An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for September 25, 2020

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

As many schools have reached, or are nearing, the end of the first grading period, thank you for your tireless work during the start of this school year. It has not been easy, and you have proven your professionalism, flexibility, and grace during this challenging time. Thank you!

Holiday Cards 1

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is participating in the national Cards for Our Military Challenge. This initiative collects handmade greeting cards and distributes them to active military across the world. More than 20 schools and districts have already indicated they are joining IDOE this year. Information about the project is available here. Feel free to contact John Althardt for additional information.


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 are located in one convenient location. See September updates and past issues here.


Office of Information Technology

Reminder: Second E-Rate Filing Window Now Open for a Short Time

The E-Rate program recently announced a second filing opportunity for schools to receive E-Rate funding for additional on-campus Internet and/or WAN bandwidth for this school year (2020-2021). During the last few months, if your school has needed (or will soon need) additional Internet and/or WAN bandwidth, this may be an opportunity for you. Filing is due by October 16. If you are going to pursue this option and you use a third-party to file for you, please contact them immediately. Details regarding this second window to file for Funding Year 2020 include:

  • Second Filing Window for FY 2020 is only for Internet and WAN services (No Category 2). This is for Internet/WAN being used during July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.

  • No competitive bidding requirement is needed, as long as the school requested Internet and/or WAN funding for FY 2020, and all state and local competitive procurement procedures are followed.

  • The Internet/WAN price per megabit has to be the same or less than the existing contract price.

  • Off-campus use of Internet bandwidth, even if used for an educational purpose, is still ineligible for E-Rate funding.

Reminder: New Cybersecurity Toolkit Available for Schools

As Cybersecurity Month (October) approaches, IDOE wants to make you aware of the Cybersecurity for Education Toolkit, an easy to understand, turnkey resource complete with the latest tips, trends, and resources to assist schools remain cybersafe and practice good habits while online. Developed by the Indiana Executive Council on Cybersecurity with modular components for students, parents, teachers, administrators, and board audiences, the tool kit is now available. Please contact Dr. John Keller with any questions.

Reminder: First Data Collection Through Data Exchange-Submission Window Announced

The new data exchange system for school reporting will be open for submission of the Other Personnel (NE) certification through October 30. Please read this memo for additional information. Questions should be sent here.


Office of School Accountability

Reminder: 2020 Cohort Guidance

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, 2020, are not showing as exited, a voluntary graduation rate audit can be submitted October 7 to 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). Please send all questions here.

Reminder: Updated Process for Signing Off on the Fall Membership Summary Report

This memo provides additional information regarding the September 4, 2020, memo related to the Fall Average Daily Membership (ADM) count. The previous memo included a Fall 2020 Funding Matrix that provided guidance regarding how prior virtual enrollments affect funding levels for the 2020 fall count. The updated memorandum provides further information about how the funding reconciliation process will work, and how schools will be able to review the funding levels generated by each student. Please send all questions here.


Office of Student Assessment

New! Test Administrator (TA) Certification Course Deployment: Delayed

Cambium Assessment, Inc. (CAI)’s TA Certification Course for ISTEP+, ILEARN, and IREAD-3 will deploy on October 12. The certification requirements for the SRT and practice tests are delayed until October 26 to allow these components to be delivered while TAs complete certification.

New! October 5 Resource Release

IDOE is releasing several resources on October 5 via the Indiana Assessment Portal to support successful test administration. Access this flyer for details.

New! Fall 2020 Webinar Series for New Teachers of Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities – Recording of Webinar 2 Now Available on IDOE’s Website

Join IDOE and Project SUCCESS in a webinar series for new teachers of students with significant cognitive disabilities. The following topics will be explored:

  • The Indiana Resource Network 

Please refer to this flyer for registration information and additional details regarding each session. Recorded webinars and the associated slides will be posted to the ESSA’s One Percent Cap on Alternate Assessment Participation page on IDOE’s website following each live session. Contact Stephanie Thompson with questions.


Office of Academics / Special Education

New! EdPlan Connect Update

Parent response options in EdPlan Connect have been updated. As of September 22, the option, “Ten instructional days have passed since the IEP has been provided” has been removed as a response option for parents. For more information, please see the updated EdPlanConnect FAQ (Question #16). If you have any questions, please contact Emma Everson.

New! Guidance Offered on the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) Part B

IDOE's Office of Spcial Education and Rehabilitative Services’ Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), have released a guidance document in response to inquiries concerning implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B provision of services in the current COVID-19 environment.

New! Guidance on Correctly Completing IIEP Forms Offered

OSE has released a Transition IEP Walkthrough video to assist Teachers of Record with inputting information correctly within IIEP to avoid Indicator 13 compliance issues. Please contact Michelle Oja with any questions or concerns.

Updated: Indiana Resource Network (IRN) Offers Support for Indiana Schools

In addition to the Office of Special Education (OSE), the IRNs offer Indiana public schools free or low-cost in-person and virtual professional development and technical assistance options. This includes the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC) which works closely with transition educators and teams throughout the state. Please contact Michelle Oja with any questions.

Reminder: Weekly Webinar Will Focus on No Cost Technology Resources Available to Local Education Agencies (LEAs)

Please join OSE for Weekly Webinar #4. Daniel McNulty from the PATINS Resource Center will discuss no-cost accessibility, assistive technology, and UDL resources available to LEAs. The webinar will be held Thursday, October 8, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. (EDT). The session will include a 30 to 45 minute presentation and allow at least 15 minutes for participant Q & A. Please register here. For additional information, please contact Kristan Sievers-Coffer.


Office of Academics / Teaching and Learning

New! Early Literacy Needs Assessment Survey for Preschool Administrators

IDOE has been working over the last several months to create a Comprehensive Needs Assessments (CNA) to evaluate the effectiveness of overall literacy instruction in Indiana. Data has been gathered on student demographics, and IDOE is now requesting the help of early learning program administrators. Participation by administrators of preschool programs will assist in the development of a complete picture of early literacy instruction, ensuring IDOE provides the most relevant and effective support to the field. The survey can be found at this link, should take no more than 10 minutes to complete, and is open through October 9. Contact Sarah Parks-Reese with questions.

New! Enhancements to the Science Framework

The Science Framework now identifies Cross Cutting Concepts and Science and Engineering Process Standards put forth by Next Generation Science Standards. This is in addition to the “I Can” statements, Academic Vocabulary, and Looking Back and Looking Ahead standards. Check out this powerful tool here as you plan instruction this school year. Please contact Emily Bruning regarding the Science Framework.

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. A different topic will be covered during each webinar related to the three pillars of digital learning: Leadership, Teaching and Learning, and Community Engagement. Visit the Teaching In a Digital World web page for access to recorded webinars and slide decks. 

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

October 27- Episode 9: Early Learning (click here to register)

Contact Jennifer Watson with any questions.

Reminder: Sixth Annual Indiana STEM Education Conference

The Indiana STEM Education Conference will be held virtually on Thursday, January 14, 2021. The theme for the conference is "STEM Education Meets a Global Challenge" and will feature up to 60 presentations including sessions on virtual learning and STEM instruction during the pandemic.

Registration will open on October 5. Proposals for presenters may be submitted here until 5 p.m. (EDT) on November 13.

Reminder: Continuous Learning Challenges Fall Edition

A fall edition of the popular Continuous Learning Challenges is now available here. Continuous Learning Challenges are weekly choice boards for grades K-12 specifically designed without technology in mind. The skill sets are connected to Michael Fullen’s Deep Learning Competencies and are great tasks for families to complete together with their students this fall break. Please contact Emily Bruning with any questions.

Reminder: Data Collection Continues as Digital Equity Month Concludes

With Digital Equity Month concluding, IDOE encourages districts to continue connecting with families that have not been reached to understand their digital learning access needs, identify gaps, and collect digital equity data for each student. Even though this focused month of data collection is coming to a close, the effort to gather this information continues. Please remember to take the participation pledge.

 As a reminder, Digital Equity Data can be used to:

  1. Ensure you are able to track and support the needs of every student

  2. Identify possible Internet providers that can serve a student location

  3. Provide local community partners with critical data needed when submitting broadband grant applications

  4. Advocate for more broadband investments in your community 

  5. Fulfill any state or federal reporting requirements which may arise with CARES funding

If you missed the launch of this effort or need to review the kick-off webinar, you can access the slides and recording on IDOE's website along with guidance, tools, and resources to support you with conducting outreach campaigns to collect this critical digital equity data. Please contact Meri Carnahan for additional information.

Reminder: Dyslexia Community of Practice

IDOE is renewing the dyslexia community of practice. This group 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 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.

Reminder: Survey for Literacy Comprehensive Needs Assessment

IDOE is working to complete a Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) of literacy across the state. As part of the process to develop a statewide literacy initiative, IDOE is asking for input from building principals on the current literacy practices and needs for schools. Principal input on the Elementary Survey or Secondary Survey is imperative to complete this task. None of this data will be published in correlation to the school it came from nor will there be any consequences for answers provided. This survey should take no more than ten minutes to complete. Please contact Kelly Waller with any questions!


Office of School Finance

Reminder: School Year 2020-2021 Average Daily Membership Count Dates

The fall count date of the eligible pupils enrolled in each school corporation and charter school was September 18. The submission phase for collecting membership data closes September 29. 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. If you have any questions concerning the count dates, please email Melissa Ambre.

Reminder: Curricular Material Reimbursement

Public school corporations and charter schools may apply for curricular material reimbursement for the 2020-2021 school year. Both student level AND claim data must be submitted on or before October 29. Officials should review the curricular material data layout (DOE-TB). Click the Data Layouts button. The Reimbursement Claim Form Instructions are located on Moodle in the Public School Finance Community / Curricular Material Reimbursement / 2020-2021. Please email Skii Ficklin with any questions.

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 direct any questions here.


Information from Other State Agencies

Fourth Grade Statehood Day Essay Contest Deadline is October 16

The Indiana Center for the Book is hosting the annual statewide Fourth Grade Statehood Day Student Essay Competition. This year, the essay theme is “Celebrating a Diverse Indiana.” Information about the contest is available here. The submission deadline is Friday, October 16.



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