Happy Thanksgiving!


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  • IEA’s Holiday Store is open today through Dec. 2:
  • This is American Education Week – #aew2019: Daily schedule
  • Requests for Proposals are being accepted for the Student IEA Spring State Conference on March 27-28, 2020, at the Marriott hotel in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. This conference offers high quality professional development designed for Student IEA members preparing for a career in education. Please complete the online RFP form by Dec. 19 for consideration. Please contact for more info.
  • Cultural Competency Update: The IEA Cultural Competency Workgroup welcomed Al Llorens to the team. We are excited that both IEA President, Kathi Griffin and IEA Vice President, Al Llorens are members of this workgroup and a part of this most important work. Welcome! Here is a list of the workgroup.

As our workgroup’s mission is to provide support, resources, and training opportunities to further enhance IEA’s mission and commitment to excellence and equity in education, we now have a Cultural Competency Trainer Cadre. Here is the list of trainers who are ready to assist you!

Want a training in your area?  Check out the Cultural Competency Racial and Social Justice website under Resources on the IEA website.  In addition to finding resources, you’ll also find our Training Request form. Read a member testimonial.

And stay tuned – we’ll be hosting a series of training sessions at SLA 2020!

  • Illinois State Board of Education Superintendent’s Newsletter Summary

The Illinois Association for Career and Technical Education (IACTE) is holding its annual conference on Feb. 13-14 in Bloomington-Normal. Take advantage of early bird registration rates between now and Dec. 15. This conference is an excellent professional development event geared toward career and technical educators. Visit the IACTE webpage to view the tentative schedule and to register.

The ISBE Black History Curriculum Task Force is collecting information from educators regarding current history curriculum. Please complete the Black History Curriculum Survey by January 1. ISBE would also like educators to submit any helpful resources and lesson plans on this topic to Collected materials will be shared on the task force website after the survey closes.

IEA Webinar – Dec. 3: Educator Evaluation Update: Want to improve your local educator evaluation plan? Learn how to do just that with a new framework for teaching and alternative approaches to measuring student growth using classroom assessments. Register today! Download a promotional flier.

Professional Development

  • Restorative Practices Online Course

***Due to an overwhelming response, the Introduction to Restorative Practices online course is currently at capacity.However, we have created a waitlist for this course. If an additional 15 people contact us with interest in participating in the course, an additional section will be opened. Please contact to be added to the waitlist. The course description is below.

Restorative Practices Online Course: First Introduction to Restorative Practices online course Monday, Dec. 2. This convenient online course will allow IEA members to participate from across the entire state through interactive discussions and activities. This course is for members who have not yet participated in restorative practices training.

The course will last 4 weeks and will require approximately two hours of your time each week to participate. This means that upon completion of this course you will receive 8 clock hours. All of the course materials will be provided through the online platform we will be using for the course.

This is an asynchronous course which means you may participate in each week’s discussions and activities at a time that is convenient for you. The goal of this training is to provide you with the foundational knowledge and skills needed to incorporate restorative practices into your classroom and school. We will conclude the course with a live online component to further discuss and practice what we have learned.

The course will be facilitated by Dr. Diana Zaleski, IEA Instructional Resource and Professional Development Director. Dr. Zaleski holds a graduate certificate in restorative practices from the International Institute of Restorative Practices.

  • Dec. 7: Prosocial Skills Training –IEA Edwardsville office: Interested in learning more about non-exclusionary student discipline? Register today to learn about prosocial skills training as a targeted intervention designed to promote prosocial behavior in adolescents using techniques to develop social skills, emotional control, and moral reasoning. This training is a great next step for those who have already attended restorative practices training. Register today! Download a promotional flier.
  • Dec. 12-13: Mastering Kids Summit

Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel & Conference Center

Flier and registration links


From the IEA

Nov. 15, 2019
The 2019 veto session wrapped up this week and the Illinois Education Association had several big victories for public education and public educators around the issues of collective bargaining rights, paraprofessional certification and individualized education programs (IEPs) reporting requirements.

SB 1784 protects the privacy of public employees, affirms collective bargaining rights and clarifies dues deduction procedures. SB 1784 passed both legislative chambers and now heads to Gov. JB Pritzker’s desk for his signature. This legislation is a victory for all union members and public employees in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in the Janus v. AFSCME case, which overturned 40 years of settled collective bargaining law.

SB 10 re-establishes a pathway for paraprofessional candidates to gain licensure through taking a test of basic skills (WorkKeys) coupled with having earned a high school diploma. During the spring session, SB 1952 erroneously eliminated this pathway for candidates. SB 10 passed both chambers this week and will be sent to the Governor.

SB 460 pushes the implementation date for three-day reporting requirements for student IEP meetings to July 1, 2020. This will allow school districts, school staff and parents time to determine the proper procedures and resources needed in order to best educate students in need of an IEP. SB 460 passed both chambers this week and will be sent to the Governor.

State school superintendent school assessment survey

Illinois State School Superintendent Carmen Ayala, Ph.D., announced in her weekly message a survey that will help the Illinois State Board of Education improve the state’s existing assessment deliver system.

ISBE’s vision, she said, is to establish “an equitable student assessment system aligned to the Illinois Learning Standards that offers educators quick and frequent access to results that can be used to target instruction to student needs during the same year of testing.” And, the system should include all students and produce quick and correct results.

She’s inviting educators to participate. Please take a few minutes to do so.

Illinois Educator Well-Being Survey

The Illinois Education Association (IEA) and the University of Illinois Springfield invite you to participate in the Illinois Educator Well-Being Survey. The purpose of this survey is to examine how the climate and culture of your workplace impacts the quality of your life.

When considering how to improve the climate and culture of a school district, it is important to consider the impact of school climate and culture on educators who work both in and out of the classroom. This includes teachers, education support professionals, and other professional staff such as counselors, psychologists, social workers and nurses.

This anonymous survey takes only about 10 minutes to
complete. The only required identifying information is the
county in which the district is located, however the district
name can be provided, if you so choose. The survey
closes Dec. 1. See the informed consent document for
additional information.

nea Today

National Education Association
Talking About Race
Why NEA Members are Talking About Racism, and You Should Too
Educators and community members are digging deeper into issues of race and bias to effect long-term cultural change. Will you join them?
Read More
Teacher experiencing stress
‘I Didn’t Know It Had a Name’: Secondary Traumatic Stress and Educators
Good educators care about their students — but that dedication can come with a price.
Learn More
ESP Debbie Reyes
Every Educator Deserves a Living Wage
And Debbie Reyes is going to fight until she and her fellow ESPs get the respect, dignity, and compensation they deserve.
Read More
mentor teacher
It’s Time to Visit the New Educator Down the Hall
This Halloween, your new colleagues are facing a scary reality: working in education is tough! So take them some treats and let them know they can do this.
Read More
student in school cafeteria
Just Let the Kids Eat!
Laws to end “lunch shaming” in school cafeterias are a positive trend. But a proposed change to SNAP benefits leaves more kids at risk of going hungry.
Learn More
Little Rock Protests
Little Rock Educators Fight for Equity and Local Control
After massive protests by educators, the state board has backed away from a plan that would create “separate and unequal” districts.
Learn More
Don’t drop that mic! Podcasting is a convenient way to share your knowledge and invigorate your career
Explore Native American culture with the following lessons, activities, and resources

ESP Insider

Oct. 23, 2019
Elevating ESPs
Please respond to the following survey question: How are you bargaining to implement the $15-an-hour wage law?
ESP Insider reporter form 
We are working to recognize ESP contributions and action through the ESP Insider. When you participate in an event involving ESPs or hear of such an event, please complete the ESP Insider Report Formavailable on the ESP webpage.
Let your voice be heard!
All ESP members welcome!
ESP assembly, Sat., Nov. 9 at 10 a.m. in Champaign.

Mark your calendar and attend an ESP assembly in your area to discuss issues of interest or concern:

Feb. 8, 10 a.m. – Matteson IEA office
April 18, 10 a.m. – Sterling IEA office
June 13, 10 a.m. – Edwardsville IEA office
♦ Celebrate National ESP Day ♦ Nov. 20
ESP awards and grants
The ESP Council created the ESP STAR program to allow local leaders to recognize and publicize the good work of their ESP members across the state.

Use the online nomination form to nominate a special ESP member for a STAR Award!

The ESP of the Year award is meant to emphasize the contributions of education support professionals to their association, their schools and their communities. Nominate an ESP member by Jan. 16.
SCORE – Schools and Community Outreach by Educators

NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards program

Information and online nomination form.
​​​​​​​Nominations due Dec. 6.
Highlights from the IEA One Conference
This year’s conference theme, IEA Stronger United!, set the tone for workshops, ESP job category discussion forums and more than 23 professional development and enrichment sessions for ESP members.

View the One Conference photo album on Flickr.

Matthew Powell (pictured), 2019 NEA ESP of the Year, was the keynote speaker at the ESP dinner held on Friday evening.

Powell is a member of the Graves County Education Support Professionals and NEA Board of Directors. A graduate of Graves County High School, Powell has worked in the school district since August 2007, working at the elementary, middle and high school levels. He is a graduate of the KEA Fellows program and NEA Leaders for Tomorrow (class of 2016).

In 2012, while working for Graves County Schools, he earned a bachelor’s degree in educational studies from Western Governors University. Powell also served as a district softball coach and team bus driver from 2011 to 2014.

“I am a strong advocate for meeting the needs of the whole student,” Powell told the Star. “This approach can only succeed when parents, teachers, administrators and support staff all work together.”

IEA-NEA ESP Emerging Leaders Academy
Class of 2019 graduates Linda Colon, Amy Evans, Nikhat Farheen, Karin Lennon, Leatreasea Lily-Madison, Lorena Lopez and Shazia Pathan were recognized and received certificates at the IEA One Conference during the ESP dinner on Oct. 4. ELA Coordinator Crystal Bush said, “Everyone worked really hard developing their leadership skills, but we had some fun times, too! I’m looking forward to watching each of you grow as leaders.”

Applications for the 2019-20 IEA-NEA ESP Emerging Leaders Cohort will soon be available on the IEA website. For information on the IEA-NEA ESP Emerging Leaders Academy and how to apply, please go to:

After a long day, ESP emerging leaders had some fun at the NEA Leadership Summit.

IEA-NEA ESP emerging leaders hard at work in Denver.

ESP emerging leaders hosting a focus group at the IEA Palatine office on ESP school safety concerns.
Member benefits
*NEW* ESP-centered bargaining resources

ESP-centered bargaining resources now reside on the Members Only site of the IEA website. Included is the starter kit, consisting of a brochure explaining the member’s role in bargaining and the significance of bargaining rights, a poster and a ready-reference guide to additional materials stored on the website.

As an IEA member, there are special benefits available to you!

Log in to Members Only and access your discounts and deals today!

IEA Connect is here to help! 
Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Chat, email or call.
ESPs in the news
Mary Ann Rivera is still collecting school supplies for students in Puerto Rico. Monetary donations also are welcome to help cover shipping costs. Saul Ramos, 2018 NEA ESP of the Year, will accompany Mary Ann to Puerto Rico to help deliver the supplies to students.

ESP podcasts: School Me|Podcast

An ESP story from NEA

NEA’s Center for Communications has been working with the ESP Quality Department to gather stories from ESP members to highlight issues that matter most to our members and make education a top priority in the 2020 election. We’re excited to announce that NEA has published an ESP member story featuring Margaret Powell, a student support services professional from North Carolina who serves on our NEA Board of Directors.
Upcoming events and professional development
Webinars for ESPs
Oct. 24, 6-7 p.m. CST: Understanding and Supporting Students on the Autism Spectrum
A wide variety of professional development webinars are designed to support the professional growth of education support professionals.
View the webinar schedule.
View our archived training recordings.

EMELT – Ethnic Minority and Emerging Leadership Training
Nov. 1-3, Springfield
Registration deadline is Oct. 24.

Pathways Leaders of Color Research and Development Project: Investing in the development of leaders of color

Information on this new project and the online application can be found on NEA’s Pathways webpage. Applications are due Nov. 1.

Great Lakes TURN Conference – Nov. 14-15, Lisle

Advancing equity and social-emotional learning through collaborative partnerships
Conference flier
Tentative agenda

2020 NEA conference funding forms due Dec. 6

2020 IEA Representative Assembly  March 5-7
Hyatt Regency O’Hare, Rosemont
Please review this IEA-RA one-pager for important information and deadlines.

NEA ESP Conference – March 20-22, New Orleans