PLAEA Early Childhood Newsletter

October 2021

Highlight of the Month

Feeling Faces Playdough Mats

This social emotional tool is just one of the recently updated social skills resources on site. By using the feeling face playdough mats this encourages students to identify and learn more about feelings. As well as providing adults an opportunity to expand conversations on why they feel certain feelings. Creative, hands-on, and most importantly a FUN way to teach social skills! Add to your small groups and interest areas today! For access, click on the title link below (in gray)!

Do you love this resource and would like more visuals around social-emotional skills? Check out: Click on resource library! Be prepared to be WOWED!!!!

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Updates for Early Childhood Teachers

1) Required Teaching Strategies GOLD SPRING checkpoint

Below is a message that was sent to your Administrators from the Iowa Department of Education on 7/29/01. We have learned that it contained information new to several people. The biggest takeaway: ** PLEASE NOTE: ALL SWVPP ARE REQUIRED TO COMPLETE THE SPRING CHECKPOINT WITHIN TEACHING STRATEGIES GOLD. More info and details can be found below.

Preschool Administrators and Directors,

As a reminder, Iowa Code 279.60 requires the use of the GOLD Assessment in preschool programs. The Iowa Department of Education will now be using the GOLD Assessment for preschool age children as an accountability measure for activities in the Differentiated Accountability System and state level reporting. All programs subscribing to GOLD under the Iowa Umbrella Agreement are now required to annually complete the Spring Checkpoint in the 2021-22 program year. This includes children who receive special education services in preschool programs.

It is recommended programs continue to locally administer and report the Fall and Winter Checkpoints, as recommended by the assessment publisher. This practice also supports the use of formative assessment data as well as various reporting functions within the GOLD Assessment System.

Note: All three checkpoint periods must continue to be completed in Shared Visions preschool programs. Likewise, some programs may have locally determined requirements for the administration of GOLD based on local boards, funding sources, etc.

If you or your district have further questions regarding administration of Teaching Strategies GOLD, please reach out to Katie Kauffman or Marcie Lentsch.

2) PLAEA Early Childhood Teacher Huddles

Early Childhood Huddles ARE COMING UP!!! Do you have the dates reserved?!?!?!

When are Early Childhood Huddles?

Second Wednesday of each month from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. (other than the TS GOLD Booster sessions)

What are Early Childhood Huddles?

EC Huddles are a virtual way for PLAEA Early Childhood teachers to network and learn together from across our AEA. By using a virtual platform, we still have the capabilities to share, learn, and network together. Each huddle will have a specific topic, but certainly not limited to. We will allow time for networking, asking questions, and sharing out. Added bonus: each huddle will have direct representation to early childhood special education.

SPECIAL FOCUS - GOLD Booster Sessions:

It is no secret that administering, scoring, and deciphering Teaching Strategies GOLD can be a bit tricky. Join the Iowa movement in using Teaching Strategies GOLD for the science of it, rather than the compliance of it. Learn how to turn the "GOLD pain" into "GOLD power"! We will cover everything form time saving tips, to "did you knows" and MUCH MUCH MORE!!!! ** Please note that the TS GOLD booster sessions will be from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

First Huddle: October 13th from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Zoom link:


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3) PLAEA 2021-2022 Professional Development Opportunities

PLAEA EC Consultants recently released their 2021-2022 professional development opportunities. We took into careful consideration two things: 1 - responses from our spring PD survey and 2 - current needs of districts and providing multiple avenues for learning (i.e. virtual, self-paced and face to face).

PLAEA Early Childhood 2021 -2022 Professional Development Opportunities

Didn't find what you are looking for? There are MANY other online and self-paced learning opportunities (geared towards early childhood) also available on

Reminder: per IQPPS standard 6.4 and 6.5 all early childhood staff in SWVPP are required to engage in specialized professional development each year. This can be provided (but limited to): by district, PLAEA or outside agency.

4) IQPPS Desk Audit - Update

You may have already heard rumblings about the IQPPS desk audit. This is ONLY required for districts that are SWVPP and implementing IQPPS standards (this would omit Head Start and Shared Vision programs).

What you need to know as the teacher:

1) The IQPPS desk audit is currently open (as of September 15th) and closes in CASA on December 15th.

2) This should be a focus for your Administrator to complete, not the classroom teacher. Administrators may ask questions or for further guidance. The vision from the DE is that the Admin need to be able to ensure this is happening in their district. Submissions can not be from the teacher lens, but from Administrator birds eye view.

3) We (PLAEA EC Consultants - Katie and Marcie) have designed 3 EC Admin Huddles to walk through the IQPPS standards for this year. We will describe what each of the 10 standards are, options on how they can meet that standard and how to submit info into CASA. TEACHERS DO NOT NEED TO ATTEND - only Administrators!

For your curiosity purposes, here is a link to the 21-22 Universal Preschool Desk Audit Evidence of IQPPS Implementation.

What Can You Do To Support Your Administrator? Remind them to attend our Early Childhood Principal Huddles:

  • September 29, 3:30-4:30 via zoom
  • October 21, 3:30-4:30 via zoom
  • November 16, 3:30-4:30 via zoom

5) Information Needed to Start myIGDIs Fall Screening

1) Before administering please be sure to update your iOs on the ipads and update the myIGDIs app.

2) Resources for rostering students in myIGDIs are available in the August 3, 2021 Zip File. A recording link for the rostering webinar is included in the August newsletter on the Iowa myIGDIs website.

3) NEW RESOURCE: Quick Start Guide for myIGDIs Supporting Data Display for myIGDIs in Student Success, with links to additional resources for getting started with myIGDIs administration and viewing data/reports in the myIGDIs system.

4) Below are dates and times that Renaissance (creators of myIGDIs) will be hosting zooms to support districts using myIGDIs.

Using myIGDIs Data

November 19, 2021

9:00am – 10:30am CST

Register Here

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Early Childhood Special Education Supports

i3 Website

i3 website is full of information, guidance, resources and procedures. i3 - Iowa IDEA Information - Guidance - Resources - Procedures

Procedural Safeguards Manual

Do you every have a difficult time finding an updated Procedural Safeguards Manual for Parents prior to an IEP meeting? Do you ever need a copy for families in Arabic, Bosnian, Lao, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish or Vietnamese? See the links below for updated Manuals.

Procedural Safeguards Manual for Parents Rights for Children Ages 3-21 - English

Procedural Safeguards Manual for Parents Rights for Children Ages 2-21 - Arabic, Bosnian, Lao, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, Vietnamese

Resources Preparing Parents for IEP Meetings

Parent Information for Initial IEP Meeting

Special Education: Child Find Process

IEP Team Member Roles and Responsibilities

Parent Information of 3 year Re-evaluation

Planning for Your Child's IEP Meeting

Preschool "Go-Tos"

Teaching Strategies GOLD/myIGDI 2021-2022 Dates

NCPMI -PBIS - Challenging Behavior Site

ColorinColorado - A bilingual site for educators and families of English language learners

Early Childhood Iowa - Early Childhood Mental Health

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Katie Kauffman - Early Childhood Special Education Consultant

Supporting Districts: East Sac County, Greene County, Manson Northwest Webster, Newell Fonda, Paton-Churdan, Pocahontas Area, Schaller-Crestland, Storm Lake, South Central Calhoun, South Hamilton, Stratford (EC and ECSE), Gilmore City-Bradgate, Southeast Valley (EC & ECSE).

Marcie Lentsch - Early Childhood Education Consultant

Supporting Districts: Albert City-Truesdale, Algona, Alta-Aurelia, Clarion-Goldfield, Clay Central-Everly, Eagle Grove, Emmetsburg, Estherville Lincoln Central, Fort Dodge, Graettinger-Terril, Harris-Lake Park, Humboldt, Laurens-Marathon, North Kossuth, North Union, Okoboji, Ruthven-Ayrshire, Sioux Central, Spencer, Spirit Lake, Twin Rivers, Webster City, West Bend/Mallard.

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