February 2020, Volume 7

Will He or Won't He?

Will he or won't he is one of the questions most, if not all, teachers ask at the end of January. I am referring to Punxsutawney Phil of course. We all want to know if there will be six more weeks of winter or not. Although he only has a 39% accuracy rate, I think we all want to believe Phil, especially when he says spring is just around the corner.

In the classroom, this was a fun holiday in which most students could participate, and where many disciplines could be engaged: reading (I recommend Groundhog Gets A Say and Mr. Groundhog Wants the Day Off), writing, science, math, and local folklore. In fact, I was able to have centers for several days as we learned about Phil and groundhogs in general. There was always a graph on the wall of our predictions while we watched the video of what Phil had done. We had lots of cheers, along with lots of groans, depending on how one had predicted.

Groundhog Day is just one of the many national days we'd learn about. Every day, as part of our morning routines, I'd put what national day it was as part of the morning message. Often the message would include a question about that particular day. There was always a video or a picture to more fully bring the day alive for my K/1 class. I will admit I learned many new things myself with this practice.

It might be fun to, at a minimum, form a poll with your colleagues, regardless of where you are in a district, to predict what ol' Punxsutawney Phil will do, just to feel kid-like for a moment.

Here is what you'll find in this issue:

  • Survey Reminders, Spring Consultation and Regional Roadshows
  • Title Con 20/20 Update
  • FSSA News Release
  • Important Upcoming Deadlines
  • Twitter Accounts to Follow
  • Links to other IDOE newsletters
  • Archived #INspirEDgrants

Please remember to like and follow us using the buttons over the banner above. By following us, you will receive a notice when the next newsletter is ready each month. Feel free to share using the Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest icons above as well.

May Punxsutawney Phil give you the prediction you are seeking this year.


P.S.--Hopefully you are reading this by January 31 because February 1 is National Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day...enjoy!

Survey Reminders, Spring Consultation and Regional Roadshows

As Friday, February 7, quickly approaches, I wanted to take a moment to remind Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and Non-Public Schools (NPSs) to please complete their respective surveys, if not yet completed, to ensure growth of this partnership.

By the end of February, LEAs should send the Updated Consultation Forms with the Letter of Intent to all NPSs, even if they declined services last year; these documents will help with gaining some crucial information in assisting with Spring Consultation as well as establishing and strengthening already existing relationships. If a NPS is declining services for this upcoming year, please make sure Form A.2 is fully completed, with signatures, to be submitted with each Title Grant Application--a face-to-face consultation is not necessary in these instances; however, if a NPS wants to participate a face-to-face consultation must occur and Form B must be completed and submitted with each Title Grant Application.

As a friendly reminder, the following topics should be discussed during Spring Consultation:

  • How student needs will be identified;

  • What services will be offered;

  • How, where, and by whom services will be provided;

  • Size and scope of services;

  • Amount of funds available and how it is determined;

  • Delivery of services, including whether to use a third-party vendor/contractor

  • Pooling of funds;

  • How services will be assessed and the results used to improve services;

  • Method or data source for determining the number of low-income children (Title I, specific);

  • When services will be provided (Title I, specific);

  • Whether to use funds in coordination with funds available under other programs (Title I specific).

ESEA sections 1117(b)(1) and 8501 (c)(1)

Lastly, I am currently in the brainstorming phase of the five planned Regional Roadshows. I am looking for a host in Fort Wayne, Lafayette, Indianapolis, Evansville, and South Bend. If you are able to host a roadshow, please let me know. The Regional Roadshow will act as a point of contact to work with LEAs as well as NPSs in terms of Equitable Share, Relationship Building, and other areas of the Title Grants and Support Division (TGS). I will be teaming with various TGS Division members to include topics such as Title II, Title III, 21st CCLC, and Data.

Have a productive February and please remember to register for TitleCon 20/20: Creating a Vision for the Future, being held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Plainfield, 6089 Clarks Creek Road, Plainfield, IN 46168.

Andrew Mazur

Equitable Services Ombudsman



Positive, Productive, Proactive, Prolonged and Polite Partnerships for Public and Non-Public Schools - A. Mazur

Title Con 20/20 Update

Pre-Conference Workshops

IDOE will host one day of pre-conference workshops on April 14 at Embassy Suites Plainfield. The workshops will consist of four half-day sessions as follows:

  • INTELLIGRANTS: The New Online System That Will Make Applications and Budgeting Fun Again
    • Did you know IDOE is upgrading its financial systems, so that all applications, reimbursements, monitoring, and reporting will be housed in one system called INTELLIGRANTS? A few grants are being piloted now in the system, with many more to come. Learn about the features of the new system, and how it will lead to less time-consuming tasks while providing additional tools to focus upon program effectiveness. The structure of the federal grants will change to take advantage of the new system, and this session will cover more than just the online versions of the current paper and separated systems. Come ready to learn how to better coordinate, consolidate, track, and analyze your dollars.
    • Presenters: Nathan Williamson, Director of Title Grants and Support; Adis Coulibaly, Assistant Director of Title Grants and Support; and Valerie Beard, Assistant Director of English Learners and Special Populations
    • Focus Audience: Program Administrators and New Program Administrators

  • Head Start: Successful School Transitions
    • Starting elementary school is one of the most critical transitions children and families face. For children, it means adjusting to a new setting, learning a new set of rules and behaviors, and adjusting to new peer groups and teachers. For parents and guardians, it is learning about and adjusting to school district policies, communicating with teachers, and sharing information about their children. At the heart of successful transitions is the ability for preschools, elementary schools, and families to work closely together, share information, build relationships, and foster continuity across settings. This session will provide information related to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a federal law that requires local education agencies (LEAs) receiving Title I funds to develop agreements with Head Start and other early childhood providers to increase local coordination. Participants will receive resources to strengthen transition practices that promote coordination, support high-quality educational experiences, and facilitate the seamless transition of children from early childhood settings to kindergarten.
    • Presenter: Linda Langosch, Region V Office of Head Start Training and Technical Assistance System Specialist; Tonia Carriger, Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning, Indiana Head Start State Collaboration Director; and Sarah Parks-Reese, Pre-K Expansion Specialist
    • Focus Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Program Administrators, New Program Administrators, and Teachers

  • District McKinney-Vento Liaison 101
    • This workshop will provide an overview of the responsibilities of district level McKinney-Vento liaisons in Indiana. Presenters will review data regarding homeless children and youth, laws guiding rights of homeless youth, and the responsibilities of schools to support this vulnerable population. Topics will include identification, school selection, transportation, discipline, Title I homeless set-aside, supplemental funds grant applications, and potential solutions to challenges in meeting student needs.
    • Attending this workshop can serve as training/certification for those liaisons who have not yet completed Year One certification through an IDOE online course.
    • Presenters: Gina Woodward, IDOE Homeless Education Specialist; and Christina Endres, National Center for Homeless Education/SERVE Center Program Specialist
    • Focus Audience: McKinney-Vento Liaisons, Program Administrators, and New Program Administrators

  • A Focus Upon Two Worlds: Effective Programs while Maintaining Compliance
    • IDOE's Title Grants and Support Team will support attendees to identify, analyze, and question practices that lead to high-quality activities and student outcomes when implementing federal programs. With the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), having all that paper documentation to show you are “following the rules” is not enough; IDOE and local school systems must focus upon the impact of the federal dollars as a priority. However, that does not mean we can completely forget about all that documentation. Learn, engage, and discuss with others through interactive activities to analyze your efforts while making sure you are on track for a future audit.
    • Presenters: Nathan Williamson, Director of Title Grants and Support; Gina Romano, Data Coach Senior Specialist; Shaun Pennington, Federal Grants Specialist; Adam Pitt, English Learner Specialist; and Lacey Bohlen, Title IV Grants Specialist
    • Focus Audience: Superintendents, Principals, Program Administrators, and New Program Administrators
    • Register today for the Pre-Conference Workshops and Title Con 2020!

Registration is Open

All registrations should be done via EventBrite. You may request up to five registrations at a time. Once registered, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with your ticket. You will need to save, flag or print your ticket as you will need access to the QR code on the ticket when you check in at Title Con 20/20. Registration will close on April 8.

If you have any questions, please contact your Federal Grants Specialist.

Hotel Reservations

The Embassy Suites will continue to add rooms at the conference rate as more reservations are made. The hotel will only open a certain number for each block of rooms, which they consistently monitor.

To reserve rooms at the Embassy Suites Plainfield, please use the following information:

  • Group block is for the nights of April 13-15.
  • Reservations must be made no later than March 19, using the following group code.
  • The unique three-letter group code is IDC.
  • Guests may call 800-362-2779, or visit this link, to make reservations. If booking online, please hit the continue button near the bottom of the page to continue making the reservation.
  • You will need to reference the group name or code, and dates to book reservations.
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Indiana FSSA launches informative video to help guide families through child care and early education choices

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana offers useful and informative resources to help parents find quality child care and early learning opportunities for their children. Good examples are ChildCareFinder.IN.Gov, which the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration launched in 2016 to help find and compare licensed and registered child cares in their areas, and BrighterFuturesIndiana.org, which supports families in enhancing their children’s learning. To help Hoosiers make better-informed decisions about child care and early education options, FSSA has created a short, easy-to-understand, instructional video to direct them to these useful parenting resources.

“We have heard from many families and others throughout Indiana that they don’t know how to look for and find safe and reliable child care and early education resources,” said Nicole Norvell, director of FSSA’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning. “We encourage parents to view this tutorial on using Child Care Finder and Brighter Futures Indiana and share it with friends, family, neighbors and others who may benefit from having these great parenting resources at their fingertips.”

This new video is a step-by-step guide on how to use Child Care Finder, an application that allows families to search licensed providers, registered ministries and exempt providers by numerous, important parameters, including location, type of provider, hours, licensing status and whether or not the provider participates in Paths to Quality, Indiana’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system. In addition, families can find inspection reports and any validated complaints or enforcement actions for each provider they search. The video also guides families through Brighter Futures Indiana, a web-based early learning resource for families, which also shares useful, timely information with parenting tips, family activities and child development on social media. Families can also call 800-299-1627 for assistance in locating child care.

The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning oversees early child care, education and out-of-school-time programs. It is one of the six divisions of FSSA. Individuals with complaints against a child care provider may call 877-511-1144.


News media contact:
Marni Lemons

Important Upcoming Dates

Title Con 20/20

  • Registration now open

Final Allocations Provided

  • Notifications sent out February 2020

Full Calendar of dates for Title Funds.

Twitter Accounts to Follow

IDOE Newsletters

Many IDOE departments provide informational newsletters that might be of interest to you. Here is a link to all the newsletters in one place.


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