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Archived Releases

News Center–2014



Nov. 24, 2014 -- Grant Park School Board President receives Thomas Lay Burroughs Award
The State Board of Education selected Dave Dickson of Grant Park CUSD 6 as the 2014 recipient of the Thomas Lay Burroughs Award, which annually honors an outstanding school board president in the state. Dickson has served five years as president of his local school board and more than eight years on the board.

Nov. 18, 2014 -- Illinois state school chief selected to serve as member on national organization of state education leaders
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) has selected Illinois State SuperintendentChristopher A. Koch to join its Board of Directors. The Council, made up of public K-12 education officials from around the country, works with federal and state agencies as well as Congress on national education policy development and decisions. Koch, who is entering his ninth year as state superintendent, was selected to join the CCSSO Board last week during the national organization’s annual fall meeting.

Nov. 6, 2014 -- State Board of Education and Illinois PTA offer tips on productive parent-teacher conferences
As school districts across Illinois complete their first quarter in the classroom, parents and teachers are convening for individual conferences to review students’ grades and classroom experiences. In the digital age, such meetings are often not the first time parents and teachers have exchanged information this school year but the conference may be the first face-to-face interaction, offering an opportunity for a productive discussion and yearlong collaboration. The Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois PTA offer a variety of resources to help guide this important conversation.


Oct. 28, 2014 -- Illinois receives $1.9 million to increase mental health awareness and promote healthy development
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will expand its efforts to help schools better identify and respond to mental health issues among youth through a $1.9 million federal grant program. A large portion of the funds will be shared among three Illinois school districts to build relationships with their community health providers to better serve students with behavioral health issues.

Oct. 27, 2014 -- Illinois State Board of Education Announces the 2015 Illinois Teacher of the Year
The Illinois State Board of Education named Steven Elza, an automotive technology teacher at William Fremd High School, the 2015 Illinois Teacher of the Year. One of 12 finalists, Elza was announced as this year’s top educator during Saturday night’s 40th annual Those Who Excel/Illinois Teacher of the Year banquet in Normal.

Oct. 21, 2014 -- ISBE to recognize exemplary educators Oct. 25 at Those Who Excel Banquet
More than 230 educators and school staff members will be recognized later this week at the 40th annual Those Who Excel banquet in Bloomington-Normal. The Illinois State Board of Education annually honors bus drivers, custodians, support staff, counselors, volunteers, board members, teachers and administrators from among the 857 school districts in the Prairie State.

Oct. 16, 2014 -- State Board of Education member to receive NASBE award
The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) will present Dr. Vinni M. Hall, Illinois State Board of Education Secretary, with the NASBE 2014 Distinguished Service Award on Friday, Oct. 17. Dr. Hall was selected for the award along with three other state education leaders from around the country. The national award is presented annually to state board of education members in order to recognize exceptional service to public education.

Oct. 15, 2014 -- Award-winning 2014 School Report Card offers new metrics to better capture schools’ performance and learning environments
Parents, educators and all those interested in public education in Illinois will soon have new data and online features at their fingertips to better gauge kindergarten through 12th-grade student performance and school learning environments. Metrics, such as the percentage of freshmen on track for college or how students feel about their school’s environment, will soon debut on the award-winning Illinois Report Card.

Oct. 14, 2014 -- State Board READY for Champaign-Urbana school tours and special meal prepared by regional students
Students in a regional education program will cook and serve lunch featuring produce from their own garden Wednesday for members of the Illinois State Board of Education, who will be convening in Champaign for their monthly meeting.

Oct. 9, 2014 -- Public hearings scheduled to discuss Civic Education Task Force
Students, educators and interested citizens are invited to offer their feedback as a new task force reviews civic course requirements and social studies learning standards in Illinois. The review is part of an ongoing effort to update Illinois Learning Standards that began in 2010 with the state’s adoption of new English language arts and math standards, followed by physical education in 2013 and science standards earlier this year.

Oct. 8, 2014 -- ISBE announces public hearings to guide FY 2016 budget development
State education leaders are urging Illinoisans to weigh in on their priorities for education as the state develops the fiscal year 2016 K-12 education budget. The Illinois State Board of Education is offering a series of public hearings across the state to gather opinions and ideas regarding education resources and funding as the Board develops its budget recommendation, typically sent to the General Assembly and Governor in January.

Oct. 7, 2014 -- Illinois students participation and performance on AP exams continues to show gains
Illinois Hispanic and African American student participation in the Advanced Placement tests exceeds the national average, helping a new and more diverse generation of students move into more advanced classes in their post-secondary institution or gain college credit – or both, according to the 2014 College Board Program Results.

Oct. 6, 2014 -- ISBE to honor top educators and school personnel at annual Those Who Excel banquet in Normal
State education officials will honor more than 230 of Illinois’ outstanding educators later this month at the 40th annual Those Who Excel/Teacher of the Year banquet in Normal. Among the educators will be the 12 Teacher of the Year finalists, one of whom will be named the top Illinois educator for 2015.

Oct. 2, 2014 -- Illinois to receive nearly $2 million in federal grants to bolster school safety
Illinois will receive nearly $2 million in federal grants that aim to improve safety in the classroom through both emergency management and comprehensive prevention efforts that address students' social and emotional needs. The funds, funneled through two U.S. Department of Education grants, reflect ongoing state and national efforts to better prepare for school emergencies as well to improve methods of discipline and support for struggling students.

Oct. 1, 2014 -- State Board’s Student Advisory Council convenes for the 2014-15 School Year
Members of the state’s Student Advisory Council (SAC) will convene later this month to begin their yearlong term learning about and participating in state education policy decisions on behalf of the more than 2 million public school students in Illinois. The 18-member council provides the perspective of high school students on a number of issues, delving into topics such as grading, physical education and bullying policies.


Sept. 25, 2014 -- Three Illinois Students Named State AP Scholars
Two Illinois high school students and one 2014 graduate earned high accolades for completing up to 20 college-level Advanced Placement courses and scoring above average on those exams. The College Board, provider of the Advanced Placement program and exams, named all three as “Illinois State Advanced Placement (AP) Scholars” in recognition of their exceptional achievement on the AP exams.

Sept. 10, 2014 -- ISBE Announces More Than 200 Illinois Schools to Participate in Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program
Students from Cairo to Chicago will have access to free fruits and vegetables this school year through a federal program that aims to make these food groups part of student’s daily diet for life. More than 200 schools and tens of thousands of students will participate in the federally-funded Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) that gives students access to fruits and vegetables outside lunch time and emphasizes healthy habits.

Sept. 9, 2014 -- ISBE Announces Finalists for Illinois Teacher of the Year
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today announced the 12 finalists for the 2015 Illinois Teacher of the Year, who will be named during the Those Who Excel banquet in October. The state’s annual educator recognition program will acknowledge the contributions and accomplishments of more than 200 educators and school personnel from throughout the state and honor one individual as the Illinois Teacher of the Year.

Sept. 3, 2014 -- ISBE and Illinois PTA partner to offer first ever Back to-School Webinar for Parents
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois PTA are hosting a Back-to-School Webinar for parents at 7 p.m. Sept. 9. State Superintendent Christopher A. Koch and Illinois PTA President Peg Staehlin will talk about statewide education initiatives and discuss the importance of family engagement and how parents can build better, more effective relationships with their children’s schools during this inaugural one-hour event.

Sept. 2, 2014 -- State Board moves forward with 'Seal of Biliteracy'
The State Board of Education is moving forward with an initiative that aims to promote mastery in two or more languages. The state is among the first in the country to allow school districts to award a State Seal of Biliteracy for students who demonstrate a high level of proficiency in one or more languages, in addition to English. The seal would be placed on a student’s academic transcript and diploma.

  • Spanish Version pdf
  • August

    August 27, 2014 -- Revamp underway for arts and social studies
    State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch announced today that he has requested a review of the state’s arts and social studies education standards to build on the State Board of Education’s work to update the Illinois Learning Standards and better prepare students for success after graduation.

    August 25, 2014 -- Board honors Illinois educator for 73 years of service
    Members of the Illinois State Board of Education took time last week to honor Doris Edwards of Macomb for her 73 years as an Illinois educator. State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch presented her with a resolution at the Springfield ISBE office during the Board’s Aug. 20 meeting.

    August 20, 2014 -- Illinois sees increased number of college-ready students
    The Class of 2014 achieved a composite score of 20.7 on the ACT, giving Illinois the second highest score among the 12 states that tested 100 percent of their graduates. In addition, the percentage of students meeting all four of ACT’s College and Career Readiness Benchmarks increased to 26 percent from 25 percent last year.

    August 7, 2014 -- State education and health agencies issue reminder for immunizations as students head back to school
    As Illinois students prepare to start a new school year, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) encourage parents and guardians to ensure their children’s immunizations are up to date. The IDPH has implemented a few changes in the current requirements.

    August 4, 2014 -- Illinois Leads the Midwest in the USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge
    Illinois leads the Midwest region in the number of schools that have earned federal certification for programs and practices that promote healthy habits, primarily physical exercise and nutrition. From urban to rural parts of Illinois, 247 schools have earned certification through what’s called the “HealthierUS School Challenge,” and more schools have the opportunity to apply for certification.


    July 21, 2014 -- Interested volunteers invited to serve on the Illinois Advisory Council on Bilingual Education
    State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch is seeking seven individuals to serve on the Illinois Advisory Council on Bilingual Education. The Council helps review and guide policy decisions to support education for more than 200,000 English Language Learners in Illinois public school districts.

    July 11, 2014 -- ISBE Announces Child and Adult Care Food Program
    The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced the availability of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The CACFP is a federally-funded program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that is administered by ISBE.

    July 1, 2014 -- Free School Breakfast and Lunch Program continue through summer at sites across state
    Free School Breakfast and Lunch Program continue through summer at sites across state
    As Illinoisans prepare to celebrate Independence Day, and other summer pleasures, the Illinois State Board of Education reminds families that free breakfasts and lunches continue at local schools, parks, and community centers across the state where an expected 4 million free meals will be served through August. The program allows children to continue healthy habits so they’re ready to learn when the school bells ring this fall.


    June 23, 2014 -- Illinois State Board of Education awards $62.7 million in Title I Section 1003(g) School Improvement Grants
    State awards federal funds to reform 16 schools in nine districts
    Sixteen schools in nine districts will launch comprehensive changes this fall as the latest schools in the state to earn federal Title I Section 1003(g) School Improvement Grants (SIG) worth $62.7 million. These grants will help the selected schools and districts make significant changes to improve student performance and college readiness. This year’s competition brings the total number of SIG awardees during the past five years to 17 Illinois districts and 49 schools that have undertaken similar overhauls with support of the federal grant and state resources.

    June 11, 2014 -- State Board, IFT and IEA recognize almost 30 exemplary educators for their performance
    Teachers from across the state honored for their expertise and commitment to specific content areas
    The Illinois State Board of Education, along with the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) and the Illinois Education Association (IEA), will once again honor 29 educators whose professional education organizations selected as the best in their field of expertise during the 2013-14 school year.


    May 20, 2014 -- State Board of Education selects promising science students for National Youth Science Camp
    Two graduating high school students from Naperville and Bowen to serve as delegates
    The Illinois State Board of Education announced today that Kimberly Dauber of Naperville and Kassie Henry of Bowen have been selected as two of the most promising young scientific leaders in Illinois’ Class of 2014. They will participate as delegates in the 51st year of the National Youth Science Camp.

    May 15, 2014 -- Illinois officials honor two Kane County schools for academic improvement
    Annual list recognizes improving and high-performing schools from across the state
    State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch visited Kaneland Senior High School on Thursday to recognize two Kane County  schools for being named to the 2013 Illinois Honor Roll. Both Kaneland Senior High of Maple Park and Nicholson Elementary School of West Aurora were recognized for making academic gains, earning an Academic Improvement Award.

    May 14, 2014 -- Education Funding Advisory Board establishes benchmark for equitable funding for Fiscal Year 2015
    Equitable funding for Illinois schools requires $4.8 billion more in state funds
    After convening last month to begin work on its recommendation for adequate education funding, the Illinois Education Funding Advisory Board (EFAB) voted unanimously to update their recommended Foundation level to reflect inflation. This would increase the state’s per-pupil Foundation Level to $8,767 for Fiscal Year 2015. Based on current forecasts of General State Aid (GSA) funding for FY15, this recommended foundation level would require an additional $4.8 billion in state funds for K-12 education.

    May 6, 2014 -- Illinois officials recognize Plainfield school for improved student performance
    Annual list recognizes improving and high-performing schools from across the state
    State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch visited Grande Park Elementary School Tuesday to recognize the school for being named to the 2013 Illinois Honor Roll. Students and staff celebrated the school’s progress during a school assembly in the K-5 elementary school, part of Community Unit School 300 district serving students in Aurora, Joliet, Montgomery, Plainfield and Yorkville.

    May 1, 2014 -- ISBE visits Central High School in Camp Point to present Illinois Honor Roll award
    Annual list recognizes improving and high-performing schools from across the state
    State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch recognized Central High School today for being named to the 2013 Illinois Honor Roll. The Camp Point High School celebrated the recognition during a school assembly.


    April 30, 2014 -- Applications Available to Serve on ISBE’s Student Advisory Council
    High schoolers from across Illinois represent student interests
    The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is now taking applications from eligible high school students interested in serving on the state agency’s Student Advisory Council (SAC) for the 2014-15 school year. Students attending a public high school in Illinois who are entering the fall semester as a sophomore, junior or senior are eligible to apply.

    April 24, 2014 -- Nearly 200 schools recognized for academic excellence and improvement on 2013 Illinois Honor Roll
    Annual list shows continued and improved academic achievement as state moves toward new accountability system in 2014
    The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today that 177 schools made the 2013 Illinois Honor Roll for their continued academic progress or excellence. The state’s annual recognition program, based on the previous spring’s state standardized tests and demographic information, shows a dozen schools that are being recognized for the 10th or 11th consecutive year. All of these outstanding schools are being honored for their accomplishments in making progress toward or maintaining academic excellence.

    April 24, 2014 -- Education Funding Advisory Board to work toward K-12 recommendation
    Committee will determine the foundation level for an adequate education for fiscal year 2015
    The Illinois Education Funding Advisory Board (EFAB) will convene Thursday, April 24, to begin work on its recommendation for adequate education funding. The state-mandated advisory committee must recommend by January 2015 the minimum per-pupil funding necessary to adequately educate each student in the state’s K-12 public schools. State and local funding sources make up this statutorily set funding, known as the foundation level.

    April 23, 2014 -- Illinois School Named a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School
    The U.S. Department of Education has named Woodland Primary School in Gages Lake a Green Ribbon Schools award winner for its strong environmental practices and curriculum. Woodland is one of 48 schools across the country being recognized this year under the three-year-old federal program. The early childhood and kindergarten school in Lake County is one of five schools in Woodland School District 50.

    April 17, 2014 -- Illinois Green School Award Recipients to be Recognized at Healthy and High Achieving Schools Symposium
    The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) announced today that this year's Illinois Green Schools will be recognized at the Illinois Healthy and High Performing Schools Symposium on Friday at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire. The Green Schools award program recognizes schools that save energy, reduce costs, protect student and staff health and wellness, and offer environmental education.

    April 2, 2014 -- Illinois among five states selected to work with CEEDAR Center
    Outcome will lead to improved preparation systems for teachers and leaders serving students with disabilities
    A panel of education experts selected Illinois as one of five states to work with a national center to better prepare educators to serve Illinois public school students with disabilities and ensure those students are ready to succeed in college and the workforce.


    March 20, 2014 -- Illinois students participate in pilot tests to prepare for new assessments tied to states’ more challenging learning standards
    Students in nearly half of Illinois schools will participate this spring in a limited amount of field testing to prepare for next year’s new, more rigorous assessment system
    Students in Illinois schools will take a practice test this spring that will help them become familiar with next year’s line of new assessments in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics and provide state policy makers and educators with valuable feedback before the tests are finalized.

    March 20, 2014 -- Students honored during the 32nd annual Illinois Arts Education Week
    Poster contest winners recognized at Governor’s Mansion in Springfield
    The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) honored student winners of the statewide arts education poster contest today at the Governor’s Mansion. The contest is a highlight of the 32nd annual Illinois Arts Education Week, which runs March 17-23 to celebrate and highlight the importance of the fine arts.

    March 17, 2014 -- School Environment Matters: State Board of Education administers second Illinois 5Essentials Survey to help improve student learning
    Students, parents and teachers weigh in on school climate and learning conditions
    Many sixth through 12th grade students and teachers across the state will once again have the opportunity to provide feedback on their schools’ learning conditions and climate through a state survey that aims to help drive improvement planning and paint a fuller picture of the nearly 4,000 public schools in Illinois. Results from this year’s survey will be posted on the State School Report Card which is released each fall.

    March 12, 2014 -- 2014 Financial Profile shows drop in state’s overall average score with more school districts earning lowest financial ranking
    ISBE analysis reflects one third of students in state are in schools in poor financial health
    Statewide data shows that Illinois public school districts are continuing to struggle financially with 532 districts – or nearly 62 percent – deficit spending, using their reserves or borrowing, this year compared to 32.5 percent in 2008.

    March 10, 2014 -- School District Leaders Participate in Innovative Improvement Program
    Program emphasizes collaboration and peer feedback during a concentrated time span
    A group of Illinois school district leaders, from Rockford to Mounds, are piloting a collaborative improvement process that aims to better prepare students for success in college and careers.

    March 6, 2014 -- Illinois Green School Award Recipients Announced
    Two schools and a district receive state recognition for their conservation efforts
    The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Thursday announced the state’s three winners of the Illinois Green School Award program. The program recognizes schools that save energy, reduce costs, protect student and staff health and wellness, and offer environmental education.


    February 11, 2014 -- Illinois closes equity gap for Latino students on AP exams
    Percentage of Latino test takers exceeds percentage of Latino graduates overall as record number of Illinois students takes exams and excel; Leyden High School District 212 recognized for expanding access to AP courses and improving performance
    Illinois is emerging as a national leader in closing the equity gap for Latino as well as low-income Advanced Placement test takers, providing additional access to college for these traditionally underserved populations, according to the 10th Annual AP Report to the Nation.


    January 31, 2014 -- Illinois State Board of Education seeks sponsors/sites for summer food programs
    Programs ensure low-income students are well-fed when school is out
    Though the thermostat says otherwise, summer will be here soon and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) wants to make sure every child has access to nutritious meals during the break from school. School districts, local government entities and non-profits are encouraged to become a summer food site sponsor and/or site to provide free, healthy meals and snacks to low-income children.

    January 23, 2014 -- ISBE calls for State to shift focus toward economic growth in FY15 Budget; Priority needs to be on investing in tomorrow’s workforce
    Calls for emergency relief for disaster-stricken districts, increases for closing achievement gaps, supporting bilingual education
    The Illinois State Board of Education today called on lawmakers and the Governor to invest in students and the state’s economic future by changing their budgeting focus to increase the state’s share of funding for education.

    January 9, 2014 -- ISBE names 22 school districts to receive funds from School Technology Revolving Loan Program
    Low-interest loans to boost technology in schools across the state
    The Illinois State Board of Education today announced the selection of 22 school districts from across Illinois to receive more than $3.5 million from the School Technology Revolving Loan Program. The low-interest loans allow schools to use technology for classroom instruction and staff development.

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