An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for August 21, 2020

indiana department of education - doctor jennifer mccormick - superintendent of public instruction

Dr. Mac

Dr. McCormick’s COVID-19 Webinars for School Leaders served a specific purpose, to provide necessary and timely information in response to a rapidly changing situation. As the state has transitioned from responding to the onset of the pandemic to operating during the pandemic, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) continues to provide ongoing support through relevant IDOE divisions as requested by the field. Any announcements of future webinars hosted by Dr. McCormick will be communicated to school leaders.

Legislative Updates and Guidance

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) continues to provide clear and timely guidance related to bills passed during the 2020 legislative session. Find a curation of all 2020 legislative guidance here.


Office of Student Assessment

New! Program Milestones

The Program Milestones for ILEARN, IREAD-3, ISTEP+, and I AM are updated for the 2020-2021 school year. These dates are also available on the Indiana Assessment Portal under Important Dates. Please ensure all Test Administrators (TAs) and building administrators are aware of these important milestones.

New! Educators Needed! ISPROUT Educator Recruitment for SKB Activity Pilot

The Office of Student Assessment (OSA) is working with WestEd to create and pilot activities to assist teachers in observing specific skills, knowledge, and behaviors (SKBs) from ISPROUT. IDOE seeks preschool and pre-k teachers to pilot these lessons in their classrooms. Interested educators should complete this form, which outlines participation requirements. Please contact Felecia Jordan with any questions.

New! ILEARN Winter 2020 (February) Biology End-of-Course-Assessment (ECA) Rescore Request Window Ends 8/28

The rescore request window for the Winter 2020 (February) ILEARN Biology ECA ends Friday, August 28. Parents must visit the school during the defined window (August 17-28) to meet with the principal and participate in the rescore process of eligible open-ended items, which includes signing a non-disclosure agreement before viewing any test content in TIDE. Contact the Indiana Assessment Helpdesk for assistance.

New! ILEARN Updated Biology and Science Item Specifications

IDOE met with Indiana educators in July to update the ILEARN Biology Item Specifications. Review the change log here for a recap of all updates. All specifications are available on the ILEARN Test Design webpage


Office of Academics / Special Education

New! Guidance on Post-School Outcomes Survey Available

To assist schools in making sure students and families are aware of the Post School Outcomes Survey (Indicator 14), IDOE’s Office of Special Education (OSE) and the Center on Community Living and Careers (CCLC), have written this letter (Spanish version here) for schools to give students and their families during their final two years in school (most likely junior and senior year). The letter is also available to download from Moodle. Please direct any questions to Michelle Oja.

New! Re-entry Guidance for Students Who Attend the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

OSE has issued this Re-entry Guidance memo for students atteding the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ISBVI) or the Indiana School for the Deaf (ISD). Families who have students attending ISBVI or ISD have been given the option to elect in-person or virtual instruction for the first quarter. The information includes start dates and important information about reopening, school attendance, and transportation considerations.

New! Paraprofessional and Support Staff Training

Join the HANDS in Autism® Team for an intensive workshop for paraprofessionals, assistants, and support personnel that focuses on providing instruction, hands-on activities, and coaching. The workshop emphasis will be increasing knowledge and skills related to foundational concepts essential in supporting students with autism, but also applicable to supporting students of varying disabilities. The virtual session will be held August 28. Registration cost is $100. Additional information is available here.

New! DOE-CL Calendar File for 2020-2021 Now Due

All local education agencies should report their DOE-CL calendar file for the 2020-2021 school year to DOE Online as soon as possible, so it may be uploaded into Indiana IEP for calculation of evaluation timelines. Indiana IEP will not be updated with calendars from DOE Online after August 31. After submission, the calendars should be modified directly in IIEP until the calendars are synced with the new data exchange later this school year. Please contact Brandon Myers with any questions.

New! Indiana Resource Network Offers Support for Indiana Schools

In addition to the Office of Special Education, the Indiana Resource Network (IRN) offers Indiana public schools free or low cost in-person and virtual professional development and technical assistance options.


Office of Academics / Teaching and Learning

New! Digital Learning Capacity Building Grant - Call for Proposals

IDOE recognizes the need to build the capacity of teachers to deliver highly-effective digital learning. To aid schools/districts in building this capacity, IDOE is launching the Digital Learning Capacity Building Grant. Through this innovative program, grants will be awarded to schools or districts developing comprehensive plans to bring blended and digital learning training to their teachers through micro-credentialing. Please read this memo for additional information. The application deadline for the first round of this grant is Friday, August 28, at 5:00 p.m. (EDT).

New! Learn By Doing Book Study for K-12 Math Teachers, Coaches, and School Leaders

Join IDOE’s math team for an action-oriented, learning by doing book study of John SanGiovanni’s book, "Productive Math Struggle: A 6-Point Action Plan for Fostering Perseverance." The book study will explore six essential actions for nurturing productive struggle before, during, and after lessons through discussion, implementation, and reflection. The registration link is available here. Please contact Emily Bruning with any questions.

New! Partnership for Inquiry Learning Instructional Support Videos

IDOE has partnered with a team of literacy and math educational coaches and specialists from the Partnership for Inquiry Learning to provide content to assist educators in understanding and applying select Indiana Academic Standards in grades two through-five. Each standard is accompanied by a one-page description of the vertical articulation of each standard or concept, a brief overview video introducing the standard, and grade-specific videos demonstrating strategies to effectively teach each goal. Click here to access the support guidance. Please contact Robin Conti with any questions.

New! Book Study on Social Justice in Educational Settings Begins August 25

Superintendents and school leaders are invited to join in a book study conversation addressing social justice in educational settings. Authors Ozlem Sensoy and Robin Diangelo will discuss this topic through their book, “Is Everyone Really Equal?” This 13-week facilitated and self-paced book study will begin August 25. Learn more here.

New! Purple Star Designation

Earlier this week, IDOE congratulated 60 recipients of Indiana’s inaugural 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. For additional information on the Purple Star School Designation, or to view a list of 2020 recipients, click here.

Reminder: Upcoming Webinars - Teaching In a Digital World Series

Our “Teaching in a Digital World” webinar series will continue over the next two weeks. Each week we will cover a different topic related to the three pillars for digital learning: Leadership, Teaching and Learning, and Community Engagement. Visit our Teaching In a Digital World webpage to get links to recorded webinars and slide decks.  

August 25        Episode 4: Check for Understanding (click here to register)

September 1    Episode 5: Differentiation (registration coming soon) 

Contact Jennifer Watson with any questions. 


Office of Academics / Title Grants

New! Tutoring Fellowship Innovation Grant Funding Available

In order to support schools and districts in tackling summer learning loss exacerbated by COVID-19, and expanding access to Graduation Pathways opportunities, IDOE is releasing a funding opportunity for a Tutoring Fellowship Innovation Grant. Application forms and submission instructions can be found here. The applications are due by September 4, at 4 p.m. (EDT). Please email Cole Dietrich with any questions.

New! 2021 Advanced Placement (AP) Exam Subsidy Guidance

IDOE continues to support Indiana students through the AP exam subsidy. This subsidy covers exam fees for English, mathematics, science, and computer science AP exams taken by Indiana students in grades 9-12 who are enrolled in a corresponding AP course for Graduation Pathways or have received similarly approved instruction at an accredited public or nonpublic school. Please read the 2021 AP Exam Subsidy Guidance memo here.

New! Master List of Updated Grant Deadlines

Title Grants and Support has updated the Master List of Updated Grant Deadlines memo, based upon waivers granted to the State of Indiana, specifically to increase the period of availability for School Improvement Grants (SIG). Please contact Nathan Williamson with more information.

New! WIDA Score Reports Delivery and Parent Notification Reminders

Printed 2020 WIDA ACCESS Score Reports, which had been delayed, are set to be delivered in districts on Monday, August 24. Also, as a reminder, it is required that all parents of English learners be notified annually of their child’s EL status within the first 30 calendar days of the school year. The printed score reports can be sent home along with the annual parent notification letter.

New! Charter School Funding and Early Learning Programming

Please read the attached memo from IDOE’s Office of Charter Schools, allowing Cohort 1 – Cohort 5 Quality Counts grantees to use their funding toward early learning programming. Contact Bea Pacheco at or Amreen Vora with any questions.


Office of School Finance

Reminder: CARES Act Fund Numbers

The Office of School Finance has added new fund numbers for reporting CARES Act expenditures. Please read this memo for details, and send any questions here. 

Reminder: Summer School

The window to submit the Final Instructional Costs Report for Summer School 2020 is open. In order to be eligible to receive a summer school payment, the report must be submitted, or re-submitted as often as necessary, on or before the submission deadline of September 11. The link to access the report is posted in the Summer School folder in Moodle Finance and on IDOE's website. If you have additional questions about the Final Instructional Costs Report for Summer School 2020, please contact Kathryn Roth or Teresa Hemmerle

Reminder: Annual Financial Report 

I.C. 5-3-1-3 requires the secretary of each public school corporation to publish an Annual Financial Report (AFR). The report must be published one time annually, not earlier than August 1 or later than August 15 of each year. The statute also requires IDOE to develop guidelines for the preparation of and format of the AFR. The guidelines can be found in MOODLE FinanceThe report submission deadline is August 31. Please direct questions here.


Office of Information Technology

New! September is Digital Equity Month: Reminder to Submit Student Home Internet Access Information

Many of you have been working to gather information on student home Internet access since IDOE urged you to collect this data as part of your registration and enrollment processes for the 2020-2021 school year. Throughout September, progress on this data collection effort will be celebrated. The link to register for the Digital Equity Month kickoff webinar and can be found here. Additional information is available here.


2020 Census Information for Schools

New! 2020 Census Update

The U.S. Census Bureau is ending all counting efforts for the 2020 census on September 30, 2020, a month sooner than previously announced.

Indiana’s 2020 Census response rate is 68 percent. Please encourage staff and families to complete the census. The result will be a lifelong impact on student and community success. Click here for IDOE census resources.


News From Other Agencies

New! Work Permits Needed Again

The temporary suspension of work permits has ended. Employers will be required to verify work permits beginning September 8. Schools are encouraged to work with students to ensure permits are secured prior to that date. Schools remain responsible for work permits until July, 2021. Questions regarding this requirement can be directed to Mike Myers at the Department of Labor.


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