This Week With ISCA
Aug. 11, 2015

What schools and parents need to know to support transgender students
As superintendent of Benicia Unified School District, Janice Adams found herself face to face with a first when a mother asked what Adams could do to support her kindergarten child, who was born a boy but identified as a girl.More

PARCC testing dates announced by ISBE
Illinois State Board of Education

2016 PARCC
There will be only one 30-school day testing window next year. Each school will be allowed to establish their own testing window, which should extend from roughly the 75 percent mark of their instructional days to the 90 percent mark of their instructional days. The earliest date that schools will be able to schedule testing will be March 7 and the latest will be in June. There will be a cutoff date for both paper testing and online testing by which schools will need to return or complete all testing if they wish to receive early preliminary reporting at the district level. We are still awaiting information on these exact cutoff dates. More information will be released as it becomes available.

2016 DLM
The testing window for the 2016 DLM-AA is from March 21-May 13.

2016 ACCESS for ELLs
The testing window for the 2016 ACCESS for ELLs is Jan. 11-Feb. 12.

2016 Science
The Illinois Science Assessment given to students in grades 5, 8 and 10 will be administered in spring 2016. More information will be released as it becomes available.More

Kadner: School reform bill threatens to 'crash' system
Chicago Tribune
Illinois Senate President John Cullerton hopes to pass legislation designed to "crash" the state's public school funding formula in two years to save it.More

Illinois changes school policies when dealing with concussions
A new Illinois law is changing the way schools respond to concussions and head injuries. Any Illinois student that has suffered a head injury to be removed from class and athletic practice until cleared by a doctor or athletic trainer to return, according to Senate Bill 7.More

Learning to embrace a child's unique potential
By Jane Schoenfeld
Transition is all the rage, and it should be. But what do you do with a kid who doesn't fit neatly into any of the categories? What do you do with any kid in fact? They’re all individuals with different strengths and challenges. My daughter has multiple medical conditions, no physical disabilities, many learning difficulties and a PDD-NOS diagnosis, which puts her on the autism spectrum. She graduated from high school with a full diploma and spent two years in college before she decided it was just too hard and not clearly enough structured. So, what to do?More

Jennings schools examine the impact of student trauma and stress
From domestic violence to living in poverty, trauma and toxic stress can affect the health, learning ability and behavior of students. The Jennings School District is being proactive in preparing staff members to deal with stressed out students.More

Overgrad provides a college readiness platform for schools without big budgets
When Ryan Hoch, a 2009 University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign engineering graduate, first started teaching math and ACT prep at a public high school in St. Louis, he asked how many students wanted to go to college. Though the vast majority of the kids, many juniors and seniors, raised their hands, and mentioned schools like Washington University and St. Louis University on their wish list, many had ACT scores and GPAs well below the acceptance rate.More

What's keeping administrative license holders from becoming school leaders?
By Dr. Sheri Williams
Reports of the shortage of applicants for school leadership positions are well-known. The authors of "Churn: The High Cost of Principal Turnover" say a quarter of the country's principals will leave their schools each year, and nearly 50 percent will leave in the third year. Missing from the reports is an analysis of why individuals who already hold an administrative license are not applying for vacant principal positions.More

Researchers say bullying behavior among adolescents part of human evolution
Two evolutionary psychology researchers conducted a new study on school bullying and found that its roots may be in human evolution. They proposed that humans adapted bullying behaviors for physical protection, to gain better mental health and have more sexual opportunities.More

Top 50 school districts in suburban Chicago
Do you think your public school teachers are the best? The best public school teachers in suburban Chicago are a diverse lot, working in large schools and small ones, in highly affluent communities and middle-class communities, too. recently released its 2015 list of public schools with the best teachers throughout the nation, and many you'll recognize many schools in northern Illinois with high marks.More

School resource officer sued for allegedly handcuffing children with ADHD
A Kentucky sheriff's deputy now faces a federal lawsuit for handcuffing elementary school children who were acting out as a result of their hyperactivity disorder and other disabilities, the American Civil Liberties Union said. More