The Regional Office of Education (ROE) In Will and other Illinois Counties serve as intermediate agencies between the Illinois State Board of Education and local school districts. Each office is administered by an education professional who has been elected to the office of Regional Superintendent.
As Will County Regional Superintendent, I am the only elected educator in the county, acting as an official advisor and assistant to school officials and teachers, carrying out the advice of the State Superintendent of Education.
In addition to coordinating state and local educational services. I take a leadership role in providing information to educators, school districts and the public. Our office staff answers numerous queries from parents, students, school staffers and citizens regarding a variety of educational matters.
Our office administers several special programs, including truancy prevention, GED testing, life safety inspections of school buildings, bus driver training and continuing education for teachers and administrators. During the past year we have taken on assisting school districts by fingerprinting new employees in compliance with a new state law.
Our Mission Statement, "Working with our communities to support student learning," focuses on three areas, Expertise, Safety and Opportunity.
Bus Driver Training:
The ROE is responsible for conducting and keeping records of the initial training required for all new school bus drivers and the annual refresher workshop required for experienced drivers. New drivers take an 8-hour course in bus safety and experienced drivers take a 2-hour refresher course.
The ROE will provide assistance to individuals regarding obtaining licensure, new enforcement or maintaining current credentials. This includes administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals (teacher aides), and support services personnel such as nurses, guidance counselors, school psychologists, etc.
Criminal Backgrounds Checks:
By law, all public school employees are required to be fingerprinted which initiates a criminal background check of both state and national records. For this reason, the ROE provides fingerprinting services to all school districts in Will County. We fingerprint well over 1500 individuals each year.
General Education Development Test (GED):
The ROE uses a computer based website to administer the Federal & Illinois Constitution test for Will County. We are custodians of all records for all individuals who tested for the GED in Will County. Our staff processes more than 1000 examinees annually.
ROE Inspectors inspect over 170 public school buildings annually to insure building safety for students and teachers. In addition, we are responsible for the issuance of all building and occupancy permits.
Through our Professional Development Alliance (PDA), the ROE provides a wealth of professional development activities for all educators and support staff in Will County.
Regional Safe Schools Program (RSSP):
In our RSSP, the ROE - provides an alternative educational opportunity for middle and high school students that have experienced difficulties in the traditional education setting.
When dealing with truancy problems that exceed the resources of local school districts they refer students and families to our Will County Truant Officer. Our services include truancy hearing and can extend to a juvenile court appearance.
The ROE is involved with many other programs including school visits, Student Government Day, Back-to-School Fair, Will County Spelling Bee and scholarship programs. This highlights just a few of many worthwhile endevavors.