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May/June 2020 Vol. 88 No. 3

Even When Illinois Stays Home

Public Education Works REMOTE LEARNING BY NECESSITY

LEADERSHIP IN TIMES OF CRISIS

CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION


Front Page

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We’re all in the same boat, but we’re not all in the same storm. How true is that? With the coronavirus pandemic and worldwide health emergency, we are all in the same boat. However, as individuals, parents, students, leadership team members, and residents of Illinois, the storms we face are different. Coping strategies for the emergency depend on many things, including how close to home the coronavirus is hitting, where our loved ones are, how we can support each other, the healthcare we have access to, and how we react to the uncertainties of these truly unusual times. Members of the high school graduating Class of 2020, born in the immediate wake of 9/11, are graduating in the midst of a pandemic. Will kids in school today be known as the coronavirus generation? If so, I anticipate Generation C will prove to be resilient, as we entrust these kids to right the ship, stay the course, and carry on. Schools play a considerable role in developing kids like that. We sometimes forget, as adults, how important school is to children, although we recognize when it’s “gone” how much everyone misses it. Many kids love school, some abide. Depending on the storm, some kids need school. Schools offer safe havens and social studies, meals and mathematics, scholarship and science, lifelong skills and language arts. The effort in school districts throughout Illinois, to keep school in students’ lives, is much more than a legal obligation. School districts are stepping up in this emergency, each weathering its own local storm and together learning how to manage, sharing resources, encouraging problem-solving, and celebrating creativity. You can read a collection of adapting-to-coronavirus vignettes in this issue of the Illinois School Board Journal. My thanks to all the districts for sharing their stories. We can’t print them all; there are millions.

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“We’re all in the same boat, but we’re not all in the same storm” is also true when there’s not a global health emergency. For example, not everyone’s path from high school includes college. Many under-filled careers require skills developed through hands-on technical training as well as classroom learning. And school districts everywhere take seriously the challenge of helping students find their paths. This issue of the Journal has long been slated to feature career and technical education, and thanks to the work of our contributing districts, it does. Contributors not only completed their stories, they also added to them. CTE students and programs are finding a particularly vital role in the coronavirus emergency. Career advisors are proving agile, maintaining student-centered services while moving everything online. We also had a few contributors who were, understandably, unable to share their CTE work. We hope to hear from them when the storm clears. In their places, we have a piece from the Center for Public Education, offering a national perspective on the opportunities that abound in apprenticeships, and another from Advance CTE, reporting the advancing opinions on career and technical education. Coping today depends not only on how healthy we can stay, but on how adaptable our homes, workplaces, families, and temperaments are to social distancing. At IASB, we are lucky. Thanks to the work of many, we are providing information, news, and resources to our members, developing new avenues for education, leadership, connection, and conversation. We wish everyone well and look forward to seeing you all again when the storms pass.  Theresa Kelly Gegen is Editor of the Illinois School Board Journal. Share your stories via email to tgegen@iasb.com.


On the Cover: Public education goes to work as school districts deploy 3D-printers, and technical knowledge, to assist local health care providers during the coronavirus emergency.

Table of Contents FEATURE ARTICLES

10 Together, Apart

Collected by Theresa Kelly Gegen

With facilities closed, learning carries on, and Illinois school districts are rising to the challenges.

14 16

Sunshine Laws and Social Distancing By Theresa Kelly Gegen

Unity Point SD 140 was among the first to explore the collision of social distancing and OMA.

REGULAR FEATURES

Executive Searches: Still Looking Ahead

2 Front Page

By Theresa Kelly Gegen

Work continues for the IASB Executive Searches team.

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Cover art of 3D printer filament: © Grafner, iStock/Getty Images Plus

4 Leadership Letter

Schools Continue to Serve Despite Historic Challenges

Getting it Right for Every Student By Ken Wallace

Maine THSD 207 offers an array of career and post-secondary advisory programs.

Career and College Advisement 22 Goes Virtual in 2020 By Ken Wallace

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Maine THSD 207 career services move online.

Apprenticeship: Linking School to 21st-Century Skills

5 Association Information

IASB Offers News, Support During Coronavirus Emergency

7 From the Field Detecting Ends

31 Practical PR

Strategic Storytelling

32 Practical PR

D214, Harper, and Community Collaborate to Produce PPE

By Jinghong Cai

Apprenticeships match skills to 21st-century careers.

28 Value and Promise of CTE By Advance CTE

A national survey of parents and student offers insights into perspectives on CTE.

July/August 2019 Vol. 87 No. 3

Kara Kienzler, Associate Executive Director Theresa Kelly Gegen, Editor Heath Hendren, Contributing Editor Britni Beck, Advertising Manager Katie Grant, Design and Production Isaac Warren, Graphics

38 Milestones 39 Insights

ILLINOIS SCHOOL BOARD JOURNAL (ISSN- 0 019-221X ) is published ever y other month by the Illinois Association of Sc hool B oa rd s, 2921 Ba ker Dr ive, Springfield, Illinois 62703-5929 (217) 5289688. The IASB regional office is located at One Imperial Place, 1 East 22nd Street, Lombard, Illinois 60148-6120 (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. Copyright © 2020 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.

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Leadership Letter

Schools Continue to Serve Despite Historic Challenges By Thomas E. Bertrand

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None of us will soon forget the unprecedented challenges Americans faced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. Schools and school boards faced school governance and operational changes, from conducting board of education meetings to ensuring continuity in learning and reliable meals for students and families. Our schools and school board members rose to the challenge. I was amazed by the genuine concern of school board members for the children who were impacted by board-level decisions and the creativity and dedication of our districts in meeting these challenges. Schools across the state were forced to quickly transition to Remote Learning for students. School board members learned new skills and stayed engaged through virtual connections. Boards sought solutions to ensure the continuity of learning for students as well as those aimed at extending support to the larger school and healthcare communities.

Schools are the hub of our communities and the epicenter of so many memorable events in the lives of our children. I know that school board members and school administrators agonized over decisions that led to the disruption or cancellation of many valuable school experiences and learning opportunities for children. I also know that our school boards acted first in the best interests of the nearly two million public school children across Illinois. I hope that by the time you read this column, we are looking forward to a new school year without the cloud of a public health emergency. I know there are more challenges ahead as we all navigate how the economic impact of the pandemic will impact school funding. I know that our school boards will continue to model stability and effective governance and will continue to act in the best interests of the children that we serve. Know that IASB stands ready to continue to serve members as you face these challenges. I leave you with a quote by Dr. Edith Eva Eger, author of The Choice: Embrace the Possible, and survivor of Auschwitz. “What happened can never be forgotten and can never be changed. But over time I learned that I can choose how to respond to the past. I can be miserable, or I can be hopeful — I can be depressed, or I can be happy. We always have that choice, that opportunity for control.” Thank you for your continued service to our students and to your communities.  Thomas E. Bertrand, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Illinois Association of School Boards.

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Association Information

IASB Offers News, Support During Coronavirus Emergency By Kara Kienzler

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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to adapt our routines, rethink how work gets done, and focus on the essentials. At IASB, with these challenges came opportunities. Staff found solutions to planning and operations for the Association to continue to serve members. We improvised and used new technology. Departments collaborated and found new ways to stay connected and engage with school board members. You received many communications from us. IASB ramped up online videos, transitioned to virtual meetings, and shared numerous updates on executive orders, emergency rules, guidance documents, and school closure announcements. To keep up with all of the breaking news and resources for school districts, we created a webpage, www.iasb.com/covid-19-coronavirus, to direct traffic. As a result of the pandemic, IASB canceled the six March Division Meetings that had not taken place. Other meetings or sessions scheduled in districts through April are rescheduled or moved to an online platform. These meetings included division-level governing and executive committee meetings, policy consultations, and executive search services, among others. Within the first week of operating in a remote work capacity, IASB added weekly virtual meetings for the Association’s 21 regional divisions. “Conversation and Connection” with IASB Field Services Directors provided an opportunity for members to connect with fellow school board members via the Zoom online meeting platform. Members shared stories, discussed challenges, and asked questions. All eight Field Services Directors connected with 160 members via these sessions, with additional opportunities scheduled for April. For board members wondering what their role is during the crisis, a new resource page was added at

IASB.com to offer support. IASB’s Foundational Principles of Effective Governance extend to times of crisis, when good governance is more important than ever. In addition to “practice good governance,” a video and handout offer these tips for school board members: 1. Practice good governance. 2. Support your superintendent. 3. Unify your message. 4. Stay updated and educated on emergency mandates. 5. Be flexible and willing to learn and adapt to new virtual meeting venues. 6. Encourage your team. Also, in a series of video interviews, board members shared their district successes and challenges. Members described how meetings and board decisions were being handled to comply with social distancing requirements and stay at home orders. They talked about the importance of frequent communication between the board and the superintendent. Throughout, board members described the importance of learning initial lessons, adapting, and resetting expectations for their school systems. The Illinois General Assembly canceled session dates, so IASB Governmental Relations staff shared insight into their behind-the-scenes work to advocate on behalf of school boards. A series of video discussion topics included the 2020 primary results, schools transitioning to remote learning, working with the Illinois State Board of Education, and federal legislative issues including the stimulus relief package. You can find the full playlist on the IASB YouTube channel (ILschoolboards). While under limited operations at both IASB Springfield and Lombard physical office locations, May/June 2020  5


IASB Board of Directors As of April 15, 2020

PRESIDENT Thomas Neeley VICE PRESIDENT Simon Kampwerth Jr. IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT Joanne Osmond TREASURER Linda Eades

“business as usual” continues. Resolution forms and accompanying information were mailed to Association member districts in late March. The forms are also available online. PRESS Issue 103 was finished, published, and delivered to subscribers at PRESS Online, and the PRESS Issue 103 Update Memo was also sent in March. PRESS Plus Issue 103 was also completed and emails regarding board’s customized policy updates were delivered to PRESS Plus subscribers. The Association even hired a new policy consultant and began the process of onboarding for the first time in a virtual setting. Planning for the November Joint Annual Conference also continues. District proposals for Share the Success panel presentations were selected in April. The IASB website continues to be updated as the Association responds to new COVID-19 updates and health and safety measures to educate nearly 2 million public school students. At the time of publication, the Association is monitoring the Coronavirus health emergency and is giving due consideration to our members' safety and the impact on future events. We will continue to evaluate our in-person programming using information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, local and national government resources, and other trusted agencies providing information on the virus and related risks or travel guidelines. As we continue our work at IASB to help you be informed leaders of your community, we want all of our members and friends to be healthy and safe. We appreciate your patience as we work through the challenges to continue to serve your needs.  Kara Kienzler is IASB Associate Executive Director for Communications and Production Services. Resources associated with this column are available at bit.ly/MJ20JRes.

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ABE LINCOLN Bill Alexander

NORTHWEST Chris Buikema

BLACKHAWK David Rockwell

SHAWNEE Sheila Nelson

CENTRAL ILLINOIS VALLEY Tim Custis

SOUTH COOK Lanell Gilbert

CORN BELT Mark Harms DUPAGE Thomas Ruggio EGYPTIAN Travis Cameron ILLINI Michelle Skinlo KASKASKIA Linda Eades KISHWAUKEE Robert Geddeis LAKE Marc Tepper NORTH COOK Alva Kreutzer

SOUTHWESTERN Mark Christ STARVED ROCK Jim McCabe THREE RIVERS Rob Rodewald TWO RIVERS Tracie Sayre WABASH VALLEY Dennis Inboden WEST COOK Carla Joiner-Herrod WESTERN Sue McCance SERVICE ASSOCIATES Mark Jolicoeur

The vision of the Illinois Association of School Boards is excellence in local school board governance supporting quality public education. The mission of the Illinois Association of School Boards is to Light the Way for its members by developing their competence and confidence through a robust toolkit designed to build excellence in local school board governance, including • Premier training experiences; • Networking opportunities for mutual support; • Valuable benefits, pooled services, information, and expertise; • Advocacy on behalf of public education; and • A platform for a strong collective voice on common interests and concerns.


From the Field

Detecting Ends By Laura Martinez

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One of the first and foremost responsibilities of school boards is to clarify the district purpose. That means articulating — and redefining, when necessary — the district ends. Ends are four things. Ends are, first, the core values and beliefs that the district holds about public education, students, learning, teachers, and the relationship between the district and the community. Second, ends are the mission of the district: Why does the district exist? What does it do, or more specifically, what benefits does it provide, to whom, and for how much money? Ends are also, third, the district’s vision: Where is the district headed? What would the best version of the district look like? Where do we want to be in five years, or 10? Fourth and finally, ends are goals: What outcomes will bring the district closer to its vision? What results are we looking for? What do we want, based on the first three things? In other words, based on what we believe and value about education and learning and teachers and the community, and based on why we exist, and based on where we want to go — these goals are what we want. But is it really up to just the board to say this is what we want? Well, no, not exactly. The board is the entity which has the role to say “This is what we want,” but it is also the board’s role to be in touch with what the community — students, teachers, staff, administrators, parents, residents, taxpayers, and non-taxpayers — wants for the district. What’s important to them? What are their values and beliefs about education? What benefits do they want their schools to offer? Is an agriculture program important? Is 21st-century learning

important? Are caring and compassionate students important? By virtue of living in the community, board members do have some idea of what the community wants. But the board needs to go on more than a hunch. Board members need to hear from the superintendent, who knows way more about what’s going on in the buildings. They need to hear from parents. They need to hear from citizens. They need to know that when they are articulating the district ends, and making decisions based on those ends, that they are acknowledging and honoring the whole community’s desires and aspirations for the schools. In order to detect ends, boards need to seek out the opinions and thoughts of their community members, actively and aggressively reach out to them and

To detect ends, boards need to seek out the opinions and thoughts of their community members, actively and aggressively reach out ... and engage in a two-way conversation. listen to them, and engage in a two-way conversation with them. Is this easy? No. But it’s absolutely vital to the trustee role that the board has. It sits in trust for the community. It makes decisions on behalf of the community. One of its obligations is to find out what the community wants for its schools. So how does a board go about this work? How does a board actively seek out the community in order to listen to the community’s aspirations and desires? May/June 2020  7


Well, there are couple ways that are easy: Going to the grocery store and attending board meetings. Board members live in the community they represent, and when they are out and about, doing things like grocery shopping, people will talk to them about their concerns. And during board meetings, there is public comment, and that’s a way to hear concerns too. But — those are not truly two-way conversations. The challenge, the hard but necessary way to do it, is for a board to aggressively seek out the voices of its community and really listen to them. And then, based on what the board has heard and understood, use that information to inform the deliberations and decision-making at the board table. This work is board work — not individual board members acting as opinion takers. It starts with the board and the results are reported to the board. The implementation can take various forms: surveys, town halls, or strategic planning over multiple sessions, for example. Ends work never ends. While generally core values and beliefs about education don’t change over time, students do. As do parents, teachers, technology, finances, and aspirations. The board must continuously connect with its community in order to detect the ends it articulates.  Laura Martinez is Field Services Director with the Illinois Association of School Boards for the Kishwaukee, Northwest, and Lake divisions.

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Illinois Association of School Boards Administration and Staff OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Thomas E. Bertrand, Executive Director Benjamin S. Schwarm, Deputy Executive Director

MEMBER SERVICES Dean Langdon, Associate Executive Director

Meetings Management Carla S. Bolt, Director

Field Services Reatha Owen, Senior Director Patrick Allen, Director Lori Grant, Director Nakia Hall, Director Perry Hill IV, Director Sandra Kwasa, Director Laura Martinez, Director Dee Molinare, Director

Executive Searches Thomas Leahy, Director Timothy Buss, Consultant Jim Helton, Consultant Dave Love, Consultant Alan Molby, Consultant Valorie Moore, Consultant Patricia Sullivan-Viniard, Consultant OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL Kimberly Small, General Counsel Legal Services Maryam Brotine, Assistant General Counsel Debra Jacobson, Assistant General Counsel Policy Services Ken Carter, Director Angie Powell, Director Nicholas Baumann, Consultant Boyd Fergurson, Consultant ADVOCACY/ GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS Benjamin S. Schwarm, Deputy Executive Director Susan Hilton, Director Zach Messersmith, Director Deanna L. Sullivan, Director Ronald Madlock, Assistant Director ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES Jennifer Feld, Associate Executive Director/ Chief Financial Officer

Board Development Nesa Brauer, Trainer

COMMUNICATIONS/ PRODUCTION SERVICES Kara Kienzler, Associate Executive Director Theresa Kelly Gegen, Director/Editorial Services Heath Hendren, Director/Editorial Services Jennifer Nelson, Director/Information Services Isaac Warren, Assistant Director/Digital Communications Katie Grant, Assistant Director/Production Services CONTACT IASB Springfield Office 2921 Baker Drive Springfield, Illinois 62703-5929 (217) 528-9688 IASB Lombard Office One Imperial Place 1 East 22nd Street, Suite 20 Lombard, Illinois 60148-6120 (630) 629-3776

Staff Email: First initial and last name preceding @iasb.com


May/June 2020  9


Feature Story

Together, Apart Districts Share Stories of Response and Support Collected by Theresa Kelly Gegen

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With school buildings closed but learning continuing, Illinois school districts are rising to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic — a worldwide emergency with enormous local implications. As of this writing, we don’t know when Illinois public school students will be back in their classrooms. Here are some vignettes from school districts, a few of the millions of ways education leaders in Illinois — together apart — are supporting each other and their communities through these challenging times.

Bunker Hill CUSD 8 Maintenance Director Doug Dey boosts the signal at the district office.

10  Illinois School Board Journal

Remote Learning

First things first, schools are there to teach their students. In the building closures of the pandemic, that means remote learning. School districts have a range of capacity and infrastructure in place for e-learning, and have been tasked in this emergency with developing remote learning plans to meet the needs of their students. The state’s remote learning guidelines, to fulfill attendance and calendar requirements during the coronavirus pandemic, were announced by the Illinois State Board of Education on March 27. Here are some of the ways districts are rising to the challenge of school buildings being closed, but schools themselves being open. Bunker Hill CUSD 8 is among the school districts in Illinois that improved hotspots to be used by students outside of school buildings. A “Homework Hotspot” at the district office got an upgrade with help from Staunton-based Madison Communications. Students were directed where to park and to “practice social distancing” when using it. Odell CCSD 435 partnered with Pontiac THSD 90 to provide an exterior internet access site at its building. Odell Superintendent Mark Hettmansberger wrote,

“We are a small K-8 district and the overwhelming majority of our students go to high school at PTHS, about 12 miles away, The two districts were trying to figure out a way to provide internet access to the high school students who live in Odell but go to high school in Pontiac, as well as to provide internet access for our own Odell students. I looked into acquiring hotspots but the turnaround on those was going to be a month or so because of the demand (other schools apparently beat me to that idea). So in collaboration with PTHS, we installed an exterior internet access point on our building, so that PTHS students or OGS students can access the districts’ internet from our parking lot. We even received some picnic tables from a local business to put in the parking lot so that students could work outside and enjoy the weather on a nice day.” In other districts, if students don’t have Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi comes to the students. Among the earliest news of a district meeting students’ tech needs was from Belleville THSD 201, which deployed four school buses equipped with Wi-Fi


As spring break came to an end, learning packets were delivered to doorsteps in Winfield SD 34.

to locations throughout its school district. The buses are stationed for several hours each midday at local parks and public spaces. Some Illinois school sites became computer distribution centers. Minooka CHSD 111 transformed a pilot program in its early stages into a full roll-out of one-toone Chromebooks. Chicago Public Schools was aiming to deliver at least 100,000 devices for students to use at home as the district implemented a remote learning plan for 230,000 students. Other districts augmented e-learning capabilities, or replaced them entirely if circumstances

warranted, by developing learnfrom-home packets. “Like a whisper in the wind,” said Winfield CUSD 34 Superintendent Matt Rich in an April 3 Tweet, “the … instructional materials fairy was delivering learning materials for Spring Breakers doing Google Hangouts from their pillows. Great excitement could be felt for learning resumes next week.” Downstate districts, many working with a lack of internet access, are doing even more with packets — many with added value. Some McLean Co CUSD 5 elementary students received assignments along with school supplies, food, books, and personal items. In Campbell Hill, Trico CUSD 176 Superintendent Larry Lovel Tweeted, “Trico Strong school supply reinforcement bags with census reminders set to go out with food delivery next week. Mad props to our staff for addressing all facets of student and family needs!” Meals on Wheels

Trico's packets included U.S. Census information and school supplies.

Among the first concerns for school districts was how to feed children eligible for free and reduced meal programs. Some districts were already feeding every student, others chose to make meals available to all during the building closures. As the situation changes, so do the “meal

plans” as districts team up with local restaurants, farms, and food pantries. Staff at Argo THSD 217 worked to provide “Grab & Go” meals for its students and those in the local elementary districts. Danville CUSD 118 opened a partnership with Vermilion County’s McDonald’s to safely distribute food to area schoolchildren. Belleville THSD 201’s other buses drove bus routes to deliver food, as did nearby Triad CUSD 2 in Troy and, a little to the north, Jerseyville CUSD 100. Calumet Public SD 132 board member Synathia Harris wrote, “When I first heard that the schools were possibly closing due to this pandemic, I reached out to my superintendent immediately days before closing. I had great concerns as to what plans did we have to prepare our district babies? When the staff met, one of the concerns was how we were going to feed our students. Our families depend on bus service, and we needed to discuss safety — there are danger zones in the routes to pick up their meals. Our district came back to me and stated that they were going to use the school buses to make stops as they would do on a regular school day.” May/June 2020  11


All in this together: Creative Spirit Weeks are adding an engaging twist to remote learning activities.

The New Berlin parade was one of many across the state.

Together apart

Once meal and learning plans were secured, school districts turned to keeping students’ attention. Dozens of Illinois school districts offered stay-at-home versions of special days and spirit weeks to their students. Collinsville students and staff wear purple on Fridays, and at-home Fridays are no exception. Sherrard CUSD 200’s spirit week included reading, outside, game, creative, and celebrate days. Martinsville CUSD 3C elementary students followed a spirit week with “Connection Challenges,” such as Royal Readers, Cool Creations, Costume Contest, and Show and Share. Spirit weeks were on the new calendars for Crystal Lake SD 47, and Stark County CUSD 100. Parades — social distance safe parades, to be sure — popped up all over the state. Cerro Gordo CUSD 100 lifted its students’ spirits with a parade of emergency vehicles and teachers waving to 12  Illinois School Board Journal

students, and similar events took place in Egyptian CUSD 5 in Tamms, Harmony Emge SD 175 in Belleville, Lockport SD 91, New Berlin CUSD 16, Oregon CUSD 220, Windsor CUSD 1, and more. Many classrooms, including fine arts, and school leadership groups are meeting via Google Classroom or Zoom video-teleconferencing platforms, exchanging work over servers, and gathering on social media. In Springfield SD 186, Pre-K teacher Dee Dee Duffy uses Facebook Live to connect to her pre-K students, including the progress of the classroom chicks that she brought home to hatch. Low-tech communication is evident as well. Sidewalk chalk has made a comeback all over the state including at Streator THSD 40, where Superintendent Matt Seaton Tweeted, “So proud of our students, staff, and community for the ways in which each have stepped up during this time!” with

chalk art saying “We will be OK” and “When it rains, look for the rainbows.” Ridgewood CHSD 234 in Norridge is not only keeping students in the loop, students are the loop. Superintendent Jennifer Kelsall wrote, “We have student representatives from each grade level, led by a senior student, who help push out school communication through additional social media. These student communication ambassadors helping spread essential information.” In the community

The global coronavirus emergency has brought unprecedented challenges to local medical communities, and schools, districts, leaders, and students are finding ways to help resource and create personal protective equipment (PPEs). Mary Kay Prusnick, a school board member for Schaumburg CCSD 54, made and donated cloth masks, so higher-level


equipment could be donated to hospitals. Her tweet read “Design. Iterate. Consult sisters. Tweak. Iterate. Redesign. Break two needles. Call mom. Reiterate. Run out of elastic. None on earth. Reiterate. Keep going. Tonight’s project. Also I might have an inclination toward owl fabric.” Arlington Heights SD 25 collected cases of PPEs from the school nurses in the district and donated them to local hospitals. Collections also took place at Decatur SD 61, Libertyville THSD, the Illinois Math and Science Academy, Freeburg SD 70, Evergreen Park SD 124, and many more, including cases upon cases from Elgin-based School District U-46. Some schools and students took PPE a step further, deploying 3D printers to create masks for health care workers and first responders. A Frankfort CUSD 168 student, Adin Woods, has printed and delivered hundreds of PPE-comfort devices to local hospitals. Among the districts in the 3D printing arena are THSD 214 (see page 32) teaming up with Harper Community College in Arlington Heights, CPS’s Frederick

Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center High School, and Ridgewood CHSD 234. Wrote Ridgewood Superintendent Kelsall, “We have a student, Adam Kloptowski, who initially reached out to see if he could access our 3D printers to print masks from home. He collaborated with teachers Derek Cappaert, Andrew Hebert, and Eric Lasky as well as elementary science teacher, Cathy Lenzini from Union Ridge School District 86. They have since shifted production to face shields. They also reached out to other schools in the area to do the same thing.” These are a few of the millions of stories of school districts, leadership teams, teachers, staff, and students finding rising to the challenge together, apart. Find more on social media using the hashtags #allinillinois and #ilschoolsstepup and in IASB’s online Leading News feature, a daily look at the education headlines.  Theresa Kelly Gegen is Editor of the Illinois School Board Journal.

Mary Kay Prusnick, a school board member for Schaumburg CCSD 54, created cloth masks.

Chalk talks dropped wisdom all over Illinois.

May/June 2020  13


Feature Story

Sunshine Laws and Social Distancing By Theresa Kelly Gegen

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When Illinois’ stay-at-home directives were published in mid-March, they included an overabundance of concerns and challenges for Illinois school boards, one of which was how to run a meeting. Unity Point SD 140 in Carbondale was among the first to explore the collision of social distancing and the state’s Open Meetings Act. An early March collaboration began with Superintendent Lori James-Gross, Technology Director Chris Rogers, and Board President D.W. Presley, who contacted IASB Field Services Director Perry Hill for guidance. “I had originally reached out to Mr. Hill to see if the IASB had issued any guidance,” Presley said. “As well as contacting a friend of mine who is a local mayor to ask him if the Illinois Municipal League had issued any guidance yet. At that early time, there had not been any issued by either organization. We had our regularly scheduled board meeting set for March 19. At that time, any meetings of over 50 people were prohibited, and this was soon lowered to 10. This was all evolving very quickly due to the timing of everything.” Presley and the leadership team reviewed three documents that became available after IASB and other organizations pressed the Governor’s Office for guidance:

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• Governor’s Executive Order 2020-07 regarding the Open Meetings Act (March 16) • The Illinois Attorney General’s Guidance to Public Bodies on the Open Meetings Act and the Freedom of Information Act during the COVID-19 Pandemic (March 17) • A March 16 article in The Southern Illinoisan which quoted Don Craven from the Illinois Press Association. “We decided to limit our in-person board meeting to board members, superintendent, and our technology director,” Presley recalled. “One consideration in the back of my mind at that time was that if an abundance of people showed up to our meeting, for whatever reason, we would be forced to cancel the meeting by law and would not be able to conduct our necessary business in a timely manner.” Unity Point eliminated all non-essential business items from the agenda. The district released a statement on its website and social media pages, and notified the news agencies with requests on file per 5 ILCS 120/2.02. The district also posted the notice on the exterior doors of its building, at the main entrance and where people would normally enter for a board meeting.

The notice began “The Unity Point Board of Education will be conducting our upcoming regular Board Meeting in a different format than normal due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In order to be good stewards in the community to minimize group gatherings and in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order #7, Section 6, the public participation for our meeting will not be in person but instead will be available both online and via phone in order for the public to have a means to both observe and comment during our meeting. Also, as this continues to be a very fluid situation, our Board Members may also be virtually present as opposed to physically present during the meeting.” “We included in the notice and allowed public participation by e-mail ahead of time as well as via the internet and telephone,” Presley said. “We felt that phone access was important as not everyone has internet access, especially in rural areas such as ours. This was the highest level of transparency we felt we could offer. We did receive one public comment via email that I read aloud during the meeting, and had a community member make a public comment ‘live’ during the meeting remotely.” Unity Point Superintendent James-Gross contacted the


teachers' union, the Unity Point Education Association (UPEA), to make its members aware of the intricacies of the meeting plans. The Unity Point school board has a standing agenda item for the UPEA to speak at every board meeting. Presley also touched base with each board member the day before to ensure that they would be able to access the meeting online or via phone “in case we weren’t able to meet in person at all by the meeting time, since the situation was so fluid.” Six board members were present in person at the March 19 meeting; one board member joined the meeting remotely. James-Gross and Rogers were also present in person; other members of the district’s administrative team attended

remotely. The board did move to executive session, muting the audio to the public and then using the telephone to allow the not-presentin-person board member to attend. The district’s back-up plan was to use the “waiting room” feature of the Zoom teleconference platform, or create a second Zoom meeting for the executive session, if multiple board members were remotely attending.

“After the meeting, I talked to the virtually connected member and he said that he was able to hear most everything okay, but people who were sitting further away from the laptop were muffled at times,” Presley said. “Our biggest lesson learned was that we need to buy an external omnidirectional microphone that can sit in the center of all of us. Someone has to be working the laptop itself so they can mute/ unmute people during the meeting, and it was hard to spin the computer around to get better audio when each person was speaking. “The meeting did accomplish what we needed to get done as desired,” Presley said.  Theresa Kelly Gegen is Editor of the Illinois School Board Journal.

May/June 2020  15


Executive Searches: Still Looking Ahead The work of matching school districts with the best candidates for open or pending superintendent positions continues during coronavirus pandemic. IASB Executive Searches Director Tom Leahy and his team of consultants are learning as they go, accustomed to providing in-person search meetings to school boards, which then conduct on-site interviews with candidates “Districts are looking ahead and moving forward,” Leahy said. “Not only does the work continue to progress, but we are learning new means to get the work done. The technology is unbelievable.” Board of education meetings are taking place under the suspension of the in-person meeting requirements of the Open Meetings Act. In these cases, as in normal circumstances, the board’s agenda includes the move to closed session to discuss personnel matters. “We are doing some virtual meetings, with this conferencing technology,” Leahy said. “I had a meeting with a board to determine its direction in its search. They could see and hear me, and I could hear all of them and see most of them. It was an actual board meeting, but most of the board members were not there in person.” Districts with searches underway are balancing where they are in their timetables with social distancing requirements, preferences for in-person interviews, the timing of other issues related to the emergency, and the advice of their legal counsel. One district that IASB has presented to is moving forward with its search after establishing a set of norms. The emergency measures were in place, and school buildings closed to students, by the time the interviews were conducted. The district established a clear and safe location, and it has interviewed candidates with distancing, sanitizing, and protocols set up with the help of legal counsel. “This district developed a set of norms for interviewing candidates through the course of the pandemic,” Leahy said. “We assisted with that via distributing those norms to the candidates, with the options for their interviews.” In normal times, IASB Executive Searches consultants meet with their districts in-person multiple times,

16  Illinois School Board Journal

including initial meetings and presenting candidate information. “One of the unusual occurrences that’s happened here is a search with a district and I haven’t even been to the district to see them personally,” Leahy said. “We worked with them years ago, and they felt comfortable enough to proceed. So we’ve sent all of the documents to the district that we normally hand-deliver.” The candidate information was sent electronically, and the board president made copies to distribute for the board to have that information during interviews, which took place in March. “They are doing this with a set of protocols similar to the other, with some changes and the blessing of their own legal counsel,” Leahy said. In another district, IASB was able to present candidates before the stay-in-place orders, and the first round of interviews had been conducted. The district has since narrowed its list down and is working with IASB to determine the next steps. But some searches have been put on hold. Districts far enough along to have interviews scheduled have decided to put their efforts on hold and not move forward at this time. ”Every district is making the best decisions it can under its circumstances and with the advice of its legal counsel,” Leahy said. “Since this coronavirus situation heated up, they have stopped some interviews. We let candidates know this process is delayed, and please stick with us. But I do worry for some districts that they may lose individuals.” As they work through their searches, Leahy, Executive Searches Administrative Assistant Mary Torgler, and Consultants Dave Love, Alan Molby, Jim Helton, Tim Buss, Valorie Moore, and Patricia Sullivan-Viniard manage the learning curve. “We continue to communicate about how it’s working,” Leahy said. “It’s caused us to stretch the possibilities, and we are all learning from each other.” Theresa Kelly Gegen is Editor of the Illinois School Board Journal.


May/June 2020  17


Feature Story

Getting it Right for Every Student By Ken Wallace

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Maine Township High School District 207 serves 6,400 students in nine communities wrapping around the northeast side of O’Hare International Airport. The district has three comprehensive high schools, Maine East, Maine South, and Maine West, two of which have become majority minority since the turn of the 21st century. About 10 years ago, as we began looking deeper into longterm economic trends, we realized that we needed much more precision in our career and post-secondary advisory programs. Based upon this new way of thinking, we have set out to “Get it Right” for students by focusing on realtime information and projected jobs data to provide the highest level of Return on Investment (ROI) Career Advisement possible. We created a video to show what it looks like when that happens for a student, in this case Maine West graduate Konrad Ryk of the Class of 2019. He went right to work as an Industry Consortium for Advanced Technical Training (ICATT) apprentice this year, getting paid to work while also having his education paid for by his employer.

18  Illinois School Board Journal

From the end of World War II until about 1980, in the United States as productivity rose, wages also rose in near-perfect correlation. In the late 1970s, a different trend emerged: productivity continued to spike upward, yet wages remained relatively flat. This trend continues today. Beginning with the G.I. Bill after World War II, enrollment in colleges and universities steadily increased until only recently. In general, the thinking, supported by some evidence, was that the path to

better income outcomes in lifetime earnings correlated to holding a college degree. While still true, that story doesn’t begin to tell the full picture. Years ago when the cost of college was relatively inexpensive and more state and federal aid existed to help students in need afford college, these trends might not have mattered much. But the cost of college has risen at rates that far exceed household standard of living increases in the U.S. in the

Figure 1

Underemployment Rates for College Graduates Recent graduates

60

College graduates

50 40 30 20 10

1990

1995

2000

2005

2010

2015

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey (IPUMS); U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET.


past three decades. At the same time state and federal aid has diminished. Today, current and former U.S. college students hold over $1.5 trillion in college debt, a significant drag on the economy. According to the Economic Policy Institute’s analysis of data from Kopczuk, Saez, and Song (2010) and Social Security Administration wage statistics, wages for the top 1% of earners in the U.S. have risen 138% since 1979, while wages for the bottom 90% rose just 15%. Meanwhile, college costs have risen more than 160% since 1988, according to the College Board. Underemployment of College Graduates

Long-term trends show that a significant percentage of college graduates have always been underemployed, meaning they work in jobs

that do not require a college degree or they came out of college with debt that was hard to justify by starting salaries in many professions. Recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Census Bureau peg this underemployment at around roughly 45% for recent college graduates and between 30% to 35% for all college graduates over time since 1990. (Figure 1, previous page) Serving All Students

Upon my arrival to District 207 in 2005 as the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, we were a very traditional high school district, thinking solely about college preparation without paying attention to the actual work economy.

At that time we had two jobs: help students graduate from high school and get them enrolled into college. The deeper I looked, the more I realized that this approach was not serving all of our students or our business sector well. Every person in the United States born after 1980 belongs to the first generation of Americans not predicted to earn more than their parents, according to the Pew Research Center. The evidence was telling us for decades that we needed to be more precise in our work with students. We just weren’t paying attention. In 2013, we set out to reinvent everything about how we advise students for careers and post-secondary education. The data that really convinced me that we had to reinvent ourselves was when we looked in

May/June 2020  19


our backyard and found that the majority of good jobs (high demand and high wage) in Maine Township existed in the space beyond a high school degree but before a four-year college degree. That data also tracked with the rest of the nation then and still does today. (Figure 2)

Figure 2

Top 100 High Growth, High-Demand Jobs in Maine Township HS D207

What if we tried to do that for EVERY single student?

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) courses have been taught since 1997 in American high schools and more recently in middle schools. We considered their research, which shows that students in PLTW courses are more likely to major in a STEM-related field, and to enter and stay in careers in science and engineering. Because PLTW is a project-based curriculum, the theory is that students get to “try on” what the work really looks like while in high school. That try-on time provokes responses, including if a student doesn’t like a particular field. How many PLTW students don’t major in engineering because of the experience in the course? While we strive to help each student find their passion, leading to a career in a field of great interest and passion that pays a livable wage, we realize and think there is great value in helping students figure out what they do not want to do along the way. Too many of those students enroll in post-secondary education pathways only to find out later, perhaps once they have begun real work in a field, that it isn’t a good fit. I asked the question of our team, “What if we tried to replicate the PLTW design for every possible career in which our students had interests?” And we set out to do just that. We consider it a longitudinal research study that will take some time to arrive at answers to our essential question: How many iterative and authentic career experiences would we have to provide for each student to get to a 90% match rate where students know both what they want to do for a career and how they will get there? In my opinion, there is not a more important question to be answered in American schools than this one. Here is an overview of our program. Career Plan Approach

Each student has an individual career plan that is part of our four-year checklist of career advisement and 20  Illinois School Board Journal

Associate's / Certificate 45.0%

HS Diploma 18.0%

Four-year degree+ 37.0%

Source: US | IL Bureau of Labor Statistics, IDES & JobsEQ data (December 2019)

experiences that are all considered Tier 1 (every student gets it) strategies. We expose students to a variety of in-class and off-campus career exploration opportunities, both through interactions with staff and business partners, but also with a variety of next-generation career software applications that have real-time job data to help students and families make better decisions. Our design thinking (Figure 3, next page) is based on helping students find their “Why” (passions, interests, dreams, strengths, big problems to solve) first before working on the “Where” that happens. We believe, and are developing ways to study our work longitudinally, that if students can first find a match in a career field of high interest (we steer toward those with a livable wage) that they will persist on whatever education path, from certification to apprenticeship to college degrees. Business Partners

When we began this work we had 74 business partners. Today we have over 600. Once a student has identified a career interest we work to provide an authentic career experience in that field, with our gold standard being an internship or apprenticeship. We have worked to be flexible in providing these experiences to make them work for our students and business partners. We want to provoke responses


from students, including that a particular career is not for him or her. How many students go away to college to find their path or get directed along a path by others? We want students to find their own path. While we don’t know all of the answers to our research questions yet, each year we get a little better at understanding how to serve our students in what has become a true team effort in District 207. Our teachers have been phenomenal, rising to our call that each of them include at least one meaningful career learning lesson in their class each year. Each month we get more and more great examples of what teachers are doing as more of our staff see themselves as not only educators but also life coaches for students. It’s been one of the most remarkable parts of the journey. None of our work would be possible without our local business partners. There were many people when we began this journey in 2013 who were skeptical that business owners would even want to bother with high school students, but nothing could be further from the truth. Our students have not only been well received by our partners, but they’ve also added value to those businesses in many ways, helping create original content, build websites, learn skills, and become trusted and valued employees in many cases. Do not underestimate your students or your business partners. This partnership between high schools and local business has the potential for so much more, including community revitalization. We have added partnerships with a variety

of professional trade groups as well to help develop career paths for each student. One district that we have worked with in Southern Illinois discovered a high-tech manufacturing firm in town that few people knew existed. Get to know your neighbors. You may be surprised who is out there that can benefit your students and who your students can benefit.

Figure 3

Return on Investment (ROI)

Once a student and family are confident in the career match, we have analytic tools that help provide Return on Investment career and post-secondary counseling. One of our tools, JobsEQ, allows us to search by zip code to find mean starting salaries in any career. Using that information we are working with families to design a responsible education path for each student that seeks to get students to a career of high interest in as short an amount of time as possible in a cost-responsible way. The concept of Return on Investment is important for every district leader to understand. Some parents were skeptical when we began this work, clinging to the conventional thinking that only through a college degree would their children find success. As soon as we began using the ROI term, light bulbs went on for people. Just recently, we’ve begun to hear other districts begin to use the ROI career advisement term, something we encourage anyone to do who wishes to make this pivot. One of the essential pieces of our work is the Individual Career Plan, which our counselors help organize and manage with each student on their caseload. You can

see samples of the Individual Career Plan at the link below. We will take advantage of whatever time we have with the students, be it remote learning or learning that takes place in our schools, to increase the depth of conversations between students, career coordinators, counselors, employers, or other staff to help students continue to consider their futures in as informed a way as possible. Our job is to help “Get It Right” for every student, no matter the circumstance.  Ken Wallace, Ph.D., has been the superintendent at Maine THSD 207 for 11 years. The district has twice been named one of America’s most innovative, was Google’s first K-12 partner, and is perhaps the only school district in America in which every teacher every year has an instructional coaching plan. Resources for this article, including the student video and more information about the Career Advisement Program, can be accessed at the Journal’s resources page, bit.ly/MJ20JRes, or reach out to Dr. Wallace directly at kwallace@maine207.org.

May/June 2020  21


Feature Story

Career and College Advisement Goes Virtual in 2020 By Ken Wallace

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In late Winter 2020, once we knew that our schools were being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, our career team began meeting to pivot to virtualized experiences to serve District 207 students and families during this unprecedented time. This work was driven by two key

thoughts. First, we want to do everything within our power to make sure that our seniors had their career plans finished to the extent possible to help them successfully transition to the next chapter of their lives, whether it be work, training for work, military, apprenticeships, or college. Second,

this virtual environment presented a great opportunity for us to engage our underclassmen in deeper work than we might have otherwise been able to do. Our Career Pathways team, led by Career Coordinator Laura Cook, worked with our Career and College Specialists to design a regular series of virtual opportunities, some of which are our regular offerings, some of which include virtualized experiences. These are modeled in a calendar of events our student can access. For example (see graphic), a late-March Friday Career Conversation invitation offered three sessions and read “East, South and West ... Apprenticeships & COVID-19. I will give a short update on the current standings for apprenticeship programs and answer your questions!” The list of Virtual Workshops for that week included Building Your Resume, Navigating Online Job Fair, Career Conversations, Completing Job Applications, Virtual Mock Interviews, and the Understanding YouScience Results Workshop. Having established strong routines and practices has allowed us to quickly pivot in this space to do our very best to continue serving our stu dents in the pursuit of their futures.  Ken Wallace, Ph.D., is Superintendent at Maine THSD 207. See page 18 for more on the district's "Getting it Right" career programs.

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Feature Story

Apprenticeship Linking School to 21st-Century Skills By Jinghong Cai

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“We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist … using technologies that haven’t yet been invented … in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.” This statement was made by former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley in the 1990s. The decades since have brought a swift change in the job market that calls for new competencies. But employers express increasing frustration about a mismatch between the skills they want and the skills the labor market offers. A skills gap challenges educators and policymakers alike. To help meet the economic and educational needs for the modern

workplace, Congress reauthorized the Perkins Act in 2018. The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, implemented in 2019, emphasizes an important mission of education in the 21st century, helping students to acquire “academic knowledge and technical and employability skills.” Both college and career readiness play an essential role in every student’s K-12 education. Students are clearly getting the college message; about two-thirds of recent high school graduates enroll in two- and four-year colleges and universities. However, issues such as low college completion rates, high student loans for college,

and the high unemployment rate among young adults have driven us to ask whether we have also done enough to inform students about options in the world of work and help them get ready for the increasingly challenging and competitive job market. According to TV host and self-described cheerleader for trade workers, Mike Rowe, “Not all knowledge comes from college, but not all skills come from degrees.” This popular piece of wisdom indeed rings true both when describing jobs available to students after high school as well as those graduates seek after college. How to better prepare May/June 2020  23


our youth for the new workplace has recently taken on greater urgency among educators and policymakers. Across the country, high schools are providing different programs — such as career pathways and certifications — to acquaint teenagers with workplace demands. Yet we seem to be short on a potentially effective strategy — apprenticeships — and how students may benefit from such programs. The report “A New Look at Apprenticeship: Linking School to 21st Century Skills” is excerpted here. The full report, with supporting data, charts, and analyses, can be accessed at the link below. What does the 21st-century apprenticeship look like in the United States?

The concept of apprenticeship remains a practical and effective method of teaching a trade to young people, but technology in the 21st century has changed what apprentices learn and do during the apprenticeship program. The full report features data focusing on apprenticeship-related policies, national trend of apprenticeships, youth apprenticeship, a federal funding system that supports apprenticeships in K-12 education, and apprenticeship information management at federal and state levels. A brief review of apprenticeship-related policies notes that: • Historically, the boom or decline of apprenticeship programs has been related to industry needs and economic change. 24  Illinois School Board Journal

• The current national goal for expanding apprenticeship programs is not only to prepare workers to fill existing and newly created jobs but also to prepare workers for the jobs of the future. • Both previous and current administrations have stressed the need to expand access, equity, and career awareness when promoting, funding, and regulating apprenticeship programs. National trends in apprenticeships include that non-military apprenticeship programs experienced a decline from 2008 to 2012, but from 2013 to 2017, there was a large growth in the total number of active apprentices, namely individuals participating in the non-military apprenticeship programs and obtaining the skills necessary to succeed while earning the wages they need to build financial security. U.S. Military apprenticeship programs (USMAP) had been growing from 2008 to 2016 in both the total number of active apprentices and new apprentices (individuals entering the apprenticeship system). From 2008 to 2017, there was an increase in numbers of completers (participants who graduated from the apprenticeship system). However, among the individuals who participated in military apprenticeship programs, the number of completers increased four-fold, from 2,820 in 2008 to 12,063 in 2017. From 2009 to 2014, the total number of the existing national registered apprenticeship

programs (including the U.S. Military apprenticeship programs) decreased. From 2015 to 2017, this number increased slightly. According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, the number of new apprenticeship programs in 2017 increased 1.6 times, compared with 2008. Construction, military, public administration, manufacturing, and transportation are the top five industries that had active apprentices in FY2017. Electrician, carpenter, heavy truck driver, plumber, and construction craft laborer are the top five occupations that had active apprentices in FY2017. Plumbers, electrical power-line installers, and construction laborers are occupations projected to grow faster in employment rate than the national average through 2026. The median annual wage of electrical power-line installers, electricians, and plumbers was above $50k in 2016. What does PIAAC say about apprenticeship?

The Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is a cyclical, large-scale study that was developed under the auspices of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In 2012 and 2014, the U.S. Department of Education surveyed 8,660 individuals ages 16-74 in the United States. In the background questionnaire, individuals were asked, “During the past 12 months, were you in a formal apprenticeship program leading to journeyman status in


a skilled trade or craft?” According to PIAAC, “A journeyman is a person who has fully served an apprenticeship in a trade or craft and is a qualified worker in that trade or craft.” The results of the PIACC study include demographics; data on literacy, numeracy, problem-solving in technology-rich environments; and so-called “soft skills,” such as communication, collaboration, and general problem-solving. The findings determined that skills matter, but in terms of narrowing the skills gap, the continuous building of skills may matter more. Compared with their peers who have the same level of literacy/numeracy, individuals with apprenticeships are more likely to

spend more time at work reading books, manuals, and diagrams and using advanced math. This finding suggests that the apprenticeship model — career-building and life-long learning through the attainment of stackable credentials — seems to be effective. For school leaders, partnerships with local businesses may be a winwin strategy. Making school more relevant to the job market can help educators to identify literacy and numeracy skills that are most needed at the workplace and modify classroom instruction accordingly. By narrowing the skills gap, the school system would not only help broaden the scope of career choices of students, but it would also establish a continuous pipeline of highskilled workers to the job market.

Proven to work; why don’t we use them more?

Many factors, including misperceptions about apprenticeships, may affect the choices high school students make for their postsecondary education and present challenges to expanding apprenticeship programs. Benefits of apprenticeship programs include lower unemployment among youth, developing high-skilled workers who meet industry needs, and meaningful and lifelong learning. In analyzing the policies directed at apprenticeships in the United States, Canada, Finland, Germany, Australia, and Japan, global challenges to expanding apprenticeship programs include low participation rates, low

May/June 2020  25


completion rates, and inadequate information for both employers and students. Another factor is parental expectations. A survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Education in 2017 found that most parents (83%) expect their children to go to college. The percentage of those parents who expect their children to earn graduate or professional degrees is much higher among minority parents — Black (43%), Hispanic (45%), and Asian (56%) — than among White parents (33%). By contrast, only 8% of parents expect their children to attend vocational or technical school after high school. The percentage of parents who expect their children to go to vocational education after high school is higher • Among parents of male students (10%) than among parents of female students (5%); • Among parents with vocational education backgrounds (11%) than among parents with bachelor’s degrees (5%) or parents with a graduate/ professional school educational level (2%); • Among parents from rural areas (13%) than among parents from cities or suburbs (6%). Every student has an unalienable right to pursue higher education, and all parents have perfect reasons to expect their children to go to college, including the potential for higher lifetime earnings. However, even after completing formal academic education, it is essential for workers to keep acquiring updated, job-related practical skills, as noted by 26  Illinois School Board Journal

P.H. Cappelli in “Skill Gaps, Skill Shortages, and Skill Mismatches: Evidence and Arguments for the United States” from 2015. The analysis demonstrates that apprenticeships help individuals to develop employability skills. The report suggests that parents and students be well informed of quality apprenticeship programs as an alternative career path. What should school districts consider?

For school districts, the ultimate goal is to prepare every student for college, the workplace, and above all, “a satisfying and productive life,” according to the National Association of School Boards. The report

introduces apprenticeship programs that attempt to meet one of those goals by addressing 21st-century workforce needs and proposing the following perspectives for school districts to consider in developing apprenticeship programs and partnerships. • Options and choices: In your school district, how do you develop a culture in which parents are convinced and assured that every student must be prepared for both college and careers, and that certain apprenticeship programs are options in postsecondary education that can also lead to a level of higher education?


• Trainings and orientations: In your school district, do you have enough career counselors to serve all students? What training do you provide for these counselors in terms of knowledge about apprenticeship programs? Do you periodically share updated information about trends of the job market? • Partnerships with community colleges and local businesses: Does your school district have plans and strategies to connect students, community, and local businesses in apprenticeship programs? • Linking school learning to the 21st-century skills: In

your school district, how do you strategically link schoolbased learning to the development of the 21st-century skills needed at the workplace (for example, communication, collaboration, and problem-solving)? Schools should be more relevant to the job market. With the penetration of information technology and the transformation of industries, the skills gap has become a great challenge for American school leaders The report suggests that school districts identify literacy and numeracy skills that are most needed at the workplace, modify classroom

instruction accordingly, provide enough well-trained school career counselors, and develop a culture in which every student must be equipped with both hard and soft skills The report includes personal testimonies about successful apprenticeship programs and offers insight into the characteristics of the 21st-century vocational education. It shows that the population with apprenticeship background generally feel positive about their formal education and are more likely to become lifelong learners, providing substantial evidence to support the apprenticeship model. Apprenticeship programs help students to acquire not only occupational skills but also soft skills employers want. School districts are encouraged to explore using various apprenticeship-related resources to help make sure that every student is equipped with tools and knowledge for success.  Excerpted with permission from the report “A New Look at Apprenticeship: Linking School to 21st Century Skills,” by Jinghong Cai, Ph.D., Research Analyst, Center for Public Education. Copyright © 2018 Center for Public Education. The Center for Public Education provides up-to-date research, data, and analysis on current education issues and explores ways to improve student achievement and engage public support for public schools. CPE is an initiative of the National School Boards Association. The full report and resources from the study are accessible through the Journal’s resources page at bit.ly/MJ20JRes.

May/June 2020  27


Feature Story

Value and Promise of Career Technical Education By Advance CTE

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Career Technical Education (abbreviated here as CTE) has come a long way in the last decade. CTE programs not only teach students real-world knowledge and skills, but increasingly provide opportunities for dual enrollment, industry-recognized credentials, and meaningful work-based learning experiences. Despite the many benefits of CTE, including a graduation rate for CTE students that is 93% compared to a national average of 82%, there are still challenges with limited awareness and outdated perceptions of CTE. Enrollment in CTE programs has remained stagnant over the last decade while demand soars for skilled employees in today’s global economy. If we are to prepare all learners for success in the careers of their choice, more parents and students need to understand all that CTE has to offer. Advance CTE, with support from the Siemens Foundation, commissioned focus groups and a national survey in 2017 to explore the attitudes of parents and students currently involved in CTE, as well as prospective CTE parents and students, to better understand the promise and opportunity of CTE. The key findings of its report follow.

28  Illinois School Board Journal

CTE Delivers for Parents and Students

Perhaps the most significant finding is that parents and students engaged in CTE have significantly more satisfaction around the quality of their education and the opportunities they have for college and career readiness. Over half of CTE parents and students surveyed, 55%, are “very satisfied” with their overall school experience, compared to just 27% of prospective parents and students. The difference in school satisfaction between CTE parents and students and prospects is even more striking when looking at individual elements of their school experience. This holds particularly true for those aspects related to career readiness and CTE, such as opportunities to explore careers, gain real-world skills, and network with employers. In fact, parents and students engaged in CTE have higher levels of satisfaction across nearly all aspects of their educational experience compared to parents and students not engaged in CTE. About nine in 10 parents of CTE students were satisfied with their children’s opportunities to explore different careers and learn real-world skills, compared to just five in 10 parents of non-CTE students.

College and Career Success Are Both Important Goals for Parents and Students

“College” and “careers” are often presented as separate paths, or even pitted against one another. But parent and student respondents see these as complementary and desire both. Findings show that communication about both college and career readiness aligns with parents’ and students’ aspirations and values. For example, eight in 10 parents and students (involved with CTE or not) say getting a college degree is important, and as many agree it’s important to have a job that pays well. A standout finding is that nine in 10 parents and students say “finding a career that I/my child feels passionate about is important to me.” Fulfillment and passion outweigh earnings as the ultimate goal, with college viewed as a means to achieving that goal. Importantly, CTE parents and students have a clearer sense of urgency around the competitiveness of the job market: 86% of CTE students agree today’s job market is much more competitive compared to 79% of their peers. And, students involved in CTE are slightly more likely to have a career


path in mind (76%) than non-CTE students (62%). Finally, not only is college viewed as important, a four-year degree or higher is the post-high school plan for most students, involved in CTE or not. Nearly eight out of 10 CTE students plan to attend college, including 62% who plan to attain a bachelor’s degree or higher, which are incredibly consistent with prospective students’ attainment goals. At the same time, CTE students are more likely to have a post-high school plan than non-CTE students, with only two percent of CTE students responding that they “don’t know” what they will do after high school, compared to eight percent of nonCTE students. Prospective Parents and Students Are Attracted to the “Real World” Benefits of CTE

Prospective parents and students want to hear about the tangible outcomes from CTE programs. The opportunity to gain “real world” skills and benefits is a theme that is particularly compelling for all audiences surveyed. They appreciate information about learning real-world skills through internships and hands-on projects inside and outside the classroom, as well as how CTE can offer pathways into college and careers through college credits, internships, mentorships, and networking opportunities. These are the types of experiences that fill a gap in education and make CTE appealing, given 86% of parents and students wish they had more chances to learn real-world knowledge and skills in high school. When asked

to select three elements from a list of facts about CTE programs that were the most important to them personally, “CTE allows students to come out of high school with a realworld skill” was selected by 43% of prospective parents and students.

popular across these subgroups and was selected as one of the three most important elements by every single sub-population surveyed. For a few groups, such as parents and students who are Black, Hispanic, and/or parents who live in urban

Given the dual challenges of outdated perceptions and low awareness, having compelling and trusted messengers to share information about CTE is paramount. Similarly, the notion that “CTE classes allow students to earn college credits while still in high school” was selected by 44% of prospective parents and students, fairly consistent across all demographics, with a slight bump among high-income parents (48%), compared to just 8% of high-income parents who considered the opportunity to earn certifications important. Rounding out the choices of prospective parents and students was “CTE programs have partnerships with employers in their community ... who may provide training, mentorship, opportunities for internships, networking and even entry-level jobs.” Thirty-four percent of prospective parents and students chose this as one of the three most important elements of CTE. One potentially surprising finding throughout the survey was the consistency of responses across race/ethnicity, education level, income level, and geographic distribution. For example, the fact that CTE allows students to gain real-world skills was equally

settings, the fact that the graduation rate was higher among CTE students rose to the top as a key element of CTE. CTE Has an Awareness Challenge

The term “Career Technical Education” has been in use for almost two decades, but in many ways CTE pathways are still catching on as an option for parents and students. Just under half (47%) of prospective parents and students report having ever heard the term “Career Technical Education.” A slightly higher percentage of prospective parents and students are familiar with “career centers’’ (54%). Even higher, 68% of prospective parents and students had heard the term “vocational education.” When asked what they think of CTE based on a short description, 89% of prospective parents and students had a favorable impression, signaling support and interest in CTE. However, this prompted a number of basic, logistical questions around how CTE programs work are raised: When are classes available and for whom? May/June 2020  29


Where are they offered? How do they fit with other required courses? Do they cost money for students? This suggests clear, informative, and proactive communication is critical.

CTE students, about their experiences with CTE and the overall benefits it may have for them and their students.

CTE Needs Champions and Messengers

There is no question that the results of the survey are exciting for CTE advocates and leaders, with interest high across the board for all that CTE has to offer students. CTE can be a solution for more students to find success. Yet, it is critical to remember that no message or talking point can overcome a program that is not meeting its promise to prepare learners for success in college and careers. At the heart of a successful CTE communications strategy is to have access to high-quality

Given the dual challenges of outdated perceptions and low awareness, having compelling and trusted messengers to share information about CTE is paramount. In particular, prospective parents and students want to understand how CTE works and what it looks like within their schools and communities. Given that, messaging can only go so far. Parents and students trust and want to hear from those closest to CTE programs, the counselors, educators, and

30  Illinois School Board Journal

Quality Must Still Be the Top Priority

programs and to inspire involved parents, students, partners, and educators to advocate for them. A shared commitment to quality, paired with effective communications, will ensure more students have the opportunity to realize the true value and promise of Career Technical Education.  Excerpted with permission from the report “The Value and Promise of Career Technical Education,” by Advance CTE with support of the Siemens Foundation. The Edge Research and the Fratelli Group contributed. Advance CTE represents state leaders responsible for secondary, postsecondary and adult career technical education. The full report and resources from the study are accessible through the Journal’s resources page at bit.ly/MJ20JRes.


Practical PR

Strategic Storytelling By Patrick Mogge

E

Each and every one of us in public schools has the opportunity to shape the perception of public education in our local communities and throughout Illinois. Simple acts can often go viral and yet the amazing work that is happening in each of our classrooms is often just seen as normal. It is what our teachers and staff do every day that needs to be shared because it is absolutely extraordinary. There are tremendous opportunities to engage your students in real-world activities and also expose the community to what school looks like today. Students are great ambassadors for your school district. When thinking about the structure of programs, there are opportunities to share the impact of what your students and staff are doing by taking a strategic approach to storytelling. The media landscape has changed.  The decline of local newspapers and the shift to digital content makes it critical to utilize the platforms available to us to tell our stories. According to the Pew Research Center, 69% of adults use Facebook on their cellphones while 75% of 18-to-24 year-olds use

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

Instagram and 95% of teens have a smartphone. We typically think that parents are on Facebook, staff are on Twitter and LinkedIn, students are on Instagram and Snapchat and all of them access YouTube. Districts need to think about how to engage with each of these audiences, while shifting to produce content that can be generated and shared across platforms as well as considering what to do with traditional events, what we call things, and how people feel with your brand. Make it a “thing.”

When thinking about normal events in your district or when launching a new initiative, what do you call it? How can you make it new, different or exciting? What will people experience? Who is the audience and what is your goal? At THSD 214, when we launched an entrepreneurship program, we named our pitch night Startup Showcase, secured the domain name startupshowcase.org, built a website around the event, created a logo that reflected the district’s branding, invited a local NPR reporter to become the emcee, thought about who we wanted to engage as judges who could help enhance the program and share its story, included a wild card option to add a team to the competition that was announced that night to ensure audience participation, and offered a financial prize to the winning team.

We could have just called it a pitch night or our capstone event, but wanted to do something special and unique to recognize the efforts of our students and staff and engage the broader community. The first winner of the event, Snap Clips, from Wheeling High School, went on to the actual Shark Tank television show and secured a major financial investment from three of the sharks. We took a similar approach when launching our education pathway by calling it Educator Prep and creating a special signing ceremony for students who commit to becoming teachers. Signing ceremonies are used for those committing to colleges and universities for athletics, so why not create the same experience to recognize those that are going into the most critical profession in the world? Empowering Students

By partnering with the largest newspaper in our area to produce a series of articles on academic programs and career pathways, students gain the experience of thinking about the article they want to write; interviewing students, staff, and community members; receiving feedback on their piece; and ultimately getting published in the newspaper with their name attached. They begin to build their portfolio before they enter college or the workplace. Students live on social media and are at the vanguard of what’s next. Allowing a student to do an May/June 2020  31


Instagram or social media takeover for a day empowers them to think about the story they want to tell and how to respectfully share content on behalf of the district’s brand, shifting from a personal mindset to the public relations professional’s mindset. Instagram takeovers for events or activities are simple ways to accomplish this. In addition to student takeovers, using a districtwide hashtag such as #214ready, that coincides with the Redefining Ready! program, allows for stakeholders to share a common story

and curate content that is easy to find about our college and career readiness initiatives. Facebook Live is another tool that has become useful in distributing content. And Facebook Live doesn’t need to actually be live if you use the premiere function, which allows you to edit and publish videos on your timeline. As part of our Education Foundation, we launched our own version of the Redefining Ready! scholarship application in which students create a 30-second video and tag the district on Twitter

when they submit their video. This provides an easy way to capture content, as well as a student’s voice, and enables stakeholders to see what is happening with our students. It is truly impactful to see how students frame their stories. Print is the new digital.

As more and more content shifts to digital platforms, using print material for a purpose can have a real impact as part of your overall communications program. District 214 first created a physical career

D214, Harper, and Community Collaborate to Produce PPE You can describe it any way you want. That uncertain times yield uncommon innovation. That breakthroughs occur when need triggers inspiration. That a common threat brings out the best in our ability and incentive to collaborate and cooperate. All of these, and more, apply to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has Americans searching overtime for ways large and small to navigate these unprecedented times and emerge on the other side of the outbreak as safely as possible. These factors have brought High School District 214, Harper College, local public safety officials, a state legislator, and Elk Grove-based Total Plastics together to contribute: the production of much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE). The idea originated with District 214 Board President Dan Petro. Hearing widespread reports of PPE shortages, Petro thought of the schools’ technology and innovation labs, especially those equipped with 3D printers. What kind of equipment, Petro wondered, might the district be able to manufacture that would help answer the dire PPE need? Petro shared his thoughts with District 214 Superintendent David Schuler, who solicited the leadership of Wheeling High School Principal Jerry Cook and Buffalo Grove High School Principal Jeff Wardle. Both

32  Illinois School Board Journal

schools have long offered robust engineering, technology, and manufacturing programs, all of which were recently boosted by the opening of the Saul Ploplys Automation and Technology Lab at Buffalo Grove High School. In short order, Wardle and Cook, in conversation with Buffalo Grove Fire Chief Mike Baker, Buffalo Grove Village Manager Dane Bragg, Harper College Makerspace Manager Jeff Moy, and several D214 teachers, identified a piece of gear that could be produced: a full-face protective shield. This protective gear will be utilized by hospital personnel in some instances and by volunteers assisting public safety professionals. They will provide protection, for instance, by those working in food pantries or drive-up testing. All of this will help preserve and stretch the scarce supply of higher-grade, higher-spec shields needed by front-line medical and first responder professionals during the COVID-19 outbreak. Several Northwest suburban municipalities have already expressed interest in receiving shipments of these shields. With this in mind, everybody got down to work. Cook, Wardle, and Moy studied prototypes, consulted with Chief Baker and even enlisted the help of their sheltering-at-home staff to test several options for sturdiness, durability, and comfort. Schuler networked with his connections for possible suppliers of materials.


pathways booklet in 2015 to showcase the career clusters and program pathways and make an easy way for students, parents, and staff to see the wide variety of courses, experiences, and careers available to students to guide them in their course selection and set them on a path beyond high school. The district finds ways for students to share their individual experiences in career pathways and uses targeted mailings to promote events and experiences, such as career nights, related to our career pathway programs. The Discover

214 magazine, with a focus on career pathways, is a multi-page print magazine that showcases students in individual pathways as well as information about the district and how potential business partners can get involved. Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, is often quoted as saying, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Out of all of the strategies and tactics that you can employ to share your district’s story and

It was determined that Moy and his team at Harper will provide the laser-cut plastic face shield, while District 214’s team will produce the 3D printed headband. The design is based on one from Prusa Research in the Czech Republic and is being adopted by many organizations around the world. Together, the team has refined the foundational design. Moy redesigned the visor to improve some design aspects and enhance material utilization. Several District 214 teachers, Michael Geist, Kyle Pichik, Phil Tschammer, Eric Race, and Tom Steinbach, volunteered their time during spring break. They tested the district’s 3D printers, worked on programming and production protocols, and identified one printer type that proved best suited for the work. Using that printer, the teachers tested the beta model, along with the face shields from Harper. Project managers found that some of the supplies needed for the work are difficult to find. State Sen. Ann Gillespie, 27th District, was instrumental in helping acquire additional 3D printers and supplies. Total Plastics manager Jeff Zonsius agreed to help provide some hard-to-find clear plastic for the project. Regarding the teamwork and collaboration, Cook said, “It’s been amazing to see so many people come together selflessly to see this project come to fruition. Local industry partners Swiss Precision Machining and Avenues to Independence, both located in Wheeling, have donated

highlight your career and technical education programs, what are a few that you can implement right away in your district to influence that conversation?  Patrick Mogge is Director of Community Engagement and Outreach for THSD 214, based in Arlington Heights. He was recently INSPRA’s Co-Vice President of Membership and is now the organization’s treasurer. See below for an example of D214's Strategic Communications in action.

boxes to help with the packing of these PPE devices. It’s been a total collaborative effort to help meet a need.” Gillespie added, “By producing the personal protection equipment that those working on the front lines currently lack, District 214 and Harper College are stepping up and saving lives. Their proactive efforts show how dedicated our community is to ending this crisis and why career and technical education is so important. I couldn't be more proud of their teams." The organizers are on track to produce 100 or more shields per day and 3,000 in the next three weeks, with an eventual goal of producing 5,000. Moy said, “I'm proud that Harper College can contribute to such an important mission. It’s remarkable how passionate everyone is and how quickly we mobilized to find innovative solutions to help protect the people who are working on the front lines in our community.” Wardle added, “I just can’t say enough about our staff here in D214, taking their personal time on Spring Break to throw themselves into this process. Many of them live in the D214 attendance area, and wanted to give back to their community. I am so proud of them, and honored to be part of this team.” Dave Beery is Interim Communications Supervisor for THSD 214. He and colleague Mark Ciske built a microsite for the PPE project at www.d214ppe.org/.

May/June 2020  33


Service Associates Directory Appraisal Services INDUSTRIAL APPRAISAL COMPANY Building and fixed asset appraisals for insurance and accounting purposes. Oak Brook (630) 575‑0280

Architects/Engineers 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; www.arconassoc.com; rpcozzi@arconassoc.com BERG ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS, LTD. Consulting engineers. Schaumburg (847) 352‑4500; www.berg-eng.com 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 CANNONDESIGN Architecture, interiors, engineering, consulting. Chicago (312) 332‑9600; www.cannondesign.com; sbrodsky@cannondesign.com CORDOGAN CLARK & ASSOCIATES Architects and engineers. Aurora (630) 896‑4678; www.cordoganclark.com; rmont@cordoganclark.com DEWBERRY ARCHITECTS INC. Architects, planners, landscape architecture, and engineers. Peoria (309) 282‑8000; Elgin (847) 695‑5840 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) 742‑4063; www.dla-ltd.com; info@dla-ltd.com

34  Illinois School Board Journal

DLR GROUP Educational facility design and master planning. Chicago (312) 382‑9980; dlrgroup.com; mengelhardt@dlrgoup.com ERIKSSON ENGINEERING ASSOCIATES, LTD. Consulting civil engineers and planners. Grayslake (847) 223‑4804; Chicago (312) 463‑0551; Mokena (708) 614‑9720; www.eea-ltd.com; geriksson@eea-ltd.com FARNSWORTH GROUP, INC. Architectural and engineering professional services. Normal, IL (309) 633‑8436 FGM ARCHITECTS, INC. Architects. Chicago (312) 942‑8461; Oak Brook (630) 574‑8300; O’Fallon (618) 624‑3364; St. Louis (314) 439‑1601; www.fgmarchitects.com GREENASSOCIATES, INC. Architecture/construction services. Deerfield (847) 317‑0852; Pewaukee, Wisconsin (262) 746-125 HEALY, BENDER & ASSOCIATES, INC. Archi­tects/planners. Naperville (630) 904‑4300; www.healybender.com; dpatton@healybender.com HURST-ROSCHE, INC. Architecture, engineering, planning, and interior design. Hillsboro (217) 532‑3959; East St. Louis (618) 398‑0890; Marion (618) 998‑0075; Springfield (217) 787‑1199; dpool@hurst-rosche.com 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; www.jmaarchitects.com; allison@jmaarchitects.com 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; www.larsondarby.com; snelson@larsondarby.com 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; www.legat.com 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; www.PCMPLUSD.com 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 PERKINS+WILL Architects. Chicago (312) 755‑0770 RICHARD L. JOHNSON ASSOCIATES, INC. Architecture, educational planning. Rockford (815) 398‑1231; www.rljarch.com 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 STUDIOGC ARCHITECTURE + INTERIORS StudioGC is passionate communityminded partner, committed to creating imaginative and well-designed facilities. StudioGC offers innovative planning, programming, architectural, interior design, and cost estimates. Chicago (312) 253‑3400 TRIA ARCHITECTURE An architectural planning and interior design firm that provides services primarily to school districts in the Chicagoland area with an emphasis on service to their clients, and their communities. Burr Ridge (630) 455‑4500


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; www.wightco.com; bpaulsen@wightco.com WM. B. ITTNER, INC. Full service architectural firm serving the educational community since 1899. Fairview Heights (618) 624‑2080 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) 266‑9768; COREconstruction.com 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) 444‑1525; www.fhpaschen.com FREDERICK QUINN CORPORATION Construction management and general contracting. Addison (630) 628‑8500; www.fquinncorp.com HOLLAND CONSTRUCTION SERVICES, INC. Full service construction management and general contracting firm specializing in education facilities. Swansea (618) 277‑8870 INTERNATIONAL CONTRACTORS, INC. (ICI) An award-winning construction management firm specializing in K-12 facilities. Our firm is currently partnering with eight Illinois School Districts on capital improvement projects. Elmhurst (630) 641-6852 NICHOLAS & ASSOCIATES, INC. Construction management, general contracting, design and build. Mt. Prospect (847) 394‑6200 info@nicholasquality.com

PEPPER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY Construction management and general contracting services. Barrington (847) 381‑2760; www.pepperconstruction; jripsky@pepperconstruction.com POETTKER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY Specializing in construction management, design/build, construction consulting services, and energy solutions for education clients. Breese (618) 526‑7213; www.poettkerconstruction.com 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. Davenport, Iowa (563) 459‑4600 S.M. WILSON & CO. Provides construction management and general construction services to education, healthcare, commercial, retail, and industrial clients. St. Louis (314) 645‑9595; www.smwilson.com; judd.presley@smwilson.com TRANE HVAC company specializing in design, build, and retrofit. Willowbrook (630) 734‑6033

Computer Software, Supplies, Services COMPUTER INFORMATION CONCEPTS, INC. Infinite Campus student information System and Finance Suite, and Tableau Data Visualization/Analytics. Greeley, Colorado (312) 995‑3342 EDMENTUM We provide fully digital curriculum and assessment tools for educators to utilize in K-12 classrooms to establish blended and personalized environments and advance student learning. Bloomington, Minnesota (952) 832‑1570

Consulting DECISIONINSITE, LLC DecisionInsite provides the nation’s school district leaders with the technology, enrollment forecasts, and expertise they need to understand how enrollment impacts their district. Irvine, California (877) 204‑1392

IASB Service Associates are businesses which offer school‑related products and services and which have earned favorable repu­tations for quality and integrity. Only after careful screening is a business firm invited to become a Service Associate. To learn more about IASB Service Associates membership, visit www.iasb.com or contact Britni Beck at bbeck@iasb.com

ROOM READY Highly qualified audiovisual specialists who specialize in removing the complexity and ensuring that your audiovisual installations just work, both today and in the future. Normal (309) 261‑3794

Environmental Services ALPHA CONTROLS & SERVICES, LLC We deliver energy cost justified solutions that make the learning environment comfortable, secure, and efficient. Rockford, Springfield, Champaign (815) 227‑4000; www.alpaacs.com; jasonv@alphaacs.com CTS GROUP Dedicated to assisting K-12 education meet the challenge of providing healthy, safe, and educational appropriate learning environments. St. Louis (636) 230‑0843; Chicago (773) 633‑0691; www.ctsgroup.com; rbennett@ctsgroup.com ENERGY SYSTEMS GROUP A comprehensive energy services and performance contracting company providing energy, facility and financial solutions. Itasca (630) 773‑7201; smcivor@energysystemsgroup.com GCA SERVICES GROUP Custodial, janitorial, maintenance, lawn and grounds, and facility operations services. Downers Grove (630) 629‑4044

May/June 2020  35


Service Associates Directory Environmental Services continued from previous page

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 (314) 548‑4136; Des Plaines (847) 770‑5496; Maryland Heights, Missouri (314) 548‑4501; Doc.Kotecki@Honeywell.com; Kevin.Bollman@Honeywell.com 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) 753‑9083; www.ILLec.org; hwallace@iasbo.org 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; sharon@opterraenergy.com RADON DETECTION SPECIALISTS Radon measurements in elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as all DCFS licensed spaces. We service the entire state of Illinois. Westmont (630) 325‑4443 or (800) 244‑4242; www.radondetection.net; KirstenS@radondetection.net

(continued)

Financial Services ABM EDUCATION SERVICES Provides financial solutions through many contracted services under the facilities envelop, including energy performance contracting, condition assessments, custodial, maintenance and landscaping services. Downers Grove (331) 305-0568 BERNARDI SECURITIES, INC. Municipal bond specialty firm; offers a full range of school bond underwriting services, including capital needs financing and debt refinancing. O’Fallon (618) 206‑4180; Peru (815) 587‑8972; Chicago (312) 281‑2014; jvezzetti@bernardisecurities.com BMO HARRIS BANK BMO Harris Bank’s experienced specialists can help you build a sound strategy to help close budget gaps, manage day-to-day cash flow and maximize your resources. Chicago (312) 461‑7895 EHLERS AND ASSOCIATES School bond issues; referendum help; financial and enrollment studies Roseville, MN (312) 638‑5250 FIRST MIDSTATE, INC. Bond issue consultants. Bloomington (309) 829‑3311; paul@firstmidstate.com GORENZ AND ASSOCIATES, LTD. Auditing and financial consulting. Peoria (309) 685‑7621; www.gorenzcpa.com; tcustis@gorenzcpa.com 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

SIKICH, LLP Professional services firm specializing in accounting, technology, and advisory services. Naperville, IL (630) 556‑8400 SPEER FINANCIAL, INC. Financial planning and bond issue services. Chicago (312) 346‑3700; www.speerfinancial.com; dphillips@speerfinancial.com 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; noblea@stifel.com WINTRUST FINANCIAL Financial services holding company engaging in community banking, wealth management, commercial insurance premium financing, and mortgage origination. Rosemont (630) 560‑2120

Human Resource Consulting BUSHUE HUMAN RESOURCES, INC. Human resource, safety and risk management, and insurance consulting. Effingham (217) 342‑3042; www.bushuehr.com; steve@bushuehr.com

Office Equipment FRANK COONEY COMPANY, INC. Furniture for educational environments. Wood Dale (630) 694‑8800

Superintendent Searches ECRA GROUP Superintendent searches, board and superintendent workshops. Schaumburg (847) 318‑0072

ADVANCING PUBLIC EDUCATION 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.

36  Illinois School Board Journal


Milestones

Continued from page 38

John R. Little, 87, died February 12. He lived his entire life on his family farm in Crittenden Township and was a member of statewide agriculture committees and had served as a member of the CUSD 7 school board in Tolono. Donna McAndrews, 76, died March 7, 2020. She had a career in early childhood education and was a long-time volunteer at Pontiac-Wm. Holliday SD 105 in Fairview Heights, including serving on the school board there. Robert E. Milligan, 84, died March 15, 2020. He was a former member of the Mundelein school board. Orin Ray (Bud) Mottaz, Jr., 95, died February 27, 2020. He had served on the Yates City school board in Knox County. Robert William O’Brien, 84, died March 1, 2020. He served for eight years, two as president, on the school board for Glenbard THSD 87. Jennifer Shaffer O’Donnell, 43, died March 26, 2020. At the time of her passing she was a member of the Hinckley-Big Rock CUSD 429 Board of Education. Rita Jane O’Brien-Glaser, 71, died March 26, 2020. She was known as a “wickedly fun room mother” and served on the Spoon River Valley CUSD 4 school board in London Mills. Joseph R. Panier Jr., 96, died February 22, 2020. He participated in local barbershop singing groups and fundraising musicals for 25 years. He served on the Granville Board of Education in Putnam County.

Ronald Joseph “R.J.” Pohl, 74, died March 5, 2020. He served on the Troy Triad CUSD 2 school board for 17 years. Phillip W. Pyles, 78, died February 24, 2020. He was an active member of the Warsaw community, serving on the Warsaw CUSD 316 school board for 12 years. Harry R. Reichert Jr., 98, died March 14, 2020. He served on the Columbia CUSD 4 school board for three years. Mary Ann Rillie, 76, died February 20, 2020. Active in her community, she served on the board of education for the Aledo school district in Mercer County for seven years. Richard Rosencrans, 87, died February 28, 2020. He worked as a bricklayer for almost five decades and served on and as president of the Seneca CCSD 170 school board for many years. Paul Shimek, 73, died February 15, 2020. He taught P.E. and history for Joliet School District 84 for 36 years until retiring in 2004. He also served on the Rockdale SD 84 school board. Carol A. Smith, 81, died March 15, 2020. An active member of the Lansing community, she served as a member of Thornton-Fractional THSD 215 school board for 15 years, seven as board president. Bernard Swiontek, 86, died February 15, 2020. He was a past member and president of the Lake Park CHSD 108 Board of Education in Roselle. Leon Thomas, 83, died March 27, 2020. He was a lifelong farmer and served on the Onarga school board.

Dorothy Tracy, 91, died March 27, 2020. She was a philanthropist and co-founder of the family-owned and- operated Dot Foods in Mt. Sterling, the largest food industry redistributor in North America. She served on the Brown County CUSD 1 Board of Education in Mt. Sterling. Stanley Twait, 91, died March 27, 2020. He served on the school boards for the Wedron Grade School and Serena High School, now Serena CUSD 2 in LaSalle County. John George Vrett, 70, died January 14, 2020. He was a professional calf roper and horse trainer. Active in the Woodstock community, he served on the District 200 school board for many years.  The Illinois School Board Journal welcomes contributions for this Milestones section. Please send memorial and achievement information to communications@iasb.com.

May/June 2020  37


Milestones

In Memoriam William Lee Bennett, 75, died March 27, 2020. He was a LaHarpe High School graduate who served on the LaHarpe school board from 1985 to 1989. James E. Bergstrom, 83, died March 31, 2020. He graduated from AlWood High School in Woodhull and served on the AlWood CUSD 225 school board. Thomas E. Berry Sr., 79, died March 17, 2020. He was an 18-year member of the Roxana CUSD 1 school board, and as such presented a diploma to each of his children Daniel G. Bowhay, 90, died March 5, 2020. He had been a member of the board of education for Elwood CCSD 203. Vincent Bugarin, 92, died February 28, 2020. He was a member for 43 years, from 1968 to 2011, of the school board for Niles ESD 71 and was the district’s longest-serving board member. Robert “Bob” John Clement, Ed.D., 79, died March 24, 2020. He had a career as an educator and administrator in postsecondary education in Central Illinois. He served on the Pleasant Plains CUSD 8 school board from 1981 to 1989. Robert Allan Craig, 87, died March 20, 2020. He was a ten-year member and president of the Saratoga CCSD 60C in Morris. Nancy Smith Craig, 87, died March 25, 2020. She was elected to the Bradford Elementary School Board in 1963 and served two terms. During that time, they formed the first unit district in Stark County and added a new gymnasium and cafeteria to the school building. 38  Illinois School Board Journal

William “Bill” Crippen, 66, died February 15, 2020. He was a school board member for Unity Point SD 140 in Carbondale from 1985 to 1993. Kenneth L. Eden, 81, died March 12, 2020. He served on the Stockton CUSD 203 school board. Larry Ronald Eilers, 80, died March 19, 2020. He was a member of the board of education for Southeastern CUSD 337 in Augusta. William E. “Bill” Finney, 88, died March 16, 2020. He served his community in many roles, including as a member of the Southeastern CUSD 337 school board in Augusta. David J. Fraley, 61, died March 30, 2020. I was a 28-year IDOT employee and served on the board of education at Carrollton CUSD 1. Carl Wayne Gates, 86, died Februar y 29, 2020. He was an entrepreneur and professor of business and economics at Sauk Valley Community College and served on the Sterling CUSD 5 Board of Education. Sharon Gist Gilliam, 76, died February 16, 2020. Her distinguished career in Chicago government included working as budget director for Mayor Harold Washington and chief of staff for Mayor Eugene Sawyer. She was the first woman and first African-American chair of the Chicago History Museum. She served on the Chicago Board of Education and the Illinois State Board of Education. Paul Wayne Hill, 54, died February 21, 2020. He was a member of the North Wayne Unit 200 school board for 12 years.

Paul R. Hollenbeck, 55, died February 24, 2020. He was on the board of the GW Buck Girls and Boys Club of Joliet and a past member of the Joliet THSD 204 school board. Robert Lee Johnson, 89, died February 22, 2020. He was a past member of the Lafayette Board of Education in Stark County. LaVern “Skip” N. Klinefelter, 79 of Utica, died February 11, 2020. He had served on the Waltham CCSD 185 Board of Education in Ithaca. Donald D. Krug, 88, died March 10, 2020. He was a member of the Yorkwood Board of Education in Warren County. G e or g e D. L a f f e r t y, 88, died March 26, 2020. He was the announcer for sporting events for Alexis and later United CUSD 304 in Monmouth. He was a member of the Alexis school board and the Regional Office of Education Board. Mildred Pauline Langer, 95, died February 25, 2020. She taught in Carrollton for 26 years and developed the Cooperative Education Program, giving students work experience in the community. She was a past member and president of the Carrollton CUSD 1 Board of Education. Jack Dewitt Lawrence, 81, died March 19, 2020. He served on the Neoga CUSD 3 school board and was board president for two years. Peter A ndrew Lindstrom, 66, died March 18, 2020. He was a two-time member of the Homewood-Flossmoor CHSD 233 school board. Lindstrom was known as “Mr. H-F” and wore a school-colors red and white suit to school events. Continued on page 37


Insights “Access to quality educational opportunities are deeply inequitable in this country. Now, this unprecedented new epoch risks further widening the gap, placing children and students from families with low incomes as well as children and students of color at an even greater disadvantage. Minimizing and overcoming the damage posed to millions of students by fallout from the novel coronavirus is a task that will have vast implications for the next generation and American prosperity for decades to come. The effects of school closures, financial insecurity, and the coronavirus itself will not be felt evenly across communities, and Congress will need to prioritize equity as it considers additional education recovery investments.” “Congress Needs To Ensure Educational Equity in the Wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic,” by Viviann Anguiano, Marcella Bombardieri, Neil Campbell, Antoinette Flores, Steven Jessen-Howard, Laura Jimenez, and Simon Workman, Center for American Progress, April 2, 2020.

“In Peoria Public Schools, special education teachers and their students are also adjusting to a new reality. ‘During this remote learning time there is a focused effort and collaboration among teachers and all special education staff to serve our students with special needs to the greatest extent possible and to remain in compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act regulations and timelines. We have been and will continue to adapt our work as we receive further guidance from the Federal government and Illinois State Board of Education as it relates specifically to special education,’ Superintendent Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat said … ‘The entire special education department has pulled together to collaborate with each other and with our families to navigate these unchartered waters.’

“While states and school districts already have plans for emergency management and temporary school closures for natural disasters and other events beyond our control, this is the longest sustained disruption to the idea of normalcy in American life — and American schools — that many of us have encountered. In times such as these, it’s important to look to one another for answers, examples and inspiration … to ensure that students, families, teachers, and administrators are receiving the supports they need in these times of uncertainty.” “Adjusting to a New ‘Normal’ in Education,” by Jeremy Anderson, EdNote, the Educational Policy Blog from the Education Commission of the States, March 26, 2020.

“Remote learning extra challenging for students with special needs,” By Scott Hilyard, Peoria Journal Star, April 2, 2020

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The Illinois School Board Journal May/June 2020