Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 3:45 PM
Subject: Weekly Message from State Superintendent Randy Dunn - August 1, 2005
Good afternoon,


As you know, the State Board and I have just completed a series of Strategic Plan Forums around the state to get feedback on the action steps to implement the Comprehensive Strategic Plan for Elementary and Secondary Education. We received valuable input at each of the forums and heard recurring themes around an expanded definition of literacy, the importance of teacher induction and mentoring and professional development for teachers and administrators. 


Based on that feedback, we have put together timelines and specific initiatives to support the priorities under each goal.  These action steps can be found at:

·         Goal One –

·         Goal Two –

·         Goal Three –


Please review these initiatives and email your feedback to  I will present these initiatives to the members of the State Board at their August 11 meeting.

I’m excited to be spending tomorrow in the Rock Island School District for the inauguration of their Elementary and Intermediate Academies. Rock Island has taken bold steps to restructure three elementary schools into two new academies and I want to be there to support the great amount of effort that has gone into this initiative. Rock Island is one of the districts in the state on a year-round calendar and wins the distinction of being my first school opening for 2005-2006 academic year.  I know for most of you yours is coming sooner than you want!


Oh yes, one more thing. As your schools and districts receive their AYP Status Reports, you can share that information with your local media as you think is best.  We will not be releasing our statewide aggregate results until the end of this month, after the August 22 data correction window has closed.  We anticipate issuing School Report Cards in October.


Have a great week!

Randy Dunn 


Also in today’s message:

·         OMB A-133 Single audit now requires DUNS number for recipients of direct federal aid

·         All driver facilities will now process school bus driver “S” endorsements

·         Registration guidance – residency, homeless pupils and school fee waivers

·         Restrictions on presence of sex offenders on school grounds – new laws

·         Invitation to comment on rules

·         Hearst foundation scholarships

·         Barbara Bush foundation for family literacy invites grant applications

·         National geographic education foundation announces guidelines for teacher grants

·         Bills signed

·         Employment opportunities

·         Weekly news clips


OMB A-133 Single audit now requires DUNS number for recipients of direct federal aid

Beginning with fiscal periods ending in 2005, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will require the reporting of Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) numbers on all Form SF-FAC submissions reporting expenditures of direct federal awards.  If no direct Federal award expenditures are reported, a DUNS number is requested but not required.  For additional details and links, please see the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) memorandum which can be accessed at


All driver facilities will now process school bus driver “S” endorsements

We have been notified by the Illinois Secretary of State (ISOS) that effective August 1 through September 30 any driver’s facility will be available to school bus drivers to add the S endorsement ONLY.  The new school bus driver “S” endorsement is required on all school bus commercial driver licenses (CDL) by September 30, 2005.  Please click on the memorandums from the ISOS below for additional information.  If testing is necessary, drivers will need to go to a CDL facility.  In addition, if a company wants to arrange to bring a sizable group to a facility they will need to make arrangements in advance.  Some facilities will be open on Mondays only during AUGUST for the S endorsement purposes only.


Arrangements can be made by contacting the regional managers or you may contact the Illinois Secretary of State Safe Ride Section at 217-782-7674, Monday thru Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


Registration guidance – residency, homeless pupils and school fee waivers

Now that the summer is drawing to a close and we are preparing for pupils to register for a new school year, we want to take this time to discuss three areas that traditionally have generated confusion: Residency, Homelessness and School Fee Waivers.


I.Residency (for non-special education pupils)

School districts are concerned about registering or enrolling pupils that cannot produce documented proof of residency in the school district.  ISBE encourages districts to “enroll first, ask questions later”.  To help combat some confusion at registration, we have some guidance that explains all the areas of residency for non-special education pupils. [Residency for special education pupils is generally based on guardianship.  See 105 ILCS 5/14-1.11 and 5/14-1.11a; see also 23 Ill. Admin. Code 226.]


General Rule of Residency:  The residence of a person who has legal custody of a pupil is deemed to be the residence of the pupil.  Legal custody for residency & enrollment DOES NOT mean guardianship.

Determining a pupil’s residence all comes down to what “legal custody” means.  Legal custody, for the sole purpose of determining the residency of a pupil and enrolling him or her in school, is defined 5 ways in Section 10-20.12b(2), as subsections (i) through (v).  The task of the registrar and the adult enrolling the pupil is to determine which 1 of the 5 situations most clearly reflects the reason the pupil lives in the district:


(i) If the pupil lives with his or her natural or adoptive parents, the pupil is a resident of the school district in which his or her natural or adoptive parents live.


(ii) If a court has granted custody, not guardianship, to an adult with whom the pupil lives, then the pupil is a resident of the district in which that adult lives, as long as the pupil is not living with the adult for access to the educational programs of the district.


(iii) If a court has granted short-term guardianship, then the pupil is a resident of the district in which that adult lives, as long as the pupil is not living with the adult for access to the educational programs of the district.  Here, the adult is required to obtain permanent guardianship within 60 days of enrollment of the pupil.


(iv) If the pupil lives with an adult relative caretaker receiving aid under the Illinois Public Aid Code for that pupil, then the pupil is a resident of the district in which that adult lives, as long as the pupil is not living with the adult for access to the educational programs of the district.


For subsections (ii), (iii) and (iv), documentation provided by the court or the State is sufficient to prove the relationship with the child.


(v) If the pupil lives with an adult who has accepted responsibility for the pupil and provides a fixed nighttime abode for the pupil, then the pupil is a resident of the district in which that adult lives, as long as the pupil is not living with the adult for access to the educational programs of the district.


Subsection (v) is a “catch-all” provision, designed to cover residency situations that do not fit into 1 of the above 4 definitions.  If provision (v) applies, ISBE encourages use of the attached Affidavit of Enrollment and Residency (ISBE Form 85-51); or (Spanish) as proof that the pupil is a bona fide resident of the school district. 


Questions about residency?  Please contact the ISBE Accountability Division at (217) 782-2948.


II. Homeless Pupils

ISBE considers the school enrollment, attendance and success of homeless children and youth throughout Illinois as a high priority.  As we find ourselves in registration season, we remind all districts of the need, when evaluating residency questions, to think about whether the pupil at issue may be “homeless” as such term is defined under federal (the McKinney-Vento Act, 42 U.S.C. 11431) and Illinois (the Illinois Education for Homeless Children Act, 105 ILCS 45/1-1, or “IEHCA”) law. 


“Homeless” pupils include, but are not limited to, children or youths sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (commonly referred to as being “doubled up”) and pupils who are otherwise not residing in a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.  A homeless pupil must be immediately enrolled in any of the following:  (a) the school in which he or she was enrolled in when permanently housed; (b) the school in which he or she was last enrolled; or (c) any public school that non-homeless students who live in the attendance area in which the homeless pupil is living are eligible to attend.   


There is no specific time limit on how long a child or youth can be considered homeless.  Whether a child or youth meets the definition of homelessness depends on the living situation and the individual circumstances.  As already noted, if a pupil is (or that pupil or his or her parent or guardian claim the pupil is) homeless, your district must immediately enroll the pupil and also arrange for transportation and other services as appropriate.  If your district disputes that a pupil is homeless, your district must engage in dispute resolution procedures as dictated by McKinney-Vento and the IEHCA.  ISBE is in the process of revising its homelessness policy (which details the dispute resolution procedure) and expects to issue the revised policy this coming fall.  In the interim, if you or your homeless liaison have any questions regarding homelessness issues, please contact Rich Dehart, the ISBE Coordinator for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, at (217) 782-2948.


III. School Fees and Fee Waivers

During registration and throughout the school year, school districts must be aware of families who believe that they are unable to afford school fees. Sections 10-20.13 and 34-21.6 of the School Code (105 ILCS 5/10-20.13 and 105 ILCS 5/34-21.6) require that charges for textbooks and other fees be waived for children whose families are unable to afford them, including children eligible for the federal free lunch and breakfast program and for any other extenuating circumstances for which the school board will waive fees (e.g., reduced-price lunch or medical emergencies). Each district must adopt a written policy and administrative procedures governing fee waivers; requirements for those policies are found at 23 Ill. Admin. Code 1.245. Click here for a list of waivable fees, found at 23 Ill. Admin. Code 1.245(b)(1).


Many of you may remember that the criterion to qualify for a fee waiver was changed in 1989 by P.A. 86-195 from receipt of public aid to eligibility for free lunch and breakfast.  School districts should ensure that those parents who do not wish to apply for the free lunch and breakfast program have the opportunity to request that their pupils' textbook and instructional materials fees be waived.  Families do not need to show that they are recipients of aid under the Illinois Public Aid Code in order to have their fees waived. A family requesting a fee waiver must only provide evidence that it meets the income guidelines below, during 2005-2006.

The complete eligibility guidelines can be found by accessing

and choosing "Income Eligibility Guidelines".

Household Size  Level for Free Meals                

            Annual  Monthly Weekly

1          $12,441 $ 1,037  $240

2          16,679   1,390    321

3          20,917   1,744    403

4          25,155   2,097    484

5          29,393   2,450    566

6          33,631   2,803    647

7          37,869   3,156    729

8          42,107   3,509    810

Each additional family member add:        +4,238  +354     +82


Notification of Parents.  Each school district must notify all parents of its fee waiver policy at the time the parents first enroll their child(ren) in school. Additionally, the first bill sent each school year to parents who owe fees must state that the district waives fees for parents unable to afford them in accordance with the district policy and must provide the name, address, and telephone number of the person to contact about fee waivers.


A district may, by policy, waive fees other than for textbooks and instructional materials. Parents should be informed of all fees waived by the district’s policy. 


Punishment or Discrimination Prohibited.  Section 28-19.2 of the School Code (105 ILCS 5/28-19.2) prohibits punishment or discrimination of any kind against a student whose parents are unable to purchase required textbooks and instructional materials or to pay required fees. This prohibition includes the lowering of grades, exclusion from classes, withholding of diplomas and exclusion from graduation ceremonies.


However, a school may elect to send only the unofficial transcript for a transfer student when the student has unpaid fees. See 23 Ill. Admin. Code 375.75(h). The transferring school may refuse to send the official transcript until fees are paid or payment arrangements have been made.

In addition, districts may, if authorized by their discipline policy, discipline students for failure to pay for items not meeting the definition of a “school fee” as listed under Section 1.245(b)(2):

• Library fines and other charges made for the loss, misuse or destruction of school property;

• Charges for the purchase of class rings, yearbooks, pictures, diploma covers or similar items;

• Charges for optional travel undertaken by a school club or group of students outside of school hours;

• Charges for admission to school dances, athletic events or other social events; and

• Optional community service programs for which fees are charged.


Restrictions on presence of sex offenders on school grounds – new laws

Several laws were passed last year designed to increase protection of children from sex offenders while they are on school grounds.  In cases where a child sex offender is also a parent or guardian of a child at the school, the sex offender must still notify the school, an administrator should meet the parent/guardian at a certain door at a certain time to escort him or her, and the administrator should have the parent/guardian within his/her sight at all times during the event.


Public Acts 94-158 and 94-170 both amend 720 ILCS 5/11-9.3 to restrict the reasons a child sex offender may be present at a school where the offender’s child attends.  Under the new law, a parent or guardian who is also a child sex offender is only allowed to be at his or her child’s school to (1) attend a school conference to discuss the child’s academic or social progress, (2) participate in special education-related evaluation or placement of the child, or (3) attend a school conference regarding the child’s retention or promotion.  The offender is still required to notify the principal of the school of his/her presence and must be directly supervised while on school grounds.  This change will not affect the offender’s right to be present on school grounds used as a polling place for the purpose of voting, but will prohibit the offender from attending any on-campus extra-curricular or graduation events in which the offender’s child may participate.  Effective immediately.


Public Act 94-219 amends 105 ILCS 5/10-21.9 to require school districts to complete a check of the sex offender registry as part of a criminal background check of any applicant for hire in the school district.  Effective immediately.


Starting January 1, 2006, Public Act 94-164 will amend 720 ILCS 5/11-9.3 to prohibit any sex offender from loitering within 500 feet of a school or school building.  This is a tighter restriction as the current law only prohibits such loitering in a public way within 500 feet of a school or school building.  Effective January 1, 2006.


Invitation to comment on rules

One additional set of proposed rules reviewed by the State Board of Education at its June meeting is now available for public comment.  These rules have been posted on the agency’s web site at; choose “Proposed Rules and Amendments”.  Please submit any comments or suggestions you may have to  The deadline for public comment is September 6, 2005.


Part 1 (Public Schools Evaluation, Recognition and Supervision)


This set of amendments conveys the changes in our accountability system that are needed for compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act and related Illinois law.  These changes require a rules basis to ensure that compliance is forthcoming from schools and districts.  These rules cover a variety of topics, including:


• the requirement for adequate yearly progress and the indicators that will be considered;

• the targets for each aspect of performance;

• the subgroups of students, their participation in state-level assessments, and the treatment of their scores;

• academic early warning and academic watch status and the requirements for school and district improvement plans and restructuring plans;

• rewards and recognition; and

• the appeals process related to schools’ and districts’ status.


A new feature in this set of amendments is Section 1.75, which will require participation in the Student Information System so that the system can be implemented statewide.  Also included are updates to the Sections outlining recognition status and compliance requirements.  The changes in Section 1.20 in particular will help distinguish procedures applicable to probationary status from those applicable in cases where districts or schools are “recognized pending further review”.


Hearst foundation scholarships

Early next month, ISBE will send a brochure and application to each private and public high school principal in Illinois announcing the 44th Annual United States Senate Youth Program sponsored each year by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. 


The two student winners of the competition representing Illinois will spend an all-expenses-paid week-long educational experience in Washington, D.C., this spring.  Each will also receive a $5,000 college scholarship.  Superintendents are encouraged to share this information with principals, guidance counselors, and student government advisors.  For immediate details, please visit


Barbara Bush foundation for family literacy invites grant applications

Deadline: September 9, 2005


The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy   ( ) has announced its 2006 national grant competition.


The foundation's grantmaking program seeks to develop or expand U.S. projects that are designed to support the development of literacy skills for adult primary care givers and their children. A total of approximately $650,000 will be awarded; no grant request should exceed $65,000.


In order to be considered eligible for a grant, an organization must: have current nonprofit or public status; have been in existence for two or more years as of the date of the application; and must have maintained fiscal accountability. The organization must operate an instructional literacy program that has been in existence for at least two years and includes one or more of the following components: literacy for adults; parent education; pre-literacy or literacy instruction for children pre-K to grade 3; and intergenerational literacy activities.


Application guidelines and form as well as answers to Frequently Asked Questions are available on the foundation's website.

RFP Link:


For additional RFPs in Education, visit,


National geographic education foundation announces guidelines for teacher grants

Deadline: September 2, 2005


As part of its work to promote geographic literacy for all children, the National Geographic Education Foundation is offering grants for up to $5,000 for a teacher, or group of teachers, to help support innovative geography education projects.


Teacher grants are given directly to educators to facilitate their work in promoting and increasing geographic literacy in the classroom, school, district, and community. Teacher Grant applications are accepted from any current teacher or administrator in an accredited K-12 school within the United States and Canada. Projects that have outreach to urban areas are particularly encouraged.


Project proposals should engage and involve students in the active research and study of a particular geographic issue/problem. As students are learning about the specific geographic issue or problem they should also create a public awareness campaign for sharing their knowledge with a wider audience.


The foundation plans to make approximately $100,000 in grants. Grants will support work conducted during the period between January 2006 and August 2006.


Visit the foundation's Web site to download the Teacher Grant Guidelines. The online application will be available July 15, 2005.


RFP Link:


For additional RFPs in Education, visit:


Bills signed

HB 112 – PA 94-0346

Beginning July 1, 2006, any diesel powered vehicle owned or operated by this State, any county or unit of local government, any school district, any community college or public college or university, or any mass transit agency must, when refueling at a bulk central fueling facility, use a biodiesel blend that contains 2 percent biodiesel, as those terms are defined in the Illinois Renewable Fuels Development Program Act, where available, unless the engine is designed or retrofitted to operate on a higher percentage of biodiesel or on ultra low sulfur fuel.


HB 156 – PA 94-0309

Provides that if a pupil's change of residence is due to the military service obligation of a person who has legal custody of the pupil, then, upon the written request of the person having legal custody of the pupil, the residence of the pupil is deemed for purposes of enrollment, for the duration of the custodian's military service obligation, to be the same as the residence of the pupil immediately before the change of residence caused by the military service obligation. Provides that a school district is not responsible for providing transportation to or from school for a pupil whose residence is determined under these provisions.


HB 1588 – PA 94-0333

Changes the definition of aggravated battery. In committing a battery, a person commits aggravated battery if he or she knows the individual harmed to be an officer or employee of the State of Illinois, a unit of local government, or school district engaged in the performance of his or her authorized duties as such officer or employee.


SB 87 – PA Not known

Amends the School Code. In a provision concerning the notification of a child's possible eligibility to receive services from the Illinois School for the Deaf or the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired, provides that the school district shall make a reasonable effort to further inform parents and guardians of eligible children of the existence of other, local schools that provide services similar to these schools and the services that these other schools provide.


SB 1626 – PA 94-350

In provisions concerning an employee's physical fitness and sick leave and compulsory school age exemptions, provides that when required, certain examinations may be conducted by, and certain certificates may be issued by, an advanced practice nurse who has a written collaborative agreement with a collaborating physician that authorizes the advanced practice nurse to perform health examinations or a physician assistant who has been delegated the authority to perform health examinations by his or her supervising physician (now, only certain physicians and, in some cases, spiritual healers may conduct the examinations and issue certificates).


Employment opportunities

Management has released an External Vacancy List (#05-19), which can be accessed through the following link:


Weekly news clips

This week’s news clips may be reviewed at: