Sent: Friday, December 03, 2004 6:57 PM
Subject: Weekly Message from Interim State Superintendent Randy J. Dunn - 12/03/2004
Superintendent’s Message for Friday, December 3, 2004


Good afternoon. 


I’m glad to have the opportunity to speak with you again today, and hope everyone had a restful Thanksgiving with family and friends.  While I would have preferred swirling fall leaves to the snow dump we had on Thanksgiving Eve here in Springfield, I guess it did serve to get everyone in the spirit of the upcoming holidays.


Let me share a few random things with you this afternoon, some updates, some harbingers of work to be done and other potpourri:


Again, I’m sorry the long-winded professor came out in me this week.  However, I hope some of this information is helpful as you continue to effectively lead your schools and districts.  


Randy J. Dunn

State Superintendent of Education (Interim)


Included in today’s message:


New IWAS System - Estimated Best Three Months Average Daily Attendance

A new annual IWAS application is now available entitled Estimated Best Three Months Average Daily Attendance. This application replaces a previous paper request form.  Please provide the estimate to the Illinois State Board of Education on or before January 15, 2005.  The figure should be the estimated best three months average daily attendance for the 2004-05 school year.


The estimates districts provide will be used by the General Assembly to determine the General State Aid (GSA) appropriation level for the 2004-2005 claim year payable during Fiscal Year 2006.  Accurate estimates are invaluable for district level budget purposes, as projected GSA entitlements will be based on these estimated figures.


Invitation to comment on rules

At its November meeting, the State Board of Education released one set of proposed amendments for public comment.  This item has been posted on the agency’s web site at; choose “Proposed Rules and Amendments.”  Please submit any comments or suggestions you may have to


Part 375 (Student Records)

P.A. 93-859, effective January 1, 2005, made the following changes in Section 2-3.13a of the School Code that necessitate amendments to the rules governing Student Records:

·         requires the State Board of Education to establish by rule a system for tracking transfer students;

·         requires a school or district to count a student who has withdrawn from that school or district as a dropout for purposes of its annual dropout calculation if the school or district does not receive documentation that the student has enrolled in another school within 150 days after the student withdraws; and

·         allows a request for student records (academic transcripts or medical records) to be used as documentation of student enrollment.


Currently, Section 5 of both the Missing Children Records Act [325 ILCS 50/5] and Missing Children Registration Law [325 ILCS 55/5] requires that within 14 days of enrolling a transfer student, the school to which that student is transferring must request a certified copy of the student's records from his or her previous school.  This requirement is also stated in the rules at Section 375.75(e).  Therefore, a requirement already exists for all schools to request records of transfer students enrolling in their schools, thereby providing a mechanism for tracking transfer students to determine whether they have re-enrolled in another school or have dropped out.


In order to make this requirement more prominent, the proposed amendments move Section 375.75(e) to new subsection (b) and add language from the law pertaining to documentation of enrollment and determination of a student's dropout status.


These proposed amendments do not establish additional mandates on schools and districts.  Instead, they rely on a mandate currently being imposed by the Missing Children Records Act and the Missing Children Registration Law.  Since the effective date of the law is January 1, 2005, using a current mandate as the mechanism for tracking students will enable schools and districts to immediately comply with the provisions of the new law without having to wait for rulemaking to be completed.

Deadline for Public Comment:           January 17, 2005


Notice of completed rulemaking

Please be advised that four rulemaking items recently adopted by the State Board of Education are now in effect.  These sets of rules have been posted on the agency’s web site at; choose “Rules Currently in Effect” and scroll to the relevant Part number.  (If you print only the affected Sections, remember to include the table of contents for the Part, which changes every time the Part is amended.)


Gifted Education (Part 227)

This Part has been repealed in its entirety in response to P.A. 93-21, effective July 1, 2003, which deleted all of Article 14A (“Gifted Children”) from the School Code.

Affected Sections:      All

Effective Date:            November 22, 2004


Summer School for Remedial Education (Part 230)

This rulemaking also responds to P.A. 93-21.  This Act repealed made changes in Section 2-3.61 of the School Code to correspond to the deletion of Article 14A on gifted children.  The amendments to Part 230 reflect these statutory changes by deleting references to gifted students from the rules that formerly were titled “Summer School for Gifted and Remedial Education.”

Affected Sections:      230.10, 230.20, and 230.30

Effective Date:            November 22, 2004


Regional Offices of Education and Intermediate Services (Part 525)

This rulemaking also responds to P.A. 93-21, which made changes in Section 2-3.62 of the School Code regarding services required at the regional level.  The amendment to Part 525 reflects these statutory changes by deleting the reference to services for gifted students.

Affected Section:        525.110

Effective Date:            November 22, 2004


Driver Education (Part 252)

This rulemaking responds to P.A. 93-55.  That legislative change took effect on July 1, 2003, and amended Section 27-24.6 of the School Code with regard to who must sign a school district’s claim for reimbursement for the driver education program.  The previous language of the law required the president or acting president of the school board to sign the claim in addition to the chief school administrator.  With the change, either the chief school administrator or “authorized driver education personnel employed by the school board” can prepare and certify the district’s claim.

Affected Section:        252.30

Effective Date:            November 22, 2004


Researcher seeking humorous student writing mistakes

Ann Lockwood, an author with more than 40 published works, is currently writing a humorous book on writing mistakes made by students from elementary school through college.  If you have examples of misspelled or misused words, misquotes, or language being used in unusual ways, Ms. Lockwood is asking for your assistance in this endeavor.  For additional information please visit


Nature in Legend and Story Conference

Nature in Legend and Story (NILAS) is seeking panels, papers or workshops that discuss the role of storytelling in environmental education for its third biannual conference.  Proposals may be in any level of education, from children through adults, and using a variety of settings including classrooms, museums, parks and libraries.  Please contact Marion W. Copeland at for further information.



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