An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for April 2, 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

When it comes to educational attainment, EVERY year in the life of a child matters. The knowledge and skills developed in each year of instruction lay the foundation upon which future learning is achieved.

Just as race cars accelerate towards the finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (almost time for May racing in Indiana!), schools across Indiana are developing accelerated learning plans to ensure students receive the building blocks necessary for success as they cross the finish line of one grade level and transition to the next.

To support our educators and schools in this effort, IDOE has launched a new accelerated learning website. This living resource will provide continuously updated guidance to support the development of strategic learning opportunities that capitalize on current available funding sources, maximize community partnerships, and ensure equitable access for all students.

As we continue to elevate Indiana-focused success stories, an example you’ll find highlighted in our research is a recent Marion County partnership developed between schools and community partners, including the Mind Trust and the United Way of Central Indiana. This community-based initiative aims to accelerate learning for Marion County students this summer by focusing on Indianapolis’ highest need neighborhoods.

One of the key aspects of this initiative is a five-week student experience, where students will split their time between rigorous academic experiences and supplemental activities. The initiative will also offer a pre- and post-assessment that is mapped to Indiana standards and intended to inform families and schools about student growth over the summer. You can read more about this partnership on IDOE's accelerated learning website.

While this model is one of several being developed in communities across our state, it is intended to provide another Indiana example as you evaluate the unique needs of your students locally. As we enter the final stretch of the 2020-2021 school year, I am reminded that with every great challenge comes great opportunity. With our Indiana educators in the driver’s seat, I know that the opportunities are limitless, and you can count on us as partners in providing guidance and support as we, together, keep our eye on the finish line! Thank you for all that you do!

COVID-19 Updates - Academic Implications and Financial Information

NEW: Accelerated Learning: Formative Assessment Guidance

Indiana’s Accelerated Learning Plan includes assessment guidance to support identification of learning needs and progress monitoring. This guide is updated to include information specific to assessment programs approved through the Formative Assessment Grant Program. Review the Accelerated Learning: Formative Assessment Guidance for more details. For questions, please contact Michelle Kemper.


NEW: Spring 2021 Summative Assessments

Per guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, a summative assessment must be delivered in Spring 2021 for Indiana students. Questions regarding assessments can be directed to the Office of Student Assessment.


NEW: Graduation Qualifying Examination Waiver

IDOE continues to work with state policymakers on guidance for flexibility of an annual test event to fulfill the current Graduation Qualifying Examination requirements for cohorts prior to 2022. The department will provide guidance following the conclusion of the legislative session, once formal legislation is enacted.


REMINDER: Accelerated Learning Professional Development

IDOE invites schools and community partners to join the webinars listed below, where IDOE staff will discuss Indiana’s Accelerated Learning Plan. Registration is not required, and webinars will be recorded for those unable to attend live. For more information, contact Nicole Smithers.




Webinar Link

Tuesday, April 6

4 to 4:45 p.m. ET


Join Here

Wednesday, April 7

7 to 7:45 a.m. ET


Join Here

Monday, April 12

4 to 4:45 p.m. ET

Community Partners

Join Here

Thursday, April 15

7 to 7:45 a.m. ET

Community Partners

Join Here

Office of Accountability

NEW: Five-Year Graduation Rate Audit of 2019 Cohort Opens Monday, April 12

Beginning Monday, April 12, IDOE is providing the opportunity for schools to audit and correct errors to the five-year graduation rate of the 2019 cohort. This audit is voluntary and is similar to the process for the voluntary four-year graduation rate audit. Please see this memo for details about the audit and visit the Moodle School Accountability & Accreditation Community (Graduation Rate > Audits) for additional audit resources. Questions may be directed to

Office of Student Assessment

NEW: I AM 2021 Monitoring

The Office of Student Assessment (OSA) in partnership with Chamberlin/Dunn, LLC will conduct monitoring visits during the I AM Spring 2021 testing window beginning Monday, April 5. Please ensure that school administrators and staff are aware that these online visits will be conducted without prior notice. Click here for more details. Contact the Indiana Assessment Help Desk with any questions.


NEW: I AM Testing Window

The I AM assessment window opens Monday, April 5 and continues through Friday, May 14. I AM Test Administrators (TAs) must complete the Learner Characteristics Inventory (LCI), available in the I AM Portal, prior to the test administration. Contact the Indiana Assessment Help Desk with questions about accessing or completing the LCI.


NEW: ILEARN 3-8 Initial Orders Arrive In Corporations on Monday, April 5

Corporations and schools who reported regular and large print accommodations for students in grades three through eight via the DOE-TA and Indiana IEP by Wednesday, January 27 will receive shipments of those paper tests on Monday, April 5. FedEx will not leave secure shipments unless permissioned school staff are onsite to receive them. Contact the Indiana Assessment Help Desk with any questions.

Office of Academics / Title Grants and Support

NEW: Upcoming English Learner Directors Meeting Wednesday, April 21

Join us for the fourth English Learner (EL) Leadership meeting of the school year on Wednesday, April 21 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST. This meeting will provide EL leaders across the state the opportunity to collaborate with peers, give feedback on key EL topics and hear news and updates from IDOE's EL team. Meeting access links are available in the Indiana English Learner PD Opportunities Calendar. For questions, please contact Emma Everson.


NEW: Emergency Assistance for Non-Public School (EANS) Application

The IDOE EANS Application is now available for preview. Submissions will open on Monday, April 5 and close on Monday, May 17. Eligible Non-Public Schools can view their Planning Allocations here and gain access to the application site by clicking here. Perspective IDOE EANS vendors can access their application by clicking here. Visit the IDOE EANS website for additional resources, including FAQ, recorded webinars, and presentations. Contact with any questions.


NEW: Condensed Affirmation of Consultation Form

To better meet the needs of local educational agencies (LEAs), Title Grants and Support has developed a Condensed Affirmation of Consultation Form (CACF), which replaces the CARES 1.0/ESSER I and GEER I sections of the original document. If an LEA has already completed this paperwork, there is no need to redo the process. The updated form should be used moving forward. LEAs will attach the CACF to all Title Funding Grant Applications. Please reach out to Andrew Mazur with any questions.


REMINDER: FY 2021 Final Title I Allocations

Final FY 2021 (SY 2020-2021) Title I allocations are now available. Districts received final award letters last week. Amendments for final allocations are due Sunday, May 30, and are now available in the Title I Application Center. Please reach out to Cole Dietrich with any questions.

Offices of Early, Elementary, and Secondary Learning

REMINDER: Submitting Elementary Reading Plans

Indiana Administrative Code 511 IAC6.2-3.1 requires all public schools and state accredited nonpublic schools that have any students enrolled in kindergarten through grade three to complete and submit an elementary reading plan to IDOE by close of business on June 30. IDOE has streamlined the submission process, through use of a JotForm, for both public schools and state accredited nonpublic schools. This short how-to video has been created to assist schools in completing the new form. Please contact Joe Risch with questions.

Office of Information Technology

NEW: Data Exchange Onboarding

IDOE has certified the following Student Information System (SIS) vendors for the 2020-2021 school year: PowerSchool, Skyward SMS, Harmony, and Jupiter Ed. These vendors are prepared for schools to certify calendar and attendance data sent from their SIS to Data Exchange. Schools utilizing PowerSchool, Harmony, and Jupiter Ed should have established the connection from their SIS to Data Exchange. IDOE is actively working with Skyward SMS to provide training and support to client schools for onboarding to Data Exchange. 

  • IDOE will be hosting a Validation and Certification Training webinar for Jupiter Ed clients on Tuesday, April 13 from 10 to 11 a.m. EST. Registration is required.
  • IDOE will be hosting a Validation and Certification Training webinar for Harmony clients on Thursday, April 15 from 10 to 11:00 a.m. EST. Registration is required.

The department is continuously working with SIS vendors toward 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. Additional information regarding Data Exchange implementation can be found in the IDOE Moodle “Data Exchange Training and Community” Course (no enrollment key required). Questions may be sent to


REMINDER: 2021 School Tech Plan Survey Now Available

The 2021 School Tech Plan Survey is now available for all Indiana public schools and will be open through Friday, April 23. The updated survey includes traditional questions as well as new questions focused on digital learning and the implications of the pandemic for your technology environment and practices. Completion of this survey is the requirement for all public schools to qualify for the connectivity formula grant, the common school fund, and grants from IDOE’s Office of Academics. Links to this year’s survey and the guidance document, along with data from previous years, are available on the Indiana School Tech Plan website. Contact Meri Carnahan with any questions.

Office of School Finance

NEW: Indirect Cost Training

IDOE will host an upcoming training for school finance managers regarding Indirect Costs. The training will provide information regarding the U.S. Department of Education-approved methodology for charging indirect costs and provide best practices to improve local processes. The virtual training will take place Thursday, April 8 from 1 to 3 p.m. EST. Registration is required. Contact Sarah Henry for additional questions.


REMINDER: Indirect Cost Rates

The Office of School Finance will be accepting applications from local educational agencies (LEAs) eligible to receive FY 2022 Indirect Cost Rates. Entities, including school corporations and charter schools, that provided Form 9 financial information for FY 2020 are eligible to receive a restricted and an unrestricted indirect cost rate in FY 2022. New charter schools are eligible to apply but will be subject to the median rate. The following memo includes the application instructions. Please direct any questions to


REMINDER: Transparency Portal

IDOE previously shared information regarding a new platform for school corporations to upload financial data as well as a new Form 9 step in compliance with state transparency requirements outlined in IC 5-14-3.7-3. As a reminder, the Periodic Supplemental Data Upload of Expenditures must be submitted by Friday, April 30. The following memo and FAQ document are intended to assist you in uploading this information. Questions can be sent to


REMINDER: Common School Advancements

The Office of School Finance is now accepting applications for construction and technology loans from school corporations and school corporation career and technical education schools through Wednesday, April 14. Petitions must be received by the Office of School Finance by this date to be considered. Applications can be found in the Public School Finance Community in Moodle under Common School Funds > Spring. Questions can be directed here.

Office of Special Education

NEW: Part B and Medicaid Funds Can Help Pay for Accelerated Learning and Recovery

In addition to federal COVID-19-related funds, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B grants and federal Medicaid reimbursements can also be leveraged to support accelerated learning, learning recovery, and compensatory services. For more details, click here. Please email questions to


REMINDER: IDOE Seeking Transition Aged Students for Stakeholder Input

The Office of Special Education is seeking Transition Aged Students (ages 14 to 22) 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. Participating students will receive a certificate of attendance and a letter of thanks for their service to Indiana. For questions, or to provide contact information for interested students, please contact Michelle Oja.


REMINDER: Indiana Career Explorer (INCE) Administrative System Webinar

Kuder, the vendor for INCE, is holding a series of webinars for teachers of record, special education administrators, and special education directors to learn about the administrative side of INCE. Participants will learn how to access student information, student data, and more. There is a limit of 100 participants per session, and each participant must register separately. Below are links to register for the specific session you wish to attend. Please contact Michelle Oja with questions.

Office of Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness

NEW: Updated Social-Emotional Learning Competencies

IDOE worked with stakeholder partners to update the Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Competencies with an equity lens. Updates to the definitions and indicators can be found here. Please contact Christy Berger with any questions.


NEW: Administrator Panel on SEL

Want to learn more about implementing SEL in your school? An upcoming panel discussion, hosted by IDOE’s SEL team, will provide school administrators an opportunity to hear directly from their peers and learn more about their local success stories. This discussion will take place Wednesday, April 14 from 4 to 5 p.m. EST. Register here or contact Christy Berger with questions.


News From Our Partners


Anyone age 16 and older is now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in Indiana. This letter and fact sheet are intended to be shared with high school students and their parents and contain important information about how to register for vaccination. Of particular note is the fact that students younger than 18 years old must make an appointment at a site that offers the Pfizer vaccine, as it is the only shot authorized for 16- and 17-year-olds. Additional questions can be sent to


NEW FROM THE FAMILY AND SOCIAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION: Providing Pandemic Electronic Benefits to Indiana Families Portal, Policy, and Support Updates

The Division of Family Resources (DFR) continues to partner with Indiana schools to provide Pandemic Electronic Benefits (P-EBT) to Indiana families during this Public Health Emergency (PHE). Currently, the submission window is open for data submissions for January, February, and March 2021, along with accepting corrections for October to December 2020. Data collection for March 2021 is now open and will be available until Friday, April 16. Please note that, due to changes in federal regulations, data must now be submitted by month.

Under the new guidelines, there is no five day minimum to meet Tier-2 eligibility status. That is, if a school was closed for one or more days due to the PHE, delayed opening by one or more days, or offered a hybrid model (between remote and in-person learning), the school will qualify as Tier 2 Eligible. This eligibility change extends to the October-December 2020 window. In addition, if even a single student participated in virtual learning due to the PHE, or missed school because they had to quarantine due to COVID-19, the school qualifies as a hybrid model and therefore qualifies as Tier-2 Eligible. More information is available in this communication.

To aid with the submissions process, DFR will be hosting office hours twice weekly on Tuesdays from 2 to 3 p.m. EST and Thursdays from 9 to 10 a.m. EST. These are informal drop-in sessions for data administrators to join as needed to ask questions regarding the data submission process and/or eligibility and program information. To join, please register at the following link.


NEW FROM NEXTECH: Computer Science Professional Learning

Applications are now open for the summer 2021 Nextech Professional Learning Programs for Indiana schools and districts interested in offering Computer Science in their middle or high school. Nextech provides all professional development (PD), curricula and a generous stipend for teachers participating. This includes PD aligned to a variety of Indiana course codes as well as a program to help teachers earn their computer science license addition. Nextech’s programs are designed to help in-service teachers teach (and learn to love!) computer science. Learn more and apply here or check out the digital brochure. Elementary PD opportunities are also available. Contact Nextech’s Stephanie Zircher with questions.


NEW FROM KEEP INDIANA LEARNING: Summer Conference June 29-30

Registration is now available for the Keep Indiana Learning Summer Conference June 29-30. This two-day, virtual conference is designed for administrators, student service professionals, educators, and pre-service teachers and will focus on digital learning, social-emotional learning, leadership, and culture. Register here or contact Laurie Ferry with any questions.



The Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC) has added a new assessment to the INSTRC Transition Assessment Matrix. The assessment, an Inventory of Entrepreneurial Interests, lists 25 different areas of interest, including baking, grain farming, and teaching/tutoring, that could lead to self-employment opportunities. Please feel free to direct any feedback, questions, or suggestions to



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