Aren’t we taught to share with one another in RSD205 anymore?

Superintendent Sheffield is still not sharing information with our elected Board of Education. She said the board didn’t have to vote on textbooks, computers for every teacher – millions of dollars in expenses because the expenses were grant funded. There were no members of the board on Sheffield’s 2012 budget committee – which is the elected board’s fiducary duty by state law.

The superintendent didn’t share with the board that honors classes would be canceled until after the course catalogs were made available and registration was beginning. When confronted again about not sharing her views with the board, she stated that it was not in the purview of the board to make such decisions.

You will notice Dr. Sheffield never says a project will move forward, upon approval of the board. Ultimately, Sheffield was unable to cancel honors programs without the board’s approval. The superintendent doesn’t have the power to unilaterally approve anything, if the board has the determination to stop her.

Now the superintendent announces, within a period of 24 hours of emailing a press release to most members of the board – how’s that for the personal touch – in a “Sunday night news conference” that she has decided, after a year of deliberation, that portions of the sports programs could be outsourced to the park district.

The board of education was again the last to know. Sheffield had kept them out of the loop again  – how many times is it now? Then roles were reversed, when Carl Armato, the district’s athletic director didn’t share information with the superintendent that he had shared with the Register Star proposing a plan to combine some sports teams among schools, and outsourcing middle school sports to the Park District.


Sheffield said that she never received a detailed plan from Carl Armato, the district’s athletic director, with any kind of financial specifics.

“Whatever (the Register Star) received I’ve never seen,” Sheffield said of Armato’s plan. “He has not shared it with me. If he wants to have this discussion with the media, he can have that discussion. But at the end of the day, I make the call.”

Oops, leaving the board out of another decision, Dr Sheffield? Also, it looks like the athletic director didn’t share with you this time, before telling his plans to someone. How does it feel to have an employee say something about district plans without consulting you? Probably similar to your employers, the members of the Board of Education and the citizens of the community everytime you bypass them.


Sheffield said that if the district is unable to partner with the Park District, then athletic budgets are going to be severely slashed.

“Regardless of this relationship, the extracurricular and athletic departments will be vastly different than it is today,” she said. “I’ve been looking at this for over a year. If this doesn’t happen, I’m going to restructure things so we can reduce the cost. I cannot diminish the course offerings and not make cuts to the basketball and football teams.”

You have been looking at this for a year? Did you collaborate with anyone during that time, other than your cabinent – like the board, the coaches, the teachers, the community, anyone? You are going to reduce the costs; you are going to cut sports. Does anyone else get to share their opinion, Dr. Sheffield?

Take a lesson from executive director of the Park District, Tim Dimke, who said that he was going to begin meeting with all the stakeholders in Rockford. He is looking to bring everyone together to create a youth program that the public wants, that will be second to none.

The board of education, even the president of the board, didn’t find out about your sports decisions until they saw the press release, except maybe one member who knew for more than a single day. If you treat the board with such disregard, how do you treat the rest of the stakeholders in the school district? RSD205 needs a lesson in sharing, if you ask me.



  1. Kevind1986

    I’ve asked this several times in the past and nobody has ever tried to answer me – when does the Board President carry some of the blame for not being able to control any of this? The media seems to be giving him a huge pass and I just don’t get it. Now he appears to be ducking out of the way instead of dealing with the mess that he is partly responsible for creating. Color me stumped.

  2. Ted Biondo

    Kevind that’s a good point. Some on the board are stumped what to do with a person who down’t listen and does thigs her own way without cosequences. I have explained to those who will listen that they have much more power than they think, and they have wonsome of the battles.

    Press has given him and others a pass because they don’t want to rile up the peasants against Sheffield. If Dave would get the nortority he might do something, so they keep things quiet – so much about, “it’s all for the kids.”

  3. Kidssake

    Thank you for laying it out so clearly. I hope soon someone will do something. We are in a mess that just keeps getting messier by the minute.

  4. Ted- Thank you for all of your assistance in keeping the public aware and for providing members of our board of education that at the end of the day, Dr. sheffield does NOT make the call.

    I hope you encourage the community to attend school board meetings. Board members may not read the blogs, they can not see people watching on channel 20, some may even ignore constituent’s emails and phone messages, but they can not ignore our presence at these meetings.

    Tuesday January 25th 7:00 PM
    201 S. Madison St., Rockford, IL 61104

    It is simply too important to the future of our community and our children not to get involved. We can make a difference. http://www.educationunited.net

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