An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for November 20, 2020

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


As many schools transition to remote learning due to recent COVID-19 outbreaks, I would like to remind you about the Indiana Department of Education’s (IDOE) Remote Learning Resource webpage. This page hosts a searchable database of lessons and materials appropriate for grades Pre-K through 12. You will also find a link to our new turnkey courses for high school.

IDOE Newsletters Centrally Located

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


Office of School Building Physical Security and Safety

New Safety Training Opportunity

The Office of School Building Physical Security and Safety will be offering safety training opportunities for non-school safety specialists. Participants will have the opportunity to earn professional growth points. Additional information can be found here.


Office of Information Technology

New Public Corporation Transfer Reports Now Available

In accordance with the requirements of IC 20-51-4-12, IDOE has posted the Fall 2020-2021 Transfer Report. These reports show how many students within the school corporation’s boundaries are attending schools within the corporation. Additionally, the reports indicate the destination of students transferring out of the school corporation as well as the source corporations for students transferring into a school corporation. Please send all questions here.


Office of School Nutrition

Reminder: 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 Finance

Reminder: Summer School Reimbursement

The Office of School Finance has finalized the computation for reimbursement of summer school costs. The summer school payment will be made on November 23. There was a change in calculations, so schools should refer to the finalized list of distribution amounts available in this memo, dated November 20. Please contact Kathryn Roth or Teresa Hemmerle with questions.


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. Any questions educators may have regarding the public comment process should send their questions here


Office of Student Assessment

New! Guidance on Complying with Assessment Requirements During Virtual Instruction

IDOE has received multiple questions and concerns from schools regarding how to comply with assessment requirements as more schools shift to a virtual instructional model. IDOE appreciates the burden this has placed upon Indiana schools and will continue to work with state and federal policymakers to identify ways to ensure all Indiana schools and students can participate in valuable assessment administrations in a safe and responsible manner. At this point, no assessment waivers have been granted. To this end, the attached guidance document seeks to inform schools of their duties during this time and the consequences for failing to administer required assessments.

New! Text-to-Speech (TTS) Guidance Webinar

IDOE is hosting three webinars to offer more information about the recent guidance regarding TTS. These webinars are for special education directors, corporation test coordinators, administrators, superintendents, and classroom teachers. The dates and times are below:





December 14

   3:30-4:30 p.m. ET

Register Here

December 15

  10:00-11:00 a.m. ET 

Register Here

December 16

  12:00-1:00 p.m. ET

Register Here

New! I AM Item Specifications Updates

IDOE met with educators on October 29 to review several of the I AM Item Specifications to ensure alignment to the Indiana Content Connectors. Several of the documents were updated to clarify intended expectations and correct misinterpretations. These documents have been posted to IDOE’s website. Please refer to this memo for additional information.

New! New ILEARN Request an Item Rescore Module Now Available 

The ILEARN Request an Item Rescore module and accompanying PowerPoint are now accessible from the “Training Resources” folder of the Indiana Assessment Portal. This training provides an overview of the process that principals will follow to oversee rescore requests, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to request a rescore. Please contact the Indiana Assessment Help Desk with any questions.

Update: Test Material Return and Destruction After Testing Office of Student Assessment (OSA)

OSA has updated guidance regarding test material return and destruction for the 2020-2021 school year. Click here for additional details. As school buildings are closed down due to health requirements, take care to ensure that materials are appropriately returned or destroyed based on this guidance as soon as possible.

Reminder: ILEARN Biology End-of-Course Assessment (ECA) - Participation Guidance for Students Learning Virtually

IDOE understands that some schools may not be able to administer the ILEARN Biology ECA to students completing the high school Biology course during the upcoming fall window (November 30 – December 17) due to virtual instruction in many parts of the state. Since student participation in the ILEARN Biology ECA is a federal requirement for Indiana schools, schools should plan to administer this assessment to students during the next possible test window. Please contact OSA with any questions regarding ILEARN Biology ECA participation.

Reminder: Nonpublic Schools Only: Process for Noting Alternate Testers and Testing Accommodations in TIDE

Nonpublic School Test Coordinators were contacted on Monday, November 16 regarding IDOE’s process for noting alternate testers and accommodations in TIDE when Indiana IEP is not utilized. If you have questions regarding this process, please email Stephanie Thompson, or call her at (317) 234-5601.

Reminder: Fall 2020 Webinar Series for New Teachers of Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities – Final Webinar Resources Posted

Webinar 4: "A Focus on the I AM Assessment," hosted on Wednesday, November 18 was the conclusion to a webinar series for new teachers of students with significant cognitive disabilities. Educators can find the resources associated with each of the four webinars on IDOE's website and the1% Resources for Case Conference Committees Live Binder. Contact Stephanie Thompson with questions.

Reminder: 2020-2021 WIDA Accommodations Training

The 2020-2021 WIDA Accommodations training is available. This training must be completed prior to the WIDA Access window opening January 11, 2021. Please contact Jennifer Woo or Karen Davies with any WIDA accommodations questions.


Office of Academics / School Improvement

Reminder: Updated Virtual Trainings Now Available

The Office of School Improvement is providing updated virtual trainings in the areas of Equity and Access, the PLC Process, Instruction, and School Improvement Planning. In an effort to streamline professional development support, some trainings are available to educators who wish to present directly to their faculties and staffs. Click here to access the PD menu. Please contact Diane Vielee with any questions.


Office of Academics / Leadership and Innovation

Reminder: 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 nearing the end of the first semester, 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 / Teaching and Learning

Update! IU Turnkey Courses for High School Available for Download

Indiana University’s high school courses are now available for download. As many schools are transitioning to remote learning, these courses can be adapted and adjusted, as needed by Indiana educators. Register here to participate in office hours where educators can ask questions about the materials and implementation. Contact Jennifer Watson with any questions. Continue to watch for additional information on continuous improvements coming with Phase 2.

Reminder! Remote Learning Resources Webpage

The Remote Learning Resources webpage is a curation of resources for educators and families to use when providing at-home learning opportunities for Indiana students. This site contains a searchable database of PreK-12 appropriate lessons and materials along with a variety of other resources for administrators, teachers, and families. Contact Meri Carnahan with questions.

Reminder: 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: 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.


Office of Academics / Special Education

New! Results Driven Accountability (RDA) Matrix and Planning Tool Released

On November 13, the Office of Special Education (OSE) released the RDA Matrix and Planning Tool. Within the tool are links to corporation specific Google folders which contain additional reports and information for Indicators 4, 9, 10, 13, and 14.

For questions about the Planning Tool, please contact Kristan Sievers-Coffer.

For questions about Matrix Calculations or Results Indicators, please contact Brandon Myers.

For questions about Indicators 4,9, or 10, please contact Kristan Sievers-Coffer.

For questions about Indicator 11, please contact Sarah Mohr.

For questions about Indicator 12, please contact Jessica Tomasino.

For questions about Indicators 13 or 14, please contact Michelle Oja.

New! New Secondary Transition Webpage

Pleases take a moment to review the new Secondary Transition webpage on the OSE website. Access to transition assessments and transition planning resources are now just one click away! Please contact Michelle Oja with any questions or suggestions for additional content.  

New! 2020 Virtual Transition Fair is Now Live:

The Indiana Transition Cadre has created a collection of resources for families across Indiana to assist with the transition to life after high school. Check out the Invest in Your Future resources on the new Virtual Transition Fair page. Please contact Michelle Oja with any questions or concerns.

Updated: 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 Promoting Achievement for Students with Sensory Loss (PASS) Project who provide statewide support, technical assistance and professional development opportunities for educators that will improve instructional quality, promote academic achievement, and foster successful post-secondary transition outcomes for students with sensory loss. Please contact Kristan Sievers-Coffer with any questions.


Office of Academics / Title Grants and Support

New! Encumbrance and Liquidation Deadlines for Federal Funds

The Office of Federal Grants and Support has completed the Final Expenditure Reports (FERS) encumbrance and liquidation deadlines. The FERS is due no later than December 15. Additional information regarding the process and links to FERS forms may be found in this memo. Please contact your Federal Grants Specialist with any questions.

Upcoming EL Leadership Meeting – December 2

Don’t miss the next EL Leadership Meeting, which will be held virtually on Wednesday, December 2 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. ET. Topics will include updates on WIDA ACCESS testing, 2020 WIDA Standards rollout, and many more EL updates. See the EL PD Opportunities Calendar for access links to the meeting.


Information from Other State Agencies

State Board of Education Seeking Input for Next State Accountability Rule

The Indiana State Board of Education seeks input on a draft framework to serve as the foundation for the next iteration of the state’s accountability rule. The framework, informational webinars, and input-gathering surveys are available on the Board’s homepage. The deadline is December 4.



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