Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!!


A Christmas candle is a lovely thing; it makes no noise at all, but softly gives itself away.

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Great News for Parapros

Pritzker signs Manar’s paraprofessional bill

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday signed legislation to strengthen the pipeline of paraprofessionals serving students in schools across the state.

“Paraprofessionals play a vital role in classrooms and in our children’s lives, particularly for students with special needs,” said Pritzker. “This new law ensures that qualified aides get the opportunity to support our hardworking teachers and help our kids reach their potential, as we work to address teaching shortages across the state.”

The new law reinstates the opportunity for individuals who hold a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent to become licensed after passing a paraprofessional competency test. Many paraprofessionals serve as aides to special education students. The legislation also makes various changes to address teacher licensure. “As we work to build a robust teacher workforce in Illinois, this bill ensures a merit-based route to licensure for paraprofessionals who are looking to advance their careers,” said Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, the Senate sponsor of the measure.

Senate Bill 10 takes effect immediately.

For Your Info

Share with Members

  • 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.