This is a blog from the Superintendent of Schools for the Deerfield, Illinois Public Schools, District 109 Our mission is: Provide an innovative educational experiences of the highest quality that engage, inspire and empower each student to excel and contribute in a changing world.
“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.”
– Ken Blanchard
Recently I was on a video podcast interview with other educational leaders around the country. On the episode of the TechEducator Podcast I was one of three administrators interviewed with technology coaches & educators on the importance of having a strong relationship between the principal (or admin) and the technology coach. It was a great conversation about
leadership, technology, training, support, culture, relationships, recent leadership books, and overall educational excellence.
It was a treat joining Jeff, Sam and Jennifer!
The TechEducator Podcast is a weekly round table discussion about current topics in educational technology.
The video may start in the middle, if it does, just slide it back to the start.
About Our Guests
Jen Schwanke began her career as a language arts educator eighteen years ago. She has worked at both the elementary and secondary level as a teacher and administrator. A graduate instructor in educational leadership, she has written frequently for
literacy and educational publications and presents at literacy and leadership conferences. She is the author of the book, You’re The Principal: Now What? Strategies and Solutions for New School Leaders.
Michael Lubelfeld, Ed.D.
Mike currently serves as the superintendent of schools in the Deerfield, IL Public Schools (District 109). Mike earned his Doctor of Education in curriculum and instruction from Loyola University of Chicago, where his published dissertation was on Effective Instruction in Middle School Social Studies. He is also on the adjunct faculty at National Louis University in the Department of Educational Leadership. Mike has earned an IASA School of Advanced Leadership Fellowship and he has also graduated from the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program. He can be found on Twitter at @mikelubelfeld and he is the co-moderator of #suptchat – the superintendent educational chat on Twitter. He and Nick Polyak co-authored The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today (2017 Rowman & Littlefield). Mike has been married to his wife Stephanie for the past 13 years and they have two children.
District on Twitter: @DPS109
District Hashtag: #Engage109
LinkedIn: Michael Lubelfeld
Nick Polyak, Ed.D.
Dr. Polyak is the proud superintendent of the award-winning Leyden Community High School District 212. He earned his undergraduate degree from Augustana College in Rock Island, IL, his Masters from Governors State University, and his Ed.D. from Loyola University Chicago. Nick has been a classroom teacher and coach, a building and district level administrator, a School Board member, and a superintendent for the past seven years in both central Illinois and suburban Chicago. Nick has earned an IASA School of Advanced Leadership Fellowship and he also graduated from the AASA National Superintendent Certification Program. He can be found on Twitter at @npolyak and he is the co-moderator of #suptchat – the superintendent educational chat on Twitter. Nick has been married to his wife Kate for the past 16 years and they have four children.
District on Twitter: @leydenpride
District Hashtag: #leydenpride
LinkedIn: Nick Polyak
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School Districts Join Statewide Call for Legislature and Governor to Pass a State Budget
School chiefs call for budget, equitable funding and payment on past due bills
LOCATION – School District 109, Deerfield Public Schools, Superintendent Michael Lubelfeld, and more than 360 school chiefs across the state, representing more than one million students, are calling for the Illinois General Assembly to immediately pass a state budget, improve the state’s education funding formula, and pay school districts millions of dollars in unpaid bills this year. The state has been operating without a full budget for the past 22 months.
“I stand with more than 360 superintendents from across the state in a call for action,” “We need to end the impasse now and move forward with a budget that will serve the two million K-12 Illinois public school students who represent our future.”
The below list of more than 360 superintendents, representing more than one million students from across Illinois, have signed on to support a statewide initiative called “Pass Illinois’ Budget!”
The superintendents are specifically calling on members of the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor to do the following:
Immediately and with bipartisan support end the state budget impasse
Improve the state’s education funding formula and, invest in students and schools, including higher education, throughout the state
Pay school districts what they are owed this year
As members of the Illinois General Assembly return to Springfield following their spring break, school districts across the state are sharing their frustration with the state budget situation and using their social media accounts to call the state to #PassILBudget!
While K-12 education has benefited from a partially-funded state budget, Illinois schools, students, families, and communities will continue to suffer without a full state budget. Districts will suffer if Mandated Categoricals, state payments, which support special education, bilingual education, transportation, and other important services, do not get paid this year.
As of 5 p.m. Friday, April 21, the following superintendents have signed on to this call for action:
Mr. Tony Sanders, School District U-46 (39,963)
Dr. Karen Sullivan, Indian Prairie CUSD 204 (28,283)
Dr. Jeff Craig, Aurora West SD 129 (12,554)
Dr. Jennifer Garrison, Sandoval CUSD 501 (485)
Mr. Forrest Claypool, City of Chicago SD 299 (392,051)
Dr. Ehren Jarrett, Rockford Public School District 205 (28,459)
Dr. Lane Abrell, Plainfield SD 202 (27,877)
Mr. Fred Heid, CUSD 300 (20,926)
Dr. John Sparlin, Oswego CUSD 308 (18,500)
Dr. James Mitchem, Valley View CUSD 365U (17,020)
Mrs. Jennifer Gill, Springfield SD 186 (14,893)
Dr. Mark Daniel, McLean County USD 5 (13,751)
Dr. Sharon Kherat, Peoria Public School District 150 (13,297)
Dr. Donald Schlomann, St. Charles CUSD 303 (12,915)
Dr. Jeff Schuler, CUSD 200 (Wheaton) (12,876)
Dr. Brian Harris, Barrington CUSD 220 (8,850)
Mr. Jim Greenwald, Granite City CUSD 9 (6,200)
Mr. Arthur Culver, East St. Louis SD 189 (6,086)
Dr. Barry Reilly, Bloomington SD 87 (5,455)
Dr. Donald D. Owen, Urbana School District #116 (4,200)
Dr. Todd Stirn, Burlington Central 301 (4,055)
Mrs. Mary Havis, Berwyn South SD 100 (3,936)
Dr. Ben Martindale, North Chicago SD 187 (3,676)
Dr. Michael Lubelfeld, Deerfield SD 109 (2,973)
Dr. Greggory Fuerstenau, Taylorville CUSD 3 (2,628)
Mr. Mike Gauch, Harrisburg CUSD 3 (2,054)
Mr. Chuck Lane, Centralia HSD 200 (931)
Mr. David Rademacher- Patoka CUSD 100 (241)
Mr. Kerry Herdes- South Central CUD 401 (649)
Mr. Matt Renaud- Raccoon CONS SD 1 (234)
Mr. Craig Clark- Centralia SD 135 (1,337)
Mr. John Consolino, Iuka CCSD 7 (209)
Mr. Ralph Grimm, Galesburg CUSD 205 (4,542)
Mr. Kristin Humphries, East Moline SD 37 (2,804)
Mr. Brad Skertich, Southwestern CUSD 9 (1,512)
Mr. Rich Well, Vandalia CUSD 203 (1,536)
Mr. Dan Cox, Staunton CUSD #6 (1,273)
Mr. Tim Branon, Central City SD 133 (321)
Mr. Robin Brooks, Selmaville CCSD 10 (246)
Mr. Brad Detering, Salem CHSD 600 (736)
Ms. Leslie Foppe, Salem SD 111 (1,044)
Dr. David Lett, Pana CUSD 8 (1,314)
Mr. Jeff Humes, Odin PSD 722 (301)
Mr. Fred Lamkey, Edinburg CUSD 4 (289)
Mr. Chris McCann, Kell Cons. SD #2 (114)
Mr. David Schulte, Irvington CCSD #11 (58)
Dr. Melissa Kaczkowski, Roselle SD 12 (708)
Dr. John Butts, Medinah SD 11 (645)
Dr. Susan Homes, Smithton CCSD 130 (518)
Dr. Kristen Kendrick-Weikle, Warrensburg-Latham CUSD 11 (953)
Mr. Gary Miller, Momence CUSD 1 (1,180)
Mr. Daniel Brue, Meridian CUSD 15 (1,035)
Dr. Scott Doerr, Nokomis CUSD 22 (640)
Dr. Andrew Brooks, Delavan CUSD 703 (474)
Dr. Kerry L. Cox, Carrollton CUSD #1 (601)
Dr. Lisa Hichens, Batavia USD 101 (6,022)
Mr. Ryan Heavner, Greenview CUSD 200 (243)
Mr. David Chavira, East Coloma-Nelson CESD 20 (291)
Mr. Andy Richmond, Carbon Cliff-Barstow SD 36 (304)
Dr. DeAnn Heck, Central A&M CUD 21 (771)
Mr. Victor White, Prairieview-Ogden CCSD 197 (243)
Mr. Brad Turner, Mulberry Grove CUSD 1 (425)
Dr. Lori Franke-Hopkins, Jersey CUSD 100 (2,556)
Mr. Todd Pence, St. Joseph CCSD 169 (875)
Ernie Fowler, Nashville CHSD #99 (404)
Dr. Diane Cepela, Newark CCSD 66 (240)
Mr. Scott Watson, Bismarck Henning CUSD (909)
Mr. Shannon Bumann, AlWood CUSD 225 (390)
Dr. Chad Wagner, Elmwood CUSD 322 (705)
Dr. Chad Allison, Illinois Valley Central USD 321 (2,167)
Dr. Lynn Panega, Lake Park High School District 108 (2,642)
Dr. Patrick Anderson, Wood River-Hartford ESD 15 (749)
Mr. Erik Van Hoveln, Windsor CUSD #1 (380)
Mrs. Brenda Donahue, Marseilles ESD 150 (594)
Mr. Kenneth Schwengel, Arthur Community Unit SD #305 (1,251)
Dr. Lance Thurman, Riverton CUSD 14 (1,427)
Mr. Darryl Hogue, River Bend CUSD 2 (982)
Mr. William Faller, Pecatonica CUSD 321 (898)
Mrs. Sandra Kabat, Farrington CCSD 99 (75)
Mr. Jim Littleford, Charleston CUSD 1 (2,860)
Mr. Rolf Sivertsen, Canton Union SD 66 (2,604)
Mr. Christopher Grode, Murphysboro CUSD 186 (2,138)
Mr. Edward Fletcher, Monmouth-Roseville CUSD 238 (1,708)
Dr. Roger Alvey, Illini Bluffs CUSD 327 (961)
Dr. Scott Dearman, Deer Creek-Mackinaw CUSD #701 (1,100)
Mrs. Dee Scott, Casey-Westfield CUSD 4C (893)
Dr. Douglas Wood, Ball-Chatham CUSD 5 (4,797)
Mr. Tad Everett, Sterling CUSD #5 (3,458)
Dr. Kevin Cogdill, Marissa CUSD 40 (617)
Dr. Christine A. Sefcik, Grant Community HSD 124 (1,912)
Cathie Pezanoski, Elwood CCSD #203 (380)
Ms. Drusilla Lobmaster, Ludlow CCSD 142 (80)
Dr. Kimako Patterson, Prairie-Hills ESD 144 (2,563)
Dr. David Moyer, Elmhurst SD 205 (8,436)
Dr. Kevin Suchinski, Hillside SD 93 (508)
Mr. Larry Lovel, Trico CUSD #176 (963)
Mr. Michael Smith, Tuscola CUSD 301 (981)
Mr. Brian Brooks, St. Joseph Ogden CHSD 305 (470)
Mrs. Kathy Countryman, Sycamore CUSD 427 (3,795)
Dr. Jay Morrow, United Township High School District #30 (1,712)
Mr. Aaron Hopper, Panhandle CUSD 2 (500)
Dr. Mike Oberhaus, Rock Island SD 41 (6,767)
Dr. John Burkey, Huntley Community SD 158 (9,473)
Mr. Jeff Hinman, Tremont CUSD #702 (930)
Dr. Art Fessler, Community Consolidated SD 59 (6,902)
Dr. Judy Wiegand, Champaign CUSD #4 (9,951)
Dr. Jon Bartelt, Bloomingdale SD13 (1,291)
Dr. Jim Carlson, Seneca Township HSD 160 (448)
Mrs. Kelle Bunch, Liberty CUSD 2 (658)
Dr. Lori James-Gross, Unity Point CCSD #140 (705)
Mr. Geoff A. Schoonover, Cornell CCSD 426 (102)
Dr. Mike Schiffman, Freeport SD 145 (4,118)
Dr. Kevin Russell, Chicago Ridge School Dist. 127.5 (1,505)
Dr. Michael Connolly, Keeneyville ESD 20 (1,525)
Dr. Nick Polyak, Leyden CHSD 212 (3,375)
Mrs. Robin Becker, Germantown SD #60 (265)
Mr. Norm Tracy, Villa Grove CUSD 302 (670)
Dr. Dale Mitchell, Homewood SD 153 (1,970)
Dr. Lynette Zimmer, Lake Villa CCSD 41 (2,759)
Dr. Timothy Shimp, Yorkville CUSD 115 (5,980)
Mr. David Fults, Willow Grove SD 46 (166)
Mr. Wes Olson, Bond County CUSD 2 (1,901)
Mr. Bill Wrenn, Midland CUSD 7 (706)
Mr. David Thomas and Mr. Alan Estes, Waltonville CUSD#1 (379)
Mrs. Melissa Ritter, Ramsey CUSD #204 (456)
Dr. Bill Shields, Community Consolidated SD 93 (3,821)
For almost two years, Illinois has operated with just a partial budget for education and a “stopgap” budget for most everything else, leading to cuts at local government entities, community service organizations and education agencies that support our families and communities. Even though education has been funded, schools and students still suffer due to the lack of certainty, inequitable funding and current unpaid bills from the state.
Let’s work together to #PassIllinoisBudget.
Illinois Budget Impasse FAQ
Q: How long has Illinois been without a full state budget?
A: As of April 24, 2017 we have operated more than 22 months without a full state budget.
Q: What does the budget impasse mean?
A: The country’s fifth-largest state has been operating with continuing appropriations and court-ordered spending, while the pile of unpaid bills grows to nearly $13 billion. The state has approved a partial budget for education and stopgap or band-aid measures for most everything else. This has meant frozen and reduced budgets at local government entities, community organizations, and education agencies that aim to support our families and all sectors of society. Without a budget we all suffer.
Q: How does the lack of a state budget impact the services provided?
A: School districts launched Pass Illinois’ Budget! in late April when school chiefs should already know their financial revenue situation for Fiscal Year 2018. Like any business, school districts need to know several months – preferably more – in advance how much money they’ll receive so that education leaders and elected board members can make thoughtful spending decisions, from hiring staff to allocations for curriculum, maintenance and repairs, and much more for the coming school year.
Q: Where does Illinois school funding currently come from?
A: The state’s education budget is primarily made up of local revenue, primarily property taxes, state funds, and federal funds.
Q: What percentage of public school funding is Illinois responsible for and how much does it cover?
A: The state, by constitutional mandate, has the primary responsibility for funding its public schools but has never come close to covering even half the cost. Illinois ranks 50th in the nation for providing state funds for education.
Q: What is the problem with the current school funding formula?
A: The current funding formula does not adequately and equitably fund education in Illinois.
Q: Have there been any proposed solutions to fix the school funding formula?
A: There are some proposed solutions, but all require the state to pass a budget with revenue to support it.
Q: Why is the state behind on payments to school districts and which payments?
A: The state has delayed payments because there is not enough revenue being received by the state to cover the expenditures that are due. These unpaid bills are part of what’s called “Mandated Categoricals” and include funding for special education, bilingual education, transportation, and other important services.
Q: What are school leaders doing about the state’s financial situation?
A: More than 360 superintendents (as of 5 p.m. April 21) are calling on the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Rauner to do the following:
Immediately, and with bipartisan support, end the state budget impasse.
Improve the state’s education funding formula and invest in students and schools, including higher education institutions.
Pay school districts what they are owed this year.
Q: What can parents of public school students and other Illinois residents do?
“All good athletes make mistakes; the great ones learn to make that mistake only once.”
– Raul Lopez
“The one who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.”– Albert Einstein
This month we are launching a new parent education program aligned with our Digital Privacy, Safety, and Security (DPSS). In partnership with BrightBytes, one of our technology and data research partners, we are deeply reviewing our technology policies, practices, safety and security.
Topics for our inaugural session emerged from surveys, meetings, and input from members of our community. We’ll be joined by a high school student who has a passion for cyber security and for helping to keep families informed and children safe. We’ll host workshops on the following topics (Twitter for parents, Raising digital citizens, Growing up in the Digital Age, Digital Footprints, and more).
In addition to the parent education sessions, this year I have been sending letters with digital “tips” to our parent community. With this blog post I’m sharing excerpts from some of these letters as well as information about our upcoming parent education night. In today’s world digital literacy is essential for all, it’s not ok to leave technology knowledge “to the young people” … it’s for everyone!
“…On Wednesday, April 12, we will add a parent program on digital privacy, safety and security (DPSS). Before then, you’ll be hearing more about DPSS, in the schools and directly from me. In March, we will conduct our annual BrightBytes survey of students (in grades 4-8), staff and parents to evaluate the impact of our 1:1 environment and overall community technology use.”
We have been partnering with Bright Bytes since 2014 to measure the impact of our transformative 1:1 teaching & learning initiatives. Our overall scores and performance and growth have been growing since our focus on excellence transcends children, adults, school, home, and community.
The Technology & Learning module provides educators with insights into the factors that determine the effectiveness of technology in improving student achievement. The heart of the module is CASE™, a research-based framework developed by a team of educational researchers, higher ed statisticians, and K-12 practitioners.
Based on your data, the module calculates your organization’s overall numeric score (between 800 and 1300), which is aligned to a five-color maturity scale: Beginning, Emerging, Proficient, Advanced, and Exemplary. This same maturity scale is used to highlight your organization’s technology readiness and use in each of the framework’s domains, indicators, and variables.
As shown below, the trends are following an upward trajectory because each year’s focus on continuous improvement as well as engaged learning and teaching are having a positive effect and impact.
Sharing more tips:
DPSS in 109 Tip #1: Check your child’s phone. Do you know who your child is texting or messaging…and what they are sending and receiving? As the person paying the cell phone bill — and as a parent in the digital age — you have a right and a responsibility to know with whom and how your child is communicating.
The chart below compares the DPS109 results (solid) with all who use BrightBytes (several hundred schools across the country and Canada) of teachers who feel rewarded for integrating technology into teaching:
“Outstanding people have one thing in common: an absolute sense of mission.”
Be sure to monitor what others are posting about you or your children on their online discussions. You can set up a Google Alert to be notified when something shows up online about you or your child.
Change your passwords periodically, and do not reuse old passwords. Do not use the same password for more than one system or service. For example, if someone obtains the password for your email, can they access your online banking information with the same password? There are products that help you manage multiple passwords; here’s a recent list of free products.
Do not post anything that might embarrass you later or that you don’t want strangers to know.
Do not automatically download, or respond to content on a website or in an email. Do not click on links in email messages claiming to be from a social networking site. Instead go to the site directly to retrieve messages.
“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett
DPSS in 109 Tip #3: Follow the Terms of Service for popular social media sites and apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; wait until your child is 13 to allow him or her access. Sites that impose these rules are following the government’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA). The age requirements are put in place to protect your child; children under age 13 typically aren’t emotionally ready to handle the impact, implications, and responsibility connected with social media.
We’re looking forward to our learning experiences on April 12th and beyond! The chart below shows an example of digital citizenship; teaching students how to cite online information. The frequency of “never” is decreasing and the frequency of “weekly” is increasing!
In this model shown in the image below, change is indicated as the “foreign element” intorduced into the system. Following this change or foreign element, there is chaos in the system.
This “chaos” is critical to the management of that particular change. How the change is managed determines success or failure with respect to that which is being sought. In education, as an “industry” we have often been criticized (justified in my opinion) for resisting change. TTWWADI “twadiddy” or That’s The Way We Always Do It are words that kill change – they are words that stymie change – these are words that have negative impacts on organizations including educational organizations. In the Deerfield Public Schools we have embarked on many changes since July 1, 2013.
The first change, the un blocking of Twitter on July 1, 2013, set in motion many more foreign elements that have had profoundly powerful impacts on learning and teaching for more than 3000 students, 250 teachers, 450 employees, 1850 families, and the more than 20,000 residents of the communities the District Serves. Twitter powerfully opened up the minds, hearts, creative communication skills, narrative about schooling, and branding for the school district. In 2013, it was the superintendent, assistant superintendent and a few principals leading the charge.
Some innovative, courageous teachers took the risk of using Twitter as well for professional growth, professional communication, personal learning, and for communicating about their classroom work in ways never before imagined. The foreign element of Twitter caused a bit of chaos: Some initial questions …
are we really allowed to use this? are we allowed to post photos? what if people get negative? how much time do I have to spend on this? what if I make a mistake? may I use a hashtag, etc.?
The Technical, or First Order Change, of using Twitter was fun, easy, inventive, exciting, and new. Four years later, the Adaptive, or Second Order Change, is that #Engage109 is a powerful, deliberate, intentional, and globally recognized brand of the Deerfield Public Schools. The change is not Twitter, a tool, the change is systems communication. The change is strategic and deliberate communication. The use of Twitter as one of the multiple changes, tools, representations of what we value in DPS109, is part of the bigger picture – the mindset shift that celebrates and normalizes digital, social media communication as a normal and regular part of our work.
For more on 1st/2nd order change, visit: http://www.bercgroup.com/1st-and-2nd-order-change.html, and see image/photo below:
Prior to 2013 there was no Twitter in DPS109.
Prior to 2013 there was no Digital Footprint for DPS109.
Prior to 2013 communication was not digital – it was traditional.
In less than four years, second order change, implementation of systematized, deliberate, and intentional communication with Twitter as a tool, mode and delivery system has transformed the view of Twitter, Social Media, Communication, #Engage109, and branding as a whole.
Change management is complex, challenging, frustrating, requires relationships, communication and accountability, and it’s the only work that makes lasting impact – in our case – on the future!
Do you have examples of change in your organization?
What else should change in schooling?