building a learning community.

You may register at


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