Page 1


Vol. 80, No. 5

Saving extracurriculars with ‘pay to play’ fees


approaches in this new era of “pay-

appropriate” and “foundational” skills

to-play” in high school activities.

in reading and math that are impor-

Either you’ll recognize a policy your

tant building blocks for “longer-term,

district has adopted, or maybe you’ll

higher order skills,” according to Edu-

s you open the pages of this edi-

get a new idea on price structures or

cation Week.

tion, you may be asking your-

alternatives to “pay-to-play.”


selves the same question that many


of us at IASB usually do at this time of the year: Where did summer go?

A few other recent items might

Whether it’s because we’re get-

spur conversations around the board

ting older or because the exhaustive


heat kept us confined to mostly air-

A recent article

conditioned spaces during June, July

reported that “kids who do more

and August, it hardly seems possi-

homework actually perform worse

ble that the buses are rolling again

on standardized tests,” according to

and it’s time for football and volley-

a researcher at Sydney University.

ball, marching band and cross coun-

Homework only boosts student test


scores in the final three years of high

One critic, however, says this all sounds rather unreasonable to him. “Kids aren’t set on a path that’s immutable from birth or even from kindergarten onward,” said Sam Meisels, president of the Chicagobased Erikson Institute, a graduate school focused exclusively on early childhood development, “and thank goodness that’s the case.” Case in point: look how the characters from the movie “Animal House” turned out! And they were already

For many students, school start-

school, according to Richard Walk-

ed earlier than the ringing of the offi-

er, author of “Reforming Homework:

cial bell. Athletes and band members

Practices, Learning and Policies.”

often find themselves in practice at

And even then, too much homework

A year ago in The Journal, we

least a couple of weeks before class-

can cause students to have poor men-

announced that we would be cutting

es begin. And those are the folks that

tal and physical health … mostly from

down on the amount of information

we’re going to talk about in this issue:

a lack of sleep.

given in the “Milestones” section.

in college! __________

students who participate in extracur-

Some agree with the theory

Contributions have increased again

ricular activities and how to cover

of assigning 10 minutes of home-

to necessitate rolling out a new for-

the expenses of those activities.

work per grade level up to 90 min-

mat with this issue. Information for

It can be a “Catch 22” for dis-

utes. Have you talked about

“achievements” will continue to fea-

tricts. You want to provide opportu-

district homework policies and

ture a picture, if available, and a short

nities for your students, but when

procedures recently?

synopsis of the nature of the award

budgets are tight and it costs more

To read additional findings, go

or career move. Obituaries of past or

to refurbish the football helmets or


current board members will be lim-

clean the band uniforms than stu-


ited to date of death and school board

dents pay in fees, then district bud-


service. This in no way diminishes

gets need to pick up the extra costs.

ACT, the well-known test pre-

Yes, gate receipts can help. But

parers, say they are working to cre-

some sports just don’t draw crowds

ate “a new series of tests to measure

like football and basketball. And many

how students — as young as 5 — are

music events are offered free to the

acquiring the skills and knowledge


they need to be ready for college and

In our cover story, freelance writer


Terri McHugh looks at three Illinois

How could this be? It seems ACT

districts that are taking different

is designing the tests to look for “grade-

the time and effort these board members gave to their communities. However, pages in a magazine are like acres on a farm: prime real estate that needs to be put to its best use. Please continue to notify IASB of any achievements or the passing of board members. It’s information that we continue to want to share.


COVER STORY 14 | Saving extracurriculars with ‘pay-to-play’ fees Facing uncertain finances, some districts are turning to fees to help continue extracurricular activities. Terri McHugh

16 | Sidebar: A coach’s perspective

FEATURE STORIES 4 | Academic game changer … Charting the course for successful implementation The school board can lead the way to successful implementation of new standards by setting a vision of commitment to change. Stuart Yager, Carol Webb, Rene Noppe and Donna McCaw

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

2 0 1 2

Vol. 80, No. 5

8 | On/off-campus lines now blurred by Internet speech In a question-and-answer format, an attorney explains how free speech is evolving in the cyber world. Steven Puiszis

19 | Stand your ground … How to keep the peace at activities, conferences School boards can adopt policies and procedures to address bad conduct on school grounds. Shayne Aldridge

22 | Athletic fields and facilities … Not just extracurricular, but extra value for schools Learn how synthetic turf can add to a district’s flexible use space, while offering durability and increased accessibility. Kevin Havens, Byron Wyns and Craig Polte

25 | EEE awards put emphasis on quality learning spaces The Exhibition of Educational Environments at the 2012 Joint Annual Conference returns to the true intent of the awards. David Henebry

28 | Questions I would ask politicians about education An education researcher would like to see certain questions answered about education policy before the November election. Diane Ravitch

REGULAR FEATURES Boiler Room. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Milestones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Ask the staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside back cover

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. 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 Linda Dawson, Editor Gary Adkins, Contributing Editor Diane M. Cape, Design and Production Manager Dana Heckrodt, Advertising Manager

TOPICS FOR UPCOMING ISSUES November/December January/February

Third B: Buses School design

Cover by Corbin Design, Petersburg


Sometimes it pays off for tall triangle players by “Gus”

Gus, the custodian at Eastside Grammar, is the creation of

“Fine! I want to see her RIGHT

ust this last summer, I took some



vacation days to visit my daugh-

ter and her family. Mr. Keck didn’t mind that I was takin’ the time off so

“Why is it that I have

The assistant librarian went to find the principal. While we sat and

Richard W.

close to the openin’ of school, as the

to pay $150 for my

waited, I cautioned my daughter about

Smelter, a retired

crew and I had worked hard and East-

son to be in the

losin’ her temper. In about five min-

school principal,

side was as shiny as a new penny … and ready as it could ever be.

marching band,

utes, the librarian/cashier returned.

now a Chicago-

“I couldn’t locate Mrs. Sebast-

based college

My grandson, Michael, is in the

while my next-door

instructor and

marching band at his high school.

neighbor only pays

who’s on the school board. Maybe


Now, like at many schools, there’s a

$75 for her daughter

you could voice your concerns to him

fee attached to participatin’ in the marching band, just like there are

to be in the same

fees connected to just about every

band? Huh? Why?”

… the board approves the fee schedules.” “Fine! Mr. Trotter … how is it

kind of extracurricular activity in

that some parents who have kids in


the marching band have to pay a higher fee than some other parents who

My daughter had a “bone to pick”

have kids in the same band? Huh?

over the fee schedule and intended to voice her complaint during the

to explain something to me.”

school’s registration process. She

“What?” asked the cashier, who

asked me to accompany her for moral

was actually an assistant librarian

support. I agreed, of course … plus I

makin’ extra cash by helpin’ out with

always like to see other schools … to


see if they’re kept up as well as Eastside.

“Why is it that I have to pay $150

Why?” “What instrument does your child play?” Mr. Trotter asked calmly. “He plays the trumpet!” responded my daughter, who couldn’t see what that had to do with anything.

for my son to be in the marching band,

“Well,” said Trotter. “That explains

My daughter moved on down the

while my next-door neighbor only

the high fee! You see, trumpets are

registration line peaceably enough,

pays $75 for her daughter to be in the

one of the main components in any

holdin’ back her temper until she

same band? Huh? Why?”

marching band. They play pretty

reached the table where parents were

“Well, I really don’t know,”

nearly all the time in any piece of

supposed to cough up “pay-to-play”

answered the assistant librarian.

music. They’re right up there with


“Maybe you should see the principal

the snare drums … part of the mili-

about your concern.”

tary tradition behind marching bands!

“Hey!” she began. “I want you 2

ian, but I did find Mr. Trotter, here,


What instrument does your neigh-

he checked his master list of fees.

bor’s child play?”

“Ah, yes … here it is. The fee to play

“The tuba.”

the triangle is $27 … $25 to rent the

“Well,” replied Trotter, a smile

uniform and $2 to play the triangle.”

creeping across his face. “That explains

“So, if the uniform rental fee is

the lower fee. You see, we wanted

$25, then the fee to play the trumpet

to be fair in our pay-to-play policy.

is $125.”

We had our band director analyze a

“Now you’ve got it!”

typical piece of music to see which

“Let me see the uniform my son

musicians play more than their peers.

will be issued. I’ve seen your march-

I can tell you, without hesitation, that

ing band! The uniforms are supposed

trumpet players play about four times

to be red, but some of them look

as many notes as tuba players. So,


the rationale is that parents who have

“The ones that look pink are the

children who get to participate more

more common sizes … the ones that

in extracurricular programs should

are rented out the most. The more

be assessed a higher fee than parents

uncommon sizes tend to retain their

who have children who participate

original color as they’re rented out


less frequently. You see, the constant

“You can’t be serious!” quipped my daughter.

cleaning and the sun’s rays tend to fade …”

“Oh, I’m very serious,” Trotter

“Yeah, I get it!” interrupted my

replied. “We try to follow this same

daughter. “I have to pay a whopping

policy in all of our extracurricular

fee and my son winds up in a pink

activities. In the case of the football


team, for instance, we actually wait

Well, you get it. My daughter left

until the end of the season to assess

registration angrier than she was

the pay-to-play fees. That way, we


have a clear record of which players spent more time on the field as opposed

When I returned to work, I ran this by Mr. Keck.

to being benched. Those who wind

“Gus, in this business it’s hard

up playing more get assessed higher

to be fair to everybody. I know one

fees. Seems only fair. In the case of

thing though …”

the marching band, we’ve analyzed

“What’s that boss?”

the average playing time of all the

“Parents of kids who play the tri-

instruments. As I stated, trumpets

angle end up with a bit more dis-

and snare drums are assessed the

cretionary income, at least in your

highest fees.”

daughter’s school district. And, if

“Who gets assessed the lowest fee?” “The parents of triangle players … they play even less than the tuba players.” “Exactly how much is that?”

President Carolyne Brooks

Immediate Past President Joseph Alesandrini

Vice President Karen Fisher

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Abe Lincoln Roger Edgecombe

Lake County Joanne Osmond

Blackhawk Jackie Mickley

Northwest Ben Andersen

Central Illinois Valley Thomas Neeley

Shawnee Roger Pfister

Cook North Phil Pritzker

Southwestern John Coers

Cook South Tom Cunningham

Starved Rock Simon Kampwerth Jr.

Cook West Joanne Zendol

Three Rivers / Treasurer 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 Steve Larson

Kishwaukee Mary Stith

they’re really short or very tall, at least they’re wearing the right color uniform!” Keck can always get to the heart of things. He has to … he’s the prin-

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





Academic game changer …

Charting the course for successful implementation by Stuart Yager, Carol Webb, Rene Noppe and Donna McCaw

Stuart Yager is an


school district’s journey toward

implementation of Common

Core State Standards (CCSS) begins

Part III: Charting the course

sor educational

with school board commitment. Ulti-

School reform movements are not new to policy and decision

leadership at

mately, this commitment is focused

makers. Each decade seems to have brought at least one new idea

Western Illinois

on ensuring that high school gradu-

or program that would “fix” a system that many believed to be

University in

ates have the necessary skills to be

broken. This is the third in a four-part series giving school board

Macomb. Carol

college- or career-ready when they

members background knowledge on the Common Core State Stan-

Webb and Rene

complete high school.

dards (CCSS), the potential impact these new standards will have

associate profes-

Noppe are assis-

Commitment starts with the

tant professors

board sharing a vision for CCSS imple-

in educational

mentation and communicating this

leadership at WIU. Donna

on teaching and learning, things for boards to look for and district implementation issues.

vision to all constituents in the district.

to understand the rationale for why

does that diploma stand for value?

Early on, the school board can

we have new standards. Discussion

The board also should consider

take steps to develop a shared vision

at the board table may center on the

if the diploma is respected by those

for implementing the new standards

level at which the district’s graduates

who earn it. Often, achieving a high

by discussing and collectively answer-

works with the

are ready for college or to enter a

school diploma has little to do with

ing essential questions at the board

career. From there, the discussion

what the graduate knows and can do

Common Core

table. Answering these important

may move in the direction of politi-

with the attained knowledge. Fre-


questions during open meetings is

cal pressures being placed on public

quently, the diploma means attend-

the best way to inform the public,

education or even global economics.

ing school for a specified number of

demonstrate commitment and encour-

Another top question for the

in-class hours and earning a mini-

age district employees about imple-

board is what their district’s high

mum passing grade in the required


school diploma currently means or


McCaw recently retired from WIU and currently

The public should see the board

what it should mean. The board should

Another question to consider:

reaching consensus regarding a vision

ask if high school graduation is seen

What evidence is available to indi-

for Common Core implementation.

by the community as an important

cate how successful the district’s grad-

However, many essential questions

achievement. Is it merely a rite of

uates are two, three or even five years

exist for the board.

passage or does the diploma repre-

after graduation? School districts

sent a rigorous accomplishment? And

should have mechanisms in place to

One of the most important is 4


complete feedback loops in order

or e-mails. Often it is helpful to have

op and incorporate these assessment

to study their high school graduates’

someone attend the meeting to take

items into their regular classroom

preparedness for college or careers.

notes and record the names of those

instruction. Board members who

This would include data from area

asking questions. Follow-up letters

understand this will know the impor-

employers, college and university

containing clear answers and a note

admission offices, and satisfaction

of thanks to those citizens who ask

surveys of graduates.

questions will be beneficial.

Include stakeholders

sessions presented during school

Additionally, general awareness

Board members must be absolutely

Another necessary step for school

board meetings can be a great use of

clear regarding the commitment and

boards to demonstrate support for

board meeting time by providing the

vision regarding Common Core State

the implementation of the new stan-

media with key points so that those

dards is to provide awareness to all

attending see the commitment being

stakeholders. This includes parents,


students, community leaders, faculty and staff.

Standards. Also, after the presentation, the tone should be that of non-judg-

Finally, at the start of professional

mental listening.

development days for all district

Often, school board members

employees, board members can give

forget about the importance of com-

opening remarks to communicate

municating commitment and vision

commitment, vision and support for

about change initiatives to students,

all in attendance to hear.

tance of providing release time for

community leaders and non-teach-

Clearly, it is important to try to

teachers to develop these next-gen-

ing staff. This is in contrast to intense-

have two school board members pre-

eration assessments to use in their

ly communicating to teachers and

sent at Common Core awareness



activities to demonstrate support and

In addition to aligning assess-

Communicating to stakeholder

commitment for implementation.

ments, teachers will need consider-

groups can often be best accomplished

Having groups of two, as opposed to

able professional development about

in an open format where one or two

only one board member, attend speak-

how to adjust instruction to the rig-

board members attend speaking events

ing engagements is a good way to

or required in the new standards.

to communicate the collective vision

demonstrate support and solidarity.

New instructional strategies will be

and commitment of the board for

This strategy provides a level

required for students to master the

implementation. At each of these

of accountability and communicates

rigor required by the new standards.

forums, an opportunity for question

a team approach to all who hear the

Finally, teachers will need sup-

and answer is vitally important.

presentation. And it’s always good to

port in mapping the district curriculum

Board members must be absolute-

have an extra set of eyes and ears

to the CCSS. Mapping curriculum

ly clear regarding the commitment

paying attention to both the content

into a scope and sequence aligned

and vision regarding Common Core

and the process of the dialogue.

with the new standards will require considerable release time for teach-

State Standards. Also, after the presentation, the tone should be that of



non-judgmental listening. This includes

Aligning current district assess-

The work of the board to achieve

maintaining a relaxed, friendly body

ments to the new standards is just as

these professional development out-

posture, making eye contact and

important as creating awareness. Stu-

comes is twofold.

thanking people for sharing their

dents should begin to experience and

First, the board must allocate


practice with the same types of assess-

funds to provide this necessary pro-

Board members should provide

ment that they will encounter later

fessional development. This also

time for the audience to ask ques-

on the new high-stakes tests begin-

means providing release time for

tions and then encourage people per-

ning in 2014.

teachers to attend workshops and to

sonally to follow-up by phone calls

Teachers should learn to devel-


develop district materials. 5

Teachers and administrators also

and curriculum maps. Principals will

menting the work. The board should

will need to attend state and even

need to develop tools to support their

expect periodic updates from teach-

national conferences about transi-

teachers as the implementation begins

ers and administrators at board meet-

tion to the CCSS. By attending these

and evolves.

ings about the implementation process

workshops, teachers and adminis-

Second, the board must discuss

and status. These updates are best

trators will learn about the time they

with district administrators how to

done during board work sessions

will need and how to use it to devel-

monitor the work of the teachers and

where there can be a relaxed dialogue

op assessments, instructional units

to ensure accountability for imple-

between the board and the teacher or administrator presenters. Work sessions should occur about once per quarter and last no more than one hour. This communication process also will inform the public and media present at board meetings

STAFF OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Roger L. Eddy, Executive Director Benjamin S. Schwarm, Deputy Executive Director Meetings Management Patricia Culler, Assistant to the Executive Director Carla S. Bolt, Director-designee Sandy Boston, Assistant Director Office of General Counsel Melinda Selbee, General Counsel Kimberly Small, Assistant General Counsel Executive Searches Donna Johnson, Director Doug Blair, Consultant Dawn Miller, Consultant Thomas Leahy, Consultant ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES Jennifer Feld, Associate Executive Director/Chief Financial Officer Production Services Diane M. Cape, Senior Director ADVOCACY/ GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS Benjamin S. Schwarm, Deputy Executive Director Deanna L. Sullivan, Director Susan Hilton, Director Advocacy Cynthia Woods, Director

IASB OFFICES 2921 Baker Drive Springfield, Illinois 62703-5929 217/528-9688 Fax 217/528-2831 6


where these updates occur. By connecting the board’s vision for the implementation of the CCSS to the steps above, the board will best be able to ensure expectations for quality implementation. These action

Board Development Sandra Kwasa, Director Nesa Brauer, Consultant

steps represent a vibrant strategic

Targeting Achievement through Governance Steve Clark, Consultant

which includes providing frequent

COMMUNICATIONS James Russell, Associate Executive Director Gary W. Adkins, Director/Editorial Linda Dawson, Director/Editorial Jennifer Nelson, Director, Information Services Gerald R. Glaub, Consultant FIELD SERVICES/POLICY SERVICES Cathy A. Talbert, Associate Executive Director Field Services Larry Dirks, Director Dean Langdon, Director Patrick Rice, Director Jeff Cohn, Director Barbara B. Toney, Director Laurel DiPrima, Director Policy Services Anna Lovern, Director Nancy Bohl, Consultant Andrea Dolgin, Consultant Jackie Griffith, Consultant Wayne Savageau, Consultant Brian Zumpf, Consultant

plan for implementation of the CCSS, communication to the public and the district employees. The steps also specify that resources be provided to teachers to get the job done as well as tools for administrators and teacher leaders for monitoring the implementation. These steps can also help guide the board through any future change processes that will come about as educational technologies advance. The steps outlined here for implementation of the Common Core State Standards — commitment, communication and resources — will support strong change management far into the future. Other parts in the series are: Part I: May/June — Common Core 101

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

Part II: July/August — Shifting the focus Part IV: November/December — Eating the elephant



On/off-campus lines now blurred by Internet speech by Steve Puiszis

Steven Puiszis is a partner with

ditor’s note: The answers to

sive activities invades the rights of

student’s Web page that targeted a

the following questions, sub-


fellow student for ridicule and harass-


mitted to the author by The Journal,

The Second Circuit, when apply-

ment. The court in Kowalski rec-

Hinshaw &

are based on his article “‘Tinkering’

ing Tinker’s substantial disruption

ognized that schools have a

Culbertson LLP

with the First Amendment’s Protec-

test, asks if it was reasonably fore-

“compelling interest” in regulating

in Chicago,

tion of Student Speech on the Inter-

seeable that a student’s off-campus

speech that involves “student harass-

where he serves

net,” which is being published in

expression might reach the school

ment and bullying.”

as deputy gener-

Volume 29, Issue 2 of the John Mar-

and, if so, would it foreseeably cre-

The Eighth Circuit also applied

al counsel, heads

shall Law School’s Journal of Com-

ate a risk of substantial disruption

a reasonable foreseeability approach

the firm’s Elec-

puter and Information Law.

within the school.

in its Hannibal Public School Dis-

tronic Discovery Response Team and is a member of its business litigation practice and school law groups.


Tinker v. Des Moines Indepen-

The Third Circuit, on the other

trict decision, which addressed threat-

dent Community School District set

hand, has rejected a foreseeability

ening instant messages between two

a precedent for student First Amend-

approach. In its Blue Mountain School

students. While the Eighth Circuit in

ment rights in 1969. How have recent

District decision, the Third Circuit,

Hannibal held that the instant mes-

federal circuit decisions interpreted

sitting together to hear the case,

sages constituted “true threats,” and

that decision regarding Internet

specifically observed that speech

as a result did not constitute pro-


originating off-campus is not trans-

tected speech, the court also applied

We have to recognize that the

formed into on-campus speech sim-

Tinker and held that it was reason-

Supreme Court’s student speech deci-

ply because it foreseeably makes its

ably foreseeable that the student’s

sions, including Tinker, involved dif-

way into a school. The concurring

threatening messages would be brought

ferent modes of communication that

judges in Blue Mountain, however,

to the attention of school authorities

arose in markedly different contexts

were willing to apply Tinker when a

and create a risk of substantial dis-

than a student’s use of the Internet.

student’s off-campus Internet speech


It should come as no surprise, then,

was intentionally directed toward

that the circuit courts have taken

a school.

It also is important to note that the Fifth and Eleventh circuits have

somewhat divergent approaches as

The Fourth Circuit, like the Sec-

broadly interpreted the Supreme

to when discipline can be imposed.

ond, would allow a student to be dis-

Court’s “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” decision,

By and large, these decisions have

ciplined when it was foreseeable that

Morse v. Frederick, as granting school

focused on Tinker’s substantial dis-

the student’s Internet activities would

officials greater authority to address

ruption test, and have generally failed

reach the school via computers, smart

threatening speech in order to pro-

to consider another aspect of Tinker,

phones or other electronic devices.

tect students from potential harm.

which allows discipline to be imposed

The Fourth Circuit in Kowalski v.

Those courts base that conclusion

when a student’s speech or expres-

Berkley County Schools addressed a

on Justice Alito’s opinion, which in


as the courts?

their view constitutes the “control-

invade the rights of another student

ling” opinion in Morse. On the oth-

and, thus, would fall under Tinker’s

For school districts, Internet

er hand, both the Third and Seventh

second prong. There is no constitu-

speech poses several unique prob-

Circuits view Morse as narrowly decid-

tional right to be a bully or to abuse

lems. Unlike other forms of media,

ed, and the Seventh Circuit in its

or intimidate other students. Given

the Internet permits free and unfet-

Nuxoll decision observed that Justices Alito and Kennedy “joined the majority opinion not just the decision and by doing so they made it the majority opinion not merely, as the

By definition, speech that constitutes harassment, bullying or cyber-

plaintiff believes (as does the Fifth

bullying is speech that would seemingly invade the rights of anoth-

Circuit) a plurality opinion.” Please explain the two different “prongs” involved in the Tinker

er student and, thus, would fall under Tinker’s second prong. There is no constitutional right to be a bully or to abuse or intimidate other students.

decision as they now relate to harassment, bullying and cyberbullying? Typically, when we think of Tinker, we think of its substantial disruption test. Because cyberbullying

the potential for Title IX liability in

tered discussion of ideas with prac-

typically targets a single student or

this context for deliberate indiffer-

tically no regulation or oversight. The

discrete group of students, demon-

ence to student-on-student harass-

Internet removes the spatial distance

strating substantial disruption may

ment, Tinker’s “rights of others” prong

between the persons posting and view-

be difficult to establish. However, Tin-

can provide the means to address this

ing content on the Web. There are no

ker also held that schools can disci-

aspect of student Internet speech.

geographic or territorial limits on the

pline speech that “invades the rights

Substantial disruption should


not be required to invoke this aspect

Today, any student with a com-

Since Tinker was originally decid-

of Tinker. Otherwise, there would

puter can post information on the

ed, the Second, Third, Sixth, Eighth

have been no need for the Court in

Internet that can be accessed any-

and Ninth circuits have mentioned

Tinker to mention speech that invades

where in the world almost instanta-

Tinker’s “rights of others” prong. It

the rights of others. Mere teasing and

neously. Social networks encourage

was the basis of the Eighth Circuit’s

name calling would not normally

the development of affinity groups

decision in Hazelwood, before it went

be sufficient to trigger this aspect of

that can target individuals in the

to the U.S. Supreme Court. Howev-

Tinker. However, when one student’s

school community. While schools

er, because the Supreme Court held

speech or expressive activities on the

can attempt to block access to vari-

that schools could exercise editorial

Internet is severe enough that it

ous social networking sites on school

control over school-sponsored pub-

impairs, or predictably could impair,

computers, students can use a num-

lications, the Court in Hazelwood

another student’s educational per-

ber of online tools and applications

specifically noted that it was not

formance, or the student’s ability to

to circumvent a school district’s

addressing whether the Eight Circuit

interact with his or her peers at school,

attempt to block access to these types

had “correctly construed” Tinker’s

or the student’s safety at school, school

of sites.

“rights of others” prong.

officials and their counsel should con-

The Internet has expanded

sider invoking Tinker’s rights of oth-

schools’ boundaries and blurred when,

ers prong.

where and how students can enter

of others.”

Protecting the “rights of others” is an underused aspect of Tinker. By

the schoolhouse gate. A two-dimen-

definition, speech that constitutes harassment, bullying or cyberbully-

How does the Internet pose

sional view of a school district’s edu-

ing is speech that would seemingly

unique challenges for schools as well

cational setting and limits of its



authority ignores the modern reali-

and social networking sites like Face-

a school district’s disciplinary deci-

ty of education in light of online col-

book and Twitter, any effort to tie the


laborative educational tools and the

disciplinary authority of school offi-

While school districts need not

proliferation of Web-based educa-

cials to the physical boundaries of a

wait until substantial disruption occurs

tional programs being offered to stu-

school is “a recipe for serious prob-

before they act, a disciplinary deci-

lems in our public schools.”

sion cannot be based on speculation, conjecture or an unsubstantiated fear

Courts have been slow to pick up on the distinguishing features of Internet speech, but there seems to be a growing awareness of some of these distinctions in several of the latest federal circuit opinions addressing Internet speech.

dents of all ages.

Does it make any difference where

of future disruption. School admin-

the message originated or where it

istrators must be prepared to present

was read?

facts supporting their conclusion that

When we lived and worked in a paper world, courts used the on-cam-

substantial disruption was reasonably likely to occur.

pus/off-campus distinction as a bright

The type of facts relevant to the

line for when a school administrator

issue will vary depending on both

could discipline a student for his or

the content of the student’s speech

her speech or expressive activity.

and the context in which it occurs.

With Internet speech, that approach

However, prior acts of violence, threats

is untenable.

or confrontations between students

Internet speech can reach stu-

involving the same type of speech or

dents wherever they are so long as

expressive activity are highly rele-

The concurring judges in the

they are carrying a laptop, a tablet or

vant. Evidence concerning how the

Third Court’s decision in Layshock

smart phone. Communications via

learning environment in classrooms

recognized that, with the prolifera-

the Internet can reach into a school

was disrupted or the impact on the

tion of wireless Internet access, smart

in ways not possible even 10 years

district’s administrative offices should

phones, tablets, laptop computers

ago. Courts have been slow to pick

be presented. The numbers of stu-

up on the distinguishing features of

dents involved or the number of

Internet speech, but there seems to

administrative or teaching hours

be a growing awareness of some of

impacted should be presented if it is

these distinctions in several of the


latest federal circuit opinions address-

IASB SERVICE ASSOCIATES The best of everything for schools

ing Internet speech.

Obviously, the greater the impact on classroom performance, the

The concurring judges in the

greater number of students and/or

Third Circuit’s Blue Mountain deci-

the more egregious nature of the

sion recognized that whether a stu-

speech, the better a district’s chances

dent’s Internet speech can be regulated

that the disciplinary decision will

should not solely depend on where

be upheld.

the student was located when the speech was originally generated.

Also don’t overlook the nature of the speech or expressive activities involved. Remember that “true threats”

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.


How does the school district deter-

are not protected speech, and even

mine “material and substantial dis-

if a student’s speech does not quali-

ruption” as referenced in Tinker?

fy as a true threat, where the safety

This can be one of the more dif-

of a student or members of the stu-

ficult aspects of Tinker to navigate.

dent body is involved, courts are less

It requires school districts and their

likely to second-guess an adminis-

counsel to collaboratively focus on

trator’s decision to discipline or sus-

marshaling the evidence to support

pend another student.


Please define what is meant by a “true threat” and how that might be interpreted in a school setting? The Supreme Court in Virginia v. Black defined a true threat as the


communication “of a serious expression of intent to commit an act of unlawful violence on a particular individual or group of individuals.” An objective test is applied when determining if a statement meets the truethreat test. The Seventh Circuit evaluates not what a speaker intended, but whether the recipient could have reasonably regarded the statement as a true threat. The Eighth Circuit in its Hannibal decision found one student’s instant messages to another student in which he discussed getting a gun and shooting other students quali-

Before you pull out your well-worn copy of the Illinois School Law Survey to find the answer to your school law question, check to see if you have the latest edition.The 12th Edition of the book, written by school attorney Brian A. Braun, is an invaluable legal resource for all school leaders, including superintendents, school board members, principals, and others.

fied as a true threat. Several other

The latest edition, published in June 2012, answers nearly 1,600 questions and is based on state and federal statutes and case law in force and reported as of Jan. 1, 2012, along with administrative rules and regulations current as of Dec. 15, 2011.

circuits have held statements made in student essays or in a student’s notebook describing the student shooting a teacher and/or other students also qualified as true threats. Because a true threat does not constitute protected speech, the First Amendment does not provide any impediment to disciplining a student for making these types of threaten-

How do you order the new book?

ing statements.

• Call IASB at 217/528-9688, ext. 1108 What’s the difference for free

• Mail or fax printed order forms to IASB Publications, 2922 Baker Dr., Springfield, IL, 62703

speech rights for high school students and those for elementary students, or is there any?

• Go online at: shop/

The Seventh Circuit has recognized that the younger the student, the more leeway school administrators have in regulating their speech. In other words, speech that may be inappropriate for a third grader would not be viewed as lewd or vulgar for high school students. Like with any

If you have old editions of this book, please remove them and replace with the current edition.

The price is $45 (or $35 to IASB members), plus $7 per order for shipping (regardless of how many books are shipped).



text-specific approach has to be tak-

a member of the school community?

for misconduct involving the mis-

en involving student speech.

How does such off-campus speech

use of social media or the Internet,

find its way to school?

students should have some prior

What about offensive speech,

Anything posted on the Internet

notice that the activity is prohibit-

such as those issues raised by the

can potentially make its way onto a

ed, thereby affording the student

breast cancer awareness bracelets?

school campus simply by students

with an opportunity to conform his

The breast cancer awareness

bringing their smart phones, tablets

or her conduct to the school district’s

(I love boobies) bracelets pose a dif-

or laptops to school. This question

code of conduct. Thus, a school

ficult question for school districts,

strikes at a split in the circuits con-

board’s disciplinary policy should

and the answer will likely vary

cerning when Tinker’s substantial

clearly define and prohibit bullying,

depending on the age range of the

disruption can be applied to student

cyberbullying, harassing, threaten-

particular student body. At least

Internet speech.

ing and intimidating speech or

Most of the circuits when address-

address a school’s ban of these

ing this issue have applied a rea-

bracelets and the courts reach con-

sonable foreseeability test. However,

In Illinois, school districts have

trary holdings. In one case out of

the concurring judges in the Third

an obligation to intervene with stu-

Pennsylvania, the court held ban-

Circuit would only permit Tinker

dents whose conduct “puts them at

ning the bracelets violated a stu-

to be applied when Internet speech

risk for aggressive behavior, includ-

dent’s First Amendment rights.

is intentionally directed toward the

ing without limitation, bullying, as

However, a district court in Wis-

school. A number of lower courts have

defined in the [district’s disciplinary]

consin rejected identical arguments

explained that school administrators

policy.” 105 ILCS 5/10-20.14(d).

and concluded the ban was per-

should not view themselves as cen-

Including cyberbullying in your school

missible under the First Amend-

sors of the Web.

district’s definition of bullying pro-


ment. Clearly, this is an example

Unfortunately for school districts

vides school administrators with a

where context has to be considered.

in Illinois, the Seventh Circuit has

basis to impose appropriate disci-

These bracelets would not be

not addressed this precise issue. Until

pline for the use of social media or

considered vulgar or lewd in a high

the Supreme Court addresses the

the Internet to intentionally intimi-

school setting. If an elementary or

issue and provides further guidance,

date, harass, threaten or otherwise

middle school decides to ban these

where a student’s Internet speech

bully other students. A reference to

bracelets, it should consider allow-

does not target the school, another

speech or the use of the Internet or

ing some other means for the stu-

student or a member of the school’s

social media that invades the rights

dents to get out their message about

staff, and does not invade the rights

of others should be incorporated into

breast cancer awareness.

of others, school districts should con-

the policy.

When addressing vulgar or lewd

sider using the student’s inappropri-

Consider explaining that stu-

speech, school districts should remem-

ate speech as a teaching moment.

dents can be disciplined for their

ber that the Supreme Court in Frasi-

Bring it to the attention of the stu-

Internet speech or the use of social

er limited that exception to speech

dent and his or her parents, explain

media that targets other students for

that occurred in a school setting, and

why you believe it is inappropriate

harassment, intimidation or bully-

it is an open question whether Inter-

and let the student’s parents take the

ing. Students should be warned that

net speech that is lewd or vulgar but

disciplinary action.

their use of the Internet or social media that could foreseeably reach

does not meet the test for obscenity can be a basis for student discipline. What should the district’s posi-


behavior irrespective of how it is

two federal district court decisions

How can board policy help ensure

the school and could foreseeably cre-

that the district is acting within its

ate a risk of substantial disruption or

scope regarding these First Amend-

that invades the rights of others at

ment issues?

school can provide a basis for disci-

tion be about student Internet speech

Before a school district can take

that is not directed at the school or

disciplinary action against a student



Register Now!

Contact your district superintendent

General Sessions






Delegate Assembly

Meet with Colleagues


NOVEMBER 16-18, 2012 • CHICAGO

Carousel of Panels



Saving extracurriculars with ‘pay-to-play’ fees by Terri McHugh

Terri McHugh is


t’s fall. Cross country teams are

responsibility with student partici-

cation Longitudinal Study. Although

running a course through town.

pation in extracurricular activities?

the analysis couldn’t ascertain defin-

Football players are tossing the pigskin.

As school boards debate fees,

itively whether participation in

tions director for

Volleyball teams are working on the

they often discuss the importance of

extracurricular activities leads to

School District

bump, set and spike.

extracurricular activities.

increased success at school, the data

community rela-

54 in Schaumburg, Illinois.

But can every student in the dis-

The National Center for Edu-

did show that students who partici-

trict afford to play? Are there stu-

cation Statistics examined the rela-

pated in extracurricular activities

dents sitting out this season because

tionship between extracurricular

had better attendance, were more

their families can’t afford the athlet-

participation and student engage-

likely to have a GPA of 3.0 or greater

ic fees?

ment in school using data from pub-

and were more likely to expect to earn a bachelor’s degree.

And what can school board mem-

lic high school seniors in a 1992

bers do to balance the goals of fiscal


In addition, the U.S. Department


of Health and Human Services recommends at least 60 minutes daily of physical activity for students ages 6 to 17. The Institute of Medicine’s report Preventing Childhood


Health in the Balance also recommends that schools provide a significant portion of a student’s physical activity minutes. Extracurricular sports, in addition to physical education classes, help meet those goals. However, school boards also face uncertainty over state funding, property tax appeals and the rising costs of educating today’s students. How can they continue to provide extracur14


ricular activities for all students and

updated its routing software with a

trict 111 board of education debat-

balance the budget at the same time?

program that will monitor when bus-

ed extracurricular fees this spring.

“You’re never going to balance

es are idling. King predicts a large

Currently, the 2,500 students at the

your budget with the fees you charge

savings in fuel costs — up to 10 per-

two Minooka campuses do not pay a

for activities or registration,” said Jeff

cent — will be realized by moni-

fee for athletics or other extracur-

King, chief operations officer for School

toring drivers and enforcing more

District U-46 in Elgin. The U-46 bud-

efficient fuel usage.

get is more than $400 million; fees

Transportation is a factor in ath-

account for only about $2.5 million

letic costs as well, as teams travel

“You’re never going to balance your

in revenue.

to other schools for games. By mak-

budget with the fees you charge for activities or registration,” said Jeff

This year the U-46 school board

ing these changes to the transporta-

voted to increase the fees for football

tion program, U-46 may not have to

— the most expensive sport in the

charge for transporting athletes home

King, chief operations officer for School

district — by $50, to $200. The fee

after practices or to competitions —

District U-46 in Elgin. The U-46 budget

for other sports will remain at $150.

costs that might make participa-

is more than $400 million; fees account

King said the only individuals who

tion even more prohibitive.

spoke against the increase were some of the football coaches.

Even with the $50 increase, the

for only about $2.5 million in revenue.

football fees collected do not even

In response, he provided them

cover the cost of reconditioning hel-

with information that showed par-

mets and shoulder pads each year,

ricular activities. However, the dis-

ents paid up to $325 to enroll their

King said. In addition, U-46 waives

trict faced a roughly $3.2 million

children in the youth feeder football

athletics fees for students who qual-

deficit for 2012-13 and something

programs before the students entered

ify for the free lunch program, or

needed to change.

high school, and some of those fees

about 50 percent of the district’s stu-

“Our revenue is largely based on

didn’t include equipment. For exam-

dents. Although this is not state law,

property taxes,” said Todd Drafall,

ple, the South Elgin youth football

it is U-46 board policy. In addition,

district business manager. “We had

league charges $325 for tackle foot-

the district had about $500,000 in

a significant drop in revenue due to

ball, leaving parents with still need-

uncollected fees this year.

a drop in EAV (equalized assessed valuation).”

ing to purchase a practice jersey and

“It’s complicated,” King said.

pants, pads for the pants, a cup and

“Should the taxpayer be subsidizing

The board voted not to imple-

a mouthpiece.

a student who wants to play football?

ment a fee for 2012-13, but looked

U-46 has looked at ways to cut

On the other hand, should I tell the

at other ways to reduce expenditures.

costs in the district instead of just boost-

free lunch student he can’t play? We

Minooka did raise its registration

ing extracurricular fees. Last year it

are reallocating some resources for

fee by $20 to $210. The board

consolidated the high school trans-

those who don’t have them.”

approved cuts to capital expendi-

portation program from 1,271 bus stops

King recommended that school

tures, reduced some administrative

to 271 by having high school students

boards survey their citizens or bring

positions, and made adjustments in

walk up to a mile to a local elementary

the discussion to a citizen group. He

purchased services and supplies. In

school or park. With state funding for

plans to pursue one or both of those

addition, the administration office

transportation declining, the district’s

options the next time U-46 consid-

moved from a leased storefront into

transportation fund is expected to have

ers a fee increase. Although the dis-

one of the district’s schools.

a deficit again this year.

trict reviews fees every year, the board

King said the district may imple-

hasn’t increased them each year.

This summer, the district also

district’s deficit by $2.2 million without cutting any certified staff or adding

ment a similar program with middle school bus stops next year.

These adjustments reduced the

Something has to give The Minooka High School Dis-


a fee for extracurricular activities. “The finance committee, which


includes board members, had some

related to sports participation.

ity to pay.

concerns about reducing students’

Successful athletic programs also

“Any time you charge a fee you

options to be a part of athletics and

can prove costly. In addition to the

create a barrier,” he said. “Our board

activities,” Drafall said. “The board

costs for coaches and equipment,

tries to keep those barriers as low as

is very concerned about families’ abil-

Minooka has had many teams advance


ity to pay for services and programs.

to post-season state competitions in

They have tried to keep the educa-

the past few years. At that point, the

tion costs down for the families at

district also covers the cost for trav-

these schools. Our goal is to mini-

el and hotel accommodations.

mize impact to classroom and stu-

Another way The board at Dixon Unit School District 170 tried a different tactic.

Although Minooka is not charg-

The Student Worker Assistance Pro-

ing a fee for now, Drafall said public

gram (SWAP) allows any student,

Minooka’s budget now is esti-

sentiment is that if the district is ever

regardless of financial need, to work

mated to end with a $1 million deficit

in a position of cutting extracurric-

for the district in the summer in order

for 2012-13, but Drafall said the deficit

ular programs or charging a fee, that

to pay for the student’s athletic fee

would be covered with district reserves

it should charge the fee.

for the upcoming seasons.

dents as much as possible.”

for the next two years. The option to

If the fee should ever become

“We knew some of our parents

implement athletic fees will come up

necessary, he said he would work

were struggling with paying the fees,

again as the board reviews fees every

with the booster club or other spon-

especially the athletic fees which are


sors to help cover the costs for fam-

not covered under the federal guide-

Although Minooka doesn’t have

ilies that cannot afford the fee. In

lines of free and reduced lunch,” said

a participation fee, many families still

Minooka, 10 percent of families qual-

Margo Empen, assistant superinten-

spend money on summer sports

ify for the free lunch program, the


camps, equipment and other costs

usual determinant for a family’s abil-

A coach’s perspective


by Christina Nevitt

tudents can choose from a long list of after-school

“pay-to-play” situation, these kids get left out. They can’t

activities these days: sports, theater, music, church

get assistance, because they aren’t bad off enough, but

groups, volunteer work, jobs … the list is endless. A

they aren’t well off enough to pay the fee to participate.

job comes with pay, but the rest come at a cost. For those

I was active in high school. I ran cross-country in

that are school-related, it is becoming increasingly more

the fall, track in the spring, and was a cheerleader through-

difficult for districts to figure out a way to foot the bill.

out. I also participated in theater and was a member of

Some districts have chosen a “pay-to-play” plan for

our swing choir. Every year there was a cost for it all. I

students interested in participating in athletics at school

needed new running shoes for cross country, new spikes

in order to help fill the money crunch. That approach

for track, a new dress for swing choir, a costume for

may solve part of the money issue, but what happens to

the musical, and cheerleading … well that topped them

students who can’t afford to play? What happens to their

all! My parents worked hard to make sure I could do all

opportunity? When I first heard about “pay-to-play” at the high

of these things, but it was expensive. If I would have had

school level, I had mixed emotions. As a teacher and

to pay-to-play my sports on top of purchasing all the

cheerleading coach at my high school, I know times are

things I needed to participate, I am not sure I would have

tough for schools where funding is concerned, but what

been able to do it all.

about my students who don’t qualify for free/reduced lunch, but their families struggle financially? In a 16

Dixon High School charges $125

Dani Molifua is one of my cheer parents. She disagrees with “pay-to-play.”


for the first sport and $75 for each

in various maintenance, custodial

a sport at school, aren’t eligible for

additional sport, with a family cap of

and summer school jobs. A student

the SWAP program.


who only plays one sport can earn

Students are assigned to a vari-

SWAP was the idea of Empen and

his or her fee in fewer than 16 hours.

ety of jobs including painting, mov-

Laura Sward, a student services sec-

Dixon High School has about 800 stu-

ing classrooms, doing custodial or

retary at Reagan Middle School. The


light maintenance work, or work-

idea emerged as they were discussing

Each spring, students who will

ing in summer school programs.

how to help families in need after a

be in high school the following year

Because they are employees of the

plant in the area closed, putting many

receive a letter inviting them to par-

district, the students are covered

families on unemployment. The num-

ticipate in SWAP. (A copy of the let-

under the district’s workman’s comp

ber of students receiving free and

ter and application can be found online

insurance but do not receive bene-

reduced lunch rose to nearly 50 per-





“One of our goals is that we place

“We have to be able to meet the

The application includes a contract

a lot of eighth-graders into positions

needs of our families,” Sward said.

which spells out expectations for the

at the high school to give them a real-

“It’s hard enough being a parent, but

students and must be signed by the

ly good connection before they start

to be a parent in these economic times

student and a parent.

high school,” Empen said.

and give our children what they need

More than one-third of students

Sward shared a story of one fresh-

is very hard. Parents, what are you

who play sports participate in SWAP.

man who qualifies for special edu-

going to do — pay the electric bill or

High school students can also work

cation services and is a gifted athlete.

pay for Danny to go to football?”

to pay the cost of sports for a middle

She worked in the high school office

This summer, 167 students

school sibling. Middle school students,

this past summer so she will know

worked for the district at $8 an hour

who must pay $50 to participate in

her way around the school and meet

“We are a family of six who has always struggled

How can we make sure to involve those students who

financially. [Pay-to-play] may require a family to have

would benefit so much from organized sports/activities?

to pick and choose which child (if any) can play and what

A right or easy answer to this debate doesn’t exist.

they can play,” said Molifua. “Kids need the opportuni-

Districts must do what is best financially for the district

ty to explore their likes and dislikes to further develop

and their students. “Pay-to-play” should be revisited

and decide what they want to do with their lives. Play-

every year, and districts should have a plan in place for

ing sports and being involved in other school activities

students who fall through the “can’t-afford-to-pay-but-

has required that [my kids] maintain good grades and

don’t-qualify-for-assistance crack.”

adhere to rules that they might not otherwise have adhered to if not for playing ball.”

As a teacher, coach and parent, however, I will continue to try to make sure I can give them every possi-

Both of Molifua’s older sons went to college on schol-

ble opportunity to participate in what they are passionate

arships to play football. If they had been required to pay,

about … whether it’s football, baseball, cheerleading,

they might not have been able to play, which means they

theater, music or even the ping-pong club.

would not have been offered a scholarship, and ultimately may not have had the opportunity to go to college at all. Are “pay-to-play” districts creating a disservice to

Christina Nevitt teaches journalism and photography and is cheerleading coach at North Star High School in Lincoln,

their students who can’t afford to pay, but are also inel-

Nebraska. She is the daughter of Journal editor Linda

igible for assistance? What if fundraising isn’t an option?




staff members before the first day of

it has produced other benefits as well:

college students each summer for


• Parents are using the SWAP pro-

painting, general custodial and main-

Empen and Sward said they have

gram to teach their children to be

tenance work. That cost has been

received only positive feedback about

responsible by having them pay to


the program.

participate in sports.

“We could not have hired one

“One of the big things we’re hear-

• Students have listed Empen and

individual for an entire year with full-

ing from the state is not only acade-

Sward as references when they

time benefits for the cost of this pro-

apply for other jobs.

gram,” Sward said.

mically how can we get kids collegeand career-ready, but also on the

• Students are taking pride and own-

The students never receive mon-

social/emotional level,” Empen said.

ership in their schools because

ey. Rather the money is transferred

“We talk to the SWAP kids about their

they are helping prepare the schools

from the Operations and Maintenance

clothing and cell phone usage. We

for the next school year or helping

Fund to the Education Fund, where

have a two-strikes-and-you’re-out

prepare younger students acade-

athletic fees are normally deposited.

policy. After the second warning, the


The program only covers the cost of

athletic fee becomes the responsi-

Although the district is now col-

the participation fee. Summer camps

lecting fewer athletic fees, it is sav-

and other costs are still absorbed by

Although SWAP was started to

ing money on other expenditures.

parents, student fundraisers or the

help offset the costs of athletic fees,

For example, the district used to hire

booster club.

bility of the parent.”

Empen and Sward are willing to share the details behind the Student Worker Assistance Program with oth-

Division Meetings

er interested districts. “It’s immeasurable in terms of what this program has done for our community,” Empen said. “I think this is something we would offer even if only 1 percent of our students qual-

Invest one evening, gain benefits throughout the year for ... ✔ yourself, ✔ your school board, and ✔ your district Attend an IASB division meeting at a location near you. Division meetings provide opportunities for networking, professional development, peer recognition, participation in Association governance and learning about IASB resources.

ified for free lunch. The college and career readiness, the social/emotional benefit, the pride in their school and the pride in the work they’ve done — that’s immeasurable. “We’re teaching kids about life and good work ethics.” And that would seem to be the underlying goal of all extracurricular activities. References Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, Preventing Childhood

Mark your calendars now! For fall 2012 dates and locations near you, visit and click on Events Calendar.

Obesity: Health in the Balance, 2005 National Center for Education Statistics, “Extracurricular Participation and Student Engagement,” June 1995, web/95741.asp




Stand your ground …

How to keep the peace at activities, conferences by Shayne Aldridge

etting district prohibitions usu-

Luckily, local school boards can

ally poses few problems. No

adopt policies and procedures to

guns at school, no problem. No drugs,

address those who display such con-

no problem. No tobacco, no alcohol,

duct on school property.


no problem.

The Illinois School Code (105

But, prohibiting obscenities from

ILCS 5/1 et seq) empowers school

being hurled at the referees, umpires,

boards with the authority to make

line judges, the other team’s coach-

and enforce rules for school visitors.

es, our own coaches, teachers, the

Whether at the Friday night football

principal, the superintendent or school

game or parent-teacher conferences,

board members? Now that’s a prob-

school boards (through policy) and


administrators (through their actions)

events. Any person who violates such rules may be denied admission to school events for not more than one year, provided that written 10 days notice of the violation is given such person and a hearing had thereon by the board pursuant to its rules and regulations. The administration of any school may sign complaints as agents of the school against persons committing any offense at school events.

“As a taxpaying resident of this

must control and protect the school

This code section gives school

school district (insert name of any

premises, which in most cases, also

boards great latitude but little guid-

district in Illinois), I have a right to

means protecting school staff and

ance. The questions become, if a

say what I want, where I want and to

athletic officials.

school board can reasonably limit

To do so, school boards can

visitor conduct then how far do the

restrict visitors from being on school

prohibitions extend? Second, what

So goes the thinking of many par-

property if they have been found in

should those “reasonable” rules look

ents, grandparents, visitors and oth-

violation of the board’s visitation pol-

like? And finally, how should the dis-

ers who venture onto school property

icy rules. School boards can and should

trict administration enforce those

for school functions. Of course peo-

develop reasonable rules for the con-

rules at the violation site and beyond?

ple become upset when the umpire’s

duct visitors demonstrate on school

call goes against the home team …


whom I want. And this school district can’t stop me.”

or when a child’s teacher sends home bad news about grades. But no reason excuses unsportsmanlike conduct at an athletic event or rude behavior aimed at a teacher in a parent conference.

105 ILCS 5/24-24 provides, in part: The board may make and enforce reasonable rules of conduct and sportsmanship for athletic and extracurricular school


Shayne Aldridge, a former teacher and special education administrator, is a school law attorney from Pleasant Plains.

Long arm of the law Section 24-24 does not define its operative language, so school board’s policies should provide definitions needed to enforce the law. PRESS Board Policy 8:40 defines school property as “school buildings, district 19


With changes to policy that is.

buildings not being used as a school, vehicles used for school purposes, any location during a school athletic and other school-sponsored event, and school grounds.” We can all agree that a school board has the right to enforce its policy rules in areas it clearly owns, but this policy goes well beyond the school’s property as it extends to “any location” during a school-sponsored activity. The PRESS policy’s definition of “school property” allows a school board to discipline individuals connected to its district who visit the grounds of another school district to attend a school-sponsored event. That means a parent who attends the

IASB can help. Based on IASB’s popular sample updating service, PRESS, and using the information provided by that service, PRESS Plus provides additional assistance in keeping your policy manual up to date by • identifying suggested policy changes for your unique district, • providing quick and easy checklists for policy options, • maintaining and updating legal references, cross references, tables of contents, and indexes, • maintaining a consistent style and format , • providing the word processing support necessary to incorporate policy revisions into your local board policy manual.

academic team’s tournament at an opposing school’s building and who violates the “reasonable rules of conduct and sportsmanship for athletic and extracurricular school events” may be asked to leave the building and could face further possible discipline from his or her resident school district. Having authority to promulgate “reasonable” rules of conduct, school districts should express their expectations for “mutual respect, civility, and orderly conduct among all individuals on school property or at a school event.” Local school boards should review their board policies to determine if those policies address the conduct most likely to occur on school property. The policy should cover all prohibited conduct man-

For information, contact: Anna Lovern Phone: 217-528-9688, ext. 1125 E-mail:

dated in the School Code, and also conduct unique to a school district. For example, if a high school historically had specific misconduct, the board also should include that conduct in its prohibited conduct list. The list, at a minimum, should



include the following:

school board policy must allow eject-

school board then hears the evidence

• Injuring, threatening, or intimi-

ing the individual from the school

and makes a determination of guilt


and punishment. The offender can

dating district staff, sports officials

Friday night lights and alcohol

or coaches; • Damaging or defacing district property; • Smoking or otherwise using tobacco products in any form;

mix like fire and gasoline. At times

avoid this public process by waiving the board hearing, if desired.

tempers flare, so possessing or being

School boards have the author-

under the influence cannot be allowed

ity and process for denying individ-

at school events.

uals and students from attending

• Consuming, distributing, or being

And then, when an individual’s

future games, contests and events. It

under the influence of alcohol or

conduct becomes out of control, some-

doesn’t matter if the misconduct was


one from the school must ask the per-

at a different school building or prop-

son to leave school property. At times,

erty; the home school has the abili-

individuals refuse to leave, so the pol-

ty to ban the offender from all events,

icy should include language regard-

both home and away.

• Possessing dangerous devices or weapons; and • Disrupting or interfering with school activities.

ing an attendee’s failure to obey the

Yet, with this power comes respon-

The above list sets forth specif-

instructions of a security officer or

sibility. All school boards should have

ic misconduct, which when com-

school district employee as unsports-

such participant policies in place and

mitted on school property will result

manlike conduct that could result in

should review them with all partici-

in some type of discipline, whether

further disciplinary action. Other

pants at the season’s start so that

it’s ejection from property, confisca-

than kicking the person out of the

administrators can stand their ground

tion of prohibited items or even police

volleyball game, what can a district

and keep peace on school property.



The misconduct list does not

School administrators have to

include behaviors considered unsports-

take appropriate action to enforce

manlike during an athletic or extracur-

board policy. However, there are only

ricular event. Unsportsmanlike conduct

so many ways to handle the violations:

may not rise to the culpability levels

• asking the individual to refrain

in the misconduct list, so the school

from the offensive conduct,

board should adopt a policy address-

• ejecting offender from the site,

ing unsportsmanlike conduct for

• disciplining under the student con-

which an individual may be ejected from the event or even denied admission to future school events for up to one calendar year.

duct code, or • calling law enforcement for trespassing. The School Code allows a board of education the extreme option to

Specific behaviors

“expel” a policy violator for up to one

Below are some unsportsman-

calendar year. The process begins

like conduct examples a school board

when a superintendent schedules a

may want to include in its policy

school board hearing and sends a

regarding behavior during a school-

hearing notice by certified mail with

sponsored event:

return receipt requested to the offend-

One prolific unsportsmanlike

ing party.

behavior at athletic events is using

The notice must be delivered at

vulgar or obscene language. Who has-

least 10 days before the school board

n’t tossed an epitaph or two at a ref-

hearing date, and must contain the

eree during a heated contest? But

same type of information contained

there is a line that, when crossed, the

in a student expulsion notice. The


“This resume is filled with lies and distortions. How’d you like to write political campaign attack ads?” 21


Athletic fields and facilities …

Not just extracurricular, but extra value for schools by Kevin Havens, Byron Wyns and Craig Polte

Kevin Havens is senior vice presi-

chool districts across Illinois

tinue offering students a variety of

more options for extracurricular activ-

are constantly challenged to

extracurricular activities without

ities in sports, the arts, and special


do more with less and tighten their

depleting their shrinking budgets,

interest clubs and groups, space lim-

dent and director

fiscal belts. Yet, at many high schools,

school boards and administrators might

itations and scheduling are knotty

of design, Craig

the largest part of their campus (besides

want to consider various creative strate-

issues. At a number of schools, it’s

Polte is construc-

the main building) typically receives

gies to get more value from all their

not uncommon to see track athletes

tion project

scant attention, even though it’s often

athletic fields and related facilities.

running in the corridors after regu-

manager and

both costly and wasteful.

Replacing sod fields with synthetic

lar hours. Rain or inclement weather can exacerbate the problem.

We’re talking about competition

turf is one obvious option, which often

director of land

athletic fields made of natural grass,

involves upgrading running tracks,

The solution: multi-functional


which lack durability, have high main-

bleachers, lighting and/or scoreboards.

spaces. As noted, one of the best ways

for Wight &

tenance costs and require large vol-

Renovating field houses is another

to “gain” flexible space is by con-

umes of water for irrigation. Depending

possibility that can provide oppor-

verting grass fields to synthetic turf.

on the region, a typical grass sports

tunities to build fitness centers for stu-

This provides a consistent year-round,

field can use between 500,000 to one

dents and the community.

all-weather playing surface built to

Byron Wyns is

Company, Darien, Illinois.

million gallons of water or more each

These projects usually are on

year. Although space for outdoor activ-

extremely tight schedules because

ities is limited at many high schools,

they can be done only during sum-

The latest generation of synthetic

this expansive piece of real estate

mer break. The keys to success for

turf replicates lush natural grass in

often lies unused for all but 400 hours

such projects are 1) planning to avoid

appearance, function and safety for

or so each year.

problems likely to occur, 2) adapting

athletes. Its biggest advantages over

Such shortcomings are the main

quickly to the unexpected and 3)

grass are durability and versatility.

reason why many schools are replac-

anticipating future needs for students,

A heavy rain can render a grass foot-

ing their sod with synthetic turf. This

as well as the infrastructure. Here are

ball field useless for days, and nat-

conversion turns a part-time gridiron

some of the insights gained and lessons

ural grass cannot withstand getting

into a multi-purpose venue for oth-

learned from our experiences on pro-

trampled down and compacted by

er sports, PE classes, marching band

jects for high schools throughout the

hundreds of feet in tight formation.

practices and community events.

Chicago area.

(Now you know why marching bands

As districts look for ways to con22

time for recovery.

usually practice on paved surfaces!)

Some synthetic fields get more than 3,000 hours of use each year.

withstand extended use without down-

Why synthetic turf With high schools giving students

In contrast, high schools can put synthetic turf fields to good use from


South High unless its plans complied

sunrise until late in the evening. They

Extremely tight construction

can be used for PE classes, or as

schedules demand careful planning

makeshift practice fields for other

and preparation to avoid costly delays.

Our solution was to design the

sports such as baseball or softball

For example, it’s important to pro-

project for two scenarios — one if the

when, for example, dirt infields become

cure the turf as early as possible (we

changes didn’t occur and the other

too muddy following a rain. Other

usually purchase our turf systems for

if they did. This enabled the dis-

uses might include middle school

clients the previous December) and

trict to proceed with construction as

sports programs, community groups,

schedule the installation with con-

scheduled, and, when the new, less

summer camps and local youth foot-


restrictive ordinances did go into

ball programs.

with the existing regulations.

Since all high schools are doing

effect, it was able to switch plans and

Also consider that synthetic turf

their field renovations at the same

consequently did not have to build

fields are less costly to maintain and

time and the top turf suppliers get

an underground detention vault.

have environmental benefits. The

the lion’s share of this business, lock-

“We avoided spending more than

Synthetic Turf Council estimates that,

ing down your installation dates

$500,000 on this, which gave us the

in 2010, the use of synthetic turf con-

means you won’t have to wait on con-

funds for an extra athletic field,” said

served between three billion to six

tractors getting tied up on other pro-

Martin Schack, director of physical

billion gallons of water. It’s no won-


plant and operations for CHSD 99. “We also saved money by following

der that more than 6,000 multi-use synthetic turf sports fields are now

An integrated approach

a .recommendation to recycle demol-

being used at schools, colleges, parks

Thoughtful planning and an inte-

ished concrete and asphalt materi-

and professional sports stadiums

grated approach to design and con-

als on-site or ship them between

throughout North America.

struction not only gain efficiencies

schools instead of to a landfill.”

in project management, but also can

Both projects involved widening

provide significant financial benefits.

and striping the synthetic fields for

Athletic field renovations are not

At Community High School District

soccer games, resurfacing the run-

as simple as re-sodding your lawn. A

99, for example, extensive athletic

ning tracks and enhancing the plaza

number of factors must be carefully

field renovations at Downers Grove

areas. These upgrades were a factor

considered and effectively managed

North and South high schools were

in the IHSA’s decision to select the

throughout the design, project man-

part of a comprehensive site mas-

schools to host boys’ and girls’ soc-

agement and construction phases for

ter plan that touched all areas of their

cer sectionals, which enabled boost-

such projects. These include:


er clubs to make additional revenues

Planning considerations

• Turf product selection, procurement and installation

By integrating planning, archi-

from concession stands.

tecture, engineering, estimating and

• Accommodating the needs of oth-

construction management for new

er sports, especially track and field,

football fields, running tracks and

As extracurricular activities pro-

and soccer

other synthetic grass and hybrid sur-

liferate (Who could have anticipat-

• Athletic schedule coordination

face athletic fields at both schools,

ed the popularity of pep flags?), a

• Upgrading bleachers, concession

District 99 was able to work through

shortage of space can be problemat-

areas, lighting and other amenities

some difficult planning circumstances

ic, even for schools with several aux-

beyond its control.

iliary gyms. Rethinking areas in terms

• Comprehensive scope consider-

Rethinking functionality

This integrated design-build pro-

of their potential functionality can

• “Under turf” utilities coordination

ject approach helped the school suc-

sometimes lead to adaptive repur-

• Regulatory compliance regarding

cessfully resolve a sticky permit issue.

posing that better suits a school’s cur-

drainage and stormwater detention

Although local stormwater ordinances

rent needs.

• Applying sustainability best prac-

were expected to change in the dis-

For example, York High School

tices in design, construction and

trict’s favor, District 99 could not get

in Elmhurst CUSD 205 converted its


a construction permit for the field at

auto shop into a fitness center. Lemont




THSD 210, however, went in the oppo-

two separate programs in Joliet THSD

gleaned from our experiences that

site direction with an old spectator


may be helpful to high school admin-

gym by inserting a mezzanine lev-

Common areas also are prime

istrators and facilities managers

el, which doubled its available floor

candidates for repurposing, as

involved in these types of projects:

space at Lemont High. One level is

Naperville CUSD 203 learned. The

• Take a big-picture view of your

used for dining and food service, while

student commons at Naperville Cen-

project, encompassing current and

the other has practice areas for band

tral High School (created from a new-

future needs regarding:

and orchestra programs.

ly enclosed open courtyard) was

✦ Stadium structure, bleachers,

At Joliet Central High School,

cleared out after school and used as

press boxes and concession

which is listed on the National Reg-

a practice area for pom-pom squads


ister of Historic Places, field house

and cheerleading teams, which require

✦ Lockers and training facilities;

additions designed to blend with the

high ceilings for their pyramid rou-

✦ Utilities infrastructure, includ-

character of the existing campus


ing electronics for scoreboards

enabled the school to expand its athletic and intramural programs from a joint program with Joliet West to

and timing systems for track and field;

Lessons learned Here are some additional ideas

✦ A/V feeds from press boxes back

to the school facility for future use; ✦ Pedestrian and vehicular cir-

culation and parking.

t l e f t r Hea ! s k n Tha School Board Members Day NOVEMBER 15 2012

New Materials

• Get construction and project management professionals involved


during the design phase to iden-


lems before they occur in the field.

will be available beginning Monday, September 10 at

tify and address potential prob• Make sure you and your construction partner are familiar with all applicable regulatory ordinances, as stormwater and drainage issues will likely be your biggest challenges. • Put bids out early, no later than January for a June installation. • Be aware of neighborhood lighting thresholds if you’re installing new lights. • Put in markings that that will make it easy to add temporary striping for other sports (e.g., lacrosse, which is becoming more popular), when installing a new field. By thinking through the district’s current needs and anticipating other possibilities, school boards will be

able to optimize their expenditures while increasing their options for student activities and community use.




EEE awards put emphasis on quality learning spaces by David Henebry

fter several years of partici-

the highest of three awards given in

made in each category. With that said,

pating and observing the jury

this program, we believe it clearly

here are the six categories for school

process for IASB’s annual Exhibit

indicates that a certain standard of

design projects:

of Educational Environments (EEE),

excellence must be met to qualify for

• New Schools

LZT Associates,

combined with the evolution of knowl-

the recognition.

• Major Additions

Inc./Larson &

• Minor Additions (under 10,000

Darby Group. He


David Henebry is a principal with

edge about what education environ-

The primary purpose of the jury

ments should be, the committee in

is to recognize districts that have

charge of this conference event decid-

invested in providing the best learn-

• Major Renovation or Adaptive Reuse

of the IASB Invi-

ed to revisit how the submissions are

ing environments for students to suc-

• Special Project — Historic Preser-

tational Exhibit of

made and juried.

ceed. That’s why we refocused the

gross square feet)

vation or Sensitive Rehab

is also chairman

Educational Envi-

Much of the evaluation previ-

judging criteria to look at each school

• Special Project — Small Projects

ronments on

ously was based on technical aspects

project as a pliable, flexible instru-

under $4 million or single spaces

behalf of the

and architectural appeal of the school

ment for educators to use and adapt

Moving from the submissions to

design. However, these criteria did

with future shifts and change. With

the jury side of the discussion, the

not fit well into the actual jury dis-

an occasional exception, we have

committee also reorganized and

cussion once the field of projects was

found that most architectural firms

weighted how the jury scores each


delivering these qualities tend also

project. This serves two purposes:

to have exceptional skill at creating

(1) to clearly communicate to school

aesthetic solutions.

boards, administrators and architects

at the Joint Annu-

In addition, too many of the photographs submitted with the projects

IASB Service Associates, which sponsors the school design awards program

focused on the building lobby or exte-

While we know several new

what is expected to achieve an Award

al Conference.

rior, often leaving the jury guessing

schools and major additions always

of Distinction; and (2) to give appro-

Also serving on

and searching the floor plans to deter-

will be submitted to the program, the

priate weight to a project’s ability

the EEE commit-

mine if the design provided a quali-

other categories tended to vary from

to create an exceptional learning envi-

tee are: Mark Joli-

ty learning environment.

year to year. Therefore, the com-


coeur, principal

To clarify the process both for

mittee decided to expand the cate-

To accomplish this, each entrant

the judges and the entrants, we have

gories in order to: (1) improve the

is required to write a short synopsis

Will, and Glenn

returned to the true intent of the EEE

opportunity for recognition and; (2)

for each of the five criteria. By fol-

Eriksson, presi-

awards program. We started with the

encourage submissions that other-

lowing the suggested characteristics

title: “Exhibition of Education Envi-

wise would not be entered or would

as guidance, submitters have a chance

ronments,” which we believe was and

have difficulty competing.

to “tell the story” behind their pro-

is very clear in its intent.

Although the EEE program now

ject. Here are the five criteria, weight-

Next, we examined what the term

has three additional categories, there

ed grades and characteristics:

“Award of Distinction” implied. As

is no guarantee that an award will be

• Program/Challenge (0-30 pts)


with Perkins+

dent, Eriksson Engineering Associates.






• The Basics of Governance • Financial Oversight Essentials for School Boards • School Board Accountability: Monitoring District Performance • The Board and its Superintendent: Developing and Maintaining an Effective Relationship (Half-Day Workshop)

ELECTIVE CREDIT WORKSHOPS: • Comprehensive Workshop for Board Presidents • An Introduction to Collective Bargaining for School Board Members and Administrators • Diversity and Inclusion Awareness (Half-Day Workshop)

• Leading Across Generations

at the 2012 80th IASB•IASA•IASBO

(Half-Day Workshop)

Joint Annual Conference

(Half-Day Workshop)

• Inspiring Trust

November 16, 2012 • Sheraton Chicago Hotel

✦ Functional relationships ✦ Special challenges met

• Unique energy efficiency or green

ture of the school, the EEE jury looks primarily at the learning spaces and

✦ Community partnerships

features (0-10 pts)

how the district and architect met

✦ Context: urban/suburban/rural

✦ Green power

the challenge of providing students

✦ Innovative design

the best and most effective opportu-

• How the facility meets 21st century education environmental needs

• Safety (N/A to renovation/rehab/spe-

nity to learn, through visual stimu-

(0-30 pts)

cial projects) (0-10 pts)

lation, interaction and expression of

✦ Project-based learning

✦ Passive security design


✦ Integrated curriculum

✦ Traffic patterns

✦ Integration of technology with

One final change has been made

In addition to these narratives,

to the 2012 exhibition. Although the


projects are judged by the submitted

committee has traditionally recog-

✦ Learning styles/multiple intel-

drawings and photographs that sup-

nized specific “green” projects, we


port the “story” of how they suc-

acknowledge that even poorly designed

cessfully designed and implemented

schools can achieve LEED (Leader-

✦ Context

an educational environment to meet

ship in Energy and Environmental

✦ Color

the needs of that district.

Design) certification. With that in

• Design (0-20 pts)

✦ Pleasant learning environment ✦ Age appropriate 26

✦ Furnishings

While architectural features and

mind, the committee has elected to

elements significantly affect the cul-

identify all exhibited projects that


are LEED-certified Silver or higher with a green tag designation. The Exhibition of Educational

IASB Policy Services

Environments is an important part of the Joint Annual Conference because it recognizes that it requires an entire “team” to create a solution worthy of distinction. It begins with the school district making a commitment to provide exceptional learning environments and a willingness to invest in their creation. And it continues with the architect providing an exceptional response to the opportunity to create a solution.

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

Good luck to all of this year’s entries. Entries for the 2012 Exhibit were due at the IASB office by July 20 and preliminary materials by September 10, to be evaluated on September 13. The judging will be done in Springfield on a blind basis by a jury of three school board members or administrators and three architects, appointed by IASB and experienced in school facilities or design. All awards will be announced at the conference, with awards of distinction to be featured and presented at the first general session. All entries chosen by the jury will be displayed all three days of the conference, Nov. 16-18, in the Columbus Ballroom hallway at the Hyatt Regency, East Tower, next to the conference bookstore. Additional resources For more information about the

PRESS, the IASB sample policy and procedure service — A calendar year subscription to PRESS provides easy Internet access 24/7 to sample board policies and administrative procedures, links to legal references and cross references, and an excellent search engine.

School Board Policies Online — IASB will publish your board policy manual online for easy Internet access by the board, staff, students, parents and the community. This online manual will have all of the features essential for effectively communicating your board policy, including links to legal references, jumps to cross references, and the same excellent search engine used for PRESS online.

BoardBook® — IASB’s newest online service provides for electronic board meetings and board packet preparation and distribution.

annual Exhibit of Educational Environments, visit the IASB website at: cfm. For more information about IASB Service Associates, visit their link at:

Contact IASB Policy Services today for information: 630/629-3776 or 217/528-9688 Ext. 1214 or 1125 or SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2012 / THE ILLINOIS SCHOOL BOARD JOURNAL



Questions I would ask politicians about education by Diane Ravitch

Diane Ravitch is a research profes-

Question 1: Both Republican can-

Question 3: Are you aware that

didates and President Obama are enam-

Milwaukee has had vouchers for low-

ored of charter schools — that is,

income students since 1990, and now

sor at New York

schools that are privately managed

state scores in Wisconsin show that

University and a

and deregulated. Are you aware that

low-income students in voucher schools

former U.S. assis-

studies consistently show that char-

get no better test scores than low-

tant secretary of

ter schools don’t get better results than

income students in the Milwaukee

education. She

regular public schools? Are you aware

public schools? Are you aware that

has a new blog at

that studies show that, like any dereg-

the federal test (the National Assess- .

ulated sector, some charter schools

ment of Educational Progress) shows

Her article origi-

get high test scores, many more get

that — after 21 years of vouchers in

nally appeared on

low scores, but most are no different

Milwaukee — black students in the

from regular public schools? Do you

Milwaukee public schools score on par

recognize the danger in handing pub-

with black students in Mississippi,

lic schools and public monies over to

Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana? and is reprinted with the author’s permission.

private entities with weak oversight?

Question 4: Does it concern you

Didn’t we learn some lessons from the

that cyber charters and virtual acad-

stock collapse of 2008 about the risk

emies make millions for their spon-

of deregulation?

sors yet get terrible results for their

Question 2: Both Republican can-



Don’t miss Diane Ravitch Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, as keynote speaker for the Second General Session at the IASB/IASA/IASBO Joint Annual Conference

that these measures may be strong-

didates and President Obama are enam-

Question 5: Are you concerned

ly influenced by the composition of a

ored of merit pay for teachers based

that charters will skim off the best-

teacher’s classroom, over which she

on test scores. Are you aware that mer-

performing students and weaken our

or he has no control? Do you think

it pay has been tried in the schools

nation’s public education system?

there is a long line of excellent teach-

again and again since the 1920s and

Question 6: Are you aware that

it has never worked? Are you aware

there is a large body of research by

of the exhaustive study of merit pay

testing experts warning that it is wrong

Question 7: Although elected offi-

in the Nashville schools, conducted

to judge teacher quality by student

cials like to complain about our stand-

by the National Center for Performance

test scores? Are you aware that these

ing on international tests, did you

Incentives at Vanderbilt, which found

measures are considered inaccurate

know that students in the United States

that a bonus of $15,000 per teacher

and unstable, that a teacher may be

have never done well on those tests?

for higher test scores made no dif-

labeled effective one year, then inef-

Did you know that when the first inter-


fective the next one? Are you aware

national test was given in the mid-

ers waiting to replace those who are (in many cases, wrongly) fired?


1960s, the United States came in 12th

that closing schools in low-income

Question 12: Why is it that politi-

out of 12? Did you know that over the

neighborhoods will further weaken

cians don’t pay attention to research

past half-century, our students have

fragile communities?

and studies?

typically scored no better than aver-

Question 11: Are you worried that

Question 13: Do you know of any

age and often in the bottom quartile

annual firings of teachers will cause

high-performing nation in the world

on international tests? Have you ever

demoralization and loss of prestige for

that got that way by privatizing pub-

wondered how our nation developed

teachers? Any ideas about who will

lic schools, closing those with low test

the world’s most successful economy

replace those fired because they taught

scores and firing teachers? The answer:

when we scored so poorly over the

too many low-scoring students?


decades on those tests? Question 8: Did you know that American schools where less than 10 percent of the students were poor scored above those of Finland, Japan


and Korea in the last international assessment? Did you know that Amer-


ican schools where 25 percent of the students were poor scored the same


as the international leaders Finland, Japan and Korea? Did you know that the U.S. is #1 among advanced nations in child poverty? Did you know that more than 20 percent of our children

The Gold Standard of Executive Searches

live in poverty and that this is far greater than in the nations to which we compare ourselves? Question 9: Did you know that family income is the single most reliable predictor of student test scores? Did you know that every testing program — the SAT, the ACT, the NAEP, state tests and international tests — shows the same tight correlation

ent homes have educated parents,

Selecting a superintendent is the most important decision you will make as school board members. Our team of highly qualified professionals has both the experience and expertise to ensure your district finds the best candidate.

more books in the home, more vocab-

IASB is YOUR advocate.

ulary spoken around them, better med-

• Our executive search team has more than 40 years combined experience in leading searches.

between family income and test scores? Affluence helps — children in afflu-

ical care, more access to travel and libraries, more economic security — as compared to students who live in poverty, who are more likely to have poor medical care, poor nutrition, uneducated parents, more instability in their lives. Do you think these things matter?

• From 2005-2012, more than 250 Illinois school boards chose IASB to facilitate their search for a new superintendent. • IASB's competitive search price means you receive the expertise of a highly specialized team of professionals for a tremendous value.

For information contact: 2921 Baker Drive Springfield, IL 62703 217/528-9688, ext. 1217

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



A Directory of your

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

Appraisal Services INDUSTRIAL APPRAISAL COMPANY — 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. — Architectural, construction management and roof consulting. Lombard - 630/495-1900; website:; e-mail:

DLA ARCHITECTS, LTD. — Architects specializing in preK-12 educational design, including a full range of architectural services; assessments, planning, feasibility studies, new construction, additions, remodeling, O&M and owner's rep services. Itasca - 847/7424063; website:; e-mail: DLR GROUP, INC. — Educational facility design and master planning. Chicago - 312/382-9980; website:; e-mail: ERIKSSON ENGINEERING ASSOCIATES, LTD. — Consulting civil engineers and planners. Grayslake 847/223-4804 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; e-mail: HEALY, BENDER & ASSOCIATES, INC. — Architects/Planners. Naperville, 630/904-4300; website:; e-mail: dhealy@healybender. com HUFF ARCHITECTURAL GROUP, INC. — Architects, engineers, construction managers and school consultants. Springfield - 217/698-8250; Champaign 217/352-5887 IMAGE ARCHITECTS, INC. — Architects. Carbondale - 618/457-2128

BAYSINGER DESIGN GROUP, INC. — Architectural design services. Marion - 618/998-8015

JH2B ARCHITECTS — Architects. Kankakee - 815/ 933-5529

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

KENYON & ASSOCIATES ARCHITECTS — Complete architectural services for education. Peoria - 309/674-7121

BLDD ARCHITECTS, INC. — Architectural and engineering services for schools. Decatur - 217/4295105; Champaign - 217/356-9606; Bloomington 309/828-5025; Chicago - 312/829-1987; website:; e-mail: sam.johnson@bldd. com

KJWW ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS — Facility assessments, infrastructure master planning, acoustical engineering, architectural lighting, construction administration, systems commissioning. Naperville - 630/753-8500

BRADLEY & BRADLEY — Architects, engineers and asbestos consultants. Rockford - 815/968-9631; website: CANNON DESIGN — Architects. Chicago - 312/9608034; website:; e-mail: 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:; e-mail: 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; e-mail: DEWBERRY ARCHITECTS INC. — Architects, planners, landscape architecture and engineers. Peoria 309/282-8000; Chicago - 312/660-8800; Elgin 847/695-5480; website: 30

RUCKPATE ARCHITECTURE — Architects, engineers, interior design. Barrington - 847/381-2946; website:; e-mail: info@ruck SARTI ARCHITECTURAL GROUP, INC. — Architecture, engineering, life safety consulting, interior design and asbestos consultants. Springfield 217/585-9111; e-mail: WIGHT & COMPANY — An integrated services firm with solutions for the built environment. Darien 630/696-7000; website:; e-mail: WM. B. ITTNER, INC. — Full service architectural firm serving the educational community since 1899. Fairview Heights - 618/624-2080 WRIGHT & ASSOCIATES, INC. — Architecture and construction management. Metamora - 309/367-2924

Building Construction BOVIS LEND LEASE — Construction Management/Program Management. Contact John Doherty. Chicago - 312/245-1393; website: www.; e-mail: john.doherty@bovislend CORE CONSTRUCTION — Professional construction management, design-build and general contracting services. Morton - 309/266-9768; website: www. FREDERICK QUINN CORPORATION — Construction management and general contracting. Addison 630/628-8500; webite: 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

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

PROFESSIONAL CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT, INC. — Construction management. Mundelein - 847/ 382-3680

LZT ASSOCIATES, INC./LARSON & DARBY GROUP Architecture, planning, engineering. Peoria - 309/6733100; Rockford - 815/484/0739; St. Charles, MO 630/444-2112; website:; email:

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

MECHANICAL SERVICES ASSOCIATES CORP. — HVAC, plumbing and electrical design. Crystal Lake 815/788-8901 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:; e-mail: mark. RICHARD L. JOHNSON ASSOCIATES, INC. — Architecture, educational planning. Rockford 815/398-1231

THE GEORGE SOLLITT CONSTRUCTION COMPANY — Full-service construction management general contractor with a primary focus on educational facilities. Wood Dale - 630/860-7333; website:; e-mail: TURNER CONSTRUCTION COMPANY — Referendum assistance, conceptual and master planning, budget assistance or verification, participant in panels, construction management and consulting. Chicago - 312/327-2860; website: http://www.; e-mail:

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


Milestones continued from page 32 Delmar W. Martin, 77, died May 30, 2012. He previously was a member of the Elverado CUSD 196 board.

Richard D. Schweighart, 80, died June 25, 2012. He formerly served as president of the Morris CHSD 101 board.

EuGene Smith, 67, died July 10, 2012. He had been a member of the Deer Creek-Mackinaw CUSD 701 board.

Milton C. Meyer, 89, died July 1, 2012. He had been a member of both the Rankin ESD 98 and Rankin high school board.

Burell W. Shull, 88, died June 16, 2012. He served on the Hidalgo school board, as well as the Jasper County CUSD 1 board.

John W. “Jack” Snell, 97, died July 12, 2012. He had been a member of the school board in Deer Park CCSD 82, Ottawa.

Nancy J. Pesz, 76, died June 15, 2012. She had been a five-term member of the Wauconda CUSD 118 board.

Edward “Bud” Smith, 85, died June 12, 2012. He had served on the Burnham school board for eight years.

Doris M. Williams, 81, died May 31, 2012. She had served on the Dupo CUSD 196 board.

Environmental Services ALPHA CONTROLS & SERVICES, LLC — Facility Management Systems, Automatic Temperature Con-trols, Access Control Systems, Energy Saving Solutions; Sales, Engineering, Installation, Commissioning and Service. Rockford - 815-227-4000; Peoria - 309-688-7411; Springfield - 217-529-3111; Toll-Free - 866-ALPHA-01 CTS-CONTROL TECHNOLOGY & SOLUTIONS — Performance contracting, facility improvements and energy conservation projects. St. Louis, MO 636/230-0843; Chicago - 773/633-0691; website:; e-mail: 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, 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; e-mail: IDEAL ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING, INC. — Asbestos and environmental services. Bloomington 309/828-4259 MECHANICAL INCORPORATED — New construction, renovation, comprehensive and basic preventative maintenance service contracts. Freeport - 815/ 235-1955; Hillside - 708/449-8080; Rockford - 815/ 398-1973; Fox Lake - 847/973-1123; website: www.; e-mail: OCCUPATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SOLUTIONS, INC. (OEHS) — Industrial hygiene, microbiological evaluations and ergonomics. Chatham - 217/483-9296 RADON DETECTION SPECIALISTS — Commercial radon surveys. Burr Ridge - 800/244-4242; website:; e-mail: kirstenschmidt@

RCM LABORATORIES, INC. — Environmental, health and safety services. Countryside - 708/485-8600 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 - 800/3678757 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:; e-mail: EHLERS & ASSOCIATES — School bond issues; referendum help; financial and enrollment studies. Lisle - 630/271-3330; website:; e-mail: FIRST MIDSTATE, INC. — Bond issue consultants. Bloomington - 309/829-3311; e-mail: paul@first GORENZ AND ASSOCIATES, LTD. — Auditing and financial consulting. Peoria - 309/685-7621; website:; e-mail: tcustis@gorenz HUTCHINSON, SHOCKEY, ERLEY & COMPANY — Debt issuance, referendum planning, financial assistance. Chicago - 312/443-1566; website:; e-mail:; rcoyne RAYMOND JAMES & ASSOCIATES, INC. — Full service Investment Banking firm. Chicago - 312/6127814 ROBERT W. BAIRD & CO. INC. — Financial consulting; debt issuance specialist; bond underwriting; referendum assistance. St. Charles - 630-584-4994; website:; e-mail: whepworth@


SPEER FINANCIAL, INC. — Financial planning and bond issue services. Chicago - 312/346-3700; website:; e-mail: STIFEL, NICOLAUS & COMPANY, INC. — Full service securities firm providing investment banking and advisory services including strategic financial planning; bond underwriting; and referendum and legislative assistance - Edwardsville - 800/230-5151; e-mail: WILLIAM BLAIR & COMPANY — Bond issuance, financial advisory services. Chicago - 312/3648955; e-mail: 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:; e-mail: steve@bushuehr. com

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

Office Equipment INTERIORS FOR BUSINESS, INC. — Classroom furniture and classroom technology services, classroom technology assessment, space planning, CEU’s, and ties to the USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council) for additional environmental assessments. Batavia 630/761-1070

Superintendent Searches HAZARD, YOUNG, ATTEA & ASSOCIATES, LTD — Superintendent searches, board and superintendent workshops. Glenview - 847/724-8465 31


Milestones Achievements George Becker, Northbrook/ Glenview School District 30’s supervisor of buildings and grounds since 1992, was recently honored for his excellent service. Superintendent Edward Tivador and board president James Bream presented Becker with a watch at a May 4 board meeting. Becker retired June 30,

2012. Donald Zabski is District 30’s new supervisor of buildings and grounds. Randy K. Crump, former superintendent of Eureka CUSD 140, now has an auditorium at Eureka High School named for him. “The board members wanted to do

something special as a lasting tribute to the contributions Dr. Crump has made to our district over the past 22 years,” Teri Ehrenhardt, board president, said of the August 13 resolution. Crump was a band and chorus teacher in LeRoy before he was superintendent, first in LeRoy, then in Eureka. During his time in District 140, Crump was instrumental in the renovation of the EHS auditorium.

In memoriam Donald L. Barker Sr., 87, died June 15, 2012. He served six years on the Orangeville CUSD 203 board.

ident of the Teutopolis CUSD 50 board.

Gilbert F. Bellot, 83, died May 31, 2012. He served on the St. Paul and Odell CCSD 435 boards.

Roy G. Burgoyne, 80, died July 16, 2012. He was president of the Georgetown school board for 30 years.

John R Biggerstaff, 67, died April 20, 2012. He served on the Enfield school board.

George C. DeYoung, 94, died June 15, 2012. He was a former Millburn CCSD 24 board member.

Daniel Brandolino, 71, died June 13, 2012. He served on the board of Richland SD 88A, Crest Hill.

Ronald J. Dodd, 88, died June 25, 2012. He was a former member and president of the Cissna Park CUSD 6 board.

Mary Alice Brian, 83, died June 18, 2012. She served on the Danville CCSD 118 board from 1991 to 2006.

Lyle R. Eiten, 87, died June 25, 2012. He previously served as president of the Ladd CCSD 94 board.

Cletus A. Brummer, 94, died June 13, 2012. He served and was past pres-

William J. Fischer, 88, died June 2, 2012. He was a former Beardstown

CUSD 15 board member. J. Thomas Hayes, 92, died July 22, 2012. He served on the San Jose board for eight years. Merle A. Hayward, 89, died July 18, 2012. He served on the Plainfield CCSD 202 board from 1970 to 1984. John W. Jones, 91, died June 5, 2012. He was a former Windsor CUSD 1 board member. Robert H. Kircher, 90, died July 4, 2012. He served on the Triopia CUSD 27 board for nine years. James P. Klover Sr., 80, died June 12, 2012. He was a former board member for Troy CCSD 30C, Plainfield. continued on page 31




Multiple opportunities open for leadership roles by Laurel DiPrima

uestion: “How can I get more involved in IASB and its leadership?” Answer: There are a number of ways school board members can become more involved in IASB. At the local board level, every member district has the opportunity to appoint an IASB governing board representative. This individual serves as the primary liaison between his/her local board of education and the Association. A governing board representative receives meeting notices, newsletters and other correspondence from IASB. He/she encourages fellow board members to attend division dinner meetings and other IASB sponsored events. A governing board representative is generally the board member who represents the board at the Delegate Assembly held each November during the Joint Annual Conference in Chicago. The Delegate Assembly considers and votes on resolutions submitted by member districts which, when approved, become the basis for the Association’s stance on legislation and related matters of public policy. The Delegate Assembly also elects the Association’s officers for the coming year. Your division’s bylaws will guide


member participation at the division level. Typically the governing board representative or designee votes on matters that come before the division membership and, in some divisions, assists in planning programs for division dinner meetings. If you would be interested in serving your board in this capacity, let your fellow board members know. A great way to participate in IASB leadership is to become involved at the division level. IASB divides the state into 21 geographical regions as a basis for governance and for service delivery. Each division has its own governing committee usually consisting of a chair, vice-chair, a resolutions chair and sometimes several “at large” committee members. Most importantly, each division elects a director who serves on the IASB Board of Directors. Not unlike your own school board, the IASB Board of Directors has supervision, control and direction of Association affairs, makes policy decisions and has budget oversight. The Board meets at least quarterly and includes not only the 21 division directors but the Association’s elected officers, the immediate past president, a designee from the Chicago Public Schools board and a member of IASB Service Associates.

Division officers are elected according to the bylaws of each division, usually following the biennial school board elections. For more information on the responsibilities of executive committee members, please visit If you don’t feel you have the time to be involved in IASB leadership on an ongoing basis, there are other opportunities to help which may take no more than one day. Each year, our board development department looks for board members interested in evaluating the proposals submitted for the “Share the Success” panels presented at the Joint Annual Conference. Two panels of reviewers, one in the IASB Springfield office and one in the Lombard office, come together for a day to review, evaluate and make recommendations on which panels to consider. Also, from time to time, we look for boards willing to pilot newly developed IASB workshops. The feedback received from these boards is invaluable as we make presentations ready for “prime time.” This is your Association. We value your participation at whatever level you have the time and interest. If you have questions about any of the opportunities mentioned, please contact your field services director.

Laurel DiPrima, IASB field services director for the Kishwaukee, Northwest and Starved Rock divisions, answers the question for this issue.


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

urgent void in our present system — absence of self-discipline. The arts, inspiring — indeed requiring — selfdiscipline, may be more ‘basic’ to our nation’s survival than traditional credit courses.” “A team is not a bunch of people with job titles, but a congregation of individuals, each of whom has a role that is understood by other members.” Meredith Belbin, British researcher and management theorist

“Resilient leaders demonstrate an optimistic view about what’s possible. They strive to make something positive out of a negative situation, and they maintain high expectations that something good can come from the adverse circumstances confronting them.” Jerry L Patterson, George A. Goens and Diane E. Reed, Resilient Leadership for Turbulent Times: A Guide to Thriving in the Face of Adversity

“One of the things that I’m really convinced of is a local school board that knows how to use data — how to interpret it, and how to communicate its importance to constituents — is the board that will stay in control of its own local government.” Katheryn Gemberling, consultant on data-driven leadership, American School Board Journal, July 2012

“The ‘back-to-basics curricula,’ while it has merit, ignores the most

Paul Harvey, syndicated radio show host, 1918-2009

“A group becomes a team when each member is sure enough of himself and his contribution to praise the skills of the others.” Norman G. Shidle, American author, 1895-1978

“Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

as a reason some students drop out of school.” “Get Them Hooked: The Benefits of Extracurricular Activities in Middle School,” http://thephoenixfalls.

“Public schools must remain the center of the community in the future as in the past. They may look differently and act differently, but they must continue to serve as the place where people come together to learn and practice democracy and citizenship.” Karen Woodward, “Public Education: What Is Our Vision of the Twenty-FirstCentury Graduate?” in Shift Ed: A Call to Action for Transforming K-12 Education

Vince Lombardi, legendary football coach, 1913-1970

“Not only can after-school activities be fun and entertaining, but they can teach important life skills, preparing children to become responsible, well-balanced adults. Many activities continue into adulthood, providing lifelong enjoyment. Encourage your children to put down the video games and get involved.” Charles Davidson, “Six Benefits of After-School Activities,”

“When students engage in activities, they foster friendships, and stay connected to their school — they are experiencing a sense of belonging, the lack of which could be argued

“I understand your computer is down. I’m here to cheer it up.”

The Illinois School Board Journal  

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

The Illinois School Board Journal  

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