June 2019 School Leader Update

school leader update - a monthly journal for iowa educators

June 2019

500-some school visits yield these take-aways

director ryan wise

Happy summer! This season offers opportunities for reflection as educators shift from spending their days with students to spending time on their own professional learning. I set aside time at the end of each school year to reflect on the key takeaways from my weekly school visits.

Following each of the last two years, I shared five lessons learned in my school visits (2017 here and 2018 here). After now having visited more than 500 schools in over 200 school districts, here are my latest five reflections on the state of education in Iowa:

Legal Lessons

attorney nicole proesch

Now that prom and graduation are over its time to move on to some housekeeping items. Now in this short June Edition of Legal Lessons I bring you New Rules Noticed by the State Board and LEFTOVERS – what to do with Medication Waste and Money Remaining in Student Lunch Accounts.

Contact Nicole Proesch for all Legal Lessons items - nicole.proesch@iowa.gov or (515) 281-8661.

For questions regarding students with disabilities  contact Thomas Mayes at (515) 242-5614 or thomas.mayes@iowa.gov.

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Registration is open for Our Kids Summer Institute June 18-19

Diverse students standing arm in arm with conference info graphic over top

Registration is open for the 15th Annual Our Kids Summer Institute, scheduled for June 18-19, at the FFA Enrichment Center at the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) campus in Ankeny. This conference will be for all educators who support English Learner (EL) students.

Register yourself and your team at this link: http://bit.ly/2OY2I8v Course #180032.

Registration Instructions are provided to assist you in the registration process.

Registration includes three books:

  1. Advocating for English Learners: A Guide for Educators, by Diane Staehr Fenner
  2. Unlocking English Learners Potential, by Diane Staehr Fenner
  3. Preventing Long-Term ELs - Transforming Schools to Meet Core Standards, by Margarita Espino Calderon and Liliana Minoya-Rowe

If you are a classroom teacher, EL teacher, administrator, Instructional Coach or PK instructor, you will have the opportunity to network and learn from other educators that support EL students in our state.

Conference learning includes:

  • Strategies for working with English Language Learners
  • How to support EL students across Universal instruction and Tiers 2 and 3
  • How to meet the requirements of current EL code and case law
  • Common EL myths and facts

Check out the institute speakers and more information on the learning topics.

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Registration for the 2019-20 Course to College programming is now open

Iowa College Aid Logo

Course to College is a high school program that addresses the five basic steps in the college going process; preparing, applying, financing, deciding and going. Registration is open now through July 19. 

High schools that participate are provided with free programming materials, provided access to shared resources from Iowa College Aid and other high schools, invited to attend weekly collaboration calls, and so much more. Visit the Iowa College Aid website for more information.

For questions about the program, contact Iowa College Aid's Jamie Covell by email or at (515) 725-3422. 

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Public input sought for career and technical education

CTE Learning what works for Iowa

The Iowa Department of Education is seeking the public’s input on proposed standards for career and technical education (CTE).

The standards were developed over the last year by program management teams consisting of secondary and postsecondary educators and administrators, business and industry partners, and staff from the Department and the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners. Public input is being sought specifically in the areas of agriculture, food and natural resources; business, finance, marketing, and management; health sciences; human services; and information solutions. Work will begin on standards for applied sciences, technology, engineering, and manufacturing later this year.

Feedback through online surveys, which will be open through June 13, will be incorporated into the teams’ final recommendations for the State Board of Education this fall. If adopted, the CTE standards will be a mandatory requirement for school districts.

For questions, contact Pat Thieben at (515) 281-4707, or at pat.thieben@iowa.gov.

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New funding unleashes Future Ready Iowa opportunities

Future Ready Iowa logo

Please spread the word within your networks about three new Future Ready Iowa funding opportunities to help Iowans get the education and training required for great jobs and to help employers get the skilled workers they need.   

More than $16 million in new funding became available through bills signed by Gov. Reynolds in May. Most of the money will fund three programs:

  • The Last Dollar Scholarship program, which prepares Iowans for high-demand jobs by paying tuition for those who enroll in one of 48 eligible programs.
  • Future Ready Iowa Grant program, which provides tuition support to Iowans who have completed at least two years of a four-year degree in a high-demand field.
  • Future Ready Iowa Employer Innovation Fund, a grant program to help communities carry out initiatives that address local workforce issues.

A communications toolkit is available online to help stakeholders learn about these opportunities and to share information about them through multiple platforms.  

For more information about Future Ready Iowa, visit futurereadyiowa.gov.

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Emergency Operations Planning webinars

Computer keys that say Safety and Danger

The Department of Education is offering monthly webinars to establish high-quality emergency operations plans (EOPs) in school districts and individual schools. Participation in the webinars is encouraged to complete your high quality emergency operations plans by June 30, as required by Iowa Code section 280.30.

The last webinar is scheduled for June 11 at 10 a.m. Join by clicking on the following link. Each webinar is designed to provide step-by-step assistance in developing high- quality EOPs. These webinars will be recorded and posted to the Department’s website.

The legislation requires high-quality emergency operations plans for all public and accredited nonpublic schools, both district-wide and individual school buildings. The plans must include (but not limited to) responses to active shooter scenarios and natural disasters. The legislation also requires an emergency operations drill based on these plans in each individual building annually.

For questions about these webinars and requirements, contact Rob Olsen at (515) 281-4743 or rob.olsen@iowa.gov.

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Iowa Learning Online summer and fall course enrollment now open

iowa learning online

Iowa Learning Online (ILO), the Iowa Department of Education’s initiative to expand high-quality online learning opportunities, will be available for the 2019-20 school year. After that, districts will either need to create their own online classes or work with a third-party vendor. ILO will no longer directly provide courses after the 2019-20 school year because there is no long-term, sustainable funding source for operating the program.

Enrollment for summer and fall ILO courses is under way now. ILO staff are available to work with districts regarding options for transition to the use of Department-approved private providers of online courses or to individual district-developed online courses.

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Deadline for District Approval of Targeted and Comprehensive Building Requirements

Deadline with multi-colored background

June 7 is the deadline for district approval of submitted action plan questions and table submissions for all targeted and comprehensive buildings in the Consolidated Accountability and Support Application (CASA). Guidance for the district approval process is posted to the CASA webpage.

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Individuals with Disabilities Education Act data profiles are available

Student in wheelchair working at his desk in school

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B Data Profiles for districts and area education agencies (AEAs) and IDEA Part C Data Profiles for AEAs are available on EdInsight and redacted versions are posted to the Iowa Department of Education’s website.

For more information contact:

Part B – Meredith MacQuigg at (515) 494-5610 or meredith.macquigg@iowa.gov. 

Part C – Kate Small at (515) 281-5437 or kate.small@iowa.gov.

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Early Learning Fall Institute, Oct. 4-5

Early Learning Fall Institute ad, showing six children laying down on grass in a circle.

Hear about early childhood research and initiatives, take advantage of the resources of supporting agencies, and learn from national experts and each other at the Early Learning Fall Institute at the Prairie Meadows Conference Center in Altoona. The Iowa Department of Education is co-sponsoring the event with the Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children, focusing on how “Early Childhood Educators are the Workforce Behind the Workforce.”

The institute is open to all professionals who work with infants and children, from birth to 8-years-old, including staff and consultants from Early ACCESS, Area Education Agencies, Statewide Voluntary Preschool Programs, Early Childhood Special Education programs, and Shared Visions programs. School administrators, elementary teachers, and other early care educators and providers should also consider attending.

For more information, visit the Iowa AEYC website or contact Betsy Lin at (515) 725-2039 or betsy.lin@iowa.gov.

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Spring Student Reporting in Iowa

Stacked binders that say DEADLINE

Spring Student Reporting in Iowa (SRI) Season is open for business.

June reminders:

Put data onto SRI as soon as possible and start reviewing:

  1. Assessment Accountability – public districts only
    • SRI needs to be certified before participation and subgroups are certified on this application
    • Certification deadline: June 21
  2. Non-fall Supplementary Weighting – public districts only
    • Make sure all eligible non-fall concurrent enrollment courses have a section FTE populated
    • If students from another district are taking courses with your district, make sure those courses have a section FTE populated
    • Certification deadline: Aug. 26
  3. Graduate Verification
    • Do not report a student as a graduate until that student has a signed diploma in hand
    • IEP students continuing to complete their IEP goals are NOT graduates
    • Certification deadline:  Aug. 26

Spring SRI certification deadline is June 20.

For questions regarding any of these applications, contact an SRI consultant.

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Fall training for Student Reporting in Iowa and certified enrollment

Group sitting at table in library

Out with the old and in with the new. SIF Works© and the Vertical Reporting Framework (VRF) will be replaced this fall with a new system. The Student Reporting in Iowa (SRI) team will be coming to an AEA near you this August and September to walk you through the new process for submitting your data for SRI and Certified Enrollment this fall. This training is highly recommended for all district and non-public staff that currently work (or will work) with your student information system and student reporting.  Registration is required.  Click to view training dates, times and locations.

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Collection of IQPPS Evidence in the Universal Preschool Desk Audit for 2019-20

Blocks that spell PRESCHOOL

The Iowa Quality Preschool Program Standards (IQPPS) Evidence portion of the Universal Preschool Desk Audit will continue statewide for the 2019-20 school year. Every school district that is implementing the IQPPS at any location, including community partners, is required to complete this portion by providing IQPPS evidence in the Preschool Desk Audit between Sept. 15 and Dec. 15, 2019. Districts that will receive an onsite IQPPS visit during the 2019-20 or 2020-21 school year are exempt from this requirement.

Guidance for IQPPS Evidence for 2019-20 is posted on the Differentiated Accountability web page.

For questions about the Preschool Desk Audit, contact Jennifer Adkins at (515) 954-5652 or jennifer.adkins@iowa.gov.

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FY21 Shared Visions Preschool competitive grants frequently asked questions

Preschool teacher working at table with group of preschool students

Questions related to the FY21 Shared Visions Preschool competitive grant process have been addressed in a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document available on the Shared Visions Preschool Program webpage. The FAQ will be updated as additional questions are received. All questions related to the FY21 Shared Visions Preschool competitive grant process must be submitted in writing to amy.stegeman@iowa.gov no later than Jan. 6, 2020.

For more information on the FY21 Shared Visions Preschool competitive grant opportunity, go to the Shared Visions Preschool Program web page or contact Amy Stegeman at (515) 725-2223 or amy.stegeman@iowa.gov.

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Voluntary participation in GOLD mass archiving

Data archiving sign

All districts and programs under the Iowa GOLD license have the opportunity to participate in mass archiving of GOLD child records in August.  Programs who use the summer checkpoint will have time to generate reports after the summer checkpoint closes. Districts and programs will have time before school starts to enter new and place returning children in classes for fall. Participation of a district or program this year must include all sites listed under the subscribing district or program, including community partners under a district license.

Participation in the mass archive of GOLD child records is voluntary for the 2018-19 year. In 2019-20, all districts and programs under the Iowa GOLD license will have GOLD child records mass archived automatically at the conclusion of the program year. Please complete this short form by June 7 to indicate your interest in participating in the mass archiving process in August.  

For questions, contact Mary Breyfogle at (515) 326-1030 or mary.breyfogle@iowa.gov.

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School nutrition summer training

Young female chef cooking at stove using cast iron skillet

The Iowa Department of Education Bureau of Nutrition and Health Services and Iowa State University Extension partner together to offer nutrition training. Visit the School Meal Program Training Opportunities webpage to register.

June 27, Manager Update: Building a Strong Nutrition Program:
Hear an update from the state agency and keynote Chef Cyndie Story will speak on important ingredients for school nutrition programs to be successful.  

July 30 – July 31, Healthy School Meals:
A two-day training focused on meeting nutrition and meal pattern requirements.

July 30 – Aug. 1, New Manager Orientation
A three-day training. Healthy School Meals, plus an additional day specifically for new nutrition directors.

Webinar:  2019-20 Iowa Eligibility Application Training
July 16 – 9 a.m. – 12 p.m
A webinar for determining officials reviewing SY 2019-20 Iowa Application for Free and Reduced Price Meals/Milk, Direct Certification, E-Lookup, and hawk-i. Review changes for the upcoming year, where to find application materials; review application approval process including instructions on using Web-based ICAVES. Register for the 2019-20 Iowa Eligibility Application Training.

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Iowa Department of Education
400 E 14th Street
Grimes State Office Building
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
Ph: 515-281-5294