April 2020 School Leader Update

school leader update - a monthly journal for iowa educators

April 2020

Stay in the know. Check out the COVID-19 guidance, information page

COVID- 19 graphic

The Iowa Department of Education continues to update its COVID-19 guidance and information page.

The page was created as a resource for educators, parents and stakeholders, ensuring they have ready access to an ever-changing education landscape during the pandemic.

The page is broken down into four areas of guidance and resources: K12, Community Colleges, School Meals and Additional Resources.

Educators, parents and stakeholders are encouraged to frequently check back to this page since updates will be ongoing through the pandemic.

Resource page debuts, aimed at teachers, parents and students

Education resource icon

There’s a new resource page  to support learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The page, aimed at broad audiences including educators, parents and students, is a compendium of various resources designed to enhance online educational enrichment options.

There are resources by subject matter and age groups. In addition, there are virtual tours of national parks and museums.

The page was created in partnership between the Iowa Department of Education, Iowa AEA Online, Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, Iowa PBS and Iowa Reading Research Center.

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Dr. Ann Lebo appointed director of the Iowa Department of Education

Ann Lebo

Gov. Kim Reynolds has appointed Dr. Ann Lebo to lead the Iowa Department of Education. The position became available after former director, Ryan Wise, accepted a new position as dean of the School of Education at Drake University. Her first day at the Department was March 13.

Prior to her appointment, Dr. Lebo most recently served as the executive director of the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners. She was previously a secondary principal in Grundy Center, an adjunct faculty member in education and leadership at Waldorf University and serves as Iowa's chief talent officer for the Council of Chief State School Officers. Dr. Lebo was an athletic coach and English instructor at the secondary and postsecondary levels for 17 years and worked in the private sector for five years. She also served on the statewide Teacher Leadership and Compensation Task Force in 2012 and was appointed to the Governor's STEM Advisory Council in 2017.

Dr. Lebo holds an Ed.D. and Ed.S. both in Educational Administration, a M.A. in English Language and Literature, a B.A. in English Education and a B.A. in Speech Communication.

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Public input sought for ESSA waivers

Every Student Succeeds Act graphic

The public has until April 30 to give input on waivers to the Every Student Succeeds Act.

The U.S. Department of Education granted Iowa’s request for waivers for the following:

  • Assessment requirements.
  • Designations for Targeted Support and Improvement.
  • Reporting requirement for specific measures.

More detailed information and an input link are available.

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Emergency Operations Plan: Infectious disease resources for schools

Words about preparation

Resources regarding planning for infectious disease and information on how these resources can be used in relation to schools and school district Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) have been added to the Department's Emergency Operations Planning website.

These resources, which include sample exercises, a training package, and an online course, are listed near the top of the page so they can be located easily. As you review your EOP this school year, and while things are fresh in your mind from working through the current infectious disease situation, you may want to consider adding this information to your current plan. For questions about these or additional resources, contact Rob Olsen at (515) 281-4743 or rob.olsen@iowa.gov.

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Health education guidance and resources

Graphic with healthy ideas

New guidance and lists of resources for Health Education are available on the Health Education webpage of the Iowa Department of Education. These resources were developed to support Iowa's recommended health education standards, not as a response to COVID-19.

The guidance focuses on Iowa’s recommended Health Education Standards. Health education lists contain research on effective health education and examples of age-appropriate, research-based resources which districts and schools may use to support health education and parent communication.

For additional information, contact Lyn Jenkins at 515-689-3607 or lyn.jenkins@iowa.gov.

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Work-Based Learning Conference transitioning to virtual format

Work-based Learning logo graphic

The Work-Based Learning Conference previously scheduled for April 22-23 is transitioning to a one-day virtual conference via Zoom on Wednesday, April 22. Registration for the conference is $125 (registration cancellation must be received through Thursday, April 2).

The conference will feature keynote speaker, Dr. Casey Sacks, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges in the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education. In addition, concurrent sessions covering a wide range of topics will be offered throughout the day.

Instructions on how to access the WBL Virtual Conference will be provided to conference participants prior to the conference. More information will be provided on the ACTE National Work-Based Learning Conference page as it becomes available.

For more information,contact Kristy Volesky at (515) 281-3615 or kristy.volesky@iowa.gov.

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Title I A Basic - Selection of Schools opens April 15

Data entry graphic

The Title I Basic - Selection of Schools collection will open in the Consolidated Accountability and Support Application (CASA) on April 15. In order to complete this collection, the certified information in the School Information Update (SIU) must be correct.

As soon as possible, access the School Information Update (SIU), found in the Education Portal under EdInfo, to either correct information or to certify that the information remains unchanged for the 2020-21 school year. These data will be pulled from the SIU on April 13. If the data are not correct, your district will be unable to work on the Selection of Schools.

For questions about SIU, contact Margaret Hanson at (515) 281-3214 or margaret.hanson@iowa.gov.

For questions about the Selection of Schools,  contact the Title Team.

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Iowa Learning Online (ILO) to end service

Iowa Learning Online logo

Iowa Learning Online (ILO), the Iowa Department of Education’s initiative to expand high-quality online learning opportunities will be available through 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 available for operating the program.

ILO staff will be happy to work with your district regarding options for your transition to the use of Department of Education-approved private providers of online courses or your own district-developed online courses.

Thank you for allowing ILO to serve you and your students. For questions or concerns, contact ILO Director, Gwen Wallace Nagel at 515-419-3275 or gwen.nagel@iowa.gov.

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