An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for February 12, 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

Over the past month, our IDOE team has had the opportunity to speak with many educators and families. This time spent listening to you has been incredibly valuable -- you have shared your experiences, the challenges faced, and how you have both overcome and grown through it. All of us at IDOE greatly appreciate the work you are leading on a daily basis, and we know our students and families are thankful too.

We have some tremendous opportunities as a state, and as educators, to continue making a positive impact on the lives of Indiana’s students. Amidst the challenges of the past year and moving forward, we will keep top-of-mind how we can capitalize on the opportunity in this moment to work with educators and other partners to improve educational outcomes for all Hoosier students.

As we continue to work in collaboration with early learning, K-12, higher education, and our workforce partners, we will strive to provide you with the highest level of customer service and achieve our shared goal of ensuring our students are prepared for lifelong success.

We have already heard from some of you about the amazing work happening in your schools...we intend to both recognize it and celebrate it! Please keep sharing.

As always, thank you.

COVID-19 Updates - Academic Learning Gaps and Financial Information

NEW: Learning Gap Analysis and Recovery

Learning loss due to COVID-19 is a major concern for educators, students and families across the world right now. In the months ahead, Indiana must identify and analyze student learning gaps associated with instruction delivered in various scenarios during COVID-19, and Spring 2021 assessment data will be one critical component to that effort. We know Indiana’s low-income students, as well as our students of color, have been disproportionately impacted in multiple ways by COVID-19, and getting a snapshot of progress will help Indiana and educators better tailor supports for students.

A bill is currently moving through Indiana’s legislature which will require IDOE to conduct a study of learning loss resulting from COVID-19. We are proactively planning for this study, and our annual state assessment will serve as one data point to help inform recommendations for recovering from that loss. Other considerations will include details on instructional modes and methods as well as social and emotional learning implications. Additional information will be forthcoming as IDOE works with multiple education stakeholders to formulate plans for this study. In the meantime, please contact Brian Murphy with any questions.


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 released preliminary information and guidance for districts on Friday, January 29. 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.


UPDATED LINK: Emergency Assistance for Nonpublic Schools

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 nonpublic 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. If you have any questions, please reach out to Andrew Mazur, or call 317-232-9150.

Office of Academics / Title Grants and Support

NEW: 2021-2022 Title I Schoolwide Program Guidance Available

2021-2022 Schoolwide Program Guidance is now available. Under ESSA, LEAs have greater flexibility regarding schoolwide programs. Increased flexibility under ESSA has allowed all schools, regardless of poverty, to have access to a schoolwide program as long as it meets the needs of the lowest achieving students in the school. To be approved for schoolwide status, schools must submit an electronic Assurance of Schoolwide Plan (click here to access). The assurance must be completed by Friday, June 18, prior to submission of the 2021-2022 Title I Application. For additional information, please click here. If you have any questions, please contact Cole Dietrich.


NEW: 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant Application Release

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers Cohort 11 Request for Proposal has been released. This funding opportunity is available to school districts, public charter schools, and private and community-based organizations. Funds are provided to implement high-quality out-of-school time programming to support youth development and academic success. Applications are due Sunday, August 1, 2021. For more information, click here. For any questions, please reach out to Erin Busk and Christen Peterson at


UPDATE: Affirmation of Consultation Form

IDOE updated the editable Equitable Services Affirmation of Consultation Form (ACF) on Friday, 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; and 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC). The new ACF will replace all outdated documentation. You should make sure to discuss ESSER I and GEER I during Spring Consultation, if applicable. Please attach the new ACF to all future Title grant applications. The new ACF does not need to be uploaded for ESSER I or GEER I; also, the new ACF will not be used for ESSER II or GEER II, as neither are subject to Equitable Services. If you have any questions, please reach out to Andrew Mazur, or call 317-232-9150.


REMINDER: 2019-2020 NESP Financial End Report Now Available

The Financial End Report (FER) for the 2019-2020 NESP grant is now available and can be submitted via this form. This FER is due on Wednesday, March 31. 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.

Office of Information Technology

UPDATE: Data Exchange Onboarding

IDOE is working closely with SIS vendors to support the onboarding of schools to the Data Exchange solution. Schools are being onboarded in groups as their SIS vendor reaches certified status. Onboarding will establish the integration between the school’s SIS and IDOE. Please find below an update on currently certified SIS Vendors and the status of onboarding schools.

  • Jupiter Ed and Harmony: Certified Vendors. All schools using Jupiter Ed SIS and Harmony SIS should have received their authentication credentials and should be connected to Data Exchange, allowing school calendar, student enrollment, and attendance to flow. Those schools in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis have an additional configuration step which Jupiter Ed is addressing now. Security Coordinators for Jupiter Ed and Harmony customers that have not received their credentials or began configuring their SIS integration should contact the Department at for next steps.
  • PowerSchool: Certified Vendor. All schools using PowerSchool SIS should plan to join the upcoming onboarding session on Tuesday, February 16 at 1 p.m. ET to receive their authentication credentials and begin connecting to production. Register for the PowerSchool onboarding session here.
  • Skyward SMS 2.0: Certified Vendor. Onboarding sessions for schools using Skyward SMS 2.0 SIS will be announced in the coming weeks.

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. Schools may check the status of SIS Vendors currently working toward certification on the Vendor Certification Status document. Schools will be onboarded following a vendor’s certification.

Training for Data Exchange is provided separately from the onboarding process. Additional information regarding Data Exchange training and implementation can be found in the IDOE Moodle “Data Exchange Training and Community” Course (no enrollment key required). Questions can be directed to


REMINDER: State Matching Funds Available for Qualified Fiber Projects

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 percent 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. ET on Friday, March 26. For more information, please contact John Keller.

Office of Student Assessment

UPDATED: Spring 2021 Test Administration FAQ

IDOE offers guidance in this memo related to upcoming federally-required assessments based on questions received in recent weeks. Measuring student learning and progress is fundamental to ensuring student success, especially during the pandemic; assessments serve as one important component in our overall understanding of student learning.

We have requested a federal waiver for calculating accountability determinations, and are collaborating with state legislators to ensure schools are held harmless for the test results by issuing a null grade for the current school year. IDOE is also working with state policymakers for guidance in flexibility in graduation requirements, making sure that students also don’t face consequences due to the pandemic.

IDOE recognizes the concerns and complexities with administering federally-required, on-site assessments. If a student cannot participate in the assessment for health reasons (example – COVID-19 quarantine, health issue, homebound, etc.), then the school can document this information and report it back to IDOE.

Please contact the Office of Student Assessment with additional questions.


NEW: ILEARN Biology ECA Winter 2021 Paper Test Window Closes Thursday, February 18

Students testing on paper during the current ILEARN Biology ECA window must complete all testing by Thursday, February 18. Schools should follow instructions outlined in the ILEARN Test Coordinator Manual (TCM) for preparing, packaging, and shipping paper test materials to the scoring vendor no later than Thursday, February 25. Please contact the Indiana Assessment Help Desk with any questions.


NEW: Now Accepting Educator Applications for Assessment Item Writing

IDOE seeks educators to write items for Indiana state assessments. This important work will take place in summer 2021. Compensation is provided. Interested educators may apply for consideration using this link. Review this flyer for details. Contact Mary Williams with questions.

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 this memo for details. If you have questions about this information, please contact Melissa Ambre or Amy Pattison.


REMINDER: Summer School Estimated Costs

The deadline to submit the Estimated Costs Report and List of Courses for Summer School 2021 is Thursday, April 1. In order to be eligible for reimbursement of summer school instructional costs, the Estimated Costs Report, List of Courses, and Final Costs Report must be submitted by the posted deadlines. It is recommended that you print a copy of your submitted Estimated Costs and List of Courses for your records. Additional information can be found here, or if you need further assistance, please contact Teresa Hemmerle or Kathryn Roth.

Offices of Early, Elementary and Secondary Learning

NEW: Computer Science and CTE NextLevel Programs of Study (NLPS)

See this memo for guidance related to computer science and CTE Next Level Programs of Study. Contact Jake Koressel with questions.


NEW: New Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Webpage

The STEM webpage was redesigned for easier navigation. Links and information are now organized by the STEM Strategic Objectives, School Certification, Problem-Based Learning, and more! Visit the STEM webpage to learn more about Indiana’s STEM education resources and programs. Contact Shannon Dick with questions.


NEW: Save the Date! Learning Walks Webinar

Teachers, are you looking for ways to improve student outcomes by tapping into the expertise of your colleagues? This spring, IDOE will share more details about supporting educators with the implementation of non-evaluative learning walks in your school. Mark your calendars for an informational meeting on Tuesday, April 13. Registration details are forthcoming. Contact Matt Walsh with questions.


REMINDER: Dyslexia Toolkit Now Available

IDOE, in conjunction with Indiana University’s School of Education, created the dyslexia toolkit. This toolkit provides 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.


REMINDER: Register now for the Productive Math 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 Emily Bruning.

Office of Digital Learning

REMINDER: Indiana Digital Learning Month Continues

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:

  • “Tips from the Trenches,” with a panel of digital learning leaders sharing lessons learned on Tuesday, February 16 from 4 to 5 p.m. ET; and
  • “Digital Learning in the Secondary Classroom,” with four middle and high school teachers sharing how they’re using their favorite apps in the classroom on Tuesday, February 23 from 4 to 5 p.m. ET.

Review this flyer to register for these webinars. Check out the Digital Learning Month website for details on events taking place throughout the month of February and follow the #INDLmonth, where we’ll be sharing resources and inviting educators to connect with one another. Contact Meri Carnahan with questions.


REMINDER: Digital Learning Book Study Begins Monday, February 22

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 Monday, 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 this self-paced book study, join the Moodle course using the enrollment key interactive. Contact Meri Carnahan with questions.

Office of Academics / Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness

NEW: Diploma Seals Order Form

The online form to order Diploma Seals for the 2021 Cohort is now live. Please see this memo for more details. Contact Michelle Clarke with questions. 

Office of Special Education

NEW: Secondary Transition Data Retreats

Join OSE for one of three data retreats based on the Indicator 13 rotation group. Participation in the data retreat is optional though highly recommended for those school corporations who were recently or are currently in Tiers 2 and 3 for Indicator 13. Learn more and register today!

Data Retreat Dates and Times 

  • Tuesday, February 16 – Rotation Group 1
  • Tuesday, February 23 – Rotation Group 2
  • Thursday, February 25 – Rotation Group 3

All data retreats are from 9 to 11:30 a.m. ET. For questions or concerns please contact Michelle Oja.


NEW: Secondary Transition Office Hours

Join Michelle Oja on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 5 p.m. ET for open office hours. Bring questions, goals, or concerns to discuss. The link for the office hours is sent the day of the session. To sign-up to receive the link please use this Google form.


NEW: OSE Wants to Hear from YOU!

OSE has discontinued the weekly webinar series but would like to do some short topic based webinars in the near future. Please use this Google form to share with OSE what topics you’d like us to focus on. Please contact Michelle Oja with any questions or concerns.


REMINDER: IDEAL Annual Assessment

On July 1, 2020, the Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education (CDHHE) went live with their approved tools and assessments for schools to use in annually assessing their deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) students in accordance with HEA 1484 Indiana Deaf Education and Assessments of Language (IDEAL), codified in IC 20-35-12. For school responsibilities under IDEAL, schools may administer an annual assessment to their DHH students from the list of tools and assessments approved by CDHHE and found here. It should be noted that parents can opt out of annual assessments in writing. IC 20-35-12 further states that schools shall provide results of the tools and assessments to the CDHHE. The reporting portal for sharing the results of assessment can be found here. Before submitting data to CDHHE, please ensure you obtain a written and dated consent from the parent to disclose the personally identifiable information of the student to CDHHE.

More information about IDEAL can be found at the CDHHE webpage under the IDEAL tab. If you have questions about IDEAL in general or about specific requirements under this statute, feel free to reach out to CDHHE under the Contact Us link on their webpage. You may also contact Patrick Rhodes at the IDOE Office of Special Education.


REMINDER: ISPROUT Early Childhood Assessment

Programs using ISPROUT as the required Part B assessment for preschoolers should follow IDOE guidance in regards to new assessment windows as well as requirements for in-person and remote learners. The flexibility of having multiple windows allows teachers to complete assessments throughout the year as students may move in and out of in-person settings. Making use of any in-person classroom time is critical to collecting assessment data and working to improve compliance. For additional information or questions regarding ISPROUT, please contact Felecia Jordan, Early Childhood Assessment Specialist.

News From Our Partners


February is Black History Month! Asante Children's Theatre of Indianapolis has developed a free, virtual Black History Month program that schools across the state can use to teach, inspire & engage students. Check out the curriculum guide, and the full program video


NEW FROM THE INDIANA STATE MUSEUM: Spring Break Camp Opportunities

The Indiana State Museum is offering spring break camp opportunities for students in grades one through six. Camp will be offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 22-26 and March 29-April 2. Scholarship opportunities are available. To learn more, visit the Indiana State Museum online or contact Hazel Theriault.


NEW FROM THE FAMILY AND SOCIAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION: Providing Pandemic Electronic Benefits to Indiana Families

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 as the Public Health Emergency continues. The February 2021 issuance is the third issuance DFR has collaborated on to successfully distribute P-EBT Benefits to eligible families. This communication provides information regarding the data submission process, P-EBT card issuance status, federal update in amount received for P-EBT, and proposed future question and answer webinars.

DFR has also updated the P-EBT website and FAQs based on questions received from school personnel.


NEW FROM THE INDIANA YOUTH INSTITUTE: Course Available on Equity in Counseling

The Indiana Youth Institute has opened applications for a 10-week online professional education course taught by Dr. Laura Owen, Department of Counseling and School Psychology at San Diego State University. The Foundations for Equity in College and Career Counseling course will include self-paced learning modules and five one-hour virtual class sessions with Dr. Owen. This course is provided at no cost to participants and specifically designed for school counselors, college and career advisors, and college access and success professionals working in school, community, or government settings. Space is limited and applications close on Monday, February 15. To learn more, click 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.