IMLEA Back to School

August, 2020

Okay, who predicted this? Wasn't there a time when we thought we would know more in two weeks? Then two more weeks? Then July 1, then....

We want to check in with you as you begin school, in whatever form that may be, and offer our support. The last things you probably need are links to resources, but we have curated what we think are some outstanding ones that might be of help.

We would like to hear your success stories, too. What worked well for you in the spring? What elements for the return to school have made a difference? Please share!

We support you however you need us...we work with the IDOE as a CSI and TSI Partner ; in addition we partner with AMLE, Special Olympics/Champions Together, National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform (Schools to Watch) and INSPIRE3. Contact us at

Shirley Wright, Executive Director

Big picture
AMLE's Annual Conference will now be virtual, which can lead to opportunities for more people to attend. There will be a discount for staff/schools who are members of AMLE (code A20IMLEA25). There is also a special running now through August 31 with savings for membership, including a dual membership with IMLEA!

In addition, there is a new call for presentations on these topics: (due August 14)

  1. How are you promoting equity, and in particular racial equity, in your school community?
  2. How have you innovated during the pandemic in ways that will impact your students after the crisis abates?
  3. What have you learned during the pandemic or as a result of recent incidents of racial violence that will inform or change your approach, strategies, outlook, etc.?

AMLE continues to add to their COVID resources, and has an extensive general resource center.

Champions Together Trainings Go Virtual

Champions Together will offer virtual training sessions this semester. You will be able to connect your students (who are attending either virtually or in person) with a school experienced in this worthwhile program. In the midst of this strange year, participation in a program like Champions can really elevate students' sense of self-worth, as well as building a positive culture in your school. Questions? Contact Tori Cox at Special Olympics. There are more resources on our webpage, and they will be updated with some program changes.

"Getting to Know You" Activities

Have you heard of the Bitmoji Craze Facebook group? It now has over 400,000 members! It can be overwhelming, but many good ideas have been shared. Here's one idea for the beginning of the year: students decorate their virtual locker. Each student can be a slide in this presentation, which can be copied here, and a red version here. There was also a recent story with more examples and directions on WeAreTeachers. (This locker is from the original creator, Lauren Vining.)
Big picture
Big picture

Class is Lava! to Start the Year

John Meehan shared this via twitter, "Gamified syllabus for instant day one engagement - great for physical school OR distance learning. Hit the ground running with student centered autonomy, agency and purpose." You can find his explanation here.
Big picture
Crowd-sourced by 50+ librarians & teachers

This guide received over 5000 hits in the first 24 hours! It debuted on August 8th with a webinar that included many of the authors. Pages 2 and 3 have a clickable index, and it is still being updated.

Big picture
Google & iPad Tutorials: Students, Parents, & Teachers

Have you had parents or caregivers asking for help? This might be a solution!

Big picture
Return to Learn Playbook

This Illinois document even has suggestions by grade level.

Big picture
Teaching Digitally Resource Guide

Wonderful, free guide by Nadine Gilkison from Franklin Township in Indianapolis.

Big picture

Highlights included in this INSPIRE3 Update for 8/10/20. Thank You for sharing this Update with your staff and colleagues as these resources are beneficial in service-learning planning for in-school and/or virtual instruction for the 20-21 school year.

  • INSPIRE3 program Update from Joan
  • NEW PowerPoints on our Digital Resource page that specifically connects Language Arts and Science to Service-Learning
  • NEW INSPIRE3 Webpage Tutorial and Service Learning to Educate, Engage, and Empower Tutorial
  • "Six Proven Practices in Civic Education" by Betsy Peterson, Director of Learning to Give
  • New LTG lessons and resources related to voting and civic engagement K-12 on their Current Events Page
  • LTG K-12 Simple Safe Service project guides, Difficult Conversation guide and Media Literacy Tips
  • generationOn website free service/service-learning resources for teachers, students, and parents
  • INPSIRE3 mini-grants available for 1st semester of 20-21
  • Visit our INSPIRE3 page on the IMLEA website HERE or on the IASP website HERE and Connect
  • Contact information for free assistance
  • Thank You Very Much for sharing our updates and web page with your staff and colleagues

Closing Thoughts

We have sent this edition of the "Monday Minute" to an extensive mailing list; if you have changed positions or would like to suggest someone for our mailing list, please let us know. You can access past Monday Minutes via this link on our webpage, and you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Principals and others: Please forward this newsletter to your staff, and email us at any time with comments, suggestions, and your great ideas!