Monthly Happenings: April 2020

Updates from IDOE's English Learner Team

Welcome and April EL Leadership Meeting Slides

IDOE's EL team would like to thank everyone for their hard work thus far in navigating the unique challenges of COVID-19 to best serve our English learner students. The amount of dedication, creativity, and advocacy occurring across the state for ELs has been so impressive (if not unsurprising). We are proud to stand beside you in this work!

Though it was disappointing not to see everyone in person, we appreciate all who were able to attend the virtual EL Leadership Meeting last week. For those who were unable to participate or who are seeking reference, the slides from the webinar can be found here. While this was the last scheduled meeting for the 2019-2020 school year, IDOE's EL team will continue to be flexible and responsive to schools' needs and questions in light of the ever-changing situation, and may look to virtually convene again at some point prior to the next school year. In the meantime, stay well and take a look at this month's edition, which includes updates since the EL Leadership Meeting...


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

To this point, IDOE has released the following guidance to assist schools specifically with English learner students...

English Learner eLearning Requirements: This guidance details what is required for English learner services with schools operating in remote learning environments. It also addresses the process for enrollment and identification of potential ELs during school closures.

English Learner Resources: The EL team has collected some of the more notable, quality resources for ELs surrounding COVID-19 school closures into this compilation. It includes additional resource hubs, resources for connecting with families, and resources for instruction.

A Note on English Learner Retention during COVID-19: While individual retention decisions are made at the local level with collaboration and input from educators and families, special consideration must be given to civil rights protections for English learners. Federal law prohibits the retention of English learners on the basis of language proficiency. For additional guidance on retention decisions for English learners, see pp.13-14 of the IDOE English Learner Guidebook

IDOE General COVID Resources: All of IDOE has been hard at work developing guidance and resources addressing COVID-19's impact on schools. IDOE's COVID-19 main page houses a comprehensive FAQ, extensive remote learning resources, CARES Act funding information, Special Education guidance, and much much more. Please tune in to Dr. McCormick's weekly video address (Tuesdays, 10:00 a.m. ET), and weekly newsletter for the most up to date news, guidance, and resources on COVID-19 and Indiana schools.

Congratulations to the 2019-2020 Title III Distinguished District Recipient: Perry Township

IDOE is excited to congratulate Perry Township Schools as the 2019-2020 recipient of the Title III Distinguished District award. This recognition speaks to the dedication of the entire district to welcoming, serving, and celebrating their English learner students and families.

IDOE conducted an analysis of English learner data for all Title III subgrantees, including traditional public school corporations and charter schools, and identified those with exemplary achievement and growth. IDOE then conducted phone interviews and onsite visits with EL program directors, teachers, building-level and district-level administrators, and other key program staff to evaluate EL programming, instruction, school culture, and family and community engagement.

With English learners representing over 25% of the total student population, including 81 different languages spoken from 67 different countries, Perry Township schools is one of the most linguistically and culturally diverse districts in the state. Perry has excelled at serving their EL students, which is evidenced by high levels of English learner achievement and growth at rates well above the state average for ELs on 2018-2019 ILEARN and ISTEP assessments. Perry ELs also met their English language proficiency targets on WIDA ACCESS and graduated at similarly high rates.

Perry Township has distinguished itself through its commitment to embracing their EL students, developing a culture district-wide that views linguistic and cultural differences as assets. These strengths are especially notable in their support of the large Burmese refugee community in the district. Instructionally, Perry has made inclusive, rigorous core subject area classrooms a priority. Students are taught in academic language rich environments, where students are acquiring new language and content simultaneously. This combination of high academic achievement, exceptional instructional programming, and school community set Perry Township apart.

WIDA ACCESS Test Results

Indiana was thankfully able to successfully complete the WIDA ACCESS test administration prior to school closures. Because of this little has been impacted by COVID-19, and test results will be available soon. See below for important information on score reports:

  • Digital Score Reports: Test results are here soon! Digital score reports will be available in WIDA-AMS on April 24. For information on how to view the various score reports, see the WIDA-AMS User Guide, found in the Manuals drop-down of the WIDA Indiana page. See the WIDA Download Library for short webinars on Interpreting Score Reports.

  • Post-Reporting Data Validation: After the initial wave of reports is released, IDOE will perform a Post-Reporting Data Validation from April 24 to May 8. During this process, discrepancies, such as split-score reports, will be addressed. Reports needing amending as a result of this process will be released on May 27.

  • Physical Score Reports: Due to school building closures and the inability to accept shipments of paper reports, the paper report delivery date will be delayed until a date when administrators and staff have renewed access to their buildings. IDOE will share a final date when it is confirmed.

Title III and NESP Funds: Deadline Extensions and Reallocations

TITLE III Timeline Updates

To allow the utmost flexibility with currently allocated funding, the following 2018-2020 Title III grant deadlines have been updated:

  • Amendment Deadline: now September 15, 2021
  • Encumbrance Deadline: now September 30, 2021
  • Reimbursement Deadline: now December 15, 2021
  • Financial End Report (FER) Due: now December 31, 2021

NESP Timeline Updates

Also, the following are updated 2019-2020 NESP grant dates:

  • Cash Request Deadline: remains June 1, 2020
  • Amendment Deadline: now December 1, 2020
  • Encumbrance Deadline: now December 31, 2020
  • Annual Performance Report (APR) Due: now December 31, 2020
  • Liquidation Deadline: now March 31, 2021
  • Financial End Report (FER) Due: now March 31, 2021

NESP Reallocations

Program administrators of LEAs who are participating in 2019-2020 NESP received notification this week from the Intelligrants system of the opportunity to apply for reallocated NESP funding, as well as steps on how to do so. Funds are claimed via submission of an amendment, which must be completed by May 8. This allows for reallocations to be approved and processed prior to the cash request deadline, which remains June 1.

Reallocated NESP funding has been awarded at a per-pupil amount of $5.14. While this funding amount is limited, IDOE wanted to provide opportunity for schools to access as many dollars as possible.

IDOE Awards for EL Licensure Coursework

IDOE was elated to approve over 300 Indiana educators to fund their coursework for EL, DLI, and High Ability certifications or licensure. A big thank you to Indiana colleges and universities for their partnerships, to those within IDOE for their collaboration in making this opportunity possible, and for all the educators who have agreed to participate. A big win for all!

Additional Supports for ELs during Remote Learning

In the past weeks, educators from across the globe have created, shared, and compiled strategies and resources for English learner students learning in a remote environment. In addition to the SupportEd's Padlet and the Colorin Colorado hub shared in the last edition of Monthly Happenings, the following are beneficial links specific for ELs...

  • In this EdWeek blog, EL teachers around the country are sharing Ten Strategies for teaching ELs online. Inside are lots of practical recommendations for instruction and parent communication.

  • WIDA’s Teaching Multilingual Learners Online guidance features each WIDA Guiding Principle, with aligned actions both teachers and students can take, as well as online resource links that paired with the principle. Also, to support families with young children at home, WIDA Early Years has shared free, downloadable activity booklets, in English and Spanish, that are appropriate for young children ages 2-7 years.

April's Indiana Dual Language Program Newsletter

The latest edition of the Indiana Dual Language Program Newsletter is once again full of useful information and resources. Included is news on DLI pilot grant extension and staffing for 2020-2021, a profile of Batesville's Mandarin program, an opportunity to create DL Can Do Statements, and much more.

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: Keep It Up!

Thanks for your continued efforts in promoting the completion of the 2020 Census! The 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. The 2020 Census has become especially important amid the COVID-19 crisis, where federal funding will be critical as schools re-open.

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.

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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 Presentations and Materials

While Title Con 2020 is unable to take place in person, many of the presenters are providing their materials and/or providing a recorded version of their presentation. These materials and videos will be posted gradually as they are received by IDOE, and it will be announced when everything has been received and posted on the website. See the Title Con website for presentations that have already been posted.

Indiana Language Roadmap Mini-grant Opportunity

Beginning in 2020, Indiana University and the Indiana Language Roadmap initiative is offering competitive grants (up to $1,000) to support community projects throughout Indiana that align with the priorities of its strategic plan centered around language education. Find more information on the Indiana Language Roadmap and grant opportunity in the flyer below. The online application is due Friday, May 1st, and can be completed here.

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!

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