Page 1

J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 8

V ol. 8 6, N o . 4





ver y su m mer ha s it s ow n

your Association has a presence

resources, legal aspects of cyberbul-


on both.

lying, governance, and equity aims

If you spend time on Instagram

or Snapchat, you’ve seen this quote

Or, perhaps you enjoy summer in real life?

in the face of educational inequality. At IASB, the story of this sum-

in meme form, accompanied by pretty

If so, I hope you’ll find the time,

mer is welcomes and farewells.

images of sandy beaches, flip-flops,

in between your sandy beaches, flip-

Please join us in welcoming the

Ferris wheels, ice cream cones, dan-

flops, Ferris wheels, ice cream cones,

Association’s next executive director,

delion puffs, long piers, sunshine,

dandelion puffs, long piers, sunshine,

Thomas E. Bertrand, who comes to

pineapples, and green-grass baseball

pineapples, and green-grass baseball

IASB from Rochester CUSD 3A. As a


diamonds, to read this, the “summer

graduate and parent, I can attest that

reading list” issue of The Illinois

Rochester thrived under Bertrand’s

vey showed, you probably don’t see

School Board Journal. In it, we share

leadership. The Journal features

any of those, because you don’t spend

more of the interesting findings from

Bertrand’s plans for furthering the

time on Instagram or Snapchat. Our

the 2018 board member, administra-

Association’s commitment to public

survey showed that 70 percent of

tive professional, and superintendent

education starting on page 6. We will

board member respondents never

surveys. IASB’s member engagement

feature a conversation with Roger

use Instagram, and 76 percent never

also included a set of fall focus groups,

Eddy, IASB’s outgoing executive

use Snapchat.

and we share what we learned from

director, in the next issue.

But, as our recent member sur-

Most respondents are charm-

that, as well. If you gave your time on

We also bid farewell this summer

ingly retro Facebook users — 58

these projects, we thank you, and you

to IASB Associate Executive Director

percent of member survey respon-

know that we promised to share the

for Field Services and Policy Services

dents check it daily; 8 percent

results and let you know what we will

Cathy Talbert, an integral, dedicated

check it hourly. Those of you (57

do with your input.

member of IASB staff for 28 years. Tal-

percent) who don’t might want to

This summer reading list issue

bert’s “Reflections” can be read on page

consider Twitter, because super-

takes up some of the topics of inter-

10, and we wish her well in her next

intendents favor it (44 percent of

est reflected in the survey, relating

chapter in the California sunshine.

superintendents use Twitter daily)

important information and commen-

— Theresa Kelly Gegen, Editor

as much as Facebook. Of course,

tary regarding safety and security



Q&A with IASB’s new executive director Interview by Gary Adkins On July 1, 2018, the Illinois Association of School Boards welcomes its seventh full-time Executive Director. Meet Thomas E. Bertrand, and learn of his goals and aspirations for IASB and how he plans to work with members to tell the story about their districts, as he joins the Association from Rochester CUSD 3A.

10 Reflections By Cathy Talbert Cathy Talbert is retiring this summer as IASB’s associate executive director for Field Services and Policy Services, after 28 years with the Association. Read Talbert’s reflections as well as the Foundational Principles of Effective Governance, which she was instrumental in developing and that guide the Association in its work.

J U L Y / A U G U S T

14 Taking the pulse By Theresa Kelly Gegen In April of 2018, IASB “took the pulse” of its members with its quinquennial member and superintendent surveys, and added an administrative professionals survey. Here’s a look at what we learned, and what we plan to do with it.

17 Signs of the times Behind the scenes of the IASB surveys.

19 Member engagement efforts continue IASB’s foray into focus groups leads to further discussion.

22 The mis-education of African-American students By Nakia Hall, Pam Manning, Patrick Rice, and Theresa Robinson Education, the cornerstone for the success of African-Americans, must be thoroughly and continuously examined.

27 A legal case for challenging cyberbullies By Craig Chamberlain University of Illinois journalism professor Benjamin Holden makes the argument for addressing cyberbullying.

2 0 1 8

Vol. 86, No. 4

ILLINOIS SCHOOL BOARD JOURNAL (ISSN-0019-221X) is published every other month by the Illinois Association of School Boards, 2921 Baker Drive, Springfield, Illinois 62703-5929, telephone 217/528-9688. The IASB regional office is located at One Imperial Place, 1 East 22nd Street, Lombard, Illinois 60148-6120, telephone 630/629-3776. The JOURNAL is supported by the dues of school boards holding active membership in the Illinois Association of School Boards. Copies are mailed to all school board members and the superintendent in each IASB member school district. Non-member subscription rate: Domestic $18 per year. Foreign (including Canada and Mexico) $21 per year. PUBLICATION POLICY IASB believes that the domestic process functions best through frank and open discussion. Material published in the JOURNAL, therefore, often presents divergent and controversial points of view which do not necessarily represent the views or policies of IASB. Kara Kienzler, Associate Executive Director Theresa Kelly Gegen, Editor Gary Adkins, Contributing Editor Heath Hendren, Contributing Editor Britni Beck, Advertising Manager Katie Grant, Design and Production

REGULAR FEATURES Front Page. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Front Cover Practical PR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Copyright © 2018 by the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB), The JOURNAL is published six times a year and is distributed to its members and subscribers. Copyright in this publication, including all articles and editorial information contained in it is exclusively owned by IASB, and IASB reserves all rights to such information. IASB is a tax-exempt corporation organized in accordance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Insights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Milestones. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Ask the Staff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Back Cover Cover art: © LeszekCzerwonka |



Inject new life into district social media By Dayna Brown

Dayna Brown is director of communications and community relations with McLean County Unit District No. 5 in Normal.



chool districts no longer won-

posts, and number of followers. Set

media, including major brands and

der “if” they should use social

goals of where you would like to be

other school districts. See if you can

media. The question they now ask is

after your overhaul. Assess the fre-

adopt any of those ideas.


quency and quality of your posts to

Call on reinforcements: Put

Social media is how people get

ensure that the message you have

additional effort into activating

their news. It has become a primary

been sending is reflective of your

your network of teachers, adminis-

source of information for parents.

school community and the district’s

trators, staff, and parents. You may

Their opinions are shaped by what

strategic plan.

never know about the best content

they see and how they interact with

Back to basics: Talk to leader-

floating around out there, unless

the district, regardless of the plat-

ship and walk away with three to

you have a pipeline to these people.

form. This happens quicker than ever

five specific goals for what you want

Make it known (in person, calls, and

before, is unpredictable, and you can’t

to accomplish on social media. You

emails) that the district is seeking

take your eye off it. But, maybe your

need a variety of content to reach all

social media submissions to share

district isn’t posting quite as much

types of audiences. Want to reach

to a broader audience. Most of these

as it used to. And when you do post,

parents? Want to brag about district

people are already shooting photos

it might not be quite as strategic as

achievements? Want to spotlight tech

and tweeting out stuff. Leverage that

it was when you started. It is a fact

in classrooms? No post can be all of

existing network and amplify it on

of life, social media efforts, wheth-

the above. A better plan is to set goals,

your district’s primary social media

er Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or

to aim at specific targets from the get-


even Pinterest, can get stale. School

go instead of just trying out random,

districts need to ensure they have

unfocused ideas week to week.

Say cheese: If you’re going to invest in anything, make it photos.

a vibrant social media presence. It

Think beyond your own con-

Images are more engaging than

is a simple and inexpensive way to

tent: It’s OK to share content that

text. Buy a nice camera. Create a

highlight excellence.

your district didn’t produce itself.

team of students who shoot events,

Efforts need to be taken to ensure

Articles from major media outlets,

maybe through a class or a part-time

that social media messaging is a vital

for example, that relate to issues or

job. Use the district’s calendar as a

part of a district’s communication

topics of interest to your parents and

mechanism to assign those students

efforts, and that it is utilized as a way

students. If another district shares a

to reach key audiences.

video you think is cool or relates to

Here are some easy tips to max-

your audience, share it or retweet it.

imize the effectiveness, while inject-

If someone tweets something nice

ing new life into longstanding social

about your district, retweet it. Gotta

media accounts:

fill the days with something!

Know what you are dealing with:

The best form of flattery: Look to

Take inventory of your accounts,

what others have done well on social

Columns are submitted by members of the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association


to shoot photos. Put those photos in

#ThrowbackThursday photos from

albums on Facebook, Twitter, Insta-

the district’s photo archives can lead

gram, etc. Photos in high frequency

to a wider social media audience. You

are the No. 1 low-hanging fruit on

could also do Teacher of the Week,

social media.

asking a different teacher the same

Don’t go it alone: Engage your

five questions and pair it with a photo.

followers by monitoring feedback on

Pass around a traveling Classroom

your posts and regularly responding

of the Week award; take a photo and

to questions or concerns. Ask school


district partners, businesses, and

Utilize tools to help: Create a

foundations to help raise awareness

social media calendar for the school

of your school district’s social media

year to outline major milestones

presence by sharing on their pages

you’d like to be sure to share. Stay

and websites. Host a Twitter Chat,

flexible and add ideas as the school

Facebook Live, or other engaging

year progresses. Early evening hits a

activity that inspires others to engage

higher traffic time, and typically for

with your account.

schools reaches the most interactive

Consistency: Engagement of

audience. Check into services like

audience on social media is directly

Hootsuite that can assist with time-

correlated to consistency and fre-

ly and strategic sharing. If it fits into

quency of posts. Set up a schedule

your budget, check into promoted

that includes a few recurring features,

posts and pages to help improve your

for example, something as simple as


President Joanne Osmond

Treasurer Linda Eades

Vice President Thomas Neeley

Immediate Past President Phil Pritzker

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Abe Lincoln Bill Alexander

Northwest Chris Buikema

Blackhawk David Rockwell

Shawnee Sheila Nelson

Central Illinois Valley Tim Custis

South Cook Denis Ryan

Corn Belt Mark Harms DuPage Thomas Ruggio Egyptian John Metzger

Southwestern Mark Christ Starved Rock Simon Kampwerth Jr. Three Rivers Rob Rodewald

Illini Michelle Skinlo

Two Rivers Tracie Sayre

Kaskaskia Linda Eades

Wabash Valley Dennis Inboden

Kishwaukee Mary Stith

West Cook Carla Joiner-Herrod

Lake Ann Dingman

Western Sue McCance

North Cook Barbara Somogyi

Service Associates Glen Eriksson

Board of directors members are current at press time.

IASB is a voluntary association of local boards of education and is not affiliated with any branch of government.

J U L Y - A U G U S T 2 0 1 8 / T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L 



Making provisions “What we believe education to

recalibration will occur regardless of

access to the nation’s most regarded

look like, cradle to career, will change

our actions, as we are faced with a pro-

educational institutions; the con-

exponentially in the next decade. That

liferation of technology bearing free

tinued questioning of the return on investment of a college education; the challenge of sustainable funding with an ever-increasing cost structure; the over-dependence on property taxes and the pressures from a cap on fed- OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Thomas E. Bertrand, Executive Director Benjamin S. Schwarm, Deputy Executive Director Meetings Management Carla S. Bolt, Director Executive Searches Thomas Leahy, Director Timothy Buss, Consultant Catherine Finger, Consultant Jim Helton, Consultant Dave Love, Consultant Alan Molby, Consultant ADVOCACY/ GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS Benjamin S. Schwarm, Deputy Executive Director Susan Hilton, Director Zach Messersmith, Director Deanna L. Sullivan, Director Ronald Madlock, Assistant Director OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL Kimberly Small, General Counsel Legal Services Maryam Brotine, Assistant General Counsel Debra Jacobson, Assistant General Counsel

ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES Jennifer Feld, Associate Executive Director/ Chief Financial Officer MEMBER SERVICES Dean Langdon, Associate Executive Director Board Development Sandra Kwasa, Director Nesa Brauer, Trainer Field Services Reatha Owen, Senior Director Larry Dirks, Director Perry Hill IV, Director Laura Martinez, Director Dee Molinare, Director Patrick Rice, Director/Equity Director COMMUNICATIONS/ PRODUCTION SERVICES Kara Kienzler, Associate Executive Director Gary W. Adkins, Director/Editorial Services Theresa Kelly Gegen, Director/Editorial Services Heath Hendren, Director/Editorial Services Jennifer Nelson, Director/Information Services Katie Grant, Assistant Director/Production Services

eral deductions; and the necessity to continue to increase postsecondary tuition while financial aid declines.” — “State must act to keep up with education needs of changing society,” Lazaro Lopez, associate superintendent of schools, THSD 214 (Arlington Heights), Daily Herald, June 5, 2018

“Clearly, eliminating this digital divide that continues to separate rural and urban America is a challenge ... Like properly maintained roads and bridges, reliable, highspeed internet connectivity should be considered essential to our nation’s infrastructure.” — “Herald-Whig View: High-speed internet key element of infrastructure,” Editorial Board, Quincy Herald-Whig, June 12, 2018

“The 1982 Supreme Court ruling in Plyler v. Doe said that public school districts must provide every child a free public education from kindergarten through high school regardless of immigration status ... schools not only must enroll every child, but that they also

Policy Services Angie Powell, Director Brian Zumpf, Director Ken Carter, Consultant Boyd Fergurson, Consultant

must ensure that there are no policies, punitive measures or other threats that would, intentionally or not, discourage or prevent a child from enrolling.”

IASB OFFICES 2921 Baker Drive, Springfield, Illinois 62703-5929 217/528-9688 Fax 217/528-2831


One Imperial Place, 1 East 22nd Street, Suite 20 Lombard, Illinois 60148-6120 630/629-3776 Fax 630/629-3940

—“Schools have no legal right to ask about a child’s immigration status,” Griselda Vega Samuel, Chicago Sun-Times, May 29, 2018


School Districts Depend on IPRF. The Leader in Workers’ Compensation Coverage Since its inception in 1985, the Illinois Public Risk Fund has invited school districts and other public entities to examine its outstanding record for cost control in workers’ compensation coverage. • Its AAA Exceptional Rating • Money-Saving Grant Programs • First Dollar Coverage with No Deductible • Consistent Cost Savings Through Low Overhead and Investment Income • A Dedicated Claims Unit with Easy Access and Aggressive Subrogation • Interest-Free Premium Financing Discover why nearly 700 risk managers rely on IPRF. 800-289-IPRF • 708-429-6300 FAX 708-429-6488







Q&A with IASB’s new executive director Interview by Gary Adkins

Gary Adkins is director of editorial services for IASB.


homas E. Bertrand joined IASB

completed his first year at the Univer-

as executive director on July 1,

sity of Illinois.

I also served as an adjunct professor of

2018. A 33-year educator, Bertrand comes to the Association after 26

Q: What background and expe-


years at Rochester CUSD 3A, where he

rience do you believe was instru-

Leadership at

served as high school and elementary

mental in your selection as IASB

three different

principal, then assistant superinten-

executive director?

i nstit utions.

dent for three years before becoming

A: When I came to the Roch-

I obtained

superintendent. He served 16 years as

ester school district 26 years ago,

training as a

Rochester’s superintendent before his

I never would have envisioned it.

leadership coach and served in that

retirement at the end of the 2017-2018

I think gaining experience at all

capacity for the Illinois School of

academic year.

levels of school leadership helped.

Advanced Leadership during the

Bertrand was raised in Quincy,

My long tenure there is a testament

past eight years.

and earned his undergraduate degree

to the importance of developing

from Quincy College, Master’s from

the types of relationships that are

Q : W h a t d o e s t he I l l i no i s

Western Illinois University, and Ph.D.

vital to successful leadership. I was

A ssociat ion of School Boa rds

from Illinois State University. Ber-

named Illinois Superintendent of

organization have among its accom-

trand and his wife Michelle are the

the Year in 2015, and I suppose that

plishments and objectives that

parents of Nathan, Erica, and Con-

helped. I considered that honor as

made you wish to become IASB’s


executive director? A: IASB has a good brand. As a

“My vision is in line with the Association’s vision

superintendent I observed firsthand the high quality and variety of ser-

statement. It revolves around five Es: Envision,

vices and products the Association

Evolve, Engage, Educate, and Empower.”

offers. The staff is excellent, with high-quality people who are creative and committed. Overall it is just a good place.

nor. Nathan is a JAG (Judge Advocate

recognition for our staff, schools,

General Corps) judicial officer in the

and community. Our board, staff,

Q: Where do you hope to see

United States Marine Corps, stationed

and our teachers helped to prepare

IASB positioned on organization-

in North Carolina. Erica is a cosme-

me for increasing responsibility.

al, policy, and political issues in

tologist in Springfield. Connor just


the future, in comparison to where


the organization stands today?

everyone about the work public

about how we are serving every child

W here do you wish to take the

schools do and the cha l lenges

who comes to us. We must advo-


school leaders face?

cate for equal access to educational

A: My vision is in line with the

A: We must work with our mem-

opportunities, to rigorous standards

Association’s vision statement.

bers to tell the story about their dis-

and curriculum for every child, and

It revolves around five Es: Envi-

tricts. There are plenty of interest

for the funding necessary to support

sion, Evolve, Engage, Educate, and Empower. Leadership is not about having all the right answers. It’s about influencing others to do the

“We must push back against efforts to divert

work that needs to be done on behalf

funds away from public schools. The future of

of our membership. It is also about

democracy in this country is tied to healthy

building the capacity of others. If a

public schools.”

leader can do those two things, he or she can move an organization forward to meet new challenges.

groups who are happy to tell a story

our students. We must push back

Q: As a part-time legislative

about public education, but it may

against efforts to divert funds away

advocate for Illinois school districts

not be accurate or reflect what is

from public schools. The future of

in the past few years, you participat-

important to local schools. It is criti-

democracy in this country is tied

ed in successful efforts of various

cal that local school leaders tell their

to healthy public schools.

kinds, such as advocating for the

stories to their own communities.

funding reform bill that was adopt-

Share the good news and the success

ed last year. What was your take-

of your students and staff.

Q: What insights has your local school district experience given you into how the Association serves a

away from that experience?

wide variety of school districts?

A: I learned over time that it

Q: What more should the state do

takes relentless advocacy to get

to help schools and school leaders?

A: The Association has done

results. For example, soon after

A: Make a commitment to ade-

very well. I have observed it while

I became a superintendent, I led

quately fund the new school funding

serving on the board of directors of

a 24-district coalition of school

formula. That would go a long way

another statewide association, and

leaders from districts that had

towards helping schools. Then, too,

I have seen IASB do a really good

been promised school construc-

showing a commitment to support

job of advocacy in cooperation with

tion grants from the state. We had

educational equity is essential. We

other statewide groups to support

to return to Springfield many times

need to make sure that the quality

school districts.

to advocate for officials to fund the

of education a student receives is not

promised grants, which had been

dependent upon where they live. All

Q: Illinois’ students are among

delayed for several years. Roches-

students deserve a good education.

the nation’s most diverse. How well is the state performing in prepar-

ter was the first district to finally receive that promised state fund-

Q: How do you assess U.S. educa-

ing, and I learned then it takes great

tion policy today and the direction

tenacity and a clear message to get

it is taking?

good results.

ing all students for success and ensuring equity? A: Educational equity is one more

A: Our students are more than

thing that the new school funding

a test score. While others aim to

law addresses and can support. As I

Q: Given your background in

reduce school quality and student

have stated, however, the funding law

education, administration, advo-

performance to a number, it is crit-

must be funded adequately in order

cacy, and communications, what

ical that we push back against that

for it to function to help achieve the

can IASB do to better educate

narrative. We must tell our story

equity we need.



Q: What do you think about

will be most effective if local decision

Q: Finally, an open-ended ques-

state implementation of the ESSA

makers develop effective local plans

tion: What do you wish to add, or

law to date? Do you have concerns

and maintain local control.

what would you like to explain or say to Journal readers and Asso-

with the state-level preparations and Q: IASB recently led members in

regulations so far?

ciation members and supporters?

A: Some of the changes occur-

an assessment of the Association’s

A: First, [outgoing Executive

ring under the reform law may not

effectiveness, surveying members

Director] Roger Eddy has done a

be what is best for teachers and stu-

on their concerns and priorities

great service to the Association

dents. I think it is going to be imper-

for their Association. What’s your

these past years, and he has spent

ative that local school districts input

assessment of where we stand today?

quite a few days helping me get

their local stories on ESSA imple-

A: Overall, members are very sat-

oriented to the post of Executive

mentation, and share their story with

isfied with the services and support

Director of IASB, and I look forward

local taxpayers.

offered by IASB. Yet, past success

to taking on the responsibilities of

is no guarantee of future success.

leading the Association. I am excit-

Q: What about the state’s new

It is important that we consistently

ed by the opportunity to serve the

funding law: what can be done to

assess what our members want from

school districts of our state, and to

make sure that it works as planned?

IASB and whether the organization

stay involved in public education.

A: Fund it! The funding law will

is meeting members’ needs. Member

I have a lot of energy and a strong

only work if it is adequately fund-

feedback is important to a continu-

commitment to move the Associa-

ed by the state. Then, too, I think it

ous improvement cycle.

tion forward.

Our Mission is Your Success A PREEMINENT EDUCATION LAW FIRM REPRESENTING PUBLIC SCHOOLS THROUGHOUT ILLINOIS 310 Regency Centre, Collinsville, IL 62234 618.301.4060 618.301.4080 Fax

Guin_ad.indd 1


12/13/2017 3:15:01 PM


Indispensable School Law References

Access online. A FREE digital version is included with each book.

Board of Education Superintendent District Secretary School Attorney Building Principal

Illinois School Law Survey, Fifteenth edition $48 IASB Members / $60 Retail

This law book answers common school law questions of both educators and laymen. Find a detailed list of topics covered by scanning the index at

2018-2019 Illinois School Code Service $55 IASB Members / $65 Retail

Published especially for IASB, this service includes the 2018 School Code plus additional statutes pertinent to public schools. A 2019 supplement will also be printed and shipped to customers.

Order your copies today from the Online Bookstore at or call 217/528-9688, ext. 1108. JULY-AUGUST 2018 / THE ILLINOIS SCHOOL BOARD JOURNAL



Reflections By Cathy Talbert

Cathy Talbert is retiring this summer as IASB’s associate executive director for Field Services and Policy Services.



perfect begin-

ary 1990 was a snow day. I

ning to my

al long-term beliefs. Ultimately, we

received the telephone call early in

work, at that

believed it was a bit of both: The prin-

the morning that the Lombard office

time in Policy

ciples were grounded in what IASB

would be closed due to weather. Once

Services and

had always taught, but they gave us a

I did arrive at the office the next day, it

later in Field

new frame and a new way to talk about

got busy fast and never really stopped.

Services and

governance. Rather than adopting the

y first day at IASB in Febru-

or a restatement of IASB’s tradition-

Carver model as a model for school

I had the good fortune to come to

board training

the Illinois Association of School Boards

and develop-

board governance, we used what we

(IASB) at a time when the concept of

ment. The leadership and example

learned from Carver’s work and the

governance was being explored across

provided by our Board of Directors

discussions it prompted to enhance

the country, based upon the work of

and the extensive professional devel-

our governance work for and with

John Carver, the author of Boards That

opment provided to staff included

our member school boards. We did

Make a Difference: A New Design for

numerous opportunities for talking,

not discard our prior work, nor did we

Leadership in Nonprofit and Public

thinking, and learning about gover-

replace it with a new, packaged model.

Organizations, first published in 1990.

nance generally and school board gov-

We began to incorporate the principles

Carver is the creator of the Carver Poli-

ernance specifically. This ultimately

into every aspect of our work.

cy Governance model for board leader-

led to the staff development of IASB’s

All of this was significant to the

ship. The IASB Board of Directors was

Foundational Principles of Effective

development of our policy services,

influenced by Carver’s model and had

Governance in 1998 (see page 12).

as the Foundational Principles make


begun exploring and implementing a

The Foundational Principles

it clear that the board governs by

new governance structure for its work

of Effective Governance articulate

and through its written board policy.

as a not-for-profit association board. As

the board’s role in public education.

Improving the support we provided to

we moved into the mid-1990s, under the

They are based upon the premise

member boards to develop and main-

leadership of then-Executive Director

that school boards and school board

tain good school board policy became

Wayne Sampson, the IASB staff also

members serve as volunteer leaders

a priority. It was no coincidence that

began thinking about the Carver gov-

chosen by the community to sit in

PRESS, IASB’s policy and procedure

ernance model and how it related to

trust for the community, and that

information and updating service,

IASB’s traditional theories and teaching

certain fundamental duties arise out

debuted in 1993. This service was and

about school board governance.

of that trustee role. These principles

is distinguished from other sources of

I came to IASB with a background

became the philosophy underlying

sample policies in that PRESS sample

as an attorney. The opportunity to

all of IASB’s products and services.

policies and administrative procedures

immerse myself, along with my col-

At the time, staff had significant

are drafted considering best practices

leagues, in research and thinking

discussion about whether these princi-

for effective school board governance

about effective governance became the

ples outlined a new governance system

as well as legal requirements.


The newly developed Foundational Principles also prompted staff to update and revise the new board member workshop program around the role of the board as set forth in the principles. As time went on into the 21st Century, staff worked to develop specific workshops related to each Foundational Principle. Those workshops led to the creation of Leader-

Pre-Conference Workshops and pan-

public education.” That, essentially,

Shop, a recognition program designed

els, and Journal articles exploring

has been the primary and consistent

to encourage school board members to

these issues and this work.

purpose of IASB for over 100 years.

participate in this sequence of board

None of this work would have

IASB serves school boards and school

member development courses. The

been possible without the leader-

board members to support and assist

newest workshop in this series, Mon-

ship and support of IASB’s Board

them in governing their local districts

itoring District Performance: Saying

of Directors. The vision of IASB is

well and to the benefit of their commu-

What We Mean and Doing What We

“excellence in local school board

nities and their children.

Say, was first offered in January 2018.

governance in support of quality

continued on page 13

This workshop helps the board think about and begin to put into place a process for monitoring district performance by monitoring its board policy.

A service of the Illinois Association of School Boards

Staff members continue to use the Foundational Principles to inform their work. Ongoing review of the work of the board and evaluation of the products and services IASB provides to support our member boards helps staff to identify areas to provide more or better resources. Over the years, this has led to the development of our publications Orientation: Building the Board Team; The Superintendent Evaluation Process: Strengthening the Board-Superintendent Relationship; and Connecting with the Community: The Purpose and Process of Community Engagement as Part of Effective School Board Governance. IASB Field Services Directors also provide customized in-district workshops for member boards on

The Right Superintendent for the Right District IASB Executive Searches uses its experiences in conducting searches and knowledge of your district to match the best-qualified candidates to send you to interview. We pride ourselves on providing you the candidates that are the best match for your district. The retention rate for superintendents hired through our searches speaks for itself:

We care about the ongoing success of your district.

Need a search? Contact your IASB Executive Searches team at 630/629-3776, ext. 1217 or 217/528-9688, ext. 1217

• 100% (2016-2017) • 92% (2015-2016) • 76.2% (2014-2015) • 84.2% (2013-2014)

these topics. And, there are often



Foundational Principles of Effective Governance Adopted 1998, Revised February 2017

As the corporate entity charged by law with govern-

• Effective community engagement is essential to

ing a school district, each school board sits in trust for its

create trust and support among community, board,

entire community. The obligation to govern effectively

superintendent, and staff.

imposes some fundamental duties on the board:


and values will serve the broad public good rather The board clarifies the district purpose.

than being overly influenced by special interests.

As its primary task, the board continually defines,

• The school board must be aggressive in reaching out

articulates, and re-defines district ends to answer the

to the community — the district’s owners — to engage

recurring question — who gets what benefits for how

people in conversations about education and the

much? Effective ends development requires attention

public good. In contrast, people who bring customer

to at least two key concerns: student learning and

concerns to board members should be appropriately

organizational effectiveness.

directed to the superintendent and staff.

• Ends express the benefits the school district should deliver, thereby providing the entire system with clarity of purpose and a clear direction. A school board rarely creates district ends; rather, it most often detects them through listening and observing. • Ends reflect the district’s purpose, direction, priorities, and desired outcomes and are recorded in statements of core values/beliefs, mission, vision, and goals.


The board employs a superintendent. The board employs and evaluates one person —

the superintendent — and holds that person accountable for district performance and compliance with written board policy. • An effective school board develops and maintains a productive relationship with the superintendent. • The employment relationship consists of mutual

• In effective school districts, every part of the orga-

respect and a clear understanding of respective

nization is aligned with the ends articulated by the

roles, responsibilities, and expectations. This

school board in written board policy.

relationship should be grounded in a thoughtfully

• Well-crafted ends enable the school board to effec-

crafted employment contract and job descrip-

tively and efficiently monitor district performance

tion; procedures for communications and ongoing

and assess organizational success (Principle 5).

assessment; and reliance on written policy.


• Although the board is legally required to approve all

The board connects with the community.

employment contracts, the board delegates author-

The school board engages in an ongoing two-

ity to the superintendent to select and evaluate all

way conversation with the entire community. This

district staff within the standards established in

conversation enables the board to hear and under-

written board policy.

stand the community’s educational aspirations and desires, to serve effectively as an advocate for district improvement, and to inform the community of the district’s performance.


• A board in touch with community-wide concerns


The board delegates authority. The board delegates authority to the superinten-

dent to manage the district and provide leadership for

• Community engagement, also called public

the staff. Such authority is communicated through

engagement or civic engagement, is the process

written board policies that designate district ends

by which school boards actively involve diverse

and define operating parameters.

citizens in dialogue, deliberation, and collabora-

• Ultimately, the school board is responsible for

tive thinking around common interests for their

everything, yet must recognize that everything

public schools.

depends upon a capable and competent staff.


Foundational Principles continued

Reflections continued from page 11

• “Delegates authority to” means empowering the superintendent

This work also requires Association

and staff to pursue board ends single-mindedly and without hes-

leadership that believes in and provides

itation. A board that does (or re-does) staff work disempowers

ongoing professional development for

the staff. High levels of superintendent and staff accountability

board and staff. IASB practices what it

require high levels of delegation.

preaches — a commitment to continu-

• Delegation is difficult for anyone accustomed to direct action.


ous learning and improvement.

However, to appropriately stay focused on the big picture and avoid

And, last but not least, this work

confusing the staff, members of the school board must discipline

could not have been done without the

themselves to trust their superintendent and staff and not involve

support and participation of our mem-

themselves in day-to-day operations.

ber school boards. Over the years, our members have been integral to staff iden-

The board monitors performance.

tification of best practices for effective

The board constantly monitors progress toward district ends and com-

school board governance. Our members

pliance with written board policies using data as the basis for assessment.

have shown us what works and what

• A school board that pursues its ends through the delegation of

doesn’t. Our principles and what we

authority has a moral obligation to itself and the community to

teach in our training develops, in many

determine whether that authority is being used as intended.

ways, from what we have learned from

• Unless the board is clear about what it wants, there is no valid way

our members. It is a collective wisdom

to measure progress and compliance. • A distinction should be made between monitoring data (used by the board for accountability) and management data (used by the staff for operations).

that continues to grow and inform our work and identification of best practices. As I leave IASB, I am very grateful for this opportunity to thank the

• The constructive use of data is a skill that must be learned. The

Association leadership and members

board should have some understanding of data, but will typically

who set the direction, led by example,

require guidance from the staff.

supported the Association services


and used its resources, and provided

The board takes responsibility for itself.

indispensable feedback. This has pro-

The board, collectively and individually, takes full responsibility for

vided for me personally, and for all of

board activity and behavior — the work it chooses to do and how it chooses

our staff, the opportunity to engage in

to do the work. Individual board members are obligated to express their

good and meaningful work.

opinions and respect others’ opinions; however, board members understand the importance of abiding by the majority decisions of the board. • The school board’s role as trustee for the community is unique and essential to both the district and community.

Editor’s note Cathy Talbert will be leaving IASB for new adventures in sunny Califor-

• While the board must operate within legal parameters, good gov-

nia, where the only snow will be found

ernance requires the board be responsible for itself, its processes,

on a drive into the mountains if she

and contributions. Board deliberations and actions are limited to

starts to miss her many IASB miles

board work, not staff work.

on the road during Illinois winters.

• The board seeks continuity of leadership, even as it experiences turnover in membership. The board accomplishes this by using


written board policies to guide board operations, by providing

Resources for this ar ticle

thorough orientation and training for all members, and by nur-

can be found at /p /

turing a positive and inviting board culture.





Taking the pulse By Theresa Kelly Gegen

Theresa Kelly Gegen is editor of The Illinois School Board Journal.


chool board members in Illinois

services and support for various sub-

(86 percent in 2018; compared to 91

have clear priorities: educate,

sets of school district respondents. The

percent in 2008 and 92 percent in

communicate, safeguard, and manage

member survey had 539 respondents

1998). Respondents in 2018 were 47

finances for their public schools. In

out of approximately 5,350 possible;

percent female, 52 percent male. In

April of 2018, IASB “took the pulse”

the margin of error with a 95 percent

2008 that stat was 43 percent female

of its members with its quinquennial

confidence level is 4 percent.

and 57 percent male; in 1998 it was

member and superintendent surveys,

We learned that board members

nearly identical, 42 percent female and

and added an administrative profes-

— or at least survey respondents —

56 percent male. Most respondents are

sionals survey. Here’s a look at what we

are getting older. In 1998, 71 percent

parents: In this year’s survey 91 percent

learned, and what we plan to do with it.

of responding board members were

have two or more kids, 53 percent cur-

under age 50. In 2008, it was 53 per-

rently have kids in public schools, and

cent. Now, in 2018, only 37 percent are

26 percent have college-age children.

Demographics and trends IASB is interested in learning the

under age 50. It’s a slightly more diverse

Each of IASB’s 21 geographic

demographics of school board mem-

crowd now than in decades past, but

divisions was represented by multi-

bers to determine how to improve

still predominantly white non-Hispanic

ple respondents. Respondents came

91% have 2+ kids kids in 53% have public schools

26% have college-age kids 12%



71% < age 50

53% < age 50



white non-Hispanic

56% male

42% female

white non-Hispanic

57% male

43% female

high school

37% < age 50



respondents are from unit districts


white non-Hispanic

52% male 14

respondents are from


47% female


respondents are from elementary districts


Number of Students in Respondents’ Districts

< 19%

less than 500










over 10,000

from districts of all sizes: 19 percent

employment for school board members

leadership was their own top issue.

reported fewer than 500 students; 21

and community residents is located

Leadership was ranked first or second

percent 500-999; 29 percent 1,000-

outside the district boundaries.

by 55 percent of respondents, followed by budgeting and accountability, both

2,499; 15 percent 2,500-4,999; 8 percent 5,000-9,999 students; and

Community matters

at 46 percent. Superintendents also

7 percent over 10,000 students. Just

In a sad coincidence, our 2013

placed emphasis on leadership (67

over half (52 percent) of the board

survey took place three months after

percent) and budgeting (47 percent)

member respondents are from unit

the Sandy Hook school shootings; the

in their own work.

school districts; 36 percent represent

2018 survey was three months after

We learned that 35 percent of

elementary districts and 12 percent

the Parkland tragedy. So it’s unsur-

school board members would like

high school districts. That matches

prising that “safety and security” was

to improve community engage-

fairly well with the state’s numbers:

ranked the top issue among board

ment work, and 52 percent believe

according to the Illinois State Board

members, superintendents, and the

improvement is needed in the com-

of Education, 46 percent of Illinois

communities they serve.

munity’s understanding of the issues

districts are unit, 43 percent elemen-

We asked school board members

the school board deals with. Approx-

tary, and 11 percent are high school

and superintendents to tell us what

imately half of the board members


was most important to them, and

that responded say their boards use

We discovered that education

compared that to what they thought

community engagement for goal

leaders in Illinois are educated. In

was most important to their com-

setting, to develop or refine district

2018, 31 percent of board members


mission and vision, and to determine community concerns about

have a bachelors and 39 percent a

In student affairs, board mem-

professional or advanced degree. And

bers (30 percent), superintendents

many are educators — 23 percent

(57 percent), and community prior-

work in education (college, univer-

ities (30 percent) all ranked safety

Learning experiences,

sity, K-12, early childhood, or trade

and security number one. The next

learning curves

school), the highest of any of the 14

most highly ranked areas of interest

With the aim of continuous

employment categories. Retired indi-

among all three subsets were stu-

improvement for IASB and its mem-

viduals accounted for 16 percent of

dent performance/assessment and

bers, we asked several questions about

the responses, the second-highest


how school board members are doing

the district.

In managerial affairs, board

— how much time it takes, how the

We learned about economic sec-

members said their communities

work proceeds, what the learning

tors in Illinois. Agriculture and edu-

cared about budgeting (ranked first

curve is like, how board members deal

cation (including the district itself)

or second most important by 61 per-

with conflict, how individuals think

are the biggest employers in many

cent of respondents) and account-

their boards are doing, and if their

respondents’ school districts. The com-

ability (ranked first or second by 60

experience is such that they intend

ments indicated that in many districts,

percent). Board members opined that

to continue to serve.

employment category.



Oftentimes, we borrowed the exact language from the 2013 and 2008 surveys for the purposes of com-

Time Spent on Board 21% 11-15 hrs. Work



6-10 hrs.

11-15 hrs.

34% 6-10 hrs.

parison. In a question that lends itself to comparisons with your own expe-



riences, school board members were

<5 hrs.

16-20 hrs.

asked how many hours per month


do they spend on board work. Of the

>20 hrs.

respondents, 25 percent spend five


25% <5 hrs.

16-20 hrs.



>20 hrs.


hours or less; 34 percent spend six

to 20 hours; and 10 percent spend

to build community support for dis-

to 10 hours; 19 percent spend 11 to

more than 20 hours per month on

trict goals. School board members say,

15 hours, 13 percent spend 16 to 20

board work.

overwhelmingly, they are able to fully

hours; and 9 percent spend more

With a few exceptions, school

participate in school board meetings

than 20 hours per month on board

boards members say their boards are

and have what they need to prepare.

work. The same question marked

working well together as a team, func-

Board members report being

a slightly different curve five years

tioning appropriately, and delegating

satisfied with their districts’ work on

ago. In 2013, 16 percent spent five

operational matters to staff. Board

wages and working conditions, expec-

hours or less; 41 percent spent six

members saw room for improvement

tations and standards for administra-

to 10 hours; 21 percent spent 11

in working with the community to

tors and teachers, and local effort to

to 15 hours, 12 percent spent 16

communicate an up-to-date vision and

finance schools. At meetings, most boards find their leadership teams are either “opinionated and mostly polite” or “courteous, unifying, and respect-

IASB Field Services offers board development opportunities for board and superintendent teams in YOUR district.

ful.” We heard from board members that most key governance functions are performed annually and/or as

Field Services

required ; however, in the comments we discovered some respondents thought their boards needed to spend more time on “all of the above,” which included review of board meeting procedures and rules, review of the role of the board versus the role of the superintendent, review of district vision, mission, and goals, and review of board decision-making processes.

Model continuous learning Commit to continuous improvement Call your IASB field services director today! Springfield: 217/528-9688 Lombard: 630/629-3776

We included an open-ended question regarding what board members would like their boards to spend more time on. Board self-evaluation was mentioned, “and not just when things are tense.” Also included were community engagement, “not



micromanaging,” assessing committees, policy-making and policy review, and monitoring district per-

Signs of the times If we took a very short survey

we used to, which could result in

When it comes to conflict, most

about our recent IASB surveys,

fewer responses. Market research-

board members think conflict can be

respondents would say they are

ers call this survey fatigue. We

productive, occasionally or more often

too long. We don’t disagree, and

feel it, too. In all of 2013, IASB

than not. Most consider themselves

we would like to explain.

sent out 36 surveys, including


“compromisers” always (14 percent)

The 2018 member and super-

the member and superintendent

or more often than not (57 percent),

intendent surveys were the sixth

surveys. In the first four months

but they also stick to their guns when

by IASB, updating and improv-

of 2018, IASB sent 86. And we

called for, always (7 percent) or more

ing upon surveys in 1993, 1998,

realize we’re not the only entity

often than not (49 percent). Indeed,

2003, 2008, and 2013. We added an

sending you surveys. The more

64 percent say they are never with-

administrative professionals’ sur-

requests people receive for feed-

drawn in times of conflict. The slate

vey this year. Over time, we have

back, the less likely they are to

of conflict-related questions will be

tweaked and improved the surveys,

complete them.

used to inform upcoming projects on

mindful of being able to compare

IASB will offer shorter, and pos-

conflict management.

data across the years. IASB pre-

sibly more frequent, surveys in the

Asked if they would run for

viously mailed bulky envelopes

future — perhaps shorter biennial

re-election, 43 percent of school

containing long paper-and-pencil

rather than longer quinquennial

board members answered yes. The

surveys to thousands of school

surveys. With that, we also promise

rest were unsure (42 percent) or not

board members, at great expense.

to design each future project to be

running (15 percent). The most com-

These were mailed back, at more

respectful of your time.

mon deciding factors for not running

expense, tallied by a research team

A l s o, m a ny r e s p o n d e nt s

again were “time for someone else to

at Western Illinois University and,

declined to answer the demographic

lead,” “time away from family,” and/

months later, reported out. IASB

questions. Perhaps this is another

or that their children were no longer

surveys went online in 2013.

sign of the times: the necessary

of school age.

Each 2018 survey was as

protection of personal information

In taking the pulse, the survey

long as it needed to be to keep

online. Or perhaps respondents con-

asked about disappointments, expec-

the promises we made to our

cluded these questions were not rel-

tations, rewards, and surprises. Board

members, and to build a bridge

evant to the work they do as school

members responded, overwhelmingly,

between past, present, and future

board members. Rest assured, as

that “inadequate financial resources”

responses. All of the demograph-

promised, we don’t identify individ-

was the most disappointing aspect of

ic questions, most of the “taking

uals by their responses. Even if we

board service (65 percent ranked it

the pulse” questions, and many

could, we don’t want to.

first or second). Mandates were next,

of the IASB services queries were

We value your time and exper-

at 42 percent.

designed so we could compare

tise, while acknowledging that short-

data to prior years.

er surveys are a sign of the times. We

When asked about “biggest surprises as a new board member,” many

The 2013 board member sur-

also value the security and integri-

respondents said they knew what they

vey, although 50 questions lon-

ty of all of our respondents and are

were getting in to, but more chose the

ger, had more than twice as many

grateful to everyone for the thorough

reality of school finances (35 percent)

responses as in 2018.

and thoughtful completion of the

and the amount of time and prepara-

This may be because IASB

tion required (16 percent). The com-

sends out a lot more surveys than

surveys. — Theresa Kelly Gegen

ments suggested surprises such as



incivility, lack of knowledge of other

of respondents, followed by “being

overwhelmingly selected “honest,

board members, the limited power of

part of school and student activities”

open dialogue and accessibility” as

the board, the impact of mandates on

and “making tough choices that ulti-

the key, with 65 percent ranking it the

local control, and the time spent on

mately improve our schools.”

top aspect and 24 percent ranking it second.

personnel issues. Some were more pleasantly surprised, saying “how

Working together

We also asked superintendents

much you can change when you give

We asked board members to rank

the keys to a successful board/super-

a little of your time and support” and

qualities they look for in their superin-

intendent relationship, and got essen-

“the reasonableness … of my fellow

tendent. Of the seven options, leader-

tially the same answer. “Honest, open

board members.”

ship skills ranked as the most desired,

dialogue and accessibility” ranked

Also on the plus side, school

selected by 36 percent of respondents,

first among superintendents 68 per-

board members had a clear top

with honesty and fairness close behind

cent of the time and second 20 per-

motivation for their board service:

at 32 percent. Communication skills,

cent of the time. Other than that, only

50 percent picked “value public

although not ranked first by as many

the factor of “no surprises” garnered

education” as their top issue, and

respondents, ranked second or third

significant rank, selected first by 19

20 percent listed it second. They

52 percent of the time. Those themes

percent of the superintendents and

find “student and academic improve-

persisted when we asked the keys

second by 36 percent.

ment” the most rewarding aspect of

to a successful board/superinten-

We learned from administrative

board service, chosen by 28 percent

dent relationship. Board members,

professionals what the work on behalf

Using technology to enhance your board effectiveness through online services, such as

Policy Services

PRESS, the IASB sample policy and procedure service – Use the newly upgraded interface and navigation tools to receive 24/7 internet access to PRESS, IASB’s sample board policy and administrative procedure service. Find the information you need quickly and easily with our powerful search engine and the legal, informational, and time-saving links embedded in the policies and procedures. School Board Policies Online – Let IASB publish your board policy manual online and easily navigate your manual with keyword searches, jumps to cross references, and links to legal references by using the same newly upgraded interface and navigation tools used for PRESS online. Place the IASB-supplied link to your manual on your district website to provide increased community access and awareness of your district’s governing document. BoardBook® – Learn about the advantages of electronic board packet preparation made possible through use of IASB’s BoardBook® service by scheduling a demonstration for yourself, your administrators, or your entire board.

Contact IASB Policy Services today for information: 630/629-3776 or 217/528-9688, ext. 1214 or 1154; or



Member engagement efforts continue In the summer of 2017, IASB kicked off a season of member engagement with a series of focus groups,

demographics, racial and equity issues, achievement gap, teacher diversity, and LGBTQ issues.

with the goal of determining what our members want

We asked what benefits and services IASB could

and need from their Association. We made a promise

add to its offerings that school boards would value

to our members that we would inform them of the

and use. The suggestions included training on current

results of the focus groups and any next steps.

issues (specifically mentioned were conflict resolu-

Another facet of member engagement included

tion, SB1, and referendums), developing an equitable

member, superintendent, and administrative profes-

fee structure, defining representative groups within

sional surveys, which are shared in this Journal as

the Association, new board member orientation, sur-

well. IASB scheduled three focus groups and invited

vey development, and additional legislative advocacy

individuals from all IASB divisions. Attendees brought

opportunities. Some spoke to IASB’s division structure,

a willingness to exchange information and opinions

suggesting diverse speakers at IASB events, improved

about the Association and its work.

and regular division communications, improvements

“As the IASB staff works to implement the vision

to the recognition programs, and revisiting division

and mission of our Board of Directors, it is important

boundaries. Participants also offered opinions on how

for us to continually seek input from our members

the above values could be used to better the Joint

concerning their needs, and how well we are meeting

Annual Conference.

their needs, in a variety of ways,” said Cathy Talbert, now retired as IASB associate executive director for

Next steps

Field Services and Policy Services. “We appreciate the

The information collected from this collaboration

open and honest communication we receive from our

was distributed throughout IASB’s departments to be

members on an ongoing basis. We appreciate the board

turned into action items. Some of the information gleaned

members and superintendents who were willing and

from the focus groups was put into action immediately,

able to participate in these focus group opportunities.”

adding to the planning of IASB’s Equity Event, in April

IASB learned that its members value the benefits

2018. Another new offering, the Lunch and Learn series

of networking opportunities IASB provides. Feedback

of webinars, stemmed in part from participants’ interest

confirmed that IASB is on the right track with ongoing

in following current and ongoing issues. Several questions

and current initiatives, such as community engagement

in the 2018 member survey were shaped based on the

and equity. Board members also emphasized the benefits

focus group conversations, and these results, too, will

of policy services and the Association’s work in providing

be used to further IASB’s aim to meet the needs of its

advocacy and a collective voice for its members.

membership with increased value to existing benefits,

The focus group members that use IASB services

improved services and events, and new initiatives.

found them beneficial, especially PRESS (Policy Refer-

“As an association driven by the needs of our mem-

ence Education Subscription Service), board member

bers, we will continue to engage boards and board mem-

training, workshops, and conferences. Some said that

bers in order to better understand their local concerns,”

the fees prohibited them from using certain IASB

said Dean Langdon, IASB associate executive director for

services; others expressed interest in services they

Member Services. “The strength of public education is

did not previously know existed.

local governance where locally elected boards are most

IASB asked what challenges were facing school dis-

effective in determining the needs of their schools. These

tricts, and what areas of improvement they observed.

member engagement activities are intended to help us

Finances and budgeting were the top issues discussed,

improve so that we can better support those local efforts.”

along with facilities. Also mentioned were changing

— Theresa Kelly Gegen



of their boards entails, and received

comments and appreciate the time it

We also know that boards are

input on improving interactions

takes to share more than a data point.

doing good work, and board mem-

between the school district and IASB.

And yes, service on the board

bers for the most part agree. Board

of education is not all perfect. From

members are prioritizing academic

What we learned

the member survey comments about

achievement and community engage-

from the comments

board work, we read things like

ment, while keeping a strong eye on

We know from living in Illinois and

“messed up,” and “disrespect,” and

their district’s financial resources.

talking with school board members

“bulldozed.” We know from the com-

More than half of the respondents

that our state is unusual in its perspec-

ments that sometimes one person can

said they are achieving their goals,

tives. School districts across Illinois are

create challenges for an otherwise

or making progress towards them.

vastly different, and school board mem-

high-functioning board. We read that

They seek to improve transparency,

bers bring thousands of perspectives to

some boards are becoming “politi-

stay on the course of improvement,

their boards of education. These sur-

cized” and school board members

and create a culture of excellence.

veys aim to aggregate those opinions

feel this politicization is hurting the

to meet the needs and objectives of as

work of the board.

What’s next?

many school boards as we can, and to

So we know there’s work to do.

Throughout its member engage-

drill down by category when a more

And we know that meeting boards

ment efforts, IASB promises two

specific approach is needed. But, aside

where they are means meeting them

things: to let our members know

from the data, we learn a lot from the

in different places.

the outcomes and to use this information to improve the work we do to fulfill the Association’s vision:

setting district goals and direction

strategic planning

nance in support of quality public

clarifying the district’s purpose

Advocacy staff works towards fair and

values and beliefs/mission/vision/goals

Setting District  and


Direction Whether you call it setting district goals and direction, strategic planning, or values and beliefs/mission/vision/goals work, school boards are responsible for clarifying the district’s purpose. An IASB field services director brings expertise about the school board’s role in this work.

For more information, contact your IASB field services director today! Springfield - 217/528-9688 Lombard - 630/629-3776


Excellence in local school govereducation. Our Government Relations and equitable funding for public education in Illinois, and will continue to do so as the state moves forward with ESSA and the still-new formula based on the Evidence-Based Funding model. By expressing interest, particularly in financial and budgeting issues, in the survey, board members can be assured their input will be used moving forward. IASB Policy Services department will use your input to better serve the needs of school boards who use IASB’s offerings, including generating new ideas for policy services and improving existing services specific to policy implementation within

Field Services

districts by type (elementary, unit, high school).


The Office of General Counsel’s

to ensure the Joint Annual Conference

(92 percent very or somewhat opti-

legal services team will use your input

and other IASB events continue to

mistic) but less so for Illinois (only 44

to provide school boards with profes-

inform, inspire, and improve members’

percent very or somewhat optimistic).

sional and credible policy issue guid-

development needs. Also, the input

We asked administrative profession-

ance, advocacy, and education about

from all three surveys will help the

als, too, and their responses were

best practices. Your input will also

registration process and exchange of

similar: 89 percent optimistic about

help our facilitation of the work of the

resources between IASB and its con-

their district compared to 46 percent

Illinois Council of School Attorneys

stituencies work more efficiently. We

about the state.

(ICSA), which spearheads a collective

will also share the data with the Exec-

Looking forward and back, board

Illinois school law voice and provides

utive Searches department, as they

members are more optimistic about

leadership and guidance on issues

shape their own surveys to meet the

the future of education in 2018 than

to the public education community.

needs of client districts.

they were in 2013. Concerning the

Field Services and Board Devel-

The Communications depart-

future of their own districts, 43 percent

opment are already using the sur-

ment seeks topics of interest or con-

of 2018 board members were very opti-

vey data, comparing past results to

cern, gaps in knowledge that we can

mistic, and 41 percent were somewhat

current, examining your responses

fill for board members, superinten-

optimistic, compared to 31 percent

to create new programming and

dents, and administrative profession-

“very” and 49 percent “somewhat”

improve existing offerings. Many

als, and best practices in delivering

in 2013.

questions were directly to the point

all of the above in the appropriate

It also holds true that board

of gauging member interest in certain

time, place, and manner. And, to the

members are more optimistic about

topics, including conflict manage-

extent that a few survey takers said

their own districts than they are about

ment, community engagement, new

they didn’t even know some of these

Illinois in general — and again there

board members, and board/super-

offerings were available, we’re all, col-

is more optimism now than in 2013.

intendent relations. Your input will

lectively, improving our knowledge of

For Illinois, “very” or “somewhat”

allow IASB to further target its work,

each other.

optimistic combine for 41 percent of respondents in 2018, compared to 24

for example, by extracting data by district type, size, general location,

Pondering the future

percent in 2013. Going back 10 years,

student demographics, or commu-

At the end of the survey, as we

86 percent were very or somewhat

nity type. IASB will look at what

have done in surveys past, IASB

optimistic in their district, and 56

members like — and don’t — about

asked how optimistic respondents

percent for the state as a whole.

existing programming.

were about the future of education in

The Administrative Services and

their district and in the state.

The 2018 surveys reflect that the pulse starts with the heart. In addition

Meeting Management teams have an

Superintendents are optimistic

to optimism, school leaders demon-

interest in members’ opinions in order

about the future in their own districts

strate realism, enthusiasm, active participation, and commitment to

Future of Education in Their Own District 36%


49% 49%



Future of Education in Illinois 41%

37% 24%

the work they were chosen to do for their school districts and the communities they serve. Resources Resources for the series of IASB member, superintendent, and new

2008 2013 2018

2008 2013 2018

2008 2013 2018

Very Optimistic

Somewhat Optimistic

Very or Somewhat Optimistic


administrative professionals survey can be found at



The mis-education of African-American students By Nakia Hall, Pam Manning, Patrick Rice, and Theresa Robinson

Nakia Hall, Ph.D., is with Executive Order Leadership Development and is a board

“It is strange, then, that the

Undeniably, these issues must be

know that a well-crafted educational

friends of truth and the promoters of

addressed in order for African-Amer-

system encompasses techniques for

freedom have not risen up against the

icans to have similar statuses as their

reading and math, such as scaffold-

present propaganda in the schools

white counterparts, but it is educa-

ing, higher-order questioning, using

and crushed it.”

tion that is the cornerstone for the

applications, including engagement,

success of African-Americans, and

and much more. However, King also

education therefore must be thor-

knew the character of the student

urrent events continue to

oughly and continuously examined.

was equally important to success-

reflect and propel us to analyze

Malcolm X put this in perspective

fully reach true education.

the social, political, and economic

when he said, “Education is our

Chike Akua’s book, Education

progress of African-Americans, in

passport to the future, for tomorrow

for Transformation, expresses

light of blacks’ collective struggle for

belongs to the people who prepare

that although character education

rights as American citizens through

for it today.”

is present in some schools, pro-

— Carter G. Woodson

member of Crete-Monee CUSD 201U. Pam Manning, PhD., is assistant professor of Education at McKendree University. Patrick Rice, Ph.D., is director of Field Services/Equity Director with IASB. Theresa Robinson, PhD., is associate professor of Education and director of Secondary Education at Elmhurst College.


slavery, reconstruction, Jim Crow

Education is of vital impor-

grams often do not address the daily

segregation and the turbulent Civil

tance for the advancement of Afri-

exposure that African-American

Rights era, to the election of Barack


students have as images of their

Obama, the first black president of

own race. There seems to be a bom-

Because an appropriate educa-

bardment of negativity shown in

Civil rights leaders and others

tion provides wisdom and under-

the media, news media, and within

diligently examine various civil

standing in transforming the mind

communities. These visions and

rights issues that African-Ameri-

both intellectually and ethically.

cognitive influences have a nega-

cans contend with in their current

Education can guide the actions of

tive impact on many African-Amer-

struggle to secure full equality and

students in their journeys to discover

icans’ character. Akua says they

the constitutional rights. There is

self-purpose, as well as how they can

see crime, violence, incarcerations,

little to no consensus regarding

be of service to family, community,

youth being killed, irresponsible

what, exactly, are the uppermost

and nation. As Dr. Martin Luther

parenting, and sexual promiscuity

civil rights issues of the 21st Cen-

King, Jr. noted concerning the pur-

as the norm for black people.

tury, although the issues include

pose of education, “Intelligence plus

These seemingly intentional,

fair treatment, voting rights, drug

character — that is the goal of true

subliminal messages negatively

policy reform, school-to-prison


impact African-American students

the United States of America.

pipeline, affordable housing, and economics.



Dr. King was wise when he com-

on a daily basis. Many educators

bined intelligence with character. We

may not know how to address this



need, or may feel it is not their job to

go without being told. In fact, if

same for the 21st Century as well?

address it. Nevertheless, it is essen-

there is no back door, he will cut

This article attempts to shed light

tial that educators consistently offer

one for his special benefit. His

on these questions.

African American students positive

education makes it necessary.”

Past U.S. Presidents George W.

images. Akua states in his book that,

Woodson contended that if

Bush and Barack Obama passed and

“educators’ intent on meeting the

African-Americans were not giv-

promoted sweeping reforms aimed

needs of African-American chil-

en an education that would lead to

at improving public education for all

dren must make a calculated effort to constantly and consistently show their students images of excellence, achievement, and authentic power that looks like them.” If intentional efforts of charac-

“If intentional efforts of character building do not include images of African-Americans, students will forever adopt their own subliminal choices.”

ter building do not include images of African-Americans, students will forever adopt their own subliminal

their independence, ultimately they

students, but notably for Hispanic,


would never enjoy full rights and

African-American, Native American,

Parallels can be drawn regarding

equality. Other African-American

and Native Alaskan students who

current economic, social, and health

activists have expressed similar

lagged behind their white counter-

conditions of African-Americans and

concerns about the need to reform

parts. This “achievement gap” is the

the education that has been provid-

the mind in order for blacks not

disparity in measures of educational

ed. Therefore, education must be

to be in slavery mentally. Reggae

performance among subgroups of

critically examined to ensure that

singer and activist Bob Marley said,

the U.S. students, especially groups

it supports the continuous advance-

“Emancipate yourselves from men-

defined by socioeconomic status

ment of African-Americans. Dr. Car-

tal slavery, none but ourselves can

(SES), race/ethnicity, and gender.

ter G. Woodson, founder of Negro

free our minds.”

Often, the achievement gap conver-

History week (subsequently adapt-

Abolitionist Harriet Tubman

sation sends a subliminal message

ed to become Black History Month),

said, “I freed a thousand slaves. I

that depicts one race as superior to

published The Mis-Education of the

could have freed more if only they

another educationally.

Negro in 1933. He contended that

knew they were slaves.”

Under Bush’s No Child Left

“the Negro” was being cultural-

In recognizing the truth of the

Behind Act (NCLB, 2002), high-

ly indoctrinated and conditioned,

expression that “those who forget

stakes standardized testing became

rather than appropriately taught,

the past are doomed to repeat it”

the norm. Testing was used not to

to ensure their dependency on oth-

(attributed to philosopher George

guide curriculum, instr uction,

ers for basic and vital needs such as

Santayana), it is fitting that we ask

and assessment as intended, but

food, clothing, and shelter. Woodson

the question: Are African-Amer-

as a tool to decide which schools

summed up this view when he stated,

ican students being provided an

were succeeding and which were

“W hen you control a man’s

education that will lead to their

underachieving. Furthermore, test

thinking you do not have to

advancement? Or, quite the con-

results were also used to categorize,

worry about his actions. You do

trary, is education leading to more

marginalize, and label students of

not have to tell him not to stand



here or go yonder. He will find

W.E.B. DuBois noted in his 1903

Though the intent of the NCLB

his ‘proper place’ and will stay

book, The Souls of Black Folk, that

practice of identifying students

in it. You do not need to send

the color line would be the major

into subgroups was to promote

him to the back door. He will

issue of the 20th Century. Is it the

the closing of the achievement



gap by recognizing students who

and being successful in advanced

from inconveniencing to devas-

were underachieving, and devel-

learning opportunities.

tating for many families who had

oping programs and strategies to

Under NC LB , s cho ol s t hat

to send their children to schools

improve their academic success, it

did not meet benchmarks had to

in unfamiliar communities, often

often led to stereotypical assump-

offer school choice options, sub-

schools that were dissimilar and/or

tions being made about students in

mit school turnaround plans, and

did not perform better than their

those subgroups. African-American

offer tutorial (often private) ser-

previous schools.

students were often categorized as

vices. Additionally, schools who

In attempting to address the

low-achieving students, resulting in

failed to make Adequate Yearly

issues and provide solutions, Pres-

a common practice of African-Amer-

Progress for at least four consec-

ident Obama promoted reforms

ican students to be considered for

utive years were subject to school

and concepts such as lifting states’

special education programs, par-

reconstruction, with staff mem-

caps off the numbers of charter

ticularly African-American males.

bers needing to reapply for their

schools, strongly urging states to

The categorization also affected the

positions within the school. School

raise teacher preparation require-

consideration of students of color

systems such as Chicago Public

ments, incentivizing states’ adop-

as candidates for advanced course

Schools utilized high-stakes tests

tion of the Common Core State

placement and prevented A fri-

to determine which schools would

Standards, aligning teacher evalu-

can-American students from being

be turned around, and which would

ation to student performance, and

considered capable of participating

be closed. These decisions ranged

changing tenure laws. The Obama administration supported harsh school turnaround models, such as converting an underachieving school to a charter school and firing school principals and at least 50

Policy Services Board policies are only as effective as the administrative procedures and district actions that implement them.

percent of the staff if a school was deemed as failing per standardized tests. These efforts were received with mixed reviews as some were viewed as more punitive in nature than productive and progressive. President Donald Trump may

As the board monitors district performance many questions will arise, including the following:

overhaul public education based on the appointment of Department of

• How are board policies being implemented?

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos,

• Are administrative procedures up-to-date?

charter schools both financially and

• Are administrative procedures in alignment with board policy?

also supports the implementation

who is well known for supporting theoretically. The administration of school choice vouchers and tax

IASB Policy Services offers an Administrative Procedures Project service designed to help administrators provide their district with the procedures necessary to assure implementation of and alignment with board policy. For more information, visit or call 630/629-3776, ext. 1214 or 217/528-9688, ext. 1154

credit scholarships for students. It appears now that Trump’s ideology, supporting alternatives to public education, will be felt locally. In 2017, the Illinois General Assembly approved $75 million of taxpayer money to be allocated as tax credits



to organizations that provide schol-

have also contributed to teacher

relationship with minority students,

arships for low-income students

shortages. African-American and

but are willing to teach minority stu-

and students attending severely

Hispanic parents and families value

dents in districts to be eligible for

underachieving schools to attend

having teachers of color who can

student loans to be forgiven. The jury

non-public schools. Various educational reforms from Presidents Bush, Obama, and now Trump claim to enhance publ ic e duc at ion ex p er ienc e s

“Ironically, public school practitioners believe that a school’s success should not be measured

for African-American and other

by a high-stakes test, but by multiple indicators

marginalized student groups, but

such as graduation rates and attendance rates.

important stakeholders, specifically African-American parents and families, local school boards,

Shouldn’t we use the same logic for teacher candidates?”

and public education practitioners, have been left out of the reform conversation. Many raise questions

help mentor, guide, and serve as

may still be out regarding how cultur-

about reform and suggest recent

role models. Sadly, black students

ally sensitive non-minority teachers

reforms have had adverse effects

have few — if any — teachers who

are, but there are many who care and

on students of color. For instance,

can fill these roles. It is often dif-

have authentic relationships with all

in 2016 the NA ACP called for a

ficult for non-minority teachers

students regardless of race. Never-

moratorium on charter schools,

to build relationships with black

theless, many families believe that

primarily because they concluded

students. In some cases, non-mi-

a diverse workforce can help break

that charter schools lead to greater

nority teachers are not afforded

down racial barriers.

segregation of students.

the opportunity to work with black

Reformists seldom mention

It is true that schools are more

peers who would be instrumental

the need for a diverse work ing

segregated today by race and eco-

in assisting them in working with

staff, because they place greater

nomic indicators than they were in

black students.

emphasis on ensuring teachers

the past, with charter schools aid-

Some African-American par-

are highly qualified as measured

ing this segregation as they are not

ents prefer a diverse teaching staff

by high-stakes testing. Ironically,

prevalent in predominantly non-mi-

in part because they wonder if the

public school practitioners believe

nority communities. Nevertheless,

relationship between non-minority

that a school’s success should not

various educational reformists such

teachers and African-American

be measured by a high-stakes test,

as Joel K lein, former chancellor

students w ill be authentic and

but by multiple indicators such as

of New York City Schools, former

caring — many teachers do not

graduation rates and attendance

Washington D.C. schools chancellor

live in the communities in which

rates. Shouldn’t we use the same

Michelle Rhee, and former U.S. Sec-

they work.

logic for teacher candidates?

retary of Education Arne Duncan

Should black parents question

Dr. Jim Rosborg of McKendree

cling onto the concept of charter

the authenticity of their children’s

University believes that the teacher

schools as the vehicle to change

relationships with non-minority

shortage in Illinois is a direct result

public schools.

teachers? Consider that teachers

of the Illinois State Board of Edu-

Reforms like these may have

may prescribe lessons that are not

cation (ISBE) increasing the min-

led to a third generation of racial,

culturally sensitive. And, there may

imum Basic Skills, now the Test of

ethnic, and socio-economic segre-

be some non-minority teachers

Academic Proficiency (TAP), test

gation in public schools, but may

who desire no authentic and caring

scores for admission into teacher



preparation programs. In light of

readiness limits students and caus-

is Undermining Public Education,

unprecedented teacher shortages,

es a lack in other skills necessary

discussed how reformists and finan-

it has yet to be determined if ISBE

for alternative career routes after

cially well-off families send their

will change testing requirements.

high school.

children to schools that provide

The overall teacher shortage is a

Though college readiness is

a strong liberal arts curriculum.

national epidemic, with teacher

impor tant for those seek ing to

A strong liberal arts curriculum

shortage of educators of color being

enroll in a college or university,

is needed because such exposure

more severe.

African-Americans that success-

assists students in finding their

Educational reformers stress a

fully completed college often find

purpose, which is helpful in becom-

desire for students to be college or

themselves unemployed or under-

ing a productive citizen.

career ready, but the call for rigor-

employed. John Schmitt, a senior

If blacks are graduating and

ous standardized tests emphasized

economist at the Center for Eco-

still not able to find meaningful

college rather than vocational train-

nomic and Policy Research, noted,

work, in addition to the decrease

ing as the pathway for students after

“among recent graduates ages 22

in skilled black laborers, we must

graduation. This has been especially

to 27, the jobless rate for blacks

assume that Woodson’s words still

damaging to African-American stu-

last year was 12.4 percent versus

ring true. Blacks are still not provid-

dents. There are now few skilled black

4.9 percent for whites.” Moreover,

ed an education that will ensure full

laborers. During the Antebellum

blacks are often stuck with having

equality and constitutional rights,

South, there were plenty of skilled

to pay for exorbitant student loans.

but are afforded an education that

black laborers (carpenters, brick-

This leaves some jobless, with no

keeps blacks dependent on others

layers, farmers, tailors and seam-

means of repaying loans.

for goods and services.

stresses, textile production, cobblers,

Throughout history, blacks

W.E.B. Dubois’ prediction was

and machinists). Sadly, throughout

have also been very inf luential

realized as well. The color line

the 19th Century to today, due to

in the arts (theater, music, poet-

continues to plague the nation.

the rise in industrial unionism and

ry, art), evident with the Harlem

Until all children, especially Afri-

current reforms aimed at ensuring

Renaissance and the Black Arts

can-American students, are given

students are college-ready, the num-

movement of the 1960s and ear-

a balanced education — including

ber of skilled black laborers has sig-

ly 1970s. The demand for stan-

the arts and vocational training —

nificantly declined.

dardized tests has not only led to

and a voice in their education as

There are many routes to suc-

decreases in skilled black labor,

well as the opportunity to be taught

cess after high school not limited to

but less support for the performing

by a population of diverse teachers,

college attendance. Military enroll-

and visual arts in schools. Diane

black students will be continuous-

ment and entrepreneurship are also

Ravitch, in her book The Death and

ly mis-educated. School boards as

options taken by high school grad-

Life of the Great American School

local trustees and superintendents

uates. Focusing solely on college

System: How Testing and Choice

as educational leaders must advocate for meaningful changes to help ensure that the various educational associations they represent will support these aims so that African-American students are not


continuously mis-educated. References

IASB Service Associates provide quality products and services for schools. Membership is by invitation only. A list of Service Associate firms is on the IASB website and in this Journal.

Resources for his article can be found at




A legal case for challenging cyberbullies By Craig Chamberlain


tudent bullying on the internet

schooling and students’ academic

“Given the toxic mix of immature

could be headed for a show-

success. “Whether a teacher or a

bravado, anti-establishment machismo

down with a 50-year-old U.S. Supreme

school district can manage the cruel

and plain juvenile silliness found in

Court case that granted expansive

cyberbullying of kids in their classes

the cases, it is often difficult to sep-

First Amendment rights to kids in

is really the most pressing issue in the

arate potentially dangerous student

public school.

area of student discipline in American

cyberspeech from that which is merely


stupid,” he writes.

When it does, University of Illinois journalism professor Benjamin

Holden’s Fordham article, or

Holden brings added perspective

Holden, through a two-part legal

part one of his study, addresses “The

to the issue as the founder of a Colum-

study, is ready to make the case for

Wisniewski problem,” coined for the

bus, Georgia, nonprofit that provides

challenging the offenders.

2007 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

mentoring and funding for low-income

Part one of Holden’s study, pub-

case Wisniewski v. Board of Educa-

kids seeking to attend college. That

lished by the Fordham Intellectu-

tion. The problem refers to the dilem-

puts him in contact with many teen-

al Property, Media & Sports Law

ma faced by courts and schools when a

agers, and he has seen the pervasive

Journal, argues for new standards

student’s online bullying speech con-

influence of social media and the cor-

under which K-12 public school offi-

tains “elements of parody cloaked in

rosive effects of cyberbullying.

cials can punish cyberbullying. Part

violence,” Holden writes. His argument for unmasking,

on Tinker’s application to out-of-school

Akron Law Review, uses case law

presented in his Akron article, may

speech, he said. The internet and the

from around the country to suggest a

be more controversial, but he still

rapid development of phone apps have

new legal rule for when an anonymous

thinks it is important. “Some very

further complicated the issue.

cyberbully, preying on a public school

high percentage of really foul bullying

victim, can be legally “unmasked”

online is anonymous,” he said.

social sciences editor for the Illinois News Bureau at the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign.

Determining how and when school officials can address such

Holden is a University of Illinois

off-campus speech is “one of the big-

The new standards are needed,

professor of journalism who teach-

gest unanswered questions left sort

Holden argues, because the 1969

es media law. He’s also an attorney

of festering by the Supreme Court,”

Supreme Court ruling that currently

and a former journalist. As such, his

Holden said.

applies, Tinker v. Des Moines, came

legal research and suggested solutions

The question has actually been

years before the internet.

attempt to balance the First Amend-

addressed by half of the country’s 12

“Social media has taken over

ment speech rights of kids with the

federal circuit courts, but by applying

the lives of these kids,” Holden said,

duty of schools to keep students safe,

inconsistent legal standards, he said.

and online bullying often disrupts

which he knows can be a challenge.

“It’s not that there’s no decision, it’s


Chamberlain is

Courts have disagreed for decades

two, published last November by the

by a court.



that there are conflicting decisions.”

media era” — giving school officials

And the other six circuit courts have

and schoolchildren a single standard

been silent.

for dealing with bullies online.

“The Supreme Cour t has a

Ask the Staff continued from inside back cover

buildings and grounds and offer tips for better security. Again, IEMA will be

responsibility to resolve the conflicts


among the courts on the question of

Links for each of the following

when ‘off-campus speech’ such as

resources can be found at blog.iasb.

hateful Facebook posts, phony car-


working to put these teams in place at no cost to local school districts. Finally, the working group highlighted best practices for high-quality

icature websites, or bullying Twitter

“Unmasking the Teen Cyberbul-

emergency plans and safety drills. The

messages can be punished by pub-

ly: A First Amendment-Compliant

entire list of recommendations can be

lic schools,” Holden said. The First

Approach to Protecting Child Vic-

found on the IASB website.

Amendment, like the U.S. Consti-

tims of Anonymous, School-Related

tution generally, does not limit the

Internet Harassment” by Benjamin

ability of private schools to discipline

A. Holden.

students, he noted.

Question: What is IASB doing to enhance school safety? Answer: IASB has long been

“Tinker Meets the Cyberbully:

involved in the issue of school safety,

Holden hopes the Supreme Court

A Federal Circuit Conflict Round-

beginning with its heavy involvement

eventually sees the need to update the

Up and Proposed New Standard for

in the drafting of the School Safety Drill

Tinker ruling “to extrapolate or extend

Off-Campus Speech” by Benjamin

Act in 2005. Staff has been appointed

its reasoning or its logic into the social

A. Holden.

and active in the ITTF, including the subcommittees and working groups of the ITTF involving school safety; and the legislative School Security and Standards Task Force. This fall, IASB

Are your

O T board policies OF U DATE ?

IASB can help with your

Policy Manual Customization.

Through this valuable in-district work with an IASB Policy Consultant, the board will come away with a thorough understanding of the contents of its policy manual, including: 99 district goals and operations 99 board powers, duties, and processes

99 board and superintendent roles and responsibilities 99 and much more!

Once your manual has been fully customized and updated, you will be eligible to subscribe to PRESS Plus, the customized, full-maintenance policy updating service that will help you ensure your policies will never become outdated again.

will be coordinating the third annual School Safety and Security Seminar in conjunction with the Joint Annual Conference of school board members, superintendents, and school business officials. Staff members have participated as panelists for multiple school safety events, along with officials from law enforcement, fire departments, safety consulting firms, and state legislators. IASB has created a portal — www. — on its website devoted to school safety. In one stop, school board members and administrators can find: a quick overview of school safety best practices, communications tips for school threats, the ITTF Working Group

Policy Services For more information, visit or contact IASB Policy Services today: Angie Powell - 217/528-9688, ext. 1154, Brian Zumpf - 630/629-3776, ext. 1214,


recommendations, the School Security and Standards Task Force Report, the safety program from the Illinois School and Campus Safety Program, and the Illinois State Police School Safety and Information Sharing Program.


In memoriam continued from page 32

Gilbert Edward Fox Jr., 84, died April 11, 2018. He had served on the Peotone CUSD 207U school board. Wilbur “Web” M. Franklin, Sr., 86, died April 15, 2018. He previously served as a member of the Sparta CUSD 140 school board.

Judy Lazar, 64, died March 30, 2018. She was a school board member

Dawn Elaine Miller, 75, died

for Williamsville CUSD 15 for four

on May 18, 2018. She was a lead-


er in public education for over 40

Norman C. Owens, 77, died May

years. She served Diamond Lake

2. He had a 35-year career as a his-

District 76 as a school board mem-

tory teacher and also served on the

ber from 1973 to 1984, when she

Sheldon school board.

was recruited to the Mundelein

Frederick Peterson, 76, died April

High School District 120 board.

4, 2018. He worked in higher educa-

She served

Nina Giavaras, 87, died May 22,

tion administration and was formerly

there for

2018. She served on the Springfield

a member of the Rock Island school

nine years,

District 186 Board of Education for 14

board for eight years.


years, including a time as president.

Robert “Bob” Ringhouse, 82, died

four as

Harold Vernon Goodman, 89,

May 17, 2018. He had served on the


Easton school board.

She was

died April 15. He served on the West Lincoln-Broadwell ESD 92 Board of Education. James E. Gottemoller, 90, died

Hazel Sagendorph, 82, died May

a lso v ice

24, 2018. She served on the Oak Grove

president of the board of direc-

Elementary Board of Education.

tors for the Illinois Association

April 17, 2018. He was a former mem-

David L. Schneider, 85, died

of School Boards, and in 1992

ber and past president of the Streator

May 17, 2018. He was a member of

Miller joined the staff of IASB as

THSD 40 Board of Education, serving

the Robein SD 85 Board of Educa-

a Field Services Director and later

from 1975 to 1985. A physician, he

tion for 14 years, serving one term

Director of Executive Searches.

practiced medicine in Streator for 43

as president and secretary.

She worked at IASB for 21 years

Linda Lee Spittler, 78, died

until her retirement in 2013.

Alan Henry Hahn, 70, died May

April 24, 2018. She was a member

Miller served on task forces and

27, 2018. He served on the school

of the Martinsville CUSD 3C school

commissions for the National

board of Cherry SD 92.


School Boards Association and

years before retiring in 1999.

Ralph F.H. Hammel, 89, died May

Earl “Skip” Strupp III, 74, died

the U.S. Department of Educa-

23, 2018. He served on the board of

April 23, 2018. He was a member of

tion and was a frequent present-

education for Pleasant Valley SD 62,

the Rock Island-Milan SD 41 Board

er at national and state school

including six years as board president.

of Education from 2003 to 2017. A

board and school administrators’

Lee Hilfman died April 14, 2018.

former English teacher, he had retired

conferences. This year, honoring

He was a school board member for

in 2003 after 35 years at Rock Island

Miller’s 75th birthday and her

River Trails SD 26.

High School.

passion for public education, her

Clyde W. Jones, 79, died April 16,

John J. Waldhoff, 86, died May 26,

children created the Dawn E.

2018. He served on the Bethalto CUSD

2018. He was a past president of the

Miller Spirit of Education Foun-

8 Board of Education from 1964 to

school board of Dieterich CUSD 30.

dation. The foundation annually

Lewis “Lewie” Winterrowd, 96,

presents a scholarship to a Dis-

1986. Elmer F. Knapp, 104, died May

died May 4, 2018. He served the Leb-

trict 76 graduate and Munde-

27, 2018. He was a past president of

anon CUSD 9 school board from 1964

lein High School graduate who

the former Magnolia-Swaney grade

to 1971, including a four-year term

embody Miller’s spirit of service

school board.

as president.

and lifelong dedication to edu-

James E. “Jim” Kuntz, 91, died April

Alfred C. “Big Al” Wolf, 75, died

17, 2018. He served on the Princeville

May 5, 2018. He was a member of the

CUSD 326 Board of Education.

Beason school board for 20 years.


cation and its ability to enrich communities.


Deerfield – 847/317-0852, Pewaukee, WI – 262/746-1254; website:; email: HEALY, BENDER & ASSOCIATES, INC. — Archi­tects/Planners. Naperville, 630/904-4300; website:; email: HURST-ROSCHE, INC. — Architecture, engineering, planning, and interior design. Hillsboro – 217/532-3959; East St. Louis – 618/3980890; Marion – 618/998-0075; Springfield – 217/787-1199; email:

A Directory of your IASB Service Associates IASB Service Associates are businesses which offer school‑related products and services and which have earned favorable repu­tations for quality and integrity. Only after screening by the Service Associates Executive Committee is a business firm invited by the IASB Board of Directors to become a Service Associate.

Appraisal Services

INDUSTRIAL APPRAISAL COMPANY — Building and fixed asset appraisals for insurance and accounting purposes. Oak Brook – 630/575-0280


ALLIED DESIGN CONSULTANTS, INC. — Architectural programming, site planning and design, architectural and interior design, and construction administration with a specialization in K-12 facilities. Springfield – 217/522-3355 ARCON ASSOCIATES, INC. — Full service firm specializing in educational facilities with services that include architecture, construction management, roof and masonry consulting, landscape architecture, and environmental consulting. Lombard – 630/495-1900; website:; email:

JMA ARCHITECTS — Full service professional design firm specializing in K-12 educational design, construction management, strategic/ master planning, health/life safety compliance, building commissioning, and interior space design. South Holland – 708/339-3900; website:; email: THE GARLAND COMPANY — Complete building envelope solutions to extend the life of existing building assets (walls, roofing, waterproofing, sealants, and floors) Facility Asset Management programs and US Communities Vendor. Cleveland, OH – 815/922-1376; website: KLUBER ARCHITECTS + ENGINEERS — Building design professionals specializing in architecture, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, structural, and fire protection engineers. Batavia – 630/406-1213 LARSON & DARBY GROUP — Architecture, Engineering, Interior Design, and Technology. Rockford – 815/484-0739, St. Charles – 630/444-2112; website:; email: snelson@ LEGAT ARCHITECTS, INC. — Architectural and educational planners who specialize in creating effective student learning environments. Gurnee – 847/622-3535; Oak Brook – 630/990-3535; Chicago – 312/258-9595; website:

BERG ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS, LTD. — Consulting engineers. Schaumburg – 847/352-4500; website:

PCM+DESIGN ARCHITECTS — Provide a full range of architectural services including facility and feasibility studies, architectural design, construction consulting and related services. East Peoria – 309/694-5012 website:

BLDD ARCHITECTS, INC. — Architectural and engineering services for schools. Decatur – 217/429-5105; Champaign – 217/356-9606; Bloomington – 309/828-5025; Chicago – 312/829-1987

PERFORMANCE SERVICES, INC. — An integrated design and delivery engineering company serving the design and construction facility needs of K-12 schools. Schaumburg – 847/466-7220

BRADLEY & BRADLEY — Architects, engineers, and asbestos consultants. Rockford – 815/968-9631; website:

PERKINS+WILL — Architects. Chicago – 312/755-0770

CANNONDESIGN — Architecture, Interiors, Engineering, Consulting. Chicago – 312/332-9600; website:; email: CM ENGINEERING, INC. — Specializing in ultra efficient geo-exchange HVAC engineering solutions for schools, universities, and commercial facilities. Columbia, MO – 573/874-9455; website: CORDOGAN CLARK & ASSOCIATES — Architects and Engineers. Aurora – 630/896-4678; website:; email: rmont@cordogan DEWBERRY ARCHITECTS INC. — Architects, planners, landscape architecture, and engineers. Peoria – 309/282-8000; Elgin – 847/695-5840

RICHARD L. JOHNSON ASSOCIATES, INC. — Architecture, educational planning. Rockford – 815/398-1231; website: SARTI ARCHITECTURAL GROUP, INC. — Architecture, engineering, life safety consulting, interior design, and asbestos consultants. Springfield – 217/585-9111 STR PARTNERS — Architectural, interior design, planning, cost estimating, and building enclosure/roofing consulting. Chicago – 312/464-1444 TRIA ARCHITECTURE — An architectural planning and interior design firm that provides services primarily to School Districts in the Chicago-Land area with an emphasis on service to their clients, as well as their communities. Burr Ridge – 630/455-4500

DLA ARCHITECTS, LTD. — Architects specializing in preK-12 educational design, including a full range of architectural services; assessments, planning, feasibility studies, new construction, additions, remodeling, O&M and owner’s rep services. Itasca – 847/7424063; website:; email:

WIGHT & COMPANY — For over 77 years, Wight & Company has provided design and construction services for the built environment. As a pioneer of integrated Design & Delivery, we’ve worked with our clients to create exceptional, enduring buildings and spaces that enrich people’s lives and enhance the environment; Darien – 630/969-7000; website:; email:

DLR GROUP — Educational facility design and master planning. Chicago – 312/382-9980; website:; email:

WM. B. ITTNER, INC. — Full service architectural firm serving the educational community since 1899. Fairview Heights – 618/624-2080

ERIKSSON ENGINEERING ASSOCIATES, LTD. — Consulting civil engineers and planners. Grayslake – 847/223-4804; Chicago – 312/463-0551; Mokena – 708/614-9720; website:; email: FANNING HOWEY ASSOCIATES, INC. — School planning and design with a focus on K-12 schools. Oak Brook – 847/292-1039 FARNSWORTH GROUP — Architectural and engineering professional services. Normal – 309/663-8436 FGM ARCHITECTS, INC. — Architects. Chicago – 312/942-8461; Oak Brook – 630/574-8300; O’Fallon – 618/624-3364; St. Louis, MO – 314/439-1601; website: GREENASSOCIATES, INC. — Architecture/construction services.


JH2B ARCHITECTS — Architects. Kankakee – 815/933-5529; website:

WOLD ARCHITECTS AND ENGINEERS — Specializing in Pre-K-12 educational design including master planning, sustainable design, architecture, mechanical and electrical engineering, quality review, cost estimation and management. Palatine – 847/241-6100

Building Construction

CORE CONSTRUCTION — Professional construction management, design-build, and general contracting services. Morton – 309/2669768; website: F. H. PASCHEN — A General/Construction Manager with extensive experience in new construction and renovation of educational and institutional facilities in the public/private sectors. Chicago – 773/4441525-3535; website:


FREDERICK QUINN CORPORATION — Construction management and general contracting. Addison – 630/628-8500; website: HOLLAND CONSTRUCTION SERVICES, INC. — Full service Construction Management and General Contracting firm specializing in education facilities. Swansea – 618/277-8870 NICHOLAS & ASSOCIATES, INC. — Construction management, general contracting, design and build. Mt. Prospect – 847/394-6200 email: PEPPER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY — Construction management and general contracting services. Barrington – 847/381-2760 website: www.pepperconstruction email: POETTKER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY — Specializing in Construction Management, Design/Build, Construction Consulting Services, and Energy Solutions for education clients. Breese – 618/526-7213; website: ROSS CONSTRUCTION, INC. — A full-service construction management firm specializing in educational institutions. Marion – 618/993-5904 RUSSELL CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC. — Russell provides successful, knowledgeable construction management and contracting services in the PREK-12 market from concept to completion and continuing care for your facility needs. Davenpot, IA – 563/459-4600 S.M. WILSON & CO. — Provides construction management and general construction services to education, healthcare, commercial, retail, and industrial clients. St. Louis, Mo – 314/645-9595; website:; email: TRANE — HVAC company specializing in design, build, and retrofit. Willowbrook – 630/734-6033

Computer Software, Supplies, Services

ENGIE SERVICES U.S. — Turnkey partnership programs that enable K12 school districts in Illinois to modernize their facilities, increase safety, security and efficiency, reduce operations costs, and maximize the lifespan of critical assets. Chicago – 312/498-7792; email: RADON DETECTION SPECIALISTS — Commercial radon surveys. Westmont – 800/244-4242; website:; email:

Financial Services

AMERICAN FIDELITY ASSURANCE COMPANY — Specializing in Section 125 compliance, 403(b) plan administration, flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts, dependent audits, and health care reform. Fairview Heights – 855/822-9168 BERNARDI SECURITIES, INC. — Public finance consulting, bond issue services and referendum support. Fairview Heights – 618/2064180; Chicago – 312/281-2014; email: EHLERS & ASSOCIATES — School bond issues; referendum help; financial and enrollment studies. Chicago – 312/638-5250; website:; email: FIRST MIDSTATE, INC. — Bond issue consultants. Bloomington – 309/829-3311; email: GORENZ AND ASSOCIATES, LTD. — Auditing and financial consulting. Peoria – 309/685-7621; website:; email: ICE MILLER, LLP — Nationally recognized bond counsel services. Chicago – 312/726-7127 KINGS FINANCIAL CONSULTING, INC. — Municipal bond financial advisory service including all types of school bonds; school referenda, county school sales tax; tax revenue forecasts/projections. Monticello – 217/762-4578

COMPUTER INFORMATION CONCEPTS, INC. — Infinite Campus Student Information System and Finance Suite, and Tableau Data Visualization / Analytics. Greeley, CO – 312/995-3342

MATHIESON, MOYSKI, AUSTIN & CO., LLP — Provides audit, consulting and other related financial services to Illinois school districts, joint agreements and risk pools. Wheaton – 630/653-1616

SONITROL GREAT LAKES — Verified electronic security. Northbrook – 847/205-0670; website:

SIKICH, LLP — Professional services firm specializing in accounting, technology, and advisory services. Naperville — 630/364-7953


SPEER FINANCIAL, INC. — Financial planning and bond issue services. Chicago – 312/346-3700; website:; email:

THE CONCORD CONSULTING GROUP OF ILLINOIS, INC — A team of highly skilled professionals specializing in the fields of Project Management, Cost Management, Development Services, Cost Segregation, Real Estate Advisory Services, and Insurance services; Chicago – 312/424-0250

Environmental Services

ALPHA CONTROLS & SERVICES, LLC — We deliver energy cost justified solutions that make the learning environment comfortable, secure, and efficient. Rockford, Springfield, Champaign; website: email: – 815/227-4000 CTS GROUP — Dedicated to assisting K-12 education meet the challenge of providing healthy, safe, and educational appropriate learning environments. St. Louis, MO – 636/230-0843; Chicago – 773/6330691; website:; email: ENERGY SYSTEMS GROUP — A comprehensive energy services and performance contracting company providing energy, facility and financial solutions. Itasca – 630/773-7201; email: GCA SERVICES GROUP – Custodial, janitorial, maintenance, lawn and grounds, and facility operations services. Downers Grove – 630/629-4044 GRP MECHANICAL CO., INC. — Renovating buildings through energy savings performance contracting to provide the best learning environment. HVAC, Plumbing, Windows, Doors, and Mechanical Services. Bethalto – 618/779-0050 HONEYWELL, INC. — Controls, maintenance, energy management, performance contracting, and security. St. Louis, MO – 314/548-4136; Des Plaines – 847/770-5496; Maryland Heights, MO – 314/548-4501; email:; IDEAL ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING, INC. — Asbestos and environmental services. Bloomington – 309/828-4259 ILLINOIS ENERGY CONSORTIUM — Sells electricity and natural gas to school districts, colleges, and universities. Dekalb – 815/7539083; website:; email:

STIFEL — Full service securities firm providing investment banking and advisory services including strategic financial planning; bond underwriting; referendum and legislative assistance. Edwardsville – 800/230-5151; email: WILLIAM BLAIR & COMPANY — Bond issuance, financial advisory services. Chicago – 312/364-8955; email: WINTRUST FINANCIAL — Financial services holding company engaging in community banking, wealth management, commercial insurance premium financing, and mortgage origination. Rosemont – 630/560-2120

Grounds and Maintenance

NELS JOHNSON TREE EXPERTS — full service tree maintenance and plant health company. Evanston– 847/475-1877

Human Resource Consulting

BUSHUE HUMAN RESOURCES, INC. — Human resource, safety and risk management, and insurance consulting. Effingham – 217/3423042; website:; email:


THE SANDNER GROUP — Insurance program management, marketing & claims services for workers’ compensation, property & liability. Chicago – 800/654-9504 MEEMIC INSURANCE — For over 66 years, Meemic has offered auto, home, and umbrella insurance products tailored specifically for the educational community. Auburn Hills, MI – 856/495-9041

Office Equipment

FRANK COONEY COMPANY, INC. — Furniture for educational environments. Wood Dale – 630/694-8800

Superintendent Searches

ECRA Group & HYA — Superintendent searches, board and superintendent workshops. Schaumburg – 847/318-0072




Achievements Bill Harrison, a school board

Betsy Les, a member of the

for her strong support of education

member at Wheel-

Crystal Lake SD 47

during the Illinois

ing CCSD 21 since

Board of Education,

Chapter of the Nation-

2001, was honored

joined her peers as

al School Public Rela-

in May for his support

board of education

tions Association’s

of education during

winners in the 2018

(I NS PR A) a n nu a l

the Illinois Chapter of

distinguished service

distinguished service

the National School Public Relations

awards from the Illinois Chapter of

awards luncheon in Bolingbrook. Her

Association’s (INSPRA) annual dis-

the National School Public Relations

nomination stated she “is fully com-

tinguished service awards luncheon

Association (INSPRA). Les won the

mitted to help Fenton create success-

in Bolingbrook. Harrison’s nomina-

award for her efforts to support her

ful, passionate learners and develop

tion stated he “serves the commu-

school district. “Recently she spent

relationships that will enhance their

nity selflessly, not only as a diligent

hours interviewing architects to find

education.” She stepped up when the

board member, but also as a champion

the best fit to carry out our upcoming

board president passed away in Janu-

for public schools in all forums.” He

facility improvements. In addition, she

ary 2018, and brought experience to

has served multiple terms as board

was a contributing member of our Stra-

fill in on the negotiating committee

president and as chair of the board’s

tegic Planning Committee,” according

to ensure contract talks remained

policy committee. He sits on both

to her nomination. “Dr. Les establishes

on schedule. She has been instru-

the Finance and Policy Committees

relationships with teachers, the super-

mental in collaborating with current

for District 21. During a recent com-

intendent, and administrators by com-

board members, particularly on the

munity engagement effort, he was

municating effectively with all groups,”

district’s strategic planning process.

the first board member to volunteer

the nomination added.

Wassinger also helped oversee the

to personally contact neighbors and

Laura Wassi nger, a Fenton

construction of the $13 million addi-

leaders in the community to encour-

CHSD 100 (Bensenville) board mem-

tion and reconstruction of Fenton

age participation in the process.

ber since 2011, was honored in May

High School in 2016.

In memoriam Mark Edward Badasch, 70, died

Barbara Burroughs, 69, died April

John S. De Hesus, 101, died May

April 29, 2018. He previously served on

13, 2018. She previously served on the

23, 2018. He was a former member

the Roxana CUSD 1 Board of Education.

Rock Falls SD 13 school board for many

of the Wauconda CUSD 118 school

years, including a time as president.


Gloria J. Banich, 83, died May


26, 2018. A professional dancer and

Clement Dean Campbell, 95,

Marvin R. Eckhoff, 87, died

lifetime ballet enthusiast, she was a

died April 11, 2018. He had served

April 1, 2018. He formerly served as

prior member of the Butler District

as a member of the CCSD 204 Pinck-

a member of the Roanoke-Benson

53 (Oak Brook) school board.

neyville Board of Education.

CUSD 60 Board of Education for nine

Billy E. “Bill” Blair Sr., 93, died

Gary Ray Coffey, 86, died April

years. His daughter, DeAnn Heck,

April 25, 2018. He served many years

22, 2018. He worked for years as legal

is superintendent of Central A&M

on the Ashland school board.

counsel for Southern Illinois Universi-

CUD 21.

Robert F. Bove Sr., 89, died April

ty-Edwardsville and was instrumental

Louis G. Fiorelli, 86, died May 4,

13, 2018. He was a former Bloom

in the development of the campus and

2018. In the 1960s he was a member

THSD 206 (Chicago Heights), board

its operations. He served on the school

of the Mundelein HSD 120 Board of

member, and had taught for many

board for Edwardsville CUSD 7, includ-


years in Harvey.

ing a time as president.

continued on page 29



Next steps for school safety By Ben Schwarm


uestion: What safety steps has

doors, locks, windows, security systems,

school districts (only at the request of

Illinois taken since the school

or school resource officers without pro-

the school district) unable to field their

viding the funding would be unfair to

own team. The ITTF and the Illinois

Answer: Responses all across

those school districts and communities

Emergency Management Agency will

the country were broad and swift

with limited resources and manpow-

be working to secure the funding nec-

after the tragic February shooting at

er. Instead, a series of recommended

essary to field the teams.

a high school in Parkland, Florida.

best practices was published to help

Other recommendations include

Gun access, “hardening of facilities”

guide school districts on how best to

the proper protocols to share informa-

for school buildings and grounds,

use the resources they have available.

tion between schools and law enforce-

enhanced mental health services,

The recommendations came in three

ment, tips for more open student

funding for additional school resource

areas: behavioral threat assessments,

reporting of threats, and a statewide

officers, and arming school staff mem-

hardening of facilities, and response

student school safety tip line manned

bers are all issues that have been

protocols in schools.

by the Illinois State Police.

shooting in Florida?

Many schools already employ

The working group’s recommenda-

Illinois was no different. The

threat assessment teams, and this

tions for safety improvements to school

General Assembly quickly approved

practice is embedded in IASB’s Poli-

buildings is a user-friendly five-layer

legislation for tighter regulations on

cy Reference Education Subscription

plan based on priorities (for example,

the licensure of gun dealers, but the

Service (PRESS) safety protocol, but

do not start with adding a video security

brought to the table for discussion.

measure was vetoed by Governor Bruce Rauner. Other bills considered in the Capitol address waiting periods before purchasing “assault rifles,” a prohibition on “bump stocks,” and amending the School Safety Drill Act to require stu-

“The recommendations came in three areas: behavioral threat assessments, hardening of facilities, and response protocols in schools. ”

dents to be present on days in which law enforcement, or active shooter drills, are being conducted. IASB staff mem-

it is strongly recommended that all

system if there are not proper locks on

bers were part of a select group of mem-

schools implement them. Further, it is

the doors). The tiered priorities begin

bers of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force

recommended that student handbooks

with proper doors, locks, windows in

(ITTF) brought together to recommend

encourage students and parents to par-

layer one; and end with metal detectors

school safety enhancements.

ticipate freely in these programs. Most

and school resource officers in layer

importantly, it is recommended that

five. Also important is the recommen-

Question: What did the ITTF

Illinois establish regional behavioral

dation that regional site assessment

Answer: First, the group formed

threat assessment teams, comprised

teams be formed (only at the request

a consensus that strict, prescriptive

of professionals in mental health, law

of the school district) so administrators

requirements on school districts would

enforcement, and other disciplines

can have safety professionals walk their

be counter-productive. Mandating new

trained in this area, which can assist

continued on page 28

working group recommend?

IASB Deputy Executive Director Ben Schwarm answers the questions in this issue of The Illinois School Board Journal.


2921 Baker Drive Springfield, Illinois 62703-5929 Address Service Requested

Panel Sessions • Training & Development • Exhibits

November 16-18, 2018 CHICAGO

Register today •


IASB Journal July August 2018  

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

IASB Journal July August 2018  

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