Monthly Happenings: May 2020

Updates from IDOE's English Learner Team

Teachers of ELs, We Appreciate You!

Before jumping into the latest news and updates, we did not want to pass up an opportunity to share our appreciation for all Indiana educators of English learners, from administrators, to classroom teachers, to EL staff, and beyond. This past summer, during IDOE PD for EL teachers, participants reflected on the characteristics of an English learner teacher. At each PD session, the same themes continued to appear, among them: adaptability, compassion, empathy, resourcefulness, patience, hard work, advocacy. We could not agree more. So thank you for all that you do - your students are lucky to have you!


COVID-19: Updated EL Resources and IDOE Response

Be sure to keep tabs on IDOE's COVID-19 and remote learning resources, as they are continually being updated. The English learner-specific guidance, as well as general guidance can be found below...

English Learner eLearning Requirements: This guidance details what is required for English learner services with schools operating in remote learning environments. It also addresses the process for enrollment and identification of potential ELs during school closures.

English Learner Resources: The EL team has collected some of the more notable, quality resources for ELs surrounding COVID-19 school closures into this compilation. It includes additional resource hubs, resources for connecting with families, and resources for instruction.

IDOE General COVID Resources: IDOE has been hard at work developing guidance and resources addressing COVID-19's impact on schools. IDOE's COVID-19 main page houses a comprehensive FAQ, extensive remote learning resources, CARES Act funding information, Special Education guidance, and much much more. Please tune in to Dr. McCormick's bi-weekly video address (next webinar May 19), and weekly newsletter for the most up to date news, guidance, and resources on COVID-19 and Indiana schools.

WIDA ACCESS Test Results and Guidance

Indiana was fortunately able to complete 2020 ACCESS testing prior to school closures, and student score reports were released digitally on WIDA-AMS on April 24. See important information on next steps below...

  • Post-Reporting Data Validation Now Closed: The Post-Reporting Data Validation window closed on Friday, May 8. During this process discrepancies such as split-score reports were addressed. Updated reports for students impacted by data discrepancies identified and corrected during Post-Reporting Data Validation will be available in WIDA AMS on May 27. Please note that no additional corrections to data can be made to ensure state reporting timelines are met.

  • Physical Score Reports: WIDA ACCESS printed reports were originally due in corporations on May 4. IDOE coordinated with WIDA and DRC on a new timeline for printed reports delivery due to school closures. The reports are now scheduled for delivery to corporations on August 10. ESSA guidelines stipulate that parent notification letters be sent to families within the first 30 calendar days of the school year. Printed reports can also be shared at that time. IDOE will continue to monitor the status of school closures and communicate any possible future changes.

  • Translated Reports: Translated student reports are available in many languages from Report Delivery > On-Demand Reports menu in WIDA AMS. An Administration, District, School, and Language must be selected to generate reports. Click Find Students to populate the students tested at that school. Reports can be opened individually under the Action Column, or a user can check the select box for each student requiring the language and click either Open Selected or Save Selected.

  • Sharing Results: Schools may determine locally to communicate WIDA ACCESS results to families prior to the start of the new school year. Results must be disseminated securely. This can be accomplished by printing and mailing Individual Student Reports from WIDA AMS, secure file transfer, uploading scores/reports to the Student Information System, or via phone call. As a reminder, email is not considered a secure means of communicating assessment results.

IILP Corner: New Trainings

New Recorded Webinars Available Now!

While in-person IILP trainings scheduled for this spring were unfortunately postponed, IDOE and PCG have recorded the following four mini-webinars in their place. These webinars provide an overview of various components of the IILP system:

These videos, along with user manuals, can also be found on IDOE's EL Policy and Guidance web page in the "Indiana ILP" drop-down. Stay tuned for more information on upcoming live IILP webinars this summer, which will build upon the information shared in the four videos.

New School Year Transition

As the 2019-2020 school year comes to a close and preparations for next year begin, make note of the following info and tips:

  • 2020 WIDA ACCESS results will be uploaded into the IILP system in early June, and student results will be reflected within their ILP Process then. Keep in mind only ACCESS assessments taken in Indiana are able to be auto-uploaded, and any out of state ACCESS or placement test data needs to be entered manually.

  • The school year rollover will occur on July 1. On this date, student grade levels will change and EL status codes will update. For instance, those who were in M1 status (monitoring year one) will automatically be moved to M2 (monitoring year two).


INtelligrants Rollout Phase II: Summer Virtual Trainings

As the upcoming federal grant cycle moves to the INtelligrants system, IDOE is offering support to ensure districts are prepared for the transition. Nathan Williamson and the Title Grants team will be hosting a series of 18 webinars for Phase 2 of the INtelligrants rollout. Click here to find which session we have designated for your LEA, and then be sure to register here.

Prior to attending the webinars, it is important to be up to date on the information shared in Phase 1. This includes getting set up with login credentials. IDOE's INtelligrants landing page houses this information, which includes short videos covering the different parts of the system and guidance documents.

After the INtelligrants Virtual Training sessions, Nathan will host a series of "Open Calls" where he will be available to take any and all INtelligrants questions. All phases of the rollout will include support for the Title III application, and look forward to specific Title III application walk-throughs in the future.

CARES Act Funding and English Learners

Stay informed on all the details of the recently released CARES Act funding! The IDOE CARES Act landing page features updated guidance, a budget example, and equitable share information. Also included are recordings of the four part CARES Act webinar series. Two webinars have been completed, with two remaining. These will be held on May 14 and May 21 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

The CARES Act provides additional federal funding to schools to help offset the impact of COVID-19. This funding has a wide variety of allowable uses, including those activities allowed under Title III. If your district is looking for ways to ensure English learners and their families - as well as EL teachers and staff - are receiving adequate support in remote learning, CARES Act dollars could be a source to fund your plan for EL programming.

REMINDER: Updated Title III and NESP Grant Deadlines

The 2018-2019 NESP and 2018-2020 Title III grants have had their timelines shifted in light of COVID-19 school closures. See these updated dates in the screenshots below from the IDOE EL Federal & State Grant Programs page.

It is important to note that the NESP Cash Request deadline remains June 1. Districts have until December 31, 2020 to encumber the funds, but all funds must be requested before the 6/1 deadline.

Title III

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Indiana Dual Language Program Newsletter - May Edition Now Available

The May edition of the Indiana Dual Language Program Newsletter highlights a number of exciting happenings pertaining to DLI in the state, including a profile of Muncie Community Schools' Westview Elementary. Westview houses an 80-20 one-way DLI program, which has recently been featured in the Muncie Star Press. Find out more about Westview's teachers, university partnerships, and family engagement inside. Other topics include info on the upcoming 2020 IU Virtual Dual Language Summer Institute and other PD opportunities, how to connect with Visiting Teacher Programs, online resources for remote learning, and more.

Don't forget to subscribe to the DLI Newsletter and receive it directly via email. Please contact Nicole Leach ( with any questions.

WIDA Consortium Updates: 2020 Conference, Fellows Nominations, and Resources

2020 WIDA Conference Cancellation

WIDA has made the difficult decision to proactively cancel the 2020 Annual WIDA Conference originally scheduled to take place in October 16-19 in Denver, CO. WIDA is currently exploring options to host this valuable professional development opportunity virtually. Please monitor the WIDA COVID-19 webpage for updates on the continue to post updates on the virtual conference.

WIDA Fellow Nominations Now Being Accepted

WIDA has announced a call for nominations for the second class of WIDA Fellows. The WIDA Fellows program brings expert teachers and WIDA professional learning specialists together in a collaborative effort to enhance the development of WIDA professional learning products and services. All nominees must be exemplary teachers of bilingual and/or multilingual learners. Click here for more information on this program and to review participation requirements. To nominate an educator, complete the WIDA Fellows Nomination Form by May 29. Self-nominations are not accepted.

COVID-19 Resources

The WIDA COVID-19 webpage has been updated with a new Resources section. Resource topics include tips for parents and families, educator connection and collaboration, mental health and staying well, and WIDA staff recommended resources.

PD Opportunity: Virtual EL Workshops for Administrators

See the attached flyer below for information on upcoming free workshops hosted by Perry Township's EL team and the Central Indiana Educational Service Center. These live webinars, which will take place on June 10 and 11, are intended for administrators and EL leaders. Topics will focus on the administrator role in EL success.

Upcoming IDOE Twitter Chat: Creative Uses of Federal Funding

Join Georgina Schneider and other members of the IDOE Title Grants team for a Twitter Chat on May 20, where the topic of discussion will be creatively using federal funding to meet student needs. Log in to Twitter and search for #INedchat to read past discussions and use that tag in your posts to participate. See more info below...
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Data Reporting: LE Collection Still a Go

School closures have prompted questions pertaining to the annual LE Report, and whether it will still be collected this school year. The LE report will still occur this year. The information from this report is used to identify students whose results will not be fully included in accountability calculations due to being a recently-arrived English learner. This is an EL student who was born in another country and has been enrolled in U.S. schools for less than one academic year.

In federal accountability, the students who are reported in a given year are not included in proficiency or growth in English/Language Arts. The next school year, those same students are not counted toward proficiency, but are included in growth. Therefore, assuming that the assessments are given in the 2020-2021 school year, IDOE will need to know which students should not be counted toward proficiency because they are in Year 2 of the Federal Flexibility. The LE Reporting window is open now until June 30. For more information see the LE Data Layout.


WIDA eLearning Opportunities Available 24/7

Our Indiana English Learner PD Calendar features current professional learning opportunities for the school year. With in-person PD opportunities in jeopardy for the near future, WIDA Self-Paced eWorkshops are a convenient alternative. All Indiana educators with a WIDA portal login have the opportunity to participate in six self-paced, on-demand eWorkshops free of charge. The topics of the six workshops, which vary in length, are:

  • Using the WIDA Writing Rubric
  • Leading for Equity: Classroom Walk-through
  • Classroom Educators: Engaging Multilingual Learners
  • Language for Learning in Mathematics
  • Doing and Talking STEM
  • Foundational Concepts for K-12 Educators

You can find more details on each of these sessions, including a video overview, in WIDA's Self-Paced eWorkshops page. To access the eWorkshops, after logging into the secure portal, click the button labeled Free eWorkshops. If you have any questions, contact the WIDA Client Services Center at (866) 276-7735 or for assistance.

Additional Supports for ELs during Remote Learning

In the past weeks, educators from across the globe have created, shared, and compiled strategies and resources for English learner students learning in a remote environment. In addition to the SupportEd's Padlet and the Colorin Colorado hub shared in the last edition of Monthly Happenings, the following are beneficial links specific for ELs...

  • In this EdWeek blog, EL teachers around the country are sharing Ten Strategies for teaching ELs online. Inside are lots of practical recommendations for instruction and parent communication.

  • WIDA’s Teaching Multilingual Learners Online guidance features each WIDA Guiding Principle, with aligned actions both teachers and students can take, as well as online resource links that paired with the principle. Also, to support families with young children at home, WIDA Early Years has shared free, downloadable activity booklets, in English and Spanish, that are appropriate for young children ages 2-7 years.

2020 Census: Keep It Up!

Thanks for your continued efforts in promoting the completion of the 2020 Census! The census count impacts the federal funds that communities receive each year for programs and services that are critical for schools, students, and younger children. This includes key English learner funding with Title III. The 2020 Census has become especially important amid the COVID-19 crisis, where federal funding will be critical as schools re-open.

It is important to note that the 2020 Census does not ask for social security numbers, citizenship status, or any information that can be used by law enforcement. Check out the

IDOE 2020 Census Count website for resources you can share with fellow teachers and administrators as well as students and parents.

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Valerie Beard

Assistant Director of English Learners and Special Populations

Nicole Leach

Dual Language Immersion and English Learner Specialist

Adam Pitt

Senior English Learner Specialist

Georgina Schneider

English Learner Specialist