An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for February 28, 2020

indiana department of education - doctor jennifer mccormick - superintendent of public instruction
Dr. Mac

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) invites all schools to celebrate School Social Work Week, March 1-7. Please join us in honoring these professionals who serve the needs of our Hoosier students. For more information on this recognition week, visit this website.

Important Information Related to the Novel Coronavirus and Schools

In preparation for potential impacts from the COVID-19 virus, schools should review their pandemic plans within their overall school safety plan.  Schools should also consult with their local health department in the planning process. The Division of School Building Physical Security and Safety is available to provide assistance with school safety planning needs.  Additional guidance will be forthcoming from the Indiana State Department of Health. As this information becomes available, it will be shared with schools. Please see this memo regarding general precautions to avoid the spread of viruses.

Office of School Nutrition / National School Breakfast Week


March 2-6 is National School Breakfast Week. Learn how to use the week to boost student participation in school breakfast programs with the support of the Indiana School Breakfast Toolkit.



IDOE In the News

The Indiana Department is Education this week announced the 2020 Recipients of the Digital Learning-Community Advisory Grant. For more information, click here.


2020 U.S. Census and Indiana Schools

2020 Census - Statistics in Schools Week:  Everyone Counts

During the week of March 2-6, Indiana educators are encouraged to take part in the Statistics in Schools (SIS) Program from the United States Census Bureau. Schools can use the following promotional materials to communicate the importance of the 2020 Census to key stakeholders, and to educate students through classroom lessons. SIS Week is a chance for educators and schools across Indiana to play an active role in ensuring everyone in their community is counted.  


Office of Assessment

WIDA ACCESS Testing Window Closes Today

The WIDA ACCESS testing window closes today, February 28. Additionally, all used and unused secure paper test materials must be picked up by UPS today for return to the vendor. Late returns will not be processed for scoring. Any online tests in WIDA AMS that are “In Progress” at the close of the test window will be forced complete by the system.

Winter 2020 ILEARN Biology End-of-Course Assessment (ECA) Test Window Now Closed - Complete Post Test Activities

The Winter 2020 Biology ECA online test window closed yesterday, February 27. Corporations and schools must report any test invalidations and resolve any discrepant test records (paper testing only) in TIDE by March 17. All are invited to complete a satisfaction survey to share feedback about this test administration. Please contact the AIR Indiana Assessment Help Desk with any questions.

Important Update to AIR’s Test Administrator (TA) Interface - Share with ALL Test Administrators

As detailed in this memo, a minor update was made to the test selection process within AIR’s online Test Delivery System’s TA Interface. Share this memo with all staff serving as TAs your corporation and schools. Please email AIR’s Indiana Help Desk or call them at 866-298-4256 with any questions.

2018-2019 and 2019-2020 Use of ILEARN Scores for Accountability and Teacher Evaluation 

The Indiana General Assembly recently passed updates to Indiana Code 20-31-8 (school accountability and teacher evaluations) and Indiana Code 20-24-2 (charter school accountability) defining the use of statewide assessment test scores in state accountability calculations as well as the inclusion of ILEARN test scores in teacher evaluations and pay adjustments. Please review this memo for more information regarding the implications of this legislation. 

2020-2021 Formative (Interim) Assessment Grant Overview and Timeline

Schools may now access the Formative (Interim) Assessment Grant overview and a timeline of activities and events for School Year 2020-2021. This guidance applies to School Year 2020-2021 and does not affect the current guidance published for School Year 2019-2020. Contact Mary Williams with and questions. 

New, Additional ELA Performance Task Guidance - Share with Educators

IDOE posted two new exemplar responses to a third grade released Performance Task with scoring rationales. These authentic student responses reflect high scores on the writing rubric with lower character counts compared to similar scoring responses. This new guidance can be found under the “Rubrics and Scoring Information” drop down on the ILEARN Sample Items and Scoring webpage. If you have additional questions, please contact IDOE’s Mathematics and ELA Assessment Specialist for Grades 3-5, Justin Mocas.

Share with Educators: Two Training Opportunities Remain for First Year I AM TAs

IDOE and AIR are hosting mandatory webinars for new I AM TAs. Registration is available on the I AM Portal through Tuesday, March 10. CTCs must confirm all new I AM TAs have attended one of these trainings. Remaining opportunities include:

  • Wednesday, March 4 from 3:30-4:00 p.m. ET

  • Tuesday, March 10 from 4:00-4:30 p.m. ET

For questions about registration, please contact the AIR Help Desk. For more information about optional and required trainings for I AM, please refer to the 2019-20 AIR Training Schedule for Indiana Schools.

ISPROUT Training of Trainers

Plan ahead for fall ISPROUT training opportunities. Training of Trainer sessions will be held in April to help educators stay ahead of the summer and fall training rush. Register for training on Monday, April 13 in Bloomington or Wednesday, April 15 in Zionsville by clicking here. A one- hour webinar is required prior to the on-site training. Additional training opportunities will be provided in the fall. Please direct your ISPROUT questions to Felecia Jordan.


Office of Accountability

Final Placement of 2018-2019 State Grades

Public Law 2-2020, signed by Governor Holcomb on February 12, requires that a school’s A-F grade for the 2018-2019 school year may not be lower than that same school’s A-F grade for the 2017-2018 school year. IDOE anticipates the State Board of Education (SBOE) will vote to place schools in A-F categories at its March 4 business meeting. At that time, all 2018-2019 State A-F grades, with hold harmless application, will be made public.

Lessons Learned - Common Issues in Graduation Rate Audits (Installment Number Seven)

The seventh issue of Managing Your Graduation Rate features a short list of common documentation errors observed by IDOE during the course of graduation rate audits. Also featured this week are short descriptions of key resources available to support schools in managing this process. Read the full article here.

Exit Codes and Your Graduation Rate

This multi-part training series appears in both Dr. McCormick's Weekly Update, and in the Accountability Moodle Community. It provides information to educate schools about managing their graduation cohorts and the calculation of graduation rates. This installment provides information about requirements for substantiating exit codes. Read installment six here.

Update on Homeschool Withdrawal Form (Graduation Rate Implications) 

IDOE has received numerous inquiries regarding putting the SBOE- approved Withdrawal to Non-Accredited NonPublic School Located in Indiana on a school’s letterhead. After consultation with our legal department, no alterations to SBOE- approved form, including putting the form on a school’s letterhead, will be permissible. Only the state developed and state-approved form in compliance with IC 20-33-2-28.6 is acceptable. The form can be found in the School Accountability and Accreditation Community.


Office of School Finance

Fall 2020 ADM Estimate

School corporation and charter school officials have from March 4 to March 25 to submit a September 2020 membership estimate. The estimate should reflect the count of students anticipated to be enrolled and attending the school corporation or charter school in September. Officials will submit the ADM estimate in the School Finance Application Center (State Aid). Please read this memo for details. If you have questions, please contact Melissa Ambre.

Summer School Estimates 

The window to submit the Estimated Instructional Costs Report and List of Courses for Summer School 2020 opened February 5 and closes April 1. Please see this memo for information regarding eligible courses, important dates, and financial provisions. Detailed information about the summer school program and how to report is included in Summer School 101. If you have questions, please contact Kathryn Roth or Melissa Ambre.

FY 2021 Indirect Cost Rates

The Office of School Finance is accepting applications from LEAs eligible to receive FY 2021 indirect cost rates. Entities, including school corporations and charter schools, that provided Form 9 financial information for FY 2019 are eligible to receive a restricted and an unrestricted indirect cost rate for FY 2021. New charter schools are eligible to apply, but will be subject to the median rate. Application material is located in Moodle.


Office of Special Education

Expanded Student Test Accommodation Communication Sent

During the past week, Superintendents, Special Education Directors, Corporation Test Coordinators, and Special Education Cooperative Directors have received expanded communication regarding student test accommodations. This information needs attention and should be shared accordingly. Please contact Robin LeClaire with questions.

Office of Academics / Curriculum and Instruction

Elementary/Middle School Course Codes

IDOE is updating the Elementary/Middle School Course Codes with grade-specific identifiers. Please see this memo for more information. Contact Dr. Jennifer Jensen with any curricular questions and contact Michelle Tubbs with any IT-related questions.

Literacy Newsletter Features New Field Research

The March IDOE #INspirEDlit newsletter features examples of teacher work from the ongoing book study over The Writing Revolution. The newsletter also features a list of resources to find new and relevant research from the field. 

Workforce-Related Inquiries Fielded Through Governor's Workforce Cabinet (GWC)

IDOE reminds school personnel that the GWC is charged with fielding Career and Technical Education (CTE) questions and formulating guidance. Ben Carter, IDOE’s former Director of Workforce and Innovation has taken a position with Ivy Tech, thus completing the realignment of CTE and workforce responsibilities from IDOE to GWC. Questions regarding the areas of STEM and eLearning should now be directed to Dr. Jennifer Jensen.

Computer Science Professional Development for K-12 Educators

IDOE is working with five organizations including CodeHS, IndianaComputes!, IU School of Informatics and Computing, Nextech, and Project Lead The Way to bring FREE computer science professional development to Indiana K-12 public and public charter school teachers. More information can be found here. Contact Jake Koressel with questions.

The Indiana Purple Star School Designation

The Indiana Purple Star School Designation honors schools that have displayed a significant commitment to service members, veterans, and students and families connected to our Nation’s Military. The Indiana Department of Education will honor the first cohort of schools earning this designation in the Fall of 2020. The memo can be found here. Contact Jennifer Watson for additional information.


Office of Academics / Leadership and Innovation

Applications for Spanish Visiting Teacher Program

Applications for the SY 2020-2021 Spanish Visiting Teacher Program can be found here. The application deadline is March 20.

Superintendents and Principals Encouraged to Nominate Educators for Emerging Leaders Recognition

The Office of Innovation is looking for confidential recommendations of elementary-level leaders (including principals, teachers, instructional coaches, and other specialists) representing the very best educators in Indiana. These emerging leaders have a minimum of five years and a maximum of 15 years experience, demonstrating leadership beyond the classroom, and who positively affect school culture and student achievement. Superintendents and principals, please submit a recommendation here. The link will close April 10. Please contact Rebecca Estes with any questions.

HEA 1008 Career Ladders Planning Grant Application

Per House Enrollment Act (HEA) 1008 (2019), the Office of Leadership and Innovation announced the release of the Career Ladders Grant in July. The grant supports career pathways, offering high performing teachers opportunities to advance. Approval has been granted to provide educators with the opportunity to apply for a planning grant to establish a plan for creating a career ladder. All applications received will be reviewed through a competitive process. Funding up to the amount of the total allocation ($353,520.00) will be distributed. The deadline for public and charter schools to apply is March 2. To learn more, click here.


Office of Academics / School Improvement

2020 School Improvement Summit 

IDOE is sponsoring the School Improvement Summit on March 10 in Greenwood. Please see the memo here for a list of approved Technical Assistance Partners. Thirty-eight partners met the evidentiary requirement per ESSA and will be represented at the 2020 School Improvement Summit. District and building leaders are encouraged to attend to discuss potential partnerships in an effort to address school improvement needs.

Introduction to Deep Learning Planned for April

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) and Fort Wayne Community schools are partnering to bring an introduction to Michael Fullan's Deep Learning to Indiana schools. A full-day of learning will take place on April 22 at the Fort Wayne Convention Center. On April 23, teams will be invited to visit classrooms in Fort Wayne to see this work in action. Please read this memo for details. Participants will receive two Michael Fullan Deep Learning books. Please register at this link to reserve your spot.


Office of Academics / Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness (SEBW)

How Sick Is Too Sick? General Guidance Document

How Sick Is Too Sick? is a presentation offering parents and educators general guidance on when to send a student to school, and when it is best to keep the child home. Click here to access the document.


Office of Academics / Title Grants and Support

INtelligrants Video #4: Consolidated Application Budget Categories

The fourth video in the INtelligrants series, focusing on consolidated application budget categories, is now available. This video focuses on how the pre-application assists in transitioning thinking from grant-specific budgets to holistic activity-based budgets. Please visit the INtelligrants website to review additional videos and resources.

Federal Grants Newsletter Features Information on INtelligrants Roll-Out

The March Issue of #INspirEDgrants, a newsletter by Federal Grants and Support, is now available. The newsletter contains helpful information, resources, and ideas to consider in thinking about Title Grants.


News From Other State Agencies

Guidance for Technical Honors Diploma and Middle School CTE courses

The GWC has created guidance for Technical Honors Diploma and middle school CTE courses. You can find the guidance on their website and their guidance document is linked here for your convenience.

Applications for the Governor’s STEM Team Now Open

Indiana high school students are invited to apply for the 2020 Governor’s STEM Team. This team highlights four of Indiana’s elite high school students for their work in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).Winning students receive a $1,000 college scholarship from Indiana’s College Choice 529 Direct Savings Plan and a letterman jacket to showcase their accomplishment. Applications and nominations may be submitted online. The deadline for submitting applications is 11:59 p.m. ET on March 27.


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