An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for May 28, 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

Field days. Final exams and projects. Graduations. For many of you, this may be right around the LAST day of the school year. As we close out the 2020-2021 academic year -- a year filled with perseverance and triumph --  I couldn’t think of a better message for today than one of significant gratitude.

While many across our country have struggled under the weight of the pandemic, in Indiana, we have risen above. As circumstances changed, seemingly day-by-day, your dedication to our students has remained constant, proving WE CAN and WE WILL carry on.

While most states were challenged to open in-person, YOU worked to ensure a safe environment that kept many students in the classroom. Self-reported school data shows that the majority of Indiana schools were open, in-person almost the whole year. And, when closures were necessary, you worked tirelessly to reopen as soon as it was deemed safe for students and staff. Amazing work.

Likewise, when some states said they would struggle to administer federally-required assessments, YOU produced completion numbers that rival any other year. As shared last week, we had 97% completion in both IREAD and ILEARN (one of multiple pieces of data providing information on student learning).

While some struggled to determine how accelerated learning might look, YOU are showing that when communities come together for students, incredible work can happen. And to support these important efforts over the summer, IDOE will be awarding grant funds to school/community partnerships across Indiana through the Student Learning Recovery Grant Program, created by the General Assembly earlier this year. (Look for an announcement very soon!)

And finally, while some states struggled to maintain needed school funding, YOU are working to find bold and innovative ways to deploy historic state-allocated education funds over the next two years. These state funds are in addition to over $3 BILLION in federal relief funds available to accelerate student learning, promote sustainable innovation, support educators, and update infrastructure.

We undoubtedly have work to do in the fall, which includes strategic and bold thinking in our decisions for both teachers and students. For teachers, this includes ensuring Indiana’s historic K-12 funding is directed to teacher foundation pay. And for students, this includes an emphasis on analyzing the data, planning for individual student acceleration, and executing these strategic plans leading to improved outcomes. It also includes increasing exposure to quality work-based learning, connecting students to intentional pathways that allow them to earn high-value post-secondary credentials and industry certifications, and ultimately, ensuring every child has access to the knowledge, skills, and opportunities necessary for lifelong success. Please take time to refresh and rejuvenate this summer, so we are ready for what’s next.

I’m beyond proud to serve right beside you...for our communities, our families, and most importantly, our students. Enjoy a much-needed, much-deserved respite. And for those of you working to accelerate learning for students this summer, thank you (very much!)...and make sure you also take some time to refresh yourself. We will see you soon, back and ready to further positively impact our Indiana students.

Thank you, Indiana educators and leaders. Job well done.

COVID-19 Updates - Academic Implications and Financial Information

NEW: ESSER III Final Allocations and Application Now Available

Please see the Indiana Department of Education’s (IDOE’s) ESSER webpage regarding final ESSER III allocations, application walk through, and FAQs. Applications are available and are due Friday, June 25.  Please contact your federal grant specialist or Cole Dietrich with questions.


NEW: IDOE and the Indiana Afterschool Network (IAN) Highlight Indiana Exemplars

A new resource from IDOE, in partnership with IAN, examines how Indiana’s out-of-school time (OST) programs partner with local educational agencies (LEAs) to support students and families when school is not in session. State and federal pandemic-related funding offers opportunities to build strong, intentional school and community partnerships that will support recovery and help students accelerate learning. This resource highlights four effective partnerships around the state, identifies best practices, and defines the significant impact OST programs have on student engagement, attendance, behavior, and learning. For more information, contact IDOE’s Erin Busk or IAN’s Lamont J. Hulse.


REMINDER: Accountability Updates for the 2020-2021 School Year

The U.S. Department of Education approved Indiana’s request for a waiver from certain federal accountability requirements, including the requirement to assign federal ratings for the 2020-2021 school year. Additionally, no new schools will be identified for comprehensive or targeted support based on performance data from the 2020-2021 school year, and no A-F letter grades will be assigned (see Public Law 211-2021). The 2020-2021 proficiency rates on the ILEARN and ISTEP+ 10 assessments are still required to be published. Please contact with any questions.



Early sample data from ILEARN indicates that student achievement in language arts and math are impacted as a result of COVID-19. Math, in particular, saw a significant statewide decline. This flyer is intended to empower local leadership as they work to help students master math fundamentals. Contact the Office of Student Assessment with any questions.

Office of Student Assessment

NEW: Spring 2021 ILEARN Preliminary Scores Availability and Rescore Request Window Extension

Please review this document which reflects an updated timeline for the availability of remaining preliminary Spring 2021 ILEARN results. Additionally, IDOE extended the ILEARN Rescore Request window through Tuesday, June 8. To request a rescore, parents must visit the school onsite during the defined rescore window. Contact the Indiana Assessment Help Desk for any assistance.


NEW: WIDA ACCESS Initial Results Are Now Available!

WIDA ACCESS 2021 initial results (online reports and data files) were posted in WIDA AMS on Monday, May 24. District and school-level users have access to reporting. Printed reports are scheduled to arrive in corporations on Thursday, June 17. Final results will be available in WIDA AMS on Thursday, July 8. Visit WIDA’s ACCESS for ELLs Scores and Reports and Alternate ACCESS Scores and Reports web pages for scoring and reporting information and resources. Contact Data Recognition Corporation Customer Support at (866) 276-7735 if assistance is needed to access results.


NEW: IREAD-3 Summer Retest Window Continues Through Friday, July 16

Grade three and five students who still need to attain a passing score on IREAD-3 must participate in the summer retest window, which is open now through Friday, July 16. Schools must confirm test settings are correct in TIDE and ensure Test Administrators are provided the correct test administration materials before testing begins. A participating student may take the IREAD-3 retest only once at any time throughout the eight-week test window. Schools are encouraged to work with parents when scheduling the retest for students. Review the new IREAD-3 Frequently Asked Questions for more information and contact the Office of Student Assessment with any questions.


NEW: Granting and Reporting Good Cause Exemptions 

A corporation or school may grant a Good Cause Exemption to a student who did not pass IREAD-3 this spring or summer and meets at least one of the established criteria (e.g., students who have already been retained twice, students with disabilities, English learners). A student granted an exemption by their school, Case Conference Committee, or Individual Learning Plan Committee would not participate in any additional IREAD-3 testing. IDOE strongly encourages schools to report any exemption via IDOE’s DOE-IR data submission as soon as possible so this information is officially noted for the student moving forward. Please contact the STN Application Center (800-527-4931) if you need assistance reporting exemptions to IDOE.

Office of Information Technology

NEW: Gradelink, Sycamore, and MySchoolWorx Become Ed-Fi Certified

IDOE is excited to announce Gradelink, Sycamore, and MySchoolWorx as Indiana Ed-Fi Certified SIS Vendors for Data Exchange in the 2020-2021 school year. Schools should contact their vendor for specific guidance regarding connecting the SIS to Data Exchange. Additional guidance is forthcoming. Schools may check the status of SIS Vendors currently working toward certification on the Vendor Certification Status document. Contact with any questions.


NEW: Data Collection for Summer Student Learning

IDOE intends to collect information about all summer learning programs facilitated by Indiana public schools. While this practice is new, such data will be critical to understanding how Indiana is making progress in accelerating student learning in light of the COVID-19 disruption. This data will be collected at the student level and will require simple student participation information in math, English/Language Arts, college and career readiness, and physical and mental wellness learning programs. Here’s what you need to know as the school year ends and summer activities begin:

  • Keep accurate attendance records for all students participating in K-12 summer learning programs. (Summer High School course credits will continue to be submitted in the fall, as normal).
  • Document the details of your summer program (duration – days/minutes and curricular focus).
  • Anticipate reporting this participation in August 2021 through templates created by IDOE and distributed to schools.
  • The goal of this data collection will be to understand the following: (1) which students in Indiana participated in summer learning, (2) how much formal learning students experienced in Indiana public schools, and (3) how summer learning was distributed across subject areas.

IDOE will share details on how to submit this data in the coming weeks. Questions about summer data collection can be sent to


REMINDER: School Actions to Complete Transition to Data Exchange

Schools with an Indiana Ed-Fi Certified SIS Vendor should have completed the onboarding and established their SIS connection to Data Exchange. Schools should also be actively validating and reviewing data in Data Exchange for accuracy in preparation for certification of Calendar and Attendance data. 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. 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.


REMINDER: Critical Teaching Shortage Areas

IDOE is collecting information regarding the publication of teacher statistics, as required by IC 20-19-3-20. The purpose of this survey is to identify positions which are "critical shortage areas" as determined by unfilled vacancies. This survey should be completed once by each school corporation and charter school for the 2020-2021 school year. Even if your school corporation has no “unfilled vacancies” to report, please complete the survey to help provide a complete picture of staffing needs across the state. The survey will remain open through Friday, June 4. Contact John Keller with any questions.


REMINDER: Data Exchange Office Hours Available

IDOE’s Data Exchange Team is now hosting office hours. Data Exchange office hours will be held on Tuesdays from 10 to 11 a.m. ET and Thursdays from 3 to 4 p.m. ET. These office hours are for school personnel to ask questions and troubleshoot support with Data Exchange implementation. To join the office hours, log in to the IDOE Moodle “Data Exchange Training and Community” course and select the page for Data Exchange Office Hours.


REMINDER: Federal Emergency Connectivity Fund

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently announced guidance for the administration of the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program to be administered with the Universal Services Administration Company (USAC). Eligible services and devices for the first round of funding must be ordered and received between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. If funds remain in the program after qualified expenses have been paid out, a second round of funding will be made available for purchases of eligible products and services made between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. For situational advice on how to best leverage these funds, IDOE recommends working directly with organizations that have expertise in filing for E-rate. Questions may also be directed to IDOE’s John Keller.

Office of Leadership and Innovation

NEW: Superintendents and Principals Encouraged to Nominate Educators for Emerging Leaders Recognition 

IDOE’s Office of Leadership and Innovation is looking for confidential recommendations of secondary-level leaders representing the very best educators in Indiana. These emerging leaders must have between five and 15 years of experience, demonstrate leadership beyond the classroom, and positively affect school culture and student achievement. Superintendents and principals may submit recommendations here. Recommendations will be accepted through Friday, July 16. Please contact Rebecca Estes with any questions.


REMINDER: Indiana Teacher of the Year Application Process is Open!

Each year, the Teacher of the Year program works to elevate the teaching profession and celebrate those who dedicate their lives to helping Hoosier youth achieve their greatest potential. Each Indiana District Teacher of the Year is eligible to apply. The Indiana Teacher of the Year selection process and application can be found here. For more information, contact Rebecca Estes.

Office of School Finance

REMINDER: Indirect Cost Rate Application Deadline Approaching

Local educational agencies have until Tuesday, June 1 to submit a FY 2022 application for 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. Please select "Fiscal Year: 2020" when uploading the organizational chart. The following memo includes the application instructions. Please direct any questions to

Office of Special Education

NEW: Indicator 7 - Preschool Skills Stakeholder Meeting on Tuesday, June 15

IDOE is hosting two virtual stakeholder input sessions on Indicator 7: Preschool Skills on Tuesday, June 15, at either 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. or 5 to 7 p.m. Registration is required and will close on Friday, June 11. For more information, please contact Kristan Sievers-Coffer.


UPDATED: Indicator 5 - Least Restrictive Environment Stakeholder Meeting on Thursday, June 3

IDOE is hosting two virtual stakeholder input sessions on Indicator 5: Least Restrictive Environment. The meetings are scheduled for Thursday, June 3, at either 9 to 11 a.m. or 5 to 7 p.m. Registration is required and will close today, Friday, May 28. For more information, please contact Kristan Sievers-Coffer.

Office of Teaching and Learning

NEW: STEM Certification

IDOE’s Teaching and Learning Team updated the STEM Certification process. The STEM Certification Evaluation Rubric was updated to clarify the specific evidence needed for STEM certification. In addition to comprehensive high schools and career centers, high school STEM programs are also now eligible for certification. Access the 2021-2022 STEM documents and forms on IDOE’s website. Contact Shannon Dick with questions.


REMINDER: Summer Digital Learning Book Study

Join the IDOE Office of Digital Learning’s summer book study featuring The Collaborative Classroom by Trevor Muir. Asynchronous discussions will begin the week of Monday, June 7. The book study will last 10 weeks and will be worth up to 20 PGPs. Join the course using the enrollment key “collaborate.” Contact Meri Carnahan with questions.


REMINDER: Registration Now Open - Productive Math Struggle Workshop

Discover how to implement and support student productive struggle in the math classroom during IDOE’s FREE workshop. This full-day training is for any K-12 educator, administrator, or instructional coach. Please register for only one workshop option as capacity is limited. An Eventbrite ticket is required to enter the workshop. Follow the links below to register and receive a ticket. Contact Emily Bruning with questions.

Office of Title Grants and Support

REMINDER: Brustein & Manasevit Federal Grant and ESSER Training

Brustein & Manasevit PLLC and IDOE are presenting a two-part workshop on federal education programs for programmatic and business administrators in local educational agencies/charters. This training will include Uniform Grant Guidance/EDGAR (Thursday, June 3) and COVID-19 relief funding as part of GEER, CARES, and ESSER (Thursday, June 10). Click here to register for the Thursday, June 3 session. Click here to register for the Thursday, June 10 session, or click here to register for both. Contact or Cole Dietrich with questions.


REMINDER: Upcoming English Learner Leadership Meeting

Please join IDOE for an EL Leadership meeting to wrap up the school year on Wednesday, June 2, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET. State EL leaders are encouraged to attend to hear news and updates. Participants will be able to collaborate with peers and give feedback on key EL topics. Meeting access links can be found in the Indiana English Learner PD Opportunities Calendar. Please join this meeting from a computer. For questions, please contact Emma Everson.


REMINDER: Migrant Work Survey - Administration Reminder

The Migrant Education Program Work Survey must be administered annually to all students in Indiana. The work survey should be included in the yearly registration packet and kept on file until the following year. Upon receipt of any positive responses to question two, the school corporation must contact their respective Migrant Regional Center (MRC) to determine final eligibility. MRCs will provide additional services for eligible migrant students. More information and frequently asked questions about the Migrant Education Program can be found here. Please reach out to Emily Salinas with any questions.

News From Our Partners


This Memorial Day, the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs is encouraging everyone to recognize, honor and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our liberty and preserve the freedoms we enjoy each and every day in this great land of ours. Click here for a special message from Director Dennis Wimer.



Effective Thursday, July 1, schools will no longer issue work permits for minor employees (under age 18). Instead, employers who employ five or more minor employees will now be responsible for tracking and reporting minor-employee information via the state’s Youth Employment System (YES). This change in Indiana law will help make tracking and reporting youth-employment information more efficient and streamlined. The new requirement will not impact the state’s work-hour requirement for minors, and all employers must still comply with the Teen Work Hour and Prohibited and Hazardous Occupation restrictions for minors. More information is available here, including a memo for students. Please contact with questions.


NEW FROM THE INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: Preliminary Fall Guidance for Schools

The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) will be hosting a webinar at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 4,  to provide preliminary fall guidance for K-12 schools. To view this webinar, click here. All guidance is subject to change as CDC and other expert guidance changes. Contact with questions.


NEW FROM COLLEGE BOARD: Codes for New Schools

High schools planning for sophomores and juniors to take part in the state-funded PSAT/NMSQT test day on Wednesday, October 13, must have an Attending Institution (AI) code, available here. Schools that do not have this code must contact Jason Feig at College Board.



The IU Fairbanks School of Public Health, in partnership with IDOH, is gathering information from parents regarding attitudes and COVID-19 vaccine intentions for school age children. The five-minute survey is anonymous and will gather valuable information that will assist in planning efforts for the upcoming school year. Superintendents and/or principals are encouraged to share the survey link with the parents and caregivers of students via any or all preferred methods (email, social media, etc.). Contact Dr. Nir Menachemi with questions.


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. Thank you for your continued collaboration in ensuring families are receiving the necessary food assistance during this unprecedented time. The data submission portal is now open through Friday, May 28 to complete corrections and submissions for the issuance periods April, May and June 2021, Summer 2021 P-EBT, and Corrections for October-December 2020 and January-March 2021. Details and eligible days are outlined in the following communication.

For the 2021 Summer P-EBT Window, ALL schools participating in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, or Community Eligibility Provision are eligible for summer P-EBT, regardless of their summer schedule or programs. Similarly, ALL students who are eligible for free or reduced lunch for the 2020-2021 school year qualify for Summer P-EBT, regardless of their participation in any summer classes or programs. This includes eligible students who graduate as part of the Class of 2021. Summer P-EBT is a one-time submission, open now through Friday, May 28. There will be no corrections for the summer after this window closes, so it is critical that schools complete their submissions by the Friday, May 28 deadline. Additional resources and program information are available on the DFR P-EBT website.

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.