An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for August 6, 2021

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A Message from Dr. Katie Jenner

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As we begin another school year, we have a lot to celebrate...from the successes of this past year (overcoming and persevering through many challenges!) the opportunity to relax and recharge over the the ongoing progress made on strategic accelerated learning.

Each school year is also a fresh opportunity to keep growing, professionally and personally, and to make an impact on the students we serve. And, while there will inevitably be obstacles ahead of us, we also know that “in the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity (Albert Einstein).”

In the past few newsletters, I’ve continued to share a number of themes we have heard on repeat over the past six months as we have engaged with a variety of educators and stakeholders...themes that are now feeding into a shared vision, strategies and tactics for our team’s work. So far, we’ve discussed our first two pillars -- Pillar 1: Student Learning and Opportunity, as well as Pillar 2: Educator Talent, Quality, and Value. And now as schools are coming back in session, I wanted to jump into discussing our final pillar -- Pillar 3: System Alignment and Capacity.

This pillar is all about empowering and supporting our schools and community partners to develop locally-driven solutions that support intentional student learning and pathways. This includes...

Aligned, Effective, and Efficient Support

  • Reducing unnecessary state laws/regulations and their costs, bureaucracy, and barriers;
  • Aligning available state data and fiscal resources to the student and the student’s learning;

Partnerships and Aligned Support

  • Increasing IDOE support for school and community capacity-building to improve results;
  • Assisting local educators in solution-finding for real-time issues (e.g., hybrid learning, transitions to post-K-12 activity); and
  • Partnering with lawmakers and other stakeholders to ensure our K-12 strategic vision is supported and implemented.

One example of this is the data systems modernization currently underway. In very simplistic terms, this work will allow the state system and local school systems to “talk to each other” in real-time. Thank you to our local schools for their ongoing collaboration with our Information Technology Team, led by Dr. John Keller, to accomplish this important task.

In particular, through the ongoing transition to Data Exchange, Indiana will join other states in a modern approach to managing education data that will allow schools to automatically transfer data to IDOE. This new approach also allows for the use of digital signatures and the ability to see preliminary snapshots of data long before schools are required to certify the data. This school year is the first year that Data Exchange will be the official channel for data reported by schools.

These strategies continue to be a work in progress, and we look forward to incorporating additional feedback from you. Also, the development and launching of tactics that contribute to “making it better” (such as the data modernization and Data Exchange) will require all of us working together...towards the same achieve meaningful progress. We look forward to this ongoing collaboration. Thank you for your leadership!

Office of Student Assessment

NEW: SAT and Graduation Pathways

All Indiana students, beginning with graduation cohort 2023, will complete graduation pathway requirements to obtain an Indiana diploma. Review this guidance and video on how the SAT and graduation pathways relate to each other. You can also register for an informational webinar on this subject with IDOE School Counseling Specialist, Michelle Clarke, and the Office of Student Assessment (OSA) on Tuesday, August 17, at 4 p.m. ET. Contact Andrew Jones with any 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.


REMINDER: 2021-2022 Corporation Amendment Window

The corporation amendment window for the 2021-2022 school year closes on Tuesday, August 31. Corporations and schools with school profile changes should submit a corporation amendment request with supporting documentation by clicking here. Please note: corporations and schools without any school profile changes do not need to submit a request. Contact the Office of Accountability with any questions.

Office of Information Technology

NEW: SIS Vendor Update

As a new school year begins, remember to notify IDOE of any SIS vendor changes. By keeping our records up-to-date, this ensures IDOE is able to contact appropriate schools about vendor certification statuses while also ensuring schools have the appropriate credentials to connect to Data Exchange. To notify IDOE of these changes, contact

Office of Leadership and Innovation

NEW: 2022 Indiana Teacher of the Year (INTOY) Top 10 Finalists Announced

The Indiana Teacher of the Year Screening Committee is excited to announce the 2022 INTOY Top 10 Finalists. The Top 10 candidates will be considered by the selection committee as they select the “Top 3” Finalists. Details on the Top 10 Finalists can be found here. For more information on the INTOY program, contact Rebecca Estes.


NEW: Teacher Leaders Bootcamp, Cohort 3 Mentors and Participants Announced

IDOE’s Office of Leadership and Innovation is excited to announce the 2021-2022 Teacher Leaders Bootcamp Cohort 3. A list of selected mentors and participants can be found here. For more information on Teacher Leaders Bootcamp, contact Rebecca Estes.

Office of School Finance


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: 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: Aspiring Special Education Leadership Institute, Cohort 2 Participants Announced

IDOE and the Office of Special Education are dedicated to improving outcomes for all students in Indiana. This can be accomplished by ensuring equity, access, and the development of aspiring special education leaders through professional training, practical application, and networking opportunities. The participants for the 2021-2022 Aspiring Special Education Leadership Institute Cohort 2 can be found here. For more information about the Aspiring Special Education Leadership Institute, contact Dr. Nancy Holsapple


NEW: Back-to-School Reminders

The IDOE Office of Special Education has released a Back-to-School Special Edition publication, linked here. This resource includes helpful reminders, tips, and training information for schools related to the provision of special education. For questions, please contact


NEW: Robots4Autism Grant Opportunity

Made possible through legislation, IDOE is offering grants to selected school corporations or schools to purchase robotic technology and professional development, endorsed by the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE), to improve the social and behavioral skills for students with autism. Chosen applicants will receive the curriculum, the humanoid robot, applicable training, and the infrastructure support at no charge to the district. Information and applications can be found here. For more information, contact Dr. Nancy Holsapple.


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 2

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 second installment, which can be found here, reviews the best learning environments for digital learning and how educators can better engage learners. Contact Diana Gill or Dr. Eimear Towler with any questions.


NEW: Key Considerations for High Quality Digital Resources

In an effort to assist teachers in selecting high quality digital resources, IDOE has created the High Quality Digital Resource Checklist. This document is a valuable tool as schools work to develop a process for searching and curating digital resources. Use this as both a resource and a checklist to define your process of reviewing and adopting resources. Contact Meri Carnahan with any questions.


REMINDER: 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: 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. 

Office of Title Grants and Support

NEW: Indiana’s ESSER III Application Posted for Public Comment

Indiana’s ESSER III application has been posted on the IDOE website to allow for public comment. The application can be found here. Comments will be accepted through Sunday, September 5 and can be submitted by clicking here.


NEW: FY 2020-2021 Fiscal Waiver Posted for Public Comment

IDOE intends to apply for a waiver for FY 2020-2021 federal funds. This waiver would allow IDOE to waive Title I carryover limitations as well as extend the period of availability for FY 2019 federal funds to September 30, 2022. The waiver application can be found here. Comments will be accepted through Friday, August 20 and can be submitted by clicking here. Contact Cole Dietrich with any questions.


NEW: Posting of Approved ESSER III Local Educational Agency Applications/Plans

As ESSER III application reviews come to a close, please see the updated ESSER III FAQ regarding the requirement to publicly post the local educational agency’s (LEA’s) plan for use of ESSER III funds on the LEA’s public website. The updated FAQ can be found on the ESSER II and III webpage. Contact your federal grant specialist with any questions.


NEW: Title III Annual Performance Report Due Thursday, September 30

The Annual Performance Report (APR) is now open for recipients of the 2020-2022 Title III grant and is due Thursday, September 30. All recipients, including consortium members, are required to complete the submission. Please contact Adam Pitt with questions.


NEW: 2021-2022 Indiana Youth Development Cohort

IDOE is partnering with 220 Leadership to provide free access to the 2021-2022 Indiana Youth Development Cohort. Interested LEAs will participate in year-long cohort sessions that focus on Social-Emotional Learning, Leadership, and College and Career Readiness for high school students. Programs will use 220 Leadership’s four content tracks (Leadership, Professional, Entrepreneurship, and Personal Finance) to lead students through a transformational experience where they build the skills that will help prepare them for lifelong success. To learn more about the cohort, and to register, click here. Contact Erin Busk with any questions.


REMINDER: 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 meetings 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: 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.


REMINDER: 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: 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

NEW FROM THE COMMISSION FOR HIGHER EDUCATION: Accepting Applications for Teaching Scholarships, Stipends

Three scholarship and stipend opportunities for student teachers are open for the 2021-2022 school year. Funding is available for Black and Hispanic/Latino student teachers, as well as those who plan to teach in high-need fields, such as math, science, or special education. Students who receive the scholarship/stipends agree to apply for teaching positions at an accredited school in Indiana and, if hired, teach in the state for at least three years. Visit to apply or call the Commission’s Financial Aid Support Center at (888) 528-4719 for assistance. For instructions on how to apply, and for a full list of eligibility requirements visit


NEW FROM CHILDREN'S POLICY AND LAW INITIATIVE OF INDIANA: Positive School Discipline Institute Information Meeting

Please join a virtual information session about the Positive School Discipline Institute (PSDI) on Thursday, August 12 from 12 to 1 p.m. This session, hosted by the Children’s Policy and Law Initiative of Indiana, will provide details about the upcoming School Team Cohorts during the 2021-2022 school year. PSDI emphasizes culturally-responsive practices and involves the use of a national best practice model The Trauma-Informed School, with lead trainer Jim Sporleder, who is the featured former principal in the award-winning film Paper Tigers. Please RSVP to Fiona Makowski



The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) issued a new resource: Long COVID under Section 504 and the IDEA: A Resource to Support Children, Students, Educators, Schools, Service Providers, and Families. This resource builds on guidance issued by the departments of Justice and Health and Human Services concerning long COVID as a disability and clarifies that, for young children and students, long COVID can be a disability that gives rise to Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) eligibility and may also be a disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.



The Indiana Resource Network offers Indiana public schools free or low cost in-person and virtual professional development and technical assistance options. This includes the PATINS Project, which supports Indiana public schools in creating and sustaining an equitable learning environment for every student through assistive and accessible technologies, accessible educational materials, and Universal Design for Learning. For more information about upcoming trainings, professional development opportunities, and conferences, click here.

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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