Aspire Higher


Volume 9, July 2019

A new dawn in high ability!

Awaken new possibilities, new resources, and new heights in high ability!
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In order to truly shine, one must reflect!

As the grant cycle comes to a close and the new dawn of the 2019-2020 grant cycle awakens, please take some quality time to reflect on your high ability program. If you have not already done so, use the program checklist inventory as a tool to help identify areas of strengths and weakness.

Dig into the 2018- 2019 ILEARN data, common summative assessments, and other local data used to assess learning growth and achievement. Compare your 2018-2019 data with 2016-2018. What trends do you notice?

High Ability Data



What successes are you celebrating?

What grade levels are excelling?

What grade levels are struggling?

Is there a subject area that needs support?

Is there a subgroup that is an outlier?

Are your advanced placement scores above, below, or on the state average?

Explore your district's vertical articulation. What are the strengths? Weaknesses?

How can you play on the strengths of your district to help support areas of challenge?

Bring these data to your BBPC and brainstorm ways to enhance your program.

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Bridging the Gap!

What gaps did you notice in the data?

What subgroups are in need of higher expectations or support?

Where should your next steps be in high ability programming options?

Work with your Broad Based Planning Committee to create measurable goals.

What is the timeline to accomplish the goals?

How will the goals be monitored and assessed?

What additional support and resources are needed to support your goals?

After reviewing and reflecting upon your district’s high ability program, data, and services such as identification procedures, curriculum/instruction, guidance/counseling, professional development, and program evaluation, where is your corporation’s greatest need for improvement?

Make a yearlong plan to achieve your measurable goals and set a budget, accordingly. Submit your cash request for the year based upon your findings.

2019-2020 Grant Application Available

Grant allocations are released!

The purpose of the state-funded High Ability Grant is to provide services beyond those for regular educational programs and specific to programs for high ability. Please be mindful that the identification grant allocation must be used for identification measures. The state legislature allocated specific funding to LEA’s to purchase verbal and quantitative reasoning tests to be administered to all students within the corporation or charter school that are enrolled in kindergarten, second grade, and fifth grade. If your school tests other grade levels, your regular high ability grant allocation may be used to support those measures.

The application window is open and can be accessed here: High Ability Grant Application, 2019-2020. The application window will close on Monday, September 9. This High Ability Application Instructional Video, will assist and support LEA’s throughout the application process. Please use this grant guidance sheet to determine your budget: Permissible/Impermissible Grant Guidance.

High Ability funds are requested through the High Ability Cash Request Form 2019-2020. Besides this hyperlink, this form can also be found: Please fill out the ENTIRE cash distribution plan at once. Amendments are still permissible and must be submitted and approved before any line item change of 10 percent or more may be made. Please note: Your requests must align with your approved spending plan, and if modifications are necessary, a new cash request form must be submitted prior to the next distribution cycle.

All funds must be requested by June 1, 2020. Any funds left unrequested after June 1, 2020, will be forfeited. High Ability funds must be encumbered by September 30, 2020, and liquidated by December 15, 2020. Any funds which remain unspent at the end of the project period must be returned. All participating school corporations and charter schools will be required to submit an annual performance and financial report at the conclusion of the project period.

To help support you throughout this new grant cycle, High Ability Grant process resources will be posted on IDOE’s website, IDOE High Ability:

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Take a Dip From the High Dive!

Just as we scaffold learning to promote inquiry and just-right learning, it is imperative that we intentionally adjust social-emotional learning for our high ability students. Through picture books, biographies, poetry, speeches, and various media, it is easy to integrate social-emotional analysis skills as well as reading comprehension skills into learning experiences. Using inquiry-based discussions, students are able to deepen and enhance their self-awareness, metacognition, empathy, resiliency, achievement motivation, and practices for cultivating talent.

According to the Affective Jacob’s Ladder Reading Comprehension Program, there are eight main affective skills to address: emotional intelligence, coping with adversity and challenge, risk-taking, developing identity, stress management, developing empathy, achievement motivation, and developing talent and excellence.

Let’s dive deeper into risk-taking!

In order to maximize students’ ability to think open-endedly, it is critical that they learn to assess risk and develop the skills to take a stance when confronted with conflicting views and opinions. To begin, it is important that students understand how to appropriately challenge status quo and develop arguments to support their claims. Teaching students how to consider multiple perspectives is essential in learning how to adequately express themselves, both orally and in written format. They need to learn how to filter opinions and beliefs of others against their own ideals, realizing that the most important questions are open-ended, having no definitive answers. At the highest level of understanding, we want our students to create an original stance, applying calculated risks to their decision and understanding. This, naturally leads to developing identity, another of the eight essentials, which will be discussed in another newsletter.

Help your students think outside the box by diving into Not a Box. This simple picture book inspires open-ended thinking and originality as it follows a bunny through several adventures in this sweet story about innovation and creativity. Attached, find a lesson that delves into the social–emotional components. Please note that this story pairs well with Not a Stick, its companion book.

Inside My Imagination is a fun and whimsical picture book that will inspire young readers to let their own imaginations soar. This book nurtures creativity and imagination while highlighting the freedom and individuality that comes when a child discovers herself as realizes that she can be whoever she wants to be, change what she wants to change, and create what she wants to create.

Mistakes That Worked is a clever non-fiction book which is a collection of short stories depicting the value of risk-taking and mistakes. This book highlights the beauty of being open-minded which leads to innovation and creation. According to Mark Twain, “Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident.” Think about incorporating a "mistakes and lessons learned" section into your reading workshop notebooks.

Inspiring original thinking and creativity pairs nicely with grit and perseverance. Be sure to check out next month’s newsletter with ideas about adversity and coping with challenges.Also, if you would like to see additional SEL information check out

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Diving into the New AP Resources

Advanced Placement Curriculum and Resources

Teachers across Indiana are awakening to the many valuable and robust resources that College Board is offering for 2019-2020, including AP question banks, customizable practice tests, progress dashboards, pacing and sequencing suggestions, strength and weakness guidance, and more!

Thousands of released advanced placement questions are available August 1! The electronic question bank will open on August 1, and professional development to engage in the new interactive format will be available this fall.

Teachers, be sure to place your binder order today, if you have not done so already. The deadline has been extended for this FREE binder, a $300 value. Each teacher must request his/her own. Here is the ordering link:

Please be sure to view the attached file with annotated resource guidance.

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Bright Ideas from the Field of AP

The collaborative spirit and insight of the amazing advanced placement teachers from across the state is so refreshing! There are so many incredible ideas to share, and here are a few of the favorites from Katy Livesay, Hammond AP Physics and AP Biology teacher.

Here is a resource that are great for AP Science Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning (CER) activities:

This website is great for AP Biology anything and everything (it was a lifesaver for me).

For AP Physics this website is great for virtual labs and review of basic concepts:

This is another resource for virtual labs for several AP classes:

2019 Final Report

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Reflecting on 2018-2019: Final Report Due at the close of 2019.

This year, the Indiana Department of Education is extending the final report window to get in alignment with the fiscal calendar. LEA's have until December 15 to liquidate funds and December 20 to file the final report. If you have finished your ENTIRE grant cycle, however, you may file your report now. Please download the PDF version to plan, accordingly, because once you activate the live Jotform, you will need to finish the report in one sitting:

2018-2019 Final Report

More information can be found on the high ability website:

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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!

Awaken a new dawn of possibilities for high ability!

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