An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for September 11, 2020

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

Dr. McCormick to Host Webinar September 15

Dr. Mac

Dr. McCormick’s Next Webinar for School Leaders Scheduled for September 15


Dr. McCormick will host a webinar for school leaders on Tuesday, September 15 at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). Important operational updates and information will be shared. The webinar can be viewed here.

Office of Information Technology

Reminder: Identifying Key Contacts via the LINK Portal

Maintaining accurate contact lists for each school and school corporation is critical for timely communication. Each school is responsible for maintaining these lists of key contacts. Please make sure all of the key contacts are up-to-date in the LINK Portal as described in the attached memo. This will ensure each individual in the school has appropriate access to the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) systems and will further ensure key contacts can receive timely communications from IDOE. Key contacts can be maintained in the LINK Portal by the Security Coordinator, who was designated by the superintendent or the organization’s leader. Every Security Coordinator and Organization Leader is encouraged to watch this training video for Security Coordinators. Read the full memo here. Please send all questions here.

Reminder: Moodle Maintenance Scheduled for September 15

IDOE’s Moodle server will be down September 15, from 7:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. (EDT) for routine maintenance. Courses providing a Group View should not schedule events during this maintenance window. All Moodle users will not have access during this time. Please contact Don Gilroy with any questions.


Legislative Updates and Guidance

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.


IDOE Newsletters Centrally Located

All IDOE newsletters can be found in one convenient location. See September updates and past issues here.


Office of School Accountability

New! 2020 Cohort Reminders

High school personnel should be checking their 2020 cohort report in Learning Connection to ensure there are no errors or omissions. If graduates are missing, they can still be submitted to IDOE until October 5. The cohort process is running every morning, so any changes should be processed the next business day. If students who exited prior to June 30 are not showing as exited, a voluntary graduation rate audit can be submitted October 7-30. Guidance regarding the graduation rate audit can be found here. Additional cohort and graduation rate audit resources are posted in the School Accountability and Accreditation Community in Moodle (enrollment key: AccountabilityCommunity). Questions can be sent here.

Reminder: Release of Preliminary State Grades for the 2019-2020 School Year

The 2019-2020 state report cards will be released on Tuesday, September 8, in an embargoed state to schools and corporations. Embargoed report cards will be posted in the accountability portal. Please review this important information regarding the 2019-2020 A-F grades. Guidance on IDOE's A-F audit process may be found here. All resources are posted in the School Accountability and Accreditation Community in Moodle. Please contact the Office of School Accountability for additional information.


Office of Student Assessment

New! National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2021

Members of the National Assessment Governing Board voted to continue with preparations to safely administer NAEP in Reading and Mathematics, while postponing the grade eight Civics and U.S. History assessments for 2021. The agencies will monitor the evolving status of the ability of states, schools, and students to participate in the assessments based on school operations and health factors. All selected corporations/schools (grades four and eight) in Indiana were notified last week of their selection for the 2021 administration. School registration instructions will be sent to all selected schools at the end of September. The NAEP assessment window is January 25 to March 5, 2021.

New! Tools for Teachers Deployed for Educators on Monday 

The Tools for Teachers site becomes available for all educators on Monday, September 14, once the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) deploys for the new school year. Tools for Teachers is an easy-to-search website featuring lessons and activities designed to save teachers time. It includes accessibility resources, formative assessment strategies, activities, and other resources aligned to Indiana Academic Standards. Educators are welcome to register to attend one of the optional trainings to become more familiar with this platform and its available resources.

New! Formative Assessment Grant Distributions Approved! Next Step Guidance Available

The Indiana State Board of Education and the Indiana State Budget Agency approved 2020-2021 Formative Assessment Grant distributions. Review this memo for details. Access this spreadsheet to confirm your corporation’s approved distribution. IDOE is scheduled to distribute funds to schools (Fund 3028) within two-three weeks. Funds are tagged with the memo line “Remediation Testing” to reflect current Indiana legislation naming conventions. Schools are not required to take any additional action to receive funds. If funds are not received in the corporation account on file with IDOE by September 30, contact Mary Williams or Jennifer Woo for support.

Reminder: 2020-2021 Accommodations Updates Webinar

IDOE's offices of Special Education (OSE) and Student Assessment (OSA) invites special education directors, CTCs, administrators, superintendents, and classroom teachers to attend the 2020-2021 Accommodations Updates Webinar. The agenda includes the new legislation related to TTS and Calculator, IIEP accommodation updates and how these affect students taking Indiana standardized assessments. There are two available options.The first will be on September 14, from 3 until 4 p.m. (EDT). The second opportunity will be September 18, from 10 until 11 a.m. (EDT). Please contact OSA with any questions.


Office of Academics / Special Education

New! Resources for Deaf-Blind Education Available

The National Center on Deaf-Blindness is an excellent resource for families and educators. Learn more here.

New Weekly Webinar Series Announced

IDOE’s OSE is pleased to announce a new weekly webinar series to be held on Thursdays from 2 until 3 p.m. (EDT), starting September 17. For additional information, click here.

Reminder: Important Announcement on Access to IIEP Accommodations Course

On September 15 from 7:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. (EDT), an update will occur to IDOE's Moodle server software to the latest version. During this update, users will not be able to access the IIEP Accommodations Course. Please plan accordingly to ensure all users are still able to complete this required course by September 30.


Office of Academics / Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness

New: Suicide Prevention Policy Document

September is Suicide Prevention Month, and there is no better time to share and discuss your district’s suicide prevention policy with staff, students, and parents. Please reference this one-pager for additional information.

Reminder: Registration is now open for virtual training by Dr. Anthony Muhammad on “Overcoming the Achievement Gap Trap”

Please register to join IDOE for an October 14 training webinar focused on closing learning gaps. Additional information is available here.


Office of Academics / School Improvement

Reminder: School Improvement Plans Due October 2

This is a reminder to all public and private accredited schools that comprehensive school improvement plans are due October 2. Plans are submitted by uploading a pdf file of the plan via the DOE Online portal. All schools designated as Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) and Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI) are required to use IDOE’s consolidated template. The template may be found on the Office of School Improvement webpage. For additional information, contact John Purcell.


Office of Academics / Teaching and Learning

New! Sign up for the Fall Town Hall Educator Meeting

The Indiana Department of EducationTown Hall is searching for excellent Indiana educators from all over the state. The goal is to gain ideas from educators about continued student and educator needs in the 2020-2021 school year. This gathering will provide a safe space for shared learning during this unique time in education. It will also serve as a check-in for IDOE to develop further support and meet your instructional needs. 

By completing this form, you are confirming your participation for one of the two following dates: 

  • Tuesday, September 29, 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. (EDT)

  • Thursday, October 1, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. (EDT)

More information will be sent prior to the meetings. Please contact Matt Walsh if you have additional questions.

New! Instructions About General Elections

The November 2020 elections are quickly approaching, and schools should be making plans to instruct about the general elections. Indiana code requires that public and nonpublic schools teach about elections in grades siux through 12 during the two weeks prior to the elections. For more details, please see Indiana Code 20-30-5-4 “System of Government; American History.” Additionally, see IDOE's Civics Education page for support with elections education. Please contact Matt Walsh, Academics Specialist for support. 

New! Join the Dyslexia Community of Practice

IDOE is renewing the dyslexia community of practice. This community of practice has been created so the authorized reading specialist trained in dyslexia for each school corporation, charter school, or co-op has a place to collaborate, learn, and share with their peers. The community of practice will be divided into nine different regions across the State of Indiana. New this year will be a book study, sharing of new instructional materials, and leadership opportunities within each region. Please ensure that the authorized reading specialist has completed the JotForm by October 4 to be included in these groups. Please contact Joe Risch with additional questions.

New! Green Ribbon Schools Application Opens Today

IDOE will open the Green Ribbon Schools Award application process today, September 11. The Indiana Green Ribbon Schools Award program is a joint partnership with the United States Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Awards. The Indiana Green Ribbon Schools program highlights schools in Indiana that educate students about human environmental impact on their communities. Individual schools, school systems, and institutions of higher education are all eligible to apply. To learn more, visit IDOE’s Green Ribbon website. Please contact Matt Walsh for more information and for how to apply.

Reminder: Digital Learning Book Study - The Perfect Blend

IDOE’s Digital Learning Team has announced a fall professional learning opportunity for K-12 educators. Beginning September 21, we will read and discuss The Perfect Blend: A Practical Guide to Designing Student-Centered Learning Experiences by Indiana educator Michele Eaton. Learn skills, strategies, and lesson ideas to use in planning and implementing blended learning in your classroom. To participate in this book study, search for the course The Perfect Blend in Moodle then join using the enrollment code "key blend." Please email Meri Carnahan with questions.

Reminder: Digital Citizenship Week

The 2020 Indiana Digital Citizenship Week is September 14-18. School corporations participating in Indiana Digital Citizenship Week signal their commitment to empowering Indiana’s K-12 students to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly with technology both in and out of school. Click here for resources for Digital Citizenship Week, register for our digital citizenship webinars, and contribute to the conversation by using #INDigCitWeek on Twitter. Contact Jennifer Watson with questions.

Reminder: Upcoming Webinars - Teaching In a Digital World Series

The Teaching In a Digital World Webinar Series supports teachers and their utilization of digital learning, whether remote, in the classroom, or hybrid. In each webinar a different topic related to the three pillars of digital learning will be covered: Leadership, Teaching and Learning, and Community Engagement. Visit the Teaching In a Digital World webpage to access links to recorded webinars and slide decks. 

September 15 - Episode 6: Digital Citizenship (click here to register)

September 29 - Episode 7: Related Arts (click here to register)

October 13 - Episode 8: Assessment (click here to register)

Contact Jennifer Watson with any questions.


Office of Academics / Title Grants and Support

New! 2019-2020 Title III Annual Performance Report

The Title III Annual Performance Report (APR) for the 2019-2020 school year is now available. Note that while grant extensions and interruptions in the 2019-2020 school year have occurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Title III participants are still required to submit the 2019-2020 APR based on the activities they were able to carry out during the school year. IDOE recognizes that LEAs have made many updates to their fiscal and program planning. The 2019-2020 APR will likely reflect differences from what was originally planned, but is still required to collect the information that is available to meet annual federal reporting requirements.

The Title III APR is submitted by completing this JotForm by October 30. Please contact Nathan Williamson with any questions.


Office of School and Community Nutrition

Reminder: USDA Information on SFSP/SSO Waivers

The Office of School and Community Nutrition (SCN) is working closely with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide guidance and flexibilities as quickly as possible. SCN will send additional communication as soon as it becomes available. Please email Julie Sutton or call her at (317) 232-0845 with any questions.


Office of School Finance

New! School Year 2020-2021 Average Daily Membership Count Dates

September 18 is the fall count date of the eligible students enrolled in each school corporation and charter school. As part of the data collection, an additional code was added to Field 10 to identify virtual students due to COVID-19. The DOE-ME Layout found at the following link under Data Layouts and provides details on reporting students for membership during the 2020-2021 school year. All questions concerning the count dates should be sent here

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 additional information. Please send all 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. Access to the report is available 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


Office of School Transportation

Reminder: Special Purpose (Activity) Bus Use Guidance

Please read the memo regarding the allowable uses for a Special Purpose Bus, commonly known as an Activity Bus. Please send any questions here.


2020 Census

New! Statistics in Schools Participants Asked to Take Survey

As the census is ending this month, IDOE would like to hear how schools and districts implemented a Statistic in Schools lesson to teach about the census, and its importance to their students. Please send information to Laura Blaydes or Beatriz Pacheco. Educators may be featured in multiple communication streams including a broadcast interview with Count Me Indy.


News From Other State Agencies

New! Indiana State Department of Health COVID Contacts

All principals and superintendents should have received an email earlier from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) asking to designate contacts for COVID reporting. Please assure you have completed the survey as soon as possible. If you did not receive the survey, or have questions, please contact Pam Pontones.

New! Governor's Workforce Cabinet Office of CTE Update

The latest update sent out on September 2 from the Office of CTE can be found here. The Office of CTE provides bi-weekly updates containing important information for schools and career centers in operating their CTE programs. Individuals interested in receiving these updates can sign up here. Previous updates from the Office of CTE can be found on the front page of the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet webpage. Questions regarding CTE can be directed here.

New! State Board Flexibility Waivers

Pursuant to IC 20-31-4.1-4 (as added to the Indiana Code under Public Law 92-2020), a school or group of schools may submit an application to the state board requesting flexibility and to waive compliance with any provision in Title 20 of the Indiana Code or 511 IAC in order to do one or more of the following:

  • Improve student performance and outcomes.

  • Offer the applicant flexibility in the administration of educational programs and improve the efficiency of school operations.

  • Promote innovative educational approaches to student learning.

  • Advance the mission or purpose of the school or group of schools.

Schools, corporations, and groups of schools may begin requesting statutory and regulatory flexibility for the 2020-2021 school year beginning July 1, 2020. Requests for flexibility waivers must be submitted through the accountability portal. All waiver requests will be forwarded to the State Board of Education for review.


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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 morning.