April 2020, Vol.12

Newly Released CNA-SIP Template

By: John Purcell, School Improvement Specialist

The CNA/SIP template is now available here and fulfills all school improvement plan mandates under state law, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirements for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) and Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) schools, and CNA requirements for Title I Schoolwide Programs. Plans are due Friday, October 2, 2020. Technical assistance will be provided via virtual support or by phone. To schedule a time, please email John Purcell.

Identifying and Unpacking High-Priority Standards: Training Video

By: Sarah Rush, School Improvement Specialist

Identifying and unpacking high-priority standards are the initial steps in the instructional planning process. Identifying the most critical standards allows teachers the opportunity to prioritize instructional time spending more time on the most important standards and less time on lesser priority standards. Additionally, prioritizing standards enables Professional Learning Communities to collaborate in the creation of instructional calendars and common formative assessments.

Once teachers and leaders have identified high-priority standards, the unpacking process begins. Unpacking standards ensures classroom instruction meets the FULL depth of Indiana’s College and Career Readiness Standards. No content or skill will be overlooked.

After watching this training video, participants will be able to prioritize and unpack Indiana Academic Standards. The trainer will coach teachers and administrators through the process of identifying high-priority standards, unpacking standards, and creating "I CAN" statements in an easy-to-use process. You can access the training video here.

COVID-19 Resources for Schools

IDOE has created this webpage dedicated to providing schools access to resources needed to address the impact of COVID-19. On this page, viewers have access to guidance documents, eLearning/remote learning resources, Dr. McCormick’s Weekly Webinars, and more.

Continuous Learning Weekly Challenges

IDOE's Office of Academics has created weekly challenges customized for grades K-12. The challenges focus on content knowledge, communication, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and character. Find new weekly challenges here. Please share any examples of the completed challenges to social media tagging @EducateIN.

Mind the Gap

By: Scott Jaworski, School Improvement Specialist

The current reality of continuous learning is a difficult, yet worthwhile challenge. Rightfully so, district leaders have prioritized the safety and well-being of their school communities. In a time of crisis, academics takes a backseat to providing the essentials to our students and their families.

With that said, this opportunity shines a light on a common issue that arises every year for most schools: academic gaps in skills and knowledge from one year to the next. That is why it's important for school leaders to start making considerations for how to bridge this gap for students when they return to our buildings next school year. One effective practice is providing students with a pre-assessment at the start of the year to identify specific skills and knowledge that students have learned and retained over the summer. Take a look at this resource from Edulastic which shares a wide variety of pre-assessments for grades 1-12. These pre-assessments can serve as inspiration for your teachers as they begin discussions about addressing the inevitable learning gaps of students.

Is My School CSI, ATSI, or Both?

Click here for the list of CSI and ATSI schools. For questions about your school's designation, please contact SchoolAccountability@doe.in.gov .

Professional Development Opportunities

Leadership Spotlight

Ashley Hammond-Fountain Central Jr/Sr High School

Ashley Hammond has served as principal of Fountain Central Jr/Sr High School since 2018. Prior to serving as principal, Ashley was the assistant principal four years. Fountain Central Jr/Sr High School is a small rural school serving grades 7-12 in Veedersburg. One of Ashley’s biggest accomplishments includes creating a school culture where every teacher is committed to doing whatever it takes in the best interest of students. She has also successfully implemented professional learning communities (PLCs) in a small school with many singleton courses in order to improve instructional practices in her building. Ashley’s favorite part of the school day is supervising students in the cafeteria. Her advice to other principals is that everything is about relationships with students, staff, and parents. Focus your efforts on the people, not the programs. Those who know Ashley, describe her leadership in one word, relentless. Ashley is proud of her students and staff and enjoys being part of the FC school community.

Dr. Brandon Penrod-Superintendent, Whitko Community Schools

Dr. Brandon Penrod has served as the superintendent of Whitko Community Schools for the past two years. Dr. Penrod’s favorite part of being superintendent is visiting buildings. He enjoys talking with teachers and staff members about more than just day-to-day school business. Dr. Penrod has worked tirelessly with the support of the 80/20 Foundation Trust, as well as the Community Foundation of Whitley County to create the Whitko Career Academy. The Academy will offer Career and Technical Education coursework, agriculture classes, as well as humanities components. Dr. Penrod wants to provide students with opportunities that will prepare them to successfully enter the workforce. His advice for other leaders is to always listen and treat others like you want to be treated. Dr. Penrod has the pulse on the district and believes if you are doing the right thing for students, you are making the right decisions.

Amy Sutton-Assistant Principal, Greenfield Intermediate School

Amy Sutton has served as the assistant principal of Greenfield Intermediate School for the past three years. Over the past few years, Amy has helped transform the school’s PBIS model and discipline structure. She helped her school define their values of respect, responsibility, and readiness to learn. These values have translated into high expectations for all students. Amy believes in starting each day on a positive note, so each morning she walks around the hallways with a portable speaker playing music. She greets the students as they enter the building, frequently dancing and high-fiving others. Amy never wants to forget what it is like being in a classroom, so she tries to visit classrooms as much as possible. She knows that it is easy for building leaders to get caught up in tasks around the building, but interacting with the students always re-centers her. Amy’s innovation, positivity, as well as her portable speaker, have become a staple around the building. She is a great example of a Greenfield Intermediate School Cougar Leader!

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 on identifying and unpacking high-priority standards.

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