An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for January 29, 2021

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

A Message from Dr. Katie Jenner

Madam CJ Walker

Next week, we usher in the month of February, which is Black History Month. One of my favorite Black historical icons is Madam C.J. Walker (born Sarah Breedlove). If you do not know her story, I encourage you to dig in because she is remarkable and became a Hoosier by choice. In the early 1900s, she identified a need in the marketplace -- quality hair care products and cosmetics tailored to the needs of Black women -- and she built a business empire (based in Indianapolis!) that earned her the distinction as America’s first female self-made millionaire. 

In speeches, Madam Walker spoke of her humble beginnings and how she worked her way up the career ladder during a time when women, and especially Black women, were not welcome in the business world. A vocal advocate for civil rights, Madam Walker played the role of friend and mentor to countless women and people of color throughout her life.

As her wealth grew, so did her philanthropic interests, and the Indianapolis community owes a debt of gratitude to this inspirational woman who contributed heavily to nonprofit organizations committed to making the city a better place. 

I am thankful for the example set by Madam Walker. Her life serves as a beautiful reminder that, no matter the challenges we face, we hold within ourselves the power to work hard, help others, and never give up when reaching for our dreams. Thank you, Madam Walker!

COVID-19 Updates

NEW: Additional COVID-19 Relief Funding (ESSER II-CARES 2.0)

On December 27, 2020, Congress authorized ESSER II-CARES 2.0, a second round of COVID-19 related stimulus funding for K-12 education. IDOE has preliminary information and guidance for districts as they prepare for the increased funding amount. Please visit the IDOE ESSER II webpage for preliminary allocations, allowable activity information, and grant administration information. The specific application and final allocations are forthcoming. For questions, please reach out to Cole Dietrich

NEW: Emergency Assistance for Nonpublic Schools (EANS)

On December 27, 2020, Congress authorized a second round of COVID-19 related stimulus funding for K-12 education. The relief package includes Emergency Assistance for Nonpublic Schools (EANS), a new program targeted specifically at supporting non-public schools. While the federal law requires a public agency to administer all EANS funds, IDOE has developed a formula that allocates the total cost of eligible services and supports available to each participating school. Please visit the IDOE EANS webpage for eligibility information and initial planning allocations. The specific application and final allocations for services and supports are forthcoming. For questions, please reach out to Andrew Mazur

Office of Academics / Title Grants and Support

NEW: Affirmation of Consultation Form

IDOE has updated the editable Equitable Services Affirmation of Consultation Form (ACF). Updated ACF resources and tutorials will be posted in the near future on the IDOE Ombudsman page. You can find the updated form here, in the alert box. This new ACF will be used for Title I, A; Title I, C; Title II, A; Title III, A; Title IV, A; 21st CCLC; ESSER, & GEER, replacing all outdated documentation. Please attach this form for all future CARES 2.0 and Title applications. If you have any questions, reach out to Andrew Mazur or call 317-232-9150. 

Office of Information Technology

REMINDER: 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. For more information, please contact John Keller.

Office of Student Assessment

NEW: 2021 Spring Test Administration FAQs

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) offers guidance in this memo related to upcoming test administration windows based on questions received in recent weeks. Please contact us at with additional questions.

NEW: 2020-2021 IREAD-3 Upcoming Test Administration Guidance

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) issues this guidance regarding the support and retention of students who do not pass the IREAD-3 prior to their projected fourth grade year during the 2020-2021 school year. Please contact the Office of Student Assessment (OSA) with questions.

NEW: ISTEP+ Spring 2021 Retest  Monitoring

As required by federal law, OSA will conduct unannounced monitoring visits during the ISTEP+ Spring 2021 Retest testing window beginning February 1. Please ensure that school administrators and staff are aware that these online visits will be conducted. Click here for more details.

NEW: ILEARN Biology End-of-Course Assessment (ECA) Winter 2021 Test Window Opens Next Monday, February 8

Students completing their high school biology course during the second trimester should participate in the Winter 2021 ILEARN Biology ECA (required by federal law) during the upcoming test window (February 8-25). All demographic and accommodation data must correctly reflect in the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) for participating students ahead of all practice and operational test sessions. Test Administrators (TAs) should use the ILEARN Biology ECA Test Administrator’s Manual (TAM) to administer the online practice and operational assessments. The ILEARN Biology ECA TAM with Spanish Scripted Instructions is also available for students, as needed.

NEW: ILEARN Spring 2021 Educator Scoring Application Window Now Open 

The application window for educators interested in scoring open-ended ILEARN items opened last Wednesday and continues through March 17. Please share this flyer and related FAQ with your educators so they can access the online application link and other key details related to this process. Please contact the Indiana Assessment Help Desk with any questions.

NEW: Online Test Administrator (TA) Certification Course for I AM Now Available on I AM Portal

The online TA Certification Course for I AM is now available from the I AM Portal by clicking the Test Administrator Certification card. This course is a yearly requirement for all educators administering I AM, which is a federal requirement. 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

REMINDER: ISTEP+ Retest Spring 2021 Testing Window Begins February 1

Current juniors and seniors across the state will begin taking the ISTEP+ Retest through the month of February. Schools are required to test current juniors for accountability requirements, even if they are using a graduation pathway. As a reminder, this is the last year for a whole cohort to take ISTEP+ as we transition to SAT in Spring 2022. Seniors may also take the test during this window, although only one attempt per school year is needed to meet the Graduation Qualifying Exam waiver graduation requirements.

REMINDER: Test Administration Guidance for Spring Testing

Please review IDOE’s remote proctoring guidance as you plan for spring testing. All state summative assessments must be administered to students in person, including practice and operational tests. Please contact the OSA with questions about this guidance. Please contact the Office of Accountability with questions related to performance calculations and participation rates.

Office of School Finance

NEW: Curricular Material Memo and Estimated Payment

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. For more information, please contact Amy Pattison.

Offices of Early, Elementary and Secondary Learning

REMINDER: 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. Visit IDOE’s website 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 Digital Learning

NEW: February is Indiana Digital Learning Month

IDOE is partnering with organizations and educators to provide multiple training opportunities. The focus is on strengthening student learning experiences with the effective use of technology in a blended learning environment. Check out the Indiana Digital Learning Month website for details on upcoming events, and follow the #INDLmonth hashtag where IDOE will share resources and invite educators to connect with one another. Contact Meri Carnahan with  questions.

REMINDER: Digital Learning Book Study Begins in February

This spring, IDOE 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 the week of February 22. Even though this book is geared toward elementary teachers, secondary teachers may also benefit from the discussions, and all participants will earn up to 18 PGPs. To participate in the book study, join the Moodle course using the enrollment key interactive. Contact Meri Carnahan with questions.

Office of Academics / Special Education

NEW: INSTRC and IN*SOURCE Offer Family Employment Awareness Training (FEAT) from February to March!

From February 16 to March 25, INSTRC and IN*SOURCE will be holding a series of webinars on FEAT. To learn more and register go to the IN*SOURCE FEAT information and registration page. Please contact Michelle Oja with any questions or concerns.

NEW: Transition Portfolio Webinar Series

In March, INSTRC will be offering a five part webinar series on Transition Portfolios. Each session will be offered twice from 9:00-10:30 am and from 1:00-2:30 pm EST:

  • March 2: Overview of Transition Portfolios
  • March 3: How to Capture Student Learning Characteristics
  • March 4: Capturing Student’s Academic Skills
  • March 8: Recognizing and Recording Student Employability Skills
  • March 12: Step-by-step How-tos for Navigating through Several Transition Portfolio Examples

Registration is currently open. Please contact Michelle Oja with any questions or concerns.

REMINDER: 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.

Office of Educator Licensing

NEW: Recommended Multi-State Cut Scores for Five New Praxis Licensure Tests 

The Office of Educator Licensing and the Office of Higher Education and Educator Preparation Programs has posted a brief description and recommended multi-state cut scores for five new Praxis licensure tests that will become effective for licensure candidates on September 1, 2021. These tests are the P-12 pedagogy test, the STEM and Humanities content subtests for Elementary Generalist, and the STEM and Humanities content subtests for Early Childhood Generalist. The public comment period is open until 5:00 p.m. on February 24, 2021. Indiana practitioners participated on the multi-state cut score setting panels. If you would like to review the technical score setting report and the recommended multi-state cut scores and submit comments, you will find them in the green alert box here.

News From Our Partners

NEW: Earning College Credit in High School Saves Families and Taxpayers Millions

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education’s new 2021 Indiana Early College Credit Report shows the impact of early college credit (whether dual credit, Advanced Placement or both) for students, families and the state of Indiana.


  • Students who earn college credit while in high school can save the state of Indiana, themselves and their families millions—with a combined potential economic impact of almost $160 million annually.
  • Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of high school students in the graduating class of 2018 earned some form of early college credit.
  • Students who earn college credit in high school are more likely to enroll in college, be successful while in college and complete on time or early.
  • There are disparities when it comes to who earns dual credit, by race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status and geographic region of the state.  

The report also includes new, expanded data about the Indiana College Core (formerly the Statewide Transfer General Education Core or STGEC); including the cost savings potential for students who earn the Indiana College Core through dual credit. Students can earn the 30-hour block of general education credits (equivalent to one full year of college) for no more than $750—a fraction of the cost of college tuition.

Find the full report here or read the press release.

NEW: CTE Concentrator Student Progress App

The Office of Career & Technical Education (CTE) is excited to announce a new app for counselors and other school officials to utilize when searching for information on a student’s progress within a CTE pathway. The app can be used to determine whether a student has reached CTE concentrator status for the purposes of Graduation Pathways. If a student has not yet reached concentrator status, users can view a student’s completed or currently enrolled courses and the remaining courses necessary to become a CTE concentrator. The app may also be used without individual student information to browse available pathways and the courses contained within each pathway. Information is available for both Perkins IV or Perkins V pathways and the app will have a Next Level Programs of Study tab once schools begin using NLPS courses in the upcoming school year. The app can be accessed here. A counselor or other school official will need a student’s last name and student testing number (STN) to utilize the app. Any questions related to the new app can be directed to Jedd Vance or Chris Deaton.

NEW: Students Encouraged to Register for Cybersecurity Competition

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security encourages high school students to register for the CyberStart America competition, a cybersecurity skills-based game competition designed to help students understand the many learning and career opportunities in cyber fields. Interested students can find out more about CyberStart America and register through February 28 at

NEW: Indiana Youth Institute Data Book Now Available

The 27th edition of Indiana Youth Institute Indiana KIDS COUNT® Data Book for 2021 is now available. Published annually, the Data Book is designed to be the go-to source for the latest research and information on child well-being in Indiana. IYI’s 2021 KIDS COUNT® Data Book examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and continuation of racial and ethnic disparities in outcomes across all four domains – Family and Community, Economic Well-Being, Education, and Health. More information below:

There are four resources associated with this year’s Data Book:

To learn more, please visit

NEW: National Center for State Courts Sponsoring Essay Contest

The National Center for State Courts is sponsoring a Law Day civics education essay contest for students in grades 3-12 with the theme of “Advancing the Rule of Law Now.” The deadline is February 26. What does the rule of law mean to you? See more information

NEW: Register for Winter Edcamp

Join PATINS Winter Edcamp on February 9, 2021. Edcamp is an "unconference" offering two, 20 minute sessions of your choice in which to actively engage in conversation. Unlike traditional conferences which have schedules set months in advance, PATINS Edcamp has an agenda that is created by you at the time of registration. Register today for no-cost for PATINS Winter Edcamp 2021!

Update: New Courses Added to Moodle

Rose-Hulman’s PRISM has added IU’s Turnkey Courses into Moodle LMS. Visit their website here with your login and username to access these courses in Moodle. Contact Jennifer Watson, Senior Digital Learning Specialist or Bob Jackson, Educational Liaison PRISM Project, with any questions.

REMINDER: Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship Deadline January 31

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.


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.

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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.