A Message from Dr. McCormick 02/23/2018


Indiana Department of Education
Friday, February 23, 2018




Dear Educators:

Dr. Jennifer McCormick

The Department is excited to announce two significant summer professional development training opportunities. First, the Pathfinders Summer Institute will be held at Indiana University Bloomington from July 15-20. This intensive week in Computer Science and Making will include high-quality hands-on training. The Pathfinders Institute pays half of the course cost, with the registrant responsible for the remaining balance. Please take time to learn more here. 

The second opportunity is with Nextech Code.org training. Designed for those who teach middle and high school computer science, the year-long training will begin this summer. All expenses will be paid, including lodging, meals, and incidentals. In addition, participants will receive a $25 per hour stipend for all in-person hours of training. Additional information is available here.


Dr. Jennifer McCormick 


Dr. McCormick Issues Letter to Lawmakers on School Safety

Please read Dr. McCormick's letter to members of the Indiana General Assembly and Indiana's U.S. Senators and Representatives.

School Safety Announcement in Response to Possible Student Walk-outs/Protests

In the wake of last week's tragedy in Florida, media outlets are reporting potential walk-outs or protests from students and staff against gun violence. This includes potential walkouts on March 14, March 24, and April 20 (please note: these dates/times are not comprehensive and may be fluid).

Information to assist local planning and response is available on the Indiana Department of Education website.


ISTEP+ Spring Part 1 Test Window Opens Monday

Dr. Charity Flores, Director of Student Assessment, created this video to signal the start of the Spring Part 1 test window (Grades 3-8 and 10), which opens Monday and continues through Friday, March 2. Please make sure that examiners have the materials and examiner’s manuals necessary for a successful administration, and are prepared to offer assistance. Electronic versions of the TCM, examiner’s manuals, and grade-level read aloud scripts are available for download in the Test Coordinator Corner. Please use this guidance when contacting the Pearson Help Desk (866-683-6668) and the Indiana Department of Education with questions or concerns. We are here to help!

HELP NEEDED!  Alternate Assessment Committees

In preparation for Indiana’s transition from ISTAR to the new alternate assessment, the Office of Student Assessment invites all Indiana educators interested in participating in the test development process to complete a survey. Once surveys have received administrator approval, educators become eligible to participate in assessment committees. The first alternate assessment committees will take place this spring. Please see this memo for more information.

ISTEP+ Part 1 and IREAD-3 Onsite Monitoring

The Office of Student Assessment will be conducting unannounced onsite monitoring visits during the ISTEP+ Part 1 and IREAD-3 testing windows, beginning the weeks of February 26 and March 12. Please ensure that school administrators and staff are aware that these onsite visits will be conducted. See the attached memo for details.  

Office of Educator Effectiveness 

Indiana Teach to Lead Summit: STEM Focus

The Indiana Department of Education, in partnership with Teach to Lead, will host a STEM-focused summit in Indianapolis, June 14-15. Through a competitive process, approximately 20 invited teacher-leader and stakeholder teams will convene at the summit. These teams will develop action plans that address local STEM issues and leverage teacher leadership promoting STEM opportunities within their schools. Teacher-leaders are encouraged to review the application, rubric, and summit agenda, and apply to participate in this exciting inaugural summer summit. Please contact the Office of Educator Effectiveness with any questions. 

Office of Workforce and STEM Alliances

IDOE STEM Acceleration Grant Opportunity

Instructions for Indiana school districts and charter schools seeking funding support for STEM K-6 curriculum implementation and educator training are now available. Please read this memo for additional information. 

Office of Special Education

Spread the Word-Specially Designed Instruction

Please take a moment to look at the most recent Office of Special Education Spread the Word document on Specially Designed Instruction.

Graduation Pathways and Accountability Rule Public Hearings Information From State Board of Education

State Board Provides Answers to Common Graduation Pathways Questions

The State Board of Education has provided answers to frequently asked questions related to Graduation Pathways. Please find the FAQ here. Any questions related to the FAQ should be shared with Alicia Kielmovitch, Director of Policy and Legislation for the Indiana State Board of Education.

State Board Announces Public Hearings on Accountability Rule

The Indiana State Board of Education (SBOE) has announced five public hearings to be held around the state regarding the Board’s proposed Accountability Rule.

At the January SBOE business meeting, the Board voted to advance proposed changes to the state’s school accountability rule to a public comment period. In an effort to get as much information as possible from the field, the SBOE will be holding public hearings.

IDOE in the News 

IDOE Announces Four Star Schools

IDOE Announces Digital Learning Grant Recipients

Number of Advanced Placement Exams and Students Taking and Passing Exams Increases

Dr. McCormick Urges State and U.S. Lawmakers to Address School Safety 

Weekly Updates

View previous weekly updates from Dr. McCormick here

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A message from Dr. McCormick will be sent every Friday.