ILLINOIS STATE ADVISORY COUNCIL ON THE EDUCATION OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES Business Meeting June 2, 2005 Capital Area Career Center Springfield, Illinois I. Procedural Business A. Call to Order Chairperson Devine called the meeting to order at 9:12 a.m. State Advisory Council Members Present Linda Prewitt Mary Kay Ballasiotes Kimberly Jachim Helen Tolan C. Jackson Darnall Amy Kruppe Stanley Valentine Therese Devine Dwight Lambert Vickie Wilson Elizabeth Gianulis Janet McGovern Susy Woods Katherine Hackett Kyle Packer Illinois State Board of Education Staff Beth Hanselman Christopher Koch Elizabeth Brooks Deb Kunz Jodi Fleck Guests Marva Campbell-Pruitt representing Marjorie Olson for the The Department of Human Services Bill Kienzle Educational Advocacy Services of Illinois Charlotte Des Jardins Family Resource Center on Disabilities Maryann Anderson EBD Network Rick Sailors Parent Hollie Burton Novy Parent Rebecca Housewright Parent Kathy Gould Illinois Autism/PDD Training & Technical B. Introductions Chairperson Devine asked everyone to introduce themselves including Council members, ISBE staff, presenters, and guests. C. Adoption of Agenda Chairperson Devine reviewed the agenda with Council members. A discussion regarding discretionary funds will be added during the New Business portion. Ms. Devine shared a letter she received from My Child’s Advocate, Inc. that will be added under New Business as well. Motion #1 – Vickie Wilson moved to “adopt the agenda as amended.” Stan Valentine seconded the motion. The motion carried. D. Approval of Business Meeting Minutes of April 7, 2005 Motion #2 – Susy Woods moved to “accept the minutes of April 7, 2005 as presented.” Stan Valentine seconded the motion. The motion carried. II. Public Participation Bill Kienzle, Educational Advocacy Services of Illinois, encouraged the restoration of discretionary funds to the Illinois Autism Training and Technical Project. Mr. Kienzle read into record an email received from Christopher Kennedy, Chairman, Autism Society of Illinois. In addition, emails from four other concerned parties were distributed. Kathy Gould, Illinois Autism/PDD Training & Technical, also encouraged restoration of discretionary funds for teacher training and family support for autistic children. Rick Sailors, Parent, expressed concerns that “The State must have on file with the Secretary, a detailed timetable for accomplishing the goal of providing full educational opportunity for all children with disabilities.” Mr. Sailors submitted written and verbal comment outlining what he sees as a failure of this system in his family’s particular situation. Hollie Burton Novy, Parent, described her family’s experience with twin autistic sons and concerns they have with their local school district. Ms. Novy said she has not received information that she requested from both ISBE and her home school district. Ms. Novy is requesting that ISAC recommend that ISBE enhance teacher training including increased funding in regards to positive behavior intervention, strategies and supports. She is also asking that the documents she requested in a March 16, 2005 letter to Mr. James Gunnell be sent. Chairperson Devine suggested that she request the documents in question through FOIA. Rebecca Housewright, Parent, provided both written and oral comment encouraging restoration of discretionary funds for teacher training and family support for autistic children. Ms. Housewright also encourages the establishment of one central office for the state of Illinois to act as a resource for parents other than ISBE. Charlotte Des Jardins, Family Resource Center on Disabilities (FRCD), distributed the June/July 2005 FRCD newsletter. Ms. Des Jardins asks that ISAC address the vacancies that exist on the Council. She distributed a copy of the Illinois School Code outlining the process for filling these vacancies. BREAK Chairperson Devine called for a break at 10:20 a.m. The Council reconvened at 10:37. III. Illinois State Board of Education Update A. Focused Monitoring Beth Hanselman and Jodi Fleck, Illinois State Board of Education Special Education Services, described the Continuous Improvement and Focused Monitoring System. A focused monitoring system is a data-driven approach to monitoring characterized by focusing on a small number of carefully chosen priorities that have the greatest impact on improving results for students with disabilities. A detailed description was included in Member packets. COUNCIL RECESS – Chairperson Devine called for a lunch recess. A quorum was present when the meeting was reconvened. Chairman Devine requested that New Business be moved to this point on the agenda to accommodate those ISAC members that needed to leave early to assure a quorum present for all action items. Motion #3 – Stan Valentine moved that “the New Business portion of the agenda be moved up.” Susy Woods seconded the motion. The motion carried. IV. New Business A. Election of Officers for 2005-2006 Susy Woods reported that she had emailed all ISAC members for nominations. Motion #4 Susy Woods moved that “on behalf of the nominating committee, we accept the following slate of officers for the following year – Terri Devine as Chair and Amy Kruppe as Vice-Chair.” Stan Valentine seconded the motion. The motion carried. B. 2005-2006 ISAC Calendar Chairperson Devine presented the proposed schedule of meetings for 2005-2006. Motion #5 Stan Valentine moved to “adopt the proposed 2005-2006 ISAC calendar of meetings.” Susy Woods seconded the motion. The motion carried. Janet McGovern proposed that the Illinois Coordinating Council and ISAC hold a joint meeting. A final date will be brought to ISAC at the August meeting. C. Member Recognitions Chairperson Devine recognized members who are retiring from ISAC. Dwight Lambert was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of his service to ISAC. Mr. Lambert will be retiring from the Department of Children and Family Services at the end of July after 38 years. ISAC members wished Mr. Lambert well in his future endeavors. Certificates of Appreciation will be mailed to Mary Ellen Abel and Jeff Williams in recognition of their service to ISAC. D. Discretionary Funds Discussion ISAC members discussed a possible motion for the Executive Committee meeting to be held on June 23, 2005. Amy Kruppe outlined suggestions that she would like to see proposed to ISBE. “ISAC will encourage the ISBE to review the previously cut discretionary funds and funds from the restored legislative money considering the following guidelines: amounts should not exceed previous year amounts; to fund areas that impact students across the state; avoid funding agencies that duplicate services; and, to take into consideration areas of disability that are in high need without support.” After much discussion, Council members agreed to this motion being brought for vote at the Executive Committee meeting. E. Other Chairperson Devine called the groups’ attention to the letter from My Child’s Advocate, Inc. concerning “Use of Attorneys by School Districts Absent Parental Representation.” Chairperson Devine assigned this issue to be reviewed by the General Supervision/Due Process Committee for evaluation. Ms. Kruppe suggested that the proposed Rules & Regulations under IDEIA 2004 be reviewed for possible solutions. F. OSEP Guidance – Parent/Professional Access to Classrooms Kim Jachim addressed the concerns that due to safety issues some schools are refusing to allow parents and their professional representatives access to observe classrooms. Chairperson Devine offered to check previous complaints involving access to classrooms, whether by parents or professional evaluators; consider a sampling of districts to determine what policies exist on access to classrooms by parents or professionals; and, consider creating a model policy for local districts to implement as they wish. Motion #6 Mr. Darnall moved that “this issue be appointed to the Access Committee and they bring any other recommendations that they deem appropriate.” Stan Valentine seconded the motion. After a tie roll call vote, Chairperson Devine cast the deciding vote; the motion carried. V. Illinois State Board of Education Update A. Due Process Hearing Officers Chris Koch submitted the proposed list of Due Process Hearing Officers that have been through the training process and have been recommended by the Due Process Screening Committee. The list included current hearing officers for reappointment, new officers, and a reserve pool of five officers. Motion #7 Susy Woods moved that “ISAC reappoint the following fourteen (14) Impartial Hearing Officers for another year, beginning July 1, 2005: Marie Bracki, Ann Breen-Greco, Julia Quinn Dempsey, Alan Cook, Gail Friedman, Vivian Gordon, Sheana Hermann, Venita Hervey, Marian McElroy, Kathleen Plesko, Carolyn Ann Smaron, Stacey Stutzman, James Wolter, and Robert Ladenson.” The motion was seconded by Marva Campbell-Pruitt. The motion carried. Motion #8 Linda Prewitt moved that “ISAC appoint the following six (6) individuals to the active rotation as new Impartial Hearing Officers, effective July 1, 2005: Kristine Anderson, Susan Cox, Janet Kidd, Jeff Plesko, Mary Schwartz, and Alfred Spitzzeri.” The motion was seconded by Janet McGovern. The motion carried. Motion #9 Dwight Lambert moved that “ISAC appoint the following five (5) individuals to the reserve rotation of Impartial Hearing Officers in the rank order listed: 1) Yvette Sanders, 2) Robert Lehrer, 3) Linda Mastandrea, 4) Joan Grossman, and 5) Nila Grahl. Susy Woods second the motion. The motion carried. B. National Center for Educational Accountability and Monitoring – Assessment of Illinois Progress. Dr. Koch pointed out the Self-Assessment: Focused Monitoring Implementation Checklist included in the Member packets and encouraged those with questions to contact him. C. Highly Qualified Rules Update At their last meeting, the State Teacher Certification Board reviewed the proposed rules for Highly Qualified Special Education teachers and recommended that the rules not go forward at this time. Superintendent Dunn will convene a task force to look at the standards as well as special education after the IDEIA Rules are released. Helen Tolan will be the ISAC’s representation on that task force. Dr. Koch will bring further discussions to the council in the future. D. Illinois Alternate Assessment RFSP Update The Alternate Assessment RFSP is being developed and is expected to be released in July. Dr. Koch will share this with ISAC members when it is available. E. Accountability Workbook Changes Dr. Koch will gather further information as requested by the Council members at yesterday’s meeting. There was no other discussion at this time. F. State Personnel Development Grant Program A summary of the State Personnel Development Grant Program was included in the packets. It addresses new funding that is available from IDEIA for professional development. It was previously known as the State Improvement Grant. ISBE has applied for funds through this new grant for five years amounting to $10-$12 million for the State of Illinois. Dr. Koch noted that the grant application targets reading instruction through standards-aligned classrooms for special education teachers, as well as response to intervention for students. G. Other Dr. Koch met recently with the Acting Director of the Human Rights Commission. ISBE will continue to work with the Commission on revising procedures to reconcile any conflicts. Dr. Koch will continue to schedule presentations during ISAC meetings that he feels will be beneficial to ISAC members. Members have brought insightful questions that staff may have not thought of before. Dr. Koch appreciates the Council’s input. Dr. Koch took this opportunity to personally thank Dwight Lambert for the leadership he provided for agency involvement. H. State Board Meetings / Future Meetings In the past ISAC has had a representative at State Board meetings. The next State Board meeting is June 15-16 in Springfield. Susy Woods will attend the June meeting in Springfield on behalf of ISAC. Susy Woods will also attend the September meeting in Springfield. Marva Campbell-Pruitt will attend the October meeting in Danville. Jack Darnall and Terri Devine have both indicated they are available to attend the Chicago meetings held in November and December. IV. Committee Reports A. Standing Committees Executive – A written Committee report was included in the Member packets. No additions. rd The next Committee meeting will be held on June 23 via telephone at 10:00 a.m. Comprehensive State Plan – No report provided. General Supervision/Due Process – No report provided. The letter from My Child’s Advocate, Inc. concerning “Use of Attorneys by School Districts Absent Parental Representation” was assigned to this Committee for further evaluation. A report will be provided at the August meeting. Finance – No report provided. Legislation/Interagency Communications – Susy Woods reported that the Legislative Coffee was held in May. The ISAC members who attended received positive feedback from both those who did attend as well as others who were unable to attend. Susy also shared some of the legislation that passed during the legislative session. Family Communications – Susy Woods discussed a new ISAC website which Brad Hedrick is developing. The link will be provided to ISAC members for feedback. The Committee feels that there is a need for a “parent forum” and more interaction with ISAC. Rules and Regulations – No report provided. The Committee will meet via telephone conference call when the proposed IDEIA rules are released. Bilingual – Susy Woods is attempting to set up a meeting with the State Bi-Lingual Advisory Group. She will meet with them as soon as something can be arranged. Personnel Development – Helen Tolan provided a written report for Council members. There are two groups – NEA and NASDSE - that have a great deal of involvement in the development of highly qualified special education teachers as defined through IDEA 2004 and NCLB. Ms. Tolan reviewed some of their concerns as well as other issues the Committee discussed (see written report). Access Committee – No report provided. Site Committee – No report provided. By-Laws Committee –Concerning the Ethics/Conflict of Interest issues, the By-Laws Committee recommends the following: 1) no substitutes for parents/people with disabilities; 2) the following to be inserted into the By-Laws – “ISAC is charged with the responsibility of representing the educational interests of children with disabilities. Members on this board must remember their obligations. That this charge further implies that they avoid representing the special interests of any members’ limited constituency. To do otherwise could be construed as a conflict of interest; and, 3) insert the “charges for each Committee in the ISAC By-Laws. Jack Darnall has agreed to provide a draft that will be sent to ISAC members for possible adoption at the August meeting. Nominating Committee – Action was taken earlier in the meeting for election of 2005-2006 officers. No further report provided. V. Adjournment The meeting was adjourned at 2:25 p.m.