Future Green Energy Consortium Expanding Offerings Vehicle to Grid
IASA 56th Annual Conference Recap
The Teacher Shortage: Suggestions to Address the Problem
The Future Green Energy Consortium expands ways it can save school districts money on energy costs—teaming up with Blue Bird Corporation, Cummins PowerDrive EV system and Nuvve Holding Corp., in an initiative to equip school districts with electric school buses that can supply energy back to the grid. Hollis CSD #328 and Pekin received the first two buses during a recent press conference. FUTURE GREEN VEHICLE TO GRID
The Teacher Shortage: Suggestions to Address the Problem
8 17 28 23 29
IASA Legal Corner
18 IASA 56th Annual Conference Recap Celebrating
PartXVI CONFERENCE 56th Annual
IASA Professional Development Opportunities
IASA News in Brief
Making A Difference Series Part XVI: Hutsonville, Macomb and Mount Vernon
IASA Calendar of Events
Volume 9, Issue 4 April 2021 LeadershipMatters 21044 Jason Nevel Director of Social Media and Publications email@example.com
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Message From the Executive Director IASAAnnual Conference Helps Superintendents Recharge After Incredibly Challenging Year
Dr. Brent Clark
Unique Spring Session Speaking of this legislative session, we detailed more than 25 bills that impact public education being considered in the House and Senate in our most recent Capitol Watch. With seven weeks until the May 31 adjournment date, anything can happen between now and then with legislation. There are hundreds of bills still in play, new leadership and a unique set of circumstances due to the pandemic that makes this session unpredictable. The state budget is also undecided at this point with negotiations underway with how the state will spend federal relief dollars. The American Rescue Plan provides a staggering $7.5 billion for the state of Illinois. That money will need to be used to pay off short-term borrowing, spur job creation and support pandemic recovery efforts. Future Green Also part of the mix this legislative session is a push to pass HB 1472. The legislation, which was approved by the House Public Utilities Committee on Tuesday, would overhaul the clean energy landscape in Illinois, including creating the Carbon Free Schools initiative with $50 million annually to save schools up to $2.3 billion. The proposal, among other things, would give school districts priority on renewable energy credits, an initiative supported by the Future Green Energy Consortium . The renewable energy credits from the state would allow on-site solar projects to be installed at no cost to school districts. Best of luck to everyone for the remainder of the school year. IASA will continue to provide support and networking opportunities to school leaders through this challenging time.
“Celebration” from Kool and the Gang played, and Dr. Orzel tweeted a Jason Aldean GIF at noon last Thursday, officially wrapping up IASA’s 56th Annual Conference. Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received, the event fulfilled the vision the IASA Board of Directors had in February when it gave the greenlight to hold a virtual conference April 7–8. The Annual Conference provided superintendents a much-needed opportunity to connect, learn, hear inspiring messages and support each other after one of the most difficult years public educators have faced. This year, we were fortunate to have two tremendous keynote speakers in Inky Johnson and Don Yaeger. Both speakers were booked well before the COVID-19 pandemic and ended up delivering the right message at the right time for superintendents. I also hope everyone enjoyed my conversation with Illinois Speaker of the House Emanuel “Chris” Welch. As a former school board member, Speaker Welch understands the critical role superintendents play in their communities and how unfunded mandates can be a burden on schools. I look forward to working with Speaker Welch this legislative session and going forward. Conference registrants can view my conversation with Speaker Welch, or any other session, on the Virtual Attendee Hub . All recordings are available for 90 days after the conference by clicking on the “All Sessions” tab and clicking on the session you wish to replay. We hope to see everyone in Springfield for IASA’s 57th Annual Conference, September 29 to October 1, 2021. We plan to hold the conference at the Bank of Springfield Center, and the President Abraham Lincoln Springfield— A DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. Dr. Orzel and the rest of the IASA team are already meeting and discussing how we can elevate the conference and improve the experience for members. We’re up for the challenge.
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T H E M I S S I O N
In the absence of a trusted adult, Safe2Help Illinois offers students a safe, confidential way to share information that might help prevent suicides, bullying, school violence or other threats to school safety. This program is not intended to suspend, expel or punish students. Rather, the goal is to get students to “Seek Help Before Harm.” Safe2Help Illinois will also develop an educational curriculum aimed at changing the culture in Illinois schools while also providing the resources to help parents and educators reinforce the components of this program.
S E E K H E L P B E F O R E H A RM
The State of Illinois is launching a school safety program called Safe2Help Illinois in an effort to raise awareness of the 21st century threats facing schoolchildren in Illinois.
D I D Y O U K N OW?
According to the U.S. Secret Service report, Analysis of Targeted School Violence, 77% of attackers threatened their targets or shared their intentions to carry out an attack.
H OW T O MAK E A R E P O R T
Reports Received for Illinois
0 1,000 2,000 3,000
Top 2 Issues Reported
Mental Health Suicide Related
For more information visit our website at Safe2HelpIL.com or email us at Info@Safe2HelpIL@Illinois.gov
Source: Boys Town National Hotline
Future Green Energy Consortium Expands Offerings Vehicle to Grid
The Future Green Energy Consortium is expanding its offerings and ways it can save school districts money on energy costs by being a key partner in an initiative to equip school districts with electric school buses that can supply energy back to the grid. At a press conference in Pekin on March 23, Blue Bird Corporation deployed the first two operational DC fast charge vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capable school buses, powered by the Cummins PowerDrive EV system, in North America, utilizing technology from Nuvve Holding Corp. By Jason Nevel IASA Director of Social Media and Publications
Nuvve’s V2G platform allows the school bus batteries to store energy, including renewable energy generated from sources like wind and solar, when the grid doesn’t have immediate need for it. This allows fleets to sell stored energy from the school bus batteries to the grid when demand calls for it. Two yellow Blue Bird buses equipped with the newest technology were unveiled at the Pekin Transportation Department during the press conference. The money for the buses, which cost approximately $330,000 each (charger & infrastructure not included), was funded by an $8.6 million continued...
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settlement stemming from a clean air lawsuit involving the Edwards Coal Power Plant. Hollis Cons SD #328 and the city of Pekin School Bus Transportation Department received the first two buses. The coal power plant is located just two miles from Hollis Consolidated School District #328 and is slated to close by the end of 2022 as part of the settlement. Chad Jones is superintendent of Hollis Cons SD #328 in rural Peoria County. “It cleans the air that the children breathe. It immediately reduces our contribution to climate change,” Jones said.
“Replacing our diesel bus with the electric bus will benefit our kids with respiratory issues, like asthma, and also reduce school absences.” The idea to use the funds from the settlement for electric school buses was the brainchild of Tim Farquer, Superintendent of Williamsfield Schools, located northwest of Peoria. Farquer is a former teacher/coach at Limestone Community High School, just four miles north of the Edwards plant. Farquer helped launch the Bus-2-Grid Initiative, which has become a membership service of the Future Green Energy Consortium, which helps school districts leverage V2G revenue opportunities and secure grant funding to electrify their fleets. Future Green Energy Consortium is a not-for-profit initiative of the Illinois Association of School Administrators, the Illinois Association of School Boards, and the Illinois Association of School Business Officials. The associations joined together
Future Green has launched a Quarterly Newsletter. Click Here to learn more about renewable energy savings.
To learn more about th
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to provide members with renewable electric power solutions that have a lower cost and are environmentally responsible. “The goal of Future Green is pretty simple: Provide clean, renewable energy to our school districts so they can provide clean and renewable environments to their children and their communities,” said IASA Executive Director Dr. Brent Clark, who also serves as Future Green President, at the press conference. “Also, with the price spikes we all experienced in February, an underlying contribution of Future Green is we provide stabilization in our pricing and budget certainty for school districts.”
he Vehicle-to-Grid Program, contact: Alex@future-green.org.
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Education Elevat g We continue our series highlighting tremendous educators across Illinois who have given their time and energy to ele- vating the superintendency and public education as a whole. Each month, we will feature two educators who are going the extra mile and truly making a difference beyond their school districts and local communities. While we are aware of many of the contributions administrators are making, we are open to any suggestions for someone to feature next month. To make a recommendation, contact Jason Nevel, IASA Director of Social Media and Publications, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 217–753–2213. Dr. Gabe Schwemmer Sparta CUSD#140 Dr. TravisMcGuire Hinckley-Big Rock CUSD#429
Who: Dr. Travis McGuire, superintendent.
Who: Dr. Gabrielle Schwemmer, Superintendent. What: Sparta District #140 Leos; Teacher internship program; Reducing burnout and promoting mindfulness strategies. Where: Sparta CUSD #140, Southwestern. When: Superintendent of Sparta
What: Illinois Personalized Learning Network; Career Readiness Plan, Hinckley Lions Club. Where: Hinckley-Big Rock CUSD #429, Kishwaukee. When: Superintendent of Hinckley Big Rock CUSD #429 since 2013.
CUSD #140 since 2017. Why: For students to be successful, Dr. Schwemmer recognized the basic needs of families had to be met first. In 2018, the district launched Sparta District #140 Leos in partnership with the local Lions Club. The club operates a community store where any resident can come in and pick out clothes, shoes, apparel, bags, toys and household items for free that have been donated. Dr. Schwemmer has helped her peers in other communities start similar programs. “It is something that has paid mass dividends in our community,” Dr. Schwemmer said. “We have had people in the community who experienced fires and have lost everything who come in and get critical supplies.” In addition, Dr. Schwemmer created a teaching internship program for high school seniors who’ve earned enough
Why: Seeing the wide range of emotions on students’ faces during high school graduation is something Dr. McGuire hasn’t forgotten. “When I was a high school principal, you could just see some students had this look of trepidation on their face because they had no clue what they were going to do next,” Dr. McGuire said. “That’s not where we want our students to be.” When he was hired as superintendent at Hinckley Big Rock CUSD #429, Dr. McGuire pushed the district to develop a career readiness plan. The plan, developed in coordination with Northern Illinois P-20 Network, lists benchmark expectations for students by 5th grade and then at each stop from eighth to 12th grades. “The objective is to make sure our students are ready to go when they walk across that stage,” Dr. McGuire said.
continued on page 11...
continued on page 11...
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Dr. McGuire is also one of the founding superintendents of the Illinois Personalized Learning Network, along with Dr. Ken Wallace (Maine Township High School District 207), Dr. Jennifer Kelsall (Ridgewood HSD #234), Dr. Tom Mahoney (Oregon Community Unit School District 220) and Dr. Hank Thiele (Downers Grove HSD #99). The Illinois Personal Learning Network is a group of Illinois superintendents that have joined together to build a broad network across the state to provide support for school districts to grow and improve their Personal Learning programs by connecting to other districts to grow a learning network. Dr. McGuire presented on IPLN at IASA’s 56th Annual Conference with Dr. Wallace, Dr. Kelsall and Dr. Thiele. “We want to be able to help schools implement more personal learning,” Dr. McGuire said. “The learning journey needs to be personal to each individual learner.” Elevat g McGuire ... cont’d.
Schwemmer ... cont’d.
credits to graduate. Instead of sitting through extraneous classes, the students serve as teaching assistants at the district’s school for preschool through eighth-grade students. The initiative was started as a way to expose Black students in the district to the teaching profession. “We had students in our senior class tell us how important it is to have more people in the profession that looked like them,” Dr. Schwemmer said. “Our kids have loved it and our teachers have also recognized it’s their responsibility to make this profession more attractive.” Dr. Schwemmer has also been at the forefront of thinking outside the box on strategies to reduce burnout with staff and improve culture— two issues magnified during the COVID-19 pandemic. Weekly yoga classes, self-care challenges, feeding frenzies, staff surveys, spirit wear days and the promotion of pop-and-sub are among the innovative approaches implemented in the district. “The smallest gestures can help tremendously,” Dr. Schwemmer said. “You will be amazed at the level of productivity you get from your students, if your staff is healthy and happy.”
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The Teacher Shortage
by Dr. James Rosborg Retired Superintendent, Belleville District #118; Semi-Retired Director of Master’s in Education, McKendree University; Past President, Illinois Council of Professors in Education Administration
The teacher shortage remains one of the biggest issues facing public education in Illinois. The latest report from the Illinois Association of Regional School Superintendents found that 77 percent of school districts surveyed said they have a teacher shortage problem, while 93 percent indicated they have a problem hiring substitute teachers, particularly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the past six years, I have researched what impact changes in state rules and regulations have had on the number of candidates pursuing a career in education in Illinois. In my opinion, the state of Illinois has made strides in the right direction, but much work remains. Data shows us that the teacher shortage is still with us. As we observe the table found on page 42 of the ISBE Annual Report (see tables, oppostite page) , we have had a decrease in content area tests in the licensure areas of edTPA, Special Education, Science, Foreign Language, History, Art, Vocational Education, School Support Personnel, Bi-lingual Education,
Math and Computer Science, Language Proficiency, and Administration. As stated at the February ISBE Board Meeting held on February 18, 2021, Early Childhood teacher numbers are also a concern. This is preceded by page 41 of the report, which shows a decrease of around 7,500 Educator Licenses issued by Evaluation, Entitlement, and Type. The data is showing the numbers are still declining and more actions need to be made. In this article, I want to highlight the progress that has been made and outline steps policymakers could take to alleviate the teacher shortage. STEPS INTHE RIGHT DIRECTION The number one positive effort by ISBE continues to be the decision in June 2019 to eliminate the TAP Test. With passage rates ranging between 17 and 24 percent for a seven-year period, this move provided more opportunities for educators to enter the field of education. As stated by Madeline Will in the March 3, 2019, issue of Education Week, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) estimates
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Educator Endorsements Issued by Type (105 ILCS 5/2-3.11)
4,075 3,810 3,797 1,102
2,762 2,826 2,188 1,011
Middle Grade/Middle School
3,622 1,298 1,843
2,686 1,190 1,126
School Support Personnel
Special Education- other than LBSI
2,280 3,077 1,014
2,927 3,490 1,198
Short-Term Emergency Approvals in Special Education
Total 19,321 Note: *Short-Term Approvals are issued in all teaching content areas except special education and driver education. Source: Educator Licensure Information System. Educator Licensure Tests Administered by Test Fields (105 ILCS 5/2-3.11) Test Field 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 Basic Skills: TAP 6,084 1,016 4,650 586 69 edTPA 4,368 5,271 4,582 Early Childhood 561 459 708 763 994 Elementary 2,769 2,180 8,869 2,738 2,728 Special Education - all categories 3,308 2,012 3,496 3,079 2,530 Sciences - all disciplines 569 375 695 550 479 Math & Computer Science 467 305 621 627 558 Foreign Languages - all languages 368 270 344 256 169 English, Speech, Media, Reading, EL 1,414 1,642 1,577 1,302 1,117 History & Social Science 738 529 890 872 762 Art, Music, Theatre, Dance 428 450 508 427 388 Vocational/Technical - all fields 135 124 416 344 279 Health & Physical Education 486 367 415 479 452 School Support Personnel - all fields 831 1,198 1,332 1,246 1,160 Administrative - all types 1,942 1,323 2,873 2,041 2,043 Language Proficiency 787 627 910 958 556 Assessment of Professional Teaching 2,038 337 929 99 57 Other 0 321 22,723 24,153 9,992 Total 22,925 13,535 56,324 45,791 28,915 Source: Educator Licensure Information System. 13,589 12,512 20,678 25,309
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Shortage ... cont’d.
that “roughly 8,600 candidates of color each year were unable to enter the classroom over a period of approximately seven years because of the basic skill test barrier.” The move by ISBE was a huge step forward and should dramatically help the shortage in two to three years as individuals still have to achieve their degree before they can teach. The Golden Apple Accelerators Program was initiated in FY2021. It was developed to assist school districts by recruiting, preparing and mentoring college seniors and non-educators with bachelor’s degrees looking for a career change. This program will choose individuals who will become lead teachers in special education and physical education in year two of the program. For more information about this program go to https://www.goldenapple.org/accelerators . Another positive result came from some of the policy changes contained in HB 2170—the Education Omnibus Bill passed in the lame-duck session this past January. The highpoints of the bill that have the potential to help the teacher shortage problem include: • The removal of state-required GPA entrance requirements that limited alternative program participation. • Improved educator preparation course articulation and alignment between 2 and 4-year colleges.
The Scaling Education Pathways Initiative (SEPI) was started this school year through a collaboration between the Illinois P-20 Council, The Joyce Foundation and the Education Systems Center through Northern Illinois University. This program helps create an educator pathway program that hopes to help solve the teacher shortage problem. In this education pathway, students take actual education courses while in high school that can lead to becoming a teacher. The assistance offered through this program includes helping students through the College and Career Pathway Endorsement process as well. Centralia High School, along with Vandalia High School, are two southern Illinois school districts that were recipients of a grant to participate in SEPI. Another initiative that was reported by Roosevelt University is the effort to transition full time substitute teachers and paraprofessionals to full time, licensed teachers. The university is also setting up full time, one-year resident student teacher programs to assist in this process.
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Start “FutureTeachersof America” clubs in highschools These programs were popular in the 1960’s and worked to raise the interest in education. Consider local and state FTA scholarships. Offer tuitionscholarships to teacher education candidates These state scholarships in the past provided individuals, such as myself, the ability to attend college. Though I had to make a five-year commitment to teach in the state, this scholarship changed my life. I know the Illinois Black Caucus is pushing for minority scholarships. I hope they are successful. Providehiringbonuses tohigh teacher shortagepositions The hiring bonuses could help school districts fill positions, for example, in math, science, early childhood, industrial technology (CTE), special education and English as a second language. Further, rural communities and schools experiencing high poverty should be placed in this consideration. Lessen restrictionsonmiddleschool, industrial technology (CTE), andelementary licensure To be specific, middle school endorsement should return back to the same requirement prior to January 31, 2018, or I feel we will see a shortage in four to five years. Kindergarten should be placed back with the elementary licensure as this non-researched change has caused placement problems in many districts. Alternative certificates should be offered in industrial technology (Career and Technical Education) and other areas where there are great shortages, without taking away the course rigor needed to be a skilled teacher. Exploreprograms toassist in teacher retention We will not be able to tackle the teacher shortage problem without addressing the current turnover trends in teacher career paths.
WAYS TOADDRESS THE TEACHER SHORTAGE In my opinion, the teacher shortage crisis is still real and needs to be continually discussed and researched by the State Superintendent, Dr. Carmen Ayala, the board members of ISBE and the Illinois legislature. I was encouraged by the panel discussion lead by Emily Fox of the ISBE staff at the February 18, 2021, ISBE Board Meeting. ISBE has made a great start, but there are other issues that need to be addressed before we see the numbers increase of those individuals wishing to enter the classroom. While I am not so naïve to say all ideas below should be implemented, let’s look at some of the possibilities to explore. Lower the retirement age from67 toat least 62 for Tier 2andTier 3 teachers. Teachers in the field before 2011 can retire at the age of 55 (Tier 1). Teachers entering the field after 2011 (Tier 2) and in the future (Tier 3) must work until they are 67. Sixty-seven is too old, especially since states next to us like Missouri allow full retirement as early as 53 years old. Illinois is second only to New Jersey of high school seniors heading to out- of-state universities. Perceived poor pay, limited retirement incentives, working conditions and teacher blaming continue to be issues. For this researcher, now that the basic skills test has been eliminated, I feel the retirement rule changes is the number one impactor on young people leaving Illinois high schools for out-of-state universities in the field of education. Offer “GrowYourOwn” incentives This program provides opportunities for current high school graduates in the local community to come back and teach in their home district. This “Grow Your Own” plan should also include a pipeline for paraprofessionals to become certified teachers. This is a matter of lessening restrictions that currently force paraprofessionals to quit their jobs to student teach. This program would also help alleviate the serious problem we have filling teacher positions in rural communities and areas of economic distress. This initiative would also make the teaching field more diverse.
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Shortage ... cont’d.
Weare toooverregulated Form a task force to study this. Regulate for success, not failure. Establish achievable benchmarks. For example, ISBE set the meets/exceeds benchmark on the SAT state test 50 points higher than the benchmark established by the College Board, which set the benchmark on the college-ready student. The College Board based their decision of 50 years of research. Another example is the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The guidelines set up many schools in Illinois to be perceived as failures when many of these schools are excellent schools with fine instruction. Encourageuniversities to limit future increases in tuition toassistminority, low income, andoverall student enrollment Again, open the door for financially challenged students. Universities across the state have been raising tuition at approximately 7 percent a year. The higher the tuition, the fewer candidates we have. In economics, this is called the law of diminishing returns. Some universities have realized this and have cut tuition and looked for alternatives for textbooks to lower student expenses. Most have not. This, along with the virus threat, could potentially be devastating to universities in the future. Set upuniversitystudy commissions to evaluategeneral education classesoffered at the freshmanandsophomore level Too many students drop out because of the lack of interest in the general education classes that are not imperative to the development of a good teacher. Lessening the general education classes could assist
in extending resident student teacher programs so the candidate could have more experience in the classroom prior to having their own classroom. Continue to lookatways to raise teachers’ salariesandprovidingstate funding for the additional costsplacedonschool districts Currently, the new state law regarding future teacher salaries states that the minimum salary for all teachers will be at least $40,000 by the first day of school, 2023. This is good as long as the state financially supports districts to make this change. Hopefully, this will help keep teachers in the field. Re-institute capital development funds The Capital Development program provided more jobs in Illinois and improved the building and grounds of the selected districts. I realize that this idea might have to be delayed because of the current negative impact on the economy and COVID, but it is important to remain as a goal for the future. While this is not a list of all possibilities, I do hope this discussion stimulates efforts at all levels to solve this major administrative and teacher shortage in our state. Now is the time to review past practices that have worked and implement policies to assist Illinois and truly help the students of the future. I am not so crass as to not realize that the present health crisis has to be the current focus, but we also have to be cognizant of the fact that the teacher shortage cannot be totally put on the back burner.
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SAFE Board Selects Four Illinois Educators for Moon Scholarship Awards
Four Illinois educators have been selected to receive monetary awards as recipients of the 2020–2021 James V. and Dorothy B. Moon Scholarships. Those selected by the School Administrators Foundation for Education (SAFE) Board of Trustees include: • Jennifer Donnelly, Assistant Principal, Ohio CCSD #17 & Ohio CHSD #505 • Matt Peterson, Assistant Principal, Reed-Custer CUSD #255U • Christan A. Schrader, Director of Special Education, Black Hawk
certificate in Illinois, be of good character, and be enrolled in an advanced degree program at an accredited college or university. The application process includes, among other things, a response to a practicum question, three letters of reference, a statement concerning involvement in professional development programs, and a statement indicating a commitment to superintendency. Applications were judged based on good scholarship, evidence of strong communication skills, abilities and
strengths as indicated by the letters of support, potential for contributing to the quality of K–12 public education in Illinois through the superintendency, and demonstrated participation in professional development programs. Recipients are required to contribute to the further development of the superintendency in Illinois for a period of two years following completion of their degree program in which they accepted payment of tuition, fees and/or textbook expenses on their behalf. Information and applications for the 2021–2022 Moon Scholarships will be available in the fall on the IASA Website
this program is designed to help
Area Special Education Dist. #865 • Evan Tingley, Director of Student Support, Bradley-Bourbonnais CHSD #307 “Dr. Moon’s vision was to help up- and-coming educators in Illinois by assisting them in pursuing graduate studies.” said Steve Murphy, President of SAFE. “Ultimately, this program is designed to help produce people who are well-prepared to become superintendents and tackle the challenges facing public education in Illinois.”
produce people who are well-prepared to become superintendents and tackle the challenges facing public education in Illinois.
at https://www.iasaedu.org/Page/120 . Questions can be directed to Jodi Gillespie at 217–753–2213 or at jgillespie@ iasaedu.org. Anyone wishing to contribute $25 or more to the SAFE scholarship fund can do so by sending a personal check made payable to SAFE to the IASA office at 2648 Beechler Court, Springfield, IL, 62703–7305.
The Moon Scholarship was established by the late Dr. James V. Moon, a distinguished educator and superintendent in Illinois. The purpose of the scholarship is to provide grants to assist individuals in the pursuit of graduate study leading to improved competency in the superintendency. To qualify, an applicant must be a resident of and a practicing school administrator in Illinois, be a graduate of an accredited college or university, hold an administrative
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NewLegal Article on How to Improve Board Relations
Chad Watkins IASA Associate Director/General Counsel
To help school leaders navigate these uncertain times, IASA has partnered with leading law firms throughout Illinois to provide districts with critical guidance during the 2020–21 school year. In every issue of Leadership Matters, the IASA Legal Corner will showcase an article, sometimes several articles, written by attorneys who specialize in legal matters related to education. We have also begun a monthly legal issues podcast to discuss some of your most vital concerns.
It is our hope you find the content insightful, timely and helpful in addressing the critical matters you face. This month, Kriha Boucek LLC writes about virtual school board meetings and electronic communications. The author is attorney Elizabeth Kelly. As a reminder, the articles are provided for informational purposes only, and you are advised to contact your district counsel for legal advice. Click on the link below to access the article.
GettingOff to AGood Start with Your NewBoard– Tips and Reminders for Seating the NewBoard
Neighbors and friends recently took to the polls to make important decisions about the future of their communities. “Who will be our Mayor?” “Who will keep our library shelves stocked?” “Who will make sure the snow has been cleared from the roads next year?” And—of course—to determine who will serve on their local Boards of Education. Though surrounded by less pomp and circumstance than questions like “Who will live in the White House?” or “Who will stand up for me on the floor of the U.S. Capitol?”—the results of the April 6th election will likely have a more immediate and direct impact on your communities and schools than any election result from 2020.
As an educational leader in your school and community, you will be asked to shepherd in many of the changes that result from the April 6th election. This article aims to help you with one of those tasks—seating the new Board of Education. In a year unlike any other, fortunately the rules here have remained largely unchanged. That being said, you now have new bosses—let’s try to make a great first impression! CONSOLIDATED ELECTIONS: Every odd-numbered year, Illinois holds its consolidated elections. For school districts, key ballot items include.... (continue reading)...
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IASA Special Virtual Event with Don Yaeger Fri., May 7, 2021 • 9am CST
Don Yaeger is personally carving out a special session for IASA on Becoming a Team of Great Teammates! It’s an engaging bonus session you do not want to miss!
IASA’s 56th Annual Conference, held virtually April 7–8, was highlighted by speakers and presenters who inspired, recharged and provided timely professional development to attendees after an incredibly difficult year for educators caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 600 people registered for the Annual Conference. The Opening General Session featured Inky Johnson, whose presentation empowered and inspired all to remember in life people don’t burnout because of what they do—people burnout because life makes us forget “WHY” we do it. Inky brought his unique perspective about overcoming life’s challenges. In college, Inky seemed destined to the NFL before his future was dramatically altered due to a severe injury. Through it all, he never gave up hope.
Don Yaeger, Keynote Speaker
“A loss is not a failure until you make an excuse.”
Inky Johnson, Keynote Speaker
IASA’s 56th Annual Conference last week. Before Wooden passed away in 2010, Yaeger brought one of the recently printed bookmarks to show the coach as the two worked together on a book project. Wooden, at age 96, examined the list of 16 characteristics and told Yaeger he would be making a terrific mistake if he didn’t make a change. “Down here at No. 13, you list that the truly great understand the value of association,” Wooden told Yaeger. “Don, outside of hating to lose, that’s the No. 2 characteristic of any champion you will meet. The truly great ones understand you are only as great as those you surround yourself with.” Yaeger listened, and the bookmarks he distributes today reflect the change. “You will never outperform your inner circle,” Yaeger told IASA conference registrants in the Closing General Session. Highlights from Day 1 The Opening General Session also featured remarks from IASA Executive Director Dr. Brent Clark, IASA President Dr. Victor Zimmerman and a special video with interviews from seven superintendents about navigating unprecedented challenges this past school year. Dr. Zimmerman picked the conference theme of Celebrating the Superintendency . Each superintendent was mailed a coin with the phrase, “It’s a Great Day to be a Superintendent.” In his opening remarks, Dr. Zimmerman shared the poker chip theory penned by national education expert Dr. Richard Lavoie.
“When you have a really bad day, be sure to treat the world better than it treated you.”
“Never allow life to make you forget your calling, your mission, your purpose of why you do what you do,” Inky said.
Characteristics of Greatness Tucked away in a cardboard box inside Don Yaeger’s office in Florida are 5,000 bookmarks that have collected dust for more than a decade. The bookmarks are the first iteration of 16 Characteristics of Greatness—a presentation Yaeger crafted based on interviews he conducted with legendary coaches and athletes, like Michael Jordan and John Wooden. The legendary UCLA men’s basketball coach is actually the reason those 5,000 bookmarks collect dust, Yaeger shared at
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“One of our challenges as leaders is to make sure our students, faculty and staff members leave school each day with more chips than they came with,” Zimmerman said.
Highlights from Day 2 Similarl to Day 1, the second day of the conference opened with a Mindfulness Session led by Dr. Nancy Blair, Professor Emerita of Leadership Studies at Cardinal Stritch University. The session offered participants an opportunity to get centered for the conference and focus on their own mindfulness as a leader. State Superintendent Dr. Carmen Ayala shared a welcoming message and IASA honored Past President Paula Hawley. Hawley served as IASA President in 2020. A special in memoriam video was also played in tribute to Dr. Scott Helton, DuPage HSD #88, and Bill Wrenn, Midland CUSD #7.
Dr. Victor Zimmerman, IASA President
“One of our challenges is to make sure our students leave school each day with more chips than they came with.” Day 1 also included Ignite presentations from Dr. Donna Leak, CCSD #168, and Jon Green, Meridian SD #101. Furthermore, 28 breakout sessions were held Wednesday that provided important professional development to school administrators. The first ever Supt2Supt sessions were also a chance for leaders to connect and discuss timely issues and hot topics over lunch.
Paula Hawley, IASA Past President
“Keep everything in perspective. Take time for you. Keep yourself healthy.”
Dr. Donna Leak, 2021 Illinois Superintendent of the Year
Dr. Richard J. Voltz, 2020 IASA Exemplary Service to Education Award Recipient “I challenge all of you to keep doing your best for Illinois students.” Seven more breakout sessions plus three more Ignite presentations were held on Day 2. The Ignite presenters were Dr. Hillary Stanifer, Blue Ridge CUSD #18; Brett M. Elliott, Stark County CUSD #100; and Tony Sanders, SD #U-46. At 10 a.m., participants watched a conversation between new Illinois Speaker of the House Emanuel “Chris” Welch and Dr. Clark. In the interview, Speaker Welch recalled how he called Dr. Clark and asked for advice when he was broached by Michael Madigan about becoming the next Speaker. IASA’s 56th Annual Conference wrapped up with Yaeger’s keynote address. Dr. Clark closed the conference and said he hopes to see everyone in Springfield for IASA’s 57th Annual Conference, September 29 to October 1, 2021. The conference is slated to be held at the Bank of Springfield Center and the President Abraham Lincoln Springfield— A DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. continued...
“We have shown the personification of resilience, grit and grace.”
The lineup also included remarks from Dr. Leak, 2021 Illinois Superintendent of the Year, and giving the 2020 IASA Exemplary Service to Education Award to Dr. Richard J. Voltz. The award is presented to individuals in recognition of exemplary leadership contributions to Illinois public schools, the field of school administration and students.
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Thank You To all the PRESENTERS who brought so much to this conference...
Dr. Lionel Allen, Jr. Dr. Anna Alvarado Dr. Roger Alvey Mawi Asgedom Dr. Carmen Ayala
Janice Pavelonis Dr. Bill Phillips Dr. Brad Polanin Dr. Nick Polyak
Dr. Jennifer Garrison Dr. Leah Gauthier Dr. Alicia Geddis Jennifer Gill Dr. Lynn Glickman Jon Green Ralph Grimm Dr. Brian Harris Paula Hawley Dr. Crystal Johnson-Maden Mark Jolicoeur Stephanie Jones Dr. Gary Kelly Dr. Jennifer Kelsall
Michael Portwood Diane Robertson Tony Sanders Dr. David Schuler Dr. Bhavna Sharma-Lewis
Michael Baird Dr. Jon Bartelt Dr. Nancy Blair
Barry Bolek Sara Boucek Dr. Terri Bresnahan Dan Bridges Dr. Dawn Bridges
Dr. Victor Simon Dr. Brad Skertich Dr. Kari Smith Dr. Hillary Stanifer
Dr. PJ Caposey Dr. Julia Cloat Dan Cox
Vickie Tabbert Dr. Hank Thiele
Dr. Gene Kerns Julie Kraemer Dr. Donna Leak Robert E. Lewis III Dr. Thomas Lind Dr. Michael Lubelfeld Dr. Robert McBride Dr. Travis L. McGuire Tim Page
Gary Tipsord Derek Turner Dr. Ken Wallace Roy Webb Dr. Steve Webb Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch Dr. Gary Zabilka Dr. Victor Zimmerman
Todd Cyrulik Adam Dean Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat
Todd Drafall Todd Dugan Brett Elliott Dr. E. Scott England
To all the MODERATORS, our sincere appreciation for making things run smoothly!
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IASA’s 56th Annual Conference Was Brought to You by the Generosity of Our Sponsors:
We Extend Grateful Thanks to all our Exhibitors: Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program American Fidelity Center for Tax and Budget Accountability CrisisGo Equitable Advisors EvaluWise
Illinois High School Association Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP) Illinois Principals Association interviewstream Midwest Transit Equipment, Inc. O’Shea Builders OverDrive Education PMA Financial Network, LLC/ISDLAF+ Southern Illinois University ST Math, Created by MIND Research Institute The Egyptian Trust Trane U.S., Inc.
Frontline Education Golden Rule Signs Horace Mann Companies HUMANeX Ventures Illinois Association of School Boards Illinois Association of School Business Officials Illinois Energy Consortium
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Looking for the Perfect Candidate? IASA’s Illinois Education Job Bank SM can help you. More than 80,000 job seekers may visit the IASA Illinois Education Job Bank SM in one month. Avoid national sites that cost more and are not tailored to Illinois educators. The IASA Illinois Education Job Bank SM is trusted by superintendents across the state and makes finding qualified applicants to fill permanent, interim, part or full-time vacancies easy. • Set up the RSS feed option to automatically post your district’s vacancy to your district website • The Job Bank SM is set up to automatically send an email notice to your ROE when a position is posted • Easily flag your favorite applicants • Create job posting templates to save you time in the future
By Jason Nevel IASA Director of Social Media and Publications
In August 2018, IASA launched the Making a Difference series to better understand how Evidence-Based Funding is helping Illinois students. Between August 2018 and March 2020, we profiled 80 school districts. One thing was abundantly clear from our conversations with superintendents—the dollars have made an impact. STEM programs were created, social workers and counselors hired, class sizes reduced, electives restored, learning opportunities were expanded and student safety improved, all as a result of the state’s investment into public education. For the second straight year, Gov. JB Pritzker has proposed a spending plan that does not include any additional state dollars into the Evidence-Based Funding Formula. We know not investing in EBF will push districts further away from their adequacy targets and make it harder for schools to provide additional academic and social-emotional support for students. This month, we continue our Making a Difference series with three more stories on how the dollars are improving student outcomes. Telling these stories is important as IASA continues to advocate for the EBF formula to be properly funded over time. You can also find an interactive map on our website with the stories of all 88 schools we have profiled so far.
Hutsonville CUSD #1
Mount Vernon SD #80
Hutsonville CUSD #1
Enrollment: 306 Type: preK–12
FY18: $88,791 FY19: $32,073
FY20: $38,869 FY21: Flat Funding
“We were making up to $460,000 in cuts during pro-ration of General State Aid,” Superintendent Julie Kraemer said. “We were doing away with positions and not replacing them unless it was a core class. EBF came in and we were no longer bleeding.”
How EBF has made a difference As a result of Evidence-Based Funding, students in Hutsonville CUSD #1 have increased access to music, vocational and family consumer science classes.
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Due to limited resources, Hutsonville CUSD #1 did not have a music teacher for students in grades K–4. Music classes at the junior high and high school were limited. EBF made it possible for the district to hire a full-time music teacher for school next year. The addition will impact the district twofold. The art teacher, who had doubled as the music teacher, could focus on art full time and music could be offered in grades K–4 for the first time in years. “It’s been big for us,” Kraemer said. “Some kids excel at music and we need to be able to support them. Research also shows how helpful music can be for our young students learning math.” Hutsonville CUSD #1 also used EBF dollars to create an agriculture program for high school students. The district has since expanded the program and built a greenhouse thanks to a grant. “Offering the agriculture program has been one of the most positive things,” Kraemer said. “It has really brought our community together.” In addition, Hutsonville CUSD #1 brought back a small engine repair and welding course. EBF dollars were used to hire a teacher and help provide a budget for the program as well as update some equipment and create a shop for students. Hiring a full time family consumer science teacher will also provide students with life skills that will help them be more successful after high school. “Learning how to cook, parenting and sewing— those are all important skills that our students were losing out on that we can now offer as a result of EBF,” Kraemer said. Continued support of EBF would… If EBF were properly funded, Hutsonville CUSD #1 would use the dollars to lower classroom sizes in classes where it matters, like kindergarten. In addition, the district would bring back previously cut programs and add programs where necessary to ensure students continue to graduate with skills that ensure their success. “Research has shown that lower class sizes in the early grades can have a significant impact,” Kraemer said.
Macomb CUSD #185
Enrollment: 2,020 FY18: $134,519 FY20: $124,464 Type: preK–12 FY19: $126,251 FY21: Flat Funding How EBF has made a difference The passage of EBF came at a critical time for Macomb CUSD #185. Over the past decade, Macomb has seen a significant increase in the number of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch. With that has come the need for the district to offer more social-emotional support for students. “We have made the conscious choice to use EBF to support families and kids in need,” said Dr. Patrick Twomey, superintendent of Macomb CUSD #185. Macomb CUSD #185 has hired one counselor, two social workers and two psychologists with EBF dollars. Adding the positions has been essential because mental health support is limited in west central Illinois. “The payback for the support we were able to provide families and students is immeasurable,” Dr. Twomey said. “People now know the services are there and are starting to ask for help because they know they can get support.” EBF has also offered a much needed lifeline for rural schools, like Macomb CUSD #185. Flat funding or a cut to EBF would hit rural schools harder because local resources can’t fill in the gaps to meet the needs of all students. “We can’t have fewer teachers,” Dr. Twomey said. Continued support of EBF would… Properly funding EBF would allow the district to update curriculum and improve support of teaching and learning. Macomb CUSD #185 would seek to hire its first ever curriculum director. “We need to have someone who can focus their full- time attention on digging into our assessment data and determining where we can place our emphasis in terms of intervention,” Dr. Twomey said. Macomb CUSD #185 would also look to hire instructional coaches to better support teachers and free up principals to focus on other responsibilities.