Friday, April 30, 2010

DeVry, Career Education drop on federal official's criticism | Crain's Chicago Business

Education Department has proposed rules that might make it more difficult for for-profit colleges to recruit students and qualify for federal financial aid programs. In a speech yesterday, Shireman criticized for-profit educators for their growing use of federal student aid,

“He then compared the relationship between for-profit education companies and national accrediting agencies to the relationship between Wall St. firms and ratings agencies, citing an inherent conflict of interest.”

DeVry, Career Education drop on federal official's criticism | Crain's Chicago Business

Vouchers for Chicago schoolchildren advances to full House

parents of students in kindergarten through eighth grade could put the $3,717 voucher toward tuition at participating private and parochial schools. The program would begin in the fall of 2011 and could impact up to 30,000 students, said Rep. Kevin Joyce, D-Chicago….it also would extend vouchers to students from poor families in the most-overcrowded schools

Public teacher unions lined up in opposition and warned of a lawsuit if the bill becomes law.

Vouchers for Chicago schoolchildren advances to full House - Chicago Breaking News

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pension argument pits 'haves' and 'have nots'

 Article raises positive and negatives of scraping TRS for new teachers.

pensions topped $150,000 last year for 131 retired public school administrators from the suburbs and downstate, though many retired educators get much less.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in fall 2008 that the average hourly wage for all private-sector workers in the Chicago metropolitan area was $22.36. The average hourly wage for government workers was $30.51.

Statewide, salaries for all teachers average $61,402; administrators average $106,217. Nearly two-thirds of schools in the North, Northwest and West suburbs exceed the state average, an analysis of 2009 district report card data shows, topped by Maine Township High School District 207, paying teachers an average of $94,205 and administrators an average of $139,671; Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 at $92,811 and $123,414; and Fenton High School District 100 at $92,373 and $131,638.

2009, the average pension benefit for a TRS retiree was about $43,000 a year, calculated as up to 75 percent of the average of the four highest paid years of work. But retired school administrators from the suburbs can receive four or five times that much.

2009, the average pension benefit for a TRS retiree was about $43,000 a year, calculated as up to 75 percent of the average of the four highest paid years of work. But retired school administrators from the suburbs can receive four or five times that much.

Daily Herald | Pension argument pits 'haves' and 'have nots'

Law school tuition hikes prompt talk of bubble - chicagotribune.com

 

The rising cost of law school is becoming a sore subject as the number of high-paying jobs shrink…With three-year programs at top schools costing nearly $150,000, not including room, board or even books

with law firms cutting salaries and hiring fewer graduates last year because of the economy, Northwestern sent just 55.9 percent of its 2009 graduates to the largest firms, according to the National Law Journal. Yet the school still was No. 1 in the publication's annual ranking of graduates who found jobs at big firms.

One of the biggest changes in law-school pricing in the last two decades has been the shrinking differential between public and private schools

"It's not only the financially disadvantaged that cannot afford law school," said Heather Jarvis at Equal Justice Works, an association that promotes public-interest law. "The middle class may also be shut out."

 

Click on the following for more details:  Law school tuition hikes prompt talk of bubble - chicagotribune.com

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rock Valley College Golden Eagles roll through to nationals in tennis - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

[Could they win the national this year?] 

The Golden Eagles won the national championship in 2000 and ’02, and have finished in the top three in seven of the past nine seasons.  Nationals begin May 10 in Plano, Texas.

RVC Golden Eagles roll through to nationals in tennis - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Friday, April 23, 2010

Belvidere Central Middle School remembers student who died of leukemia

plaque with his name on it will be placed on the door to his locker, which will be locked and never used by anyone else.

A photograph of Kevin will become part of the Wall of Fame, which includes pictures of 12 retired teachers and two other students who passed away since the school opened in 2002.

The Belvidere Daily Republican. - School remembers student who died of leukemia

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Student protesters avoid fines - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

All 20 students opted for eight hours of service at the location of their school’s choosing instead of fines.
All but three Belvidere High students ticketed were in court. Those who weren’t were found guilty by Circuit Court Judge Eugene Doherty. They won’t be given a service option and must pay the $100 fine, plus court fees

Belvidere School District will assign and monitor the service projects. Belvidere High School Assistant Principal Mike Yates will register students from his school for public service and will be charged with keeping track of the work’s completion. On April 29, students who plead guilty from Belvidere North will be asked to coordinate their public service work with Assistant Principal Mike LaScola at their school.

The 43 students who paid the $100 fine at the Public Safety Building before April 15 to avoid a court appearance also are eligible for community service, said City Attorney Mike Drella

Student protesters avoid fines - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Rock Valley College announces FOIA requests for the first quarter

Below are the Freedom of Information Requests received by Rock Valley for the first quarter of 2010.

 

Click on the photocopy to enlarge: 

RVC FOIA

Belvidere students may receive alternative to tickets

Belvidere police issued nearly 90 tickets to students for breaking the city’s daytime curfew law.

City Attorney Mike Drella said the students in court today or April 29 may have the ability to avoid paying a fine or court fees if they agree to eight-hour service projects set to begin May 19.
If students already paid their fine, the city may be able to provide reimbursements and work with them to arrange service projects, Drella said.

The School District likely will coordinate the community service of students found guilty or who plead guilty to violating the daytime curfew, Drella said.

Belvidere students may receive alternative to tickets - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

DeKalb District 428 prepares for 'major restructuring' | Daily Chronicle

If correct, this comment tells it all.  The real question is how can DeKalb’s administration not be aware of these state requirements—might it be that “adequate yearly progress” is something which the administration does not care about?  If the administration did not get a board approved pay raise would they “miss” that fact? 

SaveSmallSchools wrote on April 21, 2010 6:52 a.m.

"Why is one of the most important elements left out of this story? The admission during last night's board meeting that this restructuring plan was due two months ago and an extension was given by the state because the district somehow did not realize that they were required to do this. So now the administration will have about two weeks to throw together a school improvement plan. The board won't have any time to consider it, because if they don't approve it at the next meeting we lose all our title I funding. Are we going to see scores improve in classes of 35 next year?"

District 428 prepares for 'major restructuring' | Daily Chronicle

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Belvidere School District calls back 37 teachers - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

 

The board took two votes to call back the teachers. Thirty-six teachers were included in the first vote, and science teacher Martha Rathbun was called back in the second vote, necessary because family member Mike Rathbun is a School Board member. Mike Rathbun abstained from that vote, which passed 6-0.

Enrollment is 1,473 at Belvidere North and 1,138 at Belvidere High. Projected enrollment for 2010-11 is 1,560 at North and 1,220 at Belvidere.

Click on the following for more details:  Belvidere School District calls back 37 teachers - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Monday, April 19, 2010

Rock River Times Poll

Are you satisfied with the performance of Dr. LaVonne Sheffield as superintendent of Rockford Public School District 205?

  • No (95%, 224 Votes)
  • Yes (5%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 235

Click on the following to see if the numbers have changedVote

District 100 Board Packet 4-19-2010 Board meeting

 

Life Safety Project for Summer:

Project #1 – Boiler Replacement
This would be the first step in replacing the 100+ year old heating system at Perry. The actual boiler work is estimated to cost approximately $120,000. In addition to this cost, there would be some asbestos abatement work related to the removal of the old boilers. The cost for the abatement work is estimated at approximately $15,000. Both projects could be completed in the summer of 2010.

Future Costs – Perry
The estimated cost for the remainder of the work to replace the Perry heating system is $280,000. There would also be some additional asbestos abatement work and that cost would be approximately $25,000. Both of these projects could be completed during the summer of 2011.

See:  http://www.boarddocs.com/il/district100/Board.nsf/files/84FMAU/$file/Summer+2010+Life+Safety+Work.pdf

From Superintendent’s Report—

Continued to monitor the past due amounts owed from the State of Illinois – report is included in this month’s packet – total is $4,900,000 as of 3/31/2010

Met with representatives from William Blair to further investigate the possibility of restructuring some of the outstanding bond issues

To See the above items:  http://www.boarddocs.com/il/district100/Board.nsf/files/84KGVM/$file/Department+Highlights.pdf

Rehire from Reduction in Force: 38 teachers rehired.  See for exact teachers:  http://www.boarddocs.com/il/district100/Board.nsf/files/84NSFF/$file/April+2010+Personnel+Actions+Rehire+from+RIF1.pdf

Special Education Coop District

District 100-200 new agreement calls for 12 month notice for withdrawal.  The agreement is still subject to court approval.  To see the agreement go to:  http://www.boarddocs.com/il/district100/Board.nsf/files/84JQHQ/$file/Joint+Agreement.pdf

District 100 Minutes from March meeting.

March 15, 2010 Board of Education Regular Meeting
Here are some of the actions from that meeting:
Special Education Coop Program Update
At tonight’s Board of Education Meeting, the board was asked to hire current Coop employees to work for District 100 effective next school year. Those people employed by the District 100 tonight will submit their letters of resignation to the Special Education Coop Board. The Coop Board will be meeting on March 16 and should take appropriate action to accept those resignations as past of their personnel report.

Ben Commare as Principal at South Middle School at a salary of $98,000 for the 2010-2011 school year.

Nicole Difford as Principal at Meehan Elementary School at a salary of $90,022 for the 2010-2011 school year.

Todd Martens as Principal at Belvidere High School at a salary of $115,000 for the 2010-2011 school year.

Marc Eckman as Principal Designee/Assistant Principal at Belvidere North High School at a salary of $105,000 for the 2010-2011 school year

Click on the following for more details:  http://www.boarddocs.com/il/district100/Board.nsf/files/84NGYW/$file/3-15-10+Regular+Minutes.pdf

Palatine Township Petition drive was democracy in action

Citizens in Palatine appear to have defeated a back-door referendum and will require the district to prove their need to the voters in a November referendum.  The following is a letter to the editor thanking the organizers.

District 15 Logo

six citizens - mothers, ladies and tireless workers all - came to our rescue and organized a petition drive that now appears to have been successful, collecting over 7,400 signatures, which is about 1,100 more than required to place the issue in front of the voters in November.

Daily Herald | Petition drive was democracy in action

ECC board OKs pay hike for President Sam :: The Courier News :: Schools

 

His base salary this year is about $194,780, and this year's incentive rounds off to about $9,740. But Sam also will be awarded incentives retroactive to the beginning of his tenure in 2007. All three incentives together total around $27,700.

In total, Sam's salary and benefits this year equate to nearly $269,000, including an $18,500 annual housing allowance, a $10,000 annual annuity, a $1,000 monthly stipend for work-related expenses and a $500 monthly car allowance, according to Sam's most recent contract.

Click on the following for more details:  ECC board OKs pay hike for President Sam :: The Courier News :: Schools

Getting schooled on the law

[Kane County Judge]Boles stunned students [Dundee-Crown High School] with specifics of the law, including the possibility of arrest for those at a party where there is alcohol but they haven't been drinking…

The same goes for those in a car that has drugs in its glove compartment.

"Anyone within reach is what the law considers 'control of the area,' " Boles said.

New DUI laws are imposing even stricter penalties. The usual Class A misdemeanor can now be upgraded to a fourth class felony -- punishable up to one year in prison -- if it's not the driver's first or if they don't have a valid license or auto insurance.

Students also seemed unaware that an 18 year-old having sex with a minor would deem them a sex offender, requiring registry at their college campus.

 

Click on the following for more details: 

Getting schooled on the law :: The Courier News :: Local News

Belvidere students question senator about state funding

Belvidere District 100 high school students met with state Sen. Brad Burzynski, R-Rochelle, to get his take on proposed cuts to education funding today.
Students from Belvidere High and Belvidere North High Schools organized a question-and-answer session with the support of the district at Belvidere North.

Click on the following for more details:  Belvidere students question senator about state funding - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Friday, April 16, 2010

More kids ready for college? Elgin Community College calls it a process & trend

Interesting story --Rock Valley College has  some very different views in regards to students from Rockford public schools.  Could some of ECC’s approaches be of value to RVC?

They said that 65.7 percent of students in ECC District 509 are testing at a college level in writing skills, a 9 percentage point improvement since 2006.

The main reason for this improvement, they say, is that the college is communicating more clearly to high school staff what it expects out of students.

Click on the following for more details:  More kids ready for college? ECC calls it a process & trend :: The Courier News :: Local News

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rivals High - Texas school set to begin work on $60M stadium

Just in case you forgot how important high school football is in Texas, the residents of Allen will soon have a $59.6 million stadium that will leave no doubt.

The stadium was part of a larger $120 million bond package passed in May 2009 that included nearly as much money for a state-of-the-art auditorium for performing arts;

The high school, built in 2000, has more than 600,000 square feet and serves 3,900 kids - and that's just between 10th and 12th grades. It is one of the largest in the state and the only one in the district.

Click on the following for more details:  Rivals High - Texas school set to begin work on $60M stadium

Highlights of newspaper chronology of Dr. Steven Baule at CUSD 201 Westmont & New North Boone Superintendent

I received this list of newspaper articles regarding Dr. Steven Baule [2010-2011, Superintendent of North Boone District 200] from an anonymous source.  . Dr. Baule currently is the Superintendent of Westmont, District 201.  Here is what the Westmont newspaper has to say about his activities.

The article in red probably is the best indicator of why Dr. Baule will be at North Boone.  Four outsiders banned together on a “Better District 200 “ platform and defeated the incumbent board president and others board leaders.

Full List of Articles

District 201 ponders closing South School.  Click on the following:  http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/westmont/news/education/x510951648

District 201 votes to shut South’s doors:  http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/westmont/news/education/x1208736743

District 201 incumbents win re-election:  http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/westmont/news/x879313183

District 201 parents form advocacy group: http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/westmont/news/x2110143315 

Public allowed to speak at School Board meetings:  http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/westmont/news/x1136424685 

Parent frustrated with communications:  http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/westmont/news/x1944244316

Board told by state it must respond to public's request:  http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/westmont/homepage/x663479545 

School Board defies attorney general regarding superintendent contract:  http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/westmont/news/x775333294

School Board reverses closed session policy after contacted by state:  http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/westmont/news/x870893099

Residents shown doors at District 201 meeting:  http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/westmont/news/x1236314424 

Miller parents concerned about composition of fourth-grade class: http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/westmont/news/x859715083 

Special ed parents upset about communication lapse: http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/westmont/homepage/x1971618181

High school nets poor test score rankings:  http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/westmont/education/x1967340495 

Park District to sponsor canceled trip:  http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/westmont/news/x1772962332/Park-District-to-sponsor-canceled-trip

Eight residents running in District 201 School Board race:   http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/westmont/news/x1996658458/Eight-residents-running-in-District-201-School-Board-race

District 201 School Board needs new leadership (letter # 2):  http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/westmont/opinions/letters_to_the_editor/x1950205948/Letters-to-the-Editor

A Better 201 slate wins all board seats:  http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/westmont/news/x180630277/A-Better-201-slate-wins-all-board-seats

Post Election Articles:  http://www.mysuburbanlife.com/westmont/news/education

Belvidere, North Boone School Districts Reach Tentative Agreement

 

one-year tentative agreement today on how to run a special education cooperative that serves kids from both districts. The program will be ran similar to this year, according to Don Ward, North Boone School Board.

Belvidere Superintendent Michael Houselog wants to pull all of its 230 special ed students out of the co-op and place them throughout district 100 schools.

North Boone said the move leaves nearly 30 of its students without a place to go next year.

Now both districts will vote on their tentative agreement by the end of the month.

Click on the following for more details:  Belvidere, North Boone School Districts Reach Tentative Agreement

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Quinn calls on Assembly to pass income tax increase - 4/13/10 -

 

governor says, without raising the state income tax from 3 to 4 percent, 17,000 teachers around the state will have to be laid off, classroom sizes increased and programs cut.

Click on the following for more details:    Quinn calls on Assembly to pass income tax increase - 4/13/10 - Chicago News - abc7chicago.com

N. Boone, Belvidere districts outline special-ed deal - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

tentative agreement would allow North Boone students to receive similar special-education services in the upcoming school year.

The case returns to court at 9 a.m. April 29 for a status hearing.

Click on the following for more details:  N. Boone, Belvidere districts outline special-ed deal - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Look for McHenry Co. tax rates to rise as property values decline

Take a look at the community college increases—McHenry County College is up only 2% but Harper and Elgin CC are up 20%

….economy that continues to hammer the housing industry. But another factor appears to be a growing number of property owners challenging their assessments and, far more often than not, winning.  Last year, the county's Board of Review heard a record 4,328 challenges and, Mayberry estimates, about 90 percent of them succeeded.

By levying the same or more, the taxing bodies force the county clerk to set a higher tax rate, allowing them to come up with the chosen amount amid declining assessed valuations.

For the next seven days you may click on the following for to read the entire story:  Daily Herald | Look for McHenry Co. tax rates to rise as property values decline

Judge to mediate Belvidere, N. Boone's special-education dispute

This dispute appears even more interesting in the fact that Superintendent Houselog is the former superintendent of North Boone.

North Boone School District sued Belvidere School District last week, alleging Belvidere was illegally trying to withdraw itself from the cooperative, leaving North Boone special education students without the cooperative’s help in the 2010-11 school year.

“We are not withdrawing and have made no indication of any interest in leaving the co-op,”[Belvidere Superintendent] Houselog said.

[North Boone Superintendent] Brodnax said. “There’s a state process that is in place for dismantling or withdrawing from a co-op, and we believe that process is not being followed. It’s a one- to two-year process, and Belvidere has tried to make all (that) happen in February.”

Judge to mediate Belvidere, N. Boone's special-education dispute - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Friday, April 9, 2010

Blog Count for the last 30 days: 971 visits by 557 separate visitors

CLICK ON MY PICTURE

*******BLOG COUNT since 9-16-2009: 3477 visitors ; 1852 separate visitors

Five More Teacher Openings at District 100 being advertized

The following are taken from:  http://k12jobspot.com/Support-Staff-jobs?PageIndex=3  The Kindergarten position was previously posted in this ad.

 

TBE Grade 3 Lincoln Elementary School

Location: 1201 5th Avenue, Belvidere IL 61008

Available: August 2010 Deadline: 08/01/2010

view similar, Rating, distance

Organization: Belvidere Community Unit School District #100

Posted:4/07/2010

TBE Grade 3 Seth Whitman Elementary School

Location: Belvidere IL 61008  · Type: Bilingual/ESL/ELL : Bilingual Teacher

Available: August 2010 Deadline: 08/01/2010

view similar, Rating, distance

Organization: Belvidere Community Unit School District #100

Posted:4/07/2010

 

TBE Grade 4 Seth Whitman Elementary School

Location: 1201 5th Avenue, Belvidere IL 61008

Available: August 2010 Deadline: 08/01/2010

view similar, Rating, distance

Organization: Belvidere Community Unit School District #100

Posted:4/07/2010

 

TBE Grade 3 Washington Elementary School

Location: 1201 5th Avenue, Belvidere IL 61008

Available: August 2010 Deadline: 08/01/2010

view similar, Rating, distance

Organization: Belvidere Community Unit School District #100

Posted:4/07/2010

 

TPI-part-time Washington Elementary School

Location: Belvidere IL 61008  · Type: Bilingual/ESL/ELL : Bilingual Teacher

Available: August 2010 Deadline: 08/01/2010

view similar, Rating, distance

Organization: Belvidere Community Unit School District #100

Posted:4/07/2010

 

TBE Kindergarten Teacher Meehan Elementary School

Location: Belvidere IL 61008  · Type: Bilingual/ESL/ELL : Bilingual Teacher

Available: August 2010 Deadline: 08/01/2010

view similar, Rating, distance

Organization: Belvidere Community Unit School District #100

Posted:4/07/2010

Plenty of perks in contract of new Round Lake Dist. 116 boss

Roughly two weeks ago, District 116's elected board and the state finance authority that has been running the district approved Constance Collins' hiring at a $207,000 annual base salary in a five-year,

salary increases can't be less than the all-urban consumer price index for a calendar year. She also can't receive a raise of less than 1 percent or more than 6 percent.

She'll have to pay $35,000 in "liquidated damages" to the district if she resigns before June 30, 2015.

Barrington Unit District 220 Superintendent Tom Leonard's base this week was upped to $206,560. He'll receive 6 percent raises in each of the next four years

Click on the following for more details:  Daily Herald | Plenty of perks in contract of new Round Lake Dist. 116 boss

Chicago Public School students protest budget cuts - chicagotribune.com

Their efforts culminated Thursday morning when 350 students walked out of classes and demonstrated in front of the Board of Education's headquarters, City Hall and the Thompson Center

Click on the following for more details:  Chicago Public School students protest budget cuts - chicagotribune.com

Thursday, April 8, 2010

University of Illinois president lowers tuition hike forecast | Crain's Chicago Business

A 9 percent tuition increase would mean incoming freshmen in Urbana-Champaign would pay about $10,337 a year, plus room and board. Freshmen at the Chicago campus would pay about $9,092 a year, and those in Springfield would pay roughly $8,068.

Tuition increased for the 2009-2010 school year by only 2.6 percent.

Click on the following for more details:  University of Illinois president lowers tuition hike forecast | Crain's Chicago Business

BHS boosters selling tickets to Cubs game - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

The Belvidere Buc Booster Club is selling tickets to the Chicago Cubs game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
The game is at 1:05 p.m. April 25.
Tickets are $45 and include a ticket to the ballgame, transportation, tailgate food and snacks.
A bus will leave at 9:45 a.m. from Belvidere High School, 1500 East Ave.
Contact Jim Bluege at 815-544-0618 or 815-544-0416 for tickets and information.

BHS boosters selling tickets to Cubs game - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Belvidere District 100 seeks new TBE Kindergarten Teacher

Apply Now!

This was just posted on Jobspot.  With all the pink slips one would wonder if one of those young teachers might meet these qualifications.  A regular elementary teacher (type 03) fluent in Spanish would met their minimium requirement.

TBE Kindergarten Teacher:

Type 03 Certificate with bilingual endorsement or Type 29 certificate preferred; Type 03 Certificate with

fluency in Spanish/English with willingness to acquire bilingual endorsement minimum requirement.

Organization: Belvidere Community Unit School District #100

Type: Elementary School Teaching : Bilingual Teacher

Posted: 4/07/2010

Available: August 2010 Closes: 08/01/2010

Meehan Elementary School

Location: Belvidere IL 61008

Position DetailsAbout Belvidere Community Unit School District #100

Description:
Needed by August 2010 for the 2010-11 school year.

Click on the following for more detailsTBE Kindergarten Teacher | K12 Jobspot

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hinckley-Big Rock students rally behind teacher | Daily Chronicle

 

– About 50 students protested outside Hinckley-Big Rock High School before school started Tuesday morning to show their support for a teacher who has lost his job. 

[Math teacher]Schultz, 50, said he has taught for 10 years and this is his fourth year at H-BR, the number of years Illinois teachers need in a district before they can receive tenure. He declined to comment on the details regarding his dismissal.

Hinckley-Big Rock students rally behind teacher | Daily Chronicle

Freeport District 145 Board approves uniforms -

 

School District 145 Board voted unanimously to implement school uniforms in all grade levels over a period of four years

Click on the following for more details:  District 145 Board approves uniforms - Freeport, IL - The Journal-Standard

Open House April 11 on the 2009 District 100 House

They are looking for a buyer if anyone is interested.  Asking price is $249,000 but I think they will take much less.

Posted April 6, 2010 - Pictured above is a home located at 3021 Huntington Drive, Belvidere.  This 2,400 sq. ft. ranch was built by 45 juniors and seniors in the Building Trades Program from both Belvidere and Belvidere North High Schools.  Students worked on this 3 bedroom, 3 bath home for over a year and a half, and will be hosting an open house Sunday, April 11 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Click here to read more about the home and its features.

Some students who participated in Belvidere walkout ticketed

What was the role of District 100 administration and faculty in this walkout? Did they properly advise the students? Did they in any way encourage the situation which lead to the illegal portion of the walkout?

Fines and fees
The students face $100 fines, but violations for breaking city ordinances often range from $100 to $750. Students will be in court on either April 22 or April 29, depending on what school they attend.

“They’re teenagers; they should have told them the consequences beforehand,” she[Sandra Roush] said. “I’m proud of him for what he did and for standing up for good teachers that are being let go. I’m just disappointed in the School District. It seems to me like they used the kids to get the state’s attention.”

Click on the following for more details on the Rockford Register Star story:  Some students who participated in Belvidere walkout ticketed - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

District 100 Superintendent’s Contract extended one year

Based upon the following email/Freedom of Information Act Inquiry, Dr. Michael Houselog’s contract has been extended for one additional year.  It appears the extension was based upon an automatic one year extension clause which required no board action—thus no open board discussion, no vote. 

If you wish to see Dr. Houselog’s actual contract which was mentioned in the FOIA request go to: 

http://district100watchdog.blogspot.com/2009/05/dr-michael-houselogs-salary-and.html

From Mike Houselog.
Pam Wallace
Secretary to the Superintendent
Belvidere Community Unit School District #100
1201 Fifth Avenue
Belvidere, Illinois 61008
815.544.8603 Telephone
815.547.1657 Facsimile
Never Give Up - Extra effort is what makes the BIG difference.
-----Original Message-----
From: Houselog, Michael
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 4:51 PM
To: Wallace, Pam
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information Request--Dr. Houselog's employment contract
Please send the following response to Bill Pysson per his FOIA Request.
The superintendent contract for Michael Houselog has been extended for one year at this time, with the same total salary as the 2009-10 school year.
-----Original Message-----
From: bill pysson [mailto:
bpysson@yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, April 05, 2010 6:14 PM
To: Wallace, Pam; Houselog, Michael
Subject: Freedom of Information Request--Dr. Houselog's employment contract

Please provide the current status of Dr. Houselog's employment contract.
My inquiry of April 2009 indicated that DR. Houselog was under an employment contract signed on 18 June 2007 which provided salary and performance terms through the 2009-2010 school year.  To date I have seen the board of education ratifying no "new" contract or extension. Please update me on Dr. Houselog's current contract by answering the following questions:
1.  Provide a copy of any "new" or amended contract which the board and Dr. Houselog have signed.  Please provide the date that the board voted to ratified the document.
2.  Page 3, of the 18 June 2007 contract indicates in Item A and B that action extending the contract can occur if various items occur.  Please provide a written description of what has occurred regarding to such an extension.
3.  Has the contract been extended for one year based upon the board not taking any action as describe in Item B?  If so, please provide the salary and financial terms for 2010-2011 school year.
Please provide the above mentioned information within 5 working days as mandated by the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

Thank you for your prompt response.
BILL PYSSON

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Palatine schools' bond sale divides board, community

Palatine fights a back-door referendum.

Palatine Township Elementary District 15 intends to borrow $27 million over 20 years for more than just roof replacements and repairs. It also intends to replenish its nearly empty working cash fund.

The $27 million loan, narrowly approved by the school board, is facing a growing wave of criticism from residents.

Knowing it's a longshot, opponents are clamoring to force the bond sale to a referendum in November. They're circulating petitions, trying to get signatures of 10 percent of registered voters - about 6,300 - by April 12,

Daily Herald | Palatine schools' bond sale divides board, community

Springfield District 186 spokeswoman resigns over plagiarism flap - Springfield, IL

Sarah Watson, communications director for the Springfield School District, has submitted her letter of resignation, according to local radio reports.

The State Journal-Register reported March 25 that Watson lifted significant portions of the district’s new strategic plan, “Believe 2020,” from a similar document prepared for the Philadelphia school system

Click on the following for more details:  District 186 spokeswoman resigns over plagiarism flap - Springfield, IL - The State Journal-Register

Monday, April 5, 2010

U. of Ill. narrows presidential candidates to 10

CHICAGO (AP) -- University of Illinois trustees say a list of potential new presidents for the university has been narrowed to 10 people, five of them presidents at other schools.

Trustee Pam Strobel said Monday after a closed-door meeting that the board is on schedule to name a new president by May. Trustees oversee the three university campuses run by the president.

Neither Strobel nor board chairman Christopher Kennedy would name candidates.

Trustees will meet in private again Friday in Chicago. Strobel says they could interview some candidates then

Click on the following for more detailsRockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Lawsuit between District 100 and 200?

Last week I did not take proper notice of this Journal story.  It reminds me of my own candidacy story—unless you are willing to pay a lawyer you never know if District 100 will treat you right.  School District administrators and board members need to remember that the public holds them to higher standards than which occurs in the “business world”.  It looks like District 200 is carefully weighing its options for “just treatment”. 

Special Education
Changes Inspire
Dist. #200 Lawsuit

By Bob Balgemann
North Boone Community School District #200 may go
to court, hoping to stop Belvidere Community Unit School
District #100 from hiring about 45 teachers from the special
education program serving both districts.
The District #100 action has left about 26 North Boone
children in limbo, not knowing who, if anyone, will provide
them with those services during the 2010-11 school year.
District #200 board members voted unanimously March
18, following a four-hour executive session, to hire the
Chicago law firm of Franczek, Radelet, PC, to “prepare
pleadings,’’
which could include a request for an injunction
to rescind the District #100 action.
“We’re working on all options including an injunction,’’
District #200 board President Don Ward said Tuesday. “We
are working with the Belvidere people, trying to work this
out amicably.’’
Services for about 125 students in districts #100 and
#200 are provided by teachers and support staff through
the Boone County Special Education Cooperative. Staff
includes the teachers along with speech pathologists,
school psychologists and social workers. Those services
will continue through May, the end of the 2009-10 school
year.
But co-op Director Anne Risen, in her first year in that
job, said serving the North Boone children in the future is
an unknown at this point. “Everyone is pretty uncertain
about what the future will hold,’’ she said, adding that the
District 100 decision reduced the staff to herself and one
itinerant hearing teacher. “At this moment there is no staff
to teach the North Boone County kids,’’ she said.
It is not known if the co-op considered District #200 and
a rehire the teachers who resigned from the program.
She said District #100 did submit a letter of intent to
withdraw from the co-op by February 1, as required by
terms of the agreement. It then hired about 45 teachers from
the co-op and they in turned submitted their resignations to
the co-op board’s March 16 meeting. The board consists
of the superintendent, two school board members and
one principal from each district, who have equal votes on
matters.
Risen said District #100 makes up about 86 percent of
the special education program’s enrollment, with North
Boone accounting for the remaining 14 percent. The cost
of the program is divided according to the number of
participants. She said the co-op receives grants to help the
districts defray their costs.
Joel Moeller, District #100 assistant superintendent
for Administration and Human Resources, said the school
board’s action was done as a cost-saving measure. He
said there was no intent to disband the special education
program.
Ward and District #200 school board member Tom
Kinser represents that school system on the co-op board.
Ward called the District #100 decision “unilateral,’’ adding
that the co-op “had no vote on the Belvidere action.’’
That decision means District #100 will be providing
special education services for its students. But Ward
observed, “That leaves us on our own. I am sure there is
concern among Belvidere parents because there will be
changes for them, too.’’
Looking at the future, he said, “We are still fact finding.
There are a lot of options to serve these students; we will
figure it out. If there is a lawsuit, it will be on behalf of
North Boone students.’’
Boone County Journal reporter James Middleton contributed
to this report

Click on the following to read the story on the Journal’s website:  http://boonecountyjournal.com/news/2010/Boone-County-News-03-26-10.pdf#page=3

Friday, April 2, 2010

Belvidere lacrosse team plays inaugural home games

 

Belvidere Alpines are a coed/combined squad of players from both Belvidere and Belvidere North high schools. The team will play17 games this season against other Illinois high school teams.

Click on the following for more details:  The Belvidere Daily Republican. - Belvidere lacrosse team plays inaugural home games

RVC football debate spills into council chambers | The Rock River Times

 image Last August, Rockford school teacher Glen Patterson, an African-American and former RVC football player, asked aldermen to intervene by urging Becherer and the RVC Board of Trustees to reconsider ending the program last year. He asserted football is a powerful way to keep young African-American males out of trouble. He reiterated those sentiments to members of the Rockford City Council March 29.

Click on the following for more details:  RVC football debate spills into council chambers | The Rock River Times

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Elgin U46 may consider four-day school week :: The Courier News :: Schools

 

They say the predicted cost-saving benefits from those changes -- hundreds of thousands of dollars -- would be due mainly to cutting back on facility and transportation costs

Right now our day is about 6½ hours

U46 may consider four-day school week :: The Courier News :: Schools

Illinois Layoffs Hit Police, Libraries, Even Zoos - cbs2chicago.com

Belvidere hits the big time—Channel 2 in Chicago. 

High school students in Belvidere, a small town near the Wisconsin border, recently walked out of school and marched in protest over budget cuts there.
Superintendent Michael Houselog said the district of 9,000 students is waiting for $2.8 million in overdue payments from the state. The district has notified 57 employees that their jobs could be cut.
"We know the number is not going to be 57 in the end, but there are going to be reductions regardless," Houselog said. "That will impact our students and our learning."

Illinois Layoffs Hit Police, Libraries, Even Zoos - cbs2chicago.com