An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for February 5, 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

As we close out another busy week, I hope you’ve had a chance to celebrate School Counselor Week.

Both as a student, and as an educator, the school counselor is always a “go-to” person in our school buildings. There’s something about them...our schools’ encouragers, empowers, listeners, supporters, and many times the heartbeat of our schools. My experience has always been that these amazing people somehow manage to strike the right balance between emotion, realism, and hope...even in tough situations.

During COVID, our school counselors are undoubtedly working overtime to serve students and tend to their ongoing responsibilities, while also helping skill-up our school teams in social and emotional learning and needs. Our IDOE team is so grateful for you.

At the Department, we know that every position and role in a school matters -- and it’s frequently the actual person in the role that matters most. Happy School Counselor Week, and thank you for all that you do!

COVID-19 Updates

REMINDER: 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

REMINDER: 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: 2019-2020 NESP Financial End Report Now Available

The Financial End Report for the 2019-2020 NESP grant is now available and can be submitted via this form. This FER is due on March 31, 2021. Your grant details can be viewed in Intelligrants, accessed via the LINK portal (not within the older system where this grant’s application was completed). Please reach out to Adam Pitt with any questions.

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 10:00-12:00 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 can be found in the Indiana English Learner PD Opportunities Calendar. For questions, please contact Emma Everson.

REMINDER: Affirmation of Consultation Form

IDOE updated the editable Equitable Services Affirmation of Consultation Form (ACF) on January 29. 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: Spring 2021 IREAD-3 Hard of Hearing Request Form - Due February 21

IREAD-3 includes items measuring basic phonics skills. The Hard of Hearing (HoH) form removes the requirement to participate in phonics items for students who have a hearing impairment which prevents phonics instruction. Test Coordinators should review this memo for more information about requesting and using the HoH form. The HoH request form must be submitted by February 21. Please contact the Office of Student Assessment before the scheduled day of testing if a student enrolls in your school/corporation after February 21 and requires the HoH form.

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

The I AM TA Certification Course is now available from the Test Administrators and Educators page on the I AM Portal. All I AM TAs are required to complete modules 1-3 and score an 80% or higher on the associated quiz in order to be certified to administer I AM assessments. A record of completion will be maintained in TIDE. Questions about this course can be communicated to the Indiana Assessment Help Desk

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

Students completing the high school Biology course at the second trimester should participate in the Winter 2021 ILEARN Biology ECA during the Winter 2021 test window. The test window opens Monday, February 8 and continues through February 25. The Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) must correctly reflect all demographic and accommodations data for participating students ahead of all practice and operational test sessions. TAs must 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. Questions about this can be communicated to the Office of Student Assessment

Office of School Finance

NEW: February State Tuition Support Payment 

The Office of School Finance updated Special Education Grant funding to reflect actual December 2020 special education counts. Please read the memo for details. If you have questions about this information, please contact Melissa Ambre or Amy Pattison.

REMINDER: 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.

Offices of Early, Elementary and Secondary Learning

NEW: Dyslexia Toolkit Now Available

The Indiana Department of Education, in conjunction with Indiana University’s School of Education, created the dyslexia toolkit. This toolkit was created to provide additional information, resources, and materials to support educators as they implement reading interventions with students with the characteristics of dyslexia. Visit IDOE’s Dyslexia webpage to review the toolkit. Please contact Joe Risch with questions.

Office of Secondary Learning

NEW: Register Now for the Productive Mathematics Struggle Workshop 

Discover how to implement and support students’ productive struggle in the mathematics classroom. This full-day, in-person workshop will provide participants with key points from the Productive Math Struggle book, highlight action activities with demonstrations, and support intentional planning time. K-12 educators, administrators, and instructional coaches are encouraged to participate. Complete this form to register. A virtual attendance option is available. For additional information, please contact

Office of Digital Learning

REMINDER: February is Indiana Digital Learning Month

IDOE is partnering with organizations and educators to provide several opportunities to learn about strengthening student learning experiences with the effective use of technology in a blended learning environment. Next week, educators can participate in two webinars:

  • “Getting Interactive in the Elementary Classroom,” with elementary teachers and authors Joe and Kristin Merrill on Tuesday, February 9 from 4 to 5 p.m. ET; and 
  • “Keep Indiana Learning” with CIESC’s Carrie Rosebrock on Wednesday, February 10 from 4 to 5 p.m. ET

Review this flyer to register for these two webinars and for a full list of events. Check out the Indiana Digital Learning Month website for more details and follow the #INDLmonth hashtag on Twitter. Contact Meri Carnahan with questions.

Office of Academics / Special Education

NEW: Educational Neglect Resource

The Indiana Department of Education and the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) have been collaborating to better provide support to educators on educational neglect due to an abundance of calls to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline. This resource is meant to provide additional insight. Please contact Lisa Truitt with any questions or concerns. 

NEW: SEBW Team Office Hours

Join the SEBW and Title teams on February 10, 2021, from 4:00-5:00 EST to discuss how CARES 2.0-ESSER II funds can be spent to support social-emotional learning and mental health for students and educators. Please register here. Please contact Christy Berger with any questions or concerns. 

NEW: Reducing Exclusionary Discipline Resource

To ensure our education environments are providing equitable teaching and learning environments for all children, it is crucial all schools examine their current policies and procedures for discipline. Please see this resource as a tool to support. Please contact Lisa Truitt or Steve Balko with any questions or concerns.

Office of Educator Licensing

REMINDER: 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

REMINDER FROM THE COMMISSION FOR HIGHER EDUCATION: 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.


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.

REMINDER FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: 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


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

REMINDER FROM THE INDIANA SUPREME COURT: 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

REMINDER FROM PATINS: 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!

REMINDER FROM INSTRC and IN*SOURCE: 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.

REMINDER FROM INSTRC: 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.

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.