October is a time for many school districts to enjoy a well-deserved fall break. At CIESC, we continue to strive to serve and support our members and educators, and students from across Indiana.
One of the ways we serve Indiana educators is through administration of state-level grants and programs. CIESC is fortunate to be engaged in three major IDOE-supported statewide initiatives.
CIESC was fortunate to receive nearly $4 million to support seven Indiana districts in a transformational college and career readiness approach. The seven districts are Fort Wayne Community Schools, Whitley County Consolidated Schools, Mill Creek Community Schools, MSD of Warren Township, Hamilton Southeastern, and Hamilton Heights.
Over the two years of the grant, all seven districts will implement a community advisory consisting of both internal and external stakeholders. These community stakeholders will work through a process where a portrait of a graduate will be created, focused on the academic and employability skills needed for students to succeed in school, career, and life. In addition, the community advisory will develop a master plan not only to ensure the portrait skills are embedded PK-12, but also work to identify career pathways focused on the talent needs in each respective community.
CIESC’s project lead is Dr. Kimberly Fifer, a former assistant superintendent at Clark-Pleasant, who gained significant experience in this work while the assistant superintendent at Greater Clark County Schools. Dr. Fifer will be working with each district throughout the process.
Another significant partner is Ford Next Generation Learning (NGL), which is part of the Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. We will take a collaborative community-driven approach to achieve the following outcomes: (1) increased community prosperity shared by all; (2) a strengthened talent pipeline; (3) young people prepared for college, careers, lifelong learning, and leadership; (4) educational equity and justice for all; and (5) the capacity to contribute and go further. This work will support the IDOE’s college and career readiness efforts and is aligned with the Indiana Graduates Prepared to Succeed initiative.
The goal is for all seven school districts to become state models for significant transformational change, positively impacting students, school districts, and communities.
CIESC hopes to recruit other districts interested in pursuing this transformational process. Please contact Dr. Kimberly Fifer with any questions.
Accelerated Learning Grant
CIESC is partnering with the Northern Indiana Educational Service Center, the Northwest Indiana Educational Service Center, and the Region 8 Educational Service Center in training 1,500 Indiana educators in the Modern Classrooms Project.
The Modern Classrooms Project is an instructional technique that focuses on a blended learning approach, self-paced structure, and mastery-based grading. The training is free, occurs outside of the regular workday, and takes about 25-30 hours to complete. In addition, a mentor is assigned to support each trainee through the process.
Last year, in the first year of the grant, nearly 750 educators were trained in this instructional technique, and the feedback was very positive.
So far this year, about 350 Indiana teachers have enrolled in training leaving approximately 400 training slots. If any Indiana educator has an interest in the training, they can contact CIESC Program Specialist Tanika Kinartail.
Indiana Literacy Cadre/Indiana STEM Cadre
CIESC is supporting IDOE’s Indiana Literacy Cadre and Indiana STEM Cadre. This effort is led by the University of Indianapolis’ Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) and includes support from all nine of Indiana’s educational service centers.
The Indiana Literacy Cadre works to help Indiana’s students read proficiently by the end of third grade, offering comprehensive support for school leadership and instructional coaches, and providing in-school training and coaching support to implement the five pillars of reflective reading instruction.
The Indiana STEM Cadre helps every Hoosier student receive the foundational STEM skills they need for lifelong success. This work is achieved by developing and implementing collaborative professional development for educators rooted in research-based practices. Supporting schools to refine current STEM initiatives and establish new opportunities is vital to preparing the next generation of thinkers, creators, advocates, and entrepreneurs.
Over 50 schools are currently participating in the project. Each educational service center was assigned a specialist who is providing direct coaching support in literacy and/or STEM to schools in their respective regions.
CIESC’s Training Support Specialist is Morgan Mason, who is currently working with nine elementary schools in the MSD of Warren Township. If your school has an interest in participating in cohort two, please visit inliteracy.org or instem.org for more information, to contact the project managers, or to submit an interest form.
CIESC is proud to support its members on a daily basis, as well as the above-mentioned IDOE initiatives.