A Message from Dr. McCormick 04/06/2018


Indiana Department of Education
Friday, April 6, 2018





Dr. Jennifer McCormick

Dear Educators,

The week of April 9 is National Assistant Principals Week. Assistant principals play a significant role in the success of the schools they serve. You are important to ensuring our students, staff, and schools have the resources and support needed to maintain a positive, safe, and engaging academic environment. Many of you also represent future principals and other critical administrative positions. Thank you for all you do to support our students.


Dr. Jennifer McCormick 


Office of School Accountability

Guidance on Reporting Graduation Pathways for 2018 Graduates

Earlier this year, the Indiana General Assembly passed House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1426, which was signed into law by Governor Holcomb. Beginning with the 2018 cohort, HEA 1426 allows students to satisfy graduation requirements by completing a Graduation Pathway in lieu of passing the Graduation Qualifying Exam. The Indiana State Board of Education will issue guidance this summer regarding the Graduation Pathways. In the meantime, information is available on their website. This acceleration of the Graduation Pathway has necessitated an optional change to data collection layout for the Graduate Collection opening in May. The updated layout for the Graduate Collection will be posted in Learning Connection by the end of day on Friday, April 6, 2018. Please make your data submission staff aware of these changes.

Questions regarding the Graduation Pathways should be directed to Alicia Kielmovitch. Questions regarding the data layout should be sent to Michelle Tubbs. Questions regarding cohorts should be sent to Brenda Erbse.

Office of Information Technology

Announcement of LINK Initiative

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) LINK Initiative is leveraging information technology to advance the vision and mission of the IDOE. After evaluating its portfolio of core business processes, the IDOE identified candidates for modernization and enhancement in five main areas. The LINK Initiative is a multi-year effort involving five component projects aimed at improving customer experience and support for schools. These projects build on the foundation of system consolidation and infrastructure modernization completed in 2017.

The five projects comprising the LINK Initiative have been chartered and work has begun on each of the following:

INtelligrants: The purpose of this project is to improve processing of state and federal funding streams.

Data Exchange: This project will improve the process of data transfer and certification for student and educator-level data submitted by schools and school corporations.

INview: The purpose of this project is to improve access to IDOE data and resources.

Unified Access: This project will establish and implement the foundational technical elements supporting the other projects.

Schools 360: The purpose of this project is to implement a tool to improve the capacity of internal staff to support customers.

This multi-year initiative focuses on key objectives of sustainable organizational systems, improved access to data, strengthened partnerships, and collaboration. The LINK Initiative page is available here to provide stakeholders with information, regular updates, and feedback opportunities. Feedback and questions regarding the LINK Initiative can be submitted here. 

Office of Assessment

IREAD-3 Results – Available Monday

Schools and corporations may access OnDemand Reports (e.g., Proficiency; Pass/Did Not Pass/Undetermined Status) in PearsonAccessnext (PAN) on Monday, April 9. Schools must communicate student results to parents as soon as possible. Paper copies of the Individual Student Reports and labels will arrive at schools on or before May 2.

Update! ISTEP+ Grade 10 and Retest

The State Board of Education has approved updated assessment transition guidance, beginning with the 2021-2022 school year for high schools. Please contact the Office of Student Assessment or the Office of Accountability with any questions.

ISTEP+ Grade 10 and Retest Part 2 Test Administration Guidance

The IDOE offers this guidance with respect to the potential walkouts on April 20 during the ISTEP+ Part 2 window.

I AM (Indiana’s Alternate Measure) Updates

This FAQ answers some common questions about the new alternate assessment. We are also updating the IDOE assessment page to include information regarding I AM. Make sure to visit the I AM link for updates.

ISTAR Part 2 Testing Window

The Part 2 window for ISTAR is open April 16-May 18. Schools can access Tier assignments and Practice Tests on Monday, April 9.

ISTEP+ Part 2 Test Window Opens Next Monday – Share Resources with Schools

The first day of the ISTEP+ Part 2 window opens next Monday, April 16. Please share the approved testing times with schools as they finalize Part 2 testing schedules.  Please share this updated ISTEP+ FAQ with schools prior to next Monday.

ISTEP+ Grade 10 Released Item Plan

The Indiana State Board of Education approved this released item plan to start rolling out later this fall. Please share with educators in your schools. 

Office of Educator Effectiveness

New Teacher Focus Groups 

The Office of Educator Effectiveness is conducting New Teacher Focus Groups at the regional Education Service Centers during the month of April. Each single-session focus group will offer first and second-year teachers an opportunity to provide feedback to the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). The information gathered from these statewide focus groups will help guide strategic planning and the design of future outreach programs related to recruitment and retention. For dates and times, please contact your local Education Service Center Director. For general inquiries, please contact Chris Kates, Office of Educator Effectiveness Specialist.

Office of Special Education

The Office of Special Education (OSE) is happy to share its newest Short Share TIPS video on the School Health Assessment and Performance Evaluation (SHAPE) System. SHAPE offers a virtual work space for a school mental health team. The system allows team members to document, track, and advance quality and sustainability improvement goals and assess trauma responsiveness. Many school districts across Indiana and the United States are using the SHAPE System. The districts obtain customized school and district-level progress reports and useful resources to improve system quality and sustainability. There is no limit to how many districts can participate in the SHAPE system, and districts can work in local teams to complete the assessments without assistance from the Indiana Department of Education.

Office of Workforce and STEM Alliances

Summer Internship Project

The Office of Workforce and STEM Alliances is happy to announce that applications will be accepted for the Work-Based Learning Teachers & Counselors in Industry Summer Internship Project.

Purpose: Work-Based Learning Teachers & Counselors in Industry is a summer internship project that allows Indiana teachers and counselors to gain valuable industry knowledge while completing an internship with a partnering business or industry. They will have the opportunity to apply the principles of work-based learning and to meet and work with other CTE teachers. The experience will also build stronger partnerships with local businesses and industries and allow the participant to gain valuable experience and knowledge about local companies while expanding program partnerships. 

Stipend: The hourly rate paid to participating teachers and school counselors for their internship activities is $20 per hour. For teachers, a minimum of 40 hours and a maximum of 100 hours of internship activities must take place; for school counselors, a maximum of 40 hours of internship activities must take place.


For those interested in the WBL School Counselors in Industry Project, access the application here.

For those interested in the WBL Teachers in Industry Project, access the application here.

Deadline: Applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on April 16. to Stefany Deckard, State CTE Director. Late applications will not be accepted. 

Information on STEM Certified Schools

Please see the following information related to STEM-Certified schools for 2018 - 2023.

Office of Finance

Indirect Costs

The Office of School Finance will accept FY 2019 Indirect Cost Rate Applications through June 30, 2018. Please read the attached memo for details. Please email Sarah Henry with any questions.

ESSA Form 9 Guidance

Please see the attached guidance regarding ESSA Form 9 guidance on the timing and process for coding Form 9 financial data beginning July 1. This resource is meant to provide Indiana local education agencies with an overview of state and federal reporting requirements for school building level data. If you have any questions, please email either Melissa Ambre, LaTrice Akers, or Amy Pattison.

2018 Budget Workshop Notice

Please see the attached information about the Annual School Budget Workshop to be held on June 27th at the Pike Performing Arts Center.  

Office of School Improvement and Title Programs 

Title Funding Levels

Due to the recent passage of the federal Omnibus Bill, the previously-reported automatic reductions to Title I and II funding are no longer in effect. However, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) will recalculate a revised final allocation for Title I for this school year as the differing funding levels approved by Congress and enrollment fluctuations between traditional LEAs and charters will impact individual LEA allocations. These impacts are expected to be minimal. The revised final Title I allocations are expected to be released to LEAs within 2-3 weeks of receiving the updated revised final allocation from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE), which is expected by the end of April 2018. For the 2018-2019 school year, the USDOE will be providing those figures to IDOE by the end of April, and the IDOE plans to provide Title I planning allocations to LEAs in May.

Title Grants & Support Newsletter

Title Talk April, the latest Title Grants and Support newsletter, is now available. Take a moment to read this important information. 

Innovation Grants Available to Charter Schools

The IDOE offers a competitive technical assistance grant opportunity for all Indiana charter schools through its Charter School Program Quality Counts Grant. The release of Innovation Grants to charter schools focuses on four priority areas. These areas include professional development; instructional supplies and technology; parent, family, and community outreach; and supporting all students. Please see the Charter School Program website for more information, including the application, rubric, and budget, which are due May 1. Please contact Cole Dietrich with any questions. 

Summer Professional Development Series: Supporting English Learners

This summer, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) English Learner (EL) team will be offering professional development opportunities for Indiana educators across the state. Topics include academic language in the content-area classroom, co-teaching, and school leadership. For more information and to register, visit the IDOE EL professional learning page. 

Title IV, Part A Formula-based Allocations

The recent omnibus spending bill passed by Congress authorized the continuation and expansion of Title IV, Part A Student Support and Academic Enrichment funding.  The ability to distribute funds in a competitive manner, however, was not renewed.  As a result, Title IV, Part A allocations will be generated on a formula basis for all LEAs, including current grantees funded competitively in the 2017-2018 school year. Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) will reach out to public school districts and charter schools with additional information regarding FY 2018 allocations.

Office of School Improvement

Teachers Needed to Develop Literacy Framework

The Indiana Department of Education values the expertise of Hoosier educators and would like your help to develop a literacy framework, a standards-based tool to support achievement. We are seeking motivated educators who have at least three years of teaching experience at their current grade level and experience creating formative assessments. Please note, we have limited space and are searching for statewide representation. Additionally, we need secondary teachers from all content areas. Please complete this form.

Office of School Technology

Registration Now Open for Summer of eLearning Conferences

There will be 19 conferences held across the state throughout the summer. Learn more about the Summer of eLearning here.

Office of School and Community Nutrition

School Lunch Hero Day

May 4 is more than the first Friday of the month. It is better known as School Lunch Hero Day. This is a special time for school officials, students, and parents from all over the country to recognize the hardworking professionals in school food service. Click here to learn more about this special day and how you can make School Lunch Hero Day 2018 a success.

Office of Student Services

Certificate of Incapacity

Please see the attached information for guidance on the appropriate use of the certificate of incapacity.

IDOE in the News

Dr. McCormick Meets with Congresswoman Brooks to Discuss School Safety

Dr. McCormick, Gov. Holcomb, and State Treasurer Ask Students to Apply for STEM Grants

Weekly Updates

View previous weekly updates from Dr. McCormick here

Stay Up to Date

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