A Message from Dr. McCormick 05/18/2018


Indiana Department of Education
Friday, May 18, 2018





Dr McCormick Updated headshot

Dear Educators,

This week the Department hosted another successful two day Indiana School Advanced Safety Specialist Academy. Thank you to the hundreds of School Safety Specialists who attended the training and continue to stay laser focused on keeping students, staff, and schools safe.

On the second day of the Academy, I hosted the first in what I anticipate will be many national State Education Chief Roundtable discussions involving school leaders from across the country. Indiana is not alone in making school safety a top priority for students and staff. Schools nationally are committed to student safety. We are honored to share our successful efforts and best practices with these state leaders. We recognize the importance of collaboration and hold a commitment to providing the resources and guidance schools need to keep our children safe.


Dr. Jennifer McCormick 


Important Announcement from Dr. McCormick

IDOE Staffing Change

Dr. Lee Ann Kwiatkowski will no longer be serving as the IDOE’s Chief of Staff effective Friday, May 18. Dr. Kwiatkowski has accepted a position with the Governor’s office, and we wish her well. In the interim, all inquiries that were formerly directed to Dr. Kwiatkowski need to be sent to Senior Advisor Kelly Wittman.

Office of Assessment

NEW! ILEARN Resources Available Now

New resources are available on the ILEARN website. Corporations and schools have access to test blueprints, item specifications for tested grades, and test content areas. You will also find an updated calculator policy, accommodations and accessibility guidance, access to the Released Items Repository, assessment literacy resources, technology updates, and more.

ISTAR Part 2 Window Closes TODAY!

The ISTAR Part 2 Window closes today, Friday, May 18. If you have any questions, please email the ISTAR Helpdesk or call 877-424-0322.

NEW! ISTEP+ Grade 10 Spring: Parent Portal Claim Codes Available                   

Parent Portal claim codes will be available May 21 from PearsonAccessnext. Please contact your CTC with any questions. CTCs received sample parent letters providing guidance about the upcoming rescore window and a brief video tutorial about this process. 

Register Now! Assessment Literacy Professional Development

The Indiana Department of Education is hosting free Assessment Literacy Professional Development sessions on June 5 and 22. Multiple registrations from the same corporation are now allowed. Join us by signing up here!

2018-2019 Formative Assessment Grant Applications Due May 21

Corporations should submit their 2018-2019 Formative Assessment Grant applications by May 21. The Grant Overview and Application Directions provide guidance for completing this task. Contact Mary Williams with questions.

ISTAR Part 2 – IDOE Satisfaction Survey Open Through May 25

Please complete this survey to share with our office what went well during the ISTAR Part 2 window and how we can improve prior to the administration of I AM.

Updated Guidance ISTEP+ Grade 10 Summer Retest Window

This memo offers updated guidance for the upcoming ISTEP+ Grade 10 summer retest, specifically for current juniors and sophomores. The 2017-2018 summer retest opportunity for the ISTEP+ Grade 10 assessment will be offered beginning July 23 through August 17. Following the completion of remediation, students who have not yet passed the ISTEP+ Grade 10 assessment may retake the assessment during this summer administration window.

Workforce and STEM Alliances

Locally Created Pathway and Concentrator Approval Process – SBOE

The following guidance provides important information relating to the approval process for new Career and Technical Education concentrator pathways. 

Indiana Career Explorer Pilot Program Applications Available for 2018-2019

Schools are encouraged to apply for the 2018-2019 Indiana Career Explorer Pilot Program. Available to eighth grade cohorts only, the application deadline is May 25. Additional information can be found here.

Update Guidance to 2.0 of WorkKeys

ACT released a new version (2.0) of WorkKeys in 2017. WorkKeys 2.0 has several changes, including new assessment names, items, and scoring scales. While minimum levels have not changed, new scale scores required to meet the WorkKeys option for the Indiana Diploma with Technical Honors designation were based on agreement shared by ACT and are summarized in the attached information.

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 until June 29 and is available on the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) 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 Updates and Guidance

Guidance on Instruction on Human Sexuality

The following guidance provides information the on instruction of Human Sexuality. This attachment offers a template consent as a reference. If you have any questions, please email Indiana Department of Education Director of Legislative Affairs Michael Brown.

Office of Technology

Department to Begin Decommissioning Learning Connection

On or after August 15,  the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) will begin decommissioning the Learning Connection. This change is a result of the retooling of IT systems now underway through the Link Initiative. The sunsetting of the Learning Connection will occur in phases. In Phase I the following features will be retired and will no longer be available: lesson planning, my classes, gradebooks, resources, student activities, and the ability to create new communities. After August 15, any data created or managed by users of the Learning Connection using the tools and features mentioned above will become permanently unavailable. Users who wish to retain their content connected to these services will need to collect the content and store it in another location. 

It is important to note that during Phase I, key features of the Learning Connection will not be affected. Specifically, access to IndianaIEP, ISTAR-KR, and Student Data Reports will continue for the upcoming school year. Also, access to Learning Connection Communities will remain for the coming school year. 

Questions should be directed to James Rodman, Project Manager for Information Technology.  

Office of School Finance

Summer School

Attached is information regarding 2018 Summer School estimates. If you have questions about this announcement, or the method of estimating summer school reimbursement, please contact Kathryn Roth or Melissa AmbreAdditional summer school information is available on our website, or in the School Finance Community in Learning Connection.

Office of School Improvement

Community of Practice for Mathematics

The Indiana Department of Education is developing a list of interested participants to be a part of a community of practice for mathematics.  Membership to this community is open to educators interested in K-12 mathematics education.  If you are interested in being a part of this community, please complete the information by clicking here.

Formative Assessment Grant Application Information

If your school corporation does not have an assessment in place for reading as required by the State Reading Plan, please apply for the Formative Assessment Grant here. The application deadline is May 21. Contact Amy Heath if you need assistance. 

Graduation Waiver Remediation Plans

The Indiana State Board of Education, in collaboration with the Indiana Department of Education, will send out official notices to secondary schools that exceed the percentage of graduation waivers based on the criteria established by the Board. These notices will be sent out to superintendents and principals of identified schools via email on Friday, May 18.

A secondary school is identified for this purpose if they meet the following criteria for three consecutive years:

  1. The school has at least 10 graduates for the given school year; AND
  2. If less than 30 students in the graduating cohort, a graduation waiver is issued to more than 50 percent of graduates; OR
  3. If 30 or more students in the graduating cohort, a graduation waiver is issued to 10 percent or more of graduates.

Identified schools will have until November 2 to submit the required remediation plan targeted at reducing the number of graduates receiving a waiver in the 2019 graduating cohort. We hope this process only enhances ongoing efforts to improve student outcomes to ensure more students can graduate without receiving a waiver.

Find additional information concerning this legislation here. If  you have additional questions, contact Jennifer Jensen in the Office of School Improvement.

Office of Educator Effectiveness

Reminder - IDOE Teacher Survey: Your Voice Matters 

Thank you to superintendents and principals for supporting and encouraging teachers to complete the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) Teacher Survey: Your Voice Matters! Many school districts have already achieved 30 percent survey completion. The survey is available through June 15. Look for reminder emails from the Indiana Department of Education, support+idoe@panoramaed.com. The subject line will be IDOE Teacher Survey: Your Voice Matters!

Teachers will continue to receive email reminders containing the link to the IDOE Teacher Survey: Your Voice MattersSurvey results will provide comprehensive data to help drive legislative priorities related to teacher compensation and employment. In addition, the information will be used to craft local and state professional development opportunities. Make sure your #INteachervoice is heard! 

Education Innovation and Research Grant Opportunity

Competitive Funding Opportunity Available From the U.S. Department of Education

The Education Innovation and Research (EIR) grant provides funding for recipients to create or scale entrepreneurial, evidence-based, field-initiated innovations to improve achievement and attainment of high-need K-12 students. 

If your district has more than 350 students in Average Daily Attendance and would like more information about the EIR grant, please see the attached information sheet and visit the EIR 2018 Competition Page. All EIR applications are due by June 5, 2018.  

Indiana Department of Education for in the News

Dr. McCormick Hosts National Leaders to Discuss School Safety

Weekly Updates

View previous weekly updates from Dr. McCormick here 

Stay Informed

Did you miss a message? View previous weekly emails here. Want daily updates? Be sure to follow the Department on Twitter and Facebook.



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