A Message from Dr. McCormick 07/13/2018


Indiana Department of Education
Friday, July 13, 2018





Dr McCormick Updated headshot

Dear Educators,

As schools across the state prepare for registration, plan for opening activities, and look forward to welcoming students, it is important to know the Indiana Department of Education is ready to provide support for the 2018-2019 school year. Our website houses continuously-updated information, providing you with the resources needed for a smooth start to the school year. We are here to assist you, so please contact us with any questions or concerns you might have. 


Dr. Jennifer McCormick 


Graduation Pathways Implementation Update

Policy Guidance Approved by State Board of Education

This week, the Indiana State Board of Education (SBOE) approved policy guidance for Graduation Pathways by a 10-0 vote. The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) and schools across the state will use this guidance to implement Graduation Pathways, approved by SBOE in December 2017. SBOE has posted an appendix document which schools and districts can use for additional resources. This memo provides details. IDOE will share regular updates to the SBOE on its comprehensive efforts to work with all stakeholders throughout the implementation process.

If you have questions concerning implementation of Graduation Pathways, please email Brenda Martz. Questions will be forwarded to the appropriate IDOE staff member for a response.

Handheld Metal Detectors in Schools

Guidance and Considerations

This week, Governor Holcomb announced a new program offering free handheld metal detectors to schools. In recognition of this announcement,  the Indiana Department of Education reminds schools of the importance of policy and procedures whenever implementing safety initiatives. Recently, the United States Department of Education Technical Assistance Center released a guidance document related to the use of metal detectors in schools. This information includes sample policies and training considerations. Please consult with your corporation attorney and local law enforcement when considering using metal detectors, specifically related to the following issues:Training for staff prior to the use of metal detection, specifically related to the following issues:

  • Legalities of search/seizure practices
  • Training for staff prior to the use of metal detectors
  • Protocols taken regarding staff safety prior to using a metal detector on a student
  • Protocols taken if a weapon is found

Announcement from the Indiana Department of Administration

The State of Indiana will provide one hand held metal detector device per every 250 students in a school corporation at no cost. Devices must be requested by Thursday, July 19, 2018. Additional information, including to request devices, is available here

Legislative Updates and Guidance

Reporting of Homebound Students

The Indiana General Assembly recently passed legislation regarding the reporting of homebound students. Please read the attached memo for details. Contact Brandon Myers with any questions.

Guidance on Cyberbullying

School corporations are now required to maintain a link from their Internet web site to the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) resource page regarding the prevention and reporting of bullying and cyberbullying. Additional information is available here. Please contact David Woodward with any questions. 

Office of Title Grants and Support

Closed Charter School Records

Upon their closure, Carpe Diem – Northwest and Nexus Academy of Indianapolis submitted their student records to the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). The student records for the Carpe Diem campuses and Nexus Academy of Indianapolis are being stored at IDOE for these charter schools. If you have questions about student records, please email Charter School Grant Specialist Beatriz Pacheco or call her at 317-232-9057. 

2018-2019 English Learner Plans

All Indiana LEAs are required to annually submit their plan to identify, assess, and provide additional English language services for English learners. The English Learner Plan must be submitted by email to Olga Tuchman by September 28. A detailed video walk-through and exemplar are available through the English Learner Plan link to assist LEAs as they complete and submit their plans. LEAs applying for Title III complete the English Learner Plan as part of their application and do not need to submit anything further to meet this requirement.

Office of Educator Effectiveness

IDOE Online Job Bank to Close: Prepare Now for Transition to Teachers-Teachers Site

On September 1, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) will fully transition to utilizing Indiana Teachers-Teachers as the primary recruitment platform for Indiana school personnel. The IDOE Online Job Bank will be shut down at the close of business Friday, August 31. To prepare for this transition, all Indiana school districts, charter schools, and private schools should ensure they have registered for a free account with Indiana Teachers-Teachers. Job postings will not automatically transfer from the IDOE Online Job Bank to the Indiana Teachers-Teachers recruitment platform. It is the responsibility of the employer to manually post any current openings to the Indiana Teachers-Teachers platform prior to the September 1 transition date. Please contact IDOE Director of Educator Effectiveness, Shari Switzer, with any questions.

Office of Assessment

Get the Scoop! Register Now for Back-to-School ILEARN Webinars

From test content to test administration, statewide assessment is changing in Indiana. Get the scoop on what is new with ILEARN by attending one of the trainings highlighted in this flyer.

2018-2019 Formative Assessment Grant Distributions

Final distributions for the 2018-2019 Formative Assessment Grant have been approved. Schools can expect to receive funds by August 31. A 2018-2019 Formative Assessment grant timeline is available here.  Contact Mary Williams with any questions.

ISTEP+ Grade 10 Summer Retest Onsite Monitoring

The Office of Student Assessment will be conducting unannounced onsite monitoring visits during the ISTEP+ Grade 10 Summer Retest testing window beginning July 23. Please ensure that school administrators and staff are aware these onsite visits will be conducted. Click here for details.

ILEARN Policy Performance Level Descriptors

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) enlisted Indiana stakeholders to develop Policy Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs) for the ILEARN assessment. The ILEARN Policy PLDs are high-level statements that reflect the varying degrees to which students may demonstrate proficiency on each grade-level ILEARN assessment. Review the approved Policy PLDs and share with educators in your corporation or school. Content-specific PLDs are anticipated by October 1.
PSAT Guidance

The Indiana State Board of Education approved guidance for PSAT assessment administrations. PSAT will be used in lieu of Accuplacer going forward. 

Office of School Improvement 

Ethnic Studies Standards Released (Updated Version)

Per recently passed legislation by the Indiana General Assembly, beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, all corporations will be required to offer ethnic studies as a one semester high school elective course at least once per school year.

As an offered course, ethnic studies provides Indiana students with the opportunity to broaden their perspectives concerning lifestyles and cultural patterns of ethnic and racial groups within the United States. The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) created the new ethnic studies standards in partnership with educators and local cultural awareness leaders throughout the state.

New School Improvement Plan Webpage Available

Please use this link to access reports and other resources for school improvement. 

School Improvement Plans for 2018-2019 Deadline Extended

The 2018-2019 School Improvement Plan submission date has been extended to October 12. Submissions can begin immediately. Further guidance can be found here. Additionally, the School Improvement Plans section of the Indiana Department of Education website has been updated. Information needed to access the new Unified Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) and School Improvement Plan (SIP) template is available through the website. Please contact Robin LeClaire with any questions. 

Plan to Attend Upcoming School Improvement Summit

The Indiana Department of Education Office of School Improvement is hosting a matchmaking summit. This free event is designed to match schools and technical assistance partners already vetted for evidentiary requirements found in ESSA. Summit details and the registration link can be found here.

Updated Guidance on Dyslexia

The Office of School Improvement has issued this guidance on updated dyslexia legislation. Further guidance will be released on approved screeners and training programs in the coming months. Contact Robin LeClaire with any questions.

Office of Higher Education and Educator Preparation

Dual Credit Update

Spring 2019 Indiana University STEM dual credit credential program applications will be available this fall. More information is available here.

Required Principal Survey Reminder

Under Indiana Code, principals in each school corporation, including charter and virtual schools, must complete an annual survey for any teacher employed in their building, initially licensed in Indiana, during the last two years. Additional information is available here.

Office of Educator Licensing

Teacher Feedback Sought Through Survey

Two weeks ago, many principals received the attached communication regarding the participation of teachers in a Job Analysis Task Survey. The Indiana Department of Education is working with Evaluation Systems Group of Pearson to collect direct empirical data from practicing teachers. Information collected will strengthen linkages between the licensure test program and key work activities teachers perform daily in the effective instruction of students.

If you have received invitations for a selected sample of teachers in your buildings, please distribute those invitations and encourage your teachers to participate. The data will be critical in informing and improving Indiana’s educator licensing process.

IDOE in the News

The Indiana Department of Education has announced the new landmark ethnic studies course and standards.

Weekly Updates

Previous weekly updates from Dr. McCormick are available here 

Stay Informed

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