An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for July 16, 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

I want to preface my note to you today by emphasizing that students are so much more than a single data point. As educators, we’re focused on helping students build the foundational knowledge and skills each year to set them on a path towards maximum success (and options) for their future...whether they pursue employment, enlistment, or enrollment.

As many of you may know, Wednesday’s State Board of Education meeting marked the annual release of ISTEP+ and ILEARN results. We also shared initial findings from Indiana’s COVID-19 Academic Impact Study. ILEARN is just one of several data points educators use, and it is important for us to utilize all of the information we have about student learning in order to make the biggest impact. Our partnership with the National Center for Assessment, established a few months back, is helping to ensure that we are putting our best information to work to chart the course ahead.

I’d like to share some of these initial findings with you today, but first, there are a few key reflections that we must all keep in mind:

(1) This data must not be an indictment on anyone.
The pandemic was beyond anyone’s control, and none of us had a playbook on how to respond. Despite all of the unknowns and all of the challenges, our Indiana educators worked tirelessly to ensure a safe environment that kept many students in the classroom. Educators, families, and students also helped us achieve, as a state, during a global pandemic, a 97% participation rate on the ILEARN assessment. This strong participation rate and smooth administration gave Indiana one of the most comprehensive sets of data of any state in the nation. Most importantly, it gives us an informational snapshot regarding student learning and informs the COVID-19 Academic Impact Study.

(2) These are not problems anyone can fix overnight.
With the implications of the pandemic spanning two academic years, we cannot expect to recover in one summer or even one year alone. In fact, it’s likely going to take a long-term approach over the next several years. We must work together to ensure that all students have the academic achievement and overall well-being supports they need in order to be successful.

(3) While student learning was impacted across the board as a result of the pandemic, our most at-risk students -- including our racially and ethnically diverse, low income, special education, and English language learner students -- had persistent learning and educational attainment gaps even prior to the global pandemic.
Our goal must be to maximize the opportunities for all students’ success, with a keen focus on our most at-risk populations.

So, with that in mind, let’s dig into the data and what we have learned thus far. One of many data points used to inform this study included statewide results from the federal- and state-required ILEARN assessment, which indicate that 40.5% of students are at or above proficiency standards in English/language arts, and 36.9% are at or above proficiency standards in mathematics. As mentioned previously, significant gaps persist among Indiana’s racially and ethnically diverse, low-income, special education, and English language learner students.

As we signaled in the past following an early, preliminary data review in May, overall, the academic impacts of the pandemic were substantial — ranging from moderate to significant across schools, academic subjects, and demographic groups. Across the state, students in elementary and middle school experienced significant academic impact in mathematics and moderate to significant impacts in English/language arts...and although we do not have data regarding other content areas, we anticipate academic impacts are likely in other areas as well.

Naturally, when we hear this data, we try to make connections and comparisons to previous data points to help us understand what we are seeing; however, in this instance, there are better ways for us to analyze the data in front of us. Looking ahead, this will be a new baseline, providing not a point of comparison to where we have been, but rather a direction on where we must focus individualized student learning in the future. And just like we should not spend our time drawing uneven comparisons, we should not spend our time admiring the problem either. Now is the time for bold, strategic, and collaborative solutions!

Looking ahead, we know schools cannot do this work alone! We encourage community partners to engage with local schools to align strategic programming for students. IDOE encourages schools to adopt a comprehensive, multi-year response to help all students recover, especially our most at-risk students and those most significantly impacted. Wednesday’s full presentation, which is linked here for your convenience, includes best practices for local schools to consider as you lead this important work in your local community.

A wise person recently said this to me, and I think it’s a good enough analogy to repeat… “if the COVID-19 impact and recovery could all be captured in a 20-chapter book, at the very most, what we know so far is only the first five chapters.” Over the coming months and years, we have so much more to question, discover, and learn about the implications of a global pandemic. Trying to make lemonade out of lemons, I sure hope what we have collectively experienced over the past year and a half can contribute to improving our education profession and how we positively impact students. As we face some of the same forces as the rest of the country, our opportunity is to lead, and most importantly to lift all our citizens to better lives...through education. Thank you for your willingness to lead and for all that you do for kids each and every day!

Office of Student Assessment

NEW: IREAD-3 Summer Online Test Window Closes Today

All students participating in the summer retest must finish online testing no later than today, Friday, July 16. As testing concludes, schools should follow IDOE’s guidance regarding test material destruction of any secure materials (e.g., secure scripts, student access cards). Contact the Indiana Assessment Help Desk with any questions.


NEW: IREAD-3 Percent Passing Calculation

Passing percentages will be published after the conclusion of the IREAD-3 Summer Retest window. A corporation or school’s IREAD-3 passing percentage is calculated based on the number of students enrolled in grade three during the entire spring test window, minus any students who participated in Indiana’s Alternate Measure (I AM). Any grade three student enrolled during the spring window but who did not test will be counted as “Did Not Pass.” If the student passed during the summer window, they will count as “Pass.” Students who did not pass IREAD-3 but are granted Good Cause Exemptions (GCEs) remain part of the calculation, as a GCE does not negate a student’s score but exempts them from future IREAD-3 testing requirements. Contact IDOE’s Office of Data Reporting with any questions.


NEW: ILEARN 2020-2021 Results - Paper Reports Arrive in Corporations Next Week

Corporations and non-public schools who administered the Spring 2021 ILEARN Grades 3-8 and/or the ILEARN Biology End-of-Course Assessment during any of the three 2020-2021 test windows are scheduled to receive printed Individual Student Reports (ISRs) and labels for students’ cumulative files on Thursday, July 22 or Friday, July 23. Corporation Test Coordinators or School Test Coordinators unable to receive delivery of secure reports on these dates should contact the Indiana Assessment Helpdesk (866-298-4256). FedEx will not leave any secure materials unattended.

Office of Educator Preparation

REMINDER: Annual Principal Survey Regarding Initial License Holders Closes Sunday, August 1

Indiana Code 20-28-11.5-9 requires each principal, including both charter and virtual schools, to complete an annual survey for any teacher employed in their building who was initially licensed in Indiana during the previous two years. The purpose of the survey is to assess the quality of preparation provided by the Indiana educator preparation program completed for licensure. Principals who have not completed this survey should visit the IDOE Principal Survey webpage, select “2021 Principal Survey” and enter the access code provided earlier this year. The survey will close Sunday, August 1. Please contact Scott Bogan with any questions.

Office of Information Technology

NEW: School Cybersecurity Moodle Community

The technology leader from each school, as identified on the 2021 Indiana Tech Plan Survey, has been invited to join IDOE’s new School Cybersecurity Moodle Community. KnowBe4 licenses, which participating schools may use to conduct phishing and cybersecurity training for students and staff members, may be requested in the Moodle community. Any school or technology leader who wishes to participate and did not receive the invitation may request access from their technology leader or by contacting Brad Hagg


NEW: Data Exchange Update

Certification of Attendance and Calendar data in Data Exchange will close today, Friday, July 16 at 7 p.m. IDOE acknowledges and appreciates the immense efforts of schools and SIS vendors to achieve the connection and certification of data in Data Exchange. As a reminder, Data Exchange becomes the system of record for school reporting for the 2021-2022 school year. Relevant staff to Data Exchange are encouraged to monitor IDOE’s Data Exchange Training and Moodle Community for upcoming announcements. Contact with any questions.

Office of Leadership and Innovation

REMINDER: Family Friendly Schools Program

The IDOE Family Friendly Schools Designation is a state recognition program for schools that excel in engaging families and communities in their children’s education. Through this program, schools may voluntarily request to be assessed by IDOE for the purpose of evaluating and improving family and community engagement in the school. Applications are due Sunday, August 1. To learn more, or to apply, click here. Contact Amy Beasley with questions.


REMINDER: Staff Performance Evaluation Plan Submission

Legal Standard 12 requires each public school corporation to provide a copy of its staff performance evaluation plan to IDOE. School corporations must also submit their staff performance evaluation plan to IDOE for approval in order to qualify for any grant funding related to IC 20-28-11.5-8(d). This includes the Teacher Appreciation Grant. Staff performance evaluation plans must be submitted via DOE Online by Friday, September 17. For more information, click here. Contact Rebecca Estes with questions.


REMINDER: Teacher Appreciation Grant (TAG) Policy Submission Required

Information regarding the 2021 TAG Policy Submission can be found here. Local educational agencies (including charter and virtual charter schools) must submit the TAG policy for approval to by Friday, September 17 to be eligible to receive TAG funding. Contact Rebecca Estes with questions.

Office of School Building Physical Security and Safety

NEW: Resources for School Nurses

IDOE has created a variety of resources, including the Indiana School Nurse Manual, to assist school nurses as they develop their nursing practice and seek answers to any questions they may have. Information and directions for accessing these resources can be found here. Please share this information with your school nurse(s) so that both new and experienced nurses can be up-to-date on the latest school health requirements and information. Contact Jolene Bracale with any questions.

Office of School Finance

NEW: Excessive Education Fund Transfers

Indiana Code requires school corporations to make every reasonable effort to transfer not more than 15 percent of the total revenue deposited in the school corporation’s Education Fund from the Education Fund to the school corporation’s Operations Fund during a calendar year. The following memo provides an update regarding Education Fund transfers and the Excessive Education Fund Transfer List and is intended to help school corporations better understand the process, and ultimately, achieve compliance. If you have any questions regarding this information, contact


REMINDER: School Technology Advancement Applications

IDOE’s Office of School Finance will accept School Technology Advancement Account (STAA) applications through 4:30 p.m. today, Friday, July 16. The STAA application can be completed online and must be completed in one sitting. A sample application and certification page can be found in Moodle. If you have questions, please email


REMINDER: January to June 2021 Form 9 Financial Data

The window to submit Form 9 financial data for the period of January to June 2021 is open through Saturday, July 31. Please visit Moodle Finance for additional guidance. If you have questions regarding Form 9, please contact


REMINDER: Updated Object Codes

As a result of legislation passed during the 2021 Indiana legislative session, some updates are required for the 100 series object codes relating to salaries in Chart of Accounts administered by the State Board of Accounts. The changes took effect Thursday, July 1 and will be part of the July to December 2021 Form 9 financial data submission reported in January 2022. Object codes 200 and higher remain the same as the previous reporting period. Please read this memo for additional information. If you have any questions, please email


REMINDER: Teacher Salary FAQ

House Enrolled Act 1001, passed during the 2021 Indiana legislative session, included provisions pertaining to teacher salary requirements. A new teacher salary FAQ document provides guidance to assist school corporations on review and implementation of the provisions regarding teacher salaries, funding floor, and minimum expenditures. If you have questions, please email us at

Office of Special Education

REMINDER: Indicator 3 - Assessment Stakeholder Meeting on Tuesday, July 20

IDOE is hosting two virtual stakeholder input sessions on Indicator 3: Assessment on Tuesday, July 20, at either 9 to 11 a.m. or 5 to 7 p.m. Registration is required and will close today, Friday, July 16. For more information, please contact Kristan Sievers-Coffer.

Office of Teaching and Learning/Digital Learning

NEW: Accelerate Learning by Expanding Learning Time

Schools and corporations working to accelerate student learning may be considering expanding learning time. IDOE reviewed research about expanded learning time and its impact on student growth. Please review this research brief for more information. Please contact Dr. Eimear Towler with questions.


NEW: U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program recognizes and honors outstanding high school seniors, and thereby encourages high attainment among all students. This memo outlines the required qualifications and nomination process. The rubrics for General applications and CTE applications are available now. Nominations are due by Friday, October 29. Please email Jake Koressel with questions.


NEW: Formative Assessment Grant Final Approved Programs

The Indiana State Board of Education approved the final list of assessment programs which may be funded through the Formative Assessment Grant. Contact Michelle Kemper with questions.


NEW: New Indiana Course Network Offerings

Indiana teachers created over 20 new courses as part of Indiana University's Course Design Academy. These courses, designed to align with Indiana standards, will be available for use later this month. The list of available courses and related professional development opportunities can be found here. For more information, please contact Jennifer Lightcap


NEW: IN the LEAD - Professional Learning Opportunities for Leadership

IDOE partnered with Keep Indiana Learning and Educational Service Centers of Indiana to provide an eight-week series of learning opportunities for leadership. Participants will choose from one of six focused topic strands. Each strand includes both in-person workshops and online collaboration led by national thought leaders in each topic strand. Register for IN the LEAD before Friday, August 13. Contact Diana Gill with any questions. 


REMINDER: Apply for STEM Certification Today

The window to apply for STEM Certification is now open. Applicants should use IDOE’s STEM Certification Guide and STEM Evaluation Rubric to apply. For any questions or to schedule your pre-application meeting, please contact Jake Koressel.


REMINDER: Digital Learning Webinar - Collaborating in the Classroom with Trevor Muir

Join the IDOE Office of Digital Learning for our next webinar, Collaborating in the Classroom with author and educator Trevor Muir, on Tuesday, July 20 at 4 p.m. Using practices, resources, and inspiration shared in this webinar, group work can become a regular practice that helps students and teachers thrive. To register, click here. Contact Meri Carnahan with any questions.

Office of Title Grants and Support

NEW: Out-of-School Time Grant Opportunity

IDOE has released the Reimagining Enrichment, Academics, and Community Health (R.E.A.C.H.) Grant. Local educational agencies and community organizations are eligible for funding. Completed applications are due Thursday, September 16. Click here to view the application. Contact with any questions.

News From Our Partners


The Indiana Department of Health has issued guidance to assist schools with verifying immunization status of students and staff in the event of a communicable disease outbreak. More information can be found here. Contact with questions.


NEW FROM THE FAMILY AND SOCIAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION: Kindergarten Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Assessment Survey

IDOE’s partners at FSSA are working to identify recommended social-emotional learning assessments for Indiana Pre-K classrooms to administer as a complement to academic assessments they may already be implementing. To inform this work, FSSA would like to gather input from kindergarten teachers or school principals with kindergarten classes in their building about the academic and social-emotional learning curricula, screeners and assessments being implemented in kindergarten classrooms statewide. IDOE is partnering with FSSA in an effort to promote better alignment and linkages across Pre-K and kindergarten classrooms. Please complete this survey by Friday, August 6.



Scholarships have been extended into 2022 to help connect more Hoosier children ages 12 and younger to high-quality early education and out-of-school-time programs. The Family and Social Services Administration’s Build, Learn, Grow initiative is available to cover up to 80% of program costs for families of all income levels working in essential industries – including education. A flyer is available here to share with school employees or post in your school building. Learn more about the initiative and apply here.



As a reminder, Indiana Career Explorer (INCE) is transitioning to a new vendor, Futures, Inc. this summer. The new INCE will provide adults and students with an enhanced tool to explore career and educational opportunities. As part of the transition, the Department of Workforce Development is working to obtain all student data stored with the previous vendor. Mid-August is the targeted timeframe for having this student data available to schools. Following the transition, INCE will remain a free tool for all Hoosiers, including all K-12 students. Please contact Pam Warner with questions.

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