Spring 2022 School Leader Update

School Leader Update

Spring 2022


Director Ann Lebo

“Every child deserves a champion - an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” Rita Pierson

Teachers are champions for their students and each other. And I am so grateful for the champions who are serving in our classrooms across this great state. Teachers dedicate their lives to supporting one another and becoming the best they can be because teaching is not just a profession, but a profoundly impactful community of innovation and inspiration.

As I travel across the state, I see our champions in action and witness their passion and purpose as they create spaces where all students feel supported in their learning. I see teachers being intentional as they develop meaningful connections, which are so important for our students to learn and grow in their confidence and abilities.

Computer Science Curriculum and Professional Development Grants Modification

Group of teachers at conference table with laptops.

Computer Science Curriculum and Professional Development Grants are available to help Iowa school districts and accredited nonpublic schools with the cost of providing high-quality computer science curriculum and professional development. In addition to the new maximum request amount of $50,000 and removal of grade band requirements, awarded funds may now be used for additional related expenses. Those expenses include associated equipment as well as stipends for teachers participating in professional development during non-contract hours and substitute pay when teachers participate in professional development during contract hours. Click here for more information.

If your district has already submitted an application and would like to modify your request, or if you have any questions, contact Computer Science Consultant Justin Lewis at justin.lewis@iowa.gov.

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Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) End of Year Report 2021-22

Teacher Leadership and Compensation logo

This year’s Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) report will follow the same format as the 2020-21 report in the portal. The report is due on July 1.

TLC Teams can access the TLC End of the Year Reporting guidance on the Department’s TLC page. You will find a slide deck that will help you as you develop your end of year report.

For questions, contact Lora Rasey at lora.rasey@iowa.gov  or 515-419-2088.

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Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training grants available

Female student with hand raised with word STOP written on palm

The Department is accepting applications from districts to participate in a training grant through the U.S. Department of Justice’s STOP School Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Program. The funding is intended to help schools prevent and respond to acts of violence and support students who face mental health challenges. 

Iowa’s project has three objectives:

  • Train teachers and school employees to respond to threats of violence and to prevent violence in schools. Training content will align with school emergency plans.
  • Train school staff, area education agency staff, and community members to respond to students who may be struggling with mental health or addiction.
  • Educate students on preventing violence against themselves and others.

Current options for training include: June 2022 and September 2022. To learn more, view the information slide deck or contact Nancy Hunt at nancy.hunt@iowa.gov or 515-326-1031. Schools interested in the training should complete an application to participate. 

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School meals for SY 2022-23

Student holding school lunch tray

The United States Department of Agriculture’s expanded authority to issue nationwide waivers related to pandemic conditions expires on June 30. The USDA has shared they are in the process of developing guidance to address questions regarding a number of operational areas in the USDA Child Nutrition Programs.

Based on this information, the Bureau of Nutrition and Health Services is currently planning for the provision of school meals through the National School Lunch Program for SY 2022-23. The bureau will share any new information as it becomes available. If you have any questions about this, please contact your Regional School Nutrition Program consultant

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Professional Standards for School Nutrition Programs

School cafeteria staff serving children lunch.

New school food service directors are required to meet minimum education and work experience standards, set by USDA. If your school district will be hiring a Food Service Director, click on Professional Standards-School Nutrition to review hiring requirements.

Annual training is required for all working in school nutrition. Participating in continuing education can build a strong school nutrition workforce to help ensure that school meals are planned, prepared and served to meet regulations, are great-tasting, nutritious and safe every day of the school year.  Encourage your school food service director and/or staff to seek out training opportunities.  

Annual minimum training requirements: 

  • Director 12 hours         
  • Manager 10 hours         
  • Full Time Staff (>20 hours) 6 hours         
  • Part Time Staff (<20 hours) 4 hours 

Training requirements apply to all involved in any aspect of the nutrition program, including Authorized Representatives and Determining Officials. Plan to participate in summer training opportunities in preparation for school year 2022-23. Go to Education Events - Schools for details and registration.  

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myIGDIs implementation updates and professional learning

Two preschool students with a book.

As another successful year of myIGDIs implementation comes to a close, remember the spring window ends May 14. You can now check out your myIGDIs data in Student Success! Also available is a collection of resources, indexed in the myIGDIs hub

Plan to attend professional learning opportunities remaining for the current year and for next year. Participation in one of the August rostering webinars will support a smooth transition to Fall 2022.

End the year with data hygiene and updated information for a smooth transition to next year with the following: 

  • Addressing data hygiene in the myIGDIs data system for smooth rollover includes ensuring accurate information for all buildings administering myIGDIs, including community partners, with state building numbers.
  • If the local myIGDIs contact will change, send new contact information to Miller@renaissance.com

If you’re not sure about who to contact for myIGDIs questions or help, click here.

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2021 Annual Condition of Secondary Career and Technical Education report

CTE Report cover graphic

On March 24, the 2021 Annual Condition of Secondary Career and Technical Education (CTE) report was presented to the State Board of Education. The report reviews data from academic years 2017-21, which includes a timeframe impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. From the report, reviews of CTE courses and programs, program enrollment highlights and characteristics of CTE students and educators are provided. The report also offers an overview of career and technical student organizations, career and academic plans, work-based learning and regional centers.

Career and technical education plays a vital part in preparing Iowa’s students for career success. It provides opportunities for hands-on training and education in high-demand job fields and is in step with Governor Reynolds’ Future Ready Iowa goal of having 70 percent of Iowans with education and training beyond high school by 2025.

Read more about the 2021 Annual Condition of Secondary CTE report here.

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