I had the good fortune on
Wednesday of last week of spending a portion of the day with Supt. Joe
Majchrowicz (“Dr. Joe” as he is affectionately known by students and staff) at
The visit also struck a chord
with me for another reason: As I reviewed all that had gone on in the Sunnybrook
Schools this year, it became clear (again) to me that we have to do more to help
all our districts leverage and promote other indicators of school effectiveness
beyond just our annual ISAT/
However, in looking at all that has gone on in their buildings over the course of this school year, I have no doubt that learning is taking place in those schools. The work material—especially in terms of some of the writing and arts produced—rivals that of some of the best schools I have visited in my career. We have to better capitalize on the “value added” by schools like those in Sunnybrook—and I know there are many of these in the state—to help our various publics better understand that not all children’s growth, development, and learning can be captured by one paper-and-pencil test. It is one indicator, but only one, and a fairly narrow one at that.
Also, I made a terrible mistake (for someone who should know better) at Sunnybrook: I asked a group of Kindergarteners if they were ready for summer, how many days of school were left, etc. Bad idea. I know that this time of year it is always a supreme challenge to get kids to focus on wringing the most work out of the remaining days of the waning school year. The teacher involved in this classroom was none to happy with me at that point, for good reason.
Among concerts, banquets, awards and honors ceremonies, DARE graduation, baccalaureate (yes, it still exists in places), spring field trips, track meets, school musicals, prom, eighth-grade promotion and high school commencement exercises…whew…I know it is a busy time of year for anyone working in K-12 education. Best wishes for what is left of the school year as it flies by. It tires me out thinking back to those days.
Finally . . . and following in the spirit of the aforementioned comments . . . Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! Thank you all for your labors in that one profession that gives rise to all other professions!
Have a great week,
Also in this week’s message:
Thank you for your patience in the delayed
posting of the Preliminary Participation Rate/Discrepancy
Check Reports on the
NCS SchoolHouse Web site. On Tuesday, May 10, we will be faxing Discrepancy
Check Reports to district offices using the information we received from
SchoolHouse as of
SchoolHouse correction window will be extended until Friday, May 20, .
The most current Preliminary Participation
Rate/Discrepancy Check Report will be posted on ISBE’s IWAS system on
In the meantime we encourage you to continue checking the tested student data posted for ISAT, IMAGE, and IAA for grades 3-8 under the RECORD CHANGES tab; Student Data sub tab.
1. Check ALL student records for "P" (partial record) listings in the RECORD STATUS column under the RECORD CHANGES tab, and merge all student records that need to be merged.
2. Check ALL student demographic data for thoroughness and completeness: Date of Birth, Gender, Race/Ethnicity, etc.
Remember, an Excel-based Student Roster is available under the RECORD CHANGES tab - Roster sub tab. Use the CURRENT roster for post-test data information. For those who attended one of the IPA NCS SchoolHouse training sessions April 18-29, these processes and procedures were clearly defined and demonstrated. Refer to the ILDATA User's Guide on the ILDATA SchoolHouse homepage for complete SchoolHouse functionality.
We also encourage those districts and schools that did not submit their First-Day-of-Testing Enrollment Counts during the February 28 - March 28, 2005, enrollment window to enter those First-Day-of-Testing enrollment counts into the NCS SchoolHouse Web site under the DEMOGRAPHICS tab; Data Collection sub tab.
If you have any questions or concerns,
please contact Pearson's
Illinois State Board of Education, Division of Special Education Services has
completed the grant application under Part B of IDEA as amended in 2004, for FFY
2005 funds which will become available to States on
The General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) requires that States must publish their Part B Application for at least 60 days and accept public comment for at least 30 days. In addition, if a State is adopting new or revised policies and procedures related to Part B or C, the State must also conduct public hearings at times and places throughout the State to afford interested parties an opportunity to participate pursuant to the public hearing and related requirements at 34 CFR §§300.280 through 300.284 (for Part B) and 34 CFR §§303.110 through 303.113 (for Part C). The State must then review and consider all public comments and make any necessary modifications to the policies and procedures.
For FFY 2005, to facilitate timely issuance of grant awards, OSEP will allow States to submit their applications prior to completion of the 60 day publication of the plan but the State must take the following steps:
1. When the 30 days of public comment is completed, the State must inform OSEP in writing of any changes to the application resulting from public comment; and
2. Inform OSEP when the 60 days of public availability is completed. If the State has not yet begun the 60 days of public availability, the completion of the 60-day period may occur after July 1, but OSEP will flow grant awards on July 1 if step 1 above is met and the application is substantially approvable.
Public comment may be submitted
either via e-mail IDEA@isbe.net or via
standard mail (addressed to Dr. Christopher Koch, Assistant Superintendent for
Special Education ISBE,
ASSE is seeking host families for high school exchange
The Accountability Division has received several calls from parents regarding a variety of issues related to the non payment of student fees. A school district may not withhold grades or transcripts for non payment of fees. Payment of student fees may not be a condition for enrollment for the next school year. A student may not be denied the opportunity to take part in graduation activities because of non payment of fees.
If student fees are not paid and the student is not eligible for a fee waiver due to low income status, the school district has options for the collection of fees. These include use of a collection agency or suing in small claims court.
If you have questions on this matter please contact Tom Rosene, Principal Consultant, Accountability at 217-782-2948.
The FY 2006 NCLB Consolidated Application is now available in the electronic Grants Management System (eGMS) and includes the following grants:
l Title I, Part A, Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged
l Title II, Part A, Teacher Quality
l Title II, Part D, Enhancing Education Through Technology (formula grant) [available in the fall*]
l Title IV, Part A, Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities
l Title V, Part A, Innovative Programs
2006 projected district allocations were mailed to each district on Monday, May
2 and will be reflected in the NCLB Consolidated Application in eGMS. In
addition, the allocations can be viewed on the ISBE Home Page under Hot Topics
and Resources at http://www.isbe.net/excel/06_nclb_proj_alloc.xls.
*Title II-D allocations are based on the final Title I allocations, which are determined in the fall.
Please make sure that your approval groups are properly assigned through IWAS in order to access eGMS and submit your application. If you should have technical questions regarding eGMS, please contact the
Please be advised that a rulemaking item recently adopted by the State Board of Education is now in effect. This new set of rules has been posted on the agency’s web site at www.isbe.net/rules; choose “Rules Currently in Effect” and scroll to the relevant Part number.
Part 1300 (Americans With Disabilities Act Grievance Procedure)
The federal regulations implementing Title II of
the Americans with Disabilities Act require that each public entity employing 50
or more persons designate at least one employee who will be responsible for
assisting the entity in complying with its obligations related to
nondiscrimination on the basis of disability. Further, each such entity is required to
adopt and publish grievance procedures for the resolution of complaints alleging
actions that would be prohibited by the federal regulations. These new rules were prepared based on a
model used by other
Affected Sections: 1300.10, 1300.20, 1300.30, 1300.40, 1300.50, 1300.60, and 1300.70
The new 2004 Department of Human Services poverty counts are now available, along with the three-year average that will be used in the calculation of FY 2006 General State Aid. The printout can be found at: http://www.isbe.net/funding/pdf/dhs_poverty_count-06.pdf
Also, a worksheet that will allow district personnel to obtain various FY 2006 General State Aid projections is available at: http://www.isbe.net/funding/excel/gsa_calc_worksht_06.xls
A firm called Brainstorm USA has been going door to door, registering
parents for tutoring services, and claiming to be an approved SES provider in
The second of the two SEL surveys is now
available on line. Participation in
these surveys is completely voluntary.
Survey 2 targets educators for staff development needs regarding the
Social Emotional Learning
To access the surveys you must have an IWAS or an OTIS account. The links to these systems are on the left side menu of the ISBE homepage. We ask that you share this information with your district teachers and staff so that those who are interested can fill out the surveys through their OTIS account. IWAS or OTIS can be accessed on school computers or a home computer. Both accounts are secure.
There is not a print option on the “SEL Practices (Survey 2).” Therefore, if a hardcopy is needed, you must use the browser print option. Please note that it is necessary to print the survey before submitting it if you want a hard copy. Once submitted, the data form cannot be accessed.
If you need technical assistance regarding IWAS or OTIS or setting up an account for either system, please contact the help desk at 217/558-3600. If you have any questions about the content of the survey, please contact Glenn Steinhausen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 217/557-7323.
Thank you in advance for participating in these surveys.
For a listing of current openings at ISBE, visit