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August 28, 2002

State Board Offers Parents Tips for Back-to-School

Springfield, Illinois – As a new school year begins, the Illinois State Board of Education reminds parents and families that involvement in their child’s education is vital to his or her success in school.

“Students need attention and encouragement from both teachers and parents to do well in the classroom,” said State Superintendent of Education Robert E. Schiller. “When parents and teachers work together, children excel.”

Schiller said today’s working parents and family members can be effectively involved with their child’s education without actually being in the school or classroom. He offered parents the following Back-to-School Tips:

  • Know what your child is studying and what he or she is expected to learn.
  • Get to know the teacher and meet with him or her if you have questions.
  • Offer to review your child’s homework with him or her and check to see if it is complete.
  • Praise your child’s efforts.
  • Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and has a nutritious breakfast every day.
  • Read with your younger children each day; get them their own library cards.
  • Give your child a variety of experiences through trips to museums or zoos, nature activities and community or neighborhood events.

“Success at school starts at home,” said Schiller. “When you invest time in your children’s learning, you are investing in their future. Show them that how well they are doing in school is important to you.”

Parent and family encouragement is especially important at state testing time, Schiller said. “Children need to know – through positive reinforcement, not pressure – that their families want them to do their best.”

State testing dates for the 2002-2003 school year are:

Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE): April 23-24, 2003

For students in grade 11 in reading, writing, mathematics, science and social science.

Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT): March 31 – April 11, 2003

For students in grades 3, 5 and 8 in reading, writing and mathematics. For students in grades 4 and 7 in science and social science. Parents should check with the school for their ISAT dates. Some schools are on spring break during this time and ISAT is given during a different two-week period.

Illinois Measure of Annual Growth in English (IMAGE): March 31-April 11, 2003

For limited English proficient (LEP) students in the first, second or third years of a state-approved bilingual education program. These students do not take ISAT and PSAE.

Illinois Alternative Assessment (IAA): Portfolios due April 11

This portfolio is for students with disabilities whose Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) state that other state assessments are inappropriate, even with accommodations, because of their disabilities. It is used in grades 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 11 in subjects that include English language arts, science, mathematics and social science.

For more information on student testing, go to ISBE’s Student Assessment website at

Illinois State Board of Education
100 North First Street
Springfield, IL 62777