For the Education Professionals of Clay, Crawford, Jasper, Lawrence, and Richland Counties.

Update from the Regional Superintendent

Spring 2016
PARCC Test Compares Favorably in Study
Text Reprinted from the Weekly Message from State Superintendent Tony Smith, Ph.D of March 1, 2016
As students and teachers alike gear up to begin this year's PARCC testing, I thought I'd share with you some interesting research highlighted by Dr. Smith in his most recent Weekly Message. Given that the PARCC roll-out last year had its bumps (or, in some districts, "potholes") I thought you may want to hear some good news about our current state assessment...

The American Institutes for Research has released the National Benchmarks for State Achievement Standards study. The study reviewed test results for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, and ACT Aspire exams from 2015 and benchmarked them against NAEP, identifying which tests had the highest and lowest performance standards compared to NAEP. 

Key findings from the study include: 
  • PARCC college-ready standards are comparable in difficulty to the NAEP Basic level for English language arts and comparable to NAEP Proficient in mathematics.
  • PARCC college-ready standards are comparable in difficulty to the ACT Aspire college-ready standard for grade 4 reading. However, PARCC standards are significantly higher than ACT Aspire standards for grade 4 mathematics and for grade 8 English language arts and mathematics.
  • PARCC college-ready standards are significantly higher than those of Smarter Balanced. Smarter Balanced college-ready standards are comparable in difficulty to NAEP Basic levels.
Overall, the results show that PARCC has set higher performance expectations than the two other multi-state tests that were evaluated and most of the other state tests. These findings reaffirm the strength of the PARCC assessment as a tool to assure that our children are on the path to college and career readiness. To read more, visit
Illinois Transitions From ACT to SAT
The Illinois State Board of Education has announced its plans to provide the SAT as the state-funded college entrance exam to all 11th graders. Through this partnership with the College Board, Illinois educators will benefit from an assessment that is not only aligned to state standards, but provides more information than ever before about a student's readiness. Additionally, students will be able to directly connect for free to world-class, personalized online test practice through Khan Academy. Upcoming SAT workshops will be held throughout the state which will provide an overview of the assessments and resources to help administrators, counselors, and teachers prepare for the SAT. Learn more about the SAT and registration for a workshop near you on our website.  To be perfectly honest, as a veteran school counselor, I was less than thrilled at the prospect of this change.  However, after learning more about the overhaul of the SAT and the smart, standards-driven integration of the SAT with the PSAT tests, and the partnering with Khan, I can now state that I'm excited about the change.  I think it's a proposition which will be good for kids, teachers, and counselors alike.  I would encourage you to take a few minutes and check out the links above!

Youth Mental Health
First Aid Training


Presented by Prevention First

Thursday, March 24, 2016
9:00 am -5:00 pm

ASSIST Alternative School
213 Cumberland Street, Willow Hill, Illinois



This course is designed for adults who regularly interact with adolescents, but may also be appropriate for older adolescents (16 and older) so as to encourage youth peer to peer interaction.  Anyone who regularly works or interacts with youth - teachers, athletic coaches, mentors, juvenile justice professionals - may find this course content useful.  The core Mental Health First Aid course has been successfully offered to a variety of audiences including hospital staff, employers and business leaders, faith communities, law enforcement, and the general public.  For more information, click

An End to High School Math Instruction As We Know It?

ROE 12 Announces 
Bus Driver Training Schedule for 2016-2017

If you are a current driver in ROE 12, your Refresher Training dates are listed.  If you know of someone who would like to get certified, Initial Training dates are listed. Spread the word.  Your friends and neighbors can help fill a need in our local schools!  The complete listings are available HERE or on the Regional Services Page of our website.  State law requires that school bus drivers pass a yearly refresher course offered by the ROE, while those new to the job must pass the ROE's eight-hour initial training, in addition to holding a valid CDL and meeting other requirements.  A complete listing of the requirements for serving as a school bus driver in Illinois can be viewed on the Secretary of State's website.
Lifelong Planning For Your Relative With Special Needs
Hosted by Lawrence/Crawford Association for Exceptional Citizens

Presented by Theresa M. Varnet, M.S.W., J.D.
Friday, April 15, 2016
Highland Church of Christ, 500 West Highland Avenue, Robinson, Illinois
Click Here For More Information
Changes Coming to Illinois High School Equivalency
There's been quite a lot of discussion lately regarding High School Equivalency in Illinois.  First, GED Testing Service has recommended a recalibration of the GED® test passing score and the addition of two new performance levels. These enhancements have now been applied in most states and were made after extensive analysis of test-takers’ performance data from the past 18 months.  Simply stated, GED felt that a passing score of 145 (instead of 150) was more reflective of the level of difficulty involved in actually earning a high school diploma.  Individuals who previously completed the GED and believe that they may have earned a passing score with the recalibration, are urged to contact any of the ROE 12 offices for an evaluation of their records. Students determined to have earned at least an overall score of 145 AND passed both the Illinois and U.S. Constitution tests will be eligible for their Illinois High School Equivalency Certificate from the ROE.

Additionally, the GED is no longer the only route to earning High School Equivalency in Illinois.Illinois now offers both the HiSet and TASC exams.  ROE 12 is making plans to offer both new exams to Adult Learners in our five-county region. 
A Brief Word About Licensure...

If your license expires June 30, can renew early starting April 1st on ELIS.  Don't wait!  That's something that can easily slip your mind!  If you require assistance, please call your local ROE 12 office.
There's light at the end of the tunnel!
I've always felt that as soon as March rolls around, the school year is pretty much gone.  Of course, that belief is a little more real on some days than others.  Regardless of the day, there's no doubt that the clock is ticking on the 2015-16 school year.  With the end coming into view, we prepare for some great, memorable events. Seasons involving ball played on a diamond, track, proms, end-of-year field trips, outdoor recess without a coat, all of these activities lead up to graduation for seniors and promotion for eighth graders.  These capstone events are routine for us as educators, but are milestones for the students experiencing them.  Enjoy your students.  Enjoy your time in shaping them into the men and women who will lead us into tomorrow.  Stay strong in this homestretch!     

Yours for Kids,
Monte Newlin
Regional Superintendent of Schools
ROE #12
ROE #12
Copyright © 2016, Regional Office of Education #12, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Regional Office of Education #12
Richland County Courthouse
103 West Main Street
Olney, Illinois 62450

Find your local office HERE

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