Summer 2022 School Leader Update

School Leader Update

Summer 2022

New year, new opportunities

Director Ann Lebo, Dept. of Ed.

The start of each new school year brings new opportunities for us to connect, thrive and shape the lives of the learners we serve. As we grow our capacity at the Department, I am excited to share the new faces and partnerships that will help us serve you and the more than 547,000 PK-12 students across the state who will enter our buildings this fall.

I am thrilled to introduce our new division administrator of learning and results, Dr. Kim Buryanek. Kim is an innovative education leader with more than 20 years of teaching, leading and policy experience, most recently as associate superintendent with the Sioux City Community School District. As division administrator, she will oversee federal and state programs related to K-12 education and lead a team of education experts serving school districts, nonpublic schools and area education agencies across the state. Kim started her new role on July 1 and she is working closely with other state agencies and education stakeholder groups to ensure programs and services are meeting the needs of students, families, schools and communities. You can reach Kim at

Grants for social-emotional-behavioral professional development now available

Student talking with counselor.

To help support the social-emotional-behavioral health of Iowa students, the Iowa Department of Education has announced a third round of funding for the COVID-19 Public Health Workforce Supplemental Opportunity Grant. All Iowa school districts are strongly encouraged to apply for this funding that supports up to 12 days of professional development and training for school staff. Deadline to apply for this round of funding is Aug. 12.

Iowa schools can apply for awards up to $100,000. Grant requirements and the application process can be found at under funding opportunity #464801. All applicants must register an account to apply. For questions contact Melissa Walker at  Read more.

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Reviewed social-emotional-behavioral health screening tools released

Social Emotional Behavioral Health screening graphic

The Iowa Department of Education has released a set of reviewed SEBH screening tools

For additional information contact Kathy Bertsch at or 515-419-2444.

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New and updated resources for social-emotional learning in Iowa

Young children at round table with teacher.

The Department of Education has released new resources on the Social-Emotional Learning webpage including:

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Registration open for Iowa BEST Summit 2022

Iowa BEST conference logo

Registration is open for the 2022 Iowa BEST Summit set for October 10-11 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. Last year, more than 1,000 teachers, administrators, school mental health professionals, researchers and other partners joined in this two-day conference on best practices in school-based social-emotional-behavioral health. We hope you join us again this year to learn the latest trends and innovative strategies, network with other professionals and reinforce your valuable work. The 2022 Iowa BEST Summit is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Education and the Scanlan Center for School Mental Health. Register now. For questions, contact Nancy Hunt at

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Cybersecurity Tips

School safety discussion with padlock icon

The increase in cybersecurity threats against Iowa schools and school districts has called attention to the need to improve the cybersecurity posture in Iowa’s schools. Malicious cyber actors are targeting school computer systems, slowing down access, and rendering the systems inaccessible to basic functions, including remote learning. The Iowa Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), a division of the Department of Management, recommends using the following tips and tricks to help prevent, detect, and respond to these cyber attacks.

Hover to discover: Some email links (URLs) can trick you to go to a fake website. Hover your mouse cursor over a link to see if the website will take you to a safe and secure location.

If you Connect It, Protect it: Hackers like to use out-of-date software to deliver viruses, malware, and other online threats to you. Take the time to update your software.

Take two steps to secure your accounts: Use multi-factor authentication (MFA), it's one of the best things you can do to keep your accounts safe and secure. A common example of MFA is signing into your email or your bank account online and getting a text message code to input in order to proceed.

Backup your data, and do it often: Backup procedures should be conducted on a regular basis. It is important that backups be maintained offline as many ransomware variants attempt to find and delete or encrypt accessible backups. A good offline backup can save money and time in the event of ransomware attack.  

Data Checkup: Review the settings for cloud based accounts, such as social media, email, and file sharing accounts like Gmail, Facebook, and Dropbox to be sure you're not oversharing data. 

Think before you act. Phishing emails like to create a sense of urgency, be wary of communications that want you to act immediately. If you receive a suspicious email that appears to be from someone you know, reach out to that person directly.

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Student Reporting in Iowa (SRI) upcoming training opportunities

Four adults working at conference table

On Wednesday, Aug. 17 at 2 p.m. there will be a webinar highlighting the changes, additions and deletions to data elements, along with some helpful reminders regarding student reporting for the 2022-23 school year.

New User Training:  Cedar Connect/Student Reporting in Iowa (SRI)/Certified Enrollment New User Training will be offered Monday, Aug. 29 and Thursday, Sept. 1, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  If you have new staff working with SRI collections in Cedar Connect, new business managers working on Certified Enrollment, or staff who need refreshers, plan on having them attend one of these in–person sessionsRegistration is required. Seating will be limited to 40 persons per session. Walk-ins will not be accepted.

A Certified Enrollment/Supplementary Weighting webinar will be held on Thursday, Sept. 22 at 1:30 p.m. This webinar will walk users through the Certified Enrollment application and provide tips to make sure all students get counted.

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Student Reporting in Iowa (SRI) Documentation

Calendar and Clock image

If you are looking for helpful documentation to guide you through a variety of elements when it comes to Student Reporting in Iowa (SRI), one can either go to the Iowa Department of Education website or through the HELP link in your EdPortal account under SRI. 

Upcoming Dates and Deadlines for Student Reporting in Iowa:

Aug. 8:  Cedar Connect open for snapshots and validation cleanup

Aug. 25:  Non-fall Supplementary Weighting and Graduate Verification application certification

Sept. 1:  SRI and Certified Enrollment test sites open

Sept. 28:  SRI and Certified Enrollment test sites close – all test data deleted

Oct. 3:  Count Day; SRI and Certified Enrollment production sites open

Oct. 15:  Certified Enrollment certification

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Iowa eTranscript Gateway set to enter pilot phase this fall

Iowa E-Transcript logo

The Iowa eTranscript Gateway project is poised to enter the next phase of the building process this fall. This project, made possible by a unique partnership between the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa Board of Regents, and Iowa State University, will modernize the sending and receiving of transcripts in Iowa by providing a secure digital interface for high schools to create and send student transcripts electronically. The Iowa eTranscript Gateway will provide more data security, better quality data, and cost savings to both high schools and postsecondary institutions.

This fall, the Iowa eTranscript Gateway team will begin selecting school districts from a list of those who signed up to help test this innovative tool. Testing will proceed on a rolling basis throughout and beyond the 2022-23 academic year. For more information, to sign up to test, or for contact information, visit the Iowa eTranscript Gateway website.

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Concussion management professional development opportunity

Concussion management logo

The Teacher Acute Concussion Tool (TACT) takes the guesswork out of providing academic supports post-concussion, for all students, not just athletes in grades 7-12. TACT is an on-demand, customized resource available at no cost to Iowa schools. Information gained can be used to adjust teaching style to meet the needs of students who have cognitive inefficacy from concussion or other medical or psychological conditions that impact learning. Iowa educators can get started with TACT by registering with their school email address and using the password TACTiowa2020.

TACT is also available as a professional development opportunity. In 20 minutes, your team will learn about TACT and access resources to build their concussion management toolkit. For more information contact

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Updates and resources for myIGDIs preschool screening

Preschool children reading

Data for myIGDIs preschool screening in 2021-22 showed increases in most early literacy areas, including phonological awareness. It’s not too late to get started with myIGDIs administration at no cost. Be sure to take advantage of professional learning opportunities, which begin with rostering this month. Finally, data is now displayed in Student Success. Be sure to check out the variety of resources available in Panorama Academy. For more information, contact Tina Wahlert at

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Early Learning Fall Institute

Early Learning Fall Institute save the date graphic

Learn about early childhood research and initiatives, take advantage of the resources of supporting agencies, and hear from national experts and each other at the Early Learning Fall Institute scheduled for Sept. 30 - Oct. 1 in Des Moines. Pre-Institute sessions will take place on Thursday, Sept. 29.

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.

Keynote speakers include Rachel Giannini on Friday and Dr. Adolph Brown, III on Saturday.

Additional information will be available at Iowa AEYC or for questions contact Marianne Rodrigues at or 515-326-2653.  

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Iowa Healthiest State 5-2-1-0 events and activities

Healthiest State Walk logo, save the date

Register Your School for a Walk, Win Rewards!

The first 64 schools registered for a Healthiest State Annual Walk will be entered into the Mascot Challenge, where they compete against other schools on Facebook to see who gets the most votes. The winner will receive $1,000 to fund wellness projects in their school.

All schools who register for a walk will be entered into a drawing for two tickets to the 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! Summit on Oct. 26 to learn about healthy habits and mental health. Visit to register a school walk.

Gear Up for Healthiest State Month

Don't forget to participate in October’s Healthiest State Month. Visit for free resources.

2023 Healthiest State Annual Awards

Apply for the 2023 Healthiest State Award from Oct. 3-31 at Winning school receives a cash prize to support ongoing wellness efforts.

Contact Christine Crow at 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