An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for October 09, 2020

indiana department of education - doctor jennifer mccormick - superintendent of public instruction
Holiday Cards 1
Dr. Mac


Thank you to the more than 40 districts and schools that have indicated their students are participating in the National Cards for Our Military Challenge. This initiative collects handmade greeting cards and distributes them to active military across the world. The deadline to mail cards to the national collection point is October 26. Information about the project is available here. Contact John Althardt for additional information.

Columbus Day Holiday Closing

Weekly Update October 9 D1

All Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) offices will be closed Monday, October 12, in observance of the Columbus Day holiday.



Legislative Updates and Guidance

IDOE provides 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 October updates and past issues here.


Office of School Building Physical Security and Safety

Reminder: Considerations for Schools Used as Polling Locations

Schools may be used as polling locations for the upcoming November 2020 General Election. Health, safety, and security considerations for schools used as polling locations can be found here.


Office of Information Technology

New! Data Exchange is Live

Data Exchange, the new system for school reporting, is now available through the LINK portal. Learn more about how to access and navigate Data Exchange, and how to submit and certify Other Personnel (Non-Certified Employee) data through training offered in IDOE Moodle. Search for “Data Exchange Training” and self-enroll to join the course and get started (no enrollment key needed).

Additional resources for corporations and schools are also available on the Data Exchange website. Check out the Data Exchange Knowledge Hub to watch for a schedule of upcoming webinars. Please ensure data reporting staff are aware of this information. Please send all questions here.

New! First Data Exchange Vendor Certified

IDOE has announced Jupiter Ed as the first Indiana Ed-Fi Certified Student Information System (SIS) Vendor for Data Exchange in the 2020 - 2021 school year. Schools using Jupiter Ed as their SIS are now ready to submit data automatically to IDOE directly from the SIS. For those schools engaged with Jupiter Ed, IDOE will begin the school onboarding process for Data Exchange. Please be on the lookout for additional guidance.

IDOE is working with vendors towards Indiana Ed-Fi certification, with specific data elements required for reporting in Data Exchange for the 2020-2021 school year. Certification involves development of a solution to meet Indiana reporting requirements and a rigorous testing process to ensure validity of the solution. Schools may check the status of SIS Vendors currently working toward certification on the Vendor Certification documents. Please send all questions here.


Office of Teacher Licensing

New! Opportunity for Input: Proposed Teacher Shortage Areas 2021-2022

IDOE is preparing to submit the list of proposed Indiana teacher shortage areas to the US Department of Education (US Ed). The purpose of the US Ed listing of states’ shortage areas is to serve as a resource to let recent graduates of schools of education and trained, experienced teaching professionals aspiring to serve school districts with shortages know about potential opportunities. This memo contains a list of shortage areas IDOE will be submitting. If you have additional shortage areas for the list, please share them no later than November 1. Please send any suggested additions and/or questions here with "Teacher Shortage Areas" in the subject line.


Office of School Accountability

2020 Graduation Rate Audit Window

The 2020 Graduation Rate Audit Window is open until October 30. Schools subject to the Mandatory Graduation Rate or the Excessive Homeschool Audit were notified in July, and have been sent a reminder earlier this week with detailed instructions. Schools with an error on their 2020 cohort report in Learning Connection can submit a voluntary Graduation Rate Audit until October 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.


Office of Student Assessment

New! Encore Tools for Teachers Trainings

Tools for Teachers is a free, easy-to-search website featuring quality lessons and activities designed to save teachers time. It includes accessibility resources, formative assessment strategies, activities, and other resources aligned to current learning expectations. Tools for Teachers is available to all Indiana teachers through the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE). Additional trainings are scheduled for next week to help users get acclimated to the system. Register here.

New! ILEARN Videos for Schools and Parents 

Three new informational ILEARN videos (ILEARN Participation OverviewScheduling ILEARN Assessments, and ILEARN Rescore Request Overview) are available on IDOE’s website to supplement current guidance and help clarify current ILEARN policies and practices. Please review these brief videos at your convenience. 

New! Test Administrstion Resources Released

IDOE released several resources via the Indiana Assessment Portal to support successful test administration. Access this resource for details.

New! Test Administrator (TA) Certification Course Deployment

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


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. If you have any questions, please email Skii Ficklin.

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.


Office of Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Health

New! Moodle Course "Trauma and Resiliency for Teachers" is LIVE

IDOE is proud to have worked with Dr. Chavez Phelps, Assistant Professor in the School of Psychology at Indiana State University, to provide educators with resources focused on addressing trauma and resiliency. Dr. Chavez has created four modules addressing these areas that are available in Moodle. Once all four modules have been completed, a certificate for 20 professional growth points (PGPs) will be sent. Please contact Jason Murrey with any questions.

Reminder: Registration is Now Open for Virtual Training by Dr. Anthony Muhammad on “Overcoming the Achievement Gap Trap”

IDOE is pleased to announce a collaboration with Dr. Anthony Muhammad providing training based on his book, “Overcoming the Achievement Gap Trap.” This training will take place in a virtual format on October 14, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (EDT), with scheduled breaks, including lunch. Registration is available at this link. Registration has been capped to the first 1,000 individuals. There is no cost for participation, and 10 PGPs and a copy of Dr. Muhammad’s book will be offered for meeting minimum participation requirements.   


Office of Academics / Special Education

New! Six Million Dollar Teacher Quality Grant Approved for Indiana

IDOE’s Office of Special Education (OSE) was notified by US Ed that their State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) application had been selected for funding. This six million dollar SPDG grant will be used to continue the work of the Indiana Center on Teacher Quality (ICTQ) Resource Center to improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities, by ensuring their access to high-quality instruction in the general education classroom.

New! Alternate Assessment Guidance Now Available

The Alternate Assessment Information for Families guidance document has been created for schools to share with families explaining the differences between the alternate and general assessment. For more information, please contact Sarah Mohr

New! Next Weekly Webinar Set for October 15

OSE’s Weekly Webinar (#5): "Special Education Excess Cost Fund (SEEC)" will be held Thursday, October 15, from 2 to 3 p.m. (EDT). Participants will discuss using SEEC funds and the process of applying and seeking reimbursement. There will be the opportunity to ask questions. Please register here. For more information please contact Sarah Fields.

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

In addition to OSE, the IRNs offer Indiana public schools free or low cost in-person and virtual professional development and technical assistance options. This includes INSOURCE, which provides parents, families, individuals, and service providers in the state of Indiana the information and training necessary to help assure effective educational programs and appropriate services for individuals with disabilities. Please contact Kristan Sievers-Coffer with any questions.

Reminder: IEP Telemedicine Medical Services Guidance Updated

Resources and information on Medicaid coverage and reimbursement for IEP-required medical services provided via telemedicine were recently updated. Click here for details. Contact Tracy Brunner if you have questions.


Office of Academics / Teaching and Learning

New! Gauging Interest in a State-Sponsored Cybersecurity Awareness Platform

As part of Cybersecurity Month, IDOE anticipates providing a strong cybersecurity awareness platform for schools for the next three to four years. IDOE is asking schools to indicate their interest in participating in this program using this survey, which will remain open until October 23. Additional program information should be available next month. Please send all questions here.

New! PRIME Math Transition Course Capacity Building Grant Now Open

The Indiana PRIME Math Transition Course Capacity Building Grant has announced its third release. Access information and the grant application here. The deadline for applications is Wednesday, October 30, with award notification by November 20. Please contact Robin Conti with questions regarding the grant.

New! IU Turnkey Courses Informational Webinar

IDOE has partnered with Indiana University to make available high school course materials for immediate use in virtual and hybrid settings. Please join us on October 28, at 4 p.m. (EDT), for an informational webinar outlining the courses that are immediately accessible and the process for accessing these courses. Information on future improvements and supports for the courses will also be available. Click here to join this webinar. Contact Jennifer Watson with any 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: Leadership, Teaching and Learning, and Community Engagement will be discussed. Visit IDOE's Teaching in a Digital World web page to access links 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)

November 10 - Episode 10: STEM/PBL (click here to register)

Contact Jennifer Watson with any questions.

Reminder: Upcoming Webinar - The Perfect Blend in the Time of COVID

Many educators are feeling overwhelmed by the demands of teaching in a blended learning format. Join Michele Eaton, author of IDOE's recent book study selection, “The Perfect Blend”, at 4 p.m. (EDT) on Thursday, October 29, as strategies for providing high-quality blended learning experiences are discussed. Click here to register for this webinar. Contact Meri Carnahan with questions.

Reminder: Early Learning Foundations Review Survey

IDOE is conducting a review of the 2015 Early Learning Foundations and your feedback is needed. IDOE has created a brief survey that examines the existing Foundations, resources, and accessibility. Your input is critical to the review process. Please answer thoroughly so IDOE can work to continuously improve the resources provided to the field. None of this data will be published. The survey can be found using this link and will take no more than ten minutes to complete. All early learning educators, administrators, and early interventionists are invited to participate. The survey is open through November 6. Contact Sarah Parks-Reese with questions.

Reminder: Sixth Annual Indiana STEM Education Conference

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 is now open. Proposals for presenters may be submitted here until 5 p.m. (EDT) on November 13.

Reminder: U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program recognizes and honors outstanding high school seniors, and thereby encourage high attainment among all students. Please read this memo outlining the qualifications and nomination forms. Nominations are due by November 6. Please email Shannon Dick with questions.

Reminder: STEM School Certification and Recertification Process

Applications for STEM School Certification or Recertification are due October 30. Access the 2020-2021 STEM School Certification Guide here and updated rubric here. Contact Shannon Dick with any questions.

Reminder: Computer Science Turnkey Resources

Looking for free computer science resources that are ready to use in your classroom today? View this resource outlining free, turnkey computer science resources for all grade levels. Contact Jake Koressel with questions.


Office of Academics / Leadership and Innovation

New! Grow Your Own Teacher Residency Pilot Grant Recipients Named

IDOE has announced recipients of the Grow Your Own: Teacher Residency Pilot Grant. The partners in planning are the MSD of Lawrence Township and Whitley County Consolidated School District. This grant offers both school districts to engage in a collaborative planning period with IDOE, the Region 8 Comprehensive Center, and an Indiana Higher Education Institution’s Educator Preparation Program (EPP). The groups will prepare for the pilot implementation aimed at developing targeted, strategic recruitment efforts that leverage an innovative pathway into the profession. Both local education agencies will receive $50,000 to use for planning and implementation. Additional information is available here.


Office of Academics / Title Grants and Support

New! WIDA Seeks IN Educators for ACCESS Review

WIDA is inviting educators to participate in virtual fall ACCESS review events. The two events are: Writing ACCESS for ELLs Bias and Sensitivity Review and Writing ACCESS Content Review. To learn more details on participation, dates and times, and to express interest, see this survey link. WIDA is asking for all possible participants to express interest by October 23.


Information from Other State Agencies

New! Title II Formula Grant Program

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute is making more than $1 million in Federal Title II funding available to assist Indiana state agencies, units of local government, non-profits, and schools with delinquency prevention, diversion, and juvenile justice intervention programs in 2021. Title II grants may be used to support direct service programs for at-risk youth and/or for justice system involved youth. The deadline to apply is November 4. Additional information is available here.

Important Update from the State Board of Education (SBOE) Regarding House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1003

Passed in 2020, HEA 1003 allows school corporations to request waivers from certain state-mandated requirements, provided the corporations’ governing bodies approve the request initially. Find an update from SBOE regarding recent action taken here.


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Weekly Updates

View previous weekly updates from Dr. McCormick here.  

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