A Message from Dr. McCormick 07/20/2018


Indiana Department of Education
Friday, July 20, 2018





Dr McCormick Updated headshot

Dear Educators,

As the start to the 2018-2019 school year nears, we understand the support needs of schools and districts are increasing. Indiana Department of Education staff are prepared to assist you. Do not hesitate to reach out with questions.

Additionally, as you hire new members to your administrative team, remind them to subscribe to this weekly bulletin for the latest updates and guidance. Access to do so can be found here


Dr. Jennifer McCormick 


Legislative Updates and Guidance

Required Training for School Employees

This required training guidance provides schools with an understanding of what training is required for school employees under state and federal law.

School Safety Plan Audits

The Indiana General Assembly has mandated an audit of individual school safety plans by August 1, 2019. Please read additional information here. Questions should be addressed to David Woodward.

Handheld Metal Detectors in Schools

Guidance and Considerations

Governor Holcomb has 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 the use of metal detectors, specifically related to the following issues:

  • Training for staff prior to the use of metal detection
  • 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  

Office of Workforce and STEM Alliances

Career and Technical Education Release of Student Enrollment Information

Please read this information related to the release of student information to potential employers.

Work-Based Learning Definition

Updated guidance is available related to Work-Based Learning Capstone courses.

Office of Assessment

ISTEP+ Grade 10 Summer Retest Window Opens Next Week

The Summer Retest window is July 23 through August 17. CTCs may download electronic copies of the practice test manual and operational test manuals from the Test Coordinator Corner in Learning Connection or the Indiana Resource Center.

Office of Finance

Reminder:  ESSA School Building Level Data

As of July 1, state and federal reporting requirements changed to include school building level data. Every line of the Form 9 data file must include all eight fields in order to successfully upload the Form 9 data file into the system. Although the expenditure data is part of the required federal report, other lines of the Form 9 data file must utilize the same field format. Guidance related to the Indiana Department of Education and Indiana Local Education Agencies (LEAs) federal reporting requirement under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Indiana state law, can be found in the ESSA folder of the School Finance Community of the Learning Connection. Please share any questions here.

Reminder: Upload Form 9 Financial Data

The Form 9 Financial Report data submission for the period of January 1 to June 30, 2018, is now open. Data may be uploaded through IDOE Online now through July 31. To successfully submit the Form 9 Financial Report, LEAs must provide corporation details, upload a signed certification page and submit a .txt or CSV data file. Either the old file format or the new file format may be used for this submission. Only one file may be uploaded: consecutive file uploads will replace original files. For assistance with Form 9, please send questions here.

Office of Title Grants and Support

Federal Grants Side-by-Side

For local administrators needing a master table of all federal grants under ESSA with concise information about allowability, eligibility, deadlines, and resources, check out this new federal grants side-by-side. This up-to-date document is posted on the Title Grants and Support landing page.

Availability of School Improvement Grant (SIG) Funding

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) plans to issue federal grades for schools this fall. Once those determinations are made, a SIG-eligible list will be provided to all LEAs. In order to be eligible for SIG funding during the 2018-2019 school year, a school must be identified as Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI). Funding is limited to the evidentiary requirements of ESSA. More information regarding the types of available grants can be found here. Questions may be sent to Nathan Williamson.

Compliance When Contracting for Nonpublic Equitable Services

For LEAs wishing to contract to deliver nonpublic equitable services under covered programs, such as Title I, Part A, the distinctions between independent contractors and employees need to be considered. Federal program administrators and school business officials should review this technical assistance memorandum to ensure compliance with Internal Revenue Service witholdings.

State Equitable Services Ombudsman

Equitable Services FAQ

To assist LEAs with the provision of equitable services to non-public schools, the Indiana Department of Education has prepared an FAQ based on frequently asked questions received from public school administrators and non-public school officials throughout the state.  This information will be updated periodically and can be found on the Ombudsman webpage under Resources.

Office of Higher Education and Educator Preparation

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 Effectiveness

IDOE Online Job Bank to Close: Transition Underway to Indiana 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 employer's responsibility to manually post any current openings prior to the September 1 transition date. Additional information about Indiana Teachers-Teachers is available here. Please contact IDOE Director of Educator Effectiveness, Shari Switzer, with any questions.

IDOE Teacher Survey: Your Voice Matters - Webinar Link Available

Panorama hosted a webinar on Wednesday, July 18, to assist in understanding the Indiana Department of Education Teacher Survey data delivered to district superintendents on July 13. The webinar was recorded and can be viewed here

Office of School Improvement 

2018-2019 High Ability Grant and Identification Grant Available

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) has annual high ability grant funds and additional identification funds available to help support dynamic high ability programs. Grant amounts and the application link will be emailed Monday, June 23 to school corporations. Forms and guidelines are located on the High Ability webpage of the Indiana Department of Education site. More details are available here

School Improvement Summit Set for August 9

IDOE is hosting a School Improvement Summit on August 9. Please register here. School and district leaders already have access to profiles of the Technical Assistance Partners who will be attending. Click on this link to access profiles.

Guidance on Equitable Enrollment

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) supports efforts to ensure every student has access to a high-quality education in a safe, supportive, and welcoming school environment. IDOE shares this guidance for districts concerning fair and equitable enrollment practices and about supporting the needs of students and families affected by the presidential executive order on immigration. The attached document is a joint letter from the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice. The information  provides guidance to school districts ensuring fair enrollment processes making all families, including immigrant and refugee families, feel welcome. Additional support information is available here.

IDOE in the News

Nearly 70 Schools Recognized as ASCA Model Programs

Read more about this recognition here.

Weekly Bulletin Updates

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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.