An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for October 30, 2020

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


With the 2021 legislative session just around the corner, I have released a document outlining five critical policy actions needed for the benefit of Hoosier students, educators, schools, and communities. EducationFIRST includes an infographic, legislative briefs, and a letter addressed to state legislators. It details the five identified policy action items, along with the consequences for leaving core issues unaddressed, and their proposed legislative remedies. Please send all questions to our Office of Legislative Affairs.

Holiday Cards 1

Deadline to Submit Holiday Cards for Our Military Extended to November 15

More than 100 schools and districts have joined the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) in supporting the Cards for Our Military Challenge. A reminder, the national organizer has extended the deadline to receive cards until November 15. For those schools interested in participating, this initiative sends holiday greetings to active duty military stationed around the world. Learn more about the project here. Questions can be sent to IDOE's John Althardt.


IDOE Newsletters Centrally Located

All IDOE newsletters are located in one convenient location. Please find updates and past issues here.


Office of Information Technology

New! Data Exchange Certification of Other Personnel (NE)

The certification window for Other Personnel (NE) opens in Data Exchange on November 2 and will continue through November 6 at 4 p.m. (EDT). An electronic signature from both local education agency (LEA) Administrators and Financial Administrators with the certification role will be required to certify the data. Training for the certification process is available in IDOE Moodle, search for the “Data Exchange Training” course and self-enroll to join (no enrollment key required). Questions can be sent here.

New! Data Exchange Hub Offers Training Courses

Check out the Data Exchange Knowledge Hub to watch for a schedule of upcoming webinars. All webinars are recorded and archived in IDOE’s Moodle “Data Exchange Training” course. Please ensure data reporting staff are aware of this information. Please send all questions here.

Reminder: Connecting the Data Dots for School Leaders

The 2020-2021 school year has been full of challenges. This includes significant changes surrounding data reporting and data usage. Please review this information. While this data is not new, IDOE is committed to providing clarity and transparency as there could be local financial implications aligned to this information. Please send all questions here.

Reminder: System Maintenance and Upgrade Planned for INview Content Management System (CMS)

The INview CMS Application will be unavailable for several days beginning Tuesday, November 3, as part of scheduled maintenance and upgrade plan. This will not affect the availability of the INview school data reports. The INview Content Management System (INview CMS) allows corporation and school users the ability to login in order to supplement the information provided by IDOE to parents and the public on the INview website. The upgrade will allow much needed enhancements such as paragraph breaks, bold text, bullets, and the inclusion of hyperlinks. Performance improvements and the ability to publish directly to the site are also included. The enhanced INview CMS application is expected to be available again on Friday, November 6. Additional information regarding INview is available here. Please share all questions here.

Reminder: Final Call to Sign up for State-Sponsored Cybersecurity Awareness Platform

As part of Cybersecurity Month, IDOE anticipates providing a strong cybersecurity awareness platform for schools for the next four years. IDOE is asking schools to indicate their interest in participating in this program using this survey. The survey will remain open until November 4, at 4:00 p.m. (EDT). More than 150 schools have already completed the survey. Additional program information should be available next month. Please send all questions here.

Reminder: Cybersecurity Month Concludes: Awareness Must Continue

In addition to the "Cybersecurity for Education Toolkit" IDOE has promoted this month, there are additional cybersecurity resources on the Cybersecurity Hub Page. These resources include topics from maintaining good cyber hygiene to preventing and responding to cybercrime. Continue to use the "Cybersecurity for Education Toolkit" to engage and communicate with all education stakeholders. Please contact Dr. John Keller with any questions.


Office of School Accountability

New! Public Comment Now Being Taken on Indiana’s Request for Flexibility from Federal Accountability Requirements for 2020-2021

IDOE is seeking public comment on its request to the US Department of Education to waive certain federal requirements pertaining to federal accountability for the 2020-2021 school year. This request is in response to the direct impact of COVID-19 on the ability to produce valid, reliable, and comparable accountability data and results for the 2020-2021 school year. Information on IDOE’s request and the public comment submission form may be found here. Public comment will be accepted through December 4. Please send all questions here.

Important Reminder: 2020 Graduation Rate Audit Window Closes Today

The 2020 Graduation Rate Audit Window closes today, October 30 at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). Schools subject to the Mandatory Graduation Rate or the Excessive Homeschool Audit were notified in July and have been sent a reminder earlier this month with detailed instructions. Schools who have noticed 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. Results of the audits will be emailed to high school principals and superintendents starting on November 2. 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! Feedback Requested on Proposed 1 Percent Cap Waiver Extension Request 

IDOE seeks public comment on its request for a waiver extension on the number of students who can be tested using an alternate assessment on annual statewide tests. Indiana anticipates that approximately 1.14 percent of students will be assessed using the alternate assessment during the 2020-2021 school year. Because this exceeds the limit, Indiana must request a waiver extension to the 1 Percent Cap for one year. For additional information about this waiver, please refer to this background information. The proposed waiver extension request is available on IDOE’s website. Written comments will be accepted through November 6. Please contact Stephanie Thompson with questions or concerns.

New! DOE-TL (WIDA) Data Submission Due November 6

The DOE-TL is used to report all identified English Learners (ELs) for participation in the WIDA ACCESS annual test window. This data is used to populate student data and online test sessions in WIDA AMS and to generate initial materials orders. The DOE-TL data submission deadline has been extended through November 6. Late submissions will not be accepted. Identified ELs not reported via the DOE-TL must be manually added in WIDA AMS and an additional materials order placed for any needed paper testing materials. Please note that Pre-ID Labels can only be produced for students submitted via the DOE-TL. Email questions to IDOE Data Reporting Support or call 800-527-4931 if assistance is needed.  

New! Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) Verification

Corporation Test Coordinators should be verifying that accommodations are correct in (TIDE) and reflect the intended accommodation in advance of test administration windows. 

  • If accommodations are not deployed in TIDE from Indiana IEP (IIEP) or Indiana ILP (IILP), CTCs should request that schools verify the Individualized Education Programs or Individual Learning Plans have been finalized. 

  • If accommodations appear correctly in IIEP or IILP and are not populating in TIDE, contact Emma Everson and Karen Davies.


Office of Academics / Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness

SEL and Teacher Leader Skill Development Focus of Initiative

IDOE has partnered with educator advancement trailblazer BloomBoard and Dr. Brandie Oliver at Butler University to present an exclusive opportunity for Indiana’s professional educators to enhance their SEL and Teacher Leader expertise via “micro-credentials” (featured in this 2019 INspirEDgrants article). IDOE is offering 250 professional educators the opportunity to earn up to two micro-credentials in this initial pilot, which will launch in January 2021. Space is limited, as only half of these seats remain available. If you are interested in learning more about the upcoming pilot and what doors micro-credentials can open for professional educators in your district, please join IDOE for a virtual informational session hosted by BloomBoard on Thursday, November 5 at 2 p.m. (EDT).


Office of Academics / Special Education

New! Parent and Family Guide to Using Digital Learning Tools

The U.S. Department of Education has released a new Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide to help parents and guardians understand how digital tools can provide tailored learning opportunities, engage students with course materials, encourage creative expression, and enrich the educational experience.

New! Guidance on Form 16 and the Rights of Students with Disabilities Now Available

The Office of Special Education (OSE) has developed a one-page document containing information regarding Form 16 and the rights of students with disabilities. This document should be reviewed by both special education administrators and administrators in charge of student discipline. For additional information, please contact either Traci Tetrick or Dana Long.

New! Resource for Paraprofessionals Now Available

OSE has developed a two-page page resource document containing information and resources related to paraprofessionals. Please send questions to Kristan Sievers-Coffer.

New! Reevaluation Resource Document Available

OSE has developed a new evaluation resource document, "Reevaluation Considerations: Different or Additional Eligibility Categories." For additional information, please contact Traci Tetrick.   

Reminder: Planning for Upcoming Test Windows - Please Verify Accommodations in Indiana IEP

The optional IREAD-3 assessment window opens November 2, and continues through November 6. The ISTEP+10 winter retest assessment window opens on November 9, and continues through December 11. Please review accommodations for students taking these assessments on your caseload by checking their valid individualized education programs (IEPs) or service plans (SPs). If you have additional questions, please reach out to Emma Everson.

Reminder: Weekly OSE Webinar (WOW): Get to Know Project SUCCESS

Please join OSE for the next Weekly Webinar providing an overview of the Project SUCCESS resource center. The webinar will be held Thursday, November 5, 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. An interactive Padlet has been provided to submit questions beforehand. Pease contact Kristan Sievers-Coffer with any questions.

Update: Indiana Resource Network (IRN) Partnership Spotlight

In addition to OSE, IRNs offer Indiana public schools free or low cost in-person and virtual professional development and technical assistance options. This includes the Indiana School Mental Health Initiative (ISMHI) which provides resources, consultation, professional development, and education promoting and sustaining the social, emotional, behavioral, mental, and physical health of Indiana’s school-aged children, including those with disabilities. The initiative’s goal is to increase school engagement and improve educational and life outcomes. Please contact Kristan Sievers-Coffer with any questions.

Guidance on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The US Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation (OSEP) has released a questions and answers document related IDEA Part C provision of services. This document is intended to provide clarity to existing requirements under the law and related agency policies.


Office of Academics / Teaching and Learning

Reminder: Secondary ELA Literature Roundtables

Join IDOE’s Kelly Waller in sharing ideas on how teachers implement commonly taught novels into their classrooms. Participants will join the Literature Round Table to share their experiences with teaching these novels and will be asked to explain strategies they have found to be successful with students. Click here for additional information. 

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 we will cover a different topic related to the three pillars of digital learning: Leadership, Teaching and Learning, and Community Engagement. Visit this webpage to access links to recorded webinars and slide decks. Episode 10: STEM/PBL is scheduled for Tuesday, November 10. Click here to register. Contact Jennifer Watson with any questions.

Reminder - IU Turnkey Courses Available

IDOE has partnered with Indiana University to make full high school courses available for immediate use in virtual and hybrid settings. Additional information is available here. Courses will be made available on Monday, November 2. Contact Jennifer Watson with any questions.

Reminder: Early Learning Foundations Review Survey-Final Call

IDOE is conducting a review of the 2015 Early Learning Foundations, and have created a brief survey that examines the existing Foundations, resources, and accessibility. The survey can be found using this link. All early learning educators, administrators, and early interventionists are invited to participate. The survey closes November 6. Contact Sarah Parks-Reese with questions.

Reminder: U.S. Presidential Scholars Program Deadline is November 6

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 any questions.

Reminder: STEM Certified Schools

Through a rigorous application process and virtual site visits, East Side Elementary School in Edinburgh and Orleans Elementary have earned the designation of STEM Certified Schools. Congratulations to these two schools as they join Cohort 6 and are certified for 2020-2025. As a reminder, STEM School Certification applications are due today. Please submit applications via this link. Contact Shannon Dick with questions.


Office of School Finance

Update: Supplemental Financial Reporting

As previously shared, this memo provides an overview of the new platform for school corporations and charter schools to upload financial data as well as a new Form 9 step in compliance with state transparency requirements outlined in IC 5-14-3.7-3. The Periodic Supplemental Data Upload of Expenditures and new Step Eight Fund Balance Detail are required beginning in January 2021. Please direct all questions here.

Update: November Tuition Support

The Office of School Finance is working on the November payment reconciliation process for the Basic Grant. Please read this memo regarding the reconciliation process. If you have questions, please email either Amy Pattison or Melissa Ambre.

Reminder: Curricular Material Reimbursement

The time frame to submit both student-level data and curricular material costs has been extended through October 31. The sign-off phase for the 2020-2021 school year curricular material reimbursement opens November 1 and closes November 13. Officials should review the curricular material data layout (DOE-TB). Click the Data Layouts button. If you have any questions, please email Skii Ficklin.

Reminder: Common School Advancement Applications

The Office of School Finance is accepting applications for construction and technology loans from school corporations and school corporation career and technical education schools until November 5. Blank applications can be found in the Public School Finance Community in Moodle under Common School Funds > Fall. Please send all questions here


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