A Message from Dr. McCormick 04/13/2018


Indiana Department of Education
Friday, April 13, 2018





Dr McCormick Updated headshot

Dear Educators,

The ISTEP 2 testing window starts Monday. Thank you for all you do to make certain the testing process runs smoothly.

The Department appreciates all of the shout-outs to our assistant principals, librarians, and library staff members. Thank you for helping us celebrate these educators,


Dr. Jennifer McCormick


Office of Assessment

ISTEP+ Part 2 Test Window Opens Monday

The Spring Part 2 window (Grades 3-8 and 10) is open Monday, April 16 through Friday, May 4 (paper-and-pencil test window closes on May 2). CTCs and STCs must be available to assist examiners, as needed. Please refer to this guidance when contacting the Pearson Help Desk (866-683-6668) and the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) with any questions or concerns. We are here to help!

ISTAR Part 2 Test Window Opens Monday

The ISTAR Part 2 window is open Monday, April 16 through Friday, May 18. CTCs and STCs must be available to assist examiners, as needed. Please use this guidance when contacting the Questar Help Desk (877-424-0322) and IDOE with any questions or concerns.

Educators Have a Voice in ILEARN Development!

During the last 10 weeks, approximately 425 educators representing over 240 school corporations have contributed to the creation of Indiana’s ILEARN assessments! See what these educators have to share in the videos below.

ILEARN Blueprint Development  

ILEARN Item Specification Development

UPDATE! Summer IREAD-3 DOE-TL Collection – Extended Through April 29

Schools should report any students who need to participate in the summer retest by Sunday evening, April 29. This is an extension of the original TL window. Students granted Good Cause Exemptions based on spring results should not participate in the summer retest.

High School Remediation Summer Webinars

The Office of Assessment is committed to supporting students and schools around the topic of remediation. Please complete this brief survey to help enhance remediation best practices throughout Indiana

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. 

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 Title Grants and Support

Title Grants and Supports Handbook is Now Available

This handbook features an updated format designed to be a comprehensive resource for LEAs to reference for programmatic and fiscal requirements for multiple federal grants. The documents included in the Title Grants and Supports Handbook are intended to provide an overview of the authorizing statute, and not as an exhaustive description. Special thanks are given to those who provided feedback and suggestions.  

Information for Title I Schools Transitioning from Targeted Assistance

The Indiana Department of Education is granting increased flexibility for Title I schools wishing to transition from their current Targeted Assistance (TAS) model to a schoolwide program for the 2018-2019 school year. All Title I schools will now be eligible. More information is available here. To be approved for schoolwide status, an electronic Assurance of Schoolwide Plan must be submitted by Friday, June 15. LEAs are encouraged to participate in a Webex Webinar on Tuesday, April 17, at 10 a.m. EST (Password TitleI, Conference Line 1-877-422-1931; Code 140 029 8577). The webinar will address Title I Supplement not Supplant and schoolwide program flexibility.

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. The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) will reach out to public school districts and charter schools with additional information regarding FY 2018 allocations. 

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. 

Important Information on Bullying Data

Bullying data for each school must be reported by July 1 of each year and subsequently posted online by the Indiana Department of Education. To ensure accurate data collection, please review this data prior to submission.  In order to streamline data submission for schools, submission of this data is completed on the DOE-ES report (discipline report). This is accessible via the STN application center data transfer function.  Questions related to the process for submission of this data should be directed to the STN site administrator for your school corporation.

Office of Educator Effectiveness

Teams Selected For Teach to Lead Summit

The Office of Educator Effectiveness would like to congratulate the teams selected to participate in this summer’s Teach to Lead Summit. Please view the winning teams here.

2019 Indiana Teacher of the Year (INTOY)

The 2019 INTOY application is now available. For general inquiries, please contact Chris Kates, Office of Educator Effectiveness Specialist. 

Talent Pool Recommendations:

The Office of Educator Effectiveness maintains a file of emerging building level educational leaders (including principals, teachers, instructional coaches and other specialists). These distinguished educators may be considered for participation on advisory boards and task forces, as well as candidates for special recognition programs. In order to continue to broaden and diversify the talent pool, the Office of Educator Effectiveness is specifically seeking elementary educators with a minimum of five years’ experience and a maximum of 15 years. Superintendents and principals, please submit a recommendation here.   

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 Workforce and STEM Alliances

Amendments to Course Titles and Descriptions 2018-2019

The Indiana Department of Education has amended the 2018-2019 Course Titles and Descriptions document with several additions. Please read this information for details.

Pathfinders Summer Institute Application Deadline Extended

The application deadline for the Pathfinders Summer Institute has been extended until April 27. Held at Indiana University Bloomington, the institute will take place July 15 to 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.

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

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 Student Services

School Health Report 

Each public and accredited non-public school must complete the School Health Report as part of the accreditation process. This report collects data regarding student vision screening, hearing screening, and immunization verification. Each school must complete their own individual report.

The School Health Report will be open March 1 to June 29 and is available on the DOE Online website. Instructions for completing and submitting the report can be found here. If you have questions, please email Jolene Bracale..  

2018 School Nurse Survey

Please see the attached memo regarding the 2018 School Nurse Survey. This survey collects important student health data and will be open until June 29. If you have any questions, please email Jolene Bracale.

Legislative Update on Suicide Prevention and Awareness

Please see the guidance memo for Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 230, Suicide Prevention and Awareness.  The memo is also posted on the Indiana Department of Education Student Services webpage. The memo provides information on language amended from HEA 1430 by Senate Enrolled Act 230, including an outline of legislative requirements.  

Certificate of Incapacity

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

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. 

Weekly Updates

View previous weekly updates from Dr. McCormick here

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