Page 1












Vol. 82, No. 3

Weighing Healthier Options What schools are doing or can do to address childhood obesity, nutrition, hunger, and fitness

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their young adult lives, the nutritional

etables at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue),

tale of Eric and Jimmy may speak

Mrs. Obama’s garden became the vis-

more to family genetics than their

ible launch site for her childhood

early eating habits.

nutrition and fitness initiatives.

Much has transpired in the decade

There have been signs of improved

since the series was published, so

child nutrition. Most recently, a fed-

much so that childhood obesity, nutri-

eral report showed a stunning 43 per-

t hardly seems possible that our

tion, fitness, and wellness have become

cent drop in the obesity rate among

year-long series, “Weighing Health-

a cottage industry. That’s why we

2- to 5-year-old children. While that

ier Options,” was published in The

thought this year was a perfect mile-

is certainly great news, it doesn’t tell

Illinois School Board Journal 10 years

stone to check in on the latest devel-

the whole story. One of the articles

ago. To begin the series, we profiled

opments. For this issue of The Journal,

in this issue, “Hungry in Illinois,”

two typical seventh-grade boys – best

we asked two organizations – Action

reports that very young students

friends with decidedly different builds

for Healthy Kids and the Healthy

remain the most vulnerable to food

and different eating patterns. Of the

Schools Campaign, both headquar-

insecurity (see Page 8, and the side-

two 13-year-olds, Jimmy was medi-

tered in Chicago – to bring us up-to-

bar, “Rebooting cafeteria programs,”

um height and underweight accord-

date and provide a look to the future

Page 10).

ing to his body mass index (BMI),

about where these issues are head-

No one should assume that these

while Eric was taller and slightly over-

ed (See “Concerted effort needed to

issues are the exclusive responsibil-

weight, based on his BMI.

make all kids healthy, hunger-free,”

ity of public schools. In our regular

Page 14, and “Illinois adopts ‘enhanced

feature, Practical PR, one suburban

P.E.’ standards,” Page 24).

Chicago district reviews what it is


In the intervening 10 years, after completing their secondary and postsecondary education goals, the boys

Childhood obesity has certain-

doing to help students and parents

didn’t see each other as often, but

ly grabbed its share of the headlines.

to understand their role in the quest

remained friends. Both have grown

First Lady Michelle Obama received

to improve childhood nutrition and

taller; Jimmy from 5 feet 2 inches to

a lot of attention from her “Let’s Move”

fitness (see “Talking to students, par-

about 5 feet 10 inches. He still has

campaign, which was launched in

ents about nutrition,” Page 6.)

a slight build, despite his early pen-

2010. Her goal was to unite the coun-

Finally, if you are new to school

chant for Doritos and soda. Eric, mean-

try around children’s health and

board service or are not familiar with

while, grew about five inches and now

encourage families to live healthier

the original series, you can catch up

is more than 6 feet tall. He eats a lot

lives. She also gained publicity when

with the work that began IASB’s inter-

of broiled chicken and likes vegeta-

she broke ground on a White House

est in childhood obesity, nutrition

bles. Eric also works out on a regu-

vegetable garden. Although she is not

and fitness issues, by reading “’Weigh-

lar basis with a personal trainer, but

the first among the First Ladies to do

ing Healthier Options’ Revisited”

his BMI still hovers closer to over-

so (Abigail Adams, Eleanor Roosevelt

(Page 21).

weight than ideal. At this point in

and Hillary Clinton also grew veg-

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


COVER STORY 14 | Concerted effort needed to make all kids healthy, hunger-free School boards have been tackling school wellness issues for years. So, how are we doing? Ten years out and we’ve made great progress, but not every district gets a passing grade where it comes to promoting true school health. Rob Bisceglie

21 | ‘Weighing Healthier Options’ revisited

FEATURE STORIES 4 | Vanishing school boards: why needed?








School boards are needed for a variety of reasons, according to the author of a new book on the importance of school board work and building support for professional development. Patrick Rice





8 | Hungry in Illinois About 15 percent of Illinoisans live with food insecurity and children are even worse off, with one in five not having enough to eat. Kristy Kennedy

10 | Sidebar: Rebooting cafeteria programs 24 | Illinois adopts ‘enhanced P.E.’ standards A state task force produced a report in August 2013, calling for new standards and strategies to improve and increase physical education classes. So what is “enhanced P.E.”?

26 | Common Core excites learners One suburban district is embracing the new Common Core State Standards in math and the initial response is encouraging. Jim Hook

ILLINOIS SCHOOL BOARD JOURNAL (ISSN-0019-221X) is published every other month by the Illinois Association of School Boards, 2921 Baker Drive, Springfield, Illinois 62703-5929, telephone 217/528-9688. The IASB regional office is located at One Imperial Place, 1 East 22nd Street, Lombard, Illinois 601486120, telephone 630/629-3776. The JOURNAL is supported by the dues of school boards holding active membership in the Illinois Association of School Boards. Copies are mailed to all school board members and the superintendent in each IASB member school district. Non-member subscription rate: Domestic $18.00 per year. Foreign (including Canada and Mexico) $21.00 per year.

27| Sidebar: Changing standards, not curriculum

PUBLICATION POLICY IASB believes that the domestic process functions best through frank and open discussion. Material published in the JOURNAL, therefore, often presents divergent and controversial points of view which do not necessarily represent the views or policies of IASB.


James Russell, Associate Executive Director

Boiler Room........................................................................................2 Practical PR ........................................................................................6 Milestones.........................................................................................32 Ask the back cover TOP I Cstaff S F.............................................................Inside OR UPCOMING ISSUES


Vol. 82, No. 3

Linda Dawson, Editor Gary Adkins, Contributing Editor Dana Heckrodt, Advertising Manager


Faculty meeting adds up to trouble by “Gus”

Gus, the custodian at Eastside Grammar, is the creation of Richard W. Smelter, a retired school principal, now a Chicagobased college instructor and author.


bout every two weeks, Mr. Keck

holds a faculty meeting after

“How about dry erase markers

da today, has anyone ever measured

school’s out. These staff get-togeth-

… they’re almost all gone,” noted Don

the width of the parking spaces to see

ers last only about a half hour so folks


if they conform to the general standard?”

aren’t too put out about staying a lit-

“Doesn’t bother me much,” Art

tle later. The meetings generally have

replied. “I’ve got the only classroom

“Speaking of measuring… Do

a definite agenda, and Keck does a

in the building that still has a black-

you know how far my classroom is

pretty good job with the various top-

board. There’s enough chalk left over

from the parking lot, Mr. Keck?” Mary

ics in a timely manner.

from the old days to supply me for


Sometimes, however, he’s thrown

the next 10 years.” “You always did like ancient tech-

for a loop. Last week the entire faculty meeting was supposed to be about imple-

nology, Art. That’s why you have that collection on VHS tapes.”

“No I don’t really know,” replied Keck. “It’s about a city block! You know I’ve got severe arthritis! It’s very dif-

menting the new math curriculum

“They’re classics!”

ficult for someone with shaky knees

developed by the district curriculum

“I thought you’d say that. Clas-

to walk that far! Next year if I don’t

director. I’ll try to reconstruct what

sics huh? Sorta like that 1983 Cadil-

get a classroom closer to the front

went on as close as I can recall, with

lac you bought.”

door, I’ll file a grievance!” Mary wailed.

“Can we get back to business?”

“Oh, Mary,” said Chuck Watkins.

interjected Mr. Keck. “I’d like to

“You’d file a grievance if it was rain-


ing and you got wet walking into the

everyone competing for time to be heard. Keck wasted no time gettin’ right down to business. “Well” he began.

Keck was interrupted by Mary

building. I’ve got a concern, on the other hand, that pertains to all of


“You’ve all had half a year using

“Wait, Mr. Keck, This is impor-

us … the faculty restrooms. At least

the new math curriculum. How’s it

tant.” Are you the one who owns that

the men’s room, which is the only

working out with the students?”

huge car, Art? That old caddy that’s

one I’m familiar with.”

“Speaking of math, Mr. Keck, has anyone else noticed that we’ve used up about three-quarters of the supplies in the supply room?” asked Art Merriweather. ‘Yeah we’re almost out of con-


row. Seeing as math is on the agen-


sometimes in the space next to me?” “Yeah, guess so. I traded in my old Volkswagen three weeks ago.” “Then you’re the person who’s putting all those dings on my right passenger door!”

struction paper, unless you want to

“Don’t blame Art too much, Mary,”

use gray. There’s tons of gray paper.

chirped Bob Burnett. “The problem

Not much green though,” added Sue

is that the parking space is too nar-

“What’s wrong with the faculty men’s room?” asked Keck. “The wash bowls are too low and the stalls are too narrow, that’s what.” “Same thing with the ladies’ room,” remarked Ann Levin. “Were these washrooms originally designed for students?” “I really don’t know,” replied

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 / M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4

Keck. “I know I’m older than most of

“Because, two weeks from now

you, but I wasn’t around when the

we’ll be discussing the new math cur-

building was designed. Now if we could

riculum, Keck said. “In case you

get back to …”

haven’t noticed, Mary, we never got

“Hold on, Mr. Keck!” interject-

to it.”

ed Tom Burroughs. “This stuff’s impor-

“Oh, yeah.”

tant. And it all has to do with math

On the way out the door I stopped

in some way or another, so we’re real-

Keck and told him I wanted to dis-

ly not off the agenda too far.”

cuss some custodial concerns.

“Well, then… let’s talk about the

“Not now, Gus,” he said. “I need

gym for a minute,” suggested Carl

to breathe deeply, count to 10, go home

Tomlinson, one of our two PE teach-

to the wife and take her out to our

ers. “Have you ever noticed at bas-

favorite restaurant, where I’ll order an

ketball games how many people have

extra-large steak and try to relax.”

to stand ’cause we don’t have enough

Mr. Keck should know how best

bleachers? Talk about math … some-

to calm down … after all, he’s the

body ought to do some measuring in


the gym to see if we could install additional seating. We don’t want to drive folks away from our basketball games ’cause they can’t sit down. The kids need their support.” “The gym needs lots of work,” remarked Sue. “About half the overhead lights on the stage don’t work.

Ask the staff continued from inside back cover

of a prior felony conviction. IASB offers an email update for those who wish to receive notice when

That makes for very gloomy-looking

a summary of a PAC opinion or court

class plays and musicals.”

decision is added to the IASB web-

“Speaking of lighting … do all of

site. Any individual may subscribe

your classrooms have the same num-

by providing an email address at

ber of windows? I could swear I got, or go to the

fewer windows than the rest of you.

quick links drop down menu in the

Aren’t my students entitled to the

upper left corner of the IASB website.

same amount of sunlight as other stu-

Choose “Online Update” (second from

dents? Kids need sunlight … it cheers

the bottom). This free subscription

them up.”

service also announces when other

“Oh, Chuck … are your kids depressed?” asked Tricia Barnes. “Hey … Mr. Keck, notice the time? It’s 4 o’clock. These meetings aren’t supposed to go longer than a half hour. It’s in the contract,” noted Mary.

publications, legislative reports, or other information are added. As courts and agencies interpret state and federal laws concerning board work, we will continue to pub-

Treasurer Dale Hansen

Vice President Phil Pritzker

Immediate Past President Carolyne Brooks

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Abe Lincoln Lisa Weitzel

Lake Joanne Osmond

Blackhawk Jackie Mickley

Northwest Ben Andersen

Central Illinois Valley Thomas Neeley

Shawnee Roger Pfister

Cook North Eric Leys

Southwestern Rob Luttrell

Cook South Val Densmore

Starved Rock Simon Kampwerth Jr.

Cook West Frank Mott

Three Rivers Dale Hansen

Corn Belt Mark Harms

Two Rivers David Barton

DuPage Rosemary Swanson Egyptian John Metzger Illini Michelle Skinlo Kaskaskia Linda Eades

Wabash Valley Tim Blair Western Sue McCance Chicago Board Jesse Ruiz Service Associates Michael Vallosio

Kishwaukee Mary Stith

lish summaries to keep board mem-

“You’re right, Mary” responded

bers informed. If you have a question

Keck. “We’ll have to table some of

on any of these decisions, or would

these issues for four weeks from now.”

like for us to e-mail a copy of a deci-

“Why wait four weeks? These

sion to you, please contact us by tele-

issues are important.”

President Karen Fisher

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

phone or at

M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4 / 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



Vanishing school boards: Why needed? By Patrick Rice

Patrick Rice is IASB field services director for Egyptian, Illini, Shawnee and Wabash Valley divisions. This excerpt is used with Rice’s permission from his recently published book: Vanishing School Boards: Where school boards have gone, why we need them, and how we can bring them back.

School boards serve as trustees

the community come together on

over district resources. School boards

behalf of the community and to pro-

Primarily, they are the best cat-

ensure that taxpayer dollars are care-

mote the common good.

alyst to ensure local control of edu-

fully and appropriately spent. Pri-

If the role of the school board

cation. In other words, school boards

marily, the school board approves

continues to diminish, many citizens


chool boards are needed for a

variety of reasons.

give the local community a voice concerning the aims of public education. Specifically, school boards keep the public in public schools, have a positive impact on student achieve-

School boards are a shining example of

ment, function as trustees over dis-

how men and women from the commu-

trict finances and serve as advocates for public schools. As a democratic country we have valued citizen oversight to assist us

munity to promote the common good.

in making decisions for the greater good rather than decisions made on Capitol Hill behind closed doors. In short, school boards allow the

the budget, which identifies the para-

will be disenfranchised concerning

community to stay connected to its

meters of district spending and ensures

the aims of public education, ulti-


that there is a clear alignment between

mately leaving a system of the haves

the budget and district ends.

and have-nots.

School boards have a positive impact on student achievement.

School boards are also advocates

School boards ensure that districts

for public education, having been cre-

are governed effectively and that those

ated for the sole purpose of repre-

who oversee the day-to-day opera-

senting the welfare of students.

tions are held accountable for student achievement.


nity come together on behalf of the com-

In order for the United States to remain great, we must not forget about

Although school boards are not

our democratic values. As a diverse

responsible for day-to-day manage-

country, we have cherished citizen

ment of schools, their decisions and

oversight to promote the common

actions create the environments that

good. School boards are a shining

enable district efforts to improve.

example of how men and women from 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 / M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4

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Talking to students, parents about nutrition By Mike Chapin

Mike Chapin is director of community relations for West Aurora School District 129

ears ago, a pre-school princi-

ing to former U.S. Surgeon General

pal shared with me the impor-

David Satcher.


tance of a program that taught

Congress responded to these

first-time parents how to care for

concerns with the Healthy, Hunger-

infants and toddlers. “Was this real-

Free Kids Act of 2010 that mandat-

ly necessary?” I asked. She respond-

ed healthy changes in the National

ed affirmatively with the frightening

School Lunch and Breakfast pro-

example of a teen-aged mother’s deci-

grams. These include:

sion to save money by cutting her

• Ensuring students are offered both

infant’s baby formula in half with

fruits and vegetables every day of

water. The baby appeared to be sati-

the week.

ated, but in fact was receiving only half of the nutrients needed for normal mental and physical development. The mother unwittingly was starving her child! Today, many parents apparently still do not have a good understanding of the role nutrition plays in a child’s health. While hunger is still a pressing issue, ironically, national studies show that one-third of

• Substantially increasing offerings of whole grain-rich foods. • Offering only fat-free or low-fat milk varieties.

West Aurora High School students have access to a fresh fruit and veggie bar in their cafeteria.

• Limiting calories based on the age of children being served to ensure proper portion size. • Increasing the focus on reducing the amounts of saturated fat, trans fats and sodium.

“Proper nutrition and physical fitness are essential for optimal learning,” said Illinois State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico last year. “Good school nutrition and

children in the United States are over-

A sizeable number of children in

healthy practices are more impor-

weight or obese, putting them at risk

our nation receive as much as 70 per-

tant than ever as schools feed more

for a variety of health complications

cent of their daily caloric intake at

children through the National School

and chronic diseases, including heart

school, so this is an obvious place to

Lunch Program…”

disease, gallbladder disease, asthma,

tackle the issue. The bonus, of course,

West Aurora students learn about

Type 2 diabetes and cancer, accord-

is the positive impact on learning.

nutrition in health and physical education classes. Also, the district shares healthy eating suggestions

Columns are submitted by members of

with staff through its wellness program. In the school cafeterias, however, school districts often find that the subtle approach is often


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 / M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4

more successful in developing student acceptance of nutritional meals. “I think our goal in some of this change is not to make too big a deal about it,” says Tessa Adcock, a registered dietician who is the food service director for Arbor Management here in the 13,000-student West Aurora School District 129. “I think there is a fine line about being overt about what the changes are and just letting them happen. We have seen great acceptance with the specific changes that have been made with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.” Nevertheless, the food service firm is communicating nutrition information to parents of younger students. Every elementary student in the district receives a copy of the monthly menu to take home. On the March menu were Arbor’s “A+ Nutritional Standards: • Cage-free, hormone free, steroids-

West Aurora High School students learned about the importance of breakfast from this display during the recent National Breakfast Week.

free, grain-fed chicken • Never “pink slime” • Only hormone-free milk; fat free or 1% • Whole grain rich products every day

Adcock’s phone number for any par-

school and high school. District 129

ents who have questions about the

itself helps spread the message to


parents by providing breakfast for all

Another nutritional topic that

students during ISAT testing weeks,

• Baked instead of deep-fried

is shared with parents is the impor-


• Minimal saturated fat, added sug-

tance of breakfast. Dozens of stud-

importance of the nutritional aspect

ars, artificial ingredients, and sodi-

ies confirm that skipping breakfast

of breakfast as related to test tak-

um whenever possible.”




impacts a child’s alertness, attention,

ing and student engagement in the

All school menus also are avail-

memory, problem solving and math-


able online, where parents and stu-

ematics skills. “A lot of families do

But perhaps the most powerful

dents receive additional meal

not realize that if they are eligible for

marketing assistance the breakfast

information, including calories,

the free or reduced lunch they are

program received this year was the

fat, cholesterol, protein, iron, cal-

eligible for the breakfast, it is just a

bone-chilling cold winter that pro-

cium, and vitamins A and C.

matter of getting here. It is not just

duced a record-breaking 26 days at

that one meal a day, there are two

zero or below. That’s probably how


the food service gained some new

Then bringing the nutrition discussion directly into the home kitchen, the District 129 menu suggests in

To get the message out, Arbor

early-morning customers by pro-

large bold type, “Make Choices for a

has rolled out a Healthy Breakfast

moting a free steaming-hot cup of

Healthy Lifestyle!” and provides

Campaign in the district’s middle

cocoa with a hot breakfast.

M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4 / 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 7


Hungry in Illinois By Kristy Kennedy

Kristy Kennedy is a Napervillebased freelance writer. This article originally appeared in the March 2014 issue of Illinois Issues and is used with the magazine’s permission.

hen historians look back on

ic food market is thriving. There is a

Illinois, the state food bank associ-

this time, they might well

sustainable food movement. Concern

ation. “Here we are, this superpow-

about nutrition is prevalent.

er nation on Earth, and juxtaposed


refer to it as the “Age of Food.” Food appreciation is a hobby.

Yet nearly one in six Americans

to that, we have nearly 2 million

Chefs are rock-star famous. Grocery

faces hunger. According to the most

people in our state who go to bed

stores carry exotic items once only

recent statistics available from Feed-


available in restaurants. Blogs are

ing America, about 15 percent of Illi-

About 70,000 of those hungry

devoted to every kind of cuisine. “Food

noisans live with food insecurity,

are children, and they live in every

porn” glamorizes images of food. In

struggling sometime during the year

county in Illinois — urban, subur-

fact, so many people call themselves

to get the food they need. Children

ban, rural, wealthy, and poor. There

“foodies” that some chefs and crit-

in Illinois are worse off, with one in

have been efforts in Illinois to better

ics are shunning the word.

five not having enough to eat. “There’s

serve the hungry, especially children,

At the same time, talk about food

a lot of attention being paid to food.

through a statewide initiative by the

has gone deeper with a rising pub-

It’s more important in our culture in

Illinois Commission to End Hunger.

lic consciousness about where it comes

a high-value way than it was before,”

But those on the front lines say more

from and how it is grown. The organ-

says Terri Nally, director of Feeding

needs to be done if the state is to thrive. Nationally, the prevalence of food insecurity has increased steadily from 2000, when the overall rate was 10.5 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Illinois’ issues are exacerbated by a persistently high unemployment rate at 8.7 percent in December and the fourth highest in

About 15 percent of

the nation. Poverty rates also affect

Illinoisans live with food insecurity.

hunger. In 2012, about six percent of


in Illinois are worse off, with

poverty with incomes below half of the poverty line (below $9,545 for a

one in five not

having enough to eat.

Illinoisans, or 768,000, lived in extreme

family of three), according to a report by the Illinois Commission on the Elimination of Poverty. That number is down from 823,000 in 2010 but up

Ryan McVay/Photodisc/


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 / M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4

died, Russell’s SNAP benefits dropped

buying powdered milk and less meat

“It’s not just in the city of Chica-

about $50 a month to $268. Based

for his family.

go and not just in rural areas in south-

on income and expenses, the maxi-

He visits eight different stores

ern Illinois; it really is to some degree

mum monthly benefits for a family

each month to stretch his dollars, a

in all areas of the state,� says Larry

of four dropped from $668 to $632.

common habit for those using SNAP.

Joseph, director of the fiscal policy

For Russell’s family, the cut meant

“When I go grocery shopping, the

from 607,000 in 2008.

center at Voices for Illinois Children. “Food insecurity is a significant problem in Illinois and there has been increased need over the last five years.� The hungry who qualify based on their income and expenses can receive help through 17 different food assistance programs funded by the

Announcing the 13th edition of IASB’s top-selling book, Illinois School Law Survey.

federal government and administered by state agencies. In 2010, $3.4 billion in federal dollars came to Illinois, with the bulk of the money, or 63 percent, going to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps. But increased demand on the state’s safety net — its network of private programs including food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens — really provides a picture of how vulnerable many Illinoisans are to hunger insecurity. Such programs saw a 17

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percent increase from 2009 to 2010, but experienced a 73 percent increase over the previous three years during the recession. In 2010, 1.27 million

their services since SNAP benefits were reduced in November, a result of the expiration of the federal stimulus package that increased payments to spur the economy. Bob Russell, a single father of

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even more of an increased need for

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lion Illinoisans. Food banks report

pounds of food were served to 1.4 mil-



four teens living on Chicago’s south side relies on the local food pantry to keep the bulk of his family meals

To order, call 217/528-9688, ext. 1108; or order online at the

from being beans and rice. On dis-

IASB Bookstore:

ability since falling ill after his wife

M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4 / 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


security follows me around a lot

men and 35.4 percent for single

ria area have been picking up gro-

because I go back and forth,” Russell

women, according to a 2012 report

ceries at local food pantries for their

says. “I shop the discount racks where

on household food security by the

families. “Very often we find they

stuff is marked down. If it’s got a bad

USDA. Families with young children

don’t have enough food in the house,”

smell, I don’t get it. It’s embarrass-

under the age of 6 are at greater risk

says program director Victoria Thomp-

ing, but you do what you have to do

of food insecurity, at 20.5 percent.

son. “If parents are worried about

to survive.” Pasta is a good buy but

That compares with married couples

how they are going to feed their fam-

vegetables are a tougher purchase on

with children, at 13.2 percent, and

ily, then they can’t do anything else.”

a tight budget. He opts for vitamins

those with no children, at 11.9 per-

Staff members visit families with

over fresh produce, estimating it could


infants weekly up to one year and

Those with very young children

continue services up to five years.

are particularly vulnerable to hunger

They screen for child development,

Families like his, with a single

insecurity. Since the SNAP cuts, work-

promote breast feeding and help fam-

parent, have the highest food inse-

ers with Good Beginnings program

ilies find resources to meet their needs.

curity rates, 23.6 percent for single

who serve single mothers in the Peo-

Recently an employee arrived at

eat up to a quarter of his food bill and not last very long.

Rebooting cafeteria programs By Linda Dawson To paraphrase the famous tagline

disappearing from the weekly school

director of culinary and nutrition in

from the movie ‘Field of Dreams,’ “If

lunch menus. And even if the stu-

the Minneapolis, Minnesota, school

you serve it they will come.” But get-

dents liked the changes, some cafe-

district after he saw what his son was

ting people to visit a baseball memo-

teria programs were unable to sustain

being fed at school, is one of the suc-

rial may be easier than getting students

the healthier options due to increased

cesses. Weber’s effort was profiled by

to eat healthier at school.

costs to provide fresh fruits and veg-

Education Week in early March.

Ten years ago, state legislation

In contrast, the television exper-


was passed requiring school districts

Since 2009, Illinois’ participa-

iment by popular British chef Jamie

to implement wellness policies and

tion in the National School Lunch

Oliver, “Jamie’s Food Revolution,”

take a closer look at foods being served

Program (NSLP) has fluctuated with

met with resistance in Los Angeles

in their cafeterias. That initial well-

an uptick of 19,000 lunches between

public schools, where the superin-

ness policy work was followed with

2009 and 2010 but a decline of 20,000

tendent yanked his filming permit

legislation regarding concession stands

lunches served between 2011 and

and banned him from school cafete-

and school fundraisers.

2012, according to data from the U.S.

rias as he began replacing hamburg-

For some participants in the task

Department of Agriculture, which

ers with salads, vegetable curries,

force that helped develop guidelines,

oversees NSLP. Compared with oth-

quinoa salad, and Thai noodles —

the quest was to ban the burrito from

er states, those fluctuations seem nor-

food that increasingly was thrown

the lunch line. Unfortunately, many

mal. But anecdotal evidence indicates

away before it was even tasted, accord-

students liked the burrito as well as

some children are not happy with

ing to The London Daily Mirror online

some of the other options that began

changes to their burrito and pizza

website. Oliver, according to the Mirror,

favorites. Linda Dawson is IASB director/editorial services and editor of The Illinois School Board Journal 10

Bertrand Weber, who swapped

was more successful in his battle with

his career as a chef in boutique hotels

fast-food giant McDonald’s, where he

and high-end restaurants to become

took credit for getting them to reject

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 / M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4

ation with inflated prices.”

a family’s home to a harried mother

of Peoria. The void leaves a food desert,

and six children with no food in the

a problem in many areas of the state

It’s not unusual to see children

house. The employee went out and

from the inner city to rural locations.

eating Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and drink-

purchased groceries with her own

Families are left with the option of

ing little barrels of sugar-flavored

money. “I know it crossed a lot of

using limited resources to pay for

drinks when they arrive in the morn-

boundaries, but these were very hun-

public transportation, if it is avail-

ing at Head Start at EduCare Chica-

gry children. I would have done the

able, or paying higher prices at con-

go, says Melinda Berry, senior family

same thing,” Thompson says. Par-

venience stores, which may not even

support supervisor. Parents call the

enting courses offered by Good Begin-

sell adequate groceries. A single par-

drinks “juice,” and while there is lit-

nings always include a meal, which

ent with young children finds such

tle nutritional value in them, they

often is the most filling meal the fam-

trips particularly difficult, Thomp-

are inexpensive and available, Berry

ily has had that week.

son says. “It’s quite a challenge,” she

says. A convenience store near Head

Another hardship for families in

says. “People don’t know what they

Start has a grocery section carrying

the area is the move of a full-ser-

are going to do. They may find the

what is available in most similar stores

vice grocery store from the south side

only place to shop is a smaller oper-

in the area— liquor, cigarettes, chips,

the use of ammonium hydroxide to

ing up with the National Dairy Coun-

That is certainly a well-written

convert fatty beef to the beef filler,

cil to help provide funds for break-

and legally supported premise, but

commonly referred to as “pink slime.”

fast in school.

that doesn’t mean that some students

Oliver, through his California-based

The number of children eligible

don’t feel unwarranted attention in

foundation Jamie’s Food Revolution

for these meals is also rising (see accom-

the lunch line, where their colleagues

(USA), still aspires to change nutri-

panying chart). But even with more

often know that they have a free or

tion in school cafeterias with the fol-

children qualifying, many students

reduced-price pass. One organiza-

lowing premise:

still are not served by the free or

tion, Feeding America, the nation’s

“Imagine a world where children

reduced-price program. Teachers will

leading domestic hunger relief char-

were fed tasty and nutritious real food

attest that high school students espe-

ity, has attempted to counter that

at school from the age of 4 to 18, a

cially are often hesitant to identify

stigma by sponsoring a backpack pro-

world where every child was educated

themselves and submit the necessary

gram. They partner with local food

about how amazing food is, where

papers from home to qualify. The

banks so that eligible students can

it comes from, how it affects the body,

National School Lunch Program

receive food to take home on Fridays

and how it can save their lives.”

attempts to relieve the burden with

to help alleviate hunger on the week-

One nutritional success in schools

this disclaimer: “No physical segre-

end so that children will be fed and

is the increase in participation in the

gation of or other discrimination against

ready to learn when they come back

NSLP’s breakfast offerings. Total par-

any child eligible for a free lunch or a

to school Monday morning.

ticipation in Illinois has grown from

reduced price lunch under this sub-

Local school districts will need

293,385 in 2009 to 430,814 in 2013,

section shall be made by the school

to be encouraged to try such creative

according to USDA data. Some of that

nor shall there by any overt identifi-

measures in order to effectively relieve

growth can be attributed to grant

cation of any child by special tokens

student hunger, especially where

availability, like those offered by Gen-

or tickets, announced or published

national school breakfast and lunch

eral Mills Foodservice, which is team-

lists of names, or by other means.”

programs are not working.

M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4 / 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


and soft drinks. “Those aren’t gro-

stantly looking for food? A child has

cure in the state, as reported by Feed-

ceries but that’s what we’ve got,� Berry

to feel secure and full.�

ing America, rely solely on private

says. Her families spend up to a half

Dana Rauner, president of Ounce

help from food pantries and other

hour on public transportation to get

of Prevention, worries about the impact

programs. Most are underemployed,

to a real grocery store and often go

on children younger than 5. She

says Kristy Gilmore, manager of food

to several to make their money stretch.

explains that 85 percent of their brain

and resources for the Central Illinois

Head Start does a lot of educat-

is built by age 2. “This is really build-

Food Bank in Springfield. “The most

ing concerning food, teaching par-

ing the foundation of the child’s brain

important thing to understand is the

ents to read labels and offering cooking

at this point,� she says. “It’s not

face of hunger is changing,� she says.

demonstrations on how to put togeth-

whether a child is hungry and can

“It could be the someone sitting next

er a nutritious, low-budget meal. Kids

pay attention in school. It’s a child is

to you in church who is suffering.

are fed breakfast, lunch and two snacks

hungry and can’t develop the archi-

We’re seeing people with part-time

besides engaging in preschool lessons

tecture to build brain capacity. There

jobs who don’t have benefits. There

and activities. Berry knows good nutri-

is something more foundational in

are more elderly and children. Peo-

tion is key for children in her pro-

those first few years of life, and we

ple are struggling 365 days a year.�

gram. She recalls a 3-year-old boy, in

can’t rebuild that.� Intervention and aid are impor-

programs such as SNAP hardly have

n’t stuff himself with enough food

tant tools used to combat poverty and

enough to pay for a nutritious diet,

while at Head Start. “He felt des-

food insecurity. But aid workers wor-

says John Cook, associate profes-

perate,� Berry says. “How are we going

ry that many people in Illinois aren’t

sor of pediatrics for the Boston Uni-

to work on his literacy and help him

getting the help they need. About 32

versity School of Medicine and an

focus in getting settled if he is con-

percent of those who are food inse-

expert on hunger. According to the

y em d a Ac nt – p y! o l ve h E n S r O de ive Lea xclus tion E ita


Even those receiving money from

and out of homelessness, who could-


6 th Biennial

LeaderShop Academy Symposium -XQH‡:HVWLQ,WDVFD Public Schools are better than ever... so why the national negativity? What is fueling it? Can we change it?

Talk the

Truth the

the Crucial Conversations About America’s Schools



USDA, a family of four with two adults

goal of the Commission to End Hunger

and two children needed $585 a month

is to increase access to federal and

to afford a nutritious thrifty food plan

state assistance programs by seam-

and $785 a month to afford a low-cost

lessly offering services to those in

plan in November of last year. The

need, whether programs are funded

maximum SNAP benefit for a family

by federal, state or private means.

of four is $632, but the average is

Also, the commission is working to

$532 a month, Cook says. Further,

increase access to quality nutritious

he says, because poverty is deter-


mined using an antiquated method

One initiative involves training

that doesn’t take into account the

workers at food pantries to help fam-

high cost of housing, for instance, it

ilies sign up for SNAP benefits online.

is underestimated. “Poverty mea-

“When families receive benefits they

sures don’t reflect the actual mea-

are less dependent on the food pantry,

sure of need,” Cook says.

and that puts less strain on us,” says

Illinois schools who are eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunches Low Income (%)

100% 80% 60% 43








40% 20%



The value of programs such as

Steven McCullough, vice president

SNAP should be measured in other

of community partnerships with the

ways — how they improve health for

Chicago Food Depository. With the

instance, he says. “There is a mis-

recent SNAP cuts, McCullough is hear-

an increased demand, food pantries

conception that [food insecurity]

ing that there has been about a 12

statewide have had a tougher time

really doesn’t matter, that bad things

percent increase in demand on his

collecting donations. Manufacturers

happen to everyone now and then,”

agency’s services. “Any cut has a rip-

became more efficient during the

Cook says. “But it’s all around us and

ple effect in the economy,” he says.

recession, resulting in less waste and

it’s harming our possibilities for a

When people have less money to spend

fewer products to donate. Mislabeled

prosperous future.” The cost of chron-

in stores located in impoverished

products used to be a staple in food

ic diseases like diabetes far outweighs

areas, stores don’t do as well and have

pantries but now are hard to come

the cost of SNAP benefits, he says.

a harder time staying open.

by, Mc Cullough says. At the same


And besides contributing to the healthy

The commission has worked to

time, food banks are working to make

development of children, access to

increase the number of schools offer-

sure families are getting the food they

nutritious food also makes a child’s

ing breakfast to kids as part of the

need, not just donations. In Central

home life less stressful, leading to

2012 Illinois No Kid Hungry Cam-

Illinois, the food bank is purchas-

more positive brain development.

paign. During the 2011-12 school

ing staple goods such as cereal to

Studies also have shown that

year, 790,000 Illinois children qual-

make sure it is available. Meanwhile,

child abuse is more prevalent in house-

ified for free or reduced lunches and

the Chicago food bank has made a

holds that struggle for food. “Chil-

breakfasts, but only 44.3 percent of

commitment that 30 percent of its

dren in food-insecure households

those eligible received breakfast,

distributions are fresh produce, “We

have a higher level of behavioral prob-

either because it wasn’t offered or

realize there’s an intersection between

lems in school,” Cook says. “Food

they chose not to participate, the

food and health,” he says.

insecurity is basically handicapping

Food Research Action Center report-

Nally of Feeding Illinois is opti-

children and keeping them from reach-

ed. Still, that participation was an

mistic about the future. She notes

ing their potential, and that has tremen-

increase of 20 percent over the pre-

that organizations such as the Amer-

dous impacts in the community and

vious school year. Because the pro-

ican Academy of Pediatrics are tak-

on society. It’s a drag on the entire

gram is federally funded, Illinois

ing on poverty and hunger. The AAP


schools lose millions of dollars in aid

has convened a leadership work group

by not serving breakfast.

to study the health effects of child

Another issue is whether people who are eligible for help are receiv-

Private programs also have their

poverty. Also, she sees the possibili-

ing enough of it or any at all. A major

work cut out for them. While seeing

continued on page 23

M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4 / 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



Concerted effort needed to make all kids healthy, hunger-free By Rob Bisceglie

Rob Bisceglie is CEO of Action for Healthy Kids, a board member for Roselle District 12 and a father of three


chool boards in Illinois, like

healthy school environments.

great progress, but not every school

those around the country, have

In keeping with the requirements

district in the state gets a passing

been tackling school wellness issues

of the HHFKA, the Illinois State Board

grade where it comes to promoting

for many years. The 2004 Child Nutri-

of Education (ISBE) required all pub-

true school health. This is hard work

tion and WIC Reauthorization Act,

lic school districts to have locally-

requiring a patient, long-term per-

which required school districts that

developed wellness policies that

spective for every district, including

participate in federal school meal

address nutrition guidelines for all

my own. ISBE does not have an exact

programs to establish local well-

foods sold on the school campus dur-

count of how many of Illinois’ 867

ness policies by the 2006-2007 school

ing the school day, nutrition educa-

districts have wellness policies in

year, set the tone for real progress.

tion and physical activity and promotes

place, nor does it have all-inclusive

And, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids

the translation of these policies into

data on the quality of existing well-

Act of 2010 (HHFKA) was designed

changes in all schools.

ness policies. But, a 2012 snapshot

to strengthen those wellness policies

So, how are we doing?

of 442 participants that were reviewed

and establish the gold standard for

Ten years out and we’ve made

in the National School Lunch Program showed that 262 of those had some sort of wellness policy in place. If Illinois follows the national trend –– identified in the 2013 Bridging the Gap brief report, School District Wellness Policies: Evaluating Progress and Potential for Improving Children’s Health Five Years after the Federal Mandate –– only 46 percent of students attend schools in districts with a comprehensive wellness policy. We also know that far too many wellness policies have been adopted, only to collect dust on the shelf unimplemented. So, we have somewhat limited understanding of what real progress the state’s schools – and kids – are making on the nutrition and


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 / M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4

physical activity fronts. As school

ment it in a meaningful way and then

ness team members was lost to retire-

board members, we have the unique

monitor, evaluate and report out to

ment or transfers.

responsibility of not only making sure

the community about it to ensure it

schools meet the goals set forth by

is having the intended impact.

The sole remaining wellness team member, physical education teacher

the state, but more importantly, of

As a volunteer member of the

Tom Allen, knew the importance of

providing the kids in our districts

school health team at Spring Hills

bringing Pickard staff and the Local

with the best opportunities for health

Elementary, where my kids go to

School Council on board with school

and learning. We can do that by fol-

school, I can tell you there is noth-

wellness at the beginning of the 2013-

lowing a concerted course of action.

ing more gratifying than the experi-

2014 school year. So, within the first

ence of volunteering for a taste test

six weeks of school, he gave pre-

Step One: Establish School

or physical activity event in which

sentations to the staff about the require-

Health Teams and Action Plans

our kids have an opportunity to learn

ments of the district wellness policies,

and experience what it means to make

approached the Local School Coun-

healthy choices.

cil to present Pickard’s new healthy

In order to put every child in Illinois on a path to health and academic success, school board members

Depending on the circumstances

celebrations and fundraising plan and

must take a more active role. First,

within individual schools, getting and

now sends weekly wellness emails to

we need to ensure that our districts

keeping a health team in place may

all staff members to provide ideas and

have adopted a quality district-level

not always be easy. But it can be done,

resources for increasing movement

wellness policy that addresses key

if we’re vigilant. At Action for Healthy

in the classroom. He has also recruit-

issues around foods served in schools,

Kids, we witnessed the power of an

ed a new school health team and has

nutrition education, physical activ-

active school health team recently

administered a student survey to bet-

ity and physical education, among

in the experience of Josiah L. Pickard

ter understand student knowledge,

other important wellness topics iden-

Elementary School in Chicago. Last

attitudes and behaviors around eat-

tified in the recently-released, pro-

spring, we awarded the school a grant

ing and being physically active.

posed wellness policy rule from the

to help improve its school wellness

Sometimes it takes the work of

Federal Government. If your district

environment and help it align with

one very determined and motivated

doesn’t have such a policy, please vis-

recently passed district wellness poli-

person, like Tom Allen, to make school

it the Action for Healthy Kids online

cies. We also helped Pickard create

health a reality. Just as he focused

wellness policy tool, which will guide

a diverse wellness team that includ-

on keeping his school health team

you through the seven steps needed

ed physical education and classroom

going and its wellness plan alive,

for the development and implemen-

teachers, the food service director

it’s important that all school health

tation of a quality, comprehensive

and the school counselor. The team

teams guide their schools with strong

policy for your district.

had already developed a school well-

wellness plans that encompass sus-

Equally important, we need to

ness action plan and had started an

tainable strategies that meet the needs

ensure that each of our schools have

application to become HealthierUS

of their particular school. There is

health teams at the school building

School Challenge certified. (This is

no one-size-fits-all solution to this

level that develop actionable plans

a voluntary certification initiative

epidemic of obesity, hunger and poor

for improving wellness in their school

recognizing schools that have creat-

health. Instead, each school health

and then work to implement those

ed healthier school environments

team, with support from other school

plans. This is where the rubber meets

through the promotion of nutrition

leaders, must determine how to tack-

the road. Unimplemented policies

and physical activity.) By the end

le this challenge in ways that are best

are useless for our kids. In order to

of the 2013-2014 academic year,

for their own community, parents

foster real change, each school in Illi-

school wellness at Pickard had gained

and especially children.

nois must have a working school health

momentum and was becoming a pri-

The good news is that there is

team charged and empowered to devel-

ority among staff members. But, over

growing evidence that school board

op a school health action plan, imple-

the summer, all but one of the well-

and school health team members can

M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4 / 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


share with their communities prov-

the impact of hunger and unhealthy

nutrition education. I caution, though,

ing that healthy kids learn better. For

food choices on academic achieve-

that policies alone won’t mean any-

example, where physical activity and

ment also isn’t far behind. As you’ll

thing without school improvement

physical education are involved,

see below in this article, school break-

systems that include health objec-

we know from numerous studies that

fast and other nutrition issues have

tives and measures. It’s important to

enhancing physical activity will lead

been proven to impact academic per-

know what goals are important for

to better academic outcomes for stu-

formance. After all, haven’t we all

our schools and how well each school

dents. As indicated in Action for

experienced that inability to con-

is doing while working to achieve

Healthy Kids’ 2013 report, The Learn-

centrate after having failed to con-


ing Connection: What You Need to

sume a healthy breakfast? Well, our

Know to Ensure Your Kids are Healthy

kids are no different. Those who come

Step Two: Implement Quality

and Ready to Learn, kids who get

to school hungry are at an unac-

School Health Programs and

regular physical activity experience

ceptable disadvantage.


improvements in their fitness levels and brain function.

Clearly then, there are needs in

It’s in the interest of every school

every school building for compre-

that standards-based physical edu-

The bottom line is, active chil-

hensive physical activity programs

cation be a part of the curriculum.

dren are able to better concentrate

that incorporate both P.E. and phys-

Illinois is one of few states that man-

during school and perform at higher

ical activity throughout the school

date daily P.E. by statute. But, by the

levels on standardized tests than their

day as well as high quality practices

same token, the waiver system that’s

less active peers. The research around

around foods served in schools and

in place allows the majority of schools

Discover the Difference! Your policy manual is more than a reference book and IASB’s School Board Policy Online service is more than just a way to publish your manual online.

With School Board Policy Online your district can: • Access policy content quickly to inform board decisions • Know policy content is secure on a protected, backed-up, off-site server • Search keywords and phrases to get relevant results broken down by policy section and number • Post administrative procedures at no additional charge • Streamline the online policy update process by also using PRESS Plus • Review prior policy versions in a policy archive Visit for links to district manuals currently published through SBPOL.

Contact IASB Policy Services today for information: 630/629-3776 or 217/528-9688, ext. 1214 or 1125 • or 16

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 / M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4

in the state to offer P.E. a scant once a week. As a result, students across Illinois are not getting enough physical activity, are not exposed to daily standards-based quality P.E., and consequently are not developing the important lifelong habits necessary for health and learning. Having a strong P.E. policy that allows districts an out is not much better than having no policy at all. As a proponent of enhancing P.E., I believe ISBE’s recent approval of the Illinois Enhance P.E. Task Force’s 2013 recommendations to improve P.E. Learning Standards in Illinois are right on track because they increase requirements for P.E. The

Hillman et al. (2009) Neuroscience, 159, 1044-1054

changes call, in part, for schools to: • Increase the amount of time students are moderately-to-vigorously

Of course, P.E. isn’t the only way

are in place. In practical terms, I

physically active in P.E. to at least

to keep students active. School boards

believe we have a responsibility to

50 percent of the time

also should consider the promotion

make sure every child our districts

• Ensure appropriate class size of no

of opportunities for physical activi-

educates has access to healthy foods

more than one teacher to 25 stu-

ty throughout the school day. Brain

in schools, particularly since so many

dents in elementary classes; one

breaks of physical activity during

hungry children don’t have the option

teacher and up to 30 students in

classes, recess between classes or

of eating healthy food at home. Accord-

middle and high schools

even physical activity programs before

ing to the U.S. Department of Agri-

• Promote and adopt Enhanced P.E.,

the start of the school day are great

culture, as many as one in five kids

defined by the Institute of Medi-

ways for schools to provide kids with

in the U.S. are sent to school each

cine of the National Academy of

at least half of the recommended

day from homes where breakfast isn’t

Sciences as programs that increase

60 minutes of daily physical activi-

a daily guarantee. Those students are

the length of or activity levels in

ty, in addition to P.E. If your schools

at a disadvantage for learning. As indi-

school-based physical education

are interested in these ideas, please

cated in The Learning Connection,


check out the Action for Healthy Kids

kids who eat nutritious breakfasts

free, online program, Game On! The

have positive academic outcomes.

Ultimate Wellness Challenge. It

Those who don’t, experience the oppo-

encourages elementary staff and stu-

site effect. In fact, a review of 50 stud-

dents to incorporate physical activ-

ies, which appeared in the September

ity and healthy food choices into their

2011 issue of Journal of School Health,

daily lives.

points to growing research that reveals

• Use the Presidential Youth Fitness Program as a tool to measure student fitness • Provide training and professional development to P.E. teachers Meeting the P.E. mandate like-

On the other side of the school

skipping breakfast hurts kids’ over-

ly will have budget implications for

health equation are foods served in

all cognitive performance. Meanwhile,

districts throughout Illinois, and there-

schools and nutrition education.

a 2013 national report by Share Our

in lies a very significant challenge

School boards should make sure prop-

Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign,

we’ll have to overcome.

er nutrition guidelines and education

done in collaboration with Deloitte,

M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4 / 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


showed that on average students who

New meal standards implemented

ier standards apply to all foods and

eat school breakfast have been shown

under HHFKA, improve the nutri-

drinks sold in vending machines,

to attend 1.5 more days of school per

tional quality of school meals by mak-

school stores, snack carts and a la

year and score 17.5 percent higher

ing whole grains, fruits and vegetables

carte lines during the school day.

on standardized math tests.

more available; requiring the selec-

These are all positive steps. Accord-

Some 32 million students eat

tion of a fruit or vegetable; increas-

ing to a Harvard School of Public

school meals each day; for many low-

ing the portion sizes of fruits and

Health Study, students in an urban,

income students, up to half their dai-

vegetables; removing trans fats; and

low-income district chose more fruit

ly energy intake is from school meals.

placing limits on total calories and

(selection increased by 23 percent)

Fortunately, the federal school meals

sodium levels. And, as a result, stu-

and ate more of the vegetables they

programs provide a real opportuni-

dents are eating healthier fare. That’s

were served (consumption of veg-

ty for schools to feed their students

exactly what the standards were meant

etables increased by 16.2 percent)

healthy breakfasts and lunches — for

to do. And thanks to what’s commonly

after the new meal standards went

many, at reimbursed or free rates.

known as the smart snacks rule, health-

into effect. Of course, additional research and validation is needed to further our understanding of the impact of these new policies. The expansion of the Community Eligibility Provision of the HHF-

IASB Facilitated

School Board Self-Evaluation Working together ‌ better!

KA also will allow schools that serve heavy concentrations of students from low-income families to provide free breakfasts and lunches to all students. This alternative approach differs from previous requirements that families apply for students’ participation in the free and reduced lunch program, and I encourage every eli-



tion when it becomes available nationwide during the 2014-2015

Board members say:

Benefits include:

gible district to consider participa-

school year. In short, the Community Eligibility Provision will help improve access to free school meals in high poverty communities while eliminating the administrative burden of collecting household applications. This is a potential win-win for many districts. Fostering healthy eating habits is not just about the food kids are offered, but also about teaching healthy


eating practices. Nutrition education that connects the classroom to the cafeteria reinforces key messages. That’s why it’s important that we


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 / M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4

make sure schools implement nutri-

action to ensure transparency.

Action for Healthy Kids, we’ve worked

tion education from pre-school through

I know from personal experience

with parents across the country

secondary school as part of a sequen-

that school administrators will find

through our Parents for Healthy Kids

tial, comprehensive school health

parents are tremendous partners

program to improve the nutrition and

education curriculum designed to

around school wellness issues and as

physical activity levels of students

help students adopt healthy eating

members of school health teams. At

both at home and in schools since

behaviors. Schools can find free nutrition education curricula and ideas online through USDA’s Team Nutrition. This nutrition education approach includes setting board precedent and/or policy that prohibits the mar-

The Action for Healthy Kids Wellness Policy Tool

keting and advertising of unhealthy foods that undermine that which is taught in the classroom and send mixed messages on the value of health. Step Three: Create School-Family Community Partnerships Obviously, our schools can’t accomplish our child health goals alone and shouldn’t be expected to do so. Progress on school and child health is only possible when school health activities are supported by parents and other community members in school and reinforced at home. Genuine school-family-community partnerships are only possible when districts and schools are in communication with parents and other community members to keep them abreast of school health issues in a timely and transparent manner. In fact, HHFKA requires that school districts inform and update the public about their progress in implementing their wellness policies. If your district participates in the National School Lunch Program or other federal Child Nutrition programs and does not make its wellness policy assessment available to parents and the public periodically, your district is not in compliance with the law, and school board members can and should take

M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4 / 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


2007. Through the program, we

tains tip sheets and hand outs (often

children learn better. It stands to rea-


in English and Spanish) to help par-

son then, that school wellness is both

• A Parent Leadership Series, which

ents and their schools get started.

our responsibility and an opportu-

teaches parents and other volun-

From our work here in Illinois

nity for us to ensure that every Illi-

teers how to work collaborative-

and all across the country, we’ve

nois child is healthy and ready to

ly within their school communities

learned informed and involved par-


to improve policy and practices

ents can have a big positive impact

If you are interested in new ways

related to school nutrition and

on their schools. Over the years, Alli-

to incorporate school health teams,

physical activity

son Stewart, a Denver-area mother

school health programs and parent

• Share Healthy Food & Activity

of two elementary students and a

volunteers into your school com-

at School, a 15-minute presenta-

member of Action for Healthy Kids’

munity, I encourage you to take Action

tion for parents and other school

Colorado team, has devoted several

for Healthy Kids’ “Every Kid Healthy

leaders to use in their communi-

hours each week making sure Den-

Pledge” and become part of this impor-

ties to build awareness, support,

ver-area teachers and parents know

tant campaign. Working together, we

and momentum for creating health-

how to create healthy environments

can and will give kids the keys to

ier learning environments

for kids. At any point in the school

health and academic success, one

• Four Easy Ways for Families to

year, she could be found doing any-

district, school or even one home

Improve Health and Well-Being,

thing from leading kids through a

at a time.

a series of short, targeted presen-

series of physical activity lessons and

tations for parents and families

nutrition exercises to holding in-

covering four simple key messages

school healthy food taste tests.

Resource Citations

that the Centers for Disease Con-

A dedicated mother, Stewart

trol and Prevention also recom-

found her way to Action for Healthy



Kids and school health issues after

her daughter came home from school


Each series in the program con-


one day and explained she was reward-


ed with cookies for doing her school

work, something she was expected


to do. That didn’t make sense to Stew-


art. So, she searched the internet for


‘non-food rewards’ and found Action


for Healthy Kids, along with the tools

and resources that helped her get


involved in her children’s school.

That was in 2009. Since then, Alli-


son Stewart has been involved in myr-

iad school-based projects that are creating a healthier environment for all the students.

default/files/cep101.pdf team-nutrition

If one caring mother could do so


much, imagine what we, as members

of school boards, can accomplish if


we put our minds to it. After all,


researchers have now proven what

many of us may have witnessed with


our own kids and students, that healthy


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 / M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4


‘Weighing Healthier Options’ revisited By Gary Adkins

en years ago, IASB produced

the obesity problem, focusing on over-

erages. It mentioned, as well, that the

an in-depth examination of

weight children. The first article,

American Academy of Pediatrics had

childhood obesity, nutrition and phys-

titled “Weighing Healthier Options,”

recently urged school districts to con-

ical activity as these issues relate to

looked at policy implications for school

sider restricting the sale of soft drinks

public school operations and school

boards. Besides raising initial ques-

to “safeguard against health prob-

board policy-making. “Weighing

tions, it offered a quick look at what

lems that result from over con-

Healthier Options” was published as

some school districts were doing in

sumption.” A sidebar, “School nutrition

a series of articles and reports in The

terms of setting new policy around

rules, regulations,” laid out the statu-


tory and regulatory requirements

Illinois School Board Journal, and

related to school nutrition, mainly

the Illinois School Board Newsbulresources at the IASB website. report first appeared in March 2004. Significant developments – both voluntary and mandatory – have occurred as government, schools and the private sector have responded to this



A lot has happened since this


letin, supplemented with online



g l Covera


as established through the national school meals programs. An article followed that looked at school cafeterias and the adjunct situations where other food is introduced into the school environment, including: concession stands, fundraisers and classroom rewards. Noting that the National School Lunch

highly-charged debate.

Program was nearly 60 years old, and

The original series was divided into several parts:

nutrition. It also cited federal data

that school cafeterias were serving

• Snack foods, soft drinks

on childhood obesity, which was the

$4.7 billion worth of meals each year,

• Food services and fund-raising food

first time health officials referred to

this article questioned whether those

the issue as an “epidemic.”

existing school meals program helped

sales • Nutrition curriculum • Physical education

An accompanying article, “Counter offensive: Refute, promote

or hindered the fight against childhood obesity.

and donate,” looked at the soft drink

Nutrition in the classroom was

The 2004 series and its accom-

industry’s response to being singled

the focus of a subsequent article. In

panying resources and links encour-

out by some critics as a leading cause

the story, “Do nutrition policies, stan-

aged school boards to start talking

of childhood obesity. It noted there

dards measure up?” IASB offered

about nutrition and physical activi-

were 20 states in addition to Illi-

sample language that school districts

ty at school. The series began with

nois considering legislation to set

could consult if they wished to ensure

an overview of the background on

stricter nutrition standards for bev-

that their nutrition education poli-

M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4 / 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


cies stayed consistent, from “the

sity and nutrition relative to schools,

nutrition for all foods sold on the school

boardroom to classroom; to lunch-

but not the end of the project. Print-

campus during the school day, plus

room; to schoolyard; and home.”

ed copies of the entire “Weighing

guidelines on nutrition education and

In an accompanying piece, “If

Healthier Options” report were made

physical activity. The state board has

Johnny can’t read, maybe he’s hun-

available. IASB’s website has con-

partnered with Illinois Nutrition Education and Training (NET) to provide model policies, plus an action plan to follow for implementing an effective local wellness policy, and more. All

A lot has changed in the realm of school nutrition and wellness in

of these resources are available at

the decade since ‘Weighing Healthier Options’ appeared, both in .

terms of legislation and regulations governing school meals. Of

The landmark federal law imposed

greatest significance was the new federal legislation adopted in

nutrition standards in 2010 for all

2010 on the use of so-called “smart snacks” in schools.

foods sold in schools, codified under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, or Public Law 111-296. This led to new federal standards being put in place last year to remove snack foods from schools. The changes

gry,” the Journal also looked at a well-

tinued to maintain a compilation of

included a tightening of fat, calorie,

established link between good nutrition

the topical child nutrition and well-

sugar, and sodium limits for any foods

and student achievement, as well as

ness issues, and updated source and

sold during the school day. And an

student behavior. These articles, plus

resource list, at http://www.

earlier set of regulations adopted

an article in the Newsbulletin, “Nutri- .

under the same law set higher stan-

tion education mandated by law,” were added to the Weighing Healthier Options archive on IASB’s website.


dards for the nutritional content of 2014: Ten Years Later A lot has changed in the realm of school nutrition and wellness in

free and low-cost school breakfasts and lunches subsidized by the federal government.

Coverage followed with a close

the decade since ‘Weighing Healthi-

Both that law and the new regu-

examination of the role that physi-

er Options’ appeared, both in terms

lations are part of the federal gov-

cal activity plays in curbing child-

of legislation and regulations gov-

ernment’s effort to combat childhood

hood obesity in the article, “Making

erning school meals. Of greatest sig-

obesity rates. Unfortunately, those

fitness count.” In the final article of

nificance was the new federal

rates have remained high over the

the series, IASB addressed the prob-

legislation adopted in 2010 on the

past decade nationwide. Rates among

lem from the aspect of what school

use of so-called “smart snacks” in

teenagers have increased, while over-

boards could do through policy, what


all rates for kids did not change but

administrators could do through bet-

Illinois lawmakers joined the effort

plateaued. Childhood obesity rates

ter practices, and what parents and

in 2007, when it required local school

in Illinois have also stayed high,

the community could do through

wellness policies in every school dis-

but were beginning a slight decline

habit and lifestyle changes. It con-

trict. The requirement was finalized

when last documented in 2013, both

tained information on balancing

in regulations adopted by the Illinois

for teens and for children overall.

healthy kids vs. healthy fiscal reports

State Board of Education in October

Evidence of the state’s status on

in “Financing fitness: Keeping kids,

2007, based on the requirements of

childhood obesity came in a 2013

budgets healthy.”

Public Act 094-0199. These locally

report, “F as in Fat: How obesity threat-

That marked the end of the IASB

established wellness policies are

ens America’s Future,” by the Trust

publications’ series on childhood obe-

designed to set guidelines to cover:

for America’s Health and the Robert

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 / M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4

Wood Johnson Foundation. The report

ing to the studies or reports and the

ier Options” remains timely and intact.

showed a 19.3 percent obesity rate

organizations that compile them. The

IASB will continue to update its read-

among 10- to 17-year-olds in Illinois

heart of the original research that

ers on these issues and develop-

in 2011, which ranked the state ninth

was contained in “Weighing Health-


for childhood obesity in that age group. That same age group had an obesity rating above 20 percent in 2007. The same report gave Illinois a much better rating on obesity among high


school students. It showed an 11.6 percent obesity rate for high school students in 2011, ranking the state 23rd in obesity for that age group.


That was down from a rate of more


than 13 percent for Illinois high schoolers in 2007. Stricter regulations, policies, practices, and greater public aware-

The Gold Standard of Executive Searches

ness are all helping to address childhood obesity, nutrition and wellness. The extent of success – or failure – to change outcomes varies accord-

Hungry in Illinois continued from page 13

ty of tapping Illinois farmers to capture their surplus crops or even grow needed produce to distribute through food banks. Such programs exist in Ohio and Michigan. With a growing awareness of need and groups coming together to combat hunger, Nally thinks real, productive solutions are coming. “Because of the economic slowdown, because of the recession and barriers in having a quick recovery, we’ve seen nearly every neighborhood with people who are suffering

The IASB Executive Search Team 1. Provides executive search processes including: superintendent, assistant superintendent, business manager, principal and other administrative searches 2. Considers the ”big picture” in the search process and school district governance 3. Represents the interests of client school districts 4. Assists client school districts to build effective relationships with the newly hired person 5. Acts with integrity and in the spirit of trust

from food insecurity.” Nally says. “In order to have a vibrant economy we have to have healthy people, and if we don’t have access to nutritious

FOR INFORMATION CONTACT: 2921 Baker Drive Springfield, IL 62703 217/528-9688, ext. 1217

food we don’t have that.” M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4 / 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

One Imperial Place 1 East 22nd Street, Suite 20 Lombard, IL 60148 630/629-3776, ext. 1217 executive 23


Illinois adopts ‘enhanced P.E.’ standards This article was prepared for The Journal by the Illinois Public Health Institute


he Illinois Enhance P.E. Task

perform better in class and on stan-

The full report and other resources

Force (Public Act 97-1102)

dardized tests, exhibit better class-

related to the task force can be found

released a report in August 2013 call-

room behaviors and improve health


ing for new standards and strategies



to improve and increase physical edu-

In order to increase P.E.’s return

cation classes, noting the latest neu-

on investment for learning and health,

roscience research linking physical

the governor signed Public Act 97-

Stakeholders across the state,

activity with improved academic per-

1102 in August 2012, creating the

including superintendents, princi-


Enhance P.E. Task Force. Per its charge,

pals, school board members, P.E. teach-

State Superintendent of Educa-

the task force proposed revisions to

ers, health advocacy organizations,

tion Christopher Koch and Dr. LaMar

Goals 19-24 of the Illinois Learning

and parents can play a role in imple-

Hasbrouck, director of the Depart-

Standards for Physical Development

menting the new learning standards

ment of Public Health, co-chaired the

and Health, which have since been

in schools to ensure every student

Illinois Enhance Physical Education

approved and adopted by the state,

receives optimal physical education.

(P.E.) Task Force, which developed

including the addition of two new

Going into effect for the 2015-16 aca-

the report that was submitted to Gov.

standards that incorporate the latest

demic year, school boards and school

Pat Quinn, the Illinois State General

brain research and best practices for

leaders can begin in 2014 to adapt

Assembly, and health organizations

achieving optimal student health and

curricula to meet the new standards

and community groups interested in

academic achievement. The task force

and implement policies and practices

turning the tide of childhood obesity

also put forth a set of recommenda-

to support enhanced physical edu-

and improving health for all students.

tions offering an array of strategies

cation throughout Illinois.

to enhance existing P.E. programs,

Other ways school boards can


help to ensure quality physical edu-

Enhanced physical education is

• Promoting training and professional

cation in their schools include:

an evidence-based approach that calls

development in enhanced P.E. for

• Learn more about correlation

for increasing the amount of time stu-

teachers and other school and com-

between enhanced P.E. and aca-

dents spend in moderate to vigorous

munity stakeholders

demic achievement and the return

What is enhanced P.E.?

physical activity in P.E. class and has

• Implementing metrics to assess

generated proven positive results.

the impact of enhanced physical

The Illinois Enhance P.E. Task Force


on investment • Update the district’s mission/vision statements to include statements

reviewed extensive research show-

• Identifying and seeking local, state

ing that children who are more phys-

and national resources to support

ically active – in P.E. class, throughout

enhanced physical education

the school day and during recess – 24

What’s next in Illinois?

• Engaging communities

concerning student and personnel health and well-being • Update the local wellness policy to include a provision that students

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 / M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4

should spend at least 50% of P.E.

able by contacting Janna Simon, Illi-

class time in moderate-to-vigor-

nois Public health Institute, at 312-


ous physical activity



• Ensure all students receive daily physical education • Adopt use of the free version of FITNESSGRAM (via the Presidential


References d_Physical_Activity_Manual.pdf ml/EPETF.htm

Youth Fitness Program) to measure student fitness in schools; this helps students identify personal fitness improvement goals and teachers to personalize P.E. for their students • Ensure physical education and health teachers have professional development and resources to enhance their academic programs

A system of EVALUATION starts at the

TOP with the

• Recommend that schools limit their P.E. class size to the same as other core academic subjects • Ensure alignment of science, socialemotional, and physical development and health curricula; align

School Board! How do you score?

PE with the Common Core standards • Hold a local school board meeting at least once annually that’s dedicated exclusively to P.E. and wellness • Provide leadership in communicating the value of P.E. to parents and community Schools can start enhancing their P.E. programs now with two free resources. One is entitled, “Get Fit & Flourish: Enhanced Physical Activ-

Contact your IASB field services director today!

Annual board self-evaluation


Clear mission, vision and goals


Solid community connection


Productive meetings


Strong board-superintendent relationship


ity Manual,” which provides a variety of lesson plans and activities for

Does your score add up?

100% ____

teachers to help elementary school students develop the skills needed for life-long physical activity. Another is the “Enhanced P.E. Resource Guide,” which links to a variety of curricula, professional development,

Springfield 217/528-9688 Lombard 630/629-3776

and assessment resources. Information about these programs is also availM AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4 / 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



Common Core excites learners By Jim Hook

“ Jim Hook is director of communications for North Palos District 117, with offices and three schools in Palos Hills and three schools in Hickory Hills.


oring,” “repetitive” and a

those in the past in that students will

many of the teachers taught summer school.

“snooze fest” were just some

learn more about fewer, key concepts;

of the words Dave Creagan’s fifth-

develop speed and accuracy; “really

Common Core marks the first

grade students at Glen Oaks School

know it, really do it”; solve problems

time for near-national consensus on

in Hickory Hills used to describe math

similar to those they’ll encounter

the standards students should learn


in the real world; perform more prob-

in math and language arts in kinder-

But weeks into the Common Core

lem-solving, writing and communi-

garten through grade12.

State Standards, those same Glen

cating about math; and encounter

Beginning this year, students will

Oaks students were smiling, excited

higher-level thinking and increased

take a new standardized test that

and “rocking that math class.”


determines whether they are meet-

“My teaching has changed dra-

North Palos District 117 imple-

ing these standards. The test will

matically since implementation of

mented those math standards at the

replace the current Illinois Stan-

the new Common Core Standards in

start of the 2013-14 school year. Dis-

dardized Assessment Tests (ISAT),

math,” Creagan said.

trict officials are now working to imple-

which have previously been given in

ment new language arts standards.


“Now my teaching is more narrowly focused on fewer skills that

Melissa Murphy, the district’s

Murphy, who led the charge to

allow me time to creatively teach not

assistant superintendent for teach-

implement the new district standards,

just the skills but the foundation of

ing and learning, said the goal is to

said Common Core for math includ-

math, which are problem-solving,

give students a curriculum that allows

ed two types of standards: one for

critical thinking and analytical think-

them to study fewer concepts but

practices and one for content.

ing skills,” he said. “These skills will

at deeper levels. “The new standards

She said the standards are taught

transcend my fifth-grade classroom

will demand that students do more

simultaneously to support and extend

into a global community as students

research, writing and analysis,” she

students’ learning.

continue to grow and become future



math content define what students

CCSS were adopted in 2010 by

on the strengths and lessons of cur-

need to know about math. The prac-

Illinois and 46 other states to help

rent state standards. She added that

tices describe how students apply

improve educational outcomes for

as teachers worked to align curricu-

and extend math principles.

students by developing a set of com-

lum to the new standards, they vis-

According to Murphy, standards

mon, internationally benchmarked

it websites, watch videos and read

for math practices include: making

academic standards in math and lan-

books to help them create new math

sense of problems and persevering

guage arts for students in kindergarten

assessments and curriculum maps

in solving them; reasoning abstract-

through 12th-grade.

to guide instruction.

ly and quantitatively; constructing

The new standards differ from 26

She also said the standards for

Common Core standards are built

Much of the work was done while

viable arguments and critiquing the

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 / M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4

reasoning of others; modeling with

dents are doing most of the talking

math tools,” Urbaniak said. “There

math; using appropriate tools strate-

now as they explore various ways to

are fewer paper and pencil tasks with

gically; looking for and making use

make a number. It is surprising to

more active and engaging learning

of structure; and looking for and

hear some of their comments as they


expressing regularity in repeated rea-


She said students have learned

soning. Kim Pietryla, a first-grade teacher at Dorn Elementary School, also in Hickory Hills, said the new math cur-

New math curriculum affords students the opportunity

riculum affords students the opportunity to learn concepts at a deeper

to learn concepts at a deeper level than ever before.

level than ever before. “They are finding their own strategies for solving problems and applying their criticalthinking skills to solve word problems.”

“They are really thinking about numbers,” she said.

how to use number lines, hundreds charts, 10 frames, place value arrow

“I like that our students are not

For Leslie Urbaniak, a second-

just responsible for getting the cor-

grade teacher at Oak Ridge School,

rect answer, but rather showing how

the new standards have changed how

Urbaniak called the math vocab-

they arrived at their answers” Pietry-

she teaches in her classroom. “We

ulary “rich,” and said problem solving

la said.

study fewer topics, but go into greater

is at an all-time high, adding that she

Karen Sladek, also a first-grade

depth. We get more ‘hands-on’ prac-

finds the problem-solving piece of the

teacher at Dorn, added: “The stu-

tice using manipulatives and other

new state standards most exciting.

cards, and counting manipulatives to solve math problems.

Common core changes standards, not curriculum By Common Core Illinois Illinois teachers this year are

the end of each grade level.

Schools and teachers are able to

bringing the Common Core State

By creating these baseline stan-

make individual decisions on how to

Standards to their classrooms. The

dards for all Illinois students, the goal

personalize these standards for their

new learning standards will establish

is to ensure that every child is on a

classrooms, while also ensuring their

what students need to learn but don’t

level playing field, and has the oppor-

students are learning at the same pace

dictate how teachers should teach.

tunity to end each year with the same

as their peers in other schools.

In Illinois, academic standards

skills no matter where they live.

It’s also important to remember

had not been updated since 1997, so

For instance, Common Core math

that these standards are a floor, not

the Common Core is long overdue.

standards require that students in

a ceiling. While they create a basis

The new standards are not a cur-

first grade must be able to solve prob-

for what students must know, teach-

riculum, instead, they set a baseline

lems with addition and subtraction.

ers still have the flexibility to bring

of shared goals and expectations out-

The standards do not outline how a

enrichment and special lessons to

lining what each student should know

teacher must teach this concept or

their classrooms, so every student is

in English language arts and math by

what curriculum they must use.


M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4 / 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


“Students are learning there are multiple ways to solve problems and

IASB Policy Services Using technology to enhance your board effectiveness through online services, such as ...

they enjoy sharing their thinking with the rest of the class,” Urbaniak said. Her classroom contains a number of children who speak a different language at home as well as special education students as part of the regular education classroom. “It is amazing to see all the children wanting to share and the variety of ways they think, plan and solve the same problem,” she said, adding, “The new standards have been challenging to implement, but I think my students will leave here with a deeper understanding of the mathematical concepts taught and be better prepared to meet the challenges that await them.” Numerous surveys among corporate CEOs show that many of these

PRESS, the IASB sample policy and procedure service —

same skills being taught, including

Receive 24/7 internet access to PRESS, IASB’s sample board policy and administrative procedure service. Find the information you need quickly and easily with our powerful search engine and the legal, informational, and time saving links embedded in the policies and procedures.

strong writing, communication and critical-thinking skills, are highly sought after in prospective employees. Melissa Murphy, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning,

School Board Policies Online —

said the new standards are aligned

Let IASB publish your board policy manual online and easily navigate your manual with keyword searches, jumps to cross references, and links to legal references by using the same excellent search engine used for PRESS online. Place the IASB supplied link to your manual on your district website to provide increased community access and awareness of your district’s governing document.

with college and work expectations. “The standards we incorporated were influenced by other top-performing countries so that all students are prepared to succeed in a global economy and society.” “These are a set of skills dra-

BoardBook® — Learn about the advantages of electronic board packet preparation made possible through use of IASB’s BoardBook® service by scheduling a demonstration for yourself, your administrators, or your entire board.

matically different from what they are used to,” Murphy said. “The days of rote memorization are gone.” She praised the committee’s hard work. “I’m so proud to be part of a team

Contact IASB Policy Services today for information: 630/629-3776 or 217/528-9688 Ext. 1214 or 1125 or


that cares so much about kids and their futures,” Murphy said. “We have some of the most dedicated and hard-working teachers around. Period.”

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 / M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4

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

Appraisal Services INDUSTRIAL APPRAISAL COMPANY — Insurance appraisals, property control reports. Oakwood Terrace - 630/827-0280

Architects/Engineers ALLIED DESIGN CONSULTANTS, INC. — Architectural programming, site planning & design, architectural and interior design, and construction administration. 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 - 217/4295105; Champaign - 217/356-9606; Bloomington 309/828-5025; Chicago - 312/829-1987 BRADLEY & BRADLEY — Architects, engineers and asbestos consultants. Rockford - 815/968-9631; website: CANNON DESIGN — Architects. Chicago - 312/9608034; 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: www. CORDOGAN CLARK & ASSOCIATES — Architects and engineers; Aurora - 630/896-4678; website:; email: rmont@cordogan DESIGN ARCHITECTS, INC. — Architecture, engineering, planning and interior design. Hillsboro 217/532-5600; East St. Louis - 618/398-0890; Marion - 618/998-0075; Springfield - 217/787-1199; email:

ing, O&M and owner's rep services. Itasca - 847/7424063; website:; email:

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

ERIKSSON ENGINEERING ASSOCIATES, LTD. — Consulting civil engineers and planners. Grayslake 847/223-4804

WRIGHT & ASSOCIATES, INC. — Architecture and construction management. Metamora - 309/367-2924

FANNING/HOWEY ASSOCIATES, INC. — School planning and design with a focus on K-12 schools. Park Ridge - 847/292-1039 FGM ARCHITECTS ENGINEERS, INC. — Architects. Oak Brook - 630/574-8300; Peoria - 309/669-0012; Mt. Vernon - 618/242-5620; O’Fallon - 618/624-3364; website: GREENASSOCIATES, INC. — Architecture/construction services. Deerfield - 847/317-0852, Pewaukee, WI - 262/746-1254; website: www.greenassociates. com; email: HEALY, BENDER & ASSOCIATES, INC. — Architects/Planners. Naperville, 630/904-4300; website:; email: dhealy@healybender. com HYA EXECUTIVE SEARCH, A DIVISION OF ECRA GROUP, INC. - Superintendent searches, board and superintendent workshops. Rosemont - 847/3180072 IMAGE ARCHITECTS, INC. — Architects. Carbondale - 618/457-2128 JH2B ARCHITECTS — Architects. Kankakee - 815/ 933-5529; 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 MANGIERI COMPANIES, INC. — Construction management and general contractor capabilities. Peoria 309/688-6845 POETTKER CONSTRUCTION — Construction management, design/build and general contracting services. Hillsboro - 217/532-2507 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

KLUBER ARCHITECTS + ENGINEERS — Building design professionals specializing in architecture, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, structural, and fire protection engineers. Batavia - 630/406-1213

THE GEORGE SOLLITT CONSTRUCTION COMPANY — Full-service construction management general contractor with a primary focus on educational facilities. Wood Dale - 630/860-7333; website:; email:

LEGAT ARCHITECTS, INC. — Architects. Chicago 312/258-1555; Oak Brook - 630/990-3535; Waukegan - 847/263-3535; Crystal Lake - 815/477-4545

TRANE — HVAC company specializing in design, build, and retrofit. Willowbrook - 630/734-6033

LARSON & DARBY GROUP — Architecture, Engineering, Interior Design & Technology. Rockford 815/484-0739, St. Charles - 630/444-2112; website:; email: snelson@larsondarby. com MELOTTE-MORSE-LEONATTI, LTD — Architectural, industrial, hygiene and environmental service. Springfield - 217/789-9515 PCM+D — Provide a full range of architectural services including facility and feasibility studies, architectural design construction, consulting and related services. East Peoria - 309/694-5012 PERKINS+WILL — Architects; Chicago - 312/7550770; website:; email: mark. RICHARD L. JOHNSON ASSOCIATES, INC. — Architecture, educational planning. Rockford 815/398-1231 RUCKPATE ARCHITECTURE — Architects, engineers, interior design. Barrington - 847/381-2946; website:; email: info@ruck SARTI ARCHITECTURAL GROUP, INC. — Architecture, engineering, life safety consulting, interior design and asbestos consultants. Springfield 217/585-9111; email:

DEWBERRY ARCHITECTS INC. — Architects, planners, landscape architecture and engineers. Peoria 309/282-8000; Chicago - 312/660-8800; Elgin 847/695-5480; website:

STR PARTNERS — Architectural, interior design, planning, cost estimating and building enclosure/ roofing consulting. Chicago - 312/464-1444

DLA ARCHITECTS, LTD. — Architects specializing in preK-12 educational design, including a full range of architectural services; assessments, planning, feasibility studies, new construction, additions, remodel-

WIGHT & COMPANY — An integrated services firm with solutions for the built environment. Darien 630/696-7000; website:; email:


Building Construction CORE CONSTRUCTION — Professional construction management, design-build and general contracting services. Morton - 309/266-9768; website: www.

Computer Software SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGY, INC. — Administrative Software. Tremont - 888/776-3897; website:; email:

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 (866-252-4201); website:; email: info@alphaacs. com CTS-CONTROL TECHNOLOGY & SOLUTIONS — Performance contracting, facility improvements and energy conservation projects. St. Louis, MO 636/230-0843; Chicago - 773/633-0691; website:; email: rbennett@thectsgroup. com ENERGY SYSTEMS GROUP — A comprehensive energy services and performance contracting company providing energy, facility and financial solutions. Itasca - 630/773-7203 GRP MECHANICAL CO. INC. — Performance contracting, basic and comprehensive building renovations with a focus on energy and mechanical maintenance services. Bethalto - 618/779-0050 HONEYWELL, INC. — Controls, maintenance, energy management, performance contracting and security. St. Louis, Mo - 314-548-4136; Arlington Heights 847/391-3133; email:

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 / M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4

Who I am today began with public education.

“People talk about college and career readiness, but both are just a means to an end. What we really need to talk about is life readiness.”

Salman Khan

FOUNDER, KHAN ACADEMY Khan Academy is on a mission to provide a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere


IDEAL ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING, INC. — Asbestos and environmental services. Bloomington 309/828-4259 OCCUPATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SOLUTIONS, INC. (OEHS) — Industrial hygiene consulting specializing in indoor air quality, asbestos, lead paint, radon, microbiological evaluations and ergonomics. Chatham - 217/483-9296 RADON DETECTION SPECIALISTS — Commercial radon surveys. Burr Ridge - 800/244-4242; website:; email: kirstenschmidt@ SECURITY ALARM SYSTEMS — Burglar and fire alarms, video camera systems, door access systems, door locking systems, and alarm monitoring. Salem 618/548-5768

Financial Services BERNARDI SECURITIES, INC. — Public finance consulting, bond issue services and referendum support. Fairview Heights - 618/206-4180; Chicago 312/281-2014 BMO CAPITAL MARKETS/GKST, Inc. — Full service broker/dealer specializing in debt securities, including municipal bonds, U.S. Treasury debt, agencies, and mortgage-backed securities. Chicago - 312/4412601; website:; email: EHLERS & ASSOCIATES — School bond issues; referendum help; financial and enrollment studies. Lisle

- 630/271-3330; website:; email: FIRST MIDSTATE, INC. — Bond issue consultants. Bloomington - 309/829-3311; email: paul@first GORENZ AND ASSOCIATES, LTD. — Auditing and financial consulting. Peoria - 309/685-7621; website:; email: tcustis@gorenz HUTCHINSON, SHOCKEY, ERLEY & COMPANY — Debt issuance, referendum planning, financial assistance. Chicago - 312/443-1566; website:; email:; rcoyne 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. Monitcello 217/762-4578 ROBERT W. BAIRD & CO., INC. — Financial consulting; debt issuance; referendum assistance. St. Charles - 630/584-4994; website: www.; email:; SPEER FINANCIAL, INC. — Financial planning and bond issue services. Chicago - 312/346-3700; website:; email: dphillips@ STIFEL, NICOLAUS & COMPANY, INC. — Full service securities firm providing investment banking and

M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4 / 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

advisory services including strategic financial planning; bond underwriting; and referendum and legislative assistance - Edwardsville - 800/230-5151; email: WILLIAM BLAIR & COMPANY — Bond issuance, financial advisory services. Chicago - 312/3648955; email: WINTRUST FINANCIAL — Financial services holding company engaging in community banking, wealth management, commercial insurance premium financing, and mortgage origination. Willowbrook - 630/560-2120

Human Resource Consulting BUSHUE HUMAN RESOURCES, INC. — Human resource, safety and risk management, insurance consulting. Effingham - 217/342-3042; website:; email: steve@bushuehr. com

Insurance THE SANDNER GROUP CLAIMS MANAGEMENT, INC. — Third party administrator for worker's comp and insurance claims. Chicago - 800/654-9504

Superintendent Searches HAZARD, YOUNG, ATTEA & ASSOCIATES, LTD — Superintendent searches, board and superintendent workshops. Glenview - 847/724-8465 30


continued from page 32

former member of the Cahokia

March 12, 2014. She served the

TA CUSD 202 Board of Education,

Unit School District 187 Board of

community as a member of the



Dixon Unit SD 170 Board of Educa-

Donald E. “Don” Dell, 82, died March 4, 2014. He previously

tion. Albert H. Krusemark, Jr., 98,

served on the Princeville school

died March 25, 2014. As a founder

board for 12 years.

and school board member for 12

Morris G. Dupent, 80, died

Lester “Arlen” Schultz, 74, died March 5, 2014. He was previously a member of the Ohio school board, serving as president. Irvin Ira Sprout, 77, died Feb-

years of Lincoln-Way School CHSD

ruary 4, 2014. He had previously

February 7, 2014. He had formerly

210, New Lenox, he was also the

served on the Roseville school

served on the Pekin SD 108 Board

driving force behind the construc-

board for six years.

of Education.

tion of Lincoln-Way High School.

Etta Campbell Frank, 82, died

Catherine M. Lee (Nee Duba),

Joseph J. Terando, 82, died February 21, 2014. He served on

February 15, 2014. She served on

72, died January 28, 2014. She for-

the Spring Valley CCSD 99 Board

the Northwestern CUSD 2 school

merly served eight years on the

of Education.

board, Palmyra, for 24 years.

Barrington CUSD 220 Board of

Martin Elmer Getty, 63, died February 26, 2014. He served as superintendent in the Palestine

Education, including serving as

helms, 91, died January 29, 2014.

president in 1991 and 1992.

He was active in his community,

Louis W. Lloyd, 91, died Janu-

School District (1983-1987), the

ary 28, 2014. He was a former Ale-

Lewistown Community High

do school board member.

School District (1987-1990), and

James E. Mohr, 73, died March

the Watseka School District (1990-

1, 2014. He previously served two


terms on the Lexington CUSD 7

William L. “Bill” Hager, 95, died March 3, 2014. He previously school board.

terms as a member of West Aurora District 129 Board of Education. Willie F. “Bill” Robinson, 68,

mer member of the Odin Public SD

died March 26, 2014. He served on

722 Board of Education, serving

the Cumberland school board from

from 1964 to 1988.

1981 to 1987 and was president

Vernon M. Heck, 73, died February 12, 2014. He had previously

from 1985 to 87. Kenneth Eugene Ruch, 89,

served on the board for Tamaroa

died February 18, 2014. He former-

SD 5.

ly served on the Farmer City

William R. Hinchman, 81, died February 18, 2014. He served on the Lake Forest CHSD 115 Board

Ray Wilson, 82, died February 24, 2014. Wilson was a former Paxton school board member.

IASB SERVICE ASSOCIATES The best of everything for schools

school board, holding several offices including board president. Jessie Clark Schirding, 94,

of Education from 1985 to 2003,

died February 11, 2014. She was

including service as president from

an active member of the communi-

1999 to 2003.

ty, serving in various organizations

Kathleen Jo Hummel, 62, died

Valley school board.

Lyle E. Oncken, 89, died February 20, 2014. He served two

February 25, 2014. He was a for-

including serving on the of German

school board.

served as a member of the Tallula Lawrence Hayden, 87, died

Marsden “Moon” Lee Wil-

including some years on the POR-

M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4 / 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

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



Milestones Achievements Gloria Davis

many people I hold dear and that I

University on Feb. 17 as the univer-

retired as superin-

feel are friends,” she said. She was

sity’s next president. Dunn is cur-

tendent of Decatur

hired, she added, to make change

rently president of Youngstown

SD 61 on March

and she was pleased at the commu-

State University in Ohio, where he

22. Davis

nity’s willingness to support initia-

has held the top post for seven

announced the

tives such as the 1 percent increase

months. Dunn served as superinten-

decision to step down three months

in sales tax to pay for high school

dent of schools at Chester, Ill., from

sooner than had been planned. She

renovations and the community

1991 to 1994. In 1995, he took an

said the decision was due to a

involvement in that process as well

associate professor’s job at SIU. He

change in Illinois law that goes into

as others. The board recently

was named the university’s chair-

effect on June 1 that caps the cost-

decided to name the auditorium at

man of education administration

of-living adjustment and benefits

the renovated Eisenhower High

and higher education in 2000. He

for retirees. Retiring before that

School in Davis’ honor.

worked for nine years at SIU’s Car-

date, she said, will allow her to be

Randy Dunn,

bondale campus, ending in 2004. He

grandfathered in under current law.

the former Illinois

spent two years as state superinten-

The March 22 date, she added, is

state superinten-

dent of education with the Illinois

the one that was mutually agreed

dent of education,

State Board of Education before he

upon between her and the board.

was selected by

became president of Murray State

“In the past eight years, I’ve met

Southern Illinois

University in Kentucky.

In memoriam J. Fred Bauer, 78, died Febru-

Frank Clayton, 80, died March

ary 24, 2014. He formerly served

died March 21, 2014. He previously

15, 2014. He led the Kildeer-Coun-

on the Greenfield CUSD 10 Board

served as a member of the Bethany

tryside Elementary District 96

of Education.

school board.

school board as president from

Dorothy Lou Beal, 86, died

Al Brueggemann, 77, died

1971-73. From 1974-1980, he

March 21, 2014. She formerly

March 15, 2014. He was a former

served on the Adlai E. Stevenson

served for 12 years on the Mon-

school board member and presi-

High School District 125 board,

mouth school board.

dent of the Bartelso SD 57 Board of

including service from 1977-80 as



Thomas Eugene Benz, 70, died February 24, 2014. He was a for-


William D. “Bill” Brewer, 88,

Mary Lou Burgess, 94, died

mer school board member at Car-

February 2, 2014. She previously

rollton CUSD 1.

served on the Geneva school board.

Leroy Franklin Darnell, 84, died February 5, 2014. He was a continued on page 31

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 / M AY- J U N E 2 0 1 4


Ask the staff by Melinda Selbee

uestion: How can school board

cally decisions concerning adminis-

involves a school district, each one

members learn about impor-

trator contracts, election issues, FOIA,

is relevant. In February, the Court of

tant rulings concerning the Open

individual board member interests,

Appeals found that a plaintiff may

Meetings Act or the Freedom of Infor-

and OMA. We summarize all Illi-

obtain attorney fees under FOIA

mation Act, and other legal issues

nois appellate decisions, and occa-

regardless of the extent that he or she


involving board work?

is successful in a court action. In

Answer: The volume and frequency of binding opinions from the Illinois Public Access Counselor as well as court decisions make it difficult for board members to stay current on the Open Meetings Act (OMA)

March, the Court of Appeals found

The volume and fre-

that a public body is not obligated

quency of binding opin-

under FOIA to answer a requestor’s

ions from the Illinois

general inquiry that would require

Public Access Counselor

the creation of a new record. The Court, in another March decision,

and the Freedom of Information Act

as well as court deci-

(FOIA). Court decisions on these and

sions make it difficult for

other important aspects of a board

board members to stay

member’s role are also easy to over-

current on the Open

of an adjudication. Summaries of



these decisions are published on the

The IASB office of general counsel summarizes every relevant bind-



and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

ing opinion from the Public Access

and publishes binding opinions on the Attorney General’s website. These opinions help school board members understand and comply with FOIA and OMA. Our summaries of these opinions are on the IASB website at, under the heading, FOIA and OMA. We also summarize court decisions involving board work, specifi-

exception to personnel misconduct complaints that were not in fact part

website. The website contains summaries of other appellate decisions concerning

Counselor (PAC). The PAC issues opinions concerning FOIA and OMA,

refused to apply the “adjudicatory”

board work. For example, you can sionally summarize informative

read a summary of a decision in which

decisions from out-of-state. The sum-

a school board was charged with

maries are published on the same

exceeding its constitutional or statu-

webpage, under the headings Illinois

tory authority. Another summarized

Laws Affecting Schools, then Recent

decision involves a board charged

Court and Agency Decisions.

with violating the working cash fund

The volume of appellate deci-

statute. Another summary covers a

sions is illustrated by the fact that

decision to bar an individual from

before April 1 there were already

running for the school board because

three decisions in 2014 concerning

of a prior felony conviction.

FOIA. While none of these cases

continued on page 3

The question for this issue is answered by Melinda Selbee, IASB general counsel


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

difficult than those of algebra and geometry.” “You are never too old to set

Edgar W. Howe, American novelist and editor of EW. Howe’s Monthly magazine, 1853-1937

another goal or to dream a new dream.”

“If the traditional approach to

CS. Lewis, North Ireland novelist, poet, 1898-1963

running schools and districts has

“Children’s use of mobile

duties, our work has shown us that it’s time for school leaders to put a

jumped dramatically in the past

priority on awareness of their

two years, doubling and tripling in

schools’ emotional climates.”

from a large national Common Sense Media report.” Laura Devaney, managing editor eSchool News, “Media use has skyrocketed, report says,” eSchool News, December 2013.

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” Author unknown, commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin

“Give what you have. To someone it may be better than you dare to think.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet, 1807-1882

“It is hard to convince a high school student that he will encounter a lot of problems more

“Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” John F. Kennedy, 35th U.S. president, 1917-1963

emphasized supervisory tasks and

devices and mobile apps has

some cases, according to results

Paul Blanchfield and Peter Ladd, “Why Recognizing Emotions Is a School Leadership Necessity,” Education Week commentary, February 14, 2014.

“Only those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.” Robert F. Kennedy, U.S. senator and Attorney General, 1925-68

May/June 2014 issue of The Illinois School Board Journal  
May/June 2014 issue of The Illinois School Board Journal  

May/June 2014 issue of The Illinois School Board Journal