An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for April 30, 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

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a luncheon honoring Indiana’s state finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching...the nation's highest honor for STEM teachers.

These teacher finalists, Dawn Bick of Hasten Hebrew Academy in Indianapolis, Amanda Fox of Prairie Vista Elementary School in Granger, and Sara Hoover of Beiger Elementary School in Mishawaka, represent the excellence we see daily in Indiana classrooms. Their work spans different regions of our state, public and nonpublic schools, and highlights national best practices occurring right here in Indiana.

These outstanding educators incorporate STEM-focused, project-based learning in their classrooms each day. They were recognized for their commitment to working alongside community partners to break down silos and foster a lifelong love of learning for their students. Their focus on STEM education, in particular, is helping their students develop employability skills and the foundational skills of inquiry that will prepare them to tackle the greatest challenges of tomorrow.

As I learned more about each of their work -- including the wind turbine project Dawn completed with her students, Amanda’s focus on computer science and collaboration with Notre Dame, and Sara’s work with her students to design and engineer floats for their very own Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade -- it reinforced the critical importance of attracting and retaining our best and brightest to this purposeful, difference-making profession.


At the same time we were honoring these outstanding educators, a bipartisan majority of the Indiana General Assembly was voting to adopt a biennial budget for our state that will create immense opportunities for every Hoosier student, in every Hoosier school, and in every Hoosier community.

The transformational, two-year budget includes a historic $1.9 billion in new K-12 education dollars over 2021 funding and will enable Indiana’s schools to strategically invest in our students as well as our educators.

In addition to the influx of more than $3 billion in emergency federal funding, these state dollars put our schools on solid footing to accelerate beyond the challenges of the last year and ensure each and every Hoosier student is prepared for lifelong success.

Along with prioritizing student outcomes, this budget is also an important step as we work together to elevate the teaching profession, including increasing teacher compensation. In fact, the General Assembly embraced a number of recommendations set forth by the Teacher Compensation Commission. These legislative appropriations, in addition to continued local action ahead, will help to strengthen Indiana’s teacher pipeline and put us in a greater position to attract and retain dedicated and talented educators just like Dawn, Amanda, and Sara, to our profession.

I am extremely proud to see our state cross the finish line on this student-centered, future-focused budget, and I am extremely proud of YOU for the work you have led and will continue to lead. As our team looks ahead to Teacher Appreciation Week, thank you for your leadership and impact!

COVID-19 Updates - Academic Implications and Financial Information

NEW: Student Learning Recovery Grant Program and Fund

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is now accepting applications to fund community and school partnerships to help accelerate student learning this summer and beyond. In order to deploy resources as soon as possible and support potential summer programming, grant applications are due Wednesday, May 12. Additional information can be found here. Questions about the program or the process may be directed to


NEW: Accelerated Learning Virtual Panel

Join IDOE, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, North Central Parke Community School Corporation, and Muncie Community Schools on Tuesday, May 11 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. for a discussion about creating and implementing accelerated learning plans. This live panel will be recorded and posted to the Accelerated Learning website for anyone unable to attend. Join the session using this link and submit questions in advance here. Contact Niki Smithers with questions about the panel.


NEW: ESSER Strategic Consortia Grant Opportunity

Through a new grant opportunity from IDOE, eligible school corporations may opt into a strategic planning consortium -- made up of innovative educational leaders throughout the state -- to collaborate, with the support of an expert partner, and develop a plan to maximize one-time COVID-19 relief funds. Matching funds, up to $125,000, will be available to participating local educational agencies beginning in July. District leaders can submit a letter of interest here. Contact Cole Dietrich for more information.


NEW: Important Updates to ESSER II and III Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions for both ESSER II and III have been updated on the IDOE ESSER website. ESSER III guidance, in particular, has been updated to include return to in-person instruction plans recently released by the US Department of Education. Contact Cole Dietrich with questions.


REMINDER: Partnering to Support Stronger Transitions for Students

IDOE is excited to collaborate with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Ivy Tech, and Vincennes on a new initiative to help thousands of Hoosier students, on the cusp of completing a high-demand credential or the Indiana College Core, to cross that finish line! To learn more about the Crossing the Finish Line Initiative, click here.


REMINDER: Graduation Qualifying Exam Waiver

In collaboration with the Indiana General Assembly, IDOE has secured a waiver for students who did not achieve a passing score on the graduation examination and were unable to take the graduation examination during the 2020-2021 school year due to COVID-19. Language included in House Enrolled Act 1549 ensures students negatively impacted by COVID-19 still have an opportunity to graduate.

Office of Accountability

REMINDER: Accreditation (1003) Flexibility and School Improvement Plan Waiver Requests for the 2021-2022 School Year

Accreditation (1003) Flexibility and School Improvement Plan waiver requests for the 2021-2022 School Year are being accepted now through Wednesday, June 30. Schools may request to waive compliance from certain statutory or regulatory requirements to improve efficiency or student performance, promote innovative education, or advance the school's mission. Schools may also request to waive statute or regulation relating to curriculum or the selection of curricular materials. All Accreditation (1003) Flexibility waiver requests and School Improvement Plan waiver requests must be submitted through the accountability portal (select “flexibility request”). Questions may be directed to


REMINDER: Five-Year Graduation Rate Audit of 2019 Cohort Closes Today

The submission window for the five-year graduation rate audit of the 2019 cohort is closing today, Friday, April 30. 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


REMINDER: 2021-2022 Corporation Amendment Window

The corporation/school profile amendment submission window will open on Monday, May 3. In order to ensure IDOE houses accurate information, all public school corporations, charters, and nonpublic state accredited schools must notify the department when changes are made that affect school configuration(s) prior to the beginning of the school year for which the changes will take effect. This includes if a corporation decides it wants to create a virtual school. Information on the process may be found here. Questions may be directed to

Office of Student Assessment

NEW: Spring 2022 SAT

The Spring 2022 SAT will include both the Mathematics and English/Language Arts tests, but will no longer include the essay portion. Additional information can be found in this flyer. To plan ahead for testing dates, please refer to this document. More information, including webinars, videos, and training, will be available throughout the summer and into the fall. Contact Andrew Jones with questions.

Office of Early, Elementary, and Secondary Learning

NEW: Project-Based Learning (PBL) Program

IDOE is seeking applications from corporations interested in joining a Project-Based Learning Program. This program is geared toward corporation and school-level leaders. Strong applicants will identify a team consisting of a corporation-level administrator, a school-level administrator, and an instructional coach or teacher leader. Stipends will be available for team members participating outside of regular contract hours. Review this document for more information regarding the program. Apply for this opportunity by Friday, May 7. Contact Shannon Dick with questions.


NEW: Updated Design of Core40 Diploma Requirements Document 

IDOE updated the design of the Core40 Diploma requirements document, including Academic Honors and Technical Honors designations. Graduation requirements for these diplomas have not changed. The document has been updated to reflect language consistent in Indiana Code and to clarify mathematics course sequences and required credits in high school. Contact Robin Conti with questions.


NEW: Purple Star School Designation

The Purple Star School Designation honors schools that have displayed a significant commitment to service members, veterans, and students and families connected to our nation’s military. IDOE will honor the second cohort of schools earning this designation in the fall of 2021. Please review this memo for more information. Contact Jennifer Watson with questions.


NEW: New Computer Science Courses

Two new Career and Technical Education courses have been added to the list of courses that satisfy the high school computer science course requirement. This updated list can be found here. More information about K-12 computer science requirements and relevant resources can also be found here. Contact Jake Koressel with questions.


NEW: Two Indiana Schools Honored as Green Ribbon Schools

IDOE congratulates Discovery Charter School in Porter and Paramount Brookside School in Indianapolis for being honored as U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools. More information on the award program and a complete report highlighting award recipients is available here.


REMINDER: Virtual Course Prioritization Educator Survey

Superintendents, high school administrators and high school counselors received an email on Monday, April 12 with a survey about well-rounded course access prioritization for students. Survey responses will inform which subjects and courses should be considered “high priority” and might be offered through a pilot project funded by a federal grant opportunity. Those interested in providing feedback should complete this survey by Friday, May 14. If you have any questions regarding the survey, please contact Jenn Lightcap.

Office of Title Grants and Support

NEW: 2021-2022 Indiana Dual Language Immersion Pilot Grant

The 2021-2022 Indiana Dual Language Immersion Pilot Program Grant is now available. This grant provides funding to public school corporations that establish or expand dual language programs in Mandarin, Spanish, French, or other languages approved by the department. Submit all grants by Tuesday, June 1. Click here to learn more, or contact Nicole Leach with questions.

Office of Information Technology

NEW: Enrollment Details for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Emergency Broadband Benefit Program allows families to sign up directly with the Universal Services Administration Company or with a participating Internet Service Provider to receive internet services subsidized at $50/month. Some providers also offer devices within the guidelines established by the program. The list of participating Internet Service Providers for Indiana is available here. All families in schools designated as Community Eligible Provision (CEP), through the USDA’s National Free and Reduced-Price Lunch program, are eligible. The FCC site also includes a link to Frequently Asked Questions regarding this program. IDOE encourages all schools to develop plans to ensure eligible families are aware of this benefit and how to participate. Additional information, including a sign up link, will be shared as it becomes available. Contact John Keller with any questions.


REMINDER: Milestone Dates Announced to Complete Transition to Data Exchange

There are several milestone dates schools should note to ensure alignment and preparation for the transition to Data Exchange. This memo contains critical dates for all Indiana traditional public schools, public charter schools, and accredited non-public schools (choice and non-choice) in preparation for certification of school data in Data Exchange. Schools will be connecting to Data Exchange via their Indiana Ed-Fi Certified SIS vendor. A SIS Vendor Certification Status list can be found here. Additional information on implementation of Data Exchange can be found on the Data Exchange website. Please contact with questions about these dates or about the Data Exchange system.

Office of Leadership and Innovation

NEW: IDOE Names “Family Friendly Schools”

More than 30 Indiana schools earned the 2021-2022 Family Friendly Schools Designation by IDOE. The program recognizes and honors schools that welcome all families into the school community, communicate effectively, support student success, speak up for every child, share power and collaborate with the community. More information on the Family Friendly Schools Designation is available here. For more information, please contact Amy Beasley.

Office of School Finance

REMINDER: Transparency Portal

Today, Friday, April 30, is the last day to submit the Periodic Supplemental Data Upload of Expenditures. 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. The following memo and FAQ document are intended to assist you in uploading this information. Questions can be sent to

Office of School Improvement

NEW: DOE-AL Participation Data for Alternative Education Programs

All approved alternative education programs must submit participation data to IDOE for school year 2020-2021. This data can be submitted through the STN Application Center. The required collection period will be open from Monday, May 3 through Wednesday, June 30. To learn more, click here. Contact Kimb Stewart with questions.

Office of Special Education

NEW: Indicators 9 and 10: Disproportionality in Identification Stakeholder Meeting on Tuesday, May 11

The Office of Special Education (OSE) is hosting two virtual stakeholder input sessions on Indicators 9 and 10: Disproportionality in Identification. The meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, May 11 at either 9 to 11 a.m. or 5 to 7 p.m. ET. Registration is required and will close on Friday, May 7. For more information, please contact Kristan Sievers-Coffer.


REMINDER: Aspiring Special Education Leadership Institute, Cohort 2

OSE is dedicated to ensuring equity, access, and the development of Aspiring Special Education Leaders through professional, training, practical application, and networking opportunities. To apply for the Aspiring Special Education Leadership Institute, please complete this application.  For questions, please contact Dr. Nancy Holsapple.


REMINDER: Indicator 15: Resolution Sessions and Indicator 16: Mediation Stakeholder Meeting on Tuesday, May 4

OSE is hosting two virtual stakeholder input sessions on Indicator 15: Resolution Sessions and Indicator 16: Mediation. The meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, May 4 at either 9 to 11 a.m. or 5 to 7 p.m. ET. Registration is required and closes today, Friday, April 30. For questions, please contact Kristan Sievers-Coffer.


REMINDER: Schools’ 2020 Medicaid Filing Limit Waiver Ends Sunday, May 16

Sunday, May 16 is the deadline for Medicaid-enrolled school corporations to submit 2020 claims for covered IEP medical services not previously submitted within Medicaid’s usual 180-day filing limit. Additionally, if submitted by this date, school claims previously denied for late filing will also be reconsidered for payment. Please consult your district's medical billing agent vendor for technical assistance. Contact Tracy Brunner if you have questions.

Office of Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness

NEW: Public School Transfers

IC 20-26-11-32 requires public school corporations, that accept out of district students, to report to IDOE the date by which requests to transfer must be received. This information should be reported using this JotForm no later than Friday, May 28 and will be posted on the Public School Transfers webpage. Please contact Lisa Truitt with questions.


REMINDER: Student Safety Group Grant Opportunity

IDOE is providing a competitive grant opportunity for the creation of student-led groups focusing on school safety. Eight school districts will be awarded up to $12,000, which may be utilized to pay a stipend for the teacher leader, student conference or training, supplies, etc. One application per district should be submitted. A scoring matrix will be used to identify awarded applicants. Applications are due by Friday, May 14. Please contact Jason Murrey with any additional questions. 

News From Our Partners

NEW FROM THE IRIS CENTER: Free Certificates Available

Through the summer of 2021, the IRIS Center, funded by the USED and OSEP is offering free certificates to verify module completion and effort toward professional development hours. To access these resources, click here.



The IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health is working to gather information from parents regarding attitudes and COVID-19 vaccine intentions for school age children. In May, you will receive a link to an anonymous survey, and the IU Fairbanks School of Public Health would like your assistance in disseminating it to parents. The results will assist in planning efforts for the start of the 2021-2022 school year. A copy of the survey questions can be found here. Questions can be directed to Dr. Nir Menachemi.



The Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) at the University of Indianapolis is asking Indiana high school principals to complete a brief survey related to dual credit policies and practices in your school. This feedback will assist CELL as they engage in work to help craft local, state and national policy recommendations to support college acceleration efforts. To participate in the survey, click here. The survey will remain open through Friday, May 7.


REMINDER 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. Beginning Saturday, May 1, through Monday, May 31, the data submission portal will be open to complete corrections for the issuance periods of October-December 2020 and January-March 2021. During this timeframe, data can also be submitted for April and May 2021. Additionally, for the May 2021 issuance, schools are permitted to project student eligible days. DFR will also begin to accept student eligibility for a new issuance period known as Summer P-EBT.  For additional details, please see this communication.

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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