Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

January 2008 Board Meeting Summary

Board of Directors Approves Coaching Certification Beginning in 2009-10; Required Use of Licensed Officials Beginning in 2008-09 and Future State Final Wrestling, Track and Field Sites

The Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) Board of Directors voted to require coaching certification of all non-certified athletic coaches beginning in 2009-10; voted to require member schools use only IHSA licensed officials in their athletic contests; and accepted bids from member schools to host future state finals in Boys Wrestling and Track and Field at its regular quarterly meeting in the IESA Office Friday (Jan. 18).

The Board voted to require that all members of a school's athletic coaching staff that do not hold a valid teaching certificate must have successfully completed a coaching education program. The requirement is mandated to go into effect with the 2009-10 school year. However, the Board recommends that member schools adopt a local policy for the 2008-09 school year that encourages non-certified teachers on their athletic coaching staffs to pursue completing the requirement as soon as possible. The IESA is reviewing proposals that would allow any one who wants to complete a coaching education course at a cost to the individual of as little as $20. Complete details regarding implementation of this new requirement will be forthcoming.

The Board approved the following sites to host the state finals in the 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years: Boys Wrestling with DeKalb schools hosting at the NIU Convocation Center; Class A Track and Field with East Peoria Robein hosting at the EastSide Centre; and Class AA Track and Field with East Peoria Central hosting at the EastSide Centre.

The Board acted on the Strategic Planning Officials Action Team's nine proposals, which will have significant impact on member schools. In addition, the Board acted on the recommendations from the advisory committees in softball, baseball, cheerleading, cross-country and speech, and tied up a number of loose ends.

Strategic Planning

The Board received the report from the Strategic Planning action team for Officials and acted accordingly:

The Board concurred with the action team's recommendation that IESA establish a permanent Officials Advisory Committee, which will be formed and functioning by the start of the 2008-09 (next) school year. The committee will include an administrator from an IESA member school and athletic officials representing the sports in which IESA conducts state series.

The Board approved a modified recommendation that athletic officials hired to work contests in girls softball, boys baseball, girls basketball, boys basketball, boys wrestling and girls volleyball must be IHSA licensed officials. The requirement begins with the 2008-09 (next) school year. Only IHSA licensed officials can work regular season contests, regular season tournaments and the IESA state tournament series. The use of IHSA licensed officials in cross-country, track and field and cheerleading is encouraged but not required. IESA always has assigned only licensed officials in the respective athletic state series.

The Board approved a reimbursement plan for officials assigned to state series contests that are postponed or suspended. If an official is notified by the local manager or IESA Office prior to arriving at the site, there will be no reimbursement. If the official arrived at the site of the state series contest and it is suspended or canceled before it begins, the official will be reimbursed one half the game fee. If a contest is started, then suspended until a later date, the official will be reimbursed a full fee for the original date and a full fee for subsequent date. The Board directed the IESA staff to outline this procedure in the contracts it issues for state series officials assignments.

The Board approved a requirement that preference for assignment in the state series be given to officials who have worked five (5) junior high dates the previous year, and are contracted for five (5) junior high dates in the current year.

The Board approved a recommendation requiring the IESA Office to put Officials Rating Forms online so that all head coaches of teams participating in the respective IESA athletic state series can rate the officials working the games in which their team participates. Coaches are encouraged to complete the online form throughout the respective state series after each game played in the state series. Access to the online rating forms is through the School Center on the IESA Web Site.

The Board affirmed its support of posting of the real time list of officials in the respective sports online in the Member Center of the IESA Web Site.

The Board approved the action team's recommended points of emphasis which include: that the school hiring the officials confirm all home game officials commitments in writing in advance of the contest(s); that all schools entered in the respective athletic state series receive printed information concerning host school responsibilities to officials in the annual sport mailing from the IESA Office; and that the Question and Answer for IESA By-law 5.080 be included in the respective annual sport mailings.

The Board approved plans for an Officials Recognition Program. The vehicles of recognition will include letters of congratulation, certificates, plaques, mention in the printed program sold at the sport state final and mention on the IESA Web Site. This recognition would be based on appearances at state finals, whatever the sport. When an official achieves state final appearance No. 25, a wooden plaque will be awarded. The Board also authorized the IESA staff to create an .IESA State Final Official. patch to be awarded to officials who work them in all athletic state series.

The Board accepted a report of the action team's targets for recruitment of new officials to IESA athletics.

Baseball Advisory Committee

The Board approved a recommendation to move the final entry deadline for the state series ahead from Friday of Week No. 7 to Friday of Week No. 6 in the Standardized Calendar. The change goes into effect with the upcoming 2008-09 (next) school term. The final entry deadline next fall will be Friday, August 15, 2008.

The advisory committee made a recommendation to change By-law 2.127 to require that at least one (1) umpire working a contest in baseball is an IHSA licensed official. In light of the action taken by the Board requiring all officials who work IESA athletic contests to be IHSA licensed officials, By-law 2.127 must be changed accordingly.

Cheerleading Advisory Committee

The Board tabled a recommendation that all judges in IESA cheerleading competition be IHSA licensed officials.

The Board approved a recommended change in the Terms and Conditions for the IESA Cheerleading Championship that prohibits schools from bringing their own mats to the state site for use in practice or warm-up.

The Board approved a recommendation that establishes a procedure and timetable for a 90-second walk-through on the main competition mat Saturday morning, before the start of the state final competition, for squads that did not practice on the main competition mat on Friday night.

The Board tabled a recommendation that established a procedure to correct scoring errors.

The Board authorized the IESA staff to add an IHSA licensed cheerleading official as a member of the cheerleading advisory committee beginning with the 2008-09 (next) school year. Since the inception of the IHSA cheerleading statewide series, more than 70 people have become licensed cheerleading officials, and the number continues to grow. It is the policy of the IESA to include a licensed official on its advisory committees in the sports where licensed officials are used.

The Board approved a recommendation to add a technical judge to the panel of judges in IESA cheerleading competition.

Cross-Country Advisory Committee

The Board approved a recommendation to award plaques to the top three placing teams in the sectionals. This is an addition of a plaque for third place. The top three teams in the sectionals advance to the state final meet.

A motion to accept a recommendation to award a medal rather than a ribbon to the top 10 individuals in the sectionals did not receive a second.

The Board adopted an exception to the NFHS Track and Field and Cross-Country rules that would to prohibit athletes from wearing watches or other timing devices while competing in the sports of cross-country and track and field. This goes into effect with the upcoming 2008 track and field season and mirrors the IHSA rule which prohibits the wearing of watches during competition.

Girls Softball Advisory Committee

The Board approved a change to By-law 2.126 requiring member schools to hire two (2 )IHSA licensed umpires for all regular season games, and that in the IESA state series there will be two umpires used in each regional and sectional game with three (3) umpires used in the state final games.

A motion to recommend adding one (1) additional tryout date for Week No. 47 in the Standardized Calendar beginning with the 2008-09 (next) school year died for lack of a second.

The Board approved a recommendation to prohibit metal cleats, which is an exception to the NFHS Softball rules, but is the same exception that has existed in boys baseball. Safety is the reason for the prohibition.

Speech Advisory Committee

The Board approved a recommendation regarding allowable props. In Impromptu Speaking, 3 x 5 note cards and a writing instrument are permitted. The props that have been used in Duet Acting also will be permitted in Improvisation.

The Board authorized the IESA staff to distribute information regarding the activity to all IESA member schools in an attempt to stimulate renewed participation in the state series.

The Board approved a new date of Wednesday in Week No. 28 in the Standardized Calendar for the annual Speech Advisory Committee meeting. In the 2008-09 (next) school year, the meeting will be Wednesday, January 14, 2009.

Other Business Items

Scholar Attitude: This year's expanded Scholar Attitude Award luncheon will be Friday, April 18, at 11:00 a.m. the DoubleTree Hotel in Bloomington. Fifteen (15) boys and fifteen (15) girls will receive the Scholar Attitude Award. Stephen Bargatze will again be the featured speaker. The deadline for receipt of nominations in the IESA Office is Feb. 22, 2008. Judges will meet in the IESA Office March 12, 2008, to select the 2008 winners.

Division Meetings: The Board heard a report regarding attendance and an evaluation of the required Division Meetings that were conducted for the second time this fall. The IESA Constitution requires that each member school principal or designee attend the annual division meeting. IESA conducted a total of 20 divisional meetings statewide. The first year a school misses attending the required meeting the school is placed on probation. If a school misses a meeting two years in a row it is suspended from participating in all IESA state series for a period of one year beginning January 1 following the school's second consecutive non-compliance. Fifty-seven (57) member schools were placed on probation for the 2007-08 school year. The only school on probation for 2007-08 that did not attend a meeting this past fall was Phoenix Coolidge, and the school was suspended from membership. Phoenix Coolidge appealed the Executive Director's decision to suspend and on January 9, 2008, a telephone conference call was held with the Appeals Panel. The Appeals Panel upheld the Executive Director's ruling and Phoenix Coolidge is suspended from IESA for one year. Phoenix Coolidge must attend a division meeting in the fall of 2008 as a condition for reinstatement as of January 1, 2009. Forty-four (44) member schools are on probation for the 2008-09 school year for failure to attend a 2007 meeting.

Host School Reimbursement: The Board heard a report that the Finance Committee will review the state series host reimbursement plan at its June 5, 2008 meeting.

Treasurer's Report: The Board received and accepted the treasurer's report for the fiscal period ending December 31, 2007.

Financial Reports: The Board accepted the financial reports for the state series in Girls Softball, Boys Baseball, Cross-Country, Cheerleading and Speech.

ISBE School Recognition: Beginning July 1, 2008, non-public attendance centers are required to be recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in order to be an IESA member school. This change in By-law 1.220 was announced to the membership during the 2005-06 school year. Some non-public schools that currently are member schools, as well as others that are not members, still have not obtained recognition because the ISBE has been without staff to implement the recognition process for non-public schools. The ISBE is now hiring staff to handle this process and has established an emergency list of IESA schools that will be evaluated as quickly as possible. The Board voted to require each non-public IESA member school that is not recognized, but have begun the recognition process, to inform the IESA Office in writing of its status prior to July 1, 2008.

Board Committee Meetings: Dates for three Board Committee meetings were set. The Finance Committee will meet June 5, 2008. The By-laws Committee will meet June 10, 2008.The Staff Relations Committee met Nov. 13, 2007 and a summary of the meeting was distributed to the Board.

Board Meetings: There are two regular meetings remaining in the 2007-08 school term. One is scheduled April 4, 2008, and the other is scheduled June 13, 2008.

Advisory Committee Dates: The dates for the upcoming advisory committee meetings are Feb. 28 for basketball, March 19 for wrestling, March 31 for volleyball, May 27 for Music, May 30 for scholastic bowl and June 4 for track and field.

Executive Director's Report: The Board received an update regarding reports of violations of By-law 3.043 (students practicing for and/or participating on a non-school team during the sport season). The Board also approved hiring a contracting firm to make an inspection of the IESA Office building and recommend repairs.

Asst. Executive Director's Report: The Board heard a report of the Membership Action Team survey of schools that are not members of IESA. They survey was sent to 922 non-member schools throughout Illinois. A total of 241 schools have responded to the survey, of which 62 have indicated they are seeking more information about the Association. Those 62 schools, and any others showing similar interest, will be provided material by the IESA Office to assist such schools in making a decision regarding IESA membership. The Board received a report of official apparel sales at the sectionals in cross-country, speech and cheerleading.

Division Meeting Survey Results: The Board received the overall results of the survey of member schools taken at the divisional meetings this fall. Members were surveyed regarding the use of certified personnel to coach; their use of contracts for licensed officials working athletic contests hosted by the school; and the feasibility of additional state series in chess, soccer, football, golf, tennis and boys volleyball. The overall results of the survey are available to principals of member school upon request to the IESA Office. The Board voted to establish an ad hoc committee to address emerging sports, potential new state series, and the impact of state series expansion on the existing IESA programs.

Project Manager Report: The Board received an update regarding the status of current and future sponsorships, and an update regarding publication of the six fall state final programs.

Multiple Ejection Schools: The Board heard a status report of the progress being made with two member schools that has had multiple ejections this school term. Letters have been sent to the schools requiring them to communicate in writing to the IESA Office the steps they are taking to address the issue. One school is Crete Monee, which had two players ejected in a single girls basketball game for fighting. The other is Coal City in boys wrestling.

Division Reports

At each meeting of the Board of Directors time is devoted for each board member to report on communication with and requests from the member schools in the member's division. In addition, Board members also may make observations regarding the operation of the Association. Following is a report of those from the Jan. 18 meeting:

Division D: Mr. Spezio reported that he received requests from wrestling coaches that the limit on team dates and individual match limits be increased. The Board instructed the IESA staff to include this on the agenda for the Wrestling Advisory Committee.

Division K: Mr. Chris Graham reported of discussions he has had with member school principals in his division regarding assignment of schools to regional sites, a by-law requiring hosts schools in basketball and volleyball to provide balls for the visiting team to use in warm-ups, and a coaching box for volleyball coaches.

Division L: Mr. Cameron discussed concerns in his division regarding the time for practice in basketball prior to a school's first contest, the date of which is determined by each school when it establishes its schedule. A third week to practice before the first game, particularly at the seventh grade level, was the focus of the discussion. No action was taken.

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