May 2021 School Leader Update

school leader update - a monthly journal for iowa educators

May 2021

Meaningful connections pave the path forward

Director Ann Lebo, Iowa Department of Education

With the end of the school year quickly approaching, it is important to take time to reflect on how it started, celebrate how far we have come and keep the momentum going as we move forward. 

Just one year ago we were meeting with educators, administrators and other stakeholders to start planning for what return to learning would look like. Since then, the challenges we have overcome, the solutions we have implemented and the work we have collectively done to ensure our schools opened for learning this year have provided many advantages for our students. 

Teach Iowa updates

Teach Iowa logo

In November 2020, the Iowa Department of Education transitioned to the new platform for Teach Iowa. All components of the Teach Iowa system can still be accessed using web address.

In preparation for the upcoming summer/fall months that tend to be busy with hiring, all employers who are using the free statewide Teach Iowa applicant tracking system, should note the following recommendations:

  • Ensure your Teach Iowa account is established in the new system.
  • Practice creating and posting positions in the system. 
  • Watch the training videos provided for the Hiring Managers and HR Directors. 
    • To access the training videos, log on to your account, and access the videos under the Teach Iowa Training Resources tab. 
  • If you are aware that you have an upcoming transition in HR administrative duties, ensure that the current manager adds the appropriate point of contact and access for your school district.

To address any issues regarding the system, use the support links and phone lines included in the support tab in account to contact the vendor.

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Out-of-state residents and tuition

Student studying in library

There have been some questions lately regarding when schooling can be provided when a student is in another district or state. Iowa Code 282.6 and 282.1 provide that school is tuition free to residents, but nonresidents must be charged the maximum tuition rate.

A resident for the purposes of the above code sections is defined as:

"a person who is physically present in a district, whose residence has not been established in another district by operation of law” and who is either: “in the district for the purpose of making a home and not solely for school purposes”; a homeless individual; or in a residential correctional facility in the district.

Therefore, if a school district in Iowa has a student who previously had attended in person but is now attending school remotely from another state or district, they would not be a resident.       

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2021 Iowa Youth Health Surveys

Adult speaking with high school student

The Iowa Department of Public Health will administer the Iowa Youth Survey and the Youth Risk Behavior Survey Sept. 27 through Nov. 12. The surveys will be jointly administered with several administrative improvements to reduce student and school burden.

Students will complete the web-based 2021 Iowa Youth Survey along with participating public and non-public students in grades 6, 8, and 11. Learn more at the Iowa Youth Survey website.

The web-based 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey will involve a small number of Iowa public high schools randomly selected by our survey partner, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Learn more at the Iowa YRBS website.

Administrators should have received an email in April with a link to an online registration system.

For questions, contact Pat McGovern, Iowa Youth Survey Director, and Rhonda Chittenden, Iowa Youth Health Assessment Program Coordinator, at .

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Summer school programs and access to postsecondary contracted courses

Masked teacher and high school student in classroom.

The Iowa Department of Education has received inquiries regarding the use of contracted postsecondary courses through the Senior Year Plus concurrent enrollment program outside of the regular academic school year through a school district’s summer school program. The Department offers the following guidance to school districts and community colleges for the purpose of contracting postsecondary courses through a school district’s summer school program.

It is not permissible for a school district or community college to enter into a sharing agreement for concurrent enrollment coursework over the summer months; however, a school district and community college may establish a contractual arrangement outside of the Senior Year Plus concurrent enrollment program to offer postsecondary coursework through a school district’s summer school program.

Contact Jen Rathje at or 515-326-5389 with comments or questions.  

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

SYBAC logo

Iowa Communications Network is accepting student applications for participation in the 2021-22 Statewide Youth Broadband Advisory Council (SYBAC). 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 10th- 12th grades may apply.
  • Monthly meetings by video conference.
  • SYBAC runs Sept. 2021 through April 2022.
  • Applications accepted until May 14.

Visit the SYBAC webpage for more information.

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Spring state student reporting time

Woman with laptop showing graphs

It is again time for spring state student reporting.

Cedar Connect and spring Student Reporting in Iowa (SRI) are now open for test data runs. School districts are strongly encouraged to use the next few weeks to get data as clean as possible before the end of the school year so when doing final collection (after the last day of school) there will be minimal, if any, issues and certification can proceed.

As a reminder, spring SRI is focused primarily on 1) Graduates; 2) Attendance/chronic absenteeism; 3) Non-fall Supplementary Weighting for courses; and 4) Discipline Removals. Spring SRI data are also used for Regular Education Foster Care Claim.

The Assessment Accountability application is also open – all districts need to verify their assessment participants, sub-groups and partial academic year (PAY) students. For a refresher to this application, join a webinar on May 18 at 1 p.m. 

Feel free to contact an SRI consultant if you have any questions.

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myIGDIs updates

Teacher entering data into computer.

The myIGDIs spring window ends on May 14 this year. For support with collecting end of year myIGDIs information for use by next year’s teachers, check out the Printing and Saving Reports within myIGDIs Help area.

Progress is underway to support display of myIGDIs data in Student Success. In order to facilitate this, some data fields will become required in myIGDIs rosters next year, such as state student ID, state district ID and state building ID.

In order to display data in Student Success, we are in the process of establishing Iowa windows for myIGDIs. The myIGDIs assessments will continue to be available all year, even in between Iowa windows, but attention to the Iowa window dates will be important for Healthy Indicator data display. Watch for more information about Iowa windows in EWS listserv emails. If possible, the myIGDIs Iowa windows will align with the tentative early literacy screening dates published in the most recent listserv communication.

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Funding opportunity increases access to quality child care

African American male childcare provider with a child.

Iowa Department of Human Services is offering a funding opportunity to entities providing child care (including school districts) in an effort to increase the availability of child care throughout the state. By expanding child care programming, Iowa’s families will have increased access to quality child care.

Investing in Iowa’s Child Care Program (IICC) is available through Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral beginning on May 3. Interested parties should review the funding opportunity information and access technical assistance provided by Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R).

Refer to this page for Regional CCR&R Office contact information. 

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Registration open for Iowa College and Career Readiness Academy professional development courses

Iowa College and Career Readiness Academy logo

Registration is now open for the June session of the Iowa College & Career Readiness Academy. These professional development courses are offered for license renewal, graduate credit, or for no credit (free).

The Academy was developed by Iowa College Aid in partnership with AEA Learning Online, AEA PREP, and the Iowa Department of Education.

Participants may earn a College Access Professional Certificate by completing 101-301, a College Access Specialist Certificate (101-501), and an Equity digital badge by completing 601.

For questions, contact Megan Sibbel at or 515-725-3463.

Courses begin on June 7 and end on August 1:




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