An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for July 30, 2021

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A Message from Dr. Katie Jenner

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Indiana’s educators are off to the races with school starting in several communities around the state! As the majority of Indiana’s students return to the classroom in the next couple of weeks, it is always exciting to see the school buses pulling up and students entering our school buildings (I also love checking out the “first day of school” pics on social media, too!).

In Indiana, there is a palpable energy and momentum around working together to improve educational outcomes for all students, including the development of student pathways and opportunities leading to lifelong success. Our IDOE team looks forward to partnering with you on this important work in the weeks and months ahead.

As we shared in the July 9 weekly update, we have heard a number of themes on repeat over the past six months as we have engaged with a variety of educators and stakeholders, and those themes are now feeding into a shared vision, strategies and tactics. The strategies shared on July 9 centered around our North Star-- our students.

Today, I want to share some strategies centered around our educator pipeline. While progress was made on teacher compensation during the 2021 legislative session, to best serve our students and ensure that quality opportunities are available throughout the K-12 space, we must continue to celebrate and value the impactful work of our educators.

This includes –

  • Elevating the mission and value of Indiana’s K-12 educators,
  • Recruiting more of Indiana’s best and brightest to serve in the classroom and in leadership roles, including racially and ethnically diverse candidates and candidates for high-need subject areas,
  • Working with educators to improve access to effective professional and leadership development,
  • Improving guidance, support, and accessible data for those recruiting, educating and mentoring rising educators, and
  • Creating networks and other capacity for sharing information, practices and ideas with/among educators.

These strategies continue to be a work in progress, and we look forward to incorporating additional feedback from you. Strengthening our educator pipeline will require focused and dedicated effort… it will also require serious collaboration to elevate our profession. It’s time to lean-in together and tackle this issue head on...because our students (and our communities...and state) depend on it! 

Whether you have already started school or are finalizing preparations for your first day back, let’s make it a great school year. And, while there will inevitably be obstacles ahead of us, let’s keep top-of-mind that “in the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity (Albert Einstein).” Together, let’s seize this opportunity and keep our focus! As always, thank you for all you do.

Office of Student Assessment

NEW: Data-Driven SAT Preparation

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) encourages school administrators, teachers, and students to be data-driven in their preparation as we approach the transition to SAT for the 2021-2022 school year. This flyer provides tips for looking at existing data sources to determine how best to identify appropriate group and individual needs in preparing for the SAT. Contact Andrew Jones with questions.


NEW: WIDA ACCESS 2021 Student Results Available in Learning Connection

WIDA ACCESS 2021 student results are now available in Learning Connection. These results include Overall Composite Scale Scores and Proficiency Levels for English learners (ELs) with domain exemption accommodations. As a reminder, participation in at least two domains is required in order to calculate an Overall Composite Scale Score and Proficiency Level. To access results for ELs enrolled in your corporation or school, go to Reports > Student Summary. Enter the student’s STN in the Student search box, select Run Report, and then click on the WIDA tab. Contact Jennifer Woo with questions.


NEW: WIDA Assessment Guidance 2021-2022

WIDA Assessment Guidance is now updated for the 2021-2022 school year. Notable updates include changes to WIDA assessment training courses and requirements, reporting WIDA Test Coordinator Designees, reporting WIDA ACCESS domain exemptions, and WIDA Screener for Kindergarten information. Information for interpreting Kindergarten W-APT raw scores is available in Appendix B in the event that a kindergarten or first semester grade one student enrolls from another WIDA consortium member state and was previously assessed with Kindergarten W-APT. Contact Jennifer Woo with questions.

Office of Accountability

REMINDER: 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 Leadership and Innovation

NEW: 2022 Indiana Teacher of the Year Top 25 Finalists Announced

The Indiana Teacher of the Year (INTOY) Screening Committee is excited to announce the 2022 INTOY Top 25 Finalists. The Top 25 candidates will be considered by the selection committee as they select the “Top 10” Finalists. Details on the Top 25 Finalists can be found here. For more information on the INTOY program, contact Rebecca Estes.

Office of School Finance

NEW: Object Code FAQ

As a result of legislation passed during the 2021 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. This Object Code FAQ provides guidance to assist school corporations on review and implementation of the updates to the Chart of Accounts object codes. If you have questions, please email us at


REMINDER: Summer School Final Cost Report

The Summer School Final Cost Report submission window is now open. 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 tomorrow, Saturday, July 31. Please visit Moodle Finance for additional guidance. If you have questions regarding Form 9, please contact


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: Notice Regarding Statewide Assessments

Please keep in mind as school resumes and case conference committees are convened, notice must be provided to the applicable group of parents of students with disabilities in grades three through five regarding accommodations and statewide assessments. Pursuant to Indiana Code 20-32-5.1-18.8, not later than February 1, 2022, schools must provide a copy of the notice to parents at the annual case review or by certified mail or personal delivery if a parent does not attend the annual review. Contact the Office of Special Education with questions.


NEW: Indiana IEP August 2021 Updates

Important updates to the Indiana IEP (IIEP) system will be released today, Friday, July 30. To view these releases, click “Release Notes August 2021.” These releases are also available in the Office of Special Education’s Moodle Community under “August 2021 Release Notes” in the “Upcoming Releases” folder. For more information, please contact Colleen Pawlicki.


REMINDER: 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


REMINDER: 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.


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: Digital Learning Research Series: Part 1

Digital and traditional learning require different strategies for success. Providing opportunities for students to learn digitally through virtual instruction, a blended setting, or a hybrid model requires an approach that manages those differences. This four-part research series summarizes and shares key points from relevant research on digital learning, including research before and after COVID-19 learning disruptions. The first installment, which can be found here, summarizes how to plan and implement digital learning within both brick and mortar and virtual learning environments. Contact Diana Gill or Dr. Eimear Towler with any questions.


NEW: 2021 Tech Plan Data Now Available

The Tech Plan was updated for 2021 following a thorough review and refactoring effort to understand the landscape of K-12 digital learning and the technical and instructional responsiveness of schools throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact Meri Carnahan with questions regarding the Tech Plan.


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 Emily Bruning.


REMINDER: 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.


REMINDER: 2021-2022 Formative Assessment Grant Application

Eligible corporations may now apply for formative assessment grant funds using this link. Corporations must review the guidance document prior to submitting an application. All applications are due Wednesday, August 11. Late applications cannot be accepted for any reason. Contact Michelle Kemper with questions.


REMINDER: Free 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: Free Indiana Course Network Offerings - 20 New Courses

Indiana teachers created over 20 new courses as part of Indiana University's Course Design Academy. These courses, designed to align with Indiana standards, are now available in the LINK portal. The list of available courses and related professional development opportunities can be found here. For more information, please contact Jennifer Lightcap

Office of Title Grants and Support

NEW: 2021-2022 High Ability Program Grant

The state of Indiana and IDOE continue to support equitable and inclusive identification of and services for students who perform or have the potential to perform at an outstanding level in comparison to peers of the same age, experience, and environment. Allocations for the 2021-2022 High Ability Program (HAP) Grant were released to superintendents, high ability coordinators, and treasurers of each local educational agency as well as posted on the IDOE website here. The HAP Grant Application is live on Jotform and due Tuesday, August 31. Contact Whitney Coake with questions.


NEW: Free Team Collaboration and Communication Workshops

IDOE is partnering with ULEAD to provide several professional development workshops for local educational agencies interested in enhancing their team collaboration and communication skills. To learn more about these free workshops, and to register, click here. Contact Erin Busk with any questions.


REMINDER: 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.


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.

News From Our Partners


In response to changing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, updated back to school guidance is available from the Indiana Department of Health. More information can be found here. Contact with questions.


NEW FROM THE GOVERNOR’S WORKFORCE CABINET: Career and Technical Education News

The Office of Career and Technical Education, housed under the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet, has resumed their bi-weekly update for the CTE community with the beginning of the school year. This is the primary method to stay informed on news related to career and technical education from the state level. Yesterday’s update can be found here. Important reminders and updates about Next Level Programs of Study, Indiana’s redesign of CTE courses, are included in this update. Other topics include industry certifications, work-based learning, and a new tool to connect CTE students with employment opportunities. Individuals wishing to receive future updates can subscribe here. Questions regarding any information in the update can be shared with


NEW FROM TRANSFORM CONSULTING GROUP: Seeking Early Learning Data Collectors

Transform Consulting Group is partnering with the National Institute for Early Education Research  and Early Learning Indiana to complete a statewide study investigating the quality of early care and education programs in various settings in Indiana. They are currently recruiting infant/toddler and Pre-K data collection teams to complete training and certification in August and to conduct child assessments in the months following. For more information, please contact Cathy Wright.

IDOE Newsletters Centrally Located

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

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Weekly Updates

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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.