The Illinois School Board Journal, November/December 2017

Page 1


V ol. 8 5, N o . 6




ackling tough topics, having

Nationally, natural disasters

the critical conversations,

and manmade horrors clash and

and making the difficult decisions

fuse with political anxieties.

the district level depends on local needs. The national political climate

that follow are expected elements

In this issue of Journal, we

has brought us to an era of “fake

of a school board member’s role.

offer information and commentary

news,” wh ich, i n t he word s of

Sometimes, the tough topics are

to fortify school board members

Blackburn College professor Nata-

specific to the governance of your

dealing with tough topics in a ner-

sha Casey, is a phenomenon that

school districts. But often, out-

vous culture and climate.

“oversimplifies a complicated idea.”

side inf luences — politics, vio-

We st ar t w ith the u n i ma g-

In her commentary starting on page

lence, protest, and “taking sides”

inable: Lieutenant Colonel Dave

14, Casey promotes media literacy

— pierce our public schools and

Grossman and his writing team

education as a way to combat “fake


have made a horrifying connec-


Si nce the la st issue of Th e

tion between video game violence

When the Every Student Suc-

Illinois School Board Journal,

and school shootings. The excerpt

ceeds Act (ESSA) replaced the

there was a school shooting in

from his book, Assassination Gen-

beleaguered No Child Left Behind

Mattoon. Spring field’s newspa-

eration: How Video Games Train

in 2015, it marked a path for federal

per, The State Journal-Register,

Young Killers, outlines the con-

compliance that included develop-

reported that bomb threats are

nection, states the case, and offers

ment of a state plan. Thousands of

becoming more common, includ-

potential responses beginning on

hours of conversation and hundreds

ing the one that disrupted classes

page 6. Grossman will present at

of difficult decisions went into the

at four city schools. One school

the 2017 School Safety and Securi-

drafting of the Illinois plan, which

district cancelled classes due to

ty Seminar, to be held November 17

on August 30 was among the first

response to a racia l ly- charged

in conjunction with the 2017 Joint

to be approved. Next comes imple-

social media post. Multiple school

Annual Conference.

mentation. Discover what the state’s ESSA plan means to school board

districts have dealt with reports

Policies regarding accommo-

of hazing. We’ve survived the pro-

dations for transgender students

tracted state budget stalemate,

have been drawn into the forefront

To be sure, there will continue

the school funding reform battle

of governance work by political and

to be tough topics in the future. Stay

has ended, and Illinois’ state plan

cultural clashes nationally, state-

informed, stay aware of what’s going

for me et i n g t he re qu i rement s

wide, and in local communities.

on in your community, and remem-

of the Ever y Student Succeeds

On page 11, in “Transgender stu-

ber that sometimes the most import-

Ac t wa s a p pr ove d by t he U. S .

dents: Law, policy, and practice,”

ant conversation is with someone

Depar tment of E ducation. But

IASB Assistant General Counsel

who sees the world differently.

individually and in concurrence,

Maryam Brotine explains that while

realization and implementation

Illinois law prohibits transgender

are still to come.

discrimination, how that works at

members, beginning on page 17.

— Theresa Kelly Gegen, Editor


COVER STORIES: 6 What is the ‘Assassination Generation’? By Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman and Kristine Paulsen, with Katie Miserany Speaker, soldier, and author Dave Grossman is a national expert on school safety and violence prevention. The Journal excerpts his book, Assassination Generation: How Video Games Train Young Killers, which explains the effects of media violence.

11 Transgender students: Law, policy, and practice By Maryam Brotine Issues surrounding transgender individuals have made headlines over the past year, and Illinois law prohibits transgender discrimination. Find out what current law means in practice for school boards.

14 Behind the fake news curtain: The importance of media literacy education By Natasha Casey The rise of “fake news” has brought renewed spotlight on the importance of media literacy.

17 Understanding Illinois’ answer to ESSA Illinois’ response to the Every Student Succeeds Act presents new accountability processes for school districts.

20 Promise and opportunity By Roger Eddy IASB’s executive director offers comment on the promise and opportunity of Illinois’ accountability model and quality framework.

23 Different views: Special education due process hearings By Courtney N. Stillman Here’s what school districts must prepare for when views differ on appropriate educational services for students with disabilities.

27 A proactive plan counters tensions from civil unrest By Terri Howard A discussion of civil unrest presents school boards an opportunity to review policy and practice for dealing with crisis threats and situations.

S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R

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Vol. 85, No. 6

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Combine strategic planning, community engagement By Brett Clark

Brett Clark, APR, is a school board member for Itasca SD 10 and director of communications and marketing at the Consortium for Educational Change.



hile every school district

• Embracing stakeholders that may

(board of education, central office

in Illinois must have a stra-

feel left out of the school district

administration, school principals);

tegic plan, the impact and power

• Support for the implementation

one-third to represent schools (union

of the plan are directly related to

of the strategic plan both inter-

leadership, teachers, support staff);

who helped create it. Enlisting the

nally and externally

and one-third to represent communi-

participation of all stakeholder

While the advantages are per-

ty (parents, non-parent community

groups — including the board of

suasive, successful implementation

members, students). Using a consen-

education, certified staff, support

of community engagement in stra-

sus decision-making model, the plan

staff, union leaders, administra-

tegic planning takes a dedication of

team participates in three full-day

tion, parents, students, and com-

time and resources. It also means

and two half-day meetings over the

munity members — ensures the

truly listening to the ideas of indi-

course of approximately five months

plan reflects the values and beliefs

viduals outside of the inner circle

to create the plan. Following all that

of the community.

of a school district. There are many

work, a draft plan is presented by

W hile in many districts the

ways to include stakeholder voice

the superintendent to the board of

superintendent and /or board of

and input into the strategic planning

education for its consideration.

education create the strategic plan

process. The Consortium for Educa-

Transparency is a key aspect

independently, a stakeholder-engaged

tional Change (CEC), a non-profit

of successful community engage-

process is more likely to result in a

organization that supports school

ment. One main way to achieve

plan that is owned by the entire com-

districts in many areas including

that is by creating a website ded-

munity and that will function as a

strategic planning, has developed a

icated to housing all of the data,

guiding document for the future direc-

specific process to engage stakehold-

presentations, and information

tion of the school system.

ers in the strategic planning process.

prov ided to t he strateg ic pla n

The advantages of including

The approach includes estab-

team. This allows anyone in the

stakeholder voice throughout the

lishing a strategic plan team, which

community the opportunity to fol-

strategic planning process include:

typically includes about 40 members.

low the process and understand

• Increased knowledge about the

The team can be larger or smaller

current state of the district by

depending upon the size of the dis-


trict, but the actual number is not

• Higher likelihood that all ideas

as important as ensuring that the

are considered for improving the

team represents a cross-section of

school district

the school district community. A

• Opportunity for the school district

good guideline is for one-third of the

to gather community perceptions

participants to represent leadership

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


the information that is influencing

SWOT analysis. They can suggest

the draft plan.

additional items to the SWOT and

In order to allow all stakeholders

provide their opinions about which

the opportunity to provide feedback

items they agree with strongly and

on the strategic plan, several strat-

which they disagree with strongly.

egies can be employed. Within the

For those unable to attend a com-

CEC process, this means gathering

munity engagement session, a sur-

input up to four times to ensure the

vey can be created to gather similar

team is reflective of the opinions and

information. This process produces

ideals of the community as a whole.

themes that are shared with the team

The first opportunity occurs prior to

so changes can be made to the SWOT

the first strategic plan team meeting

analysis, a document that strongly

through a survey to gather percep-

influences the final plan. By engag-

tions and opinions of staff, students,

ing stakeholders, it ensures that the

parents, and community about the

team is on the right track, provides

future direction of the school dis-

an opportunity to educate the com-

trict. This helps the team understand

munity about the current state of

community perceptions at the start

the school district, and sends a clear

of the process.

message that stakeholder feedback

During the first full-day meeting, the strategic plan team produc-

is important to the school board and school district.

es a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses,

During the second meeting, the

opportunities, and threats) analysis.

strategic plan team creates a pre-

Community engagement sessions are

ferred future statement (or vision

then held to provide the community

statement). That information is

with an opportunity to provide feed-

shared with the community and feed-

back on the SWOT analysis. Sepa-

back is gathered through a survey.

rate sessions are held for staff and

Based on that feedback, themes are

community. Typically, those sessions

again gathered and shared with the

begin with an overview of key data

team, which determines if changes

and information about the district

need to be made to the preferred

to provide context. The attendees

future statement. By looking at

are then invited to interact with the

themes within the data, it ensures

N O V E M B E R - D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 7 / T H E I L L I N O I S S C H O O L B O A R D J O U R N A L

President Phil Pritzker

Treasurer Thomas Neeley

Vice President Joanne Osmond

Immediate Past President Karen Fisher

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Abe Lincoln Bill Alexander

Kishwaukee Mary Stith

Blackhawk David Rockwell

Lake Ann Dingman

Central Illinois Valley Thomas Neeley

Northwest Chris Buikema

Cook North Barbara Somogyi Cook South Denis Ryan

Shawnee Sheila Nelson Southwestern Mark Christ

Cook West Carla Joiner-Herrod

Starved Rock Simon Kampwerth Jr.

Corn Belt Mark Harms

Three Rivers Rob Rodewald

DuPage Thomas Ruggio

Two Rivers Tracie Sayre

Egyptian John Metzger

Wabash Valley Dennis Inboden

Illini Michelle Skinlo

Western Sue McCance

Kaskaskia Linda Eades

Service Associates Glen Eriksson

Board of directors members are current at press time.

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


that only thoughts and opinions

goals, and strategies is produced

each aspect of the draft plan and

shared by a large segment of the

during the third meeting. That draft

provide feedback. Trends in the

community are considered when

plan is shared with the communi-

data are shared with the strategic

looking at potential changes to the

ty through a survey that provides

plan team and are used to consid-

direction set by the team.

an opportunity for both qualitative

er final changes to the draft plan

A draft of the strategic plan

and quantitative data. In this survey,

during the final half-day meeting

including mission, vision, values,

stakeholders are asked to consider

that occurs prior to presentation of the strategic plan to the board of education. Throughout the entire process, the board of education is provided updates. This means the final plan OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Roger L. Eddy, Executive Director Benjamin S. Schwarm, Deputy Executive Director Meetings Management Carla S. Bolt, Director Office of General Counsel Kimberly Small, General Counsel Maryam Brotine, Assistant General Counsel Debra Jacobson, Assistant General Counsel Executive Searches Thomas Leahy, Director Jim Helton, Consultant Dave Love, Consultant Alan Molby, Consultant Catherine Finger, Consultant ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES Jennifer Feld, Associate Executive Director/ Chief Financial Officer ADVOCACY/GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS Benjamin S. Schwarm, Deputy Executive Director Deanna L. Sullivan, Director Susan Hilton, Director Zach Messersmith, Director Shanell Bowden, Assistant Director

presented for approval is a document that contains no surprises

BOARD DEVELOPMENT Dean Langdon, Associate Executive Director Sandra Kwasa, Director Nesa Brauer, Trainer Angie Peifer, Consultant

for the board of education.

COMMUNICATIONS/ PRODUCTION SERVICES James Russell, Associate Executive Director Gary W. Adkins, Director/Editorial Services Jennifer Nelson, Director/Information Services Theresa Kelly Gegen, Director/Editorial Services Heath Hendren, Assistant Director/Communications Kara Kienzler, Director/Production Services Katie Grant Assistant Director/Production Services

tendent. Following approval, there

FIELD SERVICES/POLICY SERVICES Cathy A. Talbert, Associate Executive Director

This process ensures that the approved strategic plan represents thinking and ideas beyond just the seven board members and superinneeds to be a focus on communicating the progress toward reaching the strategic plan goals to both the board and the community. One of the best ways to accomplish this is for the board of education to receive periodic progress monitoring reports and a yearly update. Including community engagement in the strategic planning process is a time and labor-intensive process. Unless the board of education and superintendent are will-

Field Services Larry Dirks, Director Perry Hill IV, Director Laura Martinez, Director Dee Molinare, Director Reatha Owen, Director Patrick Rice, Director Barbara B. Toney, Director

i n g to l i st en a nd i mplement a

Policy Services Boyd Fergurson, Consultant Angie Powell, Consultant Brian Zumpf, Consultant

ers including more informed inter-

direction set by the community as a whole, a process like this should not be considered. However, if that willingness exists, several goals can be reached by engaging stakeholdnal and external communities, a strategic plan that reflects the ideas of all stakeholders, and perhaps

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


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

most importantly, a deep investment by stakeholders in the future direction of the school district.


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What is the ‘Assassination Generation’? By Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman and Kristine Paulsen, with Katie Miserany


he harrowing book, Assassination Generation: How

and school safety organizations. Here, we excerpt (with

Video Games Train Young Killers, makes a pointed

permission) from three chapters of Assassination Gener-

case for the frightening impact of media violence, especially

ation, written by Grossman and Kristine Paulsen, with

violent video games, on school-age children.

Katie Miserany.

In his introduction, author Lieutenant Colonel Dave

The book includes research into the common excus-

Grossman states, “Our enemy is denial. Denial is a great

es for “the virus of violence,” more on how video games

big blanket we pull up over our heads so we can pretend

“warp the mind” and train kids to kill, and accounts

the bad man will never come. Denial kills us twice. It kills

of violent crimes inspired by video games. Research

us once physically when violence catches us unprepared,

includes what hasn’t worked, and what might work, to

and it kills us again psychologically when we know that we

reduce the “likelihood of later aggressive and violent

could have prevented the violence and failed to do so.”

behavior, and of factors known to increase aggressive

Grossman is a United States Army Ranger, paratroop-


and violent behavior.”

er, former West Point psychology professor, researcher,

The first chapter opens with a reference to the 1997

and Pulitzer Prize-nominated author. Since his retirement

tragedy in Paducah, Kentucky, in which a 14-year-old high

from the U.S. Army in 1998, he has provided training

school freshman fired eight shots into a prayer circle in

for military, law enforcement, mental health providers,

the large foyer of his school.

Chapter One — It’s Worse than It

worldwide phenomenon: Argentina,

such crimes are a reality in nearly

Looks: The Case Against the Media

Canada, Finland, Germany, Russia,

every nation.

If we zoom out from the school

Thailand, and the United States.

Sometimes you’ll hear about

massacre in Paducah, we can see a

The first was in Canada, and later a

the “decline in youth violence”

larger picture taking shape. The fact

17-year-old student in Germany set

as proof that we do not need to be

that we are experiencing a world-

the all-time record juvenile mass

concerned about media violence.

wide epidemic of mass murders

murders in human history (not just

Here are the facts: According to the

committed by juveniles in their

in a school, but anywhere). The

Centers for Disease Control (CDC),

schools is beyond dispute. The

two Columbine killers murdered

in 2010, 4,828 young people ages 10

Paducah school massacre was but

13 people between them, but the

to 24 were victims of homicide —

one of the early events in a timeline

killer in Germany gunned down 15

an average of 13 young people each

that began in 1975.

by himself.

day. Homicide is the second lead-

Until 1975, never had a juve-

These crimes have never hap-

ing cause of death for young people

nile committed a multiple homicide

pened before in human history.

aged 15 to 24. In a national sample

against people in a school. Now it is a

Today, massacres and the threat of

of high school youth surveyed in


2011, 32.8 percent reported being

But it is not normal to put thou-

in a physical fight within the last

sands of cops in our schools to stop

year, and 16.6 percent reported

our kids from killing each other. It is

carrying a weapon (a gun, knife, or

not normal for every kid in America

club) on one or more days in the 30

to practice hiding under tables in

days preceding the survey. In 2011

case a classmate comes to kill them.

alone, 707,212 young people aged

Never lose your sense of outrage that

10 to 24 were treated in emergency

these measures are the only options

departments for injuries sustained

we think we have left. Never think

from physical assaults.

this is business as usual.

Maybe these numbers give some

We also have detected these

people reason to rejoice, but con-

would-be killers by the hundreds,

sider this: On December 14, 2012,

catching them before they commit

a 20-year-old man fatally shot 20

their crimes. When I teach cops and

children and six adult staff mem-

educators, I say, “I bet many of you

bers and wounded two at Sandy

know of cases where we caught the

police arrived at that school in min-

Hook Elementary School in New-

kid with the gun, we caught him

utes and ultimately shot the suspect

town, Connecticut. Those 26 lives

with the hit list, we caught him with

before he could take a single life. He

lost and two wounded individuals will

the bomb, and it never got into the

survived. Nobody died that day, so it

not significantly increase the total

national news.” Many of these indi-

is not on anybody’s list of these types

homicide numbers for the U.S. Can

viduals come up after the class to

of crimes. The cops who were there

numbers begin to explain what those

give me examples. ”If you personally

told me that one of the first things

murders mean to their families, to

know of one or two cases that nev-

out of the kid’s mouth was, “How’d

that community, and to this country

er made it into the national news,

you get here so fast?”

as a whole?

how many are there nationwide?” I

We deter these killers. We detect

When I teach the cops, federal

ask. “Every year we nail hundreds of

them. We defeat them. And still,

agents, and educators I train, I always

these kids before they commit their

every few years we see a … number

emphasize that we have become very

crimes. They’re just kids! They are

of children who die because of vio-

good at preventing such crimes since

not usually very sophisticated. If we

lence in our schools.

they emerged in 1975.

look for it — and we are looking for

Not a single child has been killed

We have deterred them in many

it — most of the time we can spot it.”

by a school fire in the U.S. in over 50

ways. We put thousands of armed

Finally, we have learned to

years. Fire experts tell me that meet-

cops in our schools. What’s more,

defeat these killers. Never again

ing fire codes can easily double the

every student in America performs

will cops sit on the perimeter and

construction cost of a school build-

“lock-down drills,” which can reduce

do nothing as a mass murder happens

ing. … So if you spend $6 million

the body count if a crime does occur

in our school, as they did during the

in construction costs for a school

and also greatly reduces the prob-

Columbine massacre. The most fun-

building, up to $3 million could have

ability of a crime by serving as a

damental shift in law enforcement

gone into just meeting the fire codes.

powerful deterrent. Armed cops and

tactics happened after Columbine.

Do we mind? Of course not. We’d

lock-down drills send a message to

“Rapid Reaction” or “Active Mass

do anything to prevent our children

the students. Somewhere, in every

Murder” training teaches cops to

from dying in a school fire.

school that practices these drills, a

go into schools to stop the killings. It

And yet 63 children died in

student might say to himself or her-

works. Most people never heard about

2006 alone because of school-related

self, “I better not try it here. They’re

what happened in a high school in

violence. Despite our drills and the

ready for me.”

Spokane, Washington, in 2003. The

diligence of the cops in our schools,



we never did anything to address

Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois

children in the media and — par-

the root cause of the problem. An

University massacres happened.

ticularly — violent video games is the new factor causing this crime wave.

entire generation out there has been

I was in Hartford, Connecti-

fed violence as entertainment from

cut, training 200 Connecticut law

their youngest days, and they have

enforcement officers on the day of the

been systematically taught to associ-

Sandy Hook massacre. That morn-

The kids who do nothing but

ate pleasure and reward with human

ing I told the audience what I have

play the sickest video games and

death and suffering. In 1995 (three

been telling my audiences for several

watch the sickest movies are very,

years before the Jonesboro (Arkan-

years: that we would see elementary

very sick indeed, but the industry

sas) massacre and four years before

school massacres at the hands of old-

that markets these products to chil-

the Columbine massacre), my book

er adults. The [cohort of] kids who

dren is the worst of all. The respon-

On Killing came out, predicting that

gave us Jonesboro, Columbine, and

sibility for these horrific acts should

we were raising a generation of juve-

Virginia Tech are all grown up. As the

be placed directly at its doorstep. A

nile mass murderers who will com-

killer at Sandy Hook proved, these

trail of blood leads us directly to

mit crimes like we never imagined.

adults will be returning to places like

this industry, which has fought

After the Jonesboro massacre,

our elementary schools to unleash

all the way to the U.S. Supreme

the media tried to boil the problem

violence we never dreamed of in our

Court for the “right” to market its

down to a “southern gun culture

darkest nightmares.

products to children without any

We have created the most violent generation in history.

restraints, regulations, or third-par-

thing.” Gloria DeGaetano and I wrote

Unfortunately for all of us, I

in our book, Stop Teaching Our Kids

have been 100 percent correct in

to Kill, that Jonesboro was just the

all of these predictions thus far.

The situation is worse than it

beginning and that these crimes

All of this is on record and com-

looks. Law enforcement has made

would continue to happen across

pletely verifiable. Now I warn my

great strides in deterring school mas-

the United States and around the

trainees that these mass murderers

sacres, and medical technology and

world unless we changed our culture.

are coming not just to our schools,

increasing numbers of incarcerat-

The Columbine massacre occurred

but straight to our school buses,

ed inmates have held down violent

as the book was in the final editing

kindergarten classes, Little League

crime. Yet the body count in our

stages. We added information about

games, hospitals, and daycare cen-

schools is moving ever upward and

ty control whatsoever….

we’ve seen the age of mass murderers grow as the latest generation has

“The important thing to remember is this: The

grown up. It is only going to get worse until we solve the root cause of the

violence fed to children in the media and —

problem: the proliferation of increas-

particularly — violent video games is the new

ingly violent video games that are

factor causing this crime wave.”

warping the minds and behavior of children around the world. Chapter Three — The Human

Columbine, sadly predicting again

ters. We will see unprecedented

Brain on Violence: How Violent

that more violence was on the way.

massacres in all these locations in

Video Games Warp the Mind

For years, I predicted that the kids who gave us Jonesboro in the middle school and Columbine in the


the years to come. As with all my other predictions, I pray that I am wrong.

high school would give us unprece-

The important thing to remem-

dented college massacres. Then the

ber is this: The violence fed to

When we think about these massacres of innocent children, we must ask, what kind of monster could do such a thing? What kind of person could commit these crimes?


The kind we are raising every day.

have millions of children who have

receives points — the reward for a job well done. …

It is actually difficult to encour-

been classically conditioned from

age a healthy human being to pull

their youngest days to take pleasure

There is a biological impact of

that trigger and potentially deprive

from human death and suffering. To

violent video games on developing

another person of life. Difficult,

them, at a deep, primal level, human

human brains. Social learning, role

that is, unless you are dealing with

death and suffering is a source of

models, and our powerful innate

a sociopath or a person who has been

intense pleasure.

need to search for survival data

desensitized and trained in killing. …

We need to fully grasp the mag-

all combine to make violent video

What should we expect from all

nitude of what these video games

games attractive, addictive, and

those kids who have been taught to

are teaching our kids. They stand

extraordinarily powerful tools to

associate images of pain and death

slack-jawed but i ntent beh i nd

train our children to become violent

with their dinner every night, vio-

machine guns in the arcade, shooting

human beings.

lent video games with snacks and

at electronic targets that pop up on

One of the best-researched and

good times with friends? The kids

the video screen. When they pull the

widely accepted impacts of media

watching horror movies and play-

trigger, the weapon rattles in their

violence is the “mean world syn-

ing brutal games have been taught

hands, shots ring out, and if they hit

drome.” When a child sees death

to associate the death and suffer-

the “enemy” at which they are firing,

and destruction in the media every

ing they see with their popcorn,

the figure drops to the ground, often

day, when he or she inflicts death and

candy bars, sodas, and the scent

with cries of pain and chunks of flesh

destruction in video games every day,

of their girlfriends’ perfumes. We

flying into the air. Then the player

that child cannot help but think this

More timely, more often.

Find us online!


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fictional world represents the way the

you have the “right” to be a bully, a

actual world works. They learn from

sexual predator, an abuser, and a thief.

childhood that we live in a cruel, mean, and violent world. The takeaway is that

Chapter Nine —

you must be a cruel, mean, and violent

What You Can do Today

person to survive in it.


The Society for the Psychological

This concept ties in with another

Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) released

widely researched outlook, the “just

a statement on media violence in April

world fallacy.” The way of thinking

2014 that echoes the urgency… We

proclaims, “You get what is coming

must collectively start down the road

to you,” and “What goes around comes

to media reduction. The society’s

around.” Media violence teaches our

statement begins with references to

children this concept through plotlines

the 2012 Newtown elementary school

in which bad things happen to other

massacre and concludes with policy

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman will

people or (in the case of video games)

recommendations that could be enact-

be presenting at the School

you inflict bad things on other people

ed immediately to make great strides

Safety and Security Seminar,

because they “deserve” it. The reason

toward reversing the effects of video

November 17 at the Hyatt

your victims “deserved” your retribu-

game and media violence. The soci-

Regency in Chicago, in con-

tion can be as simple as the fact that

ety urges policy-makers to create and

junction with the 2017 Joint

they are weak and vulnerable. At its

implement a scientifically based media

Annual Conference.

root, it is the law of the jungle, where

rating system, highlighting that the

might makes right.

confusing set of ratings in use today

Research funded by the video

are failing to empower parents to make

game industry has been designed

educated decisions regarding their

to convince us that video games

children’s video game choices. It also

increase self-restraint and social

encourages the media to both promote

skills, especially when kids play

the development of more pro-social

How can we, as individuals,

games in which they and their friends

products and develop public education

reduce the likelihood of future

are networked together, collaborat-

programs concerning media effects

incidents…? As you support the

ing as they go on their virtual killing

on youth and society, among other

efforts of policy-makers on a broad-

rampages. This is akin to claiming


er level and help establish the Take

that street gangs increase social

I wholeheartedly support these

the Challenge program, developed

skills and self-control. Actually, in

recommendations and others like

by co-author Kristine Paulsen, in

a twisted way, street gangs do teach

them that have been made for years

your local community, you can also

social skills — the skills of a hunting

by concerned scientists, doctors,

begin your own family’s journey

pack animal. They also teach self-re-

researchers, parents, and lawmakers.

down this healing path.

straint: the self-control of a preda-

Policy changes at the highest levels

It is possible to change this

tor who can cooperate with other

offer the best way to enact change in

culture of violence if we have the

predators to pull down prey. A pack

our country in a meaningful way, but

will. In order to make sure our

member knows better than to get in

striving toward these top-level chang-

ch i ldren are sa fe a nd hea lthy,

the way of the alpha. The lesson our

es doesn’t absolve us of our personal

three primary sectors need to take

children take away is that when you

responsibilities in our communities,

action: parents, schools, and the

are in charge, when you have power,

schools, and homes.

wider community.



Transgender students: Law, policy, and practice By Maryam Brotine


ot a week goes by without a

Equal Educational

students will be accommodated. For

news article about issues sur-

Opportunities policy

example, Evanston Township High

rounding transgender individuals, and

Start by reviewing your board

School District 202 adopted an amend-

many articles are about school districts

policy on providing equal educational

ed version of 7:10, which explicitly

accommodating transgender students.

opportunities to all students. If your

provides that

Many school board members have

district subscribes to IASB PRESS, it

done preliminary homework on the

may have adopted sample policy 7:10,

“Students shall be treated and

matter and tried to keep up with the

Equal Educational Opportunities,

supported in a manner consis-

news, both local and national. You may

which states that your district provides

tent with their gender identity.

have visited the IASB’s webpage on

such opportunities without regard to,

This shall include but not be lim-

Transgender Students: Legal Issues

among other things, gender identity.

ited to students having access

and learned that regardless of what’s

Sample policy 7:10 further states

to gendered facilities, including

going on at the national level, Illinois

is assistant general counsel for the Illinois Association of School Boards.

restrooms and locker rooms

law prohibits transgender discrimina-

“No student shall, based on sex,

that correspond to their gender

tion via the Illinois School Code (105

sexual orientation, or gender


ILCS 5/10-20.12; 23 Ill. Admin. Code

identity be denied equal access to

1.240) and the Illinois Human Rights

programs, activities, services, or

If your district’s practice is to

Act (775 ILCS 5/1-102(A), 5/5-501(11),

benefits or be limited in the exer-

grant students with access to gendered


cise of any right, privilege, advan-

facilities in all cases, whether or not

So does that mean it is an open-

tage, or denied equal access to

your board states that in policy will

and-shut matter for your district? No.

educational and extracurricular

depend on many factors, including

programs and activities.”

the political climate within your com-

W h i l e I l l i no i s l aw c l e a r ly

Maryam Brotine

prohibits transgender discrimi-

munity. For example, if your district

nation, how this could play out in

The policy inquiry does not end

has been accommodating transgender

your district, at the district and

there, however, because 7:10 is a sam-

students just fine without making a big

building levels, is far from clear —

ple. Boards should consider whether

deal about it, then amending a board

and could become unfathomably

the sample policy meets their local

policy might stir up attention that the

murky if you don’t proactively

needs. Many boards, responding to the

board does not desire, or it might divert

plan for it. So what else do you

needs of their communities, students,

board resources from more pressing

need to know? How are school dis-

staff, and parents, have taken 7:10

matters. On the other hand, if your

tricts throughout Illinois manag-

and supplemented it with additional

district has worked hard to accom-

ing this issue?

language detailing how transgender

modate transgender students and



create a climate of inclusion, then

is entirely at your discretion. Please

students often do so by having key

publicly proclaiming this in board

note, however, that administrative

administrators collaborate with

policy may positively contribute to

procedures are subject to disclosure

relevant staff members, students,

such a climate.

via the Freedom of Information Act

parents, their board attorney, and

(FOIA). To prepare for the possibility

advocacy groups. One such group

of disclosing your district’s admin-

is The Illinois Safe Schools Alli-

Administrative Procedures Some boards choose to leave

istrative procedure in response to a

ance (The Alliance), whose mission

their equal educational opportuni-

FOIA request, consider beginning

includes “to promote safety, support,

ties policy as-is and instead draft

the administrative procedure with a

and healthy development for lesbian,

administrative procedures and/or

purpose statement that clearly sets

gay, bisexual, transgender, and ques-

guidelines that detail how adminis-

forth the district’s reasons for imple-

tioning (LGBTQ) youth, in Illinois

trators and staff will meet the needs

menting the procedure.

schools and communities.” Districts

of transgender students. The beauty

PRESS sample administrative

that have worked with The Alliance

of administrative procedures is that

procedure 7:10-AP, Accommodat-

to craft administrative procedures

they do not need board approval.

ing Transgender Students or Gen-

include Berwyn South School Dis-

This has two significant governance

der Non-Conforming Students,

trict 100 and Harlem School District

benefits. First, it makes adminis-

guides school officials through the:

122. Administrative procedures are

trative procedures flexible so that

1) application of state and federal

meant to meet each district’s local

administrators can amend them as

anti-discrimination laws to this stu-

policy implementation needs, taking

needed. Second, their implementa-

dent population, and 2) common

into account various factors, includ-

tion is related to staff work and draws

needs in which transgender or gen-

ing grade levels served, number of

less public attention.

der non-conforming students may

attendance centers, district, and school climates, etc.

Your district may of course

request accommodations and sup-

choose to publicize them (i.e., at

port at school. Districts interested

B e r w y n S o u t h ’s 7:10 - A P,

board meetings or on the district web-

in further developing administrative

Administrative Procedure for

site) but doing so, and to what extent,

procedures regarding transgender

Student Gender Support, is three

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pages long and contains subsections addressing the following:

6:65, Student Social and

7:250, Student Support Ser-

E m ot i o n a l D e v e l o p m e n t,

vices, directs the Superintendent

• Definitions

requires that social and emotional

to develop protocols for respond-

• Confidentiality

learning be incorporated into the

ing to students’ social, emotional,

• Names and Pronouns

District’s curriculum and other

or mental health problems that

• Gendered Facilities and

educational programs.

impact learning.

School-Sponsored Programs

7:20, Harassment of Stu-

7: 330, St u d e nt Use of

• Dress Codes

dents Prohibited, prohibits any

Buildings – Equal Access,

• Curriculum and Pedagogy

person from harassing, intimidat-

grants student-initiated groups

• Gender Support Team and Sup-

ing, or bullying a student based on

or clubs the free use of school

an actual or perceived character-

premises for their meetings,

• Discrimination and Harassment

istic that is identified in the policy

under specified conditions.

• Online Accessibility

including, among other protected

port Planning

Harlem’s 7:10-AP, Gender Sup-

statuses, gender identity.

7:340, Student Records, contains the comprehensive structure

port Administrative Procedure, is

7:130, Student Rights and

for managing school student

similarly structured, though it is four

Responsibilities, recognizes that

records, keeping them confiden-

pages long as was formally approved by

all students are entitled to rights

tial, and providing access as

the school board. If you are interested

protected by the U.S. and Illinois

allowed or required.

in speaking with administrators from

Constitutions and laws for per-

these districts regarding their experi-

sons of their age and maturity in

ences putting transgender policies into

a school setting.

practice, or have questions regarding

7:160, Student Appearance,

PRESS sample administrative proce-

prohibits students from dressing

dure 7:10-AP, please contact the IASB

or grooming in such a way as to

Office of General Counsel.

disrupt the educational process, interfere with a positive teaching/

Consider Other Board Policies Aside from your Equal Educational Opportunities policy, keep in mind

learning climate, or compromise reasonable standards of health, safety, and decency.

the following sample PRESS policies

7:165, Student Uniforms,

(or your district’s equivalent poli-

encourages students to wear

cies) which may come into play when

school uniforms in order to main-

addressing transgender student needs:

tain and promote orderly school functions, school safety, and a

2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure, contains the process

positive learning environment, if adopted.

for an individual to seek resolu-

7:180, Prevention of and

tion of a complaint. A student

Response to Bullying, Intimida-

may use this policy to complain

tion, and Harassment, contains

about bullying prohibited by the

the comprehensive structure for

Illinois School Code (105 ILCS

the District’s bullying prevention

5/27-23.7), which specifically

program. As noted above, this spe-

includes bullying based on actual

cifically includes bullying based

or perceived gender-related iden-

on actual or perceived gender-re-

tity or expression.

lated identity or expression.


Resources IASB’s webpage on Transgender Students: Legal Issues is located at The Illinois Safe Schools Alliance can be reached at In addition to the resources noted above, to learn more about transgender students and meeting their needs please see: Book Recommendations for Educators, The Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, Actions to Create More Affirming School Environments for LGBTQIA+ Students & Staff, The Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, at Lurie Children’s Gender and Sex Development Program, at specialties-services/gender-program/Pages/index. aspx, or contact Jennifer Leininger at 773/303-6056 or Gender Spectrum, an organization whose mission is to help create gender sensitive and inclusive environments for all children and teens, at Transgender Students in Schools: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for Public School Boards and Staff (Version 9.0), National School Boards Association (March 2017), at Transgender_Guide.pdf. Dealing with Legal Matters Surrounding Students’ Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, National School Board Association and other participating organizations (April 2013), at:



Behind the fake news curtain The importance of media literacy education By Natasha Casey

Natasha Casey researches and teaches about media and information literacy at Blackburn College in Carlinville. Read her “No Silos” blog at www.

“Post-truth” was named the word

brother or elderly aunt who can’t stop

is how we see it represented.” Media

of the year in 2016 by the Oxford

watching cable news, but how many

constructs for us ideas about all

English Dictionaries, but “fake

of us cling stubbornly to that reas-

kinds of people and places outside of

news” might be the most overused

suring third-person effect position?

our direct experience, whether that

phrase of 2017. According to Google

As a way to introduce the con-

is about Ireland, Arab-Americans,

search trends, the term peaked last

cept of media literacy in my class-

or the transgender community. The

January, spiked again in June, and

room, I ask my students, “how do you

Pew Research Center estimates

because the president uses it regular-

know what you know about Ireland?”

that, on an average, people spend

ly, “fake news” continues to maintain

I am originally from there, but you

somewhere between six to 10 hours

a high profile. It has recently further

could easily replace Ireland with any

a day consuming media. What we

degenerated into a way to casually

number of places or groups within

know about the world is how we see

dismiss anyone who doesn’t agree

and beyond the United States.

it represented in social media, on

with your point of view.

television, at the movies, in advertising, and beyond.

There i s one p o sit ive sid e

know about Ireland — rolling green

effect of this fixation however,

hills, castles, sheep, pubs, pints of

There are various, and some-

and that is a renewed spotlight on

Guinness, cheeky locals in said pubs

times competing, definitions of the

the importance of media literacy,

drinking Guinness, leprechauns,

term media literacy, but most share

considered one way to counter the

pots of gold, U2, etc. You get the pic-

common key concepts, principles

“fake news” phenomenon.

ture. Then I ask students if they’ve

or questions. For example, here are

never been there, how do they have

a few basic questions posed by the

all these ideas about what Ireland

National Association of Media Literacy (NAMLE):

What is media literacy?


Students describe what they

Simply put, media literacy is a

and the Irish are like? From there we

discipline that seeks to understand

discuss the power of mediated images

• Who made this?

the role and impact of media in our

to shape our perceptions of people

• What does someone want me to

lives and culture. It is a curious par-

and places we have little or no direct

adox when “fake news” is blamed for

experience with. I then take them

election results on the one hand and

on a Google Earth tour of my old

yet, most people deny that media

neighborhood with no sheep, hills,

influences them personally (the

or castles in sight.

“third-person effect”). Everyone has

Media theorist Stuart Hall not-

an anecdote about a video-addicted

ed, “What we know about the world

learn from this? • How credible is this (and how do you know)? Or these questions for media consumers, suggested by the Center for Media Literacy • Who created this message?


• How might different people understand this message differently? • Why is this message being sent?

of Ireland from an English point of

internet safety lessons — the lessons

view. Later, I took a media literacy

are to be given every year starting

course at college, and I was hooked.

in grade 3, and include topics such as safe and responsible use of social

Media literacy actually is housed in a wide range of academic depart-

K-12 focused media literacy

networking websites, chat rooms,

ments including communications

In the United States, there is a

electronic mail, bulletin boards,

and education. It is often interdis-

greater focus on media literacy edu-

i n st a nt me s s a g i n g, a nd ot her

ciplinary, borrowing concepts from

cation in K-12 education, because

means of communication on the

film studies, sociology, cultural stud-

most high-profile media literacy

internet.” Digital citizenship is

ies, English, and anthropology, to

organizations in North America,

gaining momentu m across the

name just a few.

including NAMLE in the U.S. and

U.S., but it doesn’t always align with

Media literacy education has a

MediaSmarts in Canada, are primar-

media literacy. More concerning is

longer history outside the U.S. and

ily focused on these younger audi-

that it often takes a protectionist

is firmly institutionalized in schools

ences. In addition, the majority of

approach, which I think ultimately

and universities in Britain, Canada,

media literacy research grant fund-

backfires on students.

and Australia. Reasons for this dif-

ing is aimed at the K-12 audience. In

ference include centralized systems

fact, the Common Core State Stan-

of education and because media lit-

dards include references to media

Throughout history, the intro-

eracy is seen in other countries as

literacy, which is why NAMLE and

duction of new media has sparked

a way to counter the influence of

Project Look Sharp

U.S. media, sometimes referred to as

both have compre-

“cultural imperialism.” As I explain

hensive guides on

to my students, imagine half of the

the ways in which

local cineplex offerings in any given

media literacy edu-

week are films from France. This

cation aligns with

would undoubtedly spark a conver-

these standards.

sation about the influence of French

The latter organiza-

values on U.S. culture. Educators

tion also integrates

might see media literacy as a way

media literacy into

to help students deconstruct these

ex ist i ng subject

foreign images and mitigate a not-al-

a re a s (a lt hou g h

ways-benign cultural influence.

ot her s prefer t o

For me, it was mainstream

teach media litera-

me d i a r e pr e s e nt at ion s o f t he

cy as a stand-alone

so-called Irish “troubles” after I


moved from Ireland to England in

According to

the late 1980s that sparked my ear-

Media Literacy

ly interest in media literacy. The

Now, another advo-

disconnect between how the same

cacy organization

events were covered by media in

for media literacy

neighboring countries motivated my

and “digital citi-

awareness of media literacy in sec-

zenship” education

ondary school, as I wanted to know

policy, Illinois “…

more about how television images

requires school dis-

in particular shaped perceptions

tricts to incorporate

Against protectionism

Above left: “Five Core Concepts and Key Questions for Consumers and Producers (Q-Tips),” Media Deconstruction/Construction Framework, Center for Media Literacy, Above right: “Key Questions When Analyzing Media Messages,” Project Look Sharp, National Association for Media Literacy Education d/0B8j2T8jHrlgCZ2Zta2hvWkF0dG8/view



debate about what that technology

dangers of the internet, and social

habit s u su a l ly come f rom col-

is doing to society as a whole, but

media especially.

lea gues who ca n’t seem to put

most especially children. Protec-

This protectionist narrative

their phones down during faculty

tionists usually approach media

rarely aligns with students’ lived

meetings — kids today indeed! One

from a “moral panic” perspec -

experiences, where new media

of the first exercises I do with stu-

tive — the same type of response

technologies allows them to be

dents to get them to realize just how

that accompanied the popular-

makers and sharers and to build

much time we spend on our smart-

ity of film in the 1930s, comic

community around their favorite

phones is to download the Checky

books, television and rock’n’roll

media practices, fandoms, and

app (I dare you to try it), which will

in the 1950 s, v ideo games and

pop culture forms. I prefer to use

tell you how many times a day you

horrorcore music in the 1990s,

students’ interests as a way to dis-

touch your phone. While you’re at

and more recently the internet

cuss topics such as corporate media

it, download the Moment app too.

and social media. Protectionists

ownership, remixing, open access,

It will tell you how long you spend

emphasize the dangers and pitfalls

techniques used in media to sway

on your phone everyday. And if we

of media. By the time students

audiences, privacy, issues of repre-

are truthful, we acknowledge that

enter my media and information

sentation, filter bubbles and more,

media plays a massive part in all

literacy class, they’ve been blud-

and to facilitate critical consump-

of our lives (and not just kids), but

geoned with this perspective for

tion of media and information.

so little time is dedicated to study-

years and eyes glaze over when

My favorite anecdotes about

discussion turns to the potential

“kids today” and their tweeting

ing it. This is why media literacy is incredibly important. Critical thinking is nothing new and media literacy is essentially critical thinking applied to media. It’s not a panacea to all media-related issues. It isn’t easy to teach but it can be taught. The problem with “fake news” is that it oversimplifies a complicated idea. L et ’s not do the same w ith media literacy by just adopting a protectionist, digital-citizen-

IASB — A nationwide search with Illinois experience • IASB works with the National Affiliation of Superintendent Searchers (NASS), with over 110 consultants located in 40 states • NASS annually assists hundreds of districts and school boards with superintendent and other administrative searches • Illinois searches with IASB include serving 192 school districts in 70 different counties, from 2009-2016 Contact IASB, your local search professional, to find out more: 217/528-9688 or 630/629-3776, ext. 1217,


ship-only approach. So, here’s to media literacy being the “word of the year” for 2018. Resources NAMLE’s “Key Questions to Ask When Analyzing Media Messages” is available here: /file / d/0B8j2T8jHrlgCZ2Zta2hvWkF0dG8/ view. Used with permission. The Center for Media Literacy’s “Five Core Concepts and Key Questions for Consumers and Producers” can be viewed at Used with permission. © 2002-2017, Center for Media Literacy.



Understanding Illinois’ answer to ESSA The Every Student Succeeds Act

federal support for public education.

which, according to the Illinois State

(ESSA), signed into law in December

Here’s a look at what school board

Board of Education (ISBE), “crystal-

2015, replaces the previous law (known

members need to know about Illinois’

lizes Illinois’ commitment to address

as No Child Left Behind) guiding

system of balanced accountability

the needs of the whole child.”

What is ESSA? The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is a federal law that outlines how states can use federal money to support public schools. It also establishes an accountability framework for all schools. States were required to submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Education for approval. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), after an extensive series of listening tour events and input from stakeholders, developed and redeveloped its peer-reviewed state plan. The final approval was given on August 30. The complete plan is available on the ISBE website:

“The Illinois plan delivers on the promise to promote equity, to foster a culture of support, and to recognize growth and the unique work happening in your schools.” — ISBE

How were the accountability measures developed? Based on feedback from over 100 listening tour events and thousands of comments and input from stakeholders, the Illinois plan’s accountability measures were developed with goals known as “Design Principles”: • Educative, equitable, and non-punitive; • Grounded on the notion of identification for the purpose of support for schools and creating opportunities for children; and • Recognizing local context in the consideration of state work.

“The Illinois ESSA Plan supports the state’s cross-agency long-term goal of at least 60 percent of Illinoisans having a high-quality degree or credential by 2025. We heard from thousands of you over more than 16 months of gathering feedback from our stakeholders and the field that you wanted multiple measures and a greater focus on growth-based measurements, in addition to attainment outcomes.” — ISBE



What does the Illinois plan contain?

* The student growth portion will be 50 percent of the academic indicator. Each school will receive an A-F grade for growth. The P-2 Indicator, Elementary Indicator, and Fine Arts Indicator are still being developed.


A number of accountability measures for school districts.


Courtesy of ISBE

* ESSA requires a plan to promote equity, access, and opportunity. In Illinois, this is written into the summative designations.

A set of summative designations related to school quality.

Courtesy of ISBE



“Each school will receive a summative designation based on these multiple measures. These designations will identify schools for the purpose of providing supports. Our plan delivers on the promise to promote equity, to foster a culture of support, and to recognize growth and the unique work happening in your schools. The plan measures academic progress and attainment, chronic absenteeism, climate and culture, and college and career readiness, among other indicators.” — ISBE


The support structure for under-performing schools: IL-EMPOWER.

* The summative designations (aka “tiers”) will be determined by the accountability measures. Then IL-EMPOWER is the system of support. The construction of this system is a work in progress and will be continued throughout the coming year.

Courtesy of ISBE

“ESSA shifts our understanding of accountability from just a hammer to a process of collaborative inquiry.” — ISBE



What are the next steps? * One standard in the Quality Framework is “governance management and operations.” For the first time, a review of school boards’ governance is part of the improvement process.

Development and implementation of the IBAM rubric: The Illinois Balanced Accountability Measure Committee, on which IASB Executive Director Roger Eddy is vice chair, worked on a quality framework rubric. “Our job was to come up with a framework for schools to review and measure performance. What evolved was a rubric, known as the Quality Framework for Illinois School Districts.” These seven standards contained in the rubric provide a district the opportunity to review best practice: continuous improvement, culture and climate, shared leadership, governance, education and employee quality, family and community connections, and student learning and development. If a school district is in the bottom five percent and received the low-performing school designation, it will be required to complete the Quality Framework and work with IL-EMPOWER. A district not in the bottom five percent that wishes to be supported by IL-EMPOWER must also complete the Quality Framework rubric. “It’s a way to share best practice, and support districts in a non-punitive manner,” Eddy said. “It’s also going to take a collaborative commitment.” Look for more on these next steps in future issues of The Illinois School Board Journal.

“IL-EMPOWER is grounded in the belief that schools have multiple strengths and challenges. The identified school(s) within the district complete the Illinois Balanced Accountability Measures (IBAM) rubric and determine one or two areas in which to focus efforts. ISBE will pilot IL-EMPOWER with a number of districts over this school year in order to gather input on the process and to strengthen the delivery of our support services. IL-EMPOWER will be fully implemented to serve schools statewide in the 2018-19 school year.” — ISBE


Promise and opportunity To me, ESSA is an opportunity wrapped in a new promise, based on trust. The promise is, that we will all work collaboratively, in a supportive, non-punitive environment to together improve our schools with the goal of providing every student a high-quality education. It is critically important that we trust each other along the way. Let’s make sure that as this unfolds, that same supportive, non-punitive vision becomes reality. I believe it will. The purpose is to be supportive. We are in this together. ISBE has been and continues to be very inclusive. We have enjoyed and appreciated that. As this theory becomes a reality, the promise of collaborative support in a non-punitive culture must be fulfilled. This process allows districts to reveal their unique strengths. School districts can tell their stories independently of the accountability model, and I urge districts to do so. If you’re doing great things that the review model doesn’t include, you should still highlight those in your community. This has promise, and this can work. But don’t let it define our public schools. Your schools do wonderful things for students, based on the unique needs of your community and students. Highlight those. Take this as an opportunity to show your strengths and engage with your community. During the IBAM meetings, when we were developing the Quality Framework for Illinois School Districts and discussing evidence of meeting best practice, I concluded that we don’t know what all the evidence is yet, because in every district, the evidence is different. We’re going to have to count on schools to show this to us, and not have the evidence totally defined for them. As the IBAM committee listened to superintendents and principals, they would tell us something they were doing, and ask, “Does this count?” Many of these were things we’d never thought of. But we concluded that, “Absolutely, that’s evidence.” It’s going to be a process, it’s going to be hard work, but, if the spirit and vision of non-punitive support and collaboration becomes reality, it will be worthwhile. — IASB Executive Director Roger Eddy


Is your district ready to manage the mountain of updates from the Illinois General Assembly and regulatory agencies for the 2017-2018 school year? Here’s a glimpse of the topics that PRESS addressed in the 2017 legislative issue: Student Records (PAs 100552 (ISSRA response timeline) and 100-222 (assessments and student transcripts)) • New Education Funding and State Budget Mandate Relief (PA 100465) • Anti-Discrimination Laws (PAs 100-29 (breastfeeding accommodations)), 100-163 (free feminine hygiene products), 100-396 (Genetic Information Privacy Act amendment), and 100-100 (Illinois Human Rights Act amendment)). • Department of Children and Family Services (PA 100-176 (employee removal); PAs 100-413 and 100-468 (distributing informational materials in schools)) • Student Health (PAs 100-309 (new concussion training requirements), 100-137 (bullying resources), 100-513 (school medication administration),100-103 (lead testing in water), and 100-443 (home and hospital instruction authorization)) • Homelessness (PAs 100332 (homeless rent assistance) and 100-506 (fee waivers)) • Licensure Qualifications and Staff Development (PAs 100-13 (CTE endorsement), 100-14 (implicit bias training)) • PreSchool Expulsions (PA 100-105) • Immigration Enforcement (PA 100-463) • Accelerated Placement Act (PA 100-421, eff. 7-1-18) • Federal Developments (FLSA Overtime rules, Wellness Policy requirements)

Why Subscribe? Researched, written and edited by the IASB Office of General Counsel and vetted by members of the PRESS Advisory Board, a PRESS subscription gives you access to: • Footnoted, legally-referenced policy, exhibit, and administrative procedure materials • PRESS Highlights Memos explaining recent changes to these materials Subscribers also have online access through PRESS Online. For more information please contact 630/629-3776 or 217/528-9688, ext. 1232.

And many more new Illinois Public Acts affecting your district…

Policy Services



Coming to order New Second Edition! A guide to successful school board meetings This new edition of IASB’s popular book on school board meetings retains many of the ideas and structural features of the original edition. Subsequent versions have been updated to conform to changes in both law and practice and, in particular, to accommodate new thinking about the most effective practices of the school board. Members: $15

Non-members: $20

More 2017 bookstore additions! Find a complete listing of IASB publications and order online at, or call IASB Publications, 217/528-9688, ext.1108. Online Bookstore

The Effective School Board Member

Members: $2

Non-Members $2

An introduction to the work of boards of education in Illinois, including powers and duties, dos and don’ts, the structure of school governance, finance, board/administrator/staff relations, board meeting procedures, a code of ethics, and other information.

2016-2017 Illinois School Code Service

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Non-Members $55

All new sales of the 2016 School Code will include both the Code and the 2017 Supplement with updates to the complete Code that is current through all of the 2016 legislative session. The service also comes with access to a digital version that includes annotations with case law and other references, all State Board of Education rules, and the text of court cases cited in the annotations. It also carries a large number of additional statutes pertinent to Illinois public schools.




Different views Special education due process hearings By Courtney N. Stillman

ost of the time school pro-


Individualized Education Program

for the time during which the student

fe s siona l s a nd pa rent s

(IEP); and responsibility to educate

was not identified and consequently

work together collaboratively and

students with disabilities in the Least

was not receiving needed services.

agree on the educational needs of

Restrictive Environment (LRE).

Free Appropriate Public Edu-

students. However, at times, par-

Child Find — The school dis-

cation — A student with a disability

ents and schools have significant-

trict has the responsibility to identify

is entitled to a FAPE. FAPE requires

ly different views about what are

students who have a disability and

that the school follow various proce-

appropriate educational services

who may need special education.

dural requirements, including, but

for students with disabilities. School

Teachers, administrators, and other

not limited to the school providing

board members play an important

school personnel should refer for a

notice to the parent of meetings and

role in special education disputes, by

special education evaluation any stu-

decisions concerning the student,

deciding whether to negotiate settle-

dent who is struggling academically,

obtaining consent for evaluations

ments, whether to continue through

behaviorally, or in other ways that

and initial placement in special

due process hearings, and in setting

affect his or her educational perfor-

education and allowing parents to

district policies regarding special

mance after general education inter-

meaningfully participate in decision

education programing. This article

ventions have not been successful.

making that concerns planning for

provides an overview of the special

Schools should have procedures in

their child. FAPE also requires that

education dispute process.

place for school personnel to make

the school team, including the child’s

these referrals. After referral, the

parent, develop an IEP for the student

Basic special education

school team meets to determine what

that is appropriately ambitious in

legal concepts

assessments of the student are need-

light of the student’s circumstances

There are four basic concepts of

ed and the team meets again after

and that is reasonably calculated to

the Individuals with Disabilities Edu-

testing is complete to determine the

allow the student to make education-

cation Act (IDEA), from which spe-

student’s eligibility for special edu-

al progress. The IEP includes goals

cial education disputes usually arise,

cation services. If the school fails to

for the student based on his or her

including: the school district’s “Child

identify a student with a disability,

present levels, educational and ther-

Find” responsibility; the requirement

the student’s parent can file a Due

apeutic services, based on the stu-

to provide students with disabilities

Process Complaint Notice (DPCN), or

dent’s needs, accommodations and

a Free Appropriate Public Education

hearing request, to seek compensa-

modification and a determination

(FAPE); the offer of FAPE through an

tory educational services to make up

of an appropriate program in which


Courtney N. Stillman is an attorney with Hauser Izzo, LLC.


to implement the IEP. A parent may

which to deliver ser v ices. The

possible. Disputes may arise that

file a DPCN if the parent disagrees

IEP may also include behavioral

lead to the parent filing a DPCN

with any part of the IEP, such as the

interventions; assistive technology;

over what is the LR E in which

goals, the nature of, or amount of

and, when a student w ith a

the student can make appropriate

services or the placement in which

disability reaches age 14 years,

progress. Some parents want their

the services are provided.

six months, transition services to

child in an inclusive setting while

I nd iv idu a l i zed E duc at ion

prepare the student for life after

other parents believe their child will

P r o g r a m s — The e duc at iona l

high school. The IEP can be an

make more progress in a segregated

p r o g r a m for a s t u d e nt w it h a

extensive document and parents

setting that educates only students

disability is set forth in an IEP

may request a special education

with disabilities. The placement in

that is developed by the school

due process hearing to dispute all

which the student receives special

team and parent on at least an

or any component of the IEP.

education ser vices may be the

annual basis. The IEP establishes

Least Restrictive Environment

goals and objectives to address the

— T he p u r p o s e o f I DE A i s t o

educational needs that arise from

provide students with disabilities

the student’s disability. Services

with access to the general education

When there is a dispute over

needed for the student to achieve

curriculum. The school district is

a student’s eligibility for a receipt

t he g oa l s a re sp e ci f ie d i n t he

required to educate students with

of special education, either par-

IEP, as are the accommodations,

disabilities with their nondisabled

ent or a school district may file

modifications, and placement in

peers to the g reatest extent

a Due Process Complaint Notice.

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

subject of significant dispute. Due process complaint notices

Policy Services

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Contact IASB Policy Services today for information: 630/629-3776 or 217/528-9688, ext. 1214 or 1154; or 24


The DPCN must provide identify-

parents work together in the best

a third-party mediator to help the

ing information about the student,

educational interest of the child

parent and school representatives

facts describing the dispute, and

with a disability. In furtherance of

with settlement discussions. A

a proposed resolution. The school

this collaborative goal, unless both

school may bring an attorney to

district has a burden to produce

the school and the parent refuse the

the mediation even if the parent

evidence that it is providing the

opportunity to attempt to resolve

does not bring an attorney. The

student a FAPE. Whoever files the

their dispute, the parent and school

parties and mediator meet on a

DPCN, the school or the parent,

representatives are required to meet

mutually agreeable date. If agree-

has the burden of proof to persuade

in either a resolution session or a

ment is reached, it is written and

the hearing officer that their view

mediation to attempt to resolve the

is enforceable in court. All settle-

of the student’s needs provides

disagreement set forth in the DPCN.

ment discussion at the mediation

If the school and parent opt for a

is confidential and may not be ref-

A parent seeking a special edu-

resolution session, they meet without

erenced at a due process hearing.

cation due process hearing must

a third-party mediator, to review the

send a DPCN to the superinten-

issues described in the DPCN. If the

Administrative due process

dent of the school district. Upon

parent does not bring an attorney to


the district’s receipt of the DPCN,

the resolution meeting, the school

At the hearing, the school and

certain timelines begin running for

may not bring an attorney either.

the parent have an opportunity to

sending the DPCN to the Illinois

If the school and parent reach an

provide testimony and documents

State Board of Education (ISBE)

agreement, it is written and signed,

in suppor t of their position

for appointment of an impartial

but either the school or the parent

concerning the issues stated in

hearing officer, for conducting a

can void the agreement within three

the DPCN. Each party may ask the

resolution session, for responding

business days. Discussion held at the

other party’s witnesses questions

to the DPCN, and for conducting

meeting is not confidential and may

and the hearing officer may also ask

the hearing.

be shared with the hearing officer at

questions. The impartial hearing

FAPE in the LRE.

The distr ict must send the

the hearing. The resolution session

officer then has 10 days after the

DPCN to ISBE and request appoint-

must be held within 15 days of the

hearing concludes to prepare a

ment of an impartial hearing offi-

school receiving the DPCN, unless

written decision and order. Within

cer within five days of receipt of

both the parent and school agree to

five days of receiving the decision,

the DPCN. When the hearing offi-

mediation or agree to go to hearing

either or both the school and the

cer is appointed, both the school

without attempting settlement.

parent may ask the hearing officer

district and parent have five days

If the school and parent instead

for clarification of portions of the

to request a substitution of hear-

opt for a mediation, ISBE appoints

decision that are unclear. If the

ing of ficer. A substitution may be requested, for example, if the school or parent believe, based on the hearing officer’s previous

“School board members play an important role in

decisions or background, that the

special education disputes, by deciding whether to

hearing officer may be undesirable for the case.

negotiate settlements, whether to continue through due process hearings, and in setting district policies

Mandatory settlement process The IDEA contemplates a coop-

regarding special education programing.”

erative process in which schools and



hearing officer orders the school

are represented by an attorney

her “then current” educational

district to take any action as a result

and who prevail on any issue at a

placement, which is typically the

of the hearing, the district must

due process hearing are entitled to

last educational program to which

send ISBE proof of compliance. The

receive at least a portion of their

both the school and parent agreed.

party that is unsuccessful at the

attor ney fees from the school.

If a school changes a student’s IEP

hearing may appeal the hearing

There is no parallel right of the

and the parent requests a mediation

officer’s decision in state or federal

school to receive payment of fees

or a due process hearing within

court within 120 days of receiving

from parents. Typically, if a par-

10 days of the school’s decision,

the decision.

ent wins at hearing, the school and

the school cannot implement the

parent will negotiate payment of

change and the student’s program

Award of attorneys’ fees

attorneys’ fees. If the amount can-

must remain as it was before the

to parents

not be negotiated, the parent may

proposed change, unless the school

A school district should con-

file a fee petition in state or federal

and parent agree otherwise. If the

sider various factors, such as its

court for the judge to determine

requested mediation occurs and

short- and long-term relationship

what payment of fees is reasonable.

is unsuccessful, the parent has an additional 10 days to request a

with a student’s family, precedence, and the best interests of the student

“Stay put” considerations

hearing and maintain the stay put.

when deciding whether to proceed

During the due process

The stay put may be problematic

with a due process hearing. One

pr o c e e d i n g s , I DE A m a nd a t e s

i f t he s t u d e nt h a s b eh av ior a l

consideration is that parents who

that the student remain in his or

difficulties or other problems that make the student’s current setting inappropriate. Although the IDEA describes due process as a 45-day process, in fact, consider ing

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

settlement negotiations, the possibility of evaluations, and other delays, due process proceedings

Field Services

may last for a significant part of the school year. The role of the board of education Although school board members do not make decisions about individual students’ programs or directly par ticipate in dispute resolution with parents, the board of education plays its role in setting district policies and proce-

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

dures concerning the provision of FAPE in the LRE. Board members should be apprised of special education disputes in the district and be part of the decision-mak ing concerning the settlement or litigation of these disputes.




A proactive plan counters tensions from civil unrest By Terri Howard


oday’s students are growing

a group of people. Within this descrip-

unprepared during a crisis, exacerbat-

up in a culture that is more

tion, though, it can take many forms.

ing the negative effects. Civil unrest

connected than ever but, at the

Some civil unrest is concentrated

may not be common, but it still requires

same time, increasingly polarized.

in localized areas or neighborhoods and

preparation. We recommend several

Discussion, debate, and controversy

affects the residents of these specific

key steps to help your school plan for

surround them during their forma-

communities, usually sparked by some

any civil crisis.

tive years. Whether they realize it

major event in the community. Civil

Model appropriate behavior —

or not, concepts they are exposed to

unrest can also occur when groups of

All schools have a code of conduct, but

at home, in public, and in the media

people deliberately target a business

how closely do you adhere to yours?

shape their perceptions of the world.

district, a facility, a transportation

Simply lecturing students isn’t going

The rise in polarization of political

system, or an organization to impose

to do the job. Negating combative or

and social environments has led to a

maximum disruption. Civil unrest can

inappropriate behavior begins at the

resurgence of civil unrest, a blanket

grow to regional or state levels, affecting

top — board members and administra-

term for a variety of disruptive, poten-

large numbers of people no matter the

tors should ensure that they, along with

tially riotous events. Disorder can

original cause.

school faculty, are setting an appro-

Conflict on campus

director with FEI Behavioral Health.

a culture of tolerance and accepting a

date on local happenings to ensure

During times of heightened ten-

diversity of ideas can reduce conflict

the safety and well-being of students

sions and civil unrest, school leaders

and argument, and school authority

and staff.

can’t expect students to leave outside

figures should be relied on to set this standard for their students.

Moreover, school-age children can

stress or anxiety at the door. Issues like

be impacted by civil unrest happen-

racial injustice and partisan politics

Establish conflict resolution

ing miles, or even states, away. Civil

will affect them at home and in public,

guidelines — School districts have pro-

disorder can inflame tensions across

and it’s likely they’ll come to school

cesses in place for conflict resolution,

the country, and administrators and

attempting to process these topics. The

but is yours a living document? Does

teachers need to be cognizant of this

way students process, combined with

it change to adapt to the needs of your

in order to effectively deal with affected

their interactions with students of dif-

student body and current events? How


fering opinions, can lead to frustration

recently was it reviewed and updated?

and conflict.

In preparation for tensions inflamed

The most effective way to address

by civil unrest, board members and

In seeking to minimize its effects

this kind of conflict on campus is for

administrators should assess their

on students, it’s important to first know

administrators and board members

current conflict resolution system and

what civil unrest is. Be it riots, protests,

to work together and plan. Thinking

evaluate its strengths and weaknesses.

or other behavior, civil unrest is a broad

that it could “never happen here”

Whether within your board or with the

term used to describe unrest caused by

leaves administrators open to being

help of an outside crisis management

Civil unrest

is a senior

priate tone for students. Establishing

threaten everyone in a school setting, and administrators must keep up to

Terri Howard



firm, you should make sure your dis-

the district will communicate to

that will only harm your crisis plan-

trict is prepared to address conflicts

faculty, students, and parents in the

ning and worsen safety concerns in the

with a variety of causes. A modern

event of a crisis. Safety is the first

face of real civil unrest. While we may

conflict resolution system must be

priority, and board members should

not like thinking about it happening

sensitive to the unique needs, expe-

work with administration and staff to

on our school grounds or campus, we

riences, and situations of each student.

prepare a communications strategy.

must prepare for the possibility. School

Once your conflict resolution system is

Do you need to know about curfews or

district leaders who keep their finger

up to date, make sure to rehearse and

street closings? Respond to external

on the community pulse will be better

drill it to look for elements that still

requests for information? Publicize

informed, better prepared, and ready

need fixing. Talking through scenar-

school closings? Email and telephone

to respond to potential crises, allowing

ios around a boardroom table or even

can be effective channels to utilize

them to remain resilient in the face

recruiting students from the theater

during a crisis, but don’t neglect the

of threats to, or conflicts on, school

or drama program to enact a real-life

power of the media and social media.

property. This also ensures your focus

scenario can help illuminate the parts

Being aware of what you’ll say and how

remains on your mission of providing a

of your conflict resolution plan that

you’ll say it before you’re on the spot

quality education to students in a safe

still need tweaking.

will lead to clearer and more effective


communications and a safer campus.

Before the school year gets away

efforts — Never wait until civil unrest

Stay aware — Remember that “it

from you, take some time to gather

is at your doorstep to establish how

could never happen here” is a thought

your crisis team together to review

Coordinate communication

your plan, and as you begin working on the 2018-19 budget, consider allocating funds to keep your crisis plan

A new in-district workshop available January 2018

Monitoring District Performance: Saying What We

Mean & Doing What We Say Where do we say it?

Our written board policy manual!

How do we know if we are doing it? By effectively monitoring our board policy!

Contact your IASB field services director or a policy consultant today for more information! Springfield: 217/528-9688 Lombard: 630/629-3776


current. As the saying goes, “It’s better to be safe than sorry.” Editor’s note The discussion of civil unrest presents the opportunity for school boards to review their policies to ensure there is a solid framework for dealing with issues arising on school property. Crisis plans and procedures for action by district administrators, including communicating with the public, can be part of board administrative procedures. For more information FEI Behavioral Health, based in Milwaukee, has a 35-year history in enhancing workforce resiliency by offering a full spectrum of solutions, from EAP and organizational development to workplace violence prevention and crisis management.



continued from page 32

Joe B. “Jody” Bryant, 78, died September 20, 2017. He was editor

William “Bill” Henry Grede, 96,

Allison “Al” Perring, Jr., 86,

died July 29, 2017. He was very active

died September 27, 2017. He served

over the years in Palos Park, serving

on the Deland Weldon school board,

on the District 118 Board of Educa-

including 10 years as president.

tion, including a term as president.

of the Carlyle Union Banner from

Bruce Green died August 6, 2017.

1976 to 1991, having previously

He was formerly a member of the Chi-

edited a Missouri newspaper for 15

cago Heights SD 170 school board.

Mary Kathleen Rapp, 74, died September 4, 2017. She had served on the Mt. Carroll school board. David Maxwell Runner, 80,

years. Bryant later was director of

Charles “Chick” Holmes, 93, died

died August 12, 2017. He was a for-

MacMurray College’s Office of Public

August 2, 2017. He was a past pres-

mer member of the Wolf Branch

Information, Jacksonville, from 1991

ident of the Mt. Pulaski elementary

school board.

until his retirement in 2003. He was

school board.

Richard E. Schlecht, 101, died

an award winner in the Illinois Press

Joseph C. Irle, 92, died August

September 16, 2017. He served on

Association’s Better Newspaper con-

18, 2017. He formerly served on the

the Rossville school board for more

tests, including the IASB-sponsored

school board of Rantoul Township

than 20 years, and was board pres-

Robert M. Cole Award for best school

High School District 193.

ident for 10 years.

board coverage.

Joseph B. Kelsch, Sr., 76, died

Keith Traylor, 78, died July 30,

William E. Burnham Sr, 84,

September 20, 2017. Kelsch previously

2017. He was previously a member

died August 8, 2017. He was a for-

served as president of the Barrington

of the former Girard CUSD 3 Board

mer member of the Nettle Creek

SD 220 school board.

of Education.

Henry Robert Kloppenburg,

Bill E. Turner, 79, died August

William W. Fehr, 93, died August

91, died August 10, 2017. He former-

2, 2017. He previously served on

19, 2017. He was a past member and

ly served on the Springfield SD 186

the Maroa-Forsyth CUSD 2 Board

president of the Roanoke-Benson

Board of Education.

of Education.

school board.

school board.

Josephine A. “Mar” Miner, 69,

Eddie Wallace, 90, died Sep-

Irving S. Fishman, 86, died in

died September 3, 2017. She was

tember 6, 2017. He was a former

August 18, 2017. He was a member

previously a school board member

member of the school board at

and past president of the Fairview

in Round Lake.

LaFayette High School.

Carl Ollman, 97, died August 4,

Robert Leroy “Bob” Yeast, 95,

Gordon George Frey, 93, died

2017. He was a former member of the

died August 2, 2017. He was a mem-

July 22, 2017. He helped establish

Genoa Kingston Board of Education

b er of t he M a c omb C U S D 185

the Lisle school districts, and was a

for 12 years, and was the first presi-

school board and was Macomb Area

member of the elementary and high

dent of Kingston Community Club of

Chamber of Commerce “Citizen of

school boards in the 1950s.

Kingston Grade School.

the Year” in 1986.

school board.

Cheryl A. Friedrich, 57, died July 29, 2017. She was a member of the Midwest Central school board for 20 years, where she served as secretary of the board, and a voice of the community. Paul S. Gerding Sr., 81, died S ept emb er 26. He wa s a pr ior president of the Glencoe Board of Education.



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Appraisal Services

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


ALLIED DESIGN CONSULTANTS, INC. — Architectural programming, site planning and design, architectural and interior design, and construction administration with a specialization in K-12 facilities. Springfield – 217/522-3355 ARCON ASSOCIATES, INC. — Full service firm specializing in educational facilities with services that include architecture, construction management, roof and masonry consulting, landscape architecture, and environmental consulting. Lombard – 630/495-1900; website:; email: BERG ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS, LTD. — Consulting engineers. Schaumburg – 847/352-4500; website: BLDD ARCHITECTS, INC. — Architectural and engineering services for schools. Decatur – 217/429-5105; Champaign – 217/3569606; Bloomington – 309/828-5025; Chicago – 312/829-1987 BRADLEY & BRADLEY — Architects, engineers, and asbestos consultants. Rockford – 815/968-9631; website: CANNONDESIGN — Architecture, Interiors, Engineering, Consulting. Chicago – 312/332-9600; website:; email: CM ENGINEERING, INC. — Specializing in ultra efficient geo-exchange HVAC engineering solutions for schools, universities, and commercial facilities. Columbia, MO – 573/874-9455; website: CORDOGAN CLARK & ASSOCIATES — Architects and Engineers. Aurora – 630/896-4678; website: www.cordoganclark. com; email: rmont@cordogan 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 – 847/7424063; website:; email: DLR GROUP — Educational facility design and master planning. Chicago – 312/382-9980; website:; email: ERIKSSON ENGINEERING ASSOCIATES, LTD. — Consulting civil engineers and planners. Grayslake – 847/223-4804; Chicago – 312/463-0551; Mokena – 708/614-9720; website:; email: FANNING HOWEY ASSOCIATES, INC. — School planning and design with a focus on K-12 schools. Oak Brook – 847/292-1039 FARNSWORTH GROUP — Architectural and engineering professional services. Normal – 309/663-8436 FGM ARCHITECTS, INC. — Architects. Chicago – 312/942-8461; Oak Brook – 630/574-8300; O’Fallon – 618/624-3364; St. Louis, MO – 314/439-1601; website: 30

HURST-ROSCHE, INC. — Architecture, engineering, planning, and interior design. Hillsboro – 217/532-3959; East St. Louis – 618/3980890; Marion – 618/998-0075; Springfield – 217/787-1199; email: JH2B ARCHITECTS — Architects. Kankakee – 815/933-5529; website: JMA ARCHITECTS — Full service professional design firm specializing in K-12 educational design, construction management, strategic/ master planning, health/life safety compliance, building commissioning, and interior space design. South Holland – 708/339-3900; website:; email: THE GARLAND COMPANY — Complete building envelope solutions to extend the life of existing building assets (walls, roofing, waterproofing, sealants, and floors) Facility Asset Management programs and US Communities Vendor. Cleveland, OH – 815/922-1376; website: KLUBER ARCHITECTS + ENGINEERS — Building design professionals specializing in architecture, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, structural, and fire protection engineers. Batavia – 630/406-1213 LARSON & DARBY GROUP — Architecture, Engineering, Interior Design, and Technology. Rockford – 815/484-0739, St. Charles – 630/444-2112; website:; email: snelson@ LEGAT ARCHITECTS, INC. — Architectural and educational planners who specialize in creating effective student learning environments. Gurnee – 847/622-3535; Oak Brook – 630/990-3535; Chicago – 312/258-9595; website: 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 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; website: SARTI ARCHITECTURAL GROUP, INC. — Architecture, engineering, life safety consulting, interior design, and asbestos consultants. Springfield – 217/585-9111 STR PARTNERS — Architectural, interior design, planning, cost estimating, and building enclosure/roofing consulting. Chicago – 312/464-1444 TRIA ARCHITECTURE — An architectural planning and interior design firm that provides services primarily to School Districts in the Chicago-Land area with an emphasis on service to their clients, as well as their communities. Burr Ridge – 630/455-4500 WIGHT & COMPANY — For over 77 years, Wight & Company has provided design and construction services for the built environment. As a pioneer of integrated Design & Delivery, we’ve worked with our clients to create exceptional, enduring buildings and spaces that enrich people’s lives and enhance the environment; Darien – 630/969-7000; website:; email: 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 PreK-12 educational design including master planning, sustainable design, architecture, mechanical and electrical engineering, quality review, cost estimation and management. Palatine – 847/241-6100

Building Construction

CORE CONSTRUCTION — Professional construction management, design-build, and general contracting services. Morton – 309/2669768; website:


F. H. PASCHEN — A General/Construction Manager with extensive experience in new construction and renovation of educational and institutional facilities in the public/private sectors. Chicago – 773/4441525-3535; website: FREDERICK QUINN CORPORATION — Construction management and general contracting. Addison – 630/628-8500; website: HOLLAND CONSTRUCTION SERVICES, INC. — Full service Construction Management and General Contracting firm specializing in education facilities. Swansea – 618/277-8870 PEPPER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY — Construction management and general contracting services. Barrington – 847/381-2760 POETTKER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY — Specializing in Construction Management, Design/Build, Construction Consulting Services, and Energy Solutions for education clients. Breese – 618/526-7213; website: ROSS CONSTRUCTION, INC. — A full-service construction management firm specializing in educational institutions. Marion – 618/993-5904 S.M. WILSON & CO. — Provides construction management and general construction services to education, healthcare, commercial, retail, and industrial clients. St. Louis, Mo – 314/645-9595; website:; email: TRANE — HVAC company specializing in design, build, and retrofit. Willowbrook – 630/734-6033

Computer Software, Supplies, Services

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


The Concord Consulting Group of Illinois, Inc — A team of highly skilled professionals specializing in the fields of Project Management, Cost Management, Development Services, Cost Segregation, Real Estate Advisory Services, and Insurance services; Chicago – 312/424-0250

Environmental Services

ALPHA CONTROLS & SERVICES, LLC — Facility Management Systems, Automatic Temperature Controls, Access Control Systems, Energy Saving Solutions; Sales, Engineering, Installation, Commissioning and Service. Rockford, Springfield, Champaign: toll-free 866/ALPHA-01; website:; email:

RADON DETECTION SPECIALISTS — Commercial radon surveys. Westmont – 800/244-4242; website:; email:

Financial Services

AMERICAN FIDELITY ASSURANCE COMPANY — Specializing in Section 125 compliance, 403(b) plan administration, flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts, dependent audits, and health care reform. Fairview Heights – 855/822-9168 BERNARDI SECURITIES, INC. — Public finance consulting, bond issue services and referendum support. Fairview Heights – 618/2064180; Chicago – 312/281-2014; email: EHLERS & ASSOCIATES — School bond issues; referendum help; financial and enrollment studies. Chicago – 312/638-5250; website:; email: FIRST MIDSTATE, INC. — Bond issue consultants. Bloomington – 309/829-3311; email: GORENZ AND ASSOCIATES, LTD. — Auditing and financial consulting. Peoria – 309/685-7621; website:; email: ICE MILLER, LLP — Nationally recognized bond counsel services. Chicago – 312/726-7127 KINGS FINANCIAL CONSULTING, INC. — Municipal bond financial advisory service including all types of school bonds; school referenda, county school sales tax; tax revenue forecasts/projections. Monticello – 217/762-4578 MATHIESON, MOYSKI, AUSTIN & CO., LLP — Provides audit, consulting and other related financial services to Illinois school districts, joint agreements and risk pools. Wheaton – 630/653-1616 SIKICH, LLP — Professional services firm specializing in accounting, technology, and advisory services. Naperville — 630/364-7953 SPEER FINANCIAL, INC. — Financial planning and bond issue services. Chicago – 312/346-3700; website: www.speerfinancial. com; email: STIFEL — Full service securities firm providing investment banking and advisory services including strategic financial planning; bond underwriting; referendum and legislative assistance. Edwardsville – 800/230-5151; email: WILLIAM BLAIR & COMPANY — Bond issuance, financial advisory services. Chicago – 312/364-8955; email:

CTS GROUP — Dedicated to assisting K-12 education meet the challenge of providing healthy, safe, and educational appropriate learning environments. St. Louis, MO – 636/230-0843; Chicago – 773/633-0691; website:; email: rbennett@

WINTRUST FINANCIAL — Financial services holding company engaging in community banking, wealth management, commercial insurance premium financing, and mortgage origination. Rosemont – 630/560-2120

ENERGY SYSTEMS GROUP — A comprehensive energy services and performance contracting company providing energy, facility and financial solutions. Itasca – 630/773-7201; email: smcivor@

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

GCA SERVICES GROUP – Custodial, janitorial, maintenance, lawn and grounds, and facility operations services. Downers Grove – 630/629-4044 GRP MECHANICAL CO., INC. — Renovating buildings through energy savings performance contracting to provide the best learning environment. HVAC, Plumbing, Windows, Doors, and Mechanical Services. Bethalto – 618/779-0050 HONEYWELL, INC. — Controls, maintenance, energy management, performance contracting, and security. St. Louis, MO – 314/548-4136; Des Plaines – 847/770-5496; Maryland Heights, MO – 314/548-4501; email:; IDEAL ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING, INC. — Asbestos and environmental services. Bloomington – 309/828-4259 ILLINOIS ENERGY CONSORTIUM — Sells electricity and natural gas to school districts, colleges, and universities. Dekalb – 815/7539083; website:; email: OPTERRA ENERGY SERVICES — Turnkey partnership programs that enable K12 school districts in Illinois to modernize their facilities, increase safety, security and efficiency, reduce operations costs, and maximize the lifespan of critical assets. Chicago – 312/498-7792; email:

Grounds and Maintenance

Human Resource Consulting

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


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

Office Equipment

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

Superintendent Searches

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




Achievements Tim Kanold,

Kanold struggled to describe the

an assistant principal, director of

66, a former super-

feeling of being on the receiving end

technology, and assistant superin-

intendent at Adlai

of that award. “I am so honored,”

tendent for curriculum and instruc-

E. Stevenson HSD

he said. “I don’t think there’s any

tion. He has continued his school

125 (Lincoln-

other way I could say it.”

involvement as the coordinator of teacher education at Lindenwood

sh i re), re c ent ly received the district’s annual Her-

Gr eg Moat s,

University-Belleville, and as an

itage Award in recognition of his

a fo r m e r s u p e r-

assistant coach for the basketball

lasting contributions. Since his

intendent at Bel-

program. He was a member of the

retirement in 2007, Kanold has

leville THSD 201,

State Superintendent’s Advisory

maintained his focus on educa-

wa s ho nor e d by

Board, and a board member and

tion, authoring a book on teaching,

Southern Illinois

officer of the Illinois Association

Heart! Fully Forming Your Pro-

University Edwardsville as one of

of School Administrators, Illinois

fessional Life as a Teacher and

nine remarkable graduates at the

High School District Organization,

Leader. Kanold was superintendent

2017 SIUE Alumni Hall of Fame

and the Illinois School District Liq-

of the school district from 2002 to

ceremony on October 6. Moats, an

uid Asset Fund. “Those selected for

2007. After presenting the Heritage

educator for 34 years, previously

the Alumni Hall of Fame represent

Award to a number of other honor-

held various positions in teach-

the best of SIUE,” said Alan Kehrer,

ees during his years at Stevenson,

ing and coaching, and worked as

SIUE Alumni Association president.

In memoriam Rosalie Jones

of directors of the Illinois Association

1981. She taught for many years at

Link, 79, died Sep-

of School Boards from 1986 to 1991.

Willits School in Monmouth, and at

tember 19, 2017. She

The district honored her 22 years of

schools in Urbana.

previously worked

volunteer service by dedicating the

Earl Auerbach, 96, died July 23,

as a school nurse

central office building for District 101

2017. He was a former board member

at Batavia Middle

in her name — The Rosalie M. Jones

and president of the Fairview SD 72

School and was an advocate for Bata-

Administration Center.

(Skokie) Board of Education. Norman Baalman, 75, died August

via children through her active contri-


butions to Batavia Public Schools. She

Edward Theodore Abbott, 87,

15, 2017. He previously was a board

was first elected to the Batavia PSD

died August 21, 2017. He had served

member and president of the Calhoun

101 Board of Education in 1979, serv-

as a member of the school board for

CUSD 40 (Hardin) Board of Education.

ing as president from 1993-2001. She

Morrison Community High School.

Robert “Bob” Boyer, 89, died

was a founding member of the Batavia

Joyce Keating Allison, 85, died

August 15, 2017. He was a former

Foundation for Educational Excel-

August 2, 2017. Allison served on

member of the Yates City school board.

lence, one of the first of its kind in the

the Monmouth-Roseville CUSD 238

country, and she served on the board

Board of Education from 1972 to

Continued on page 29



Election turnover data By Gary Adkins


uest ion : A re there fewer

Of the approximately 2,000

facing opposition, the success

incumbents on school boards

incumbent school board members

rate declines to about 65 percent,

who likely sought re-election, between

meaning there is about a 2:1 chance

600 and 1,000 will run unopposed.

of re-election.

this year than in most years? Answer: Records maintained by the Illinois Association of School

Of those who face opposition at

The defeat of an incumbent may

Boards suggest it has been 14 years

the polls, anywhere between 50 and

signal voter dissatisfaction with one

since fewer incumbents were returned

58 percent win re-election.

individual board member or the board

to office than at the 2017 school board

as a whole. And sometimes, there

elections in April. While the 2017

may be a variety of reasons leading

count is not final, the numbers are shaping up to be very similar to the 2003 board election, when just 50.1 percent of board incumbents were returned to office. In that year, a total of 1,464 board members were returned to serve another term, far fewer than the total of 1,779 re-elected two years before, or even the 1,711 two years later. At any given time, there are approximately 6,000 school board members in Illinois. Depending on the local election cycle, three or four of a school board’s members are up for the biennial re-election each cycle.

While the mood of the electorate may be fickle, staying in tune with community values and aspirations, and effectively representing them on the board — tenets of IASB’s governance principles — makes more sense than ever.

which may or may not be in their control. Voters don’t have to state their reasons; they just have to vote. In fact, voter turnout may be the single largest factor in the success or failure of a candidate to win or retain their seat. The number of candidates running can also significantly affect the vote tally for any single candidate. As much as we would like to acknowledge it is what a board or board member has done that matters; sometimes it is how the board or board member has done it, or how well it has been explained or adequately

IASB does not track the number

explaining why.

of incumbents who do (or do not) seek re-election, but experience suggests

to defeat of an incumbent, some of

Results can diverge tremendously

While the mood of the electorate

from district to district and year to

may be fickle, staying in tune with

One in three incumbents chooses

year, and national studies suggest

community values and aspirations,

not to seek re-election, which should

that incumbents who have sought

and effectively representing them on

account for about 1,000 new board

re-election are successful about 80

the board — tenets of IASB’s gover-

members being added to the board

percent of the time. Among those

nance principles — makes more sense

membership rolls in Illinois this year.

incumbent school board members

than ever.

that on average:

IASB Director of Communications/ Editorial Services Gary Adkins answers the question for this issue of the Journal.


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