Fall often signals homecoming, which the Belin-Blank Center experienced in full swing this past month. At our annual advisory board meeting, we welcomed “old” board members, some of whom have served on the advisory board since its inception in 1999, and “new” members, some of whom are alumni of our programs. Everyone on the board enjoys one or more connections to the Belin-Blank Center, and everyone truly loves coming home.
As with all homecomings, feelings are mixed. Reminiscing about our co-founders and our legacy evokes nostalgia and pride for the work we do and the impact we have on students and educators. There is also great excitement for new initiatives and updates. One of the most significant updates concerns our website, designed to help you feel at home wherever you are!
The Belin-Blank Center is home for students who show a deep curiosity, a love of learning, or a particular talent in an area.
The Belin-Blank Center is pleased to announce the availability of scholarships to pay for the cost of Advanced Placement exams for low-income students in rural schools who are currently participating in IOAPA courses.
IOAPA principals, site coordinators, and mentors: Make sure to apply for this funding opportunity by October 15! For more information and for access to the application, click here.
The purpose of this funding is to increase the number of students taking AP exams from rural schools in Iowa. If schools are already paying for AP exams, they should not request this funding. Funding is only available for students who are taking or have taken an IOAPA Advanced Placement (AP) course in the 2019-20 school year.
The per-exam cost for the 2019-20 school year is $64 for students eligible for free/reduced cost lunch. Schools should pay the $64 per student to the College Board. Schools should submit an invoice to the Belin-Blank Center after students have taken the AP exams along with documentation showing they have paid the College Board for these students’ exams. There will be no reimbursement if a student does not take the exam.
Awards will be announced by November 1, 2019.
As a reminder, the College Board’s new deadline to order AP exams is November 15, 2019.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!
IOAPA has been providing computer science courses to students across Iowa since 2015! We are able to offer these opportunities because of our partnership with Edhesive, an online curriculum provider. Whether you are new to using Edhesive or have a few years of experience, it is always helpful to refresh with important tips and information, as well as changes within the online course provider! We hope this blog post serves as a resource for teachers mentoring for computer science IOAPA courses.
IOAPA Mentors’ Role:
Since Edhesive is not a credit-bearing institution, mentors will serve as the teacher of record at each school. Mentors and schools also decide how involved they want to be when offering Edhesive courses. However, mentors are responsible for the following six items:
Setting up your course: Follow this link to learn how you can divide your course into grading periods and change/update student names in your gradebook.
Helping students enroll: Follow this link to assist your students in enrollment, add/remove students, and adding a second course for a student.
Monitor student performance and progress: Follow this link to learn how you can view the “Course Access Report” to see what course items your student has viewed, participated, along with when these were viewed or completed, and to view overall activity, assignment submissions, grades, and quiz and exam statistics!
Edhesive has recently created new onboarding videos for Edhesive teachers! These serve to provide a short introduction to getting started on and using the Edhesive platform. There are 25 short videos, totaling only 30 minutes to show you everything you need to know about getting started with your Edhesive courses. Click here to access the Edhesive Onboarding Videos. For additional tutorials and guides, mentors can visit the Help Center or email email@example.com.
The teachers listed in the course (Rebecca Dovi and Becky Stacey) do not interact with students. If students have questions, they should ask their IOAPA mentor or utilize the Student Forums for additional support with their coursework.
Similarly, if mentors need support you can connect to Edhesive teaching assistants (TAs) and other teachers through the Teacher Forums.
We are just over a week into the fall semester! During this busy time of year, we don’t want you to forget about some important information related to your IOAPA courses. To keep you in the loop, here are a few upcoming items for IOAPA.
If your students decide the class is not for them, not a problem! Just make sure to drop the course before September 13th to prevent the $350 drop fee. For more information about our drop policies, check out the IOAPA handbook on our website.
Check your previous emails from firstname.lastname@example.org, as these emails contain important information and deadlines about the upcoming year. If you did not receive these emails, make sure to check your spam / junk folder.
Don’t forget: New to Fall 2019, AP Coordinators need to order AP Exams by November 15, 2019! (Click here for instructions and check here for additional deadlines).
Helpful Tips to Start the Semester
Textbooks: Recommended textbooks for courses on APEX can be found by clicking “Learn more” on the relevant course(s) from the IOAPA course catalog. Edhesive courses do not require textbooks.
Online Support: APEX and Edhesive offer support guides and videos on their websites! Also, feel free to reach out to their customer service with technical questions.
What we do matters…I had just typed those words as the title to this message when an email from a teacher-mom who has advocated extensively for her twice-exceptional student crossed my screen. Of course, I switched screens and opened her email. Her message concluded with these words, “I’m so very grateful that this middle school has seen that 2e kids are HERE and they MATTER.”
You might think that being a teacher would make it easier to
advocate. No. Being a teacher in the district where your
child attends school requires extra effort when advocating for your child’s
academic needs. When a child is
twice-exceptional, or 2e (that is, have very high ability and have a learning, behavioral, or social-emotional disability),
the effort required increases by magnitudes. This mom has assiduously navigated
her professional and personal roles and responsibilities over the past several
years to ensure that educators (a) understood the complexity of her child’s
strengths and diagnoses and (b) that her child’s needs were being met.
This teacher-mom effectively advocated for her child and blazed
a trail for other 2e students. What she
did matters, and we know this because the school counselor called her to share
that the educators and administrators at her child’s school recognized that
traditional approaches for identification for gifted services are not enough
for twice-exceptional students. The
final phrase, “2e kids are HERE and they MATTER”, captures the essence of the
Belin-Blank Center’s tagline: Nurturing Potential/Inspiring
Each day, my colleagues and I recognize the wisdom expressed through the psychological principle known as individual differences,. Basically, individuals vary across a variety of traits, including physical size, behaviors, emotions, cognitive ability, and achievement. The licensed psychologists in our Assessment and Counseling Clinic experience this with every client. Understanding the variation in twice-exceptional students from typically-developing students allows psychologists to generate evidence-based recommendations that can be tailored to the student’s needs. When recommendations are translated into advocacy by parents and action by teachers, it can change a child’s educational and overall life trajectory. Our work matters.
During the weeks of summer programming for gifted students
and professional development for educators of gifted students, this notion of
doing something that matters is apparent each day – often multiple times a day. Sometimes what matters emerges in a class
discussion among educators. Other times,
we know that what we do matters when we a student in one of our programs
expresses that they were able “to try things that I thought I could never do.”
A new school year is upon us. The Belin-Blank Center’s amazing faculty and administrative, clerical, and student staff are already busy planning for another summer that will matter to students and teachers and to us!
The College Board is implementing some changes and new resources for Advanced Placement (AP) courses! These changes and resources are to provide better support throughout the school year, and to give students the best opportunity to succeed on AP exams. For more information on these changes, click here.
Beginning August 1 2019, AP teachers and students will have access to a variety of new online classroom resources.
AP teachers and students will complete a short digital activation at the start of the year. Students and teachers will then have access to new online classroom resources!
Schools will need to order AP exams by new deadlines in October and November. The College Board hopes that once students commit to the exam, they will more readily invest themselves in their classes.
Classroom resources such as AP question banks, a performance dashboard, and unit guides will be available online.
What will stay the same:
Exams administration during the first two full
weeks in May
Exam fee and exam fee reduction
Scores will be reported on usual timelines
Follow us on Twitter @belinblankIOAPA to stay updated on all Iowa Online AP Academy and AP news!