An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for November 13, 2020

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Dr. Mac


As schools address COVID-19 concerns by implementing long-term and/or intermittent remote platforms, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is mindful of the toll this taking on all who are impacted. IDOE appreciates the diligence and commitment to the work that you are doing.

Holiday Cards 1

Deadline for Holiday Cards for Our Military Challenge is November 15

Thank you to the 125 schools and districts that have joined IDOE in supporting the Cards for Our Military Challenge. This initiative sends holiday greetings to active duty military stationed around the world. The deadline to send cards is November 15. 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 School Building Physical Security and Safety

New! Hearing Screening Guidance Memo and Vision Screening Information

A new hearing screening guidance document has been created to assist schools with conducting hearing screenings during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Schools will have until the end of this school year to complete hearing screenings for students in grades 1, 4, 7, and 10 and vision screenings for students in grades K or 1, 3, 5, and 8. Information regarding vision screening can be found here


Office of Information Technology

New! Introductory Sessions for IDOE Sponsored Cybersecurity Awareness Training Platform KnowBe4

IDOE recently conducted a survey to gauge interest from schools in state funded cybersecurity awareness platform. This survey closed on November 4. Schools expressing interest through the survey should plan to login to one of the following webinars for an introduction to the platform. The goal is to have all account provisioning ready for use by the beginning of the new year. The sessions listed below will provide an overview of KnowBe4’s Diamond level of service and help schools better understand the logistics of getting started. Please click on the date to access the link.

Please contact Jennifer Watson with any questions.


Office of School Finance

Reminder: Curricular Material Reimbursement

The sign-off phase for the 2020-2021 school year curricular material reimbursement closes today, November 13. If you have any questions, please email Skii Ficklin.

Reminder: November Tuition Support Update

Please read this memo regarding the November Tuition Support reconciliation process. If you have questions, please email Amy Pattison or Melissa Ambre.

Reminder: Summer School Reimbursement Guidance

The Office of School Finance has finalized the computation for reimbursement of summer school costs. The summer school payment will be made the week of November 23. Additional information and the detailed list of distributions is available in this memo. Please contact Kathryn Roth or Teresa Hemmerle with questions.


Office of School Nutrition

New! Emergency Food Service Plans During COVID-19

With the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic, school food service is one area where a written emergency plan should be in place. Administrators, school food service directors, and kitchen managers should have a copy of the plan and the name and contact information of their assigned IDOE School Nutrition field specialist. IDOE nutrition specialists can answer questions about program operations in the event food service director or managers are unavailable. Guidance on developing an emergency plan for food service is available here.


Office of School Accountability

Reminder: Public Comment 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 the request may be found on IDOE’s website. Public comments should be submitted here. IDOE will accept public comment through December 4. Please send all questions here


Office of Student Assessment

New! Participation Reminders for the Fall 2020 ILEARN Biology ECA

Students who will complete the high school biology course this fall must participate in the ILEARN Biology ECA during the upcoming fall test window (November 30 through December 17). Please review the 2020-2021 ILEARN and I AM ECA Participation Guidance for more details.

The U.S. Department of Education waived Indiana’s testing requirements for all students who planned to participate in the ILEARN Biology ECA during the spring 2020 test window. Moving forward, these students are not required to participate in the ILEARN Biology ECA. 

New! ILEARN Biology ECA Test Administrator’s Manual (TAM) with Spanish Scripted Directions Available!

The 2020-2021 ILEARN Biology ECA TAM with Spanish Scripted Instructions is now available for download from the ILEARN Assessment Portal. This TAM contains all of the information Test Administrators will need to administer the online ILEARN Biology ECA practice and operational assessments to students using the Spanish designated feature in the Test Delivery System. The ILEARN Biology ECA TAM is also available for download. Please contact the Office of Student Assessment or the Indiana Assessment Help Desk with any questions.

New! Guidance for Parents/Guardians, Case Conference Committees (CCC), and 504 Teams Regarding Read Aloud for Students in Grades 3-12

The Indiana State Board of Education adopted IDOE guidance to assist parents/guardians, CCCs and Section 504 teams in making decisions regarding text-to-speech (TTS) and read aloud accommodations for students in grade 3 through 12. Additional information about TTS and read aloud accommodations is forthcoming from IDOE. 


Office of Academics / Leadership and Innovation

New! Important Update on Teacher Appreciation Grants

Teacher Appreciation Grant (TAG) distribution information and allocation amounts are now available. Learn more here.


Office of Academics / Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness

Reminder: Ten Tips to End the Semester on a High Note

As schools are returning from Fall Break please read this information for 10 tips to help end semester one on a high note. Please contact Christy Berger with any questions.

Reminder: Save the Date for the Third “Educating the Whole Child Summit”

The Educating the Whole Child Summit will be held virtually on February 24, 2021. Please find additional information, registration and session proposal links here. Please contact Christy Berger with any additional questions.


Office of Academics / Special Education

Reminder: Next Weekly Webinar Focused on IEP Services Using Telemedicine

On Thursday, November 19 at 2:00 p.m. (EST), the Weekly Office of Special Education (OSE) Webinar will discuss providing IEP services via telemedicine during COVID-19. This one-hour webinar also includes a brief overview of Medicaid reimbursement options for school services. To register, click here. Please email questions here.

Reminder: 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 HANDS in Autism, which builds local capacity in the use of behavioral and educational practices. These approaches are supported with data-driven HANDS Model curriculum, framework, and processes of outreach, education, and training. Please contact Kristan Sievers-Coffer with any questions.


Office of Academics / Teaching and Learning

New! 2021-2022 Course Titles and Descriptions Released with Guidance

The Indiana State Board of Education has approved 2021-2022 Course Titles and Descriptions. The information may be found on IDOE's Course Titles and Descriptions webpage. Please contact Matt Walsh with any questions.

Reminder: IU Turnkey Courses Available

IDOE has partnered with Indiana University to create full high school courses for immediate use. Courses are available here. The webinar, "How To Use Course Materials," will be held Tuesday, November 17 at 5:00 p.m. (EST). Click here to register. Contact Jennifer Watson with any questions.

Reminder: PAEMST Call for Nominations

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for K–12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teaching. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of STEM education. This year's cycle is for teachers in grades seven to 12. Nomination and application information is available here. Nominations are due March 1, 2021. Contact Sheridan Rayl with any questions.


Information from Other State Agencies

Reminder: School Resource Officer Reporting Requirement Deadline Extended

In 2020, the Indiana General Assembly created a new statute, IC 20-26-18.2-5, requiring school corporations and charter schools to annually report to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) the number of school resource officers employed by a school corporation or charter school before September 1. For safety reasons, IDHS is required to keep such information confidential, and not release it for public disclosure. Due to delays caused by COVID-19 and development of the report portal, IDHS has extended the reporting deadline for the 2019-2020 school year until December 1. The information can be submitted to IDHS using this link. Please be aware that school corporations and charter schools will be required to submit school resource officer data for the 2020-2021 school year at a later date. IDHS will send a notification when the 2020-2021 school year data can be reported.


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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.