Monthly Happenings: Summer 2020

Updates from IDOE's English Learner Team

Welcome, Baby Beard!

It has certainly been an eventful summer, and there is a piece of news we are delighted to share. Valerie welcomed her first child in late May, and both she and her baby boy are at home healthy and happy. As Val is spending her summer on maternity leave getting to know her little one, we wish her and her family a joyful first few months together.

Valerie's absence also allows us to shine a spotlight on her and her impactful work without objection. This Indianapolis Monthly article, The Survivor: A Burmese Refugee's Tale, tells the incredible story of Kaw Lah, a Burmese refugee in Indiana, and the familiar plight of so many in the refugee community. Valerie is featured in the article, as she formed an early friendship with Kaw Lah while working at Exodus nearly a decade ago, and one that continues to this day.


Extra Summer EL Leadership Meeting July 8

Join us (virtually) for an extra summer EL leadership meeting to discuss timely topics such as NESP and Title III grant applications, COVID-19 and reentry support for ELs, WIDA updates, and more. All content will be shared to our EL Professional Learning website upon the meeting's conclusion. Registration is not required. See meeting details below:

  • WHAT: Summer EL Leadership Meeting
  • WHEN: July 8, from 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. ET
  • WHO: Indiana EL leaders and administrators
  • WHERE: Access the webinar here; Call-in number: 1-415-655-0001; Meeting number: 1600069155

August Directors' Meeting Now Virtual

Due to COVID-19, the EL Directors' Meetings, originally scheduled for August 11 and 12 in Lawrence Township, will no longer be held in person. Instead, content will be shared via a hybrid of both live and recorded sessions. The live sessions will remain on the same dates: August 11 for new directors, and August 12 for all directors. The live sessions on these days will be to provide updates and have dialogue surrounding pertinent topics, however they will not last for near the entirety of the day. Participants will then have the flexibility to attend recorded breakout sessions at their own pace.

While it's disappointing to not experience the energy of having everyone together in-person, IDOE's EL team is committed to providing informative, collaborative meetings. We would love your input on content! If you are planning to attend the meeting and have particular topics you would like to see covered during the meetings, please complete this very brief survey: 2020 EL Directors' Meetings Input.

More information will be shared regarding the Directors' Meetings during the aforementioned EL Leadership meeting and in the coming weeks.

IN-CLASS Re-entry Considerations for ELs

IDOE released COVID-19 reentry considerations for the 2020-2021 school year in early June through its IN-Class guidance. This will continue to be an evolving document with information added or amended as the summer progresses. The following addendum provides guidance and recommendations for schools addressing the needs of English learners upon the reopening of schools: IN-Class: English Learner Considerations. As with the previous remote learning EL guidance, the focal points for re-entry should continue to be equitable access for ELs and their families.

The complete IN-Class document can be found here, which includes a change log documenting edits and additions. Also, the IDOE COVID FAQ has been recently updated, and all IDOE COVID-19 and re-entry resources will continue to be posted to the COVID-19 Resources for Indiana Schools page.

WIDA: ACCESS Results, Paper Reports

ACCESS Scores in Learning Connection

While Learning Connection is gradually being sunset, student WIDA ACCESS results from Indiana will continue to be housed there for the upcoming school year. Users are now able to view 2020 ACCESS results for students in their district in Learning Connection. This resource is especially beneficial when new students have enrolled from within the state. Schools can use Learning Connection to see last year's ACCESS results immediately, allowing decision-making on placement and services to occur in a timely manner. NOTE: The ability to view student scores in Learning Connection requires the appropriate permission set. To view reports, go to the "Reports" tab, then click "Student Summary", type in the STN number, and "Run Report."

Physical Score Reports

WIDA ACCESS printed reports were originally due in corporations in late spring. IDOE coordinated with WIDA and DRC on a new timeline for printed reports delivery due to school closures. The reports are still 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.


INtelligrants & LINK

All English learner-focused grants - NESP, Title III, Title III Immigrant Influx, and Refugee - are now fully housed within Intelligrants. Intelligrants is included as part of the LINK initiative, and the system must now be accessed via the LINK portal. If you are not set up with appropriate LINK and Intelligrants logins, all LEA security coordinators have been given this guidance to set up users in the system (see pg. 5 for Intelligrants roles guidance).

IDOE's Intelligrants webpage features support resources to get users acquainted with system, and also includes this newly-released Intelligrants training cheat sheet. This will lead users in the right direction for their particular training needs.

NESP: Allocations Update and Application Open Date

2020-2021 Allocations and Application

We appreciate your patience with the delayed release of NESP allocations! Delays are due to state budget reviews, and fortunately this year's NESP grant is not being cut to offset COVID-19 costs. Allocations are to be released this week, and the application is set to go live on July 24. Allocation memos will be sent directly to district superintendents, treasurers, and program administrators; allocation tables will also be announced in Dr. McCormick's weekly newsletter and posted to our web page. Stay tuned!

2019-2020 Grant Deadline Extension Reminders

While the cash request deadline has passed, LEAs still have until December 1 to make an amendment to their 19-20 NESP grant, and until December 31 to encumber those funds. Amendments can be submitted for review within Intelligrants.

Title III: Pre-Application and Consolidated Application

The 2020-2022 Title III grant now consists of two parts, and is part of the larger federal grants application within Intelligrants:

  • Pre-Application: This section, which was due on July 1, consists multiple federal grant components. From a specifically-English learner perspective, the Pre-App contains the English Learner Plan, EL assurances, and narratives pertaining to meeting EL student needs and reaching EL families. While these are the explicit EL sections of the Pre-Application, ELs should be accounted for throughout an LEA's plan. All LEAs, regardless of whether they accept Title III funds, must complete the Pre-Application. This replaces the separate EL Plan submission requirement for those LEAs.

  • Consolidated Application: The second section, the Consolidated Application, contains the Title III budget tables, as well as narratives surrounding English learner equitable access topics, such as WIDA standards implementation and teacher training. An LEA's Pre-Application must first be submitted prior to beginning the Consolidated Application. The Consolidated Application is set to go live around July 10.


IILP Corner: Future Trainings, Recorded Trainings, ACCESS Scores

Future Training Input

We are looking for your feedback on what the current needs and questions are on implementing the Indiana ILP platform. Overview training videos have been recorded (see below!), and we'd like to tailor future live trainings to the needs of our different audiences. Below are very quick surveys for two different audiences: those already using the system and those not yet using the system...

Future Training Needs and Input - Current Users

Future Training Needs and Input - Prospective Users

The results of these surveys will help shape the content, format, and audiences of future IILP trainings this school year. Thank you in advance!

REMINDER: Recorded Webinars Available Now

The following brief training videos have recently been posted. They provide an overview of various components of the IILP system, and are a great place to start for those getting their feet wet with the system as well as for those needing a refresher:

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.

2020 ACCESS Scores in IILP

2020 WIDA ACCESS results have now been uploaded into the IILP system. Keep in mind only ACCESS assessments taken in Indiana have been auto-uploaded, and any out of state ACCESS or placement test data needs to be entered manually.


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.

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.

Big picture


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

EL Directors' Meetings Updates and Changes