COVID-19 School Guidance FAQs

Illinois has adopted the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance regarding COVID-19 and schools for the coming school year. The guidance is aimed at helping school administrators provide in-person learning in a safe manner for students and staff. To support that guidance, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has provided a Frequently Asked … Continue reading COVID-19 School Guidance FAQs

Education in a Pandemic

Last week, Advance Illinois released a report, Education in a Pandemic: Learning from Illinois Students & Caregivers to Plan for the Road Ahead. The report encapsulates what Illinois’s school communities—including students, parents, and caregivers—are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic and what they will require in the long term to recover and rebuild. A recording of the … Continue reading Education in a Pandemic

The 2020 Illinois School Report Card: What’s New and What’s Missing

Illinois releases its school report card every year at the end of October, and the data presented can help you and your PTA understand what is happening in your district and in your child’s school. This year, because of the pandemic, there are a lot of exceptions noted on the school report card, but there is still … Continue reading The 2020 Illinois School Report Card: What’s New and What’s Missing

Illinois PTA Supports Governor’s End to Seclusion

Illinois PTA strongly supports Governor JB Pritzker’s decision to end seclusion of students by schools. The move comes following a ProPublica Illinois investigation in conjunction with the Chicago Tribune into the use of restraint and seclusion in Illinois public schools. The investigation documented more than 20,000 incidents from the 2017-2018 school year and through early … Continue reading Illinois PTA Supports Governor’s End to Seclusion

What’s New with the Illinois School Report Card

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released its annual school report card last week. There is one significant change to the report card this year as more of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) goes into effect: site-specific expenditure reporting. That means that the school report card now shows the federal and state/local funding … Continue reading What’s New with the Illinois School Report Card

The State We’re In 2019

Three years ago, Advance Illinois released a report summarizing the current state of education in Illinois. That report, using data and maps to show just how widespread the challenges in funding, poverty, and achievement were across the state, was a crucial factor in the General Assembly passing the new Evidence-Based Funding model the following year. … Continue reading The State We’re In 2019

How School Districts are Using Their New Funding

Illinois enacted a new school funding formulain August 2017. Known as the Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) model, it calculates what adequate funding for a district would be and directs the majority of additional state funds to those districts furthest from adequacy. The legislature has committed to providing an additional $350 million per year for the next … Continue reading How School Districts are Using Their New Funding

National PTA Response to Federal School Safety Commission Report

After eight months of public input, commission meetings and field visits across the county, the Federal School Safety Commission released its report on ways to keep students safe at school. The report includes several recommendations aligned with National PTA positions and A Framework for Safe and Successful Schools–joint recommendations written and endorsed by our nation’s … Continue reading National PTA Response to Federal School Safety Commission Report

National PTA Response to Federal School Safety Commission Report

After eight months of public input, commission meetings and field visits across the county, the Federal School Safety Commission released its reporton ways to keep students safe at school. The report includes several recommendations aligned with National PTA positions and A Framework for Safe and Successful Schools–joint recommendations written and endorsed by our nation’s leading … Continue reading National PTA Response to Federal School Safety Commission Report

300+ Digital Tools for Educators

Thomas Murray, who spoke at the 2015 National PTA Convention, has presented at Future Readyevents across the country. As part of that, he has had the opportunity to run sessions called “Tools for Engagement.” In these sessions, he would demonstrate a handful of tools for efficiency, management, and engagement, and then let the teachers attending … Continue reading 300+ Digital Tools for Educators

The Importance of Algebra I in 8th Grade

Access to Algebra I in 8thgrade is a critical course for students interested in going into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. A recent US Department of Education data storylooks at which students have access to 8thgrade Algebra I, where it is offered, and who takes it. Why 8thGrade Algebra I is Important Algebra … Continue reading The Importance of Algebra I in 8th Grade

5 Things to Know About the New Illinois School Report Card

Illinois’s school report cardwas released on October 31st, and there have been several changes this year due to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Here are five things families need to know about this year’s report card. There’s a new school rating system.Schools are now classified in one of four designations: Exemplary:Schools performing in the … Continue reading 5 Things to Know About the New Illinois School Report Card

Local Unit Spotlight: STEPS PTSA Takes On The World!

Today's post kicks off a new series highlighting the good things that our local PTAs and Councils are doing. If your PTA or Council would like to brag a bit about what they are doing, send a short write-up to your District or Region Director, noting that it's for One Voice Illinois. Don't forget to … Continue reading Local Unit Spotlight: STEPS PTSA Takes On The World!

Survey of Highlights Needs of LGBTQ Youth

In 2016, PTA adopted a resolution in favor of recognizing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) individuals as a protected class, noting that LGBTQ youth are frequent targets of harassment and bullying and have higher rates of isolation, depression, and suicidal thoughts and attempts than the general student population. This month, the Human Rights … Continue reading Survey of Highlights Needs of LGBTQ Youth

Handbook Helps Local Leaders Engage Districts on ESSA

Local implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the focus of many new resources for stakeholders, as school district begin to create their own ESSA implementation plan. One of the latest, which National PTA contributed to, is Meaningful Local Engagement Under ESSA—Issue 2: A Handbook for Local Leadersfrom Partners for Each and Every … Continue reading Handbook Helps Local Leaders Engage Districts on ESSA

Engage for Education Equity Toolkit

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Illinois’s ESSA implementation plan emphasize family engagement as a critical piece for improving student achievement. To help empower parents, families, caregivers, students, and other community members, the Dignity in Schools Campaign, Partners for Each and Every Child, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund have partnered to … Continue reading Engage for Education Equity Toolkit

Understanding the Barriers to High School Graduation

Today’s guest post comes from the Real Learning for Real Life Coalition, of which Illinois PTA is a member, and is by Stephanie J. Schmitz Bechteler, Ph.D., the Vice President and Executive Director of the Chicago Urban League. High school graduation is one of the most important milestones teenagers must achieve as they transition into … Continue reading Understanding the Barriers to High School Graduation

Advance Illinois Launches Equity Dashboard

The new Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) model for school fundingin Illinois has had the first $350 million payment delivered earlier this month. This new funding begins the process of improving Illinois’s worst-in-the-nation funding equityby targeting the largest increases in state funding to the districts furthest from an adequate level of funding based on the EBF formula. … Continue reading Advance Illinois Launches Equity Dashboard