August 2019, Volume 6

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Welcome to the sixth edition of the #INspirEDearly Monthly Newsletter! This is a resource for early educators across all settings, administrators of Pre-K programs, and anyone looking for early learning updates from the Indiana Department of Education. We will be sharing resources, updates, research, events, and spotlighting work being done around the state. To subscribe to this newsletter, please visit our website. To see previous editions, please see our Newsletter Archive. Please share this newsletter with your network and colleagues!

New Releases from IDOE

Early Learning Social Studies Foundations Guidance

The Early Learning Social Studies Foundations Guidance is now available! The Guidance is intended to be a resource for educators to support and enhance children’s learning and development while using the Early Learning Foundations. Click the picture to the right to be directed to the document.

I-LEAD is here!

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In July 2019, the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning launched a new online tool, designed for providers just like you. I-LEAD, short for the Indiana Licensing & Education Access Depot, is designed to make licensing, background checks, and professional development easier to access and update.

If your program is registered with the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning (OECOSL), you received an I-LEAD account activation email with directions on how to confirm your account. If you did not receive that email and are registered with OECOSL, visit the I-LEAD home page at iLEAD.in.gov and select ‘Received an invite?’ This will take you to a page where you can request to resend the invite to your email. If your program is located in a school, and is not required to be registered with the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning, you may still set up an account to access the free online professional development on Indiana Learning Paths. Visit the I-LEAD home page at ilead.in.gov and click on login in the top right corner. There will be an option to click “sign up now”. Follow the prompts to set up your account and begin accessing professional development on Indiana Learning Paths.

Looking for more information on using I-LEAD and Indiana Learning Paths? Visit ILEADhelp.org today!


Strong Start for Kindergarten Prize

The transition from early learning to elementary school can have a significant impact on student outcomes. With that in mind, Early Learning Indiana’s Strong Start for Kindergarten Prize will recognize Indiana schools, early learning programs, and community organizations who are creating high-impact kindergarten transition efforts. Prizes will be awarded in amounts ranging from $5,000-$25,000. Applicants can learn more and apply at solutions.earlylearningin.org. Submissions are due by August 26, at 5 p.m. to be considered.

Winning applicants will have their ideas included in a statewide guide designed to boost kindergarten transition outcomes across Indiana.

Preschool Development Grant Family Survey

Earlier this year, Indiana received a Preschool Development Grant and has an exciting opportunity to develop a strategic plan about education and services for kids ages 0 through 5! Families are invited to fill out a survey by August 16, 2019 to help us understand their needs for early education and care and other services in their communities. The survey can be located at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/B5family. Finally, more information about Indiana's grant is available on the Brighter Futures webpage: http://brighterfuturesindiana.org/indiana-preschool-development-grant-pdg/

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It's That Time - OMWPK Enrollment!

On My Way Pre-K is now available in all counties! Please see the OECOSL Website for more information and to find the application.

Are You Eligible to Become an On My Way Pre-K Provider?

Check out this resource to determine if you meet the requirements. Providers from all counties are eligible to apply 7/1/19. Public School Pre-K Coordinators or Administrators can contact Pre-K Expansion Specialist, Sarah Parks-Reese, for additional support.

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Community of Practice

IDOE is launching a Community of Practice (CoP) for Indiana Administrators from Public and Private Schools that have an existing preschool program or are looking to start one! A CoP is a group of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis (Wenger et alt., 2002). IDOE seeks to build these connections to create dialogue around problem-solving, diffuse existing knowledge, generate new knowledge, and encourage learning through communication, mentoring, and self-reflection. The first networking session will be September 5th at the Office of School Improvement Conference and will be followed up with virtual meetings and a discussion board based on interest. If you have not registered for the conference yet, you can do so here. If you're unable to attend but are interested in participating, contact Pre-K Expansion Specialist, Sarah Parks-Reese.

ISPROUT to Replace ISTAR-KR for OSEP Reporting

The Office of Student Assessment (OSA) has released the Indiana Student Performance Readiness and Observation of Understanding Tool (ISPROUT) to meet Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) reporting requirements for assessing children in preschool programs. IDOE recently procured an assessment tool to ensure alignment to the Early Learning Foundations beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. This memo highlights key details associated with this transition in the coming weeks. Questions can be emailed to Early Childhood Assessment Specialist Felecia Jordan or by phone call at 317-232-9038.

ISPROUT Informational Onboarding Webinar

Designed for key stakeholders that will lead the coordination and implementation of ISPROUT, the early learning assessment in Indiana, this webinar will provide an overview of ISPROUT and some related logistics. We invite you to learn more about this developmentally appropriate formative tool and how it can be used to promote strong outcomes for young children. In this webinar, you will:

  • Learn about the ISPROUT including its purpose, structure, and history
  • Review the processes and logistics involved with implementing ISPROUT, including which trainings your teachers and data administrators should attend, how to access the online system, and expectations for participating districts and programs
  • Explore how ISPROUT supports teachers, families, and administrators in understanding students and responding to their strengths and needs
  • Ask questions you may have about the ISPROUT rollout

To access the webinar:

  1. Download the Zoom desktop client: https://www.zoom.us/support/download.
  2. Click this link to access the webinar: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1aBIvuf7QLiWM6CiodKZDw
  3. You will be asked to complete a brief form. Then, you will be directed to a page that contains your unique webinar URL. Click the link to join.

If you have never used Zoom before, feel free to test your connection in advance using this link: https://zoom.us/test. For your convenience and for those who cannot attend, the webinar will be recorded. We hope you will join us!

Spotlight From the Field

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Tony Duffy - Assistant Superintendent, New Albany Floyd Consolidated Schools

Tony Duffy is serving as Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education and Title I at New Albany Floyd Consolidated Schools. His responsibilities include working with the nine elementary principals to ensure high levels of academic achievement of all students. Tony leads elementary curricular and instructional initiatives, plans and conducts professional development activities, and collaborates with Title I administration to plan and execute successful programming in the elementary schools with the highest concentration of poverty in the district.

On My Way Pre-K Project Manager, Erica Woodward says, "When the county was first awarded the opportunity, Tony and his team quickly assembled together to work on a plan of action to bring not only the providers together, but also the community. This included working with the project manager and the county lead, Metro United Way, on what we could do to ensure its success. Tony distributed signs and flyers throughout numerous locations in the community and also at every school. He attended events with the project manager and even went as far as going door to door himself, on foot, with flyers about on my way PreK and preschool. He also had his PreK team take a field trip to another on my way PreK school in another county to compare best practices with one another!

The quality that sticks out the most about Tony Duffy is that he believes every child in the county should be in PreK, even if it’s not in his school. He has made it his goal to support all PreK providers in the area. Tony and his staff are hands down one of the best supporters of early childhood education that I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I can’t wait to see how they grow. "

Thank you, Tony, for everything you do for young Hoosier children!

Nominate Your Colleague!

We are hoping to spotlight an early educator or program administrator in our newsletter every month. Nominate your early learning colleague by filling out this form!

Resources We Love

IDOE's Family Literacy Guides

Do you have children in your program starting Kindergarten? IDOE's Literacy Team has created these family guides to help families and parents understand what skills their child will be learning and provide ideas for how they can support their child's learning at home. K-5 Family Guides can be found here! The Spanish translation will be available soon!

Too Small to Fail

Too Small to Fail is an initiative that aims to "promote the importance of early brain and language development and to empower parents with tools to talk, read, and sing with their young children from birth". There are a number of different resources for parents including videos and a family- friendly resource guide on early math.

Professional Development

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Thank You!

IDOE's Summer Literacy Professional Development, Pages to Paradise, wrapped up in Plainfield on July 25th. We are so grateful to all of the educators, administrators, librarians, and early childhood professionals who joined us at our seven stops!
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Office of School Improvement Conference: Sailing Towards Proficiency

Thursday, Sep. 5th, 7:30am-4pm

1 South Capitol Avenue

Indianapolis, IN

The Office of School Improvement is excited to announce its inaugural School Improvement Conference for all schools across Indiana on September 5, 2019! Gerry Brooks, popular speaker and principal, will be the keynote. The Office of School Improvement Team will be hosting 27 breakout sessions. We are eager to extend the invitation to Indiana educators and administrators to join us in this free conference! Registration will be limited to the first 500 applicants.

Register here!

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Readers into Leaders Early Literacy Conference

Saturday, Aug. 17th, 8am-4:15pm

40 East Saint Clair Street

Indianapolis, IN

Join our partners from Child Care Answers and The Indianapolis Public Library for a day filled with learning opportunities at the 6th Annual Readers into Leaders Conference! More information about this free conference can be found here!

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