An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for August 20, 2021

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A Message from Dr. Katie Jenner

Katie Jenner Headshot

Note to reader…I’m writing this very late on Wednesday night of a super busy week (which many of you can relate!)...and I’m reflecting. Jiminy, get ready.

After speaking with several of you -- educators and staff members in a variety of roles, legislators, some students and parents -- I’ve thought about that old saying that “challenging times make us grow.” So far this month, especially in the context of thinking about some of the contentious debates that each of us face every day, I started wondering if that is really true. So naturally, I Googled it and found some research out of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Health that says, “up to 70% of people experience positive psychological growth from difficult times, such as a deeper sense of self and purpose, a greater appreciation for life and loved ones, and an increased capacity for altruism, empathy and desire to act for the greater good.” Interesting...

The other thing I lean on -- not to get too personal, just being honest -- is my faith. There are several go-to verses that I have posted in random places at my office and at my home as reminders. You may have your faith, too. It could be the same or different than mine, yet regardless, let’s continue to be courageous, strong, and remember our number one -- our students. So as we navigate another year of uncontrollables, we will keep going (and GROWING). We ARE making a difference for students.

Enough reflection (from me, at least!)...let’s get down to business.

As I have shared over the past several weeks, while we continue to refine our IDOE strategies, our vision for the future is clear and is a reflection of a variety of feedback from education stakeholders throughout our state. This includes Pillar 1: Student Learning and Opportunity, Pillar 2: Educator Talent, Quality, and Value, and Pillar 3: System Alignment and Capacity.

Understanding the important role our educators play in the lives of students, Pillar 2: Educator Talent, Quality, and Value is all about supporting our educator pipeline...and this week, we began to see one of the tactics for achieving this vision come to life with the launch of the Indiana Learning Lab.

The Indiana Learning Lab, formerly known as the eLearning Lab, was launched last summer by a group of civic, philanthropic, corporate, and school corporation partners (thank you!!!) to help educators and families navigate digital learning occurring as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we continue to see today, developing bold, creative solutions to the challenges that we face requires all of us working together to achieve maximum results for students. IDOE is supporting this important initiative with both financial and human capital, and our team looks forward to continuing this partnership.

The Indiana Learning Lab is a growing and continuously improving one-stop-shop for educators, providing live, on-demand workshops, communities of practice focusing on STEM, literacy, and digital learning, as well as grab-and-go resources and lesson ideas. Live coaching and assistance is also available daily from both IDOE (1 to 3 p.m.) and Five Star (5 to 8 p.m.) staff. 

Every educator has a free Indiana Learning Lab account that can be created and then accessed through the LINK Portal. As educators engage with the workshops and other resources, Professional Growth Points (PGPs) will be automatically tracked through the system. Administrators can also utilize this platform to identify professional development opportunities for their school teams and ensure continued learning is aligned with key focus areas.

This is just one example of our commitment to working alongside our partners to improve access to effective professional development and create networks and other capacity for sharing information, practices, and ideas with/among educators. Through resources such as the Indiana Learning Lab, we can continue strengthening our educator pipeline, one of us at a time, and in turn, increase support for Hoosier students. I look forward to continuing to partner with the Indiana Learning Lab and encourage everyone to take advantage of this resource for Indiana educators!

Thank you for ALL your hard work...we’ll keep growing, together!

Office of Accountability

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.


REMINDER: 2021 Graduate Submittal

The 2021 Graduate collection is open through Tuesday, October 5. Schools are encouraged to submit this information as soon as possible to allow adequate time to correct any issues that may arise and to carefully review the cohort report, which can be found in Learning Connection. Contact the Office of Accountability with any questions.

Office of Information Technology

NEW: Organization Leaders - Designation of Security Coordinators

IDOE has configured the LINK Portal to recognize all public, charter, and accredited non-public schools’ local Google G-Suite or Microsoft 365 accounts. For security purposes, the organization’s leader is set up as the first account and can name up to two security coordinators. Instructions on how to designate/update these security coordinators can be found here. If you are a new superintendent and need the first account configured, please email


NEW: Security Coordinators - Set-up of Key Contacts

The security coordinators for all public, charter, and accredited non-public schools should make sure that their organization’s key contacts for the 2021-2022 school year are set. These include contacts such as principal, superintendent, financial contact, and Data Exchange contact, to name a few. Security coordinators are also responsible for making sure that all LINK roles are set for systems such as the Data Exchange Validation Portal. Instructions can be found here. Questions may be directed to


UPDATE: Data Exchange: SIS Vendor Badging Update

Harmony, Skyward SMS, and Skyward Qmlativ are now badged for August 2021 requirements. IDOE is continually working with SIS vendors toward their Indiana Ed-Fi badging of specific data elements required for 2021-2022 reporting in Data Exchange. The 2022 Data Exchange Vendor Certification Status list is updated regularly for schools to check the status of SIS vendors. As of Tuesday, August 17, 69% of Harmony customers, 83% of Skyward SMS customers, and 60% of Skyward Qmlativ customers had connected and sent data for the 2021-2022 school year. IDOE appreciates these efforts as we approach the fall 2021 ADM count day!


REMINDER: Data Exchange - Data Reporting Source of Truth

The 2021-2022 school year establishes Data Exchange as the source of truth for all data reporting. Specific instructions for parallel submission with the STN Application Center will be provided as needed. For the current school year, all SPN/STN should continue to be created in the STN Application Center. Details regarding Data Exchange can be found in the IDOE Data Exchange Moodle course. Contact with questions.

Office of School Improvement

NEW: School Improvement Plans

All public and accredited nonpublic schools are required to submit strategic and continuous school improvement and achievement plans each year (IC 20-31-5 and IC 20-31-6). Initial plans are developed for a three-year period and are reviewed and revised annually. Plans for the 2021-2022 school year are due Friday, October 8 and can be submitted at DOE Online. Additional information may be found in this memo. Contact John Purcell with questions.

Office of Special Education

REMINDER: Obligation of Part B Federal Funds

Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 IDEA Part B awards and FY 2020 IDEA Part B awards must be obligated by Thursday, September 30. After this date, any funds not yet obligated will no longer be available. Modifications for both grants should be submitted to on/before Wednesday, September 15. Reimbursement requests for funds obligated by Thursday, September 30 will be accepted until Wednesday, December 15. Contact your assigned specialist with any questions.


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 Student, School, and Family Engagement

REMINDER: Save the Date - Upcoming Youth Seminar

IDOE, in collaboration with the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Indiana Department of Health, and the STOP School Violence Planning Committee, invite you to Save the Date for our upcoming youth summit. This free summit will be held virtually on Thursday, October 28 from 9 a.m. to noon ET. The purpose of this summit is to build mental health awareness, create tangible solutions to help support a healthy school climate, and build relationships between youth and teachers/other adults in schools and communities. Topics of discussion will include conflict resolution, cyberbullying, youth perceptions of mental health, self-care strategies, and youth experience with community violence and its impact on education. Students, school personnel, and community organizations that have a school-based relationship with students are encouraged to attend. Participants are able to join as a group (such as a class setting), or individually. Registration for the summit will be available soon. Please send questions to Amber Becker.

Office of Teaching and Learning/Digital Learning

REMINDER: STEM Certification

The window for STEM School Certification applications is open! The updated STEM Certification Guide, STEM Evaluation Rubric, and other resources are currently available here. For any questions or to schedule your pre-application meeting, please contact Dana Hartzell.


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 Kegan Prentice with questions.


REMINDER: Educator Recruitment for Middle School Civics Standards 

House Enrolled Act 1384 requires a middle school civics education course to be ready for implementation in Indiana middle schools for the 2023-2024 school year. The first step in that process is standards review and development. If you are an educator with a background in social studies education and/or middle school pedagogy, a postsecondary social studies educator, or a parent, and are interested in taking part in the standards-setting process, please complete this form by Wednesday, August 25. Contact Jacob Koressel with any questions.


REMINDER: Indiana Academic Standards/SAT Math and English/Language Arts Priority Standards

IDOE created two documents that highlight specific Indiana Academic Standards (IAS) that are most strongly represented on the SAT’s test blueprint. The math and English/language arts documents provide educators with information about how the IAS are assessed through the SAT to help with curriculum planning and pacing. Please contact MacKenzie Cox with any questions.


REMINDER: IDOE Staff Available for On-Demand Chats 

The Indiana Learning Lab, formerly eLearning Lab, is a free, personalized microlearning platform filled with resources, lesson ideas, workshops, and more. Beginning on Monday, August 16, IDOE staff will be available through the chat feature on the Learning Lab platform Monday through Friday from 1 to 3 p.m. ET to provide just-in-time support and coaching. Access the Learning Lab through the LINK Portal or by clicking here. Log in using your school email address. Learn more about the Learning Lab here, or contact Diana Gill with questions.


REMINDER: Indiana Course Design Academy - Looking for Participants!

IDOE, in collaboration with Indiana University, invite Indiana teachers to participate in Phase II of the Course Design Academy. Participants will design courses using freely-available Open Educational Resources. Courses designed through this process will be made available to Hoosier educators. Participating teachers must hold a valid Indiana teaching license and must be currently teaching or have taught the course they will design. This Course Design Academy will take place Monday, September 20 through Friday, November 12. To participate, please complete this online application. Applications will close today, Friday, August 20. Contact Diana Gill with questions.

Office of Title Grants and Support

NEW: Revised Deadlines for Title I-A, Title II-A and Title IV-A Applications

The deadline to submit Title I-A, Title II-A and Title IV-A applications have been changed to Thursday, September 30. Specific to Title II-A and Title IV-A, please watch for an email and further announcements regarding allocations and applications being available for these grants. Contact Cole Dietrich with any questions.


NEW: Updated ESSER II and III FAQs

Please see updated ESSER II and III FAQs regarding the allowability of supporting vaccination efforts and activities with ESSER funds. Contact Cole Dietrich with any questions.


NEW: Free Playworks Workshops

IDOE is partnering with Playworks to provide several professional development workshops for local educational agencies interested in learning more about play-based strategies for out-of-school time (OST) programming. To learn more about these free workshops, click here. Contact Erin Busk with any questions.


REMINDER: Updated Fiscal and Object Code Guidance

Please see updated guidance regarding the micro-purchase threshold, object code updates, and reminders regarding local educational agency (LEA) policies and procedures for federal funding purposes. Please contact Cole Dietrich with questions.

News From Our Partners


For our school partners who might be thinking of providing testing within their schools, please see the attached document with two options, including:

  • BinaxNOW antigen testing – done onsite by school personnel. May be used for screening of symptomatic individuals to evaluate them more quickly.
  • Pooled PCR testing – in collaboration with a federal partner, to be used for screening

To register for BinaxNOW, contact To register for PCR Screenings, visit



The Indiana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Indiana Academy of Family Physicians released a joint letter to school administrators, communities, and parents sharing that the best way to make in-person education feasible for Indiana’s kids is to require all students older than two years and all staff to wear face masks while in school. To read this joint letter, click here.


NEW: September is Suicide Prevention Month

Looking for ways to observe Suicide Prevention Month? Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) has developed a two-page resource with ideas to help anyone, anywhere get involved. SPRC invites you to take action this September to help prevent suicide in your community, learn about effective suicide prevention, share stories of hope, and empower everyone to be there for those in need.

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

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.