Monthly Happenings: December 2019

Updates from IDOE's English Learner Team


December EL Leadership Meeting Recap and Materials

Our team is very energized and encouraged by such a great turnout and productive discussions at the December EL Leadership meeting. A big thank you to all who attended, including EL leaders traveling from all corners of the state. We especially appreciated the informative dialogue surrounding Dual Language programs, EL program evaluation, and EL teacher licensure.

For those that were unable to attend, the slides from the day can be found here: EL Leadership Slides - 12/4. The meeting also featured a presentation by Dr. Trish Morita-Mulaney from Purdue University focused on Dual Language programs in Indiana, which included intriguing data on the programs' effectiveness. Her slides can be found here: DLI Programs Presentation.

These materials, and all past EL Leadership slides can be found on our Professional Learning and Resources page, within the "EL Leadership Meeting Resources" tab. The next EL Leadership meeting will be held via webinar on February 12 from 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. ET. Attendees can join via this link and with access code: 735057217.

Upcoming Grant Deadlines!

Make note of the following fast-approaching deadlines for active Title III and NESP grants:

2017-2019 Title III:

  • December 15: Funds must be liquidated and reimbursement requested
  • December 31: Financial End Report due

2018-2019 NESP:

  • December 15: Funds must be liquidated
  • December 31: Financial End Report due

Information on how to complete the Financial End Reports for both grants can be found within this memo. Please contact your EL grant specialist with any questions.

Dual Language Immersion Grant Expanding

IDOE is thrilled to announce additional grant recipients of the Indiana Dual Language Immersion (DLI) Program. Due to the availability of additional funding, a second round of awards opened for the 2019-2020 school year. The DLI Program distributes financial assistance to school corporations or charter schools for either the establishment of new programs or the introduction of new languages within existing programs. DLI programs must begin in kindergarten or first grade and use an instructional model that provides at least 50 percent of its instruction in a target language, with the remaining instructional time in English. In total, 10 schools received awards to continue existing programs, with one school receiving funding to begin a new language program.

“When we immerse our students in diverse cultures and languages, we provide an education that better prepares them for the world in which we live,” said State Superintendent Dr. Jennifer McCormick. “I am proud to see these awarded schools continuing to expand already strong learning environments for our kids.”

To view a list of 2019-2020 grant recipients, click here. For additional information on Dual Lanugage Programs, see the IDOE DLI page.

Recently Arrived English Learners and Accountability

The Assessment Administration Flexibility for Recently-Arrived English Learners (ELs) memo provides guidance for reporting and assessing ELs initially enrolled in U.S. schools for less than one year. Prior to the 2017-2018 school year, recently arrived English learner students were exempt from the English/Language Arts ISTEP+ assessment during their first 12 months enrolled in US schools. However, since the Spring 2018 accountability assessments, all corporations and schools are required to administer all content areas of the assessment to recently arrived English learners. Recently arrived English learners are not exempt from the administration of the English/Language Arts ILEARN or ISTEP+ assessment or any other content area. The memo details the definition of a recently arrived EL, how to report them to IDOE, and how their assessments impact accountability.


Now is the time to be getting the final pieces in place for the WIDA ACCESS window! Ensure you are prepared, by checking out the following updates and resources:

Test Setup in WIDA AMS Now Available: Student Management and Test Management functionality for the “IN ACCESS for ELLs - 2019-2020” administration in WIDA AMS became available December 2. Schools may now manually add ELs and/or update student data, including accommodations, that were not reported via the DOE-TL data submission in October. This includes adding new students who have enrolled at your school since then.

Upcoming WIDA Webinars: The following upcoming webinars will be beneficial to test coordinators and administrators:

Materials Delivery and Ordering: WIDA ACCESS materials arrive at districts on January 6. These materials align with what was submitted on the DOE-TL report in October. The additional materials window also opens on this date, and will remain open until February 24. Please limit your additional materials requests to a single order if possible. Keep in mind unused test booklets can be shared within schools in a district to help with this.

Bookmark this link to the WIDA Indiana web page as we are nearing the WIDA ACCESS testing window. There you will find important testing dates; Indiana's state-specific directions; comprehensive ACCESS for ELLs checklists; a hub for manuals, guides, and test materials; and much more to assist with a smooth testing window. The yellow boxes will be here before you know it! The test window opens January 13.

Indiana ILP Corner

Upcoming Trainings: The next round of IILP trainings consists of mini-webinars, centered around specific parts of the IILP system, beginning with the Formal Two-Year Monitoring Process. The first was held on December 10, and the recording will be posted on our website here in the Indiana ILP section soon.

Apart from the webinar series, another round of in-person trainings will take place in the first few months of 2020, especially for those who will be transitioning into the program for the following school year. Keep an eye on this section and the IDOE PD calendar for dates and locations, as well as info on future mini-webinars.

ILEARN Accommodations: Schools will have the capability of indicating accommodations and designated features within IILP and reporting them into the TIDE system for the spring administration of ILEARN. This information will begin to pulled into TIDE beginning on January 15. This is not mandatory - if you are not using IILP, or wish to continue notifying ILEARN accommodations via the IDOE-TA report, you may continue to do so. More information on this process will be forthcoming.

IDOE Migrant Education Specialist Position Opening

Interested in joining IDOE's Title Grants team? IDOE is seeking candidates for the Migrant Education Specialist position. The Title I, Part C, Migrant Education Program (MEP) is designed to provide supplemental instructional and support services to eligible students who, because of high mobility and educational disruptions, perform below grade level academically. Click here to read more details about the position and to apply. The application closes on December 23.


Indiana English Learner PD and eLearning Opportunities

Our Indiana English Learner PD Calendar features current professional learning opportunities for the school year. We will continue to update the Calendar as new opportunities arise and highlight those that are just around the corner here in Monthly Happenings. Be sure to bookmark and check back often!

EL professional development is available at any date or time in the form of WIDA Self-Paced eWorkshops. All Indiana educators with a WIDA portal login have the opportunity to participate in six self-paced, on-demand eWorkshops free of charge. The topics of the six workshops, which vary in length, are:

  • Using the WIDA Writing Rubric
  • Leading for Equity: Classroom Walk-through
  • Classroom Educators: Engaging Multilingual Learners
  • Language for Learning in Mathematics
  • Doing and Talking STEM
  • Foundational Concepts for K-12 Educators

You can find more details on each of these sessions, including a video overview, in WIDA's Self-Paced eWorkshops page. To access the eWorkshops, after logging into the secure portal, click the button labeled Free eWorkshops. If you have any questions, contact the WIDA Client Services Center at (866) 276-7735 or for assistance.

An Introduction to Dual Language Immersion Webinar

IDOE will be hosting a webinar for those interested in learning more about the basics of dual language education, the implementation resources that are available, and guidance for the upcoming grant. See details below:

  • WHEN: January 16, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. ET
  • WHERE: Online, via this link; Access code: 731 094 798; Call in #: 1-415-655-0001
  • WHO: Administrators and educators interested in learning more about DLI

We hope to see you in attendance! Please reach out to Nicole Leach with DLI or webinar-related questions.

Title Con Call for Proposals

Proposals are now being accepted for Title Con 20/20, and the deadline to submit is December 20. We would love to see successful English learner programming practices from around the state represented! The conference will be held April 15-16 at the Embassy Suites in Plainfield. This year's conference theme is Creating a Vision for the Future. The proposal submission instructions, as well as registration information, can be found here.
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The 2020 Edition of the WIDA ELD Standards - Give Your Input!

The WIDA ELD standards are undergoing a refresh for the 2020-2021 school year. On the WIDA 2020 Standards website, you will find a timeline for feedback, release, and implementation. A flyer and a powerpoint with a basic overview of the new and remaining features are also included.

There is still time to get a sneak peek at different draft editions of the standards and to provide your feedback! The public input window closes on December 15. All educators and stakeholders are welcome to get an early look at the new editions and share their thoughts. Stay tuned for more information and guidance from IDOE and WIDA as the new editions are rolled out.

Dual Language Book Study - Chapter 6

This final chapter of Why Dual Language Schooling? is entitled “Dual Language Programs as a Vehicle for School System Reform.” This chapter points out changes and benefits that come from implementing dual language programs, which include:

  • Dual language programs grow one grade at a time allowing for planning time.
  • Dual language can be cost-effective when specialized pull-out services are no longer needed.
  • Dual language has been shown to reduce behavioral referrals with an increase in student engagement.
  • Dual language raises achievement scores, especially among students of low-income background and English learners.
  • Dual language encourages team teaching. In 50-50 models, teachers switch groups of students for half of the day.
  • Dual language encourages innovative teaching.
  • Dual language encourages cooperative learning.

Thomas and Collier finish the chapter on this note: “When our schools prepare our students for a highly charged, fast-paced, 21st century environment that will continue to change and even redefine itself rapidly, we will be serving our students and communities well.”

IDOE English Learner Team

Valerie Beard
Assistant Director of English Learners and Migrant Education Programs
(317) 232-0558

Nicole Leach
Dual Language Immersion and English Learner Specialist
(317) 232-0572

Adam Pitt
English Learner Specialist
(317) 234-7168

Georgina Schneider
English Learner Specialist
(317) 234-7785