June 2020 School Leader Update

school leader update - a monthly journal for iowa educators

June 2020

Director Lebo: The first step is half the journey

Director Ann Lebo, Iowa Department of Education

In my first few months as director I have been heartened by the ability of our students to adapt to new learning environments and the wherewithal of educators as they end the year remotely. Schools are reimagining year-end celebrations with livestream events, virtual ceremonies and drive-through parades, and our students are choosing to finish the school year in positivity as captured in our video featuring messages from some of our graduating high school seniors.

Looking toward the future, I am reminded of the old adage “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” As this school year comes to its unforeseen end, we are starting our journey for a new tomorrow with the reopening of summer learning opportunities and high school sports.          

Education COVID-19 Guidance and Information webpage

COVID 19 spelled out in letters

The Iowa Department of Education is providing guidance and information for Iowa school districts, area education agencies (AEAs), community colleges and other stakeholders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Guidance and information are updated regularly as additional information becomes available.

Information is available pertaining to Resources for Families and Educators, School Meal Services, Community Colleges, PK-12, Assessment, Accountability and Federal Programs, CARES Act, Continuous Learning, Educator Preparation Programs, Return to Learn and Special Education. Topics such as Cybersecurity Recommendations for K-12 Schools Using Video Conferencing Tools and Online Platforms are also included. Visit the Department’s COVID-19 Guidance and Information webpage to access more information. 

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Teach Iowa has new look, new vendor, starting October 2020

Letters spelling NEW LOOK!

Starting in mid-October, the Teach Iowa job board and candidate application system will transition from using FrontLine/AppliTrack to using PowerSchool/Enterprise as our statewide vendor. More information about the new system and information regarding online training will be shared in upcoming months. Currently a Talent Acquisition/TeachIowa Focus Group, consisting of representatives from PK-12 districts, AEAs, and colleges and universities from across the state, are working with the Iowa Department of Education to help guide the development of our new system. Until the new system is fully functioning in mid-October, we will continue to use the current TeachIowa/AppliTrack system.

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Registration open for summer 2020 Iowa College and Career Readiness Academy courses

Iowa College and Career Readiness Academy logo

Registration is now open for summer 2020 courses through the Iowa College and Career Readiness Academy. The Academy was developed by the Iowa College Student Aid Commission in partnership with Iowa AEA Learning Online and the Iowa Department of Education and has been endorsed by the Iowa School Counselor Association (ISCA). These Iowa-specific online courses designed for administrators, school counselors, teachers, and other college access professionals will begin on June 8 and run through August 2. Courses can be taken for license renewal credit, grad credit, or no credit (free).

Participants who complete courses 101 through 301 can earn a College Access Professional Certificate. Participants who complete courses 101 through 501 can earn a College Access Specialist Certificate, and those who complete course 601 can earn an Equity Badge.

Each of the courses available through the Academy is specifically tailored for Iowa college access professionals to improve effectiveness in preparing all students for education and training beyond high school.

To register, individuals will need to log into the AEA Iowa Professional Learning website using their current AEA Learning System user name and password. If a new account is created, courses will not be accessible until the following business day. If you experience issues with the login process, contact bjones@heartlandaea.org or schristensen@heartlandaea.org.  Read more.

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GOLD mass archiving

Data entry graphic.

All districts and programs under the Iowa GOLD license will have child records in GOLD mass archived on Aug.11. All child records present in districts, programs, sites and classes will automatically be archived. Programs who use the summer checkpoint will have time to generate reports after the summer checkpoint closes on Aug. 7. Districts and programs should reactivate returning children in classes for fall and create child profiles for children newly enrolled. Districts have the option to use the child import tool to enter child information for the fall. More information can be found on the MyTeachingStrategies Support Portal about reactivating child profiles and using the child import tool. The mass archiving service is at no cost to districts and programs and will assist in maintaining data hygiene.

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

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Shared Visions Preschool Program grants awarded

Preschool children listening to teacher read a story.

A new cycle of the competitive grant process for Shared Visions Preschool Programs was recently conducted to award grants for programming in FY21 through FY25. Submitted applications were scored by a team of trained reviewers with expertise in early childhood programming. A set of criteria for determining awards was applied and the Child Development Coordinating Council made final approval of awards. Out of the 80 applications received, 49 will be awarded grants, contingent upon state legislative funding.

Grantees will provide comprehensive quality preschool programming to children with identified risk factors and ages three to five years old. Services begin in FY21 and grantees may renew the grant for a total of five years.

For more information, including a list of awarded grantees, visit the Shared Visions Preschool Program webpage.

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Spring Student Reporting in Iowa reminders

Push pins on calendar.

Below are a few Spring Student Reporting in Iowa (SRI) Season reminders.

Get your data onto SRI as soon as possible so you can start reviewing your reports. Pay special attention to:

  1. Non-fall Supplementary Weighting
    • Make sure all non-fall concurrent enrollment courses have a section FTE populated
    • If you have students from another district taking courses with you, make sure those courses have a section FTE populated
  2. Graduates
    • DO NOT report a student as a graduate until that student has a signed diploma in hand
    • IEP students continuing next fall to complete their IEP goals are NOT graduates

Spring SRI Certification deadline is June 22.

If you have questions regarding any of these applications, contact an SRI consultant.

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IDEA Part B and Part C Data Profiles

Disabled student working with teacher on computer

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. Redacted versions are posted to the Iowa Department of Education’s website.

For more information contact:

Part B – Courtney Clement at (515) 971-7687 or courtney.clement@iowa.gov. 

Part C – Kate Small at (515) 418-2570 or kate.small@iowa.gov. 

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ICN accepting 2020-21 SYBAC applications until June 12

SYBAC logo

The Statewide Youth Broadband Advisory Council (SYBAC) is a unique opportunity for motivated high school students to research and discuss broadband and Internet topics, learn about Iowa technology companies, and discover technology careers.

·  Students entering grades 10-12 may apply.

·  Monthly meetings by video conference.

·  SYBAC runs Sept. 2020 through April 2021.

·  Applications accepted until June 12.

Today's SYBAC students are tomorrow's technology leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators.

Visit the SYBAC webpage for more information.

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