Monthly Happenings: March 2020

Updates from IDOE's English Learner Team


IDOE EL Team Response to COVID-19: Requirements and Resources

Thank you to everyone for their efforts thus far in helping keep Indiana schools and families safe, informed, and prepared during these challenging times. IDOE has released the following guidance to assist schools in navigating from the EL lens...

English Learner eLearning Requirements: IDOE has released this guidance regarding what is required for English learner services if schools are still in operation via an eLearning format.

IDOE Response and General Guidance: Find IDOE's general guidance in response to COVID-19 here. Included are resources in multiple languages that can be shared with families.

Funding Guidance: The recently-released IDOE Federal Funds and COVID-19 Related Issues memo includes responses to key grant and funding-related questions surrounding encumbrance deadlines, allowability, amendments, and more. Information included is relevant for both Title III and NESP grants.

English Learner Resources: IDOE departments have collaborated to compile this resource hub for teachers and families during closures and eLearning. Many different content and age levels are represented, including an English learner-specific section. One key link featured is this Padlet of EL resources assembled by author Diane Staehr Fenner.

Colorin Colorado has provided considerations and recommendations for schools in communicating and connecting with EL families. Among others, topics include providing access to essential COVID-19 information, communication methods, and planning for e-learning.

More information on COVID-19's impact on upcoming EL trainings and events is included within the newsletter below. The EL team remains committed to supporting schools and EL families, so don't hesitate to reach out with any questions.

UPDATE: April 8 EL Leadership Meeting Format Change

The EL Leadership Meeting scheduled for April 8 has been changed from an in-person format to a virtual format. We will still be holding our meeting that day, and it will last from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. ET. Access the webinar via the link and information below:

Webinar Link

Meeting number: 734 905 789

Meeting password: 7PSweu4CrD8

Call-in Number: +1-415-655-0001

The IILP training planned to follow will also be held virtually. Participants who have signed up will be contacted, and further details on IILP trainings will be forthcoming.

Save the Dates! 2020-2021 EL Directors' Meetings Finalized

The 2020-2021 Annual EL Directors' Meetings dates have been set. They will take place on August 11 and 12, once again at Lawrence Township. As of now, the first day is still intended for new program administrators, with the second day intended for both new and returning EL directors. More details to come as we enter into the summer!

Wrapping Up WIDA ACCESS: Important Reminders

Thanks to everyone for their hard work in putting another WIDA ACCESS test administration in the books! It truly takes a team effort in planning, scheduling, and administrating testing. With materials being shipped for scoring, make note of the following next steps and updates:

  • COVID-19 Impact: The closing of schools and possible future changes in state assessment windows do not impact the WIDA ACCESS timelines. With testing completed and materials returned, all remaining dates for data validation and reports will remain in place.

  • Pre-Reporting Data Validation: Pre-reporting data validation is the process of reviewing student test records to identify potential errors in student demographic, accommodation, and test result records and make corrections before score reports are generated. For example, errors may be the result of gridding incorrect student data on a paper test book or a duplicate student record in WIDA AMS. Pre-reporting data validation is a crucial step for ensuring accurate reporting. The Pre-Reporting Data Validation window is from March 23 to April 3. During the Pre-Reporting Data Validation window, the Corporation Test Coordinator (CTC) or designee is able to make real-time data corrections in WIDA AMS. See the attached WIDA-AMS Data Validation Supplement for more information.

NOTE: If school closings prevent the ability to complete Pre-Reporting Data Validation at the LEA level, know that the IDOE also performs a Post-Reporting Data Validation as a safety net, and will amend those immediately apparent issues. However if you are capable, performing the validation on the LEA side will ensure clean reporting of information for students.

  • Score Reports on Their Way: Districts will receive digital score reports, which will be accessible on WIDA-AMS, on April 24. Printed score reports will arrive at districts on May 4.

See the WIDA Download Library (requires login) for short webinars on both Data Validation and Interpreting Score Reports.

Intelligrants Updates and Videos

IDOE has been releasing short videos regarding the roll-out of INtelligrants, the new grants management system housing all funding streams through IDOE. Many administrators got early experience with Intelligrants through this year's NESP grant, and the platform is expanding to encompass other funding streams, including Title III. The first six mini-videos have been released, and can be found on the INtelligrants landing page. The video topics are:

  • Intelligrants Video #1: The Pre-Application
  • Intelligrants Video #2: The Consolidated Application
  • Intelligrants Video #3: Domains and Activities within the Consolidated Application
  • Intelligrants Video #4: Consolidated Application Budget Categories
  • Intelligrants Video #5: How to Transfer Funding
  • Intelligrants Video #6: The Blending of Funds

If you are a program administrator who completes federal grant applications, these videos will be essential in preparing you for the new system and processes!

Indiana Dual Language Program News

Dual language programs feature some of the most linguistically and culturally diverse school environments in Indiana. The Indiana Dual Lanugage Newsletter shines a light on these programs as well as resources and information for those looking to learn more. Check out this month's newsletter, which includes the following highlights:

  • Important information on upcoming DLI grant application deadlines
  • Recognition of DLI programs and their activities from around the state, including Muncie, Batesville, Lawrence, and Hammond
  • Resources for programs, including a shared drive and opportunities for DLI program evaluation and support

Be sure to subscribe to the DLI Newsletter and receive it directly via email. Please reach out to Nicole Leach ( with any questions.

2020 Census Impacts All Students

The 2020 Census count impacts the federal funds that communities receive each year for programs and services that are critical for schools, students, and younger children. This includes key English learner funding with Title III.

It is important to note that the 2020 Census does not ask for social security numbers, citizenship status, or any information that can be used by law enforcement. Check out the

IDOE 2020 Census Count website for resources you can share with fellow teachers and administrators as well as students and parents. Thank you for continuing to share the importance and impact of the census!

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Indiana English Learner PD and eLearning Opportunities

Our Indiana English Learner PD Calendar features current professional learning opportunities for the school year. With in-person PD opportunities in jeopardy for the near future, WIDA Self-Paced eWorkshops are a convenient alternative. 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.

UPDATE: Title Con 2020 Canceled

Due to evolving COVID-19 concerns, IDOE has made the difficult decision to cancel Title Con 2020. We are working to provide the most critical information via webinars in the coming weeks. Please continue to check the Title Con website for updates. Updates will also be shared in Monthly Happenings as well as Dr. McCormick's weekly update. Please contact Nathan Williamson ( with questions.

IILP Corner: Upcoming Trainings Changes

The scheduled IILP trainings on April 8 in Brownsburg and May 6 in Goshen have also been postponed. In its place will be virtual trainings. More logistical details will be forthcoming!

If you have IILP questions in the meantime, please reach out to for technical questions, and Adam Pitt ( for programmatic and policy questions.


Shifts Toward Success for ELs Part II

In part II of Language Magazine's two-part article "Breaking Down the Wall", authors Diane Staehr Fenner and Debbie Zacarian discuss an assets-based approach to English learner students. Included within are strategies and suggestions for teachers to learn about and elicit student assets. Also addressed are ways to challenge deficit based thinking toward ELs at the individual level to the school level. These are brief, impactful articles that would be good to share with your fellow educators and administrators!

IDOE English Learner Team

Valerie Beard

Assistant Director of English Learners and Special Populations

Nicole Leach

Dual Language Immersion and English Learner Specialist

Adam Pitt

Senior English Learner Specialist

Georgina Schneider

English Learner Specialist