To the Editor:
The Regional Office of Education’s No. 1 duty is to keep the children of McHenry County safe.
The office, located in the county Administration Building, ensures that every person in contact with students has a thorough criminal background check.
The checks are done through electronic fingerprinting, which goes through the state of Illinois and FBI databases. Those requiring background checks include educators, substitute teachers, teacher aides, coaches, lunch workers, bus drivers, facilities workers, construction workers and more.
Each fall, the assistant regional superintendent, Mike Freeman – often accompanied by local fire department officials – inspects all 82 school buildings in McHenry County for meeting health/life-safety codes.
Reviewing district policies for bullying and bringing weapons onto school grounds is a large part of the regional office’s duties. The regional office also maintains a Regional Safe School for those students who have major infringements on school policy and require a curriculum that better addresses the individual’s social/emotional needs.
The regional office assists educators in maintaining their licenses and endorsements.
The licensure clerk reviews teacher assignments to ensure that students are taught by appropriately licensed teachers. Along with the Northwest Herald and McHenry County College, the regional office co-sponsors the McHenry County Spelling Bee.
Finally, the federal Drug Free Community Grant that the office was awarded has allowed for a director to work throughout the county to educate all members of the community on the realities of substance abuse and the opioid crisis.
I have found the past six years as superintendent of the regional office to be very rewarding. I hope you will entrust me with the young people of McHenry County for the next four.
McHenry County regional superintendent of education