An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for May 1, 2020

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

Join the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) in celebrating the hard work, creativity, and flexibility of Indiana teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 4-8. Additional information about the #IndianaLovesTeachers social media campaign can be found here.

COVID-19 Updates and Guidance

Stay Up-to-Date on the Latest COVID-19 Information

IDOE is committed to providing guidance and support through streamlined communications. IDOE’s COVID-19 webpage offers access to a variety of resources, including links to our COVID-19 FAQ document and Dr. McCormick’s Weekly Webinar for School Leaders. Send questions regarding additional communications or access to IDOE Chief Communications Strategist, Holly Stachler.


Legislative Updates and Guidance

IDOE is committed to providing clear, timely guidance related to bills passed during the 2020 legislative session. Find the latest release below and a curation of all 2020 legislative guidance here.

Students With Disabilities

Please find guidance on SEA 346 (2020) Students with Disabilities here. This document provides information on the notice of accommodations and opt-out decisions for students with disabilities for upcoming statewide assessments.


Office of School and Community Nutrition

Today is School Lunch Hero Day

Today, Friday, May 1, is School Lunch Hero Day, an opportunity for school communities to celebrate and thank all those who provide healthy meals for our students. These individuals have been among those on the frontlines as Indiana has responded to the impact of COVID-19 on schools, students, and families. The hard work, creativity, and dedication to serve healthy meals during the school year, summer, and now in a time of uncertainty, clearly makes foodservice and nutrition staff our heroes. Please see this message from Dr. McCormick. Learn more about School Lunch Hero Day here.


Office of Student Assessment

July Automated Scoring Focus Groups - Share with Educators

IDOE invites interested educators to register for one of three focus groups to engage in discussions about the potential use of automated scoring for Indiana’s state assessments. This flyer that contains additional information and meeting registration links. Contact the Office of Student Assessment (OSA) with any questions.

Accommodations Feedback Requested

IDOE is seeking feedback on the use of word prediction as an accommodation on state standardized assessments via a short survey. The information gathered from this survey will inform IDOE about Word Prediction programs schools are using, and the eligibility requirements schools have implemented for this accommodation. Please access the survey here. IDOE requests your feedback by May 8.

NAEP Results Release

In 2018, Indiana eighth grade students took a NAEP assessment in Civics, Geography, and U.S. History. Each student only took one subject. The randomly-selected sample from Indiana was compiled with other state samples and are combined to produce the national results. Grade 8 U.S. history and geography scores declined; civics scores remained stable in new Nation’s Report Cards. Click on Civics, Geography, or U.S. History for more information. 

ISPROUT Webinars

Johns Hopkins University Center for Technology in Education and OSA are hosting webinars to share information regarding ISPROUT reports and answer questions you may have regarding the ISPROUT process. Register to participate in one of the sessions detailed here.


Office of School Accountability

2019-2020 Legal Standards Assurances

Beginning May 4, schools and corporations may submit legal standards assurances for the 2019-2020 school year. Please read this guidance document on how to submit the assurances. The deadline to submit the 2019-2020 legal standards assurances is June 30. Please send all questions here.


Office of Academics / Curriculum and Instruction

Flexibility for Summer School Enrollment

Schools should make every effort to comply with the 15 student average enrollment requirement for summer school courses set forth in 511 IAC 12-2-7. However, due to COVID-19 and for the summer of 2020 only, failure to strictly comply with this requirement will not automatically preclude schools from being eligible for summer school reimbursements. Please contact Robin Leclaire with questions. 

New - Updated and Expanded Flexibility for Graduation

The Flexibility from Indiana Graduation Requirements in Response to COVID-19 guidance document applies to the spring/summer 2020 graduation cohort and to students in prior cohorts who were on track to graduate in the spring/summer of 2020 pursuant to said guidance. This expands the flexibility to include fifth-year seniors and adult education students. Please contact Robin Leclaire with questions.

Reading Plans for K-Grade Three Must Be Submitted by June 30

Indiana Code requires all elementary schools that have kindergarten, first, second, or third grade students submit a reading plan to IDOE by June 30. IDOE has streamlined the submission process through use of a Jotform. All public schools will use this form. All private schools will use this form. Because this is a new process, IDOE created a short how-to video for completing the form. Please contact Joe Risch with questions.

Class of 2020: Virtual Graduation Guidance Available

Given the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, IDOE realizes the impact on the Class of 2020. Celebrating their accomplishments is an important milestone. To assist districts with planning alternate solutions, we have developed a Virtual Graduation Assistance document. Please contact Robin LeClaire with any questions.

Announcing STEM Acceleration Grant - Cohort 5

IDOE is pleased to announce the fifth round of STEM Acceleration Grants. The grants will provide funding for programs impacting the 2020-2021 school year. Funds may be used for stipends, professional development/training, and the acquisition of instructional materials necessary to implement selected STEM curriculum. Additionally, funds may be used to increase school/community partnerships to provide early STEM career exposure for students. Click on this link to review STEM Acceleration Grant information. Find more information on the STEM Education page. Contact Jake Koressel with additional questions.


Office of Academics / School Improvement

Alternative Education Data Collection – DOE-AL

All approved alternative education programs must submit participation data for SY 2019-2020 to IDOE. The required collection period will be open from Friday, May 1 through Tuesday, June 30. Click here for submission information. 


Office of Academics / Innovation

2021 Teacher of the Year Selection Process Update 

IDOE recognizes that some districts may not have the capacity to complete a typical selection process and would like to extend flexibility for the 2021 Teacher of the Year nomination process. Details can be found here.

2020-2021 Teacher Leaders Bootcamp Application Window Now Open 

In partnership with our sponsors KI, Schmidt Associates, and Gibraltar Design, IDOE has opened the application window for teachers interested in participating in the 2020-2021 Teacher Leaders Bootcamp Cohort 2. For more information or to apply, click here


Office of Academics / Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness

Mental Health Month Resources Available

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Throughout the month, IDOE will be sharing resources to help maintain and support mental health. Family and Social Services Association just released Be Well Indiana. This website provides information supporting wellness for all Hoosiers. Check out the free mental health tips, video library, COVID-19 specific resources, and much more.

Project AWARE Applications

IDOE, in partnership with FSSA's Division of Mental Health and Addiction, are pleased to announce the second Project AWARE opportunity for local education agencies. Please find all program details and grant information (under the application tab) on the new website. Applications are due by June 1. Please send all questions here.

The Grieving Process and COVID-19 Webinar Scheduled for May 7

Grief is a process that happens when a loss is experienced. Indiana’s Project AWARE team is excited to announce an upcoming webinar providing an overview of the grief process. Avon Community School Corporation’s Mental Wellness Team will share the strategies they have used to support students and adults to proactively address the collective grief brought on by COVID-19. Please join the webinar on Thursday, May 7, at 9:00 a.m. ET. Use this link to participate. The meeting number (access code) is 613 666 139. The meeting password is 3rJKJMpH9r4.

Upcoming SEBW Webinars

IDOE’s Office of Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness team, in partnership with Playworks Indiana, is offering a live webinar for K-12 educators on how to increase students’ sensory-motor integration and remote learning engagement through social and emotional learning and play. Strategies will be adaptable for multiple modes of remote learning (virtual, paper-pencil, etc.). Please join us on May 4, from 1 - 2 p.m., using this link to participate. The meeting number (access code) is 610 348 479. The meeting password is FMvGXDNy726. 


Office of Academics / Title Grants and Support

CARES Act Four-Part Webinar Series

IDOE Title Grants and Support team will be hosting a recurring webinar series to address more in-depth concepts and questions as LEAs prepare for CARES Act funding. Please read this memo for the date and connection information, along with potential topics for each session.

Advanced Placement (AP) Exam Day Updates from the College Board

The 2020 Online AP Exams are scheduled for May 11-22 (June 1-5 make-up dates). The AP® Program has released the 2020 AP Testing Guide and is presenting discipline-specific webinars with detailed information about this year’s exam administration. All webinars are available here.

INtelligrants Video #10

The tenth video in the INtelligrants series, is now available. This reviews funding eligibility for federal Title grants I, II, III, IV, RLIS, and SIG 1003 with helpful tips. Please visit the INtelligrants website to review additional videos and resources.


Office of Academics / Special Education

Update: INSPEC Conference Canceled

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the INSPEC conference scheduled for September 28-29, has been canceled. Every effort will be made to provide support and training to schools and educators using virtual methods.

Moodle Community Offers Support for Special Education Administrators and Educators

All special education administrators, teachers, and related service providers are encouraged to join the Office of Special Education’s Moodle community for important information and resources. Announcements arrive in your inbox at 3:00 p.m. ET daily. Please read this guide for additional information.

Medicaid and IEP-Required Medical Services During COVID-19 Waiver Days

In response to schools’ questions, the Indiana Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning recently confirmed Medicaid will pay for covered IEP-required medical services provided on a day that the school corporation is counting as a COVID-19 waiver day. For school medicaid resources and information on expanded tele-medicine coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit IDOE's School Medicaid web page and the Medicaid folder, under Fiscal, at IDOE's Office of Special Education Moodle community.

Guidance for Teaching Students Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing Online

IDOE's Office of Special Education and Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing have developed a checklist for teaching students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing online. Please review this helpful checklist resource. Send questions to either Sarah Mohr or Sarah Kiefer.


Office of Information Technology

IDOE to Begin Data Exchange Implementation In The Upcoming School Year

IDOE will begin implementation of the Data Exchange System in the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. IDOE will collect the Non-Certified Employees (NE), Attendance (AT), and Calendar (CL) information via Data Exchange next year. Please read the attached memo for more information. IDOE is actively working with interested Student Information System (SIS) Vendors to become Indiana Ed-Fi Certified. A list of SIS Vendors and where they are at in the IDOE process is located on the Data Exchange Website in the Data Exchange for Schools section. Please direct all questions here.  

LINK Portal: An Update

IDOE has updated the Security Access tool within the LINK Portal with new features, allowing the Data Security Coordinators at each organization to set staff types (roles) for the LINK portal. We are asking all educational organizations’ security coordinators to update the Key Contact staff types for their organizations. Collecting, obtaining and maintaining these critical business contacts, now known as “Key Contacts” is important in IDOE’s effort to streamline communication processes. More information on the LINK Portal as well as instructions for setting the Key Contact staff types are located on the Unified Access Website. Please send all questions here.

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Program – IDOE Collecting Student Addresses

Thanks to all who have submitted student addresses to IDOE in support of the P-EBT program. Once a school has submitted all student addresses there is no more work for the school to do. IDOE will work with Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) to share addresses. FSSA will then mail the Benefit Card to the families with additional information about the program. There is no need for schools to communicate to families about the P-EBT. There is no action required from families.


Office of School Finance

CARES Act Fund Numbers

IDOE’s Office of School Finance has added new fund numbers for reporting CARES Act expenditures. The following memo provides additional information. Please send all questions here.

Summer School Estimates

Due to COVID-19 and its operational impact on school corporations and charter schools, IDOE is extending the window to submit the Estimated Instructional Costs Report and List of Courses for Summer School 2020 to June 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. The submission deadline is June 1.

Fall 2020 ADM Estimate

The window for school corporations and charter schools to submit a September 2020 membership estimate has been extended to May 1. The membership estimate should reflect the count of virtual and non-virtual 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 contact Melissa Ambre with any questions. The deadline for submission is May 1.


2020 U.S. Census and Indiana Schools

Students Can Earn Up To $30,000 Through Census Video Contest

Census Accelerate, an initiative within the innovation arm of the U.S. Census Bureau, has launched its first-ever video prize competition to reward the most engaging, impactful and informative videos about the 2020 Census. Additional information is available here. The grand prize is $30,000 and the student prize is $10,000. When creating the videos, please use #INCensus2020. The submission deadline is May 7.


News From Other State Agencies

Important Information for High School Principals – Action Required

The Commission for Higher Education (CHE) has prepared this survey in an effort to collect information regarding the future plans of the Class of 2020. Please share this information with your seniors and their families.

Libraries Across Indiana Expand WiFi Service to Their Parking Lots

Many school libraries collaborate closely with public libraries on circulation, Ask-a-Librarian, and with academic libraries on dual credit courses. Recognizing the need for free access to the Internet, Indiana’s public libraries have increased their Internet to reach their parking lots while library meeting spaces are closed. Here is the Indiana Public Library Wi-Fi map, showing where more than 350 library branches have extended Wi-Fi to their parking lots.


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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.

The Weekly Update from the Indiana Department of Education is created by the Office of Communications, and  is distributed every Friday.