8:30am — 9:30am
Moody's New K-12 Rating Methodology **
Moody's new rating methodology, exclusively for US K-12 public school districts, reflects their district credit characteristics. Learn how the methodology incorporates credit factors unique to K-12 issuers, introduces assignment of an issuer rating for each school district reflecting its intrinsic credit strength and assigns ratings to each bond issue in relation to the issuer rating.
Energy Purchasing 101: Post Feb '21 Energy Crisis **
The February 2021 arctic cold weather event significantly impacted school districts’ energy costs and usage across Illinois. What lessons were learned? Pick up proven purchasing practices your district can institute now to lessen the impact of future polar vortex events on your energy budget.
Permitting & Authorities Having Jurisdiction
Get an overview of the various agencies a school district may have to submit to for permits related to a construction project depending on the scope of the work, including general guidelines of timelines for those review processes and how they can affect your project schedule.
Basics of School Finance: Revenues **
Learn about local revenue, the property tax cycle and the ins and outs of the tax levy. Plus, hear an overview of the Evidence-Based Funding Formula and federal grants.
Challenges in Implementing Legislation
Join an interactive session to discuss the challenges and workarounds of living with a new law.
Purchasing Internal Controls & Activity Accounts
Whether you're a small or large district, internal controls play a critical part in any business office. A group of practitioners will present best practices as well as interactive scenarios where attendees will leave with new ideas for improving their own offices.
Game-Changing Health Plan Strategies
Do you want to have a high performing health plan? Learn some of the programs top health and welfare plans are implementing to both improve quality and reduce costs. This session is geared toward self-funded health plans.
9:45am — 10:45am
How to Prepare for a Bond Issue
Are you anticipating a bond issue? Learn to lay the groundwork for a smooth closing. Review topics such as: understanding your bonding options and the bond timeline; communicating with the public; preparing for rating agency/due diligence discussions; and being ready for the bond sale/closing mechanics.
Basics of School Finance: Expenditures **
Review business office operations and the business administrator's role in managing cash, meeting budgeting responsibilities, purchasing, state financial reporting and overseeing the expenditure process – including ESSA requirements.
Legislative Update from the School Management Alliance **
Hear from the School Management Alliance about bills being considered in Springfield affecting school districts.
School Security Keys as We Emerge from COVID-19 **
Everyone wants to know how to provide a safe learning environment, especially as we attempt to emerge from COVID-19. How can you make sure your school is effectively addressing today's areas of vulnerability? Review important issues and solutions, learn best practices and gain resources.
A Source Net Zero Energy School Case Study
Learn how River Trails School District 26 navigated the process of remodeling an entire school that is designed to achieve source next zero energy usage. Learn more about the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation’s Net Zero Energy Building grant program.
Student Online Privacy Protection Act: Is this a Big Deal?
The Student Online Privacy Protection Act (SOPPA) goes into effect on July 1, 2021. Learn practical steps from education leaders for protecting your students and reducing risk based on these new requirements.
11:00am — 12:00pm
Internal Controls in Hybrid Situations **
Explore the roles of management, the school board and the external auditor in the internal control process. Review key elements of the internal control framework and how to best update your internal control program in the remote of hybrid working environment.
What's Up with the New ESG Investment Statute?
The Illinois Sustainable Investment Act (effective 1/1/2020), states all local governments (including school districts) should integrate material, relevant and useful sustainability factors into their investment policies, processes and decision making. What is ESG? What does this mean? What should you do about this?
What’s Happening With Your TRS Pension **
Hear an update on the impact of COVID-19 on TRS investments and state revenues and the impact on the future of pensions. Review the new Optional Defined Contribution program and the new TRS Gemini software program to support it. Discuss the latest state “buyout” programs to reduce the unfunded liability of the system and other issues in the legislature and courts.
Unmasked: What the Pandemic has Taught Us One Year Later! **
On March 15, 2020, Governor Pritzker ordered a temporary closure of schools. Over one year later, what have we learned about ourselves, public education and our abilities to navigate a pandemic? Reflect on the impact COVID-19 has had on our districts and how we lead in the future.
Writing the Rules for Your Next Construction Project
Your team has designed a great project but when something goes wrong, weak contract language and project requirements cause the owner problems. Overlooked tools in managing risk are bidding requirements, contract forms and conditions. Learn how to write the rules to win disputes, reduce cost, save time, stay out of trouble and get what you paid for during your next construction project.
Negotiating During a Pandemic
Discuss what issues unions are presenting at the bargaining table currently and what topics may require an MOU mid-contract.
12:45pm — 1:45pm
Lessons Learned from Referenda…Successful & Otherwise! **
Hear how several districts made it through successful referendums. Learn these invaluable lessons to help you as you think and plan for your community vote. Bring questions!
Referendum & Non-Referendum: Approaches to a Long-Term Capital Plan
Explore three examples of funding options for long-term capital plans. The first two options will utilize a combination of non-referendum sources to address capital needs. The third option combines referendum approval with non-referendum options. The common theme among these financial plans is lower property taxes and disciplined budgeting.
Effective Recruiting in Public Education
Learn about impactful, successful and innovative ways public educators can recruit in today’s difficult hiring environment.
Food Service Basics & Entitlement Dollar Usage
Review basic school nutrition program information and discover ways to get the most out of your entitlement dollars.
How to Build a More Perfect Bid Document **
A successful bid opening starts with the bid documents following best practices and legal requirements. A panel of experienced school bidding professionals will provide practical guidance and advice about what to include and not include in your bid documents.
Leveraging ESSER Dollars to Improve Educational Environments **
Learn how districts are leveraging their ESSER monies to not only improve air quality, but also reach sustainability goals and improve the health and life safety of their educational spaces.
Hybrid Learning Beyond COVID
Now that we have all experienced over a year of hybrid learning, what will we keep doing, what will we improve and what will we drop? Hear perspectives from education technology leaders and add your own.
3:45pm — 4:45pm
USDA Commodity Usage
Learn best practices for how to utilize your school district's annual allotted USDA Commodities. Discover how they can benefit your district and students alike.
Recruiting & Attracting Diverse Candidates
Come learn and share strategies for recruiting diverse candidates and understand why it is important in public education.
Defending Construction Claims Against Your District **
Construction claims against school districts are becoming more common - seeking more money and time to complete your project. A panel of experienced school construction professionals will provide practical advice on how to defeat these claims.
The Changing Landscape of Procurement & Contracts
The pandemic has caused many changes in the way business offices operate. From electronic bidding to contractual performance clauses, the procurement and contracting environment might never be the same again.Review these issues and gain strategies for moving forward.
Recycling: Beyond the Blue Bin
A real commitment to recycling goes beyond the blue bin next to your desk. Learn how districts are looking at all of their operations to reduce their foot print and reinforce their sustainability efforts towards greener communities.
IT Security & Ransomware Roundtable **
Hear a panel of school district IT leaders discuss their real-world experiences with ransomware attacks. Join in the discussion and gain a set of actionable steps to prepare for growing security threats.
State Transportation Claim. **
Learn best practices for completing your transportation claim.