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Starting here 2016 Joint Annual Conference convened in Chicago By James Russell Photos by Robert Levy

James Russell is IASB’s associate executive director for communications/ production services. Robert Levy is a corporate and conference photographer based in Chicago.


ore than 82 percent of the

and superintendents, as well as the

conference tweets and photos, and

state’s 852 public school

IASB Delegate Assembly, bookstore,

encouraged visitors to add their own

districts were represented at the

and other learning and networking

messages and photos. The Illinois

2016 Joint Annual Conference, held


chapter of the National School public

Nov. 18-20 in Chicago. They were

New features at this year’s Con-

Relations Association and the Illinois

encouraged by keynote speaker Mawi

ference included a School Safety and

Channel greeted guests, who also

Asgedom, “You (already) have the

Security Seminar, displays of stu-

were invited to participate in mini

power to change lives. Stay on mis-

dent artwork, a student music per-

clinics, photo booth, contests, and

sion and stay out of the traps.”

formance, a public hearing by the


Featuring a “Leadership Starts

Illinois Attendance Commission, a

Panel sessions – this year pared

Here” theme, this was the 84th

fellowship and prayer event, and the

from 90- to 60-minute presentations

meeting of the Illinois Association

debut of the IASB Homeroom and a

in five different time slots over the

of School Boards, Illinois Asso-

conference app.

three-day event – are the staple of the

ciation of School Administrators,

The safety seminar, held on Fri-

Conference. This year’s panels drew

and Illinois Association of School

day, was sold out. Open to school offi-

7,986 people. The topics and their

Business Officials. Total attendance

cials and local safety professionals,

attendance included the following:

was 9,677. Those registered included

the event covered safety procedures

governance and leadership (21 pan-

3,705 guests, 3,031 board members,

and the School Safety Drill Act, phys-

els; 1,085 attended); school law (9;

948 administrators, and 1,075 exhib-

ical plant and school building design,

1,007); governmental relations (7;

itors, as well as board secretaries,

as well as school climate and culture

919); finance and funding (11; 822);

school attorneys, regional and state

perspectives. In addition, eight panel

best practices (13; 768); community

education officials, state lawmakers,

sessions covering related school safe-

relations (11; 733); student learning

and other representatives.

ty and security issues were featured

(12; 434); current issues (9; 396);

throughout the conference.

facilities and technology (4; 246);

Professional development is the


primary purpose of the Conference,

The IASB Homeroom was in ses-

and newer board members (5; 199).

offered through 262 exhibit booths,

sion on Friday and Saturday. Locat-

The largest panels by title and

105 panel sessions, 33 “Carousel”

ed in the “hub” of the conference

attendance were: Legislative Issues

panels, nine IASB workshops, nine

headquarters hotel, Association staff

Impacting School Districts (340);

panel sessions for school secretar-

and directors engaged with members

Ed-Tech Student Success Stories in

ies, four school tours, three Illinois

and guests about IASB products and

TED Talks (295); 2016 Legislative

ASBO workshops, three general ses-

services. The Homeroom kept them

Session Review (260); 2016 Legal

sions, seminars for school attorneys

informed with a prominent display of

Update on Supporting Transgender


The Illinois School Board Journal, January/February 2017  

A bimonthly magazine for public school board members and administrators highlighting issues in education.

The Illinois School Board Journal, January/February 2017  

A bimonthly magazine for public school board members and administrators highlighting issues in education.