Aspire Higher


Volume 3, January 2019

Be the Spark, and Bring New Heights to High Ability in the New Year!

Spark New Heights With the Competitive Grant! This is in addition to the regular High Ability Grant~ up to $75,000!

The High Ability Competitive Grant supports districts that have assessed their current

high ability program implementation and are prepared to take the next steps to provide

enhanced, advanced learning experiences for their high ability students.

Goal of the High Ability Competitive Grant:

Provide high ability students with advanced learning experiences.

Each school corporation may submit a competitive grant proposal that

addresses one or more of the fundamental requirements of Indiana high

ability education.

  • A Multifaceted Student Assessment Plan
  • A Curriculum and Instructional Strategies Plan
  • A Counseling and Guidance Plan
  • A Professional Development Plan
  • A Systematic Program Assessment Plan

Allowable uses of funds include, but are not limited to: direct services for students,

extended learning opportunities (after, before school, summer), professional

development for teachers and administrators, salaries of personnel to carry out

identified programs and services, supplemental educational resources, and equipment.

Improve high ability student achievement and affective education by improving:

  • Advanced reading, language arts, and mathematics curriculum/ programs
  • Programs may include, but are not limited to: increasing the availability and enrollment in Pre-AP, AP, Cambridge, or IB programs.
  • Career and college counseling/guidance
  • This may include, but is not limited to: counseling programs and services, SENG training, assistance applying for college entrance and financial aid, advising on academic and occupational training, transition programs, and preparing for college aptitude tests.
  • Other courses, activities, and programs, or other experiences contributing to advanced learning experiences
  • Funding can be spent on extended learning opportunities (before/after school/summer programming, such as GERI)


1. Program Prioritized Needs (5 pts)

2. Importance/Need for the Project(s) (5 pts)

3. Executive Summary of the Proposed Project(s) (5 pts)

4. Expected Measurable Outcomes/Project Deliverables (5 pts)

5. Project Evaluation Plan (5 pts)

6. Professional Development (5 pts)

7. Exemplar (5 pts)

8. Necessary Components (5 pts)

9. Total Points Possible (40 pts)

Grant Proposal Elements

1. Program Prioritized Needs: Briefly describe the capacity of your current

infrastructure to support high ability education. Describe your prioritized needs to

advance the learning of your high ability students.

2. Importance/Need for the Project(s): Why do you want to do this? What is the

potential impact of the project? Describe the rationale tied to the needs

assessment, stakeholder input, and/or data.

3. Executive Summary of the Proposed Project(s): Describe the project you are

proposing to fund with this grant and how it will provide more advanced learning

opportunities for students in your district.

4. Expected Measurable Outcomes/Project Deliverables: What are the measurable

outcomes for this project?

5. Project Evaluation Plan: How will you measure activities to determine if

outcomes/deliverables are achieved? Describe how and with what frequency

your program will be evaluated for effectiveness. Please state the individual(s)

responsible for evaluation.

6. Professional Development: What professional development opportunities will

your leadership or teaching faculty participate in to support high ability instructional models?

7. Exemplar: Describe one example of what teaching and learning would look like in

your district following the implementation of your proposed project.

8. Necessary Components: Contact information, proposal elements, leadership

team, budget estimate, investments, and assurances are completed.

Grant Review Process

1. Grants will be assigned to two separate reviewers, and the scores will be


a. If there is a discrepancy of more than 20 percent between reviews, a third

reviewer will be assigned. All three scores will then be averaged.

2. The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) has determined a cut score of 32

will be eligible for funding.

3. Once capacity to fund grants is met, if schools have a tie score, the census

poverty data of the population of the district will be utilized to determine funding

as the tie-breaking factor.

a. Districts and schools with 95 percent hold harmless will be given three


b. Districts and schools with 90 percent hold harmless will be given two


c. Districts and schools with 85 percent hold harmless will be given one point

Successful applicants will be notified with an award memo and contract. The

contract will be for one year, and all invoices must be received within 60 days of

the expiration date.

Application link:

Itemized rubric link:

Rubric link:

Competitive Grant is Due February 11, but Where Do You Start?

What is it that your students and community really need to bring new heights to your high ability program?

A Comprehensive Needs' Assessment will guide the way!

Please look carefully at pages 51-56 in the High Ability Handbook posted below. After completing the High Ability Master Checklist, you should be ready to set your goals! If you need help or guidance, I am always here for you, so please contact me with any of your questions.

Be the SPARK!

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Brighten Up Your Future With the Tuition Reimbursement Grant!

$2,500 Opportunity

Please note: High Ability Licensure may be through any accredited university program.

The Indiana Department of Education is excited to support efforts in developing and enhancing high ability education through the High Ability Licensure Reimbursement Program. The aim is to have ALL Indiana High Ability coordinators and teachers licensed within three years of assuming a high ability role. To help support districts in their educational efforts, IDOE will pay FULL tuition reimbursement, up to $2500, upon successful high ability course completion. Funds will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis, so early application is advised.

Application materials may be sent to the Center for Gifted Studies & Talent Development Ball State University (TC 928-B), Muncie, IN 47306 or sent digitally to Questions regarding the grant may be sent to Dr. Krista Stith at

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Time for a GOAL Post

And, It's Good!

New goals are being posted in 2019, and the High Ability Coordinator Mentorship Program is helping high ability education reach new heights.

As we head into the New Year, so full of promise and hope, mentors and mentees are helping one another establish new goals within our high ability collaborative community. Intentional and proactive efforts to provide support are benefitting our new coordinators, and we are so grateful for your work. If you are new to the position and could use some extra support, please contact me and you will be connected with a learning partner.

Since many districts work on identification during the spring, this may be an area where your mentees need extra input and insight. Additionally, with the new competitive grant opportunity, team efforts will help spark new ideas.

Please know how much we value all of the time and energy you are devoting to this partnership. Thank you for your participation, collaboration, and efforts. Please check back in with your mentees before March to see how they are progressing to bring their goals to fruition, and mentees please reach out to your mentor, as needed.

Thank You, and Keep Kicking Up Those Goals!

Mentor Goal Form

Mentee Goal Form

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Have Your High Ability Programming Goals Changed? Do You Need to Make an Amendment?

You only need to submit an amendment if you significantly want to change the scope of the grant or desire to make a change greater than 10%.

The new process is very easy!

1. Fill out the Jotform: Amendment Form, 2018-2019

2. Provide a rationale for the change in the designated box

3. Enter your new revised budget

4. Wait for approval via email from Cindy Schuler

5. Re-submit your cash request form, if needed: High Ability Cash Request Form

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Looking for the New High Ability LOGO?

There is so much incredible talent in Indiana!

The Logo Contest Review Team had such a wonderful time viewing the creativity and artistic talent from teachers, students, and administrators from across the state. Thank you to all of our entrants; the selection process was extremely challenging.

Finalists have been selected, and the logo will be released soon!

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IMPORTANT Advanced Placement NEWS

FREE Advanced Placement Training on NEW Resources, Ordering, Timeline, and Features

Join us as we walk through changes in student/teacher support tools, a new AP student registration, and an updated AP exam ordering process. This workshop will guide participants through the new, free resources to support AP teachers throughout the year, new supports to help students succeed on AP Exams, and new features to help reduce the administrative burden on schools. Some of these resources, such as the AP question bank, are ones educators have been requesting for years. Others address specific program needs, such as how to help newer AP teachers effectively plan and teach a college-level course to students with diverse backgrounds and levels of preparation. Our teams will also provide an update on the process schools will need to prepare for as we move the AP Exam registration and ordering timeline from the spring to the fall. We look forward to sharing these important updates with the Indiana AP community. This session is provided through the Indiana Department of Education's High Ability and Advanced Placement Department and the Southern IN Education Center.

All trainings will be offered from 1:00-3:00 p.m.

(PSAT Trainings are in the morning from 9:30-11:30 a.m.)

Tuesday, January 22: Hobart High School

Wednesday, January 23: Fort Wayne Family and Community Engagement Center

Thursday, January 24: Kokomo High School

Friday, January 25: Indiana University at South Bend

Monday, January 28: Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis

Tuesday, January 29: Ivy Tech Community College in Richmond

Wednesday, January 30: Ivy Tech Community College in Evansville

Wednesday, January 30: New Albany High School

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AP-TIP-IN Opportunities

AP-TIP IN Teacher Network Meetings, FREE Facilitated Topics/ Discussion

Meetings are from 4-7:00 p.m.

Pizza, pop, and PGP points are provided

January 23: New Prairie

March 19: Washington Township

April 9: Speedway

April 10: TBD

AP-TIP IN Mock Exam Reading

Up to 30 exams will be scored

8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., site: IUPUI

March 11


AP Summer Institute

July 9-12

Pike High School

8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.


FREE seats for this comprehensive training may be offered, so please stay tuned!

SENG: Social-Emotional Needs of the Gifted

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FREE Facilitator Training for Social-Emotional Needs

A SENG Model Parent Group (SMPG) brings together 10-20 parents of gifted, talented and twice- exceptional children to discuss suchtopics as stress management, motivation, discipline, and peer relationships. The co-facilitators of the group,though they are knowledgeable about parenting and educating gifted, talented and twice-exceptional children, do not attempt to give expert advice to families. Instead, their facilitation provides a non-judgmental and nurturing atmosphere. The parents of high-ability children are themselves a rich resource for information;participants get fresh ideas from other parents and from A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children, around which the sessions are organized. Groups meet weekly for 8 to 10 weeks.

Content learning session topic areas: characteristics, motivation, discipline, stress management, peer relations and sibling rivalry, and traditional breaking;

• Practice of facilitation techniques

• Potential problems and solutions in SMPGs

• How to organize a local SMPG; and become a volunteer Facilitator, or earn income from organizing your own Groups

A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children and Parent Groups: The SENG Model, 2nd Ed.

Meet the Social Emotional Needs of High Ability Students

FREE Professional Development: SENG Facilitator Training Offered

For more information: SENG Flyer

Space is Limited; Please Register by March 8!

SENG, April 10th: April 10 SENG Training, Fort Wayne, Region 8

SENG, April 11th: April 11, SENG, Indianapolis, CIESC

SENG, April 12th: April 12, SENG, Jasper, SIESC

Indiana Service Center Region TWO Spotlight

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HIghlight From New Albany/Floyd County School Corporation

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Was Odysseus a Hero?

Jennifer Scott, a 5/6 high ability teacher from Hazelwood Middle School in New Albany/Floyd County School Corporation, challenges her students' thinking after reading The Odyssey.

"After reading the Odyssey, our students retraced the journey of Odysseus and created 3-D maps retelling his journey complete with summaries of each encounter. Students then completed opinion essays, citing text evidence from the novel, on whether or not they believed Odysseus to be a true hero."

Dubois County Unwrapping Potential With the Gift of Wonder!

This Professional Development is Coming Your Way!

Higher Level Questioning/Curriculum Unit Professional Development

Critical thinking and inquiry are cornerstones of high ability education. This session will allow participants to understand the necessity and ease of instilling wonder, independent study, and rigor into their everyday routines, empowering students to truly think, create, and achieve!

Attendees will:

· Develop an understanding of the elements needed in high ability curriculum, including a comprehensive view of effective models to develop critical and creative thinking

· Gain a more holistic view of the common curriculum unit facets, unveiling the cohesive vertical articulation inherent across grade levels

January 31: Noon-3:00 p.m., Site: Wilson Center,

February 6: 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Site: CIESC, CIESC Registration

March 6: 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Site: SIEC, SIEC Registration

March 8: 9-11:00 a.m., Site: Area 30 Career Center, WCESC Registration

Region Three, we look forward to your spotlight next month! Please submit your highlight by February 5.

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Lesson Templates, Projects, Rubrics, and More~ Come Explore!

Spark students' creativity and passion by providing meaningful ways to integrate technology, inquiry, conceptual thinking, and interdisciplinary connections?

Padlet to Share High Ability Ideas! K-12

Are you eager to try collaborative, shared inquiry in your classroom? Dr. David Dinkins wrote a heart-stirring eulogy for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that can be used to promote critical thinking and conversation.

Meet Indiana's High Ability and Advanced Placement Coordinator: Cindy Schuler

Do you need help with identification, services, program evaluation or have student learning experiences that you would love to share?

Please call or email me to schedule some time to meet. I am here for you and look forward to coming out and visiting with your district!

Keep Aspiring Higher~ Indiana is Going Places!

Be the Spark! Aspire Higher Indiana!

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