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FFA is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education..

The FFA Alumni Association supports and advocates for agricultural education and FFA through gifts of time, talent and financial resources..

The mission of the Illinois FFA Foundation is to provide financial support for the Illinois FFA. When you make a gift to the Illinois Foundation FFA, you are investing in the future of agriculture..

The Illinois Association of Vocation Agriculture Teachers (IAVAT) is a professional organization for agricultural teachers at all levels..

The Illinois Association of Community College Agriculture Instructors (IACCAI) is a statewide professional organization for postsecondary agriculture instructors. .

The Illinois Postsecondary Agricultural Student (PAS) Organization provides opportunities for individual growth, leadership and career preparation. .

The Illinois Farm Bureau & Affiliated Companies Youth Education in Agriculture program offers unique educational programs to Illinois youth in 4-H and FFA. .

The purpose of the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom Program is to encourage educators to incorporate more information about the agriculture, food, and natural resources system into daily lessons..
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Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education (FCAE) is a state project administered through the Illinois State Board of Education that is tasked with improving and expanding agricultural education from pre-k through adult levels..

The Illinois Leadership Council for Agricultural Education (ILCAE) is a voluntary, grassroots agricultural industry group focused on the expansion and improvement of Agricultural Education programs at all levels..

The Illinois Committee for Agricultural Education (ICAE) is a 13-member committee established by legislation and appointed by the Governor to advise both the governor and state education agencies concerning Agricultural Education K-adult..

The Illinois State Board of Education is the state agency responsible for Pre-K through 12th grade education. Its primary mission is state program leadership, planning, approval, funding, and evaluation..

The Illinois Department of Agriculture will be an advocate for Illinois' agricultural industry and provide the necessary regulatory functions to benefit consumers, agricultural industry, and our natural resources.. provides information about the Agricultural Education profession and encourages students to consider a career as an agriculture teacher..

MyCAERT provides teachers with an integrated online system to Plan, Document, Deliver, and Assess Career and Technical Education instruction. .

Information Technology and Communication Services (ITCS) Instructional Materials provides agricultural education publications in a variety of formats. .

The Agricultural Experience Tracker is the premiere personalized online system for tracking experiences in agricultural education. .
FFA FFA Alumni IL FFA Foundation IAVAT IACCAI PAS IFB Youth Education IAITC FCAE ILCAE ICAE ISBE Illinois Department of Agriculture MyCAERT ITCS The AET

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Casey Bolin
District 5 Program Advisor
Sections 21-25
1475 West Whittaker
Salem, IL 62881
Cell: (618) 780-0230
[email protected]
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Importance of SAE Home and Work Visits

Thursday, July 12, 2012

As high school agriculture teachers are making Supervised Agricultural Education(SAE) project visits this summer and throughout the year to student homes, places of work, and at county fairs, I thought it would be appropriate to send this news article printed in the Washington Post.  I have also shared this email with high school agriculture teachers.   The news article reinforces the importance of building relationships with parents and employers.    Thank you for reading. 

Should Teachers Visit Student Homes?

By Jay Mathews, Published: August 17, 2011

The new chief of the Chicago public schools, Jean-Claude Brizard, suggested recently that teachers visit the homes of their students. Many people reacted to that badly, as math teacher Jason Kamras’s principal did when Kamras dropped in on his students’ apartments near Sousa Middle School in Southeast Washington.

The Sousa principal feared for his young teacher’s safety in a high-crime area. Kamras, however, found the visits invaluable. He understood his students better. Parents were more supportive. Now a D.C. schools official, Kamras is one of many educators who think unannounced visits can be worth the risk.

In the District, officials are looking at the possibility of home visits for elementary school students. The nonprofit Concentric Educational Solutions has been knocking on the doors of persistent truants for the past year. The group’s executive director and co-founder, David L. Heiber, said the visits would be even more effective if they occurred before students got into trouble. “Home visits by themselves do not correlate into academic achievement,” he said. “However, if done with academic goals and targets as the objectives, they do work.”

That thought is dismissed in many schools. Administrators such as Kamras’s principal see danger in some neighborhoods, and don’t think their staffs have the time or the energy for such after-school and weekend enterprises. “Teachers are overworked already,” Heiber said he has been told. He said administrators say that “our social workers only see our special needs students” or that “we are short staffed as it is.”

“We respond affirmatively,” Heiber said. “All these things are true, if we continue to do the same things, the same way, looking through the same lens.” Heiber argues that in a school with 1,000 students, if there are 70 willing staff members, each will have to visit only 15 homes. He said the visits often produce better attendance and more attention in class, saving those teachers much wasted time.

Trying to reach parents on the phone or by e-mail is often fruitless. Asking students why they are missing class can produce short, unhelpful answers. Heiber recalled visiting the home of a 10th-grader on a Saturday in Southeast Washington and discovering the problem after talking a few minutes with the student’s older sister.

Their mother had suffered a heart attack and a stroke. The sister, a nursing school student, said she and her sister “take turns staying home with her each week so she’s never here alone. We’re both missing a lot of school, but until she gets a little better, she can’t stay by herself.” When the educators learned that, they could work on alternatives.

Home visits have powerful backers. An article on a National Education Association Web site said, “Most teachers report their home visits have a lasting effect on the child, the parent and parent-teacher communication.”

In some places it is traditional for teachers to visit kindergartners’ homes before their first day at a new school. Charter organizations such as KIPP visit the parents of any new student. Head Start teachers are required to make home visits.

Some teachers I know began visiting homes on their own out of desperation. They needed some way to connect with hard-to-reach children. They were middle class people who thought it rude to show up at a home unannounced and anticipated a hostile reaction. Instead, they learned that in the home country cultures of the parents they visited, it was an honor for a teacher to drop by.

Home visits cannot be expanded quickly. They cost money and time. Many educators still need convincing. But as Chicago schools chief Brizard said of parents’ homes: “Our students go there every day. Why can’t we?”

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