An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for July 23, 2021

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A Message from Dr. Katie Jenner

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A couple months back, I ran into Penn-Harris-Madison Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker at a meeting to think through how K-12 and our Indiana colleges can continue, and even improve, our collaboration for students. In this meeting with our Independent College of Education deans from around the state, we discussed everything from bolstering our educator pipeline, to improving intentional student pathway connections for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. While the latter was not an agenda item, it came up in conversation as Dr. Thacker shared the work they are doing at Penn-Harris-Madison, both in developing student pathways and in extracurricular activities.

In Indiana, we are fortunate to be seeing momentum in the development of relationships across K-12, higher education, and business, and yet, the successes don’t stop there. In fact, today as the Tokyo Summer Olympics begin, we also celebrate our former Hoosier students who have the athletic ability and unimaginable grit and perseverance (skills we also want to build in our students!) to compete on the global stage. As Dr. Thacker shared, in the case of Penn High School, that includes not one, but two, alumni: Annie Drews and Sarah Hildebrandt.

Olympian Annie Drews, a 2012 graduate of Penn High School, will be playing volleyball as an opposite hitter, representing Team USA with the perfect balance of offense and defense. Before earning her spot on the world stage, Annie won two 4A volleyball state championships at Penn High School and was a member of the U.S. Women’s National A2 Program while studying at Purdue University. She is also the first in program history to represent Purdue on the Olympic Volleyball Team. U.S. Women’s Volleyball is currently ranked No. 1 in the world, and I can’t wait to see how far they’ll go!

Olympian Sarah Hildebrandt, a 2011 graduate of Penn High School, will also represent Team USA as a wrestler in the 50KG weight class. While at Penn High School, Sarah became the first female to qualify for the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) Wrestling Semi-State competition and led Penn High School to the IHSAA Team Championship. Since graduating from high school, Sarah has earned four gold medals competing in the Pan American Games, as well as a silver medal in the World Championship. As Sarah works to pin down her opponent, our Hoosier pride will be one thing that cannot be pinned down!

These are just two of more than 30 American Olympians who have connections to Indiana high schools, colleges, or universities. To learn more about our Olympians with Hoosier roots, click here.

In addition to producing outstanding athletes, students at Penn High School have access to a number of academies designed to provide targeted and engaging educational experiences. These academies create pathways for students aligned to their skills and interests and prepare them for both college and career.

This includes an Early College Academy that helps students obtain post-secondary credentials (including the Indiana College Core) prior to high school graduation. This program is endorsed as an Early College High School by the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) and is helping countless first generation college students prepare for a brighter future. Other academies focus on additional high-wage, high-demand career paths such as health and human services and science, technology, engineering, and math.

These are just a few examples of the successes Penn High School is achieving in both academics and extracurricular activities. Congratulations to Penn High School, and congratulations to athletes Annie and Sarah on their achievements. Every Hoosier athlete competing in this year’s Olympics has already brought so much pride to their families, their school, their community, and our state, and we wish them the best of luck as they compete with the eyes of the nation…and the world…watching to see just how far they’ll go!

Primetime Coverage of the Summer Olympics begins tonight, so grab some popcorn (now our “official” state snack!), and help cheer Team USA on to victory! Let the games begin!

Office of Student Assessment

NEW: Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) Funding Memo

This memo provides additional details about the funding available to high schools that offer the PSAT/NMSQT to grade 10 and 11 students. The testing date for the PSAT/NMSQT will be Wednesday, October 13, with a make-up test option on Tuesday, October 26. Orders can be made through the College Board website.

Office of Accountability

NEW: Instructional Day Waiver Policy for the 2021-2022 School Year 

Please review this memo for information on the instructional day waiver policy to be implemented during the 2021-2022 school year. Contact the Office of Accountability with any questions.

Office of Information Technology

NEW: Milestone Dates 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.

By the first student day, SIS vendors should be completing their August 2021 badging phase. Schools should verify their SIS Vendor is in the “Certifying” phase or has completed the certification process. If the SIS vendor is not yet in the certifying phase or is not on the Vendor Certification Status list, schools should contact their vendor to understand the vendor’s commitment to becoming Indiana Ed-Fi Certified. The SIS Vendor Certification Status list was last updated Monday, July 19 and can be found here.

By Sunday, August 15, schools should be actively validating and reviewing data in Data Exchange for accuracy in preparation for the Membership snapshot on Friday, September 17. Additional information on implementation of Data Exchange can be found on the Data Exchange webpage. Please contact with any questions about these dates or about the Data Exchange system.


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.


UPDATE: E-Rate Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF)

The window to file for the federal E-Rate Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) closes Friday, August 13. Schools may apply for reimbursement of the reasonable costs of eligible equipment (laptops, tablets, cellular hotspots, schools bus Wi-Fi equipment, etc.) and broadband connections (Internet access away from school) purchased from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 and used to help students and staff who otherwise lack access to be able to engage in remote learning. Resources to help make an informed decision and file include the Emergency Connectivity Fund FAQs, Eligible Services List, EducationSuperHighway ECF Guide, as well as traditional E-Rate partners. Questions may also be directed to IDOE’s John Keller.

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.


REMINDER: Teacher Leaders Bootcamp Application Extended

The application deadline to participate in the 2021 Teacher Leaders Bootcamp Cohort 3 has been extended through Monday, July 26. IDOE's partnership with the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters, KI Binford Group of Indiana, Newk’s, and Gibraltar Design, will allow the department to engage participants in innovative professional development in order to grow as teacher leaders. To learn more, or to apply, click here. Questions can be directed to Rebecca Estes.

Office of School Finance

NEW: Summer School Final Cost Report

The Summer School Final Cost Report submission window opens Monday, July 26. Information regarding the summer school program can be found in Moodle. Contact Teresa Hemmerle with questions.


REMINDER: 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: 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

NEW: Enrolling in Office of Special Education Moodle Community

All special education directors, teachers, and related personnel should enroll in the Office of Special Education Moodle Community in order to ensure access to important updates and information. If you need the enrollment key or have other questions, please contact Michelle Oja.


NEW: Required Moodle Training on Indiana IEP Accommodations

A new Indiana IEP Accommodations Course is now available in Moodle. This course is required for all current Indiana IEP users, including those who completed the course last year, as content has changed. The course must be completed by Thursday, September 30. New hires must complete the course within 30 days of their hire date. Please contact Colleen Pawlicki with questions.


NEW: Indiana IEP Student Records

The Real Time Access (DOE-RA) collection is now available to add new students or adjust information for current students in Indiana IEP. RA data will continue to be transmitted to Indiana IEP until Wednesday, September 1. Student association (enrollment) records will be transmitted through Data Exchange alongside RA data starting around Sunday, August 1. Schools may utilize either or both until Wednesday, September 1, but after this date, only records coming from Data Exchange will be transferred to Indiana IEP. Please contact Brandon Myers with questions.


REMINDER: LINK Set Up for New School Employees

Security coordinators must add newly hired employees who will need access to Indiana IEP  to the LINK portal. Security coordinators can follow the same steps as they have previously taken, outlined here. The EdPlan account is created when the educator clicks on the EdPlan tile and successfully enters Indiana IEP, after which the Indiana IEP administrator can assign IEP permissions, schools, and students. Security Coordinators may email if there are questions.

Office of Teaching and Learning/Digital Learning

NEW: 2021-2022 Dyslexia Screener Guidance

Indiana Code 20-35.5 requires schools to screen students in kindergarten through grade two for dyslexia and to provide appropriate support and intervention for students who may be at risk for dyslexia. School year 2021-2022 guidance for Universal Screening and Level I/Level II Screening is now available. Contact Joe Risch with questions.


NEW: 2021-2022 Formative Assessment Grant Application Opens Monday

Eligible corporations may apply for formative assessment grant funds beginning Monday, July 26 using this link. Corporations must review the guidance document prior to submitting an application. All applications are due Wednesday, August 11. Contact Michelle Kemper with questions.


UPDATE: 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 beginning today in the LINK portal. Professional Development is available to utilize the resources and courses. The list of available courses and related professional development opportunities can be found here. For more information, please contact Jennifer Lightcap.


REMINDER: 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. 

Office of Title Grants and Support

NEW: Advanced Placement (AP) Exam Subsidy

IDOE continues to support Indiana students through the Advanced Placement (AP) exam subsidy. This subsidy covers the exam fees for English, mathematics, science, and computer science AP exams taken by Indiana students in grades nine through 12 who are enrolled in an accredited public or nonpublic school. Read the 2021-2022 AP Exam Subsidy Guidance memo for additional information. Contact Whitney Coake with questions.


NEW: Non-English Speaking Program and Title III Allocations and Application Walk-Through

Allocations for both the Non-English Speaking Program (NESP) and Title III grants for the 2021-2022 school year were released this week. The application processes for both grants have changed. To support local educational agencies with these new processes, IDOE’s English Learning team will be hosting a grant application walk-through on Friday, July 30 from 10:30 a.m. to noon ET. The link to access the application walk-through can be found on the English Learner PD Opportunities Calendar. Allocations and applications for both grants will be available on IDOE’s English Learning and Migrant Education webpage. Please reach out to Adam Pitt with questions.


NEW: Annual English Learner Directors’ Meetings

English Learner program leaders are invited to join the Annual English Learner Directors’ Meetings for IDOE updates and collaborative discussions on how to best support English learners. These meeting will take place virtually on the following dates and times:

  • New Directors  – Tuesday, August 10 from 9:30 a.m. to noon ET and 2 to 3:30 p.m. ET
  • All Directors  – Wednesday, August 11 from 9:30 a.m. to noon ET and 2 to 3:30 p.m. ET

Links for access to these meetings, as well as additional details on content being covered can be found on the English Learner PD Opportunities Calendar.


REMINDER: 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.



As ESSER III applications approach completion, please remember to verify ongoing local requirements of ESSER III. Click here to view the ESSER II and III webpage. Contact your assigned federal grant specialist with any questions.

News From Our Partners


The Indiana Department of Health has issued updated back to school guidance. That guidance can be found here. Questions can be directed to



The Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities (GCPD) is currently looking for applicants for the role of Executive Director. The mission of the GCPD is to advance social and policy changes that lead to the respect for and meaningful inclusion of people with disabilities and their families. Those who are interested should submit a cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to Applications will be accepted through Saturday, August 7.



Indiana students in grades seven through 12 are invited to design the Science Foundation of Indiana’s new Celebrate Science Indiana t-shirt. Designs will be judged based on their creativity, artistic skill, and relevance to the theme: Celebrating Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, and Math. The winning designer will receive $250 plus a t-shirt featuring their winning design. To learn more, click here. Designs may be submitted via email (pdf) to before midnight on Friday, September 17. Questions can also be directed to



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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All Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) newsletters are located in one convenient location. Please find past issues here.

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