#INspirEDleaders

March 2020, Vol.11

COVID-19 Weekly Webinar for School Leaders

IDOE is committed to supporting Indiana schools as the state works to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to share information and answer questions, IDOE leadership will be hosting a weekly webinar. You can view the webinar here, Tuesdays at 10 am. All webinars will be archived to the website as well. Please direct any questions to IDOECOVID-19@doe.in.gov.

2020 Technical Assistance Partners

Thank you to all those who attended the 2020 School Improvement Summit earlier this month at the Indiana-Kentucky-Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC). Thirty-eight organizations met the evidentiary requirement per ESSA to serve as school improvement technical assistance partners (TAPs). LEA's are invited to contact these technical assistance partners to discuss potential partnerships to address school improvement needs.


Click here to learn more about each technical assistance partner.

Creating Instructional Calendars: Training Video

By: Sarah Rush, School Improvement Specialist


Instructional calendars are an important tool, and often a missed step, in the instructional planning process. Calendars provide a simple visual outline to ensure all high priority standards are taught and formatively assessed prior to year end summatives. This instructional planning tool enables Professional Learning Communities PLCs to collaborate and review data of student performance and identify the most effective instructional strategy. An effective instructional calendar also helps create appropriate pacing of units for Tier 1 and Tier 2 instruction.


After watching this training video, participants will understand the process of prioritizing instructional time around identified high-priority standards. The trainer will coach teachers and administrators through the process of mapping priority standards in an easy-to-use process. By the end of the training video, participants will understand the necessary steps to create an instructional calendar and the confidence for successful implementation. You can access the training video here.

Coherence in PLCs

By: John Purcell, School Improvement Specialist


When Professional Learning Communities (PLCS) are committed to a systems-based approach to continuous improvement, they rely on collective coherence. Simply put, PLC members have a clear understanding of the work to be done and the reason they’re doing it. With this shared mindset and shared commitment, they work interdependently toward fulfilling their purpose.


But, there are barriers to coherence. These all-too-common obstacles are:


1. Failing to have widely dispersed leadership;

2. Not clearly and consistently communicating purpose and priorities;

3. Using intent in place of purposeful action;

4. Relying on programs rather than a process of continuous improvement; and,

5. Pursuing too many initiatives rather than maintaining focus on continuous improvement.


Fortunately, there are four key strategies that leaders can employ to build coherence within PLCs. They are:


1. Focusing on a small number of ambitious goals;

2. Ensuring instruction and student achievement is a daily priority;

3. Organizing continuous capacity building around this priority; and,

4. Cultivating a sense of systemness (understanding the “big picture” and recognizing the important part each member plays in doing their work while supporting collegues).


More information about this and the systemic nature of PLCs can be found in Cultures Built to Last by Richard DuFour and Michael Fullan.

Hattie's Second Mindframe: I See Assessment as Informing My Impact

By: Diane Vielee, School Improvement Specialist


Hattie’s Second Mindframe is “I see assessment as informing my impact and next steps.” In other words, educators should approach the grading of assignments, tests, quizzes, etc. as a useful tool for feedback about the impact of the teaching of content and if the students achieved the learning goal. This mindframe confirms the following criteria (Hattie, 2018):

  1. The significance of the factors “time on task,” providing formative evaluation,” and “response to intervention."

  2. Why assignments, tests, quizzes, and so forth are among the most important means of making student learning and teacher influence visible.

  3. How a sensible use of interpreting artifacts of student work can contribute to the cultivation of this mindframe.


Also, “the most important thing is to succeed in not just collecting the data but also reflecting on and interpreting the data with your next lesson in mind” (Hattie, 2018). For more information on this click here.

Assessments: Are You and Your Staff Collecting the Right Data?

By: Scott Jaworski, School Improvement Specialist


Assessments are multi-dimensional instruments that serve a variety of needs for teachers and school leaders. Just like any other tool, they are most effective when used appropriately. There are three types of assessments and each serve a different purpose (as displayed in the diagram below). Formative Assessments provide teachers immediate feedback that informs instructional decisions within the current lesson. Interim Assessments provide teachers, parents, and administrators evidence of students’ progress towards their goals. Summative Assessments serve as a measuring stick to evaluate student achievement, teacher effectiveness, and program policies. If any one of these assessments is used for purposes beyond their boundaries, they can lead to discouragement, frustration, and misrepresentation of the data they describe. Take some time to review the infographic below and reflect on your school’s assessments and how they are used and what they are used for.

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Leadership Spotlight

Tomeka Johnson - Principal, Eastridge Elementary School

Tomeka Johnson has served as the principal of Eastridge Elementary School for the past two and a half years. Tomeka cares deeply for her staff and students. She loves to celebrate successes and help solve problems around the building. Throughout her time as principal, she has focused heavily on restorative justice and diversity within the school. With this focus, the building has seen a decrease in discipline referrals and increase attention to trauma informed approaches. As a graduate of MSD of Warren Township, Tomeka has a great appreciation for her community. Tomeka believes in the power of relationships, and she works at creating strong relationships with the students, staff, parents, and community.

Jake Clifford - Assistant Principal, Garrett High School

Jake Clifford has spent the last 14 years in the Garrett-Keyser-Butler Community School District, serving as the assistant principal at Garrett High School for the last six years. Throughout his time at Garrett, he has coached football, baseball, and track. He is currently hosting a local, Saturday morning radio show that focuses on school athletics, interviewing coaches and players. Jake believes school is about more than academics. He believes it is also about preparing students to be good citizens who give back to the community. Jake’s commitment and ability to build relationships has led to his nomination for the All Star Educator Award by Herff-Jones. Throughout his time as assistant principal, he has helped improve school safety, supported new technology resources, and developed new academic programs. Jake is a firm believer that leaders should always be honest with students and that honesty is the biggest foundation of any school. Jake is described by his staff as being fully invested in the student body. He loves getting to know students on a personal level by being present at extracurricular events and cheering on all students in the school and around the community.

Leadership Spotlight Nominations

Nominate an exceptional leader who will be highlight in our monthly newsletter by filling out this form.

Shout-Outs From The Field!

Click here and listen to what these educators have to say about OSI's free professional development.

COVID-19 Remote Learning Resources

IDOE's Office of Curriculum and Instruction has created a website dedicated to providing resources for educators and families during this time. The site will be updated continuously throughout the next several weeks. Find resources for all ages as well as resources to share with families at the website here.
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IDOE Website Created For Schools to Support Participation in the Upcoming Census


The upcoming U.S. Census will determine the federal funds schools receive. Click here to access IDOE's census resources for superintendents, principals, teachers, and families.

Emerging Leaders Recognition

Superintendents, principals, other educational leaders: You are encouraged to nominate educators for emerging leaders recognition.


The Office of Innovation is looking for confidential recommendations of elementary-level leaders (including principals, teachers, instructional coaches, and other specialists) representing the very best educators in Indiana. These emerging leaders have a minimum of five years’ experience and a maximum of 15 years, demonstrating leadership beyond the classroom, and who positively affect school culture and student achievement. Please submit a recommendation here.


The link will close April 10. Please contact Rebecca Estes with any questions.

Connect with us on Twitter!

According to edsurge.com, 4.2 million tweets a day are related to education conversations. This is a great way to connect with other leaders in the education world. We invite you to connect with us and each other!



1. Tweet about all things in LEADERSHIP using #INspirEDleaders

2. Follow the hashtag and connect with other leaders around the state

3. Follow @EducateIN for the latest updates from Indiana Department of Education

4. Follow @LeclaireRobin, @MelissaABlossom, @DVielee, @sarah_rush1, and @scott_jaws for the latest from the SI team

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