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Conference Overview

Paid attendance at the 2013 Joint Annual Conference, held Nov. 22-24 in Chicago, was 2.5 percent higher than the previous year, even though 19 fewer school districts were represented.

This was the 81st meeting of the Illinois Association of School Boards, Illinois Association of School Administrators and Illinois Association of School Business Officials. Total attendance was 10,425, compared to the 10,494 who attended in 2012. Those registered included 4,171 guests, 3,304 board members, 1,454 administrators, 1,181 exhibitors, as well as board secretaries, school attorneys, regional and state education officials, and other organizations.

Eighty-three percent, or 718 of the state's 859 public school districts were represented.

The bump in attendance was attributed to several factors, including stable district finances, board members seeking to fulfill mandatory state training requirements, and events held to commemorate the 100 th anniversary of IASB.

Professional development was the primary purpose of the conference, offered through 267 exhibit booths, 116 panel sessions, 33 "carousel" panels, seven pre-conference workshops, five school tours, three general sessions, as well as the IASB Delegate Assembly, bookstore, and other learning and networking opportunities.

Panel sessions, delivered in 90-minute segments in five different time slots over the three-day conference, drew 9,863 people. Eleven panels were identified as “Standing Room Only,” including three with a seating capacity of 475. Those three were: “Legislative Issues Impacting School Districts,” “What’s New in Employment and Labor Law,” and “Eliminating the Salary Schedule.”

Legislation, school safety, student discipline, classroom technology, school finance, negotiations, and teacher evaluations were among the most popular panels. This year, for the first time, the conference offered board members the opportunity to fulfill their state requirement for PDLT and PERA training by attending three of 11 specified panel sessions. Teachers attending as guests or as board members were also able to get CPDU credits.

Many of the handouts from panel sessions were also made available online.

Another 850 board members attended one of seven pre-conference workshops on subjects that included PDLT and PERA, governance, finance, and leadership skills. Specific professional development was also offered to school attorneys, superintendents and school business officials. School board secretaries also had a two-day strand of training events designed specifically for those who serve as elected or employed board secretaries.

This year, 390 districts sent representatives to the IASB Delegate Assembly, to vote on 14 resolutions, elect officers, and to hear reports from the president and executive director of the Association.

IASB also used this year’s conference to celebrate its 100 th anniversary. A variety of events, special signage and staging, and other activities were held to commemorate the centennial. IASB was founded on Dec. 13, 1913, in Quincy, Illinois.

The keynote speakers at the General Sessions were another conference highlight. They included David Warlick, Tony Wagner, and Earl Morse. The general sessions were also where awards were given out for the Invitational Exhibition of Educational Environments (school design), risk management, and individual awards for school board president, superintendent, school business official, and board secretary. Special guests included the NSBA executive director and president, IASB past presidents, and IASB’s longest-serving board members by division.

Participants who want to help evaluate the 2013 Joint Annual Conference can go online to complete a two-part survey about their experience and activities. An online gallery of photos taken at the IASB Centennial photo booth has also been posted for those who participated.

The 82 nd Joint Annual Conference will be held Nov. 21-23, 2014. A Call for Proposals is now available for local school districts that want to make panel presentations next year. Information for exhibitors will be posted in February, while housing and registration forms will be posted in early June 2014.


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