Aspire Higher


Volume 4, February 2019

It's so LOVEly to see the incredible new heights in High Ability Education!

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Come Collaborate With Leaders From Across the State and Discover the Gift of Wonder!

Higher Level Questioning and High Ability Curriculum Unit Professional Development

Critical thinking and inquiry are cornerstones of high ability education. Come discover the necessity and ease of instilling wonder, independent study, and rigor into your 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

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

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

April 4: Noon-3:00 p.m.; Wilson Education Service Center, WESC Registration

Higher Level Questioning Will Transform Your Practice

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High Ability Students Should Spend the Majority of Their Day Applying, Evaluating, and Creating

Pinwheel is a strategy offering great questioning techniques and synthesis. Elevate your students' thinking with this strategy. Pinwheel Strategy Video
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Nearly 100 Visionary Competitive Grant Applications Received!

The High Ability Competitive Grant applications have been received and are being reviewed. Thank you for your thoughtful and dedicated plans. Once the applications are scored by a minimum of two reviewers and all scores are finalized, awardees will be notified. Our aim is to have the awards announced by April, ready to spring into action!

Brighten Up Your Future With the Tuition Reimbursement Grant!

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$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, care of 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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Looking For Resources, Professional Development Opportunities, or Grant Information?

Look no further! Come check out the new and improved high ability website. Click on one of the stars and find information about Grants and Tuition, Indiana Code, High Ability 101, Professional Development Opportunities, and incredible Resources.

High Ability Website

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Mentorship Tips for High School High Ability Programming Options

Question from the field: "I am working on researching some options for HA students who are seniors and have run out of class options for their last year. Our school corporation is very small and has limited staff and class options. What are some successful options?"

Mentor Recommendations:

  • Our school has built up our AP course selection over time, so as our student interest in AP has grown, so has our course selections.
  • Dual enrollment in high school and a nearby college is an effective option. Student attends high school in the morning and college in the afternoons (or reverse). When I served in a rural school, we allowed more flexibility in the daily schedule to accommodate students’ needs, especially considering travel time and safety.
  • How about using the ICE program (if that’s what it’s called now; student attends high school for half the day and then goes to a workplace; all arranged and supervised by the school) as a workplace-based experience in the student’s area of talent?
  • What about planning an independent study in the content area? Course titles such as “Topics in History” or “Advanced _____” are often flexible enough to “create your own” course. Media specialist or content area teacher may assist with planning and supervision. I even supervised a student in the Guidance Office, working at a computer station outside my door.
  • Online courses or partnering with nearby universities could be an option such as
  • Ball State offers online dual credit courses that our advanced students often take their senior year. This not only provides them with rigor, but also helps them earn some college credits before going off to college.
  • Early College Pathway partnership with a local college is another great alternative. We were working with Ivy Tech to develop a pathway where students can earn their high school diploma as well as an Associate's Degree from Ivy Tech. The issue that comes up for small schools is ensuring you have Dual Credit teachers in the areas of English Language Arts and Math to cover the core courses. There are ways of getting professors on loan (if available).
  • Graduation Pathways is really lending itself to great conversations for smaller school districts, too, with internships and beyond the classroom experiences. There are many courses in the Course Catalog that are specific to internships and opportunities beyond the 'traditional' courses, as well.
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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

SENG Training Headed Your Way~Become Nationally Certified for FREE!

A SENG Model Parent Group (SMPG) brings together 10-20 parents of gifted, talented and twice- exceptional children to discuss such topics 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.

High Ability Students Have Unique Social Emotional Needs and Need Your Support

Hurry and Register by March 8~ Space is Limited and Filling Up Fast!

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Bringing New Heights to High Ability and Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement (AP) is a research-based method to facilitate student participation and success through delivery of college-level courses and corresponding exams in the high school setting, to qualified high school students. Research suggests students who perform well in AP courses are predicted to not only outperform their peers, but have greater college success. For the 2017-2018 school year, Indiana reported the following increases:

  • For the 2018 graduating class, 25,892 Indiana public school students took an AP exam, compared to 24,659 in the class of 2017.
  • Since 2008, the percentage of Indiana public school graduates taking an AP exam during high school increased from 20.0 percent to 38.9 percent.
  • In the past 10 years, the number of Indiana public school students scoring 3 or better on at least one AP exam has increased from 6,284 to 13,403.
  • In the past three years, the number of Indiana public school students scoring 3 or better on at least one AP exam has increased 12.6 percent.

“Our recent datashow more Hoosier high school students are earning early college credit through AP and dual credit courses than ever before,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “We are encouraged by this trend, as early college credit leads to higher success rates and cost savings for students and the state.”

For more information regarding IDOE efforts to expand AP in Indiana schools, and for AP related data, please visit:

For more information regarding early college credit data, please visit:

Media Contacts: Adam Baker, Press Secretary

(317) 232-0550,

Kate Stuard, Communications Director

(309) 533-2206,

Which AP Exams Are Covered By the State?

NEW Advanced Placement Curriculum Binders Available~ Order Yours Today!

Course and Exam Description (CED) binders will be available to 35 Advanced Placement Courses this year. These binders highlight and clarify the scope of content that can be assessed on the AP Exam for college credit and also assist teachers by providing a suggested topic and skill sequence that can be modified to their needs rather than having to build from scratch. Order your free copy:

All AP teachers who have completed the AP Course Audit can request a free copy of the binder by January 31, 2020. New AP teachers should wait to request their binder until their Course Audit form for 2019-2020 has been approved by their administrator. Look for your CED binder in June 2019. However, materials can be downloaded beginning late May 2019.

Note: Due to different curricular models, CED binders aren’t available for AP Computer Science Principles, AP Seminar, and AP Research.

AP-TIP IN Teacher Named 2019 AP Teacher of the Year for Midwestern Region

Jonathan Arndt, a math teacher at Argos Junior/Senior High School, has been named the 2019 AP Teacher of the Year for the College Board’s 13-state Midwestern region. Arndt teaches AP Calculus AB, algebra, pre-calculus and eighth-grade math, in addition to overseeing a math lab. He is a member of the University of Notre Dame’s Indiana Advanced Placement Teacher Investment Program (AP-TIP IN), which prepares Indiana students for college by increasing enrollment in AP math, science and English courses and providing student support and teacher training to boost students’ success. “It’s truly an honor to be named teacher of the year,” Arndt said. “I want to thank AP-TIP IN, which gave me the skills and confidence to improve my teaching, and I want to thank my students. They’re the reason I won this award.”

“Jonathan is dedicated to the Argos community and his colleagues, and he is passionately supportive of his students,” said Karen Morris, the program director of AP-TIP IN. “Working at a small school can be a challenge for any AP teacher. Jonathan stands out because his effort has impacted a significant number of students at a small school.”

Argos is a small school about 30 miles south of South Bend that serves about 220 students.

When Arndt first taught AP Calculus AB in 2015-16, just a handful of Argos students enrolled

and earned qualifying scores — defined as scoring a three or above on the end-of-year AP exam.

Arndt joined AP-TIP IN in 2016-17 and participated in more than 50 hours of professional development workshops and curriculum. AP-TIP IN primarily focuses on teacher development and providing support and resources such as a fall conference, a mock exam reading, regional teacher meetings and an AP Summer Institute. Following the first year of Arndt’s AP-TIP IN support, nearly 20 Argos students enrolled in his AP Calculus AB course, and more than half earned qualifying scores. These qualifying scores accounted for half of all the school’s passing AP scores, and more than half of Arndt’s AP students earned a four or five on the AP exam.

“Jonathan is the most professional teacher I’ve worked with,” said Argos Principal Nick Medich. “Every student who takes his AP course expects to pass it. He’s established a culture where they expect to do well and pass the AP exam.”

“Jonathan has an intimate knowledge of his students as learners, and this helps him identify their needs and elevate their success,” Morris said. “His students recognize this — they describe him as always willing to help and be positive.” Arndt was selected by a College Board committee that included representatives from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin. He is the first AP-TIP IN participant to be named a regional AP teacher of the year.

Erin Blasko, assistant director of media relations, 574-631-4127,

FREE Advanced Placement Summer Professional Development

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Attention AP Calculus AB and AP Language and Composition teachers!

If you have been teaching these courses three years or less, you are eligible to attend the AP Summer Institute for free. This offer is available for the first 25 teachers for each course. Please click here for details.

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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

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 at Ball State University

Indiana Service Center Region THREE Spotlight

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High Ability Spotlight for North Putnam

For the first time at North Putnam Middle School, Mr. Matthew Couch, 6th grade Science teacher, started a Science Bowl team that is sponsored by the Indiana Association of School Principals. There was great student interest for this new club, especially from our High Ability 6th graders that were looking for an opportunity to showcase their knowledge about the six simple machines. In the end, we had 20 students practice and 11 compete at the actual on-line event.

Out of the 20 schools in the state that competed, North Putnam 6th graders placed 8th! They received top ten ribbons and certificates. They are so thrilled that they took advantage of this opportunity, and Mr. Couch plans to continue the participation. They believe it is great application of science principles, collaboration, and practice in preparation for the Academic Super Bowl.

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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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