Thursday, February 9, 2017

Update: February 8th, 2017


Greetings to all of you!
 
I hope that your second semester is off to a smooth start!  This email included reminders and important notices with regards to Advanced Opportunities.
 
Portal Updates
·         Exam Submission Dates: Many of you will have students that will take exams during the month of May.  For this reason, the SDE has pushed the exam submission date to May 26th.  Courses will still need to be submitted by May 5th.  However, exams can be held after these test dates have passed.
·         Repeated Courses: Please remember that the AO statute prohibits payment for any repeated or remedial coursework.  You may find that courses were pushed back by SDE staff during the approval process last semester because they were “repeated”. If this is the case, please make sure they are removed from the list before you get ready to submit to the SDE again.
·         Webinar Posted: Visit the following link to view the webinar on Portal Updates 2.1.
·         Naming Convention: Please be sure to use the correct naming convention for all dual credit courses entered into the portal (i.e., ENGL 101 Writing Composition). Please note that if you have courses entered in another format, you will be (or have been) contacted by our team and asked to re-enter those requests.
·         Summer Dates: We are in the process of negotiating summer deadlines. We will have these to you by the end of the month.
·         New Students: If you are not finding the a specific student who may have requested an account, please make sure to check the previous years: 2015, and 2016 at the top of your screen. Additionally, you can check the box to view previously denied students if they need their account activated.
·         Disable Feature: Please be thoughtful prior to using the disable feature in the portal. The disable feature should only be used if a student had a previously active account and no longer has access to the email address with which the account was created.  When a student account is disabled they will need to recreate a brand new account. Upon verification of the EDU-ID, the new account will merge with activity from the old account.
 
Tax Forms
·         1098-T Forms: Several colleges and universities have sent out  many 1098-T tax forms to students which reflect payments that were made to their college/university accounts. Parents or students may come to you with questions.  Please note that the SDE is not in a position to provide tax guidance and recommend that they talk to their CPA. That being said, here is a link to the IRS website.  Question 19 addresses concerns that parents may have.
 
SAVE THE DATE:
·         Roadshow N’ More: The Advanced Opportunities Roadshow is tentatively scheduled for the following dates. This year will include a full day  in-depth workshop from 8:30-3:30 for administrators, counselors, and career advisors around implementation practices for AO and College/Career Readiness. Please save the date, more information will be provided in the near future. We look forward to visiting your neck of the wood and hearing your feedback on program implementation.
o   Region 1: Coeur d’Alene, Monday, May 22nd
o   Region 2: Moscow, Tuesday, May 23rd
o   Region 3: Boise, Thursday, May 25th
o   Region 4: Twin Falls, Tuesday, May 30th
o   Region 5: Pocatello, Wednesday, May 31st
o   Region 6: Idaho Falls, Thursday, June 1st
·         Parent Nights: Our team is willing to host a parent night concurrently with the roadshow, if you feel this would be beneficial for your region, please let us know and we will work with you to organize the event while we are in your region of the state.
·         Conference: The Advanced Opportunities conference is currently scheduled for September 7-8 in Boise, with pre-conferences on Sept. 6th.  We hope that all of you will be able to join us as we bring in experts from around the country for some dynamic professional development. More information will be provided soon!
 
Thank you for your continued commitment to Idaho students.  Please contact our support team if you have any questions.
 
Warmly,
Tina Polishchuk

Friday, January 20, 2017

Webinar: Advanced Ops Portal Updates


Good Afternoon to all of you!

 
I know that many of you are prepare (or already have) begun your second term, and this has been a busy time.  As always, I would like to reiterate the fact that your work is genuinely appreciated here at the Department. Thank you for being the voice of Advanced Opportunities around the state!

 
Here is a link to the webinar that was hosted last week: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoCxMb-fMHU&feature=youtu.be

 
It includes information on the various updates that are in the portal for School and District Users.  Also, here are the deadlines for the remaining terms:

Term
Student Access/ Data Entry Window
District Submission Deadline
Spring 2017
January 11th
February 24th
May 5th, 2017
Trimester 2
November 9th
December 23rd
May 5th, 2017
Trimester 3
February 1st
March 31st
May 5th, 2017

 
Please let us know if you have any questions!

 
Warmly,
Tina Polishchuk

Friday, December 30, 2016

Update: December 30th, 2016


Greetings to all School/District AO Users!

 

I hope that all of you had a lovely and relaxing holiday weekend! As we approach the second semester, there are a variety of developments here at the SDE that I’d like you to be aware of. I realize that this email is lengthy, however please bear with me as it includes critical information for the upcoming weeks.

 

AO Portal Updates:

·         Build Your Menu: If you have not already, this is the time that you should build the drop-down menu of courses for Semester 2. This can be done by the District Manager user. In the portal, select the Administration tab, then select Course Assignments. Use the drop downs to select the institution through which the course is provided. Select Populate Grid and a catalogue from the institution will populate. Use the filters to find the course.  Click on Disallow and change the cell to Allow in the appropriate term.

·         Tips & Tricks: In this link, you will find a helpful timeline and cheat sheet for all of the most common concerns for the portal. Please take a look at the timeline to better understand the expectations, various “windows” and processes. This also includes a snapshot of activities that should be occurring at your school related to Advanced Opportunities during certain times of the semester.

·         Spring Deadlines: In the spring semester, the student access and data entry window will be January 2, 2017- February 24, 2017. This means that ALL eligible data for the spring semester course must be entered by February 24th. Please note that any corrections or edits to data made after this date cause significant delays, and issues for course providers, counties and the SDE. Entries after that date are reserved for corrections; only with permission by the course providers.

 

Payments & Data:

·         Payments Sent: All payments for Fall semester and Trimester 1 have been sent to our finance department for processing. Your district should expect to see this payment within a week or so. If you need a receipt of where funds should be applied, District Managers can find this under the Reimbursements tab in Billing Statements.

·         ACTION REQUESTED: During our verification process there were a handful of courses that were denied by the SDE for various reasons. Prior to entering/approving new data, please look through any data in the Courses Awaiting SDE Submission that may belong to previous terms (i.e., Summer, Fall or Tri 1).  When you select the course, you will find the reason for the denial in the notes section. Please read notes carefully and act accordingly:



 

Events

·         Portal Webinar: Wednesday, January 11, 2017, 9:30-10:30 (MST). There have been a number of updates to the portal recently.  I will be hosting a live webinar to go over these updates. During this time we will go over new features, share shortcuts, and take questions about various functions of the portal. An invitation for this event will be sent out in the near future.

·         Advanced Opportunities Conference: Save the date for the 2nd annual Advanced Opportunities Conference on September 7-8, 2017 with pre-conferenced on September 6th. The event will be at Boise State University in the Student Union Building. More information to come!

 

Advanced Placement (AP) Info:

·         Advanced Placement Fee Reduction Program:  Due to changes from NCLB to ESSA, the federal grant for AP free reduction will no longer be available.  Instead, these funds will be distributed directly to district through Title 4A which includes funding for curriculum enrichment, college/career readiness, safe schools, and technology. Each school district can choose to mirror the federal program with these funds. However, because it is a small amount, most will choose simply to use Advanced Opportunities funding instead. College Board has agreed to continue offering a discount of $31.00 to low-income students, bringing the cost to $62.00. In these cases they also ask that schools contribute by forgoing their $9 rebate, bringing the exam cost to $53.00. In short, regular AP exams should be charged to Fast Forward accounts at $93.00, and exams for low-income students should be charged at $53.00.

·         AP Teacher Grants: College Board is also offering grants for teachers to become AP credentialed. If you are looking to increase the number of AP offerings at your school, please let me know and I will connect you and your teachers to the proper channels to begin this process.

 

Graduation Requirements:

·         Updated Document: In the link, you will find the updated version of the High School Graduation Requirements, which includes that civics test. We are in process of getting the Spanish version of this document updated as well and will post it to our website.

·         Algebra 1 Requirement:  During our last round of College and Career Readiness trainings a question came about eighth grade students who are taking Algebra 1 and whether or not the student must re-take it in high school if they choose not to have it transcribed in eighth grade, and I informed folks that I would include this guidance in this update. In such cases that student does NOT need to take Algebra 1 a second time. IDAPA code states that: A student will have met the high school content and credit area requirement for any high school if…

o   the student completes it with a C or higher

o   the course meets the same content standards

o   the course is taught by a teacher who is credentialed to teach the high school equivalent course

If the student chooses not to transcribe the Algebra 1 credits in eighth grade, they need not retake Algebra 1 in high school, however they still must earn six math credits while in high school.

 

I hope that this information is helpful to all of you as you enter another busy time of year.  If you have any questions, please remember that our support team is available to help. On behalf of the Superintendent and the Advanced Opportunities team, I would like to say thank you for your work and dedication to Idaho’s kids!

 

Warmly,
 
Tina Polishchuk
Coordinator of Advanced Opportunities

 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Update: November 10th, 2016



Greetings to all District Users:

The submission deadline for Fast Forward funding is upon us. I’d like to start by applauding you for all the efforts made in getting your students through the registration and application processes. The Advanced Ops team acknowledges that this was not an easy task. As we enter year three of Fast Forward, it is encouraging to see the tremendous growth and smoother implementation in the program.

Portal Updates:

Submission Deadlines: Please make sure to submit courses to the SDE by the end of the day on Friday (November 11th).  Our team will begin processing this data in hopes to have it paid out by the middle of December.

Portal Update Release: On Monday, November 14th, we will be launching an update to the portal system. If there are any areas of concern that come up, please feel free to bring them to our attention. With the update, you will find a hand full of features that are based on feedback that we received from you and you colleagues. You will be able to flag student accounts, filter report views for new accounts, and more. Perhaps, the most important addition coming with the update is the “Early Graduation Scholarship” Application.  This is a component of Advanced Ops that has not previously been a part of the portal.  Shortly after the release, we will deliver guidance around this access to ensure that students are able to get these funds. Please stand by for further information.


Other Updates:

Prevention Conference RFP: Many of you have attended or have heard of the prevention conference that our divisions hold in Sun Valley each year. If you, or someone you know is interested in presenting at this event, please submit the Request for Proposal.


Surveys: We are currently working with the State Board of Education to better serve schools in regard to the Middle School Credit System and High School Math Requirements. We’d like to get your feedback on these elements. If these areas impact your work, please take a moment to fill out these surveys to better inform our decision making.
·         Middle School Credit Survey

College and Career Readiness Training: The State Board of Education and State Department of Education are collaborating on a College and Career Advising Road Show coming up in just one month. The events will take place on the following dates, and will include topics on Advanced Opportunities, Advising Models, Career Information Systems, and more. Visit this link to Register.
·         December 5th—North Idaho College
·         December 6th—Lewis–Clark State College
·         December 7th—Boise State University
·         December 12th—College of Southern Idaho
·         December 13th—Idaho State University
·         December 14th—Eastern Idaho Technical College


Thank you again for all of your hard work. Please let us know if there is anything our team can do to support your local efforts.

Warmly,


Tina Polishchuk

Monday, October 31, 2016

Update: October 31st, 2016



Greeting to all Advanced Opportunities District Personnel,

I’d like to inform you of certain updates related to Advanced Opportunities.

Portal Notices:
·         SUBMISSION DEADLINE: The November 11th submission Deadline is quickly approaching.  Course providers are working diligently to ensure that all students are verified well before the November 11th deadline. Once you’ve met a 100% match in the portal and your button has turned red, please feel free to submit your data, even if it is prior to November 11th. Late submissions will not be accepted for Fall payments. Late submissions will be rolled over into the spring payment at the end of the school year. Here is a link to a submission guide, which may be helpful as you get ready to submit your data to the SDE.
·         EDIT or DELETE COURSES: To edit/delete a funding request please select “Reports” and then “Courses Awaiting SDE submission”. Use the filters to find the student and course. Click on the title of the course and make any corrections necessary. Change the status to “Update Course”. Then save changes. If you are denying a submission, please change the amount to $0.00 and change the status to “Deny”. Save changes at the bottom.
·         MATCH STATUS: If you’d like to see which providers you still need to meet a match with, you can find this information under the “Reports” tab and “College Enrollment Status Match”.  In this report you will see a breakdown of the percentages, which will indicate colleges that you may still need to work with. Also, please note that there is a link on the portal homepage to the dual credit coordinators contact list.


Other Updates:
·         ADVANCED OPPORTUNITIES CONFERENCE: We need YOUR input!!! Our team is look forward to begin planning the Advanced Opportunities Conference. We are considering changing dates and locations, but would like some feedback from the field as to what time and locale would be best for the events. If you are interested in attending the conference, please take a moment to fill out this four question survey  by the end of the week, which will assist us in our planning.
·         GEAR UP SCHOOLS: Please join me in welcoming Idaho’s new GEAR UP team: CD Breshears and Jacque Deahl. They will be our partners in College and Career Readiness efforts across the state. If you are from a GEAR UP school, please defer to these individuals as your point of contact on any questions regarding Advanced Opportunities. This will expedite our ability to make sure your questions are answered in a timely manner.

Warmly,

Tina Polishchuk