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August 2020 Newsletter

  • Notices
    • IDOE Updates
    • COVID Reimbursement 
    • PATINS Project
Notices and Updates

Updates From the Indiana Department of Education


COVID FAQ
IDOE’s COVID-19 FAQ document is updated regularly and available here. Please contact Holly Stachler with questions.

Face Covering Guidance for Parents in English and Spanish
IDOE has created this Face Coverings English language guidance and this Spanish language guidance for schools to share with families. Many schools and county health departments are recommending/requiring the use of face coverings for students and staff. This two-sided sheet provides information on acclimating students to wearing face coverings and guidance regarding face covering maintenance.

Identifying Key Contacts via the LINK Portal
IDOE is requesting all traditional publics, charter schools, and all accredited non-public schools complete the listing of Key Contacts within the LINK Portal. This can be accomplished via the Security Coordinator, who was designated by the superintendent, or the organization’s leader. IDOE encourages every Security Coordinator and organization leader to watch this training video for Security Coordinators. Read the full memo here.

LRE in the Wake of COVID-19
The Office of Special Education and the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) have developed two new resources on the topic of LRE. The COVID-19 pandemic has not changed the individual student’s right to LRE - it has changed how the general education system works. Examples of how schools might maintain an individual student’s LRE in the context of in-person, blended/hybrid, and remote/virtual are included in these companion resources. Please share this LRE Brief from NASDSE and this LRE slide presentation.

Virtual Safety Protocol Reminders
Please view this information to ensure that student safety protocols are in place.
Continuous Learning Plans
School district superintendents, charter school leaders, and choice eligible school leaders are not required to submit a new Continuous Learning Plan (CLP) for the 2020-2021 school year. These plans are intended to be living documents and must be updated with new information prior to the beginning of school. CLPs must be posted on the district or school’s website for easy access by parents, community members, and IDOE. Please contact Melissa Blossom with any questions.
Technical assistance for COVID-19 reimbursement process
DCMC Partners will assist Indiana school districts
   School districts across the state are working tirelessly to make re-opening schools and the safety of students a priority. To support this effort, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) is providing additional resources to assist school districts as they request reimbursement through COVID-19 funding currently available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
   IDHS is working with DCMC Partners to provide technical assistance, answer questions and help school districts with the process of applying for and submitting required documentation to substantiate funding requests.
   School staff designated on a district's request for public assistance form will be contacted in the near future by a representative of DCMC Partners. This is not a solicitation. Their work is funded by IDHS and depends upon interaction with district representatives to help districts receive funding for eligible COVID-19 expenses. To maximize reimbursement potential districts are encouraged to engage with DCMC Partners when they make contact. 
   The program reimburses certain eligible costs for emergency protective measures required as a result of the COVID-19. This emergency assistance administered by IDHS. Additional questions can be directed to Public Assistance Program Manager Carmen Goodman at 317-234-6477 or cgoodman@dhs.in.gov.

Need to start a request for public assistance? 
   As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Request for Public Assistance application deadline has been extended to Aug. 31, 2020. FEMA has not set an end date for the current disaster. The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Public Assistance Grant Program provides assistance to state and territorial governments, tribal governments and local governments, including school districts.
   FEMA has created the ability for an applicant to submit their own Request for Public Assistance (RPA) form directly into the Grants Portal (https://grantee.fema.gov/) and to create their own account with FEMA for this declaration, DR4515.
   Potential applicants who have NOT submitted their RPA, please go in to the link provided in the guide book below and submit now. How to Submit a Request for Public Assistance
PATINS Project Support
The PATINS Project Specialists can support you and your students through our open office hours scheduled for 10 am EST on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in August 2020. Specialists can help you problem-solve issues surrounding accessibility, assistive technology, accessible educational materials, and implementing Universal Design for Learning.

PATINS Augmentative & Alternative Communication Consultations are another ongoing service you may request at any time this school year. All at no cost to all Indiana public PreK-12 School employees. Please fill out this form to start the consultation process. Allow 5 school days for a PATINS specialist to be in contact with you about next steps. If you have any questions, please email Jessica Conrad jconrad@patinsproject.org or David Jackson djackson@patinsproject.org
Hand Sanitizer Warnings
The Food and Drug Administration is warning that the agency has seen an increase in the number of hand sanitizer products that contain methanol. Methanol, or wood alcohol, is a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested and can be life-threatening when ingested. Additional information and a list of known methanol containing products can be found here.
Fiscal Guidance Handbook
The IDOE Title Grants and Support team has created a Fiscal Handbook to support LEAs. It includes guidance for understanding state and federal grant requirements and grant implementation. Click here to access the Fiscal Guidance Handbook on the Title Grants landing page.
Student Opportunities
IDOE has created a video that can be shared with students to educate them on the basics of COVID-19. The presentation can be accessed here.
Upcoming Events
Digital Course Design
On August 6, at 10 a.m., (EDT), Orbis Education is offering a free session open to all Indiana teachers on designing a digital learning environment that removes technology as a barrier so students can focus on learning. In this session, strategies around organized development and best practices for online courses will be discussed. The goal is to facilitate creating a course in the most straightforward way possible. Click here to register. Contact Jennifer Watson with any questions.
Accessibility for All Learners: In-Person and Virtual 
Thursday, August 13, at 4 p.m. (EDT), IDOE partnered with PATINS for the next digital learning webinar. The webinar will cover key elements of making materials accessible and the importance of access to the curriculum for ALL learners, whether face-to-face or virtual. This webinar is intended for teachers of all grade levels. Click here to register.
EL Director's Meetings 
The annual EL Directors’ Meetings are being held virtually this year on August 11, for new directors, and August 12 for both new and returning directors. The schedule for both days will start with a morning session from 9:30-12:00 p.m. (EDT), and an afternoon session from 2:00-3:30 p.m. (EDT). WebEx links, meeting contents, recorded sessions, and more will be housed in Moodle courses.

Participants must first have a Moodle account, and should use these codes for access:
  • August 11 – New Directors: elnewdir2020
  • August 12 – All Directors: eldir2020
See the Directors’ Meetings dropdown on the IDOE EL Professional Learning and Resources page for additional details.
Miscellaneous
Ensure you have access to IDOE announcements, including school financials, student assessments and more via Moodle:https://moodle.doe.in.gov/ 
To download the Moodle App, click here.
IDOE Weekly Update Archive.

Subscribe to IDOE Updates here.
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