Skip to Main Content

September 7 2011 Minutes 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011 | 2:00 PM

Springfield Location: Illinois State Capitol, Room 214 –Springfield

Chicago Location: Thompson Center, 15th Floor- Chicago

*Please see attached document for meeting handouts.*


  1. Welcome/Purpose
  2. Introductions
  3. Current options and Outcomes for Blind and Deaf students in Illinois
    Illinois School of the Deaf (ISD) and Illinois School of the Visually Impaired (ISVI)

    Marybeth Lauderdale, ISD/ISVI Superintendent, opened up discussion with the following points/concerns regarding current options:

    • Both schools located in Jacksonville, Illinois
    • Concerns of continuum of education for students
    • From the most-to-least restrictive environment
    • Issues of isolation
    • Critical mass
    • Cluster sites- cooperatives
    • Access to curriculum /access to this culture (peers, communication)
    • Level of restriction differs for each student
    • New Initiative, Child First-assesses needs then works to meet needs of students
    • Illinois has a range of options available
      • however menu options are different
      • governance is a key issue
    • Direct parental involvement
    • IEP- determines least restrictive setting for each student
    • Restrictive changes throughout life

    Ryan Croke, Deputy Chief of Staff, stated the goal of this working group:

    • To gain a clear grasp on what we have in Illinois and what other states have, in terms of Education for blind and deaf students.
    • Determination of process/procedure needed to make Illinois a leading state?

    Ray Campbell, Illinois Council for the Blind:

    • Have family representation in working groups
    • Parents of blind and deaf students should be invited to contribute to work group
    • Have representatives of the Phillip Rock Center & School

    Ryan Croke, then directed the conversation to Outcomes:

    • Our interests for deaf and visually impaired students
    • Best levels of student achievement
    • Best Quality of Life
    • Similar to non-disabled students
    • Across the board standards
    • Knowledge needed for special populations of options , school options
      • May need time to plan
      • Portrayal of school
    • Catch children, before bad habits are learned
    • State does not have registry of visually impaired and/or deaf students
    • Examining the numbers
    • What happens to students after they leave school?
    • How do you compare these students side by side?
    • Difference in teaching abilities – reading Braille or listening to audio recordings
    • Transitional living program
      • Technology
      • Knowledge
      • Potential
    • Strengthen entire apparatus for deaf and blind students
    • Equal continuum of services-options/opportunities for students in different regional areas
    • Strengthen system by employing distance learning
    • Make more services available to these students with technology
    • Education /learning should continue at various stages
      • School
      • Home
      • Summer
    • Two-components
      • On-site residential school
      • Statewide resource
        • Weakness
        • Trying to be all things, to all people
    • How do we strengthen our goals?
    • Research what others are doing
    • Disparities in funding
    • Options available/ give recommendations
    • Problem: the reason for these problems, because of the way school are funded.
    • We cannot make decision for parent, to select for services to help their child.
    • What are they doing in Texas- Registry
      • Done by legislation years ago
    • Outcomes to show growth
      • How do we measure what we are doing and how and/or if it works?
      • Lots of technology
      • Many variables to look at
      • Areas of improvement?
    • In Texas- Registry listing is for parents to have access to listings of available services
      • Outreach to families
      • Federal quota funds
    • Jane Breen shared insight on Texas’ Registry system
      • Statewide registry
      • Qualifies them for services
      • Used to register them for services
      • Under age 21 and older
      • For those with learning disabilities, visually impaired, and deaf
    • Most useful tool for cataloging students
      • Mechanics
      • Privacy concerns
    • Resource Center- in Springfield for over 15 years
      • Material resource center, was located in District 186 after retirement of Administrator
      • ISVI >> DHS
      • Illinois Materials Center >> ISBE
  4. ISVI + ISD Discussion
    • Governance >> Ad Hoc governance committee
    • Funding
    • Major education reform
    • Large budget crisis

    Michelle Saddler, Secretary of DHS discussed the transition of DCFS >> DRS >> DHS

    • In DHS,
      • Schools are governed
      • Placement of schools have become issue
      • Disadvantage of being part of DHS
        • Funding
        • Hiring
        • Procurement
          • Wants to be recognized as school
          • Accessing grants like other schools
    • Which umbrella should these schools fall under?
      • ISBE vs. DHS
      • Budget vulnerability
    • Different stakeholders involved
      • Unions
    • Thoughts of entering:
      • Higher Education
      • State Board of Education
      • Free-standing agency
    • Final proposal
      • To stay in DHS
      • Safest model
      • Stay in DHS, with various exceptions
      • SB 170 (hopefully achieved goal) - hiring employees now owned by schools
      • How superintendent is selected (SB1802)
        • Fee assessed to parents for services/activities that are non academic


    • Procurement
    • Hiring (Streamlining)
    • Noted Similarity with Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA)
    • Residential tools
      • Under own umbrella
      • Education issue, should be under Education umbrella
    • DHS Education Transition
      • Moving will not make a large sum of state aid available
      • Move DHS pot to ISBE
      • Tapping into General State Aid
      • Amending statues
      • No tax-base, not school district
      • Similarly to Lab schools in Chicago, which are linked to University
    • Certified/Non-certified Educators/Employees
      • Difference in pay
      • Personnel money
    • IDEA funding, goes to school district
      • Room and board
      • Private
    • States cannot operate on that amount of money
      • Schools would say that there is not enough funding
    • Possible change in statues, would require legislative action
      • However, will not make a lot of federal funds available
    • School not receiving support of student that goes to ISD/ISVI
    • Statute can change, based on attendance , to get additional personnel funds
    • Funding issues in other states
    • Superintendent Lauderdale extended the offer for the working group members to visit the schools, if have never been
  5. Next Working Group meeting (s) and priorities
    • Assignments will be done by email after Ryan Croke has time to meet with other Senior staff members
    • Next working group meeting will also be announced then
    • Sign up for subgroups will also be done at that time

Prepared by DSR on 09/08/11