An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for April 9, 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

In mid-February, during #LoveTeachingWeek, I challenged our team to get back to what I like to call “our why” and invited our fellow Hoosier educators to do the same.

Why is our work in this particular moment in time so critical to the future of our state, our communities, and most importantly our people? So often, not just in education, but in all sectors, we forget this step and jump straight into what we aspire to accomplish or how we might accomplish it. In the context of our changing economy, establishing “our why” has become more important now than ever before.

In order to keep “our why” top of mind, we have collaborated with educators from across Indiana to create a video reflecting on the past year and recommitting to our central mission. This video highlights the individual role we each play in achieving a larger purpose, and I want to personally take a moment to thank each participant for sharing their inspirational message:

Stephanie Anderson, Teacher at Clarksville Elementary

Adam Bess, Band Director at Chesterton High School

Sabrina Burdick, Teacher at Saint Patrick School

Hannah Gilliland, Teacher at Garrett High School

Rod Hite, Superintendent for Switzerland County School Corporation

Chassity Hutchins, Instructional Leader at Emma Donnan Elementary and Middle School

Megan Jercha, Teacher at North View Elementary

Aleesia Johnson, Superintendent for Indianapolis Public Schools

Cheryl McIlrath, Teacher at Rossville Middle/High School

Luz Phipps, Teacher at Covenant Christian School

Amy Plant, Teacher at Saint Patrick School

Erin Schantz, Teacher at Bluffton High School

Amber Sims, Teacher at L. Frances Smith Elementary

Julie Trice, Teacher at Evansville Harrison High School

Sarah Wallace, Teacher at Saint Patrick School

Like everyone named above, and all of you reading this today, I was drawn into the teaching profession by the opportunity to positively impact the lives of students. As an educator, I am reminded daily that our K-12 system provides an unparalleled opportunity to improve the lifelong trajectory of all students. Our work today for students is critical to their success tomorrow.

This is the universal why...but we each have our own why as well. I encourage you to not only think about what this is for you, but to share it (#WhatIsYourWhy)! By getting back to the why, we have an opportunity to illuminate the exciting work happening in Hoosier schools and elevate our purposeful, difference-making education profession.

Join us in sharing “your why” and submit your video today to You can film it on your phone (landscape is better than portrait view when filming) - we look forward to hearing “your why!”

Thank you for making a difference!

COVID-19 Updates - Academic Implications and Financial Information

NEW: Accelerated Learning Support Survey

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is committed to supporting schools and community partners as they race to accelerate student learning in Indiana. Please complete this form to indicate specific areas in which your school or organization needs additional support and guidance as you develop your accelerated learning plans. Contact Nicole Smithers with any questions.


REMINDER: Accelerated Learning Professional Development

IDOE invites 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

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

REMINDER: 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: Indiana 1 Percent Cap Waiver Extension Approval

IDOE received notification from the U.S. Department of Education that Indiana’s 1 Percent Cap Waiver Extension Request was approved for one year. This notification has been posted to the IDOE website. Indiana has historically exceeded the 1 Percent Cap on Alternate Assessment Participation and will continue to work with school corporations to ensure students are correctly identified to participate in I AM. Contact Karen Davies with any questions.


NEW: ILEARN Online Test Forms and Scripts for Students with Accommodations

Schools are strongly encouraged to review the ILEARN Spring 2021 Online Test Form Assignments for Students with Accommodations and ILEARN Scripts to Support Test Administration before the ILEARN test administration window opens on Monday, April 19. These resources are designed to help ensure all Test Administrators (TAs) are aware of the appropriate test forms and/or scripts to be used with students. Contact the Office of Student Assessment (OSA) with any questions.


NEW: ILEARN Scheduling Option: Test Sessions for Multiple Grade Levels

OSA formalized guidance to remind schools that the design of the ILEARN 3-8 Test Administrator’s Manual (TAM) and the configuration of the Test Delivery System (TDS) allow TAs to administer multiple grade-level tests during a single test session. This approach can be especially helpful when finalizing online test schedules for small groups of students (e.g., virtual learners coming onsite, makeup testing). Contact the OSA with any questions.


NEW: Optional ILEARN Q&A Sessions

OSA will host two question and answer sessions for educators who have students participating in the upcoming ILEARN assessments:

Attendance is optional, and all educators are welcome. Registration is required for these live sessions and can be completed using the links above. Contact the OSA with any questions.


NEW: Spring IREAD-3: Results Availability and Reporting Good Cause Exemptions

Spring 2021 IREAD-3 results are now available in ORS for all students who tested online. Results for students testing paper-and-pencil are populating in ORS on a rolling basis as paper materials are received by the scoring vendor. Please download Individual Student Reports and a copy of the Interpretive Guide and share with parents of students who tested in a timely manner. Schools who grant Good Cause Exemptions to eligible students must report exemptions via IDOE’s DOE-IR data submission as soon as possible so this information is officially noted for the student moving forward. Contact the OSA with any questions.


NEW: Indiana’s Transition to the SAT

High school accountability for Mathematics and English/Language Arts will be assessed using the SAT beginning school year 2021-2022. All high school juniors (cohort 2023) will take the SAT, paid for by the state, in spring 2022. To find more information about the upcoming transition and to plan for next year, please see this document. Contact the OSA with any questions.

Office of Academics / Title Grants and Support

REMINDER: 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. ET. 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.


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

EANS Application Submissions opened on Monday, April 5 and will close on Monday, May 17. Eligible Non-Public Schools can view their CARES 2.0 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.


REMINDER: 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. LEAs can find copies on the Ombudsman webpage. If an LEA has already completed this paperwork, there is no need to redo the process. If not, the CACF should be used moving forward. Please reach out to Andrew Mazur with any questions.

Office of Educator Licensing

NEW: Public Comment on New Praxis Tests and Scores

The Office of Educator Licensing has posted proposed cut scores for two new or updated Praxis tests: Journalism and Physical Science. Test descriptions and recommended cut scores can be found here. Public comment is open until Friday, April 30 at 5 p.m. ET. Following the public comment period, comments and recommended cut scores will be considered for adoption by the State Board of Education. Indiana will begin to transition to this new educator licensing program in July. Please contact Risa Regnier with questions.

Office of Information Technology

NEW: FACTS Student Information System Now Ed-Fi Certified

IDOE is excited to announce FACTS (formerly RenWeb) as an Indiana Ed-Fi Certified SIS Vendor for Data Exchange in the 2020-2021 school year. For those schools engaged with FACTS, the department will begin coordinating the onboarding process for Data Exchange. Please be on the lookout for additional guidance.

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. Certification involves development of a solution to meet Indiana reporting requirements and a rigorous testing process to ensure validity of the solution. 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: Data Exchange Onboarding

IDOE has certified the following SIS vendors for the 2020-2021 school year: PowerSchool, Skyward SMS, Harmony, Jupiter Ed, and FACTS. 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 and FACTS 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. ET. 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. ET. Registration is 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: School Year 2020-2021 Membership Count Update

School leaders have until Wednesday, April 14 to download, review, sign, and upload an updated Period 2 2021 Membership Summary Report. The report was updated to comply with the provisions of Senate Enrolled Act 2 for school year 2020-2021 spring membership counts. Questions about the report can be directed to Melissa Ambre.


NEW: April State Tuition Support Payment

Please read this memo regarding the April State Tuition Support payment. Questions about this memo can be directed to Melissa Ambre.


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

Office of Special Education

NEW: Office of Special Education (OSE) Looking for Lighthouse Leaders Nominees

A lighthouse is defined as a structure (such as a tower) with a powerful light that gives continuous or intermittent signal to navigators. Does this remind you of a teacher, administrator, related service provider or student you know? This person may have provided support, guidance, assistance, or even a kind word to someone in need. To nominate them for this recognition, please complete this form. Contact Nancy Holsapple with any questions.


NEW: Tracking Post-School Experiences to Improve Outcomes

OSE annually is tasked with contacting students who exited school the year prior to collect data for Indicator 14: Post-School Outcomes. To assist with this data collection, OSE is asking Teachers of Record (TOR) to help with the following:

  • Make sure contact information is accurate and up to date, including family and student information. Please attempt to have a phone number with area code and at least one email address, and check for spelling and punctuation errors.
  • Provide the Indicator 14 letter to students in their last two years of high school and/or their junior and senior year.
  • Assist students and their families with signing up for the What’s Next? Monthly newsletter, which contains resources and information about connecting to employers, finding supports, taking college classes or training, and identifying agencies and organizations that support young adults and families in the transition from school to adult life. The newsletter also provides another means of contact for Indicator 14.

Please contact Michelle Oja with any questions.


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: Mental Health Resource List

The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound impacts on the mental health of people of all ages, and now more than ever, it is critical to provide resources and support to those in need. Please see this resource for mental health supports. Contact Christy Berger with any questions.


REMINDER: 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.

Office of School Building Physical Security and Safety

NEW: Student Safety Reporting

Indiana’s Student Safety Reporting Law (IC 20-34-6-1) requires school corporations to report student bullying and arrest data for each school to IDOE. The data collection period is now open and will close Friday, June 18. More information can be found here. Contact Stephen Balko with any questions. 

State Board of Education

NEW: Upcoming State Board of Education Meeting

Indiana’s State Board of Education will meet on Wednesday, April 14. You can view the agenda for that meeting here.

News From Our Partners

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. Currently, the submission window is open for data submissions for January, February, and March 2021, along with accepting corrections for October to December 2020. Please note that the submission window for January, February, March, and October-December Corrections closes on Friday, April 16. Between now and this deadline, the portal will send daily reminders to those who have not finished submitting data for each of the windows. Please finalize your submissions as soon as possible, even if your school is not eligible.

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. ET and Thursdays from 9 to 10 a.m. ET. 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. Please register using this link to join the office hours.


NEW FROM THE INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT: Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund Webinar

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and South Shore Clean Cities (SSCC) will host an upcoming webinar regarding grant options currently available for school bus fleets. The webinar will include information on the Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund and how SSCC can maximize the success of your grant application. The webinar will take place Tuesday, April 13 from 2 to 3 p.m. ET. Click here to register. Email with any questions. 



The Indiana Commission for Higher Education, in partnership with INvestEd, is hosting an upcoming virtual FAFSA filing session to assist students and families via social media platforms, manned by Commission staff members to answer common FAFSA questions live. The session will take place Tuesday, April 13 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET. Click here to view multiple ways to participate. Filing the FAFSA is an important step in the postsecondary enrollment process for all Hoosier students and families— despite socioeconomic status. Having a current FAFSA on file ensures college is as affordable as possible and opens opportunities for federal, state and institutional financial aid. The deadline to file this free application is Thursday, April 15. Contact Barbie Martin with any questions.



April 2021 is School Library Month! AISLE members have prepared several pieces focused on this year’s theme, "School Libraries: Building Strong Connections." These are free to use for school libraries and can be found 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.