Educational Programs Updates

April 2021

Accelerated Learning through an Integrated System of Support

In preparation for the upcoming year, the Department, in partnership with the PA Intermediate Units and PaTTAN, is pleased to announce a new phase of the Roadmap, Accelerated Learning through an Integrated System of Support.

This new series provides an equitable, systematic process and technical support for school communities to make important decisions for the start of the new year. Key aspects include an updated collection of lessons learned, research, critical resources, and simplified planning templates that incorporate probing questions to guide decision-making, along with a robust series of synchronous and asynchronous professional learning activities. The Accelerated Learning series is developed to allow school leaders to access this information in one of two ways: 1) follow a step-by-step process through targeted professional learning webinars over the next few months; or 2) select to access individual components of the process based on local needs. A collection of resources and research will be available for those who desire a deeper dive into the components as well.


4 Key Components


  • Focus on High-Quality Academics (define the instructional changes needed for the new school year and cultivate a thriving data culture that uses student, family, and staff metrics to inform instructional and assessment planning)
  • Fostering Supportive Learning Environments (place equitable, trauma-informed principals at the core of planning to create emotional and cognitive space for learning, form healthy and supportive relationships, and help youth and staff mentally, socially, and academically recover)
  • Establish Healthy Systems Conditions (engage stakeholders to elevate the voices and data of your school community to reveal its needs, and respond with staffing, technology, scheduling, and management configurations that create conditions for accelerated learning)
  • Design a System of Scaffolded Supports (integrate layered, customized support systems, such as training and tutoring, with an approach informed by data and integrated into policies, procedures, and practices at all levels of school infrastructure)


Register Here and Access the Checklist of Accelerated Learning Sessions

  • April, May, and June Workshops
  • Synchronous and Asynchronous Webinars
  • ACT 45 credit--30 or 60 hours


Recorded sessions and resources will start to be available on this webpage on April 19th.

Accountability Waiver and Other Testing Information

US DoE posted their response to PDE's accountability waiver request:

https://www.education.pa.gov/Documents/K12/Safe%20Schools/COVID/PA%20Acct%20Waiver%20Response%20USDE%203.26.21.pdf

Additionally the following has been confirmed by approval of the waiver:

  • absolves PDE of certain reporting requirements,
  • means accountability designations (CSI, A-TSI, and TSI) can wait until Fall 2022, and
  • removes the 95% assessment participation rate requirement.


Any PSSAs completed and returned by June 15th and any Keystone exams completed and returned by July 15th will mean reception of the student data file results of testing in August. Tests given and returned after those dates will not receive testing results until the fall. Also, the ISR and eMetric data cannot be released until the end of the state testing window.

New FID Application Available

The new FID application is in the FRCPP under “reports.” You can start applying for the 21-22 school year.

Act 158 Toolkit

The PDE developed Act 158 Toolkit is now available in the SAS portal. You can access the toolkit by clicking here.

Voluntary Local Assessment Data Submission

Accordingly, PDE is partnering with SAS EVAAS to design a system through which LEAs can voluntarily submit local assessment data and receive analytics similar to traditional Pennsylvania growth reports normed to PA performance levels. LEAs may submit local assessment data through the PIMS Student Local Assessment Subtest Template in May-June 2021; these assessment data will not be publicly reported, nor will these data be utilized for any accountability or evaluative purposes. Once data are submitted, PDE and local intermediate units will provide data tools and comprehensive support to assist LEAs in:


  • Increasing understanding of the impacts of COVID-19 in LEAs and schools;
  • Assessing current learning trends among students;
  • Evaluating whether different student groups experienced different learning outcomes during school interruptions; and
  • Identifying the amount of learning needed to get students back on track to their pre-pandemic expected achievement levels.



Frequently Asked Questions Guide


Review of submission template in a May 4th webinar. Access to the template will be given mid-May. You will only receive performance data if you are submitting one year's worth of data. If you would like growth data, then you must submit multiple years' data.

PDE Equitable Practices Hub Updates

The 2021 MAEC Audit tool has been added to the Equitable Practices Hub on the opening page. In addition, the companion action planning guide has been updated to reflect the new tool. Also, MAEC just recently released another companion to the audit tool: A Data Inquiry Guide for Exploring Equity Issues and Solutions | MAEC, Inc.

Other updates include:


  • Updates to the Self-Awareness & Academic Equity pillars with information on Asian-Americans/Pacific Islanders, English Learners, and Classwide Intervention.
  • Updates to the Disciplinary Equity pillar with information on Addressing Root Causes of Disparities in School Discipline
  • Updates to the General Equity Practices pillar with information on Superintendent Resources, and Equitable Practices Through a Trauma Informed Lens.

Western PAIUCC Hot Topics

In March, the Western PAIUCC group facilitated a series of "hot topic" collaborative discussions around questions facing districts today. You can see the list of sessions and access the recordings of the discussions here.

Your IU Curriculum Department Offerings

Google Basics: Sheets, Sites, Gmail/Calendar, Meet, and YouTube (NEW)

The curriculum department at ARIN and Riverview Intermediate Units has developed a seven hour workshop on the basics of using Google applications Sheets, Sites, Gmail/Calendar, Meet, and YouTube. The training is in an asynchronous, self-paced format in Google Classroom.


Participants in this learning experience will learn how to operate the tools and features in Google Sheets to create spreadsheets, sort and analyze data collection, share the spreadsheet for collaboration purposes, and consider how to use this application in their classroom. Learners will also create a Google Site, learn how to navigate the features in a Site, and embed materials into a Site. The Gmail/Calendar portion of the learning experience will expose participants to organizational features in these applications to enhance workflow and collaboration. An introduction to Google Meet and some practical suggestions for successful synchronous lessons and meetings are included in this training, followed and concluded by a useful section on creating channels, playlists, and using YouTube in a classroom. For more information, click here.

Google Certified Educator Level 1 Bootcamp (NEW)

The curriculum department at ARIN Intermediate Unit has developed a two and a half day, 18 hour bootcamp on the basics of using all of the various Google applications tested on the Google Certified Educator Level 1 exam. The training is in an asynchronous, self-paced format in Google Classroom. This bootcamp does not guarantee a passing score on the Google Certified Educator Level 1 exam, but we are confident that participants will be very well prepared for a successful experience. For information, click here.

Chronic Absenteeism (NEW)

In this training, we will review the problems and negative effects chronic absenteeism has on the students, classroom, school, family, and community, as well as the research findings. We will evaluate what works and does not work ultimately creating an outline of a multi-system of support plan for absenteeism. Participants will obtain a wide range of resources to support their plan including possible approaches, motivations, and parent/community supports. This session offers training opportunities through two various lenses: a school leader lens and a classroom teacher lens. The school leader learning opportunity is four hours in length, and the classroom teacher learning opportunity is two hours in length. Click here to see a SMORE about this session.

CS K-8 Pathway

We have a summer cohort coming up that is a virtual pathway for educators interesting in computer science grades K-8. Click here for more information and contact Lori Rodgers at lrodgers@iu28.org. .

Join Us for Remake Learning Days!

May 6-16, 2021


Remake Learning Days (RLD)

Remake Learning Days Across America (RLDAA) is a celebration of innovative experiences and opportunities for youth to develop their sense of creativity, perseverance and curiosity. Remake Learning Days is a festival of events hosted by a variety of organizations, such as schools, museums, libraries, after school organizations, early child care centers, universities, media centers, tech startups and more. These events are designed to be hands-on, relevant and engaging educational experiences for youth of all ages (pre-K through high school) and their families, caregivers and educators. The majority of events are free and open to kids of all ages.


Northwestern PA is one of 17 regions involved across the country. These hands-on and engaging events are designed for kids of all ages at libraries, schools, tech centers, museums, play spaces, community centers, and more.


Career Ready PA Backpack Challenge

The Pennsylvania Department of Education Career Ready PA is excited to uplift Remake Learning Days Events and provide a seamless opportunity for students to obtain artifacts for their career portfolios by participating in events hosted as part of the festival from May 6-16, 2021. Schools who plan to participate in the Career Ready PA Backpack Challenge should register by April 30, 2021, using the attached instructions.


Once you have reviewed the instructions, register your school (only one contact per school) and explore events at the Remake Learning Days Career Ready PA Backpack Challenge website.


Every student who participates in an event earns a badge/artifact, and schools who have 100+ artifacts can earn a banner for their school! [Students earn the artifact by completing an artifact survey after the event at the RLD Career Ready PA Backpack Challenge website.]



What's in your backpack? STEM Employability Skills, CEW standards, and more!

Math Training and Support

We have math training and support! Click here to see a list of and information about active sessions that Lacie Cook has available right now. You can access these sessions asynchronously.

Math Resource Site

This website is meant to be a resource for teachers, with a variety of activities and instructional materials to use in their classrooms. There are links to websites that are both free and require memberships, activities that are free to download, and much more, all organized in one place. There are pages that include activities to build number sense skills, enrich instruction, and ideas for differentiated instruction. Teachers can access the SAS website, standards, and PSSA information from this site as well. Click on the following link to access the website: https://sites.google.com/iu28.org/math-resources/home

Technology Integrators

Tech Integrators

RIU#6 will host Technology Integrator Meetings again this year. 3 different times to accommodate as many schedules as possible!

  • 7:45 AM - 9:00 AM
  • 11:15 AM - 12:00 PM
  • 3:45 PM - 4:30 PM

Connection Link

Join us: May 20

Instructional Coaching Network through IU28 and IU6 (PIIC)

Our network is alive and well and this year we were able to tackle so many big questions in education collaboratively while learning best practices and exploring resources to help support our teachers in our schools. We have one meeting left this year, on May 27th. If you are a school who is interested in the PIIC coaching network, please reach out to lcunningham@iu28.org. I will come out to your school and meet with you about what this network is all about and how you can leverage instructional coaching in your district.

Summer Admin Tour Topics for Professional Learning

The Educational Programs at IU6 is offering 3 hour summer learning sessions for administrators for the summer of 2021. We have a list of topics that we are currently offering, but also would like to tailor any other topics that you would like to learn about at your request. These sessions are designed to build your understanding from an administrative perspective on these topics and also receive a glimpse of the more technical support that we will be offering to teachers throughout the fall of the 2021 school year.


  • TDA for Admin
  • Choice Driven Professional Development
  • Priority Standards
  • Computer Science