An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for February 26, 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’s warmer temperatures are an exciting reminder that spring is right around the corner! After a difficult year, this spring will be particularly special, bringing with it the promise of new beginnings.

This week also afforded us renewed perspective as our IDOE team had an opportunity to continue connecting with students, teachers, school counselors, administrators, and other external partners. Hearing their stories and exchanging ideas allowed us to learn from one another and will ultimately strengthen our collective impact.

I am especially excited to share a bit about the meeting our team had with Karrah Herring, Indiana’s first Chief Equity, Inclusion & Opportunity Officer. Karrah joined Governor Holcomb’s team at the beginning of this month and is in the early stages of formulating her plans for this new role. We were thankful for the opportunity to learn about her vision for educational equity in Indiana. Here’s what she had to say:

“The need for equity and opportunity in education transcends just race and ethnicity. We certainly must make closing the achievement gaps which exist between white students and Black and brown students a priority. However, we must also prioritize our efforts with equity and opportunity for students from low socioeconomic backgrounds and students with physical and mental disabilities across all races and identities. The work ahead of us is great but not insurmountable. I am excited to support IDOE and our administrators and educators across the state.”

The knowledge and passion Karrah brings to her role will undoubtedly benefit us all. We know every county across Indiana has varying demographics, and therefore, varying needs. We look forward to working together on improving equity, access, and opportunities for all Hoosier students.

COVID-19 Updates - Academic Implications and Financial Information

NEW: Federal Assessment Guidance from U.S. Department of Education

This week, the U.S. Department of Education released guidance regarding federally-required spring assessments. Consistent with this guidance, Indiana is working to help schools administer assessments in a manner that prioritizes safety. While assessment data is one important step in identifying and addressing students’ learning needs, it’s important that schools and students aren’t penalized. Indiana has already requested a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education for calculating accountability determinations this year, and IDOE is working with state legislators to ensure schools are held harmless for the test results by issuing a null grade for the current school year. Click here to read Dr. Jenner’s full statement.


REMINDER: Continuous and Accelerated Learning Guidance Coming Soon

As the end of the school year approaches, schools and parents are likely thinking about summer learning opportunities. IDOE plans to release new guidance regarding continued and accelerated summer learning in early March.


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.


REMINDER: Emergency Assistance for Nonpublic Schools (EANS-CARES 2.0)

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 Student Assessment

NEW: ISTEP+ Retest Spring 2021 Online Testing Extended Through Friday, March 5

The extended ISTEP+ Retest Spring 2021 online testing window closes Friday, March 5. Due to federal requirements, schools must attempt to complete testing for as many eligible students as possible. Please locally document any cases of student non-participation, whether due to COVID-19 quarantine or health concerns. ISTEP+ Retest Spring 2021 results are scheduled to be available Monday, April 19. Please contact the Office of Student Assessment with additional questions.


NEW: Required Accommodations Training

Required accommodations training is available on the Indiana Assessment Portal. As a reminder, all TAs administering IREAD-3, ILEARN, and I AM to students with accommodations are required to view this recorded training and PowerPoint prior to the opening of the test window. Please contact the Office of Student Assessment with additional questions.


REMINDER: First Year I AM Training

The required First Year I AM Test Administrator (TA) Training will take place Wednesday, March 3 from 3:30 to 4 p.m. ET. A recording of this training will be available on the I AM Portal following the live session. If a new I AM TA is unable to attend the live session, they must view the recorded training before test administration. Corporation test coordinators must document completion locally, ensuring all new I AM TAs have participated in either the live session or viewed the recorded training. Please contact the Office of Student Assessment with additional questions.

Office of Leadership and Innovation

REMINDER: Nominate an Educator for Teacher of the Year

IDOE is proud to kick-off another year of the Teacher of the Year Program. Each year, this program works to elevate the teaching profession and celebrate the men and women who dedicate their lives to helping Hoosier youth achieve their greatest potential. Information on how to nominate an Indiana teacher for the Indiana Teacher of the Year selection process can be found here. For more information, contact Rebecca Estes.


REMINDER: Applications for Spanish Visiting Teacher Program

Details and applications for the SY 2021-2022 Spanish Visiting Teacher Program can be found here. The application deadline is Monday, March 29. For more information, contact Rebecca Estes.

Office of Academics / Title Grants and Support

NEW: High Ability Program Grant Final Report Due Wednesday, March 31

The 2019-2020 (FY20) High Ability Program Grant final report is due on or before Wednesday, March 31. The final report will be submitted via JotForm. Please prepare all responses prior to opening JotForm, as the report cannot be saved once activated. Please reach out to Whitney Coake with any questions.


NEW: College Board Releases Advanced Placement (AP) Exam Administration Options

College Board announced AP® Exam administration updates, including the updated exam schedule, testing options available this year, and the 2021 AP Exam Administration Timeline. AP Coordinators are encouraged to attend the free mini-workshop series to help determine a plan for the updated exam administration options. Please reach out to Whitney Coake with any questions.


NEW: International Baccalaureate Spring Exams

The International Baccalaureate Organization released guidance on the May 2021 exam session. Participating local educational agencies can find additional details here. Contact Whitney Coake with any questions.


REMINDER: 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. 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.


REMINDER: 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.

Office of Information Technology

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 Educator Licensing

REMINDER: Summer Licensure Test Transition

IDOE is pleased to announce that many of the Praxis content and pedagogy licensure tests, approved for use in Indiana, will be available for early administration starting Thursday, July 1. The Department has been working with both the current and incoming licensure test vendors to provide an earlier transition between the Pearson CORE and the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Praxis test programs than previously planned. By transitioning to the new test early, IDOE is working to provide greater convenience for teachers -- allowing them the option to use either test during this transition period.

Registration and preparation materials, including one free interactive practice test per test area, will be open and available in mid-May. More details about how to access the registration site and preparation materials will be provided later this spring. Additional information will be posted here. Anyone with questions is encouraged to contact Risa Regnier.

Offices of School Finance

NEW: FY 2022 and FY 2023 State Tuition Support Projections

Between Wednesday, March 4, and Wednesday, March 25, school officials can review and/or update FY 2022 and FY 2023 formula data. The data projections have been prepared by staff at the Legislative Services Agency (LSA) and may be used by the General Assembly to forecast the costs of potential funding formulas. If you believe the LSA data projections are not representative of data for your school corporation, please input the appropriate estimate for both FY 2022 and FY 2023 projections. IDOE will forward a file containing all the estimated components to LSA on or before Saturday, April 10. Additional information is available in this memo. For additional questions, please contact Melissa Ambre.


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, Course List, 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 Courses for your records. Additional information can be found here, or if you need further assistance, please contact Teresa Hemmerle or Kathryn Roth.

Office of Academics / Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness

NEW: IDOE and Department of Child Services (DCS) hold information session

Join the Social, Emotional and Behavioral Wellness (SBEW) team for an information session Wednesday, March 10 from 4 to 5 p.m. ET. IDOE and DCS staff will discuss educational neglect and how that is defined for hotline case managers, as well as prevention ideas and resources available through Community Partners for Child Safety. Click here to register. For additional information, contact Lisa Truitt.


NEW: IDOE and Covering Kids & Families hold information session

How does having healthcare coverage impact student performance? Who qualifies for Indiana Health Coverage Programs? What are common misconceptions about qualifying? What challenges do students and their families face in obtaining and keeping coverage? You will learn the answer to these questions and more during the SEBW team’s information session Wednesday, March 17 from 4 to 5 p.m. ET, hosted in partnership with Covering Kids & Families. Click here to register. For more information, contact Christy Berger.

Office of Special Education

UPDATED: Registration Links for LINK/Single Sign-On Transition Webinars

To make the LINK/Single Sign-On Transition webinars more accessible, IDOE changed the webinar platform to Zoom, in partnership with PATINS Project. This change allows closed captioning and other accommodations for participants. Please re-register for the LINK/Single Sign-On Transition webinars, occurring on Thursday, March 4, Wednesday, April 14, and Thursday, May 20. The updated registration link can be found in this memo. The slide deck and recording from the first webinar, held on Thursday, February 4, are available online. For additional information, contact Colleen Pawlicki.


REMINDER: IDOE Seeking Diverse Group of Stakeholders

The Office of Special Education is seeking a diverse group of educators, parents, and others to serve as stakeholders for Indiana’s State Performance Plan / Annual Performance Review, as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Stakeholder involvement requirements include: engaging in setting targets, analyzing data, developing improvement strategies, and evaluating progress for each of the 17 federal special education indicators. For questions, or to provide contact information for interested educators or parents, please contact Traci Hackleman.


REMINDER: Temporary Medicaid Filing Limit Waiver for 2020 IEP Medical Services

School corporations that were unable to meet Medicaid's 180-day filing deadline in 2020 now have an additional 90 days, beginning Tuesday, February 16, to submit claims for covered IEP-required medical services provided from January 1, 2020 forward. Medicaid will not automatically adjust schools’ 2020 claims previously denied for late filing; these must be resubmitted during the temporary 90-day waiver period in order to be reconsidered for payment. Please consult your school district's medical billing agent vendor for technical assistance. Contact Tracy Brunner if you have questions.


REMINDER: IDEA, Part B Grant Reminder

Currently, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has not provided an extension to the FY 2020 grant. This means that both the FY 2019 and FY 2020 grants will close on Thursday, September 30. All expenses must be encumbered on/before that date in order to be eligible for reimbursement from either grant. Expenses that occur after Thursday, September 30 cannot be paid from FY 2019 or FY 2020 funds. Please continue to utilize these two grants and request reimbursement so that no funds are lost.

LEAs can request reimbursement for FY 2019 and FY 2020 until Wednesday, December 15 for the expenses made prior to Thursday, September 30. Final reports are due within 30 days of the final reimbursement request but no later than Wednesday, December 15. All templates can be found on Moodle in the folder for the appropriate grant year. Please contact your assigned grant specialist, found on Moodle, if you have any questions.


REMINDER: OSE Wants to Hear from YOU!

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

News From Our Partners


The Family and Social Services Administration’s Division of Family Resources (DFR) will host several live P-EBT webinars now through Thursday, March 4. It is important to have your relevant staff persons attend one of these sessions. Each session will cover critical updates to P-EBT policy and the data submission process, along with reviewing common problems with data submissions. The schedule of webinars and links to join can be found here. More information regarding the P-EBT program can be found on the DFR P-EBT website.



The Head Start State Collaboration Office (HSSCO) is asking for stakeholder feedback through their annual Needs Assessment. A summary of stakeholder responses will be included in the needs assessment report, which will be made available to the general public through the Family and Social Services Administration website in mid-July. Please allow approximately 10 minutes to complete. Contact Tonia Carriger with any questions.



The Indiana State Museum is offering summer camp opportunities for students in preschool through grade eight. Both day and weeklong camps will be offered at various locations across the state. Scholarship opportunities are available. Registration begins Monday, March 1. To learn more, visit the Indiana State Museum online or contact Hazel Theriault.



College Board will be providing workshops in early March on using data to improve instruction. There are two workshops, each with multiple opportunities to participate. Schools may find this PSAT workshop helpful in planning for the statewide SAT administration in spring 2022. This flyer contains more information.


NEW FROM PATINS: AEMing for Achievement Grant

The 2021-2022 AEMing for Achievement Grant applications are open until Wednesday, June 30. For more information and success stories, contact Daniel McNulty or visit their website.


NEW FROM INSOURCE: Executive Director Search

INSOURCE is looking for a new executive director. The INSOURCE resource center equips families and partners with professionals to help students with special needs realize their potential. For more information on the Executive Director position, click here or contact INSOURCE.

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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