An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for January 22, 2021

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

A Message from Dr. Katie Jenner

Katie Jenner Headshot

This week, Indiana’s classrooms were abuzz with conversations regarding our country’s inaugural proceedings as America ushered in our 46th President, Joe Biden, and our first female, Black and South Asian Vice President, Kamala Harris.

As the new leaders of our country transition, our IDOE team stands ready to continue working with our federal partners, including Education Secretary nominee Dr. Miguel Cardona, with the goal of preparing every student for lifelong success.

Thank YOU for your continued efforts in our schools and classrooms throughout the state to advance this goal for Hoosier students.

COVID-19 Updates

REMINDER: Additional COVID-19 Relief Funding for Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and Non-Public Schools--CARES 2.0 (round 2 of federal dollars)

A considerable amount of new federal funding through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) will be allocated to Indiana to support needs related to the pandemic and more. The federal bill provided further funding for both ESSER and GEER to support public and non-public schools at an amount much higher than the CARES Act of April 2020. CRRSA (CARES 2.0) allows schools to reimburse for expenses dating back to March 13, 2020. Schools will have until September 30, 2023, to spend the funds. Additional information will be forthcoming. Please contact Cole Dietrich with any questions.

REMINDER: U.S. Department of Education Annual ESSER and GEER Data Collection from CARES 1.0 (round 1 of federal dollars)

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:

Office of Information Technology

NEW: PowerSchool Certified for Data Exchange 2020-2021

The IDOE is excited to announce PowerSchool as an Indiana Ed-Fi Certified SIS Vendor for Data Exchange in the 2020 - 2021 school year. For those schools engaged with PowerSchool, 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.

UPDATE: 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.

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: Online Test Administrator (TA) Certification Course for I AM Deploys Monday, January 25

The online TA Certification Course for I AM will be available from the I AM Portal beginning Monday, January 25. This course is a yearly requirement for all educators administering I AM. The course consists of three modules and a certification quiz and will take about 90 minutes to complete. It does not need to be completed in one sitting. Once the TA completes all three modules and earns an 80% or higher on the quiz, a certificate can be downloaded and certification will be reflected in TIDE. Remember, this course is different from the online certification course for ILEARN, IREAD-3, and ISTEP+. Certification for a general education assessment will not allow TAs to administer I AM. Questions regarding the online course can be communicated to the Indiana Assessment Help Desk at

NEW: ILEARN 3-8 Online Practice Test Scripts and ILEARN 3-8 Test Administrator’s Manual (TAM) Now Available

The Spring 2021 ILEARN 3-8 online practice test scripts and the Spring 2021 ILEARN 3-8 TAM are now available for download from the “ILEARN Manuals” subfolder, located inside the Test Administrators and Educators and Test Coordinators resource folders on the Indiana Assessment Portal. Please contact the Indiana Assessment Help Desk with any questions. 

NEW: ILEARN 3-8 Online Practice Tests Available on Monday, January 25

Schools may access the Spring 2021 ILEARN grades 3-8 online practice tests beginning Monday, January 25. Each student who will participate in the online ILEARN assessments later this spring must first participate in the corresponding online practice test. Please review Indiana’s Practice Test Guidance for more information.

REMINDER: Braille Deadline - 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 I AM braille. These materials cannot be ordered after January 28. Please contact Stephanie Thompson with questions regarding braille materials for I AM.

Office of School Finance

NEW: Curricular Material Memo and Estimated Payment

Article: The Office of School Finance plans to distribute curricular material reimbursement on February 11. This memo includes estimated payment amounts for qualifying school corporations. Please use this email to share questions regarding the payment estimate.

REMINDER: February 1, 2021 Membership Count Day

February 1 is the spring count day 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. If you have questions, please email Melissa Ambre.

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 found on the finance website. 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 at  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.     

REMINDER: 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.

Office of School and Community Nutrition

Reminder: 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 for assistance with the AFR.

Reminder: 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.

Reminder: 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.

Reminder: 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!

Reminder: 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 / Special Education

NEW: February 1 Deadline for Notice Requirement 

Pursuant to SEA 346, a copy of this notice must be provided to the applicable group of parents of students with disabilities in grades 3-5 by February 1.

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.

Office of Academics / Teaching and Learning

NEW: Digital Learning Book Study Begins in February

This spring we will be reading and discussing The Interactive Class: Using Technology to Make Learning More Relevant and Engaging in the Elementary Classroom by Joe and Kristin Merrill. The book study will begin in February and will be run in Moodle. Even though this book is geared toward elementary teachers, secondary teachers may also benefit from the discussions and all participants will earn PGPs. If you are interested in participating in the book study, please complete this form. Contact Meri Carnahan with questions.

NEW: Computer Science Course Requirements

IC 20-30-5-23 requires that, after June 30, 2021, all public and public charter schools include computer science in the curriculum for students in grades K-12. This involves standards-based instruction for all students in grades K-8. For high schools to be in compliance, at least one computer science course must be offered as an elective each year. See this page for standards documents and a list of high school courses that satisfy the high school requirement. Contact Jake Koressel if you need assistance meeting this requirement.

Office of Academics / Title Grants and Support

NEW: Upcoming EL Directors Meeting – February 10

Please join us for the third EL Leadership meeting of the school year on Wednesday, February 10, from 10:00 am-12:00 pm EST. All EL leaders across the state are encouraged to attend as IDOE's EL team will share news and updates, and participants will be able to collaborate with peers and give feedback on key EL topics. Meeting access links will be found in the Indiana English Learner PD Opportunities Calendar. For questions, please contact Emma Everson.

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: FSSA’s Division of Family Resources Thanks Schools for Submission of P-EBT Data

The Division of Family Resources (DFR) is pleased to share an overwhelming response of 99% of schools submitting over 470,000 students for P-EBT benefits. DFR offers sincere thanks to schools for the thorough response to the submission window for student P-EBT benefits. A complete list of schools submitting eligible students will be posted on the DFR P-EBT website. P-EBT cards will be mailed starting in February, the exact date regarding card issuance will be forthcoming. The Full Memo is available here.


REMINDER: 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

REMINDER: 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 administered by the Commission for Higher Education. Learn more about the scholarship and how to apply here.

REMINDER: Pre-AP Informational Webinar with College Board

Join the 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.

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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Weekly Updates

View previous weekly updates from Dr. Katie Jenner here.

Stay Informed

Did you miss a message? View previous weekly emails here. Want daily updates? Be sure to follow the Department on Twitter and Facebook.

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