A Message from Dr. McCormick 04/27/2018


Indiana Department of Education
Friday, April 27, 2018





Dr McCormick Updated headshot

Dear Educators,

Please see the important grant information listed under the Office of School Safety. We are continuing to work to evaluate and leverage resources supporting school security and safety.

On April 19, the IDOE received the USDOE response to our request for a waiver concerning graduation rate calculation. Unfortunately, the waiver request was denied. Our press release is attached here for your information. Further guidance will be provided at a later date. 

May brings us to the homestretch of the school year, and many opportunities to celebrate. I look forward to sharing these occasions with you!


Dr. Jennifer McCormick


Office of School Safety

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) Has Opened the Secured School Safety Grant Program for 2019 Grant Applications

The Secured School Safety Grant program provides matching grants to school corporations, accredited non-public schools, charter schools, or coalitions of school corporations, 

Secured School Safety Grant funds can be used to:

    1. Employ a school resource officer (SRO);
    2. Purchase equipment and technology that:
          a. Restricts access to school property; or
          b. Expedites notifications to local law enforcement and first responders; and/or
    3. Conduct a threat assessment.

To apply for the Secured School Safety Grant, an Intent to Apply Form must be completed and emailed to the IDHS Grants Section inbox. When sending the Intent to Apply form to IDHS Grants Management, please enter “FY 2019 SSSG Intent to Apply” in the subject line of the email.

The Intent to Apply Form can be found in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and on the IDHS website. 

Intent to Apply Forms are due (TODAY) Friday, April 27 and final proposals are due Monday, May 21.  

IDHS is moving to GovDelivery for distributing grant information through email. The Grants Management team has established additional lists to allow users to sign up for updates on grant programs of specific interest. Additionally, GovDelivery allows users to sign up for notification of website updates, which will alert subscribers when a change occurs on webpages of interest (such as when Notices of Funding Opportunity are posted).  

Those wishing to receive grant updates by email should sign up online for information on the various grants administered through IDHS. Moving forward, all notifications regarding Notices of Funding Opportunities, quarterly reports, and other grant-related updates will be sent using the GovDelivery system. Signing up for specific grant mailing lists will help IDHS get the correct information to the appropriate people.  

Please feel free to contact IDHS Grant Management if you have questions regarding the Secured School Safety Grant NOFO. 

2018-2019 School Safe Haven Grant Applications Now Available

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) is now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 School Safe Haven Program which provides matching grants to improve and/or increase school safety resources and programming. Applicants must be registered in the Egrants system and all applications must be submitted by Friday, May 11, 2018. Additional information is available at the 2018-2019 Safe Haven Grant page, or by emailing ICJI representative Meg McCullough, or calling her at (317) 234-6121. 

Office of Assessment

Thank You!

We successfully completed the second week of statewide assessment for ISTEP+ Part 2 and ISTAR, and kicked off the ISTEP+ ECA window. Everyone’s diligence in overseeing the assessments with fidelity and reporting issues to the Indiana Department of Education for a quick resolution is appreciated. More than one million assessments were completed online successfully across ELA, mathematics, science, and social studies.

National Assessment of Educational Progress: 2017 Mathematics and Reading Results

The National Assessment of Educational Progress released the 2017 state results on April 10. Indiana student scores remained stable for grade 4 mathematics, grade 4 reading, and grade 8 mathematics. In 2017, Indiana’s student scores for grade 8 rose significantly on the reading assessment. During the next few months, the Office of Student Assessments will release reports highlighting the overall gains and decreases in student performance and in specific sub-populations over time. Click here for the report.

Spring 2018 IREAD-3 – Printed Reports Available May 2

Corporations and schools will receive printed copies of the Spring 2018 IREAD-3 Individual Student Reports (ISRs) and labels for their students’ cumulative files on May 2. Schools must provide parents a copy of their child’s ISR. Schools may use this sample letter template when communicating student results outlined on each ISR. 

IDOE Pretest Workshop – IREAD-3 Summer Retest

Corporations and schools with one or more students who did not pass the IREAD-3 this spring should view this recorded WebEx ahead of administering the IREAD-3 summer retest. Contact our office with any questions. 

Legislative Updates and Guidance

Keeping Schools and Legislators Connected

The conclusion of the school year brings special events including graduation, field day, award, and recognition ceremonies showcasing student, school, and district success. These are ideal opportunities to invite your state lawmakers to share with your school communities. Reaching out to your state senator or state representative helps develop and maintain strong working relationships in this ever-changing public education environment. The Indiana General Assembly website has created a convenient resource for contacting your lawmakers. If you have any questions, please email Indiana Department of Education Director of Legislative Affairs Michael Brown.

Distribution and Retail Sale of Low THC Hemp Extract

Please read this important information on guidelines for low THC hemp extract. Parents may request school nurses administer this extract (CDB oil) during the school day. If you have any questions, please email Indiana Department of Education Director of Legislative Affairs Michael Brown.

Office of eLearning

Slots Available for Participation in High School Cybersecurity Course Pilot

The Indiana Department of Education has a limited number of mini-grants available to support the implementation of Project Lead The Way’s (PLTW) “Beta Release” Cybersecurity course for the 2018-2019 school year. Public high schools serving grade 10 students are eligible to apply. (Even though the application indicates that the opportunity is past, eligible Indiana schools may still apply).

The Cybersecurity course is a “Beta Release.”

The mini-grant of $7,500 will cover:

  • A participating school must have an active PLTW computer science program ($2,000 per school annually). The mini-grant will pay this cost for two years.
  • A participating school must host a Network Security Lab specifically for the Cybersecurity course ($500 annually per school). The mini-grant will pay this cost for two years.
  • A participating school must have at least one teacher successfully complete the professional development requirement, this includes online course work and a five day onsite training to be held in July ($2,400 per teacher). The grant will pay this one-time cost. Schools are required to cover all other costs including travel, accommodations for training, and classroom supplies beyond those noted above. 
All schools participating in the Cybersecurity Beta Release will be notified by the end of May of their acceptance into the release. After being accepted, schools will receive more information about the Network Security Lab Hosting and the schedule for professional development. Questions about this opportunity should be directed to Theresa Hall at PLTW, (574) 855-7199.

Important Information on Bullying

Bullying data for each school must be reported by July 1 of each year and subsequently posted online by the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) (per IC 20-34-6-1). Each year this data is scrutinized by communities and local media. New legislation included in House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1356 allows the IDOE to conduct an audit of a school corporation to ensure that bullying incidents are being accurately reported. In an effort to ensure accurate data collection, please make every effort to 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 Student Testing Number (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 Workforce and STEM Alliances

Amendments to Course Titles and Descriptions 2018-2019

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

2018-2019 STEM K-6 Acceleration Grant Awardees Announced

Please read more information about this grant program and the 11 school districts receiving funding.

TODAY is the Last Opportunity to Apply for Pathfinders Summer Institute

The application deadline for the Pathfinders Summer Institute is TODAY (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.  

Applications Available for ICE Pilot Program

Please read the attached memo for information about the Indiana Career Explorer Pilot Program for eighth grade cohorts.

Computer Science Professional Development Opportunities Available for K-12 Educators

By the 2021-2022 school year, Senate Bill 172 requires each public school to:

  • Offer a computer science (CS) course at least once each school year to high school students, and;
  • Include computer science in the school’s science curriculum for students in grades kindergarten through grade 12.

IDOE is developing and identifying computer science professional development opportunities for K-12 educators. Upcoming Indiana CS professional development opportunities are located on the IDOE computer science website located here.

Office of School Accountability

Guidance on Changes to School Configurations

In order to ensure the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) houses accurate information, all public school corporations, charters, and nonpublic state accredited schools must notify IDOE when changes are made that affect school configurations prior to the beginning of the school year for which the changes will take effect. Read the complete guidance here

USDOE Response to Indiana’s Request to Count General Diploma Recipients as Graduates

On December 18, 2017, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) submitted a request to the US Department of Education (USDOE) to allow students that received the general diploma to count as graduates for purposes of calculating the federal graduation rate. The IDOE received a response from the USDOE on April 19, 2018 indicating that this request was officially denied. This determination will only impact the 2017-2018 federal accountability determinations for public high schools. Schools may review the 2017 federal graduation rate, which excludes students earning general diplomas from the count of graduates, in Learning Connection on the cohort report. The change in federal graduation rates for Indiana schools is embargoed for public release until May 25, 2018. Any questions regarding this determination and its impact may be directed to schoolaccountability@doe.in.gov.

5-Year Graduation Rate Audit for 2016 Cohort

This voluntary audit opportunity is the final chance to correct any errors in the 2016 cohort. Review the 5-Year Cohort report and look for students who are not showing as graduates who graduated prior to October 1, 2017, or students who are showing as "Still in School,” "Unknown,” or another in cohort status who transferred prior to June 30, 2016. You will need to submit sufficient documentation to the accountability portal by TODAY (April 27). Please see this memo for additional information. 

Opening of 2018-2019 School Corporation Amendment Window

The window to submit any school corporation amendments for the 2018-2019 school year will open May 1. All changes made to any public school, including charter schools, and accredited nonpublic schools to be effective beginning with the 2018-2019 school year should be submitted to IDOE through the Corporation Profile Amendment Form. Changes may include opening a new school, closing a school, reconfiguring grade levels at a school, or changing the name of a school. Please refer to this memo for additional information. Questions may be directed here.

Certification of the 2017-2018 School Calendar

Instructions for certifying 2017-2018 school year instructional days are now available here, and in the School Accountability and Accreditation Community on Learning Connection. The 2017-2018 school year calendar must be certified before the 2018 Attendance Collection may be submitted. IDOE requests that all 2017-2018 school year calendars be certified within five days of the last day of school. Questions may be directed here.

Office of Student Services

National School Nurse Day

Since 1972, National School Nurse Day has been set aside to recognize school nurses. This day was established to foster a better understanding of the role of the school nurse in the educational setting. This year, National School Nurse Day will be celebrated on May 9.  School nurses optimize student health and learning every day. On National School Nurse Day, take time to celebrate and recognize the contributions your school nurse makes to the health and learning of all students. 

For more information regarding school nursing and National School Nurse Day, please see the attached memo. If you have questions, please email Jolene Bracale 

Office of Special Education 

Short Share TIPS: Specially Designed Instruction (SDI)

The Office of Special Education is happy to release another video in the Short Share Tips series. In partnership with Pam Bell, director of the Exceptional Children’s Co-op, the latest video discusses Specially Designed Instruction (SDI), which adapts content, methods, and/or instructional delivery to meet the unique needs of a student. 

Office of Title Grants and Support

2017-2018 Non-English Speaking Program Reallocations

The Office of Title Grants and Support has released reallocations of 2017-2018 Non-English Speaking Program (NESP) funds to participating LEAs with an English Learner (EL) population of five percent or greater and additional reallocated funds for LEAs with an EL population of 18 percent or greater. All participating LEAs must submit a budget amendment form by TODAY (April 27) to request their reallocated funds. 

Dual Language Immersion Pilot Grant Program

The Office of Title Grants and Support has released the 2018-2019 application for the Dual Language Immersion Pilot Grant Program. This competitive grant program is designed for Indiana LEAs seeking to develop a new dual language immersion program in which at least 50 percent of instruction will be conducted in a language other than English. Instruction must begin in either kindergarten or first grade, with implementation beginning in either the 2018-2019 or 2019-2020 school year. For more information, please contact Nicole Leach. Applications must be submitted with Jotform by 1 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 11. 

Office of Student Services

Alternative Education Grant Renewal Information

Please read this memo on the steps necessary to complete the 2018-2019 Alternative Education Grant Renewal Application. All materials are due no later than June 29.

Office of Educator Effectiveness

NEW! IDOE Teacher Survey: Your Voice Matters- Identify and Submit District Coordinator 

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is eager to hear from teachers across the state. We appreciate how hard our teachers are working. This project will assist IDOE in gathering important data from  the field. Please click here for information regarding the next step of identifying your district contact for this survey project. We will continue to send new information in the coming weeks regarding this survey project, IDOE Teacher Survey: Your Voice Matters!

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. 

Office of Finance

Common School Advancements

The Office of School Finance will accept applications for construction and technology loans from public school corporations and school corporation career and technical education schools only through May 4. Petitions must be received by the Office of School Finance by Friday, May 4 to be considered. Petitions for advancements may be obtained under the Files and Bookmarks tab in the Common School Loan folder, or by requesting them from either LaTrice Akers or Melissa Ambre

Petitions will be accepted by email only. Please scan and email completed applications to CommonSchoolFund@doe.in.gov no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 4. If you have questions concerning the process, contact La Trice Akers or Melissa Ambre.

2018 Budget Workshop Notice

Please see the attached information concerning the annual school budget workshop set for June 27 at the Pike Performing Arts Center.

National PE and Sport Week May 1 through 7

Every day, health and physical education teachers prepare students to live a healthy life. Held annually from May 1 through 7, National PE & Sport Week celebrates and shares the value of effective physical education and sports programs in our schools. During May, look for inspirational success stories and take advantage of free activities, lesson plans, and advocacy resources from the Indiana Society for Health and Physical Education (INSHAPE). Thank you for your professional dedication and commitment to the health and well-being of our students. 

Weekly Updates

View previous weekly updates from Dr. McCormick here

Stay Informed

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