January 2020, Vol.9
Promoting Equity Through Professional Learning Communities
By: John Purcell, School Improvement Specialist
Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) provide tremendous potential to ensure all students achieve at high levels. To guarantee PLC work includes ALL students, educators must be cognizant of equity issues that have the potential to hinder students who face opportunity gaps and those who may be marginalized. For information on the five discussion questions that encourage PLC teams to keep equity at the forefront of their discussions, click here.
The School Improvement Resource Hub
The School Improvement Resource Hub is designed to provide educators with access to tools that can be adopted or adapted to support locally-driven school improvement efforts. Additional guidance is provided to (1) describe potential ways to use each tool, (2) outline strategies for getting started with each tool, and (3) share background information on the individual tools.
Given the importance of cultural responsiveness in each of the five sections of the resource hub, tools that address this topic are integrated into each of the sections of the School Improvement Resource Hub. To make it easier to identify these resources, the tools from each section of the resource hub that address cultural responsiveness are available on this webpage.
Panorama Survey Required for All CSI Designated Schools
By: Tarrell Berry, School Improvement Specialist
For the continued support of Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) schools, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) has again partnered with Panorama Education to administer a climate and culture survey. The use of Panorama's survey platform is mandatory for all CSI schools this year with no cost to districts. The survey window is February 3 to February 28. If your district has an an existing contract with Panorama, please contact Tarrell Berry. After surveys are finalized, IDOE will partner with Panorama to provide technical assistance with data analysis which should be used to complete a Comprehensive Needs Assessments (CNA) due October 2020. If you have any questions please contact Tarrell Berry.
Depth of Knowledge: A Free Resource for School Leaders
How would you describe the level of rigor used during classroom instruction in your building or district? During walk-throughs or observations, have you identified a need to increase the capacity of teachers in this area? The Office of School Improvement provides professional development opportunities on DOK in various locations throughout the year. If you are looking for a place to begin, consider using our free training video. This resource provides a detailed framework for DOK, as well as example questions for every grade level. Click here for full access to the IDOE presentation. Additionally, if you are interested in an explanation of Webb's DOK and Bloom's Taxonomy, watch the video available below. Please contact Sarah Rush or Diane Vielee with any questions.
Cues, Questions, and Advanced Organizers-Marzano’s 9th Strategy
By: Diane Vielee, School Improvement Specialist
Marzano’s ninth strategy, Cues, Questions, and Advanced Organizers, is an effective method to activate students' prior knowledge and relate new content to what they already know. This method, if used correctly, can yield a 22 percentile gain. These methods are most effective when used before a specific lesson, as determined by classroom teachers. Examples include:
Provide guiding questions before each lesson
Skimming the chapter to identify key vocabulary and concepts
It is critical to remember that no instructional strategy works equally well in all situations. Teachers should rely on their knowledge of students and subject matter to identify the most effective instructional strategy. For more information regarding Marzano’s High-Yield Instructional Strategies, click here.
Important School Safety Resources
By: Stephen Balko, Director of School Building Security
The Office of School Building Physical Security and Safety has many resources available to school leaders on our website located here. The school safety webpage is designed to provide quick and easy access to resources in order to enhance school safety and security. Resources include information on the Indiana School Safety Specialist Academy, calendars with important dates and deadlines, bullying resources, crisis planning, and emergency preparedness. Additionally, the school safety team is available to assist school leaders with safety planning and on-site visits to address concerns unique to specific buildings. Please contact a member of the team with any questions:
• Stephen Balko, Director of School Building Security: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Jolene Bracale, Student Health Services Specialist: email@example.com
• Jason Marer, Safety and Wellness Specialist: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Ryan Stewart, Senior School Safety Specialist: email@example.com
Elementary educators collaborating to create instructional calendars based on their selected high priority standards.
Educators learning about the importance of common formative assessments and the effective use of data.
The Office of School Improvement working with K-12 educators to identify high-priority standards and creating student learning objectives.
Brian Johnson - Principal, Green Meadows Intermediate
Brian Johnson has served as the principal of Green Meadows Intermediate for seven years. Green Meadows has been recognized as a model PLC school by Solution Tree. Brian was the driving force in implementing PLCs at Green Meadows. He and his staff consistently seek opportunities to grow and learn as educators. He credits the staff for the success of PLCs and and the successful climate and culture that exists at Green Meadows. Brian loves his students and enjoys being visible in the hallways and at extra-curricular events. Brian's staff has a "kids-first" philosophy which is evident in every interaction. His advice for other leaders is to always keep school culture as the number one priority. Brian loves being a principal and hopes that every staff member and student look forward to coming to Green Meadows every day.
Dr. Davin Harpe - Principal, Center Grove Middle School North
Dr. Harpe is currently in his second year as Principal of Center Grove Middle School North. He is known as a leader who shows empathy and encouragement to others. Dr. Harpe has been named the IASP Elementary Principal of the Year and has also been recognized as a National Distinguished Principal. Center Grove Middle School North, as well as local and state community groups worked together to convert a retention area behind the school into a natural wetland. Center Grove Middle School North has been involved in multiple conservation efforts including a recycling program coordinated by students. Dr. Harpe’s personal motto is, “Live your life with hope – guided by knowledge and inspired by love.” He believes a principal should approach the work with positivity remembering the purpose behind our role as a leader. One of Dr. Harpe's favorite leadership quotes is, “It’s amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit."
Instructional Leadership Twitter Chat on January 15
District and building leaders are invited to join #INedchat host Melissa Blossom, Director of School Improvement, on January 15 at 8:00 p.m. for an engaging conversation on instructional leadership. Do not miss the opportunity to collaborate with leaders from across the state.
Save the Date: MTSS Leadership Academy
Educating the Whole Child Summit
Registration for the second annual Educating the Whole Child Summit is live and available here.
Blocks of rooms have been secured at the Marriott East for $129/night. For planning purposes, breakfast/registration will begin daily at 7:30 a.m. Questions should be directed to Christy Gauss at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indiana State Museum: Free School Resources
Learn more about the exhibit and reserve your spot here.
IDOE Math and Literacy Newsletters
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, and @sarah_rush1 for the latest from the SI team
Director of School Improvement
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School Improvement Specialist
Alternative Education Specialist
School Improvement Specialist
School Improvement Specialist