Thursday, March 28, 2013

Watch Rock Valley College candidates forum online - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

 

you want to know more about the candidates running for three open seats on the Rock Valley College Board of Trustees, you have some options.

You can watch this YouTube video of a candidates forum that the college hosted March 19.

The Register Star will publish an online voter's guide Sunday April 7, and you can read more about RVC candidates and their stance on the issues when that hits the stands. Or, you can visit rrstar.com/elections and peruse the online version of that voters guide

Click on the following for more details;  Watch Rock Valley College candidates forum online - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Who is paying for these mailings?

 

Mailer 3-27-2013

Here is the list of the heavy hitters who are paying the lions share of the mailing campaign. I wonder if any of these individuals are holding those 9%, non-callable bonds?

The following is taken from the Illinois Board of Election:  http://www.elections.state.il.us/campaigndisclosure/CommitteeDetail.aspx?id=25051

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

NIU sees record number of freshman applicants | NIU Today

 

More than 18,000 already have applied to become Huskies this fall

the number of applicants is always significantly higher than those who ultimately end up enrolling at any institution.

Click on the following for more details:  NIU sees record number of freshman applicants | NIU Today

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Friends of RVC support Lynn Kearney and Bennett Romero

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Why has Friends of RVC only endorsed two candidates?

After conducting a detailed review of all the information regarding the ten candidates, the
committee (which is made up of a cross-section of RVC employee groups) was able to reach a
consensus on endorsing both Lynn and Romero. Both made clear their commitment to the
education of our community. Both demonstrated a willingness to be good stewards for our
community college for six years. Both were clear in their passion to work with all stakeholders and
not to be too tied to outside interests and agendas. This does not mean we are necessarily running
against any other candidates; this simply means we see that both Lynn and Romero as bringing a
balanced approach to the board and meeting the needs of the staff, students, college and
community.

Click on the following for more information:  Friends of RVC « Political Action Committee

The FOIA on board emails and the open meetings act

What do all those emails (October 1, 2012 to February 13, 2013) tell us about the school board and its activities?  Please everyone take a look at them and see what you find. Take a look at:  http://www.boarddocs.com/il/district100/Board.nsf/files/95DNCM5EE86F/$file/FOIA%20Cornett.pdf

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Here is one that I find interesting:

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To me, a phone conference means more than one board member and the superintendent. How many of them were board members?

Mr. Houselog is very aware of the problem.  Take a look at these emails to Kelly Diamond, the board candidate running unopposed:

“Fyi  I (Houselog) want to be very careful now as this type of thing can be very dangerous”

“Hi Kelly  I am sending this directly to you but not to current board members …(it would) constituted a school board meeting….”

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Revised wind farm regulations get airing before county board | Belvidere Daily Republican

Written by Bob Balgemann

County board members were limited to two minutes, as were a few residents who addressed the issue.

After hearing the discussion District 2 board member Paul Larson said it appeared they were “trying to ride multiple horses in different directions, and that’s difficult.”

Click on the following for more details:  Revised wind farm regulations get airing before county board | Belvidere Daily Republican

Second NIU employee cleared in 'coffee fund' scandal - chicagotribune.com

By Stacy St. ClairTribune reporterimage

11:44 a.m. CDT, March 25, 2013

 

DeKalb County prosecutors dropped their case this morning against Susan Zahm, who faced felony theft and misconduct charges after NIU police said they found that employees were selling recyclable materials, including those from campus building renovations, and using the money as a slush fund for holiday parties and other social functions.

Second NIU employee cleared in 'coffee fund' scandal - chicagotribune.com

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Library aide among $500,000 in cuts at North Boone schools - Boone County - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

 

Other cuts include deferring capital projects, delaying the purchase of a new bus and reducing insurance costs. Leaders also eliminated a head cook position and reduced 0.75 hours of food service staffing each day at one school.

Parents fear that the library decision could cause a drop in test scores if there aren’t adequate reading resources available to students. The only public library in Boone County is in Belvidere, so many students rely on the services offered in school.

Click on the following for more details:  Library aide among $500,000 in cuts at North Boone schools - Boone County - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Friday, March 22, 2013

Kishwaukee parents notified of school closing

Here is what the Administration (Mr. Houselog) sent out to the parents to announce that students will not attend Kishwaukee School next year.

 

Click on the photocopy to enlarge:

kishwaukee closing 1

Here are the “cut scores” for elementary schools.  Note Kishwaukee is the highest “cut scores” in all category and Washington and Lincoln have the lowest.  This information is available at: http://www.boarddocs.com/il/district100/Board.nsf/files/94WR3K6BECE2/$file/ISAT%20Cut%20Scores.pdf

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Boone County Journal supports school facility sales tax

Did BCJ give its opinion in November?

The following is taken from the March 22, 2013, Boone County Journal which is available free of cost at merchants across the county and on line at:  http://www.boonecountyjournal.com/news/2013/Boone-County-News-03-22-13.pdf#page=1

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Belvidere High School teachers votes “no confidence” in principal and assistants

Click on the photocopy to enlarge: 

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Here is the Rockford Register Star’s Jennifer Wheeler’s take on the situation: http://www.rrstar.com/blogs/jenniferwheeler/x711935440/Union-members-vote-no-confidence-in-Belvidere-High-School-administration

The union’s allegations include:

  • Administrators giving poor reviews of excellent, seasoned educators without indicating during informal walkthroughs there were concerns with their teaching.
  • Administrators targeting experienced teachers who mentor younger District employees. It causes a wedge between more experienced and less experienced staff.
  • Administration implementing inconsistent policies that contribute to an unstable learning environment. The current dress code rules and tardy policies are not well defined.
  • Administration creating math and English courses during the year without giving educators adequate time to develop the curriculum. The class changes are negatively affecting classrooms’ learning environments.
  • Administration nixing full-staff faculty meetings.

Check back to rrstar.com or pick up Thursday’s edition of the Rockford Register Star for more information.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Belvidere School Board approves closing one school - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Perry Elementary School and Belvidere South Middle School, which were on the chopping block, will remain open.

The Belvidere School Board approved closing Kishwaukee Elementary School today.

Click on the following for more details;  Belvidere School Board approves closing one school - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Friday, March 15, 2013

RVC Summer School for kids

Summer Classes FOR STUDENTS age 6-18 offered through Rock Valley College.

http://www.rockvalleycollege.edu/Community/WhizKids/index.cfm

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Belvidere School Board Candidates Discuss Budget Crisis at Community Forum | 23 WIFR Rockford - The Next Generation of News

 

Some parents say though they understand the argument, it still doesn't make them feel any better.

"I've got big decisions to make,” says Holly Houk. Her daughter goes to Kishwaukee School which is one of the schools on the list to be closed- the other being Perry Elementary. “Do I think I'll stay here...I don't know...I'm gonna look and do what's best for my child and her education."

"We don't have the luxury of not doing anything,” said Karla Maville. Who's running for a spot on the school board. She says, “no one wants to close schools. No one wants to cut programs. No one likes that at all and we're gonna have to make some serious decisions here."

Some candidates also said they hope the current board doesn't rush closing the schools because it may make their job harder when they take over.

Click on the following for more details:  Belvidere School Board Candidates Discuss Budget Crisis at Community Forum | 23 WIFR Rockford - The Next Generation of News

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Head Start in Boone County: Two Rivers provides the service in Belvidere

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Our History
{Copyright (C) 2009 Two Rivers Head Start Agency. All Rights Reserved}

Two Rivers Head Start Agency

Teaching Children ~ Reaching Families

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In August 1965, a county-wide group was incorporated as the Kane County Council of Economic Opportunity following the enactment of a Federal law establishing the Office of Economic Opportunity. The goals of the Kane County Council were: to aid the disadvantaged of Kane County in influencing the social and political decision-making process; to assist Kane County's social agencies, units of government, and general public in coordination of anti-poverty activities and programs; and to provide agency funding and professional expertise and knowledge in combating the incidence of poverty in Kane County.
Following the Federal Re-enactment Legislation in 1975, which replaced the Office of Economic Opportunity with the Community Services Administration, the name of the organization was changed to the Kane County Community Action Agency. From 1975-1978, KCCAA administered emergency energy programs in DeKalb County and co-administered those programs with Hope, Inc., in DuPage County. Because of the expansion beyond Kane County, the By-laws and Charter of the organization were amended in 1978, and the agency became known as PLUS, Inc., an acronym for "Programming for Low-Income and Urban Services." Programming included Head Start, Housing, Counseling, Emergency Services, Energy Assistance, Senior Citizen Programming, Neighborhood Community Services, Referral, Outreach, and Transportation Services.
When the Community Services Administration was dissolved, the major funding sources for P.L.U.S, Inc. became the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (CSBG and Weatherization), the Regional Transit Authority (PACE) and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (Head Start).
The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program provided direct client assistance through information and referral services, community resources identification and coordination of services, i.e., housing, health, nutrition, and emergency assistance. In addition, the Agency distributed food commodities to low-income families and implemented the Work Experience Program for Public Aid recipients.
The Head Start Program provided an opportunity to provide early childhood education, development, and motivation to the economically disadvantaged. The requirements of parent involvement, in-service training for teachers, and teacher-aides in the program were additional educational enhancements.
On December 17th, 1986, the Agency filed for Articles of Amendment to the Articles of Incorporation of PLUS, Inc., thereby changing the name of P.L.U.S., Inc., to Two Rivers Head Start Agency.
Since that date, Two Rivers has operated the Community Services Block Grant, CSBG, funded by the Illinois

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The above is taken from:  http://trhsa.org/trhsa_website_final_012.htm

Friday, March 8, 2013

Rockford Area Arts Council grant makes art program possible for Ida | Belvidere Daily Republican

Written by Natalie Conover

program, which is open to local students ages eight through fifteen, starts in June and runs through November, with one class taking place each month. The classes will cover art forms including Japanese blockprinting, the dot art of the Aborigines, African adire textiles, American street art, Mexican Calavera/Day of the Dead artwork and the art of the Mandala.

In addition to learning the history behind each art medium and the culture from which it originates, the children will also have a chance to hear from local artists who work in a format similar or related to each style of artwork, as well as create a piece of artwork with them. The student’s artwork will then be displayed with the professional artist’s work in a combined exhibit at a local gallery.

Click on the following for more details: Rockford Area Arts Council grant makes art program possible for Ida | Belvidere Daily Republican

Special-education co-op in Boone County calls it quits - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

By Jennifer Wheeler

The Boone County Special Education Cooperative agreed Thursday to dissolve the organization and become self-sustaining entities. The action hinges on both school boards signing an intergovernmental agreement by April 1.

 

Aside from eliminating a group that leaders say has outlived its purpose, the Belvidere and North Boone districts would receive $2.5 million worth of assets from the breakup. Both could use that cash to plug their projected deficit budgets.

Special-education co-op in Boone County calls it quits - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Candidates’ night scheduled for Belvidere school board, mayoral races - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

This in fact is the new school board—Will they accept the old board’s decision or make their own regarding school closing?

host a candidates’ night at 6 p.m. March 14 at the Boone County Community Building, 111 W. First Street in Belvidere.

During the candidates’ night, each person will explain why they are seeking election and answer audience questions.

There are six people seeking five spots on the Belvidere School Board, including candidates Stacy McGowan, Lee Baird, Robert Torbert, Karla Maville, Kelly Diamond and Larry Cunningham.

Click on the following for more details:  Candidates’ night scheduled for Belvidere school board, mayoral races - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

candidates night 2013--2

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Search warrant at NIU police station - chicagotribune.com

By Jodi S. Cohen and Stacy St. Clair, Tribune reporters

The FBI and other law enforcement authorities are executing a search warrant today at the Northern Illinois University police station.
The search warrant stems from an ongoing criminal investigation, the FBI said. The other agencies involved are the Illinois State Police and the inspector general offices of the U.S. departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development.
At least some NIU police officers were asked to leave the station today, while others were being interviewed by the authorities, the Tribune has learned.

Click on the following for more details:  Search warrant at NIU police station - chicagotribune.com

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Belvidere School Board budget proposal could crowd buildings - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Close elementary schools and move portable classrooms?  It cost money to more portables.

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The Belvidere School Board’s latest suggestion could lead to portable classrooms at half of the District’s buildings. 

Leaders have proposed closing Perry Elementary School and sending its students to Caledonia Elementary School. However, Caledonia Elementary School is at capacity with 795 students and 816 children would be taught there.

Belvidere School Board budget proposal could crowd buildings - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Should District 100 close Perry & Kishwaukee Elementary?

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Here is a post from First Electric Newspaper:  http://www.firstelectricnewspaper.com/2013/03/liths-lincoln-prairie-aces-state-tests.html

District 300 celebrates school’s excellence—in District 100 they close elementary schools(Kishwaukee & Perry Elementary) that exceed the rest.

LITH's Lincoln Prairie Aces State Tests For Fifth Year

District 300 Administrators had a huge banner ready at this week's Board of Education meeting for LITH's Lincoln Prairie School to hang to celebrate being named to the Illinois State Board of Education's 2012 Illinois Honor Roll. Only 454 schools in Illinois won ISBE's Award of Excellence for overachievement on the annual state ISAT performance tests for three straight years. The latest award was Lincoln Prairie's fifth in a row which Principal Trent Halpin observed means the school's aced the ISAT's for seven years running.
The trick now will be to extend the trend for another year. Students in D300 grades 3 through 8 will take the annual ISAT's again this month but under new performance requirements. According to the State Board of Ed, this year’s tests include 20 percent questions written to new Common Core Standards, eventually planned to completely replace old ones and expected to be tougher for students to meet.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Citizens for School Bond Relief

Today many Boone County residents received a mass mailing from the Citizens for School Bond Relief.  (The outer portion of the mailing is shown below)  Who are these citizens?  Who paid for this expensive mailing? 

Bond Relief Committee

The initial donors are shown below:  Belvidere Educations Association Political Action Committee ($2,000), Alpine Bank ($5,000), R. Robert Funderburg, Jr. ($1,000), Belvidere Board of Realtors ($5,000).

 

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The above information is taken from:  http://www.elections.state.il.us/campaigndisclosure/CommitteeDetail.aspx?id=25051

New uniforms bring happiness to winning basketball teams | Belvidere Daily Republican

Written by Bob Balgemann

Gayle Kruckenberg said the North Boone Middle School principal, Bridget Belcastro, initially did not accept the $1,300. But she said the Friday before the Jan. 24 board meeting she got an e-mail from the principal and was told “if we raised $1,300 they could buy uniforms for the seventh-grade team.”

In all, she said $2,335 was raised “and we gave the check to Dr. Baule on Jan. 30.”

Gayle Kruckenberg said the primary reason parents went to the school board meeting “was to open the community’s eyes that the school principal initially turned down our offer. We were beside ourselves when our offer was rejected.”

“I was surprised by the resistance to begin with; the lack of cooperation in working with parents,” Shannon Long said.

READ THE WHOLE STORY—CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING:  New uniforms bring happiness to winning basketball teams | Belvidere Daily Republican