Sent: Friday, September 10, 2004 4:46 PM
Subject: Weekly Message from State Superintendent Robert Schiller 9-10-04
Good afternoon,


As the date gets closer to the Annual Superintendents’ Conference, I wanted to update you on the program and speakers.  We have put together a very timely and exciting program.  The conference is scheduled for September 21 and 22 at the Springfield Hilton. 


Our program and theme, “The Big Picture:  Education Pre-kindergarten through 20,” will feature a variety of speakers –some who are nationally renowned among educators and beyond.  They include:



The conference will also feature several roundtables and workshops, including a panel discussion with several high-profile reporters on how school districts can better convey their messages in the media and a session on how schools can achieve and maintain academic success.  The latter will also include a Northern Illinois University researcher who will present some of her findings of commonalities that have helped schools improve.


If you have not already made arrangements to attend the conference, I encourage you to do so.  There will be limited on-site registration available at the conference beginning September 20 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  The full conference agenda and additional information is available online at


I look forward to seeing each of you in Springfield.


Another ISBE name many of you have come to know is leaving the agency.  Karen Craven, who started with us about nine months ago as Director of Communications, has left after having accepted a position in the private sector.  Karen served as the chief spokesperson for ISBE during a very tumultuous time – and she did so with a sense of integrity and style.  Between her experience at ISBE and her years as the spokesperson for the Office of the Comptroller, there is no challenge she cannot face in any future positions. 


Robert Schiller

State Superintendent

  of Education


Also in today’s message:



Prairie State Achievement Examination as a Condition of Graduation

Public Act 93-857


This is to notify you of the enactment and implementation of Public Act 93-857 – Prairie State Achievement Examination as a Condition of Graduation.  


On August 3, 2004, Governor Blagojevich signed Senate Bill 2769 (Public Act 93-857) to require all students to take the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) as a condition of receiving a regular high school diploma unless the student is exempted because:

·         the student’s individualized educational program developed under Article 14 of the School Code identifies PSAE as inappropriate for the student; or

·         the student is exempt due to the student’s lack of English language proficiency; or

·         the student is enrolled in a program of Adult and Continuing Education as defined in the Adult Education Act.


Changes for the 2004-2005 School Year

As the new law is effective immediately, school districts will be required to ensure all students graduating during the 2004-05 school year, and all subsequent years, have taken the PSAE prior to the issuance of a diploma.  Any seniors for this school year that have not already taken the PSAE should register by September 17, 2004, for the grade 12 retake. 


Day 1 of the retake is to be taken on Saturday, October 23, 2004, at an established national ACT test center. Students must register using a paper ACT registration folder and use a PSAE Grade 12 Retake Voucher provided to high school counselors in August.  Day 2 is to be taken on Tuesday, October 26, 2004, during an in-school test session.  Schools must order Day 2 test materials directly from Pearson Education Measurement (PEM) by September 17, 2004.


During the 2004-05 school year, students who are not able to participate in the retake may take just Day 1 on another national ACT test date (see schedule below) to meet the new requirement.  In order for these ACT scores to meet the requirement for taking the PSAE, students will need to register using a paper ACT registration folder and a PSAE Day 1 Voucher.  Directions and copies of the voucher to be used for test dates beyond October will be provided to superintendents shortly.

ACT Test Date

Registration Deadline

December 11, 2004

November 5, 2004

February 12, 2005

January 7, 2005

April 9, 2005

March 4, 2005

June 11, 2005

May 6, 2005


Future School Years

School districts are reminded that the Prairie State Achievement Examination is to be administered to all eligible grade 11 students. Additional direction will be forthcoming concerning the examination process for students in future years who have not taken the PSAE prior to entering grade 12.


School Board Policy

School boards should adopt policies concerning this new provision in the law, including:


Within two weeks, the Student Assessment Division will provide you with details related to the use of vouchers for 2004-2005 ACT national test dates beyond October.  All of the above information will be online at .


General State Aid – Hold Harmless Update

General State Aid is a multi-variable formula dependent on timely submission of data from a variety of sources.  An important component of this formula is the Equalized Assessed Valuations (EAV) which originates from your local county clerk’s office.  All county clerks are required to submit this data to the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR).  IDOR performs an extensive audit of this information, certifies it and passes it on to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) for use in calculating General State Aid (GSA) and Hold Harmless (HH). Historically, IDOR certifies all 102 Illinois county files and electronically delivers it to ISBE by July 1 of each year.


IDOR has not provided ISBE with final certified data from Cook County.  Consequently, ISBE will not be able to fully pay HH amounts nor load final GSA payments until certified data has been received.  ISBE will have to resort to estimated data for Cook County in order to distribute the first few installments of GSA as well as a prorated share of HH.  HH will be paid at 80% and vouchered next week with the balance paid when final figures are determined.


ISBE will notify you as soon as staff has data to finalize GSA and HH for FY 2005.


Limitation of Administrative Costs Worksheet

Section 17-1.5 (Limitation of Administrative Costs) of the School Code requires school districts to limit the growth of “administrative” expenditures to a maximum of five percent from one fiscal year to the next.  The provisions of Section 17-1.5 took effect July 1998.


The Limitation of Administrative Costs Worksheet must be completed and returned to the School Business and Support Services Division by November 15, 2004.


School districts with administrative expenditures per pupil in the 25th percentile or below (last quartile) that wish to waive the administrative cap via a school board resolution must:

1. Publish notice of a public hearing

2. Conduct a public hearing

3. Have an appropriate waiver resolution approved by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the school board

4. File a copy of such resolution with the State Board of Education within 45 days of approval


The Limitation of Administrative Costs Worksheet, quartile rankings for all school districts, and a sample waiver resolution for qualifying districts can be accessed at:


Additionally, the Limitation of Administrative Costs Worksheet is included in the Illinois School District Annual Financial Report – June 30, 2004 (ISBE 50-35). 


If you have any questions, feel free to contact Michelle Heninger at 217/785-8779 or e-mail at


Student Information System Survey

We have received requests from several districts that missed the first go-around to reopen the Student Information System Survey.  We have done so effective Wednesday, September 8, 2004.  The survey will remain available to those districts that did not initially respond until close of business, September 17, 2004.


The purpose of the survey is to identify the type of student information system, if any, that your school district is using or by what means your district is managing its student information. We are also seeking districts that would be willing to participate as pilot districts during our testing phase.


This survey is an initial step in the design process of the student information system. A critical component of the new system will be the means by which we send and receive student information from school districts. The information we are requesting will allow us to better design those interfaces.


Moreover, we intend to meet later this month with vendor representatives that support your student information management packages.  In order to ensure that we have the broadest coverage, we are asking that you supply a vender contact name and email address as you fill out the survey.


Assessment Data Update

Due to the large number of data corrections, final ISAT and IMAGE reports will not be posted on SchoolHouse ( until Monday, September 20, 2004. PSAE reports will be posted later that week. The IAA reports will be available online Monday, September 20 as well, however these reports are not different from the ones mailed to districts in June 2004. Hard copies of ISAT and IMAGE reports will arrive early October. The Preliminary AYP Participation Report is preliminary data only. Official AYP status will be sent to school in early October.

Log onto


Fall Data Collection Update

Fall Housing/Enrollment Report

The 2004-05 Fall Housing/Enrollment Report (87-03) will be available via IWAS on Sept. 30 at and must be received by ISBE by October 31, 2004.  All public schools, including special education, regional and the department of corrections are to report students housed as of Sept. 30 by gender, ethnicity and grade level. 


District administrators should approve new users prior to this date and, like last year, have the option of entering data for some, or all, of their schools.  A printable version of the report will be available on IWAS the week of September 20. 

NEW this year:

Unfilled Positions Survey

The Unfilled Positions Survey (87-07), which has been on IWAS the past four years, will be available October 1 and is to be submitted to ISBE by November 15.  As in years past, Districts are to report the number of budgeted positions they were unable to fill as of October 1, 2004.  To avoid duplicating unfilled positions reported by public districts, Special Education and Vocational Centers only report unfilled special education cooperative employee positions or vocational center employee positions.


Teacher Service Record Reporting Package Mailed

The Teacher Service Record reporting package for 2004-05 was mailed on Monday, Aug. 30. Districts that complete paper forms must submit them to ISBE by October 1, and districts that file electronically must submit their files by October 15th. Any questions regarding the Teacher Service Record should be directed to Steve Scaife, Division of Data Analysis and Progress Reporting at 217/782-3950.


2004 Legislation and the Schools

The State Board’s Governmental Relations division has released a final report detailing new laws enacted during the 2004 regular session of the legislature that impact school districts.  The full report is available online at:


Extended Deadline For LPDC Notification

The August 31 deadline has been extended to September 30 for district superintendents to notify Regional Offices of Education if Local Professional Development Committees will continue.  Notification should be made electronically using CeRTS for Administrators.  District superintendents are reminded that they must have agreement with the exclusive representative if changes are made.


Department of Special Education Parent/Guardian Survey to be Extended Through End of Year

ISBE is pleased to announce that the statewide data collection effort to assess parent involvement in the education of students with disabilities will be extended until December 1, 2004.  The Parent/Guardian Survey (ISBE form 34-68) can be completed online at and is available in English and Spanish.  The survey was disseminated to parent leaders, directors of special education, superintendents and others in an effort to outreach to families across the State in May.  Printed copies are available for families who do not have access to the web. 


The purpose of this survey is to collect information from parents and guardians of students with disabilities in order to measure their participation, involvement, satisfaction, knowledge and awareness of the special education services delivery system. 


In 2002, ISBE finalized the Illinois Continuous Improvement Plan (ICIP).  The ICIP is a critical component of the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Continuous Improvement Monitoring Process.  Annual receipt of grant funding through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is dependent upon compliance with the requirements covered by the federal monitoring process.  The ICIP includes a goal to increase the meaningful, effective involvement of families in the educational process of children with disabilities as measured by analyses of survey data and progress from baselines.  Stakeholders identified the development and implementation of a survey instrument as a priority activity.  Based on that priority, ISBE developed the Parent/Guardian Survey (ISBE form 34-68), incorporating questions from two national studies, the Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study (SEELS) and the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 (NLTS2). 


The Parent/Guardian Survey results will be used as data for future planning to inform decision-making and to improve practice.  In addition, the results of the survey will be widely disseminated across the State and reported to the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in the annual update of the ICIP activities. 


Illinois Assessment Frameworks Update

The Illinois Assessment Frameworks are blueprints for the state assessments that will be administered beginning in the 2005-2006 school year. These frameworks are not intended to be content curriculum guides but instead provide districts with guidelines to what and when areas of the Illinois Learning Standards will be assessed.


The Frameworks were first posted in October 2003, in order to move along our test design process. Through this process, however, practitioners have provided input and guidance on these documents. Therefore, the Student Assessment Division has incorporated this input into the Frameworks. The revised Illinois Science Assessment Framework for grades 4 and 7 and the revised Illinois Mathematics Assessment Framework for grades 3–8 will be available on Friday, Sept. 10, 2004. The revised Illinois Reading Assessment Framework for grades 3–8 will be available next week. You may download these Frameworks by going to


We appreciate greatly the input and work that we have received from practitioners around the state in order to provide frameworks that reflect the standards.


New Resources for Curriculum Standards

The Curriculum and Instruction Division of ISBE has recently developed and released two new resources intended to assist districts in the alignment process. The first is a series of seven rubrics designed to define what districts, schools, educators, students, parents, and community members should “know and be able to do” in order to become standards aligned. The rubrics are based on the seven dimensions of implementation outlined in the Evaluation of the Implementation of Illinois Learning Standards Year Four Report to the Illinois State Board of Education, August 2002. The second is a series of related professional development segments developed to highlight the rubrics. Topics include introduction to the rubrics, explanations of the criteria and levels used as well as possible ways the rubrics can be used by educators across the state. Both the rubrics and the professional development pieces can be downloaded from the ISBE website at


CLARIFICATION (Aug 20 Supt Message):  Select ISBE Programs Impact on Federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

In the August 20 Superintendent Weekly Message, information was distributed regarding select ISBE programs, reporting requirements and their impact on the TANF program.  The following is a clarification of the requirements for the Regional Safe Schools program and the relationship to the TANF claim.


The Regional Safe Schools programs indicated below are being used for drawing down federal TANF grants.  These state funds are distributed for program activities which are federally reimbursed via the TANF claim and ultimately should be considered as federal grant awards.  Even though the Revenue Code indicates state funds they must be treated as federal funds.


Regional Safe Schools Grant program (Revenue Code 3696)

Regional Safe Schools-General State Aid (Revenue Code 3001-93)


If you expended Regional Safe Schools Program funds between July 1, 2003 and June 30, 2004, you must count these expenditures as if they were “federal funds” in your calculations to assess whether you need to file an A-133 federal single audit.  A-133 or “Single Audits” are required by the federal government whenever a non-federal entity (state, local government or not-for-profit entity) has expended $500,000 or more in federal funds within a given year.  You are strongly encouraged to provide this information to the Certified Public Accountant firm or fiscal officer responsible for preparing your agency’s audit or completing financial reporting agreements.  Since Regional Safe School expenditures are being used as TANF expenditures, your auditor must include the CFDA number of 93.558 for the TANF program.  This number will be reflected on the Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards (SEFA) form which is included with each A-133 Single Audit.


In addition, please be advised that if you are receiving funds from the following programs, you may not claim the expenditures locally for any other federal match or maintenance of effort claim.


State Free Lunch and Breakfast (Revenue Code 3360)

Extended Learning Opportunities-Bridges (Revenue Code 3825)

Early Childhood Block Grant (Revenue Codes 3705-00 & 3705-50)


Further, in addition to the normal quarterly expenditure report required for some of these programs, please ensure that you accurately report the following information for each of these TANF programs:


Finally, all fiscal and program information for these programs should be maintained for audit purposes for a period of at least five years.  If you have questions regarding this information please contact the Division of Funding and Disbursement Services at 217/782-5256.


2004-05 End of the Year Report

Starting with this school year (2004-05) the Multiracial/Ethnic category will be included as one of the categories used to collect the suspension, expulsion and graduate data on the End of the Year Report.   If you have questions please call the Data Analysis and Progress Report Division at 217/782-3950


Supplemental Data for FY03/04 Federal Performance Report

September 15 is the due date for collecting the data on suspension and expulsion for physical fighting, weapons possession, and alcohol and drug related offenses. Please submit the data using IWAS . In the future we intend to merge these data elements with the End of the Year Report.  If you have questions please contact the Data Analysis and Progress Reporting Division at 217/782-3950.


Teacher Service Record Reporting Package mailed

The Teacher Service Record reporting package for 2004-05 was mailed Aug. 30.  Districts that complete paper forms must submit them to ISBE by October 1, and districts that file electronically must submit their files by October 15th. Any questions regarding the Teacher Service Record should be directed to Steve Scaife, Division of Data Analysis and Progress Reporting at 217/782-3950.


Immunization School Survey

The Immunization School Survey will be available through IWAS from October 1 through November 15, 2004. If you have not signed up for an IWAS account, please do so as soon as possible by logging on to Go to IWAS on the left side of the screen and follow the directions. If you have any questions or need assistance setting up your IWAS account, please contact the Help Desk at 217/558-3600.


Student Transfer Forms

All students who transfer from one school district to another school district must have a student transfer form.  Recently the Accountability Division has learned that some schools are waiting for a formal request before issuing the student transfer form.   This form should be completed at the time of withdrawal so that the form may be presented at the time of enrollment.   The Student Transfer Form is detailed in Section 5/2-3.13a of the Illinois School Code.


If you need additional information on the Student Transfer Form may be found at the following web-site

Or you may contact the Accountability Division at 217-782-2948


Teacher needs assessment survey 

ISBE is repeating the very successful on-line Teachers Survey of Needs as a tool for the Mathematics and Science Partnerships planning.  The survey can be found at: (between September 1 and November 1). It is vital to have as many teachers complete this 10-minute survey as possible.  It includes questions about experience, teaching assignments and out-of-pocket expenses.  We had more than 2000 responses to last year’s survey, but it is vital that we can exceed this baseline this year.  Please encourage your district’s teachers of science and mathematics to become a part of the process.  Their input is very important.


Reading Improvement Block Grant Reports

The Reading Improvement Block Grant 2004 Performance Report was mailed on September 1 to all school districts on September 1.  The due date for the Performance Report is November 1, 2004.  No late reports will be accepted.  This report determines eligibility for the grant in FY05.


The FY04 Reading Improvement Block Grant final expenditure reports are due no later than September 30, 2004 due the June reallocation of FY04 funds.  It is essential that all reports be submitted by the due date.  Failure to submit the report will cause the October payment of the FY05 grant to be delayed until the report is received and approved.


Rabid Bats Reports

Recently the Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Environmental Health informed ISBE that five children in McHenry County are undergoing medical treatments after coming in contact with a rabid bat. Statewide, 33 rabid bats have been reported so far in 2004, the highest number in the last decade according to the IDPH.


IDPH has asked us to pass along to school districts, the following information:



Questions about wildlife may be directed to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife Resources (217/782-6384) or Mr. Joe Kath


For IDPH news release:

For IDPH rabies fact sheet:


Those Who Excel Nominations

The nomination packets for Those Who Excel are now available online at

These forms may be printed off for completion.  Paper copies will also be available if you are unable to access the site.  The 2005 banquet is scheduled for Saturday, April 23 at the Hilton Hotel in Springfield.  Nominations are due January 10, 2005.  If you have questions or need to request a paper version of the forms, please contact Ann Keran at or at 217/782.4648


Last Weekly Message Under Old System

This will be the last weekly message sent using ISBE’s old listserv.  Some of you will get a double message because we are using the IWAS and the CDS (County, District, State) data system.  Only those with access to IWAS or on CDS will receive the weekly message.  Please forward the weekly message or items to appropriate district or school staff.


For more information on this change or for instructions on updating IWAS and CDS, please review the document at:


Challenges and Opportunities in Educating Refugee Children Conference

The "Challenges and Opportunities in Educating Refugee Children" conference will be held at Roosevelt University in Chicago on Thursday, October 21, 2004 and Friday, October 22, 2004  This conference is sponsored by the Illinois Refugee Children School Impact Grant Program (RCSIG) and represents a collaborative partnership of the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Chicago Public Schools. 


For further information about this conference please go to, or contact Sherry Johnson at 312-814-3850 or, or Judith Diamond at 847-803-3535 or


National Conference on Interactive Videoconferencing in Education

The Keystone Conference program announces a national conference focusing on K-12 videoconferencing, will be held October 25-26,2004. Attend the conference on-site in Indianapolis - or connect off-site via videoconferencing at your school or Service Center

All participants will hear nationally recognized keynote speaker Dr. David Thornburg and have the opportunity to interact with other experienced presenters from across the country. The conference program features a rich range of sessions including content provider resources, professional development videoconferencing communities, videoconferencing best practices, student-to-student collaborations, and the results of an international survey focused on trends and attitudes related to videoconferencing.

For further Information please go to: