Executive Director Update: New Members, Expanded Services, and Grant Opportunities

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CIESC continues to strive in 2023 to not only provide exceptional service and support to its 31 member districts but also to districts throughout the state with many of its services.

We would like to welcome MSD Pike Township back to CIESC membership! MSD Pike Township was an original founding member of CIESC. We are excited to support and serve Pike’s students, staff, and community!

CIESC is excited to expand and enhance its programs and services. The Indiana Online program, which has over 30,000 student enrollments in grades 5-12 so far this school year, has recently started an online tutoring program. The program will provide individualized support utilizing Indiana-licensed teachers to K-12 students across all content areas. Communication and tutoring sessions are logged, as well as benchmarks identified and progress captured for all stakeholders, including the student’s school of record, to review in real time. Individual pricing as well as district tutoring packages are available. For more information, contact the Director of Student Learning, Kara Heichelbech, or visit the Indiana Online Tutoring website to learn more. 

CIESC’s professional development service, Keep Indiana Learning (KInL), continues to evolve to meet the needs of Indiana educators. KInL recently added a Literacy Specialist Erin McNeill to support Indiana’s focus on improving student literacy. Dr. McNeill spent sixteen years in the classroom as an English Language Arts and English as a New language teacher and coordinator, and two years as a member of the Literacy, Culture, and Language Education department at Indiana University where she trained preservice teachers. Erin currently works with teachers, coaches, schools, and districts on:

  • Implementing the Science of Reading into new or existing curricula 
  • Creating asset-based and culturally responsive literacy experiences and materials
  • Leveraging data-driven instruction to meet the needs of all students 
  • Strengthening literacy and language skills and pedagogies

The KInL staff also continues to dedicate itself to providing high-quality professional development in both in-person and virtual environments, and is committed to building and enhancing its collaborative partnerships with CIESC members, the INLearning Partnership, and the Educational Service Centers of Indiana. 

CIESC was fortunate to receive a 3E grant that is currently supporting seven Indiana districts in establishing community advisories to create or enhance Portraits of a Learner/Graduate and to build career pathways aligned to the talent demands of each district’s region. CIESC is thrilled to partner with Ford Next Generation Learning (NGL), which is a transformational education and workforce initiative of Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford.  

The seven districts currently engaged in the initiative are: Fort Wayne Community Schools, Whitley County Consolidated Schools, Batesville Community Schools, MSD Warren Township, Hamilton Southeastern, Hamilton Heights, and Mill Creek.  Interest in this initiative has grown to the level that CIESC has decided to call it the Indiana Career Collaborative.  Several other Indiana districts have expressed interest in the Collaborative, which is led by Dr. Kimberly Fifer, director of educational innovation. 

School safety continues to be an essential aspect of PK-12 education.  CIESC was fortunate to receive a federal school safety grant supported by STOPit Solutions which now provides anonymous reporting and 24/7/365 monitoring services to 28 Indiana school districts.  To enhance school safety efforts, CIESC has been working with several partners to develop a “Continuum of Care” that will support students struggling with social-emotional issues as well as support educators and districts in enhancing school safety efforts.  A meeting of Indiana school district STOPit partners will be convened on March 10 to further discuss the “Continuum of Care.”  More details to follow.  

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