An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for January 15, 2021

Indiana Department of Education. Dr. Katie Jenner. Secretary of Education. Working Together for Student Success.
In the Know

A Message from Dr. Katie Jenner

Katie Jenner Headshot

I want to sincerely thank you for all you have done and are doing to support Indiana’s students. As we launch into the second half of this school year, please know the Department stands ready to be a strong partner as we work together to provide the highest quality learning for all Hoosier students. Again, thank YOU for all you do every day to support, develop, and teach Indiana’s future leaders.

COVID-19 Updates

NEW! Last Day for Submission for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfers (P-EBT)

The Family and Social Services Administration’s Division of Family Resources (DFR) continues to partner with Indiana schools to provide Pandemic Electronic Benefits to Indiana families during this Public Health Emergency.

Today is the last day of the collection window for P-EBT student data submission. Eligible student data submissions must be received via the FSSA P-EBT Portal by 11:59pm tonight, Friday, January 15. The FSSA P-EBT Portal is accessible through IDOE's LINK Portal. After the close of submissions on January 15, schools will not be able to add students for P-EBT benefits until the April 2021 collection window. The only accepted changes between January 16 and April 5 are student address corrections.

Schools not eligible for this P-EBT distribution are still encouraged to login to the P-EBT Portal and select the “not eligible” option. DFR has updated the FAQs based on questions received from school personnel. Please refer to the submission guidance information and parent flier on the FSSA: DFR Pandemic EBT website.

Please click HERE for more information.

REMINDER: Additional COVID-19 Relief Funding for Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and Private Schools

With the signing of the new coronavirus relief bill on December 27, a considerable amount of new federal funding will be allocated to Indiana to support needs related to the pandemic and more. The bill provided further funding for both ESSER and GEER to support public and private schools at an amount much higher than the CARES Act of April 2020. IDOE will participate in an upcoming webinar with the U.S. Department of Education to learn more about the next steps to acquire this money as quickly as possible.

Additional information will be forthcoming. Please contact Cole Dietrich with any questions.

Office of Information Technology

NEW! State matching funds available for qualified fiber projects

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is announcing its participation in the E-rate match program for special construction projects. Under this program, schools with qualified projects approved for funding by the Universal Services Administration Company can receive up to 20% of the funding for the project above their E-rate discount as a blend of state and federal funds. More program details and the application for the state matching program are available here. Applications for the matching program are due by 11:59 p.m. on March 26th, 2021.

NEW! Skyward (SMS 2.0) achieves Ed-Fi Certification for 2020-2021 School Year

The IDOE is excited to announce Skyward (SMS 2.0) as an Indiana Ed-Fi Certified SIS Vendor for Data Exchange in the 2020 - 2021 school year. For those schools engaged with Skyward on the SMS 2.0 platform, the department will begin the onboarding process for Data Exchange. Please be on the lookout for additional guidance.

The Department is continuously 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 Status document. Please contact for more information.

Office of School Building Physical Security and Safety

REMINDER: 2020 – 2021 Student Safety Reporting

Indiana’s Student Safety Reporting Law (IC 20-34-6-1) requires school corporations to report student bullying, arrest, and law enforcement presence in schools data for each school to IDOE. Additional information on submission and deadlines can be found here.

Office of School Assessment

NEW! Alternate Assessment Assurance and Justification Survey Results Posted to IDOE Website

Those corporations that identified more than 1 percent of students to take the alternate assessment in the spring of 2020 completed a required justification survey. The results of this survey are posted publicly to the Alternate Assessment ESSA 1% Cap page. Questions about this survey and the results can be communicated to Stephanie Thompson.

NEW! Braille Deadline for I AM - Thursday, January 28

The deadline for I AM braille accommodations is Thursday, January 28. Please confirm these accommodations are correctly noted in Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) as soon as possible. Please remember, there is no Additional Orders Window for braille. These materials cannot be ordered after January 28, 2021. Please contact Stephanie Thompson with questions regarding braille materials for I AM.

NEW! ILEARN Biology End-of-Course Assessment (ECA) Fall 2020 Rescore Request Window Continues

Permissioned staff may continue working with parents to request rescores, as needed, for students who participated in the Fall 2020 ILEARN Biology ECA through next Friday, January 22. Schools must communicate with parents details of the legislated ILEARN Rescore Request Process to students who tested during the fall test window. The Request an Item Rescore module provides an overview of the process that principals will follow to manage the rescore process.

Remember that this window is the only time during which student responses to open-ended ILEARN items will be viewable. Schools will receive a report reflecting all successfully submitted rescore requests when final results deploy in mid-February. Please contact the Indiana Assessment Help Desk with any questions.

NEW! Rethinking Test Prep and Test Pep

We typically observe all kinds of test preparation practices ramping up to the kickoff of our spring test windows. But what kinds of activities are most helpful for students? What kinds of activities may be harmful? Watch this video to learn more.


The Office of Student Assessment (OSA) will conduct the federally-required unannounced monitoring visits during the WIDA ACCESS testing window beginning January 11. Please ensure school administrators and staff are aware that these online visits will be conducted. Click here for more details.

Office of School Finance

NEW! February 1, 2021 Membership

February 1 is the spring count date of the eligible pupils enrolled in each school corporation and charter school. As part of the data collection, we will continue to collect whether a student was virtual, non-virtual, or virtual due to COVID-19. The DOE-ME layout found at the following link under Data Layouts provides details on reporting students for the 2020-2021 school year. If you have questions, please email Melissa Ambre.

NEW! Excessive Education Fund Transfer List

The following memo provides an overview of the Excessive Education Fund Transfer List. Before February 1 of each year, IDOE must compile an excessive education fund transfer list of all school corporations that transferred more than fifteen percent of the total revenue in the Education fund to the Operations fund during the previous calendar year.

NEW! FY 2021 Indirect Cost Rates

FY 2021 Indirect Cost Rates are now available in DOE Online for LEAs that applied for a rate. To locate the rate, please refer to the “Indirect Costs” tab located at the top of your Form 9 dashboard. The rates are applicable for the period of July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. If you have questions regarding a rate, please email

REMINDER: Summer School Estimates

The window to submit the Estimated Instructional Costs Report and List of Courses for Summer School 2021 will open on February 3. Please see this memo and FAQ for information regarding eligible courses, important dates, and financial provisions. Detailed information about the summer school program and how to report is included in Summer School 101. If you have questions, please contact Teresa Hemmerle or Kathryn Roth.

REMINDER: Form 9 Financial Data Submission

Form 9 financial data for the period of July 1 through December 31, 2020 must be submitted electronically through the DOE Online upload program. The deadline to submit is January 31, 2021. The data may be in CSV or TXT format. Additional information about Form 9 data submissions can be found here and in the Public School Finance Community in Moodle, under the Form 9 folder. If you have questions, please email us here.

Office of School and Community Nutrition

NEW! Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Annual Financial Reports (AFR)

An AFR is required of all CACFP sponsors, except those participating on the NSLP. This report collects income and expense information for the 2020 fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2019-Sept. 30, 2020). Due to system updates, the AFR submission period has been pushed back this year, but can now be found on the CNPweb’s Forms tab. The AFR will be due Friday, February 12. A recorded training on how to complete the AFR is available.

Contact Rachel Reynolds at for assistance with the AFR.

NEW! CNPweb Updates

The process for entering a claim for reimbursement looks slightly different in the updated CNPweb; a claim instruction sheet can be found here. A recorded training video and instruction manual are also available for help with the changes in the CNPweb.

Please submit any questions, errors, or issues to the CNPweb Help Form.

NEW! USDA CACFP Policy 04-2021

A new policy has been released titled Questions and Answers Relating to the Nationwide Waiver to Allow Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option Operations during School Year 2020-2021- Q&As #4.This policy clarifies:

Income eligibility and COVID relief for families:

  • Stimulus payments do not count as income when families complete the free/reduced applications.
  • Other benefits, such as the increased unemployment do count as income.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans:

  • If the PPP loan is not forgiven, CACFP funds can only be used to repay allowable CACFP expenses.
  • CACFP funds cannot pay for interest if they have to pay back the loan.

NEW! Training Survey

The CACFP team is looking for feedback on CACFP virtual training to offer in the new year. Please take this short survey to let us know how we can support you!

NEW! USDA Trainers’ Circle for CACFP Webinar: Training Program Operators to Use Grains Ounce Equivalents

This webinar will help sponsoring organizations and independent centers provide training to staff on using ounce equivalents instead of “servings” to determine amounts of grains. Feb. 10, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. (EST) Register here.

Reminder: CACFP Training Opportunity

The January Refresher Workshop will be held virtually January 26-28, 2021. Each day will offer training on different topics. Registration is now open.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021 Topics: recordkeeping, financial requirements, and civil rights 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (EST)
Wednesday, January 27, 2021 Topics: menus and meeting the meal pattern 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (EST)
Thursday, January 28, 2021 Topics: meal service and sanitation, program oversight and support, feeding infants 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (EST) 

These live webinars will include opportunities to ask questions, and participants will receive training certificates. This optional training is highly encouraged for CACFP Sponsoring Organizations (including independent centers/ministries, Head Start, outside-school-hours sites, at-risk afterschool sites, emergency shelters, and adult day care centers), but not designed for unaffiliated centers or home providers. For questions about refresher training, contact Fern Bachner at

Office of Academics / Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Health

REMINDER: SEBW Virtual Office Hours Announced

The Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness team is excited to announce virtual open hours will be held monthly this year. The first session will occur on January 20 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. (EST) and will address suicide prevention and crisis resources. Please find additional information here.

Office of Academics / Special Education

REMINDER: Indiana IEP Single Sign On Transition Dates

Please see the following memorandum for Indiana IEP Single Sign On Transition Dates. This information is relevant to the transition from accessing Indiana IEP through Learning Connection to accessing Indiana IEP through LINK. Please contact Colleen Pawlicki with any questions.

Indicator 14 Letter Download in IIEP

It has been brought to our attention that when the Indicator 14 letter is downloaded from the Summary of Performance document in IIEP and within the Documents section of IIEP that the QR code is not visible in the letter. We are working with PCG to correct this issue.  In the meantime, please use the copy of the letter titled Screen Reader Indicator 14 Letter located in the IDOE documents on the main page of IIEP. 

For questions, please contact Colleen Pawlicki at

Office of Academics / Teaching and Learning

NEW! Dr. Martin Luther King Instructional Resources

Indiana educators will discover that the Indiana Department of Education’s Civil Rights and Ethnic Studies page may be used to curate resources for learning about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his significance to building equality.  The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday is Monday, January 18, 2021.  For more information about the Civil Rights and Ethnic Studies page, please contact J. Matthew Walsh, Liberal Arts Specialist.

UPDATE! Empower2INspire

Empower2INspire blast 3 is here. This one-pager will empower and inspire you to meet the demands of education. Empower2INspire offers quick bits of information that educators can employ such as using emojis when checking for understanding. You may sign-up for these blasts here. Follow extended conversations and highlights on Twitter by using #Empower2INspire. Please contact Rose Tomishima or Matt Walsh with any questions.

UPDATE! Google Folder Courses Added

Google Folders have been added to the turnkey course catalog. Visit the website here to access these courses. Register for Digital Support Sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays 4:00-5:00 p.m. EDT here. Contact Jennifer Watson, Senior Digital Learning Specialist with any questions.

REMINDER: Educator Standards for Digital Teaching for Public Comment

The Office of Teaching and Learning, Office of Educator Licensing, and the Office of Higher Education and Educator Preparation Programs have posted updated educator standards for Digital Teaching for public comment. The Digital Teaching Educator Standards were previously called Virtual Instruction Educator Standards. Please see the updated standards and public comment forms posted in the alert boxes here or here.

Public comment will be open until February 8, 2021. The updated standards and public comment will be presented to the State Board of Education for adoption in Spring 2021.

Office of Academics / Title Grants and Support

NEW! Pre-AP Informational Webinar with College Board

Join College Board for an “Indiana Pre-AP® Informational Webinar w/ Q & A”. College Board’s exciting new Pre-AP® program launched this fall 2020 offers focused course frameworks, engaging instructional resources, assessments, and professional learning to schools that are interested in empowering ALL Indiana students to learn, grow, and succeed. The webinar will be held on Thursday, January 21st at 10:00 AM and again on Wednesday, February 10 at 3:30 PM. Click on one of the two dates to register for the event. Contact Whitney Coake with any questions.

REMINDER: U.S. Department of Education Annual ESSER and GEER Data Collection

A submission of the ESSER and GEER annual reports is required by the U.S. Department of Education, covering expenditures in the ESSER program (ESSER CFDA number 84.425D; GEER CFDA 84.425C) between March 13 and September 30, 2020. IDOE must submit all data to the U.S. Department of Education no later than February 1, 2021, which has required IDOE to limit the time available for LEAs and other non-LEA Entities who have received the funds to respond. All schools receiving ESSER and/or GEER funds must submit this data per federal government requirements. The Annual Report Data Collection Tool will be open through January 22, 2021.

The Data Collection Tools may be accessed by clicking on the appropriate forms, or on IDOE's CARES Act webpage:

REMINDER: High Ability Identification Guidance Now Available

During hybrid and remote instructional platforms, please ensure the multifaceted assessment process that ensures equitable and inclusive High Ability identification continues. Please read the High Ability Identification Guidance and contact Whitney Coake with any questions.

News From Our Partners

NEW! Potential Funding for student technology through TechPoint Foundation

TechPoint Foundation for Youth is in the process of securing funding that will allow district superintendents to request devices and/or internet hotspots for the students in their schools. They are surveying districts to determine their current technology needs. If funding is available, they will contact the districts that complete this survey to help provide tablets, Chromebooks, laptops, and/or mobile hotspots for wireless internet access for a year. The survey is available here.

NEW! Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship Deadline Approaching

High-achieving students in high school or college who are planning to teach in the State of Indiana for at least five years can apply for a $7,500 scholarship per year of college (up to $30,000 total) through the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship program. Learn more about the scholarship and how to apply here.

IDOE Newsletters Centrally Located

All Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) newsletters are located in one convenient location. Please find January updates and past issues here.

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