Sent: Friday, June 11, 2004 4:19 PM
Subject: Weekly Message from State Superintendent Robert Schiller 6-11-04
Good afternoon,


The following items are being sent to you for your information.  As previously mentioned we will continue to send items on an “as needed” basis.


We hope that this information is interesting and/or useful to you.


Thank you,


Robert Schiller

State Superintendent

  of Education




100 Schools Recognized for Academic Improvement

This week the Illinois State Board of Education completed recognition activities of 100 schools statewide that received Academic Improvement Awards.  The schools selected from the more than 4200 statewide have data which shows improvement in their student scores over three years of test assessments.  A total of 27 schools were honored as being among the most improved.


In addition to the 42 schools recognized last month in Springfield, 63 more received their awards  this week at two separate events in Chicago and in Mt. Vernon.


For a press release and list of the 100 please go to:


Located throughout the state, the award-winners represent every type of school – large and small; elementary, middle, and high schools; both regular and charter schools; all funding levels; urban, suburban, and rural; low-performing and high-performing. They demonstrate that exemplary progress is possible at every level and can be sustained over time. By making Adequate Yearly Progress as required by No Child Left Behind, these schools show that they know how to help all students succeed.


Missing Enrollment Data

In an effort to provide AYP participation calculations based on accurate first-day-of-testing enrollment data, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is providing an electronic early data correction window now through June 28, 2004.  During this window, districts and schools can verify and, if needed, correct enrollment data that should have been entered by May 21, 2004, on Pearson Educational Measurement’s SchoolHouse Web site. 


During the data collection process, the number of students enrolled on the first day of testing should have been entered for each school with one or more tested grades and then these enrollment data should have been approved at both the school and district levels by the district superintendent.


To date, about 175 schools in about 125 districts have not entered any enrollment data for their schools in the SchoolHouse system.  In addition, a number of schools have entered enrollment data, but the data were never approved by the district superintendent at the school and/or the district level.  In order for ISBE to use the data in final AYP participation calculations, separate approvals are required on SchoolHouse for each school and for the district as a whole (all schools).


Unless these data are entered and subsequently approved by the district superintendent, AYP participation cannot be calculated and the affected school(s) will be considered as not having made AYP.


Pearson sent several e-mail reminders to district superintendents last month (on May 7, 14, 18, and 20) regarding incomplete or unapproved enrollment data.  This month, ISBE Student Assessment Division staff will be placing phone calls to the approximately 125 districts that have one or more schools with no enrollment data entered. 


If enrollment data have been entered for a school, but these data have not been approved at both the school and district levels, the district superintendent should review the instructions on pages 21 – 23 (HOW TO APPROVE ENROLLMENTS) in the Illinois Data Collection User’s Guide, which is available on the ISBE Web site at  If you still have questions about the approval process after reviewing the instructions, please contact Pearson Educational Measurement at 800/627-7990, state code 814.


Thank you for your help in accomplishing this important task that is necessary to satisfy the requirements of NCLB.


Deadline for Annual Student Report

The Annual Student Report for all school districts reporting an enrollment of LEP students is due to Dr. Lilibeth Gumia in the Springfield office by no later than June 30, 2004 . This report is required by statute. Dr. Gumia can be reached by calling 217-782-3950. An additional element required this year is the Student Performance Report (SPR) that includes language proficiency data from the test administered locally in the district. Districts are required to use one of the four state approved testing instruments and are required to test all LEP children in grades K-12 annually for English language proficiency. The assessment must include the four domains of listening, speaking, reading and writing. The SPR data is due no later than July 30, 2004.


School districts may submit both reports simultaneously as long as the ASR is received by June 30th. All Title III grant recipients will be notified of the progress of the district toward meeting Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAO’s) in August 2004. For information about the AMAO targets visit our web page at


Upcoming Events:


July 12-14, 2004 Administrators Training on the English Language Proficiency Standards will be held at the Art Institute in Chicago. This is a one-day training covering the standards and the implications for assessment. Administrators can register to attend on one of the dates mentioned above. Information is available on our website, for training opportunities for teachers. The professional growth opportunities will focus on standards-based instruction and the new ACCESS test. Training for teachers is to take place in September 2004.


School Violence Preparedness and Response

The Springfield Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in partnership with ISBE, will host four one-day seminars for School Violence Preparedness and Response.  These seminars will be held:


July 12 - Springfield

July 13 - Bloomington

July 14 - Peoria

July 15 - Carterville

For further information and registration, please go to


Child Abduction Prevention Education

 The Illinois School Code currently mandates child abduction prevention education in grades K-8 (105ILCS, 5/27-13.2).


As part of the State of Illinois Amber Alert Notification Plan for Child Abduction, the Illinois State Police, in coordination with the Illinois State Board of Education, has been charged with developing child abduction prevention instruction for inclusion in elementary and secondary school curricula throughout the State.  Materials and links to potential curricula which local school districts can make use of should be forthcoming this fall.


For further information or any questions about this issue, contact Cinda Lubich of the Illinois State Police Clearinghouse for Missing Children at 1-800/843-5763.