An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for September 3, 2021

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A Message from Dr. Katie Jenner

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It has been another busy week, and I’m sure all of you are looking forward to a well-deserved Labor Day weekend! A couple of updates to end this week: one is about an event I had the opportunity to attend on Wednesday, and another, is to seek your feedback on the ongoing development of Indiana’s new K-12 performance dashboard.

Let me start with the event on Wednesday. I had an opportunity to hit the road with Jason Callahan, our Assistant Secretary of Student Pathways and Opportunities, heading east from Indianapolis to Connersville in Fayette County. To me, this was an important event and well worth the drive...I was there to listen, learn, and meet new people (and see some old friends!). We had the chance to visit with school counselors, principals, and superintendents representing 27 school districts, as well as other leaders from across the East Central Educational Service Center (ECESC) region, including three higher education institutions, Ball State University, Indiana University East, and Ivy Tech. Additionally, the featured speaker was Jamie Merisotis, who is known as a national thought leader, as well as the CEO of the Lumina Foundation. He also most recently authored the book, “Human Work” (if you haven’t read it, I totally recommend adding it to your list!).

Katie Lash, the very dynamic leader of ECESC, brought together this group of people from across the east central region of our state to kick off their Student Learning Recovery Grant (a.k.a. “1008 grant”), aimed at strategically accelerating student learning and amplifying college and career and readiness. A resonating theme throughout the event was that schools cannot do this important work alone. This collaboration becomes particularly important as we consider how we can continue to break down silos in education, blur the lines between K-12, higher education, and the workforce, and improve outcomes and opportunities for all students.

Now, for the second update...let’s talk a bit about the performance dashboard. Over the past several weeks, our team has engaged with a number of educators (and more to come!), to re-envision how educational progress is measured in Indiana and tailored to individual students. In addition to hearing a lot of feedback from you about the needed updates to our current accountability model, this discussion also comes in response to House Enrolled Act 1514, passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 2021.

This new law requires IDOE and State Board of Education (SBOE) to create a statewide dashboard providing additional transparency on the accountability system in our K-12 schools by including a range of performance data, including a compilation of longitudinal school performance data and individual indicator ratings. The dashboard, which we are calling the Indiana Graduates Prepared to Succeed (GPS) dashboard, will also disaggregate the data by student groups experiencing significant learning gaps, including our racially and ethnically diverse, low-income, special education, and English learner students.

Through the development of the Indiana GPS dashboard, IDOE is working with educators, parents, and community leaders to determine the attributes contributing to lifelong success that are most important for students to develop through their K-12 educational experience. This involves working together to consider:

  • How might we “begin with the end in mind” in order to maximize a student’s 13 years with us? 
  • What transportable skills and knowledge should students have by high school graduation?
  • Recognizing that students are so much more than a single data point, what combination of data indicators are most important, making sure we are learner-centered, future-focused?

We have an exceptional opportunity in front of us to more intentionally and strategically measure school performance and the level of preparedness our students have for what’s next after high school. It is our intention to present the finalized characteristics to the SBOE for affirmation this fall, followed by the finalized indicators in December. Your feedback will be essential as we continue to move through this process. We have created a survey specifically to gather your input on these characteristics and hear any additional ideas that you might have. By working together, we can ensure every Hoosier student graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary for a lifetime of success.

Thank you for all that you do!  And, please take time to relax and enjoy your three-day weekend.

Office of Student Assessment

NEW: Indiana Department of Education Releases RFP for ILEARN, IREAD-3, and I AM

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) released the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the ILEARN, IREAD-3, and I AM assessments on Monday, August 30. RFP submissions can be submitted through 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday, October 19. The current contracts for these assessments with Cambium Assessment Inc. (CAI) will remain in place through the end of the 2021-2022 school year. The vendor selected through this new RFP will implement the assessments effective the 2022-2023 school year. The mission of the RFP is to secure a qualified testing vendor to construct and administer the current assessments through its online assessment platform, provide training, and certify, score, and report student scores to corporations and schools. Current item specifications and test blueprints will not change nor will the structures of the assessments.


NEW: Nominations for ILEARN, IREAD-3, I AM RFP Review Committee

The Office of Student Assessment requests nominations for the review committee tasked with evaluating the RFP responses for ILEARN, IREAD-3, AND I AM assessments. This committee will convene in October and will involve both online and in-person meetings. The primary goal of the RFP Review Committee is to review proposals from testing vendors in order to select a qualified vendor to implement the identified assessments beginning with the 2022-2023 school year. Elementary and secondary educators (in mathematics, English/language arts, science or social studies), special education staff, English learner staff, building-level administrators, technology directors, corporation test coordinators, and superintendents are all invited to serve on the committee. To nominate someone or to demonstrate interest, please complete and submit this survey no later than Friday, September 17. Questions can be directed to the Office of Student Assessment.


NEW: College Board SAT Workshops Announced

College Board and IDOE are providing free workshops designed to provide an overview of the SAT Suite of Assessments and resources available to support educators and students. The intended audience for these workshops is SAT and PSAT Coordinators, though other staff who support assessments and curriculum may also find it beneficial. For additional information and to register, please click on the links below. Questions can be directed to the Office of Student Assessment.


REMINDER: Naturalization Examination Requirement Begins This School Year

Beginning with the 2021-2022 school year, students completing a U.S. Government course must participate in the naturalization examination. Schools must report the results to IDOE in addition to posting them on their public website. More information regarding IC 20-30-5-7(d), naturalization examination materials, and reporting of results can be found here. Please contact the Office of Student Assessment with questions.

Office of Accountability

NEW: Guidance Regarding Instructional Time and Attendance

Please read this guidance on school responsibilities for adhering to instructional time and student attendance requirements. If you have questions, please email the Office of School Accountability.

Office of Educator Preparation, Licensing, and Talent

REMINDER: Transition to Teaching Programs

Transition to Teaching (T2T) programs are designed for individuals with content preparation or experience and who are interested in transitioning from their current career into the field of teaching. Programs are designed to be completed within two years or less and are limited to either 18 or 24 credit hours, depending on the grade setting. For more information regarding T2T programs, please click here. Approved T2T programs can also be found here. Contact Scott Bogan with any questions.

Office of Information Technology

NEW: Submitting P-EBT Eligible Days through Data Exchange for the 2021-2022 School Year

IDOE will be retrieving the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) eligibility data and rosters from Data Exchange for the 2021-2022 school year.  P-EBT will utilize attendance day types and Free/Reduced Lunch (FRL) eligibility to determine eligible students and benefits. Schools should code these students just as they normally would, and the data will flow directly from IDOE to the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), the state agency administering the P-EBT program. More details are available in the full memo, including guidance for how to provide reason codes for absences so your students receive funds for each eligible day under the program guidelines. Questions about Data Exchange may be directed to


NEW: Data Exchange SIS Vendor August 2021 Badging Announcement

IDOE has added FACTS, Gradelink, Jupiter Ed, One:Ten Communications, PowerSchool, Synergy, Sycamore, and Infinite Campus to the list of SIS vendors meeting all data requirements for August 2021. The department is continually working with SIS vendors toward their Indiana Ed-Fi badging of specific data elements required for 2021-2022 reporting in Data Exchange. For a list of all SIS vendors and their certification status, please review the 2022 Data Exchange Vendor Certification Status list. Questions about Data Exchange may be directed to


REMINDER: School Office Hours for Data Exchange

Starting Tuesday, September 7, IDOE will be hosting weekly office hours on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to noon ET and Thursdays from 3 to 4 p.m. ET. These office hours are intended for school personnel to ask questions and troubleshoot support with Data Exchange implementation. These meetings will be drop-in style, so feel free to stay as long as you can. To join the office hours, log in to the Data Exchange Training and Community course in Moodle and select the page for Data Exchange Office Hours. Questions about Data Exchange may be directed to


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 Moodle. Additional information and training regarding Data Exchange implementation can be found in the Data Exchange Training and Community course in Moodle (no enrollment key required). Questions about Data Exchange may be directed to


REMINDER: 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, IDOE sets the organization’s leader as the first account, and then this person can log in to 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


REMINDER: 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

Office of Leadership and Innovation

NEW: State of Indiana Partners with College Football Playoff Foundation to Support Educators

As part of the College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers Week, Hoosier teachers are invited to visit an Indiana state park, reservoir, or state forest for free on Sunday, September 12. In addition, IDOE and the CFP Foundation will host special recognition events for teachers on that day at five state parks across Indiana: Salamonie Lake (Huntington County), Indiana Dunes State Park (Porter County), Fort Harrison State Park (Marion County), Brown County State Park (Brown County), and Patoka Lake (Dubois County). These events will include food, music, activities, and resources for teachers and their families. More information is available here, including a video to share with your school teams. Contact Rebecca Estes with any questions.

Office of School Finance

NEW: Verification of Residency for Membership

Please review this guidance for verification of Indiana residency as it relates to reporting a student for membership. If you have questions, please contact Melissa Ambre.


NEW: Membership Presentation

Please review this presentation regarding membership. If you have questions, please contact Melissa Ambre.


NEW: School Year 2021-2022 Membership Count Dates

Please review this memo regarding School Year 2021-2022 count dates. If you have questions, please email Melissa Ambre.


REMINDER: Summer School Final Cost Report

The Summer School Final Cost Report submission window closes Friday, September 10. Information regarding the summer school program can be found in Moodle. Contact Teresa Hemmerle with questions.


REMINDER: Financial Transparency Portal

Please remember to upload your school corporation’s financial transparency data for January to June 2021 into the portal by Sunday, October 31. See the School Finance Moodle Community for a presentation explaining the upload process. Contact with any questions.

Office of Special Education

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.

Office of Student, School, and Family Engagement

REMINDER: 2021-2022 McKinney-Vento District Liaison Identification and Certification

As a part of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, every school district is required to identify a point of contact for families and students experiencing homelessness to assist with identification, enrollment, and coordinating services. This point of contact, also called the McKinney-Vento District Liaison, must complete required training for certification by Friday, December 17. The contact must be updated annually and must be listed on your district website. Please visit the IDOE McKinney-Vento District Liaison Contact List to confirm that the contact person currently listed is the correct McKinney-Vento District Liaison Contact. Contact Gina Woodward, Indiana Homeless Education Specialist, if you need assistance updating any district liaison information that is incorrect or adding your district and contact information to the list if it is currently missing.

Office of Teaching and Learning/Digital Learning

UPDATE: 2020-2021 Formative Assessment Grant Final Report Due Friday, September 10

Each corporation which received a distribution from the 2020-2021 Formative Assessment Grant is required to submit a final report to IDOE verifying their use of funds. The report due date has been extended to Friday, September 10. Review this guidance for details and instructions. Schools may also access the published 2020-2021 Formative Assessment Grant distribution list as needed for reminders of their distribution amounts. Contact Michelle Kemper with questions.


NEW: Transition to Kindergarten Summit

Educators and administrators from early childhood programs are invited to attend the Transition to Kindergarten Summit Thursday, November 4 for an afternoon dedicated to the importance of successful early transition experiences. This summit is sponsored by IDOE and the Family and Social Services Administration Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning. Contact Sarah Parks-Reese with questions.


NEW: Interim Assessments and Academic Impact Study

Throughout the 2021-2022 school year, IDOE will use interim assessment data from vendors approved through the Formative Assessment Grant to support the ongoing academic impact analysis conducted in collaboration with the National Center for Assessment. Interim assessment data from schools where remote testing is prevalent will not be included in the academic impact study, as research shows remote testing impacts the accuracy and trustworthiness of assessment scores. All schools receiving funds from the Formative Assessment Grant for the 2020-2021 school year are required to complete this survey to indicate the approximate percentage of students who will participate in interim assessments remotely this fall. Questions can be directed to Maggie Paino.


NEW: Digital Learning Research Series - Part 4

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 COVID-19 disruptions and now. The fourth and final part in this series focuses on digital citizenship in the classroom and the professional responsibilities of educators as they engage in digital learning. The first, second and third installments are also available. Contact Diana Gill or Dr. Eimear Towler with any questions.


NEW: Networking and Professional Development for Leadership of Virtual and Hybrid Options

The Digital Learning Team is offering two opportunities to support those leading virtual and hybrid options. This includes a networking series, called Leadership Link, which provides a virtual opportunity to connect with others leading this work in the state, as well as a series of workshops. These workshops will be held regionally alongside a virtual option. Learn more about the workshops and register using the information on this flyer. Contact Alisha Foor with questions.


REMINDER: Accelerated Learning - Best Practices and Recommendations for Schools

Public Law 211-2021 charged IDOE to conduct a study on the academic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Indiana. IDOE partnered with the National Center for Assessment to conduct research and analysis. Following the analysis, IDOE produced this video and created this collection of research-based practices, which will best address students’ academic needs discovered in this study. District and school leaders should utilize these resources to support their local-level planning and actions to accelerate student learning. Questions can be directed to Dr. Eimear Towler.


REMINDER: Wednesday Professional Development with IDOE 

Join us in the Learning Lab every Wednesday from 4 to 4:30 p.m. ET for workshops on focused topics delivered by IDOE team members. The first workshop kicks off on Wednesday, September 8. To learn more about this and other September workshops, click here. To register, visit the Learning Lab calendar by clicking here. To create a free Learning Lab account, visit the LINK Portal or the Learning Lab website directly, and use your school email to log in. Contact Diana Gill with any questions.


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: 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, STEM Specialist.


REMINDER: Fall Digital Learning Book Study

Join the IDOE Office of Digital Learning’s fall book study featuring UDL and Blended Learning: Thriving in Flexible Learning Landscapes by Katie Novak and Catlin R. Tucker. Asynchronous discussions will begin the week of Monday, September 20. The book study will last nine weeks and will be worth up to 18 PGPs. Join the course using the enrollment key “blended.” Contact Meri Carnahan with questions.

News From Our Partners


Please see updated COVID-19 school guidance from the Indiana Department of Health regarding masking and quarantining. Questions can be directed to


NEW FROM PLAYWORKS AND THE INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: Play Leadership Essentials Training for Early Childhood Educators

Playworks, in partnership with the Indiana Department of Health, is offering multiple Play Leadership Essentials training dates specifically for early childhood educators over the next several months. These training dates will be free of charge for participants and will be hosted virtually. More information can be found here. Contact Audrey Hallmann with any questions.



The Indiana Department of Homeland Security asks Indiana schools to Get ShakIN on earthquake preparedness by competing for their very own seismograph for their classes. Ten seismographs will be distributed to Indiana schools, and the overall winner will have the opportunity to host an earthquake preparedness school event featuring the Quake Cottage earthquake simulator. The deadline for submissions is Thursday, September 30. Learn more about this video contest here. Contact with any questions.



Project AWARE Goes to the Park is a monthlong initiative in September encouraging students, teachers, and other school community members to spend time in nature as one part of improving overall mental wellness. To participate, head out to one of 32 Indiana State Parks and Reservoirs, complete a healthy activity from the activity guide, and enter to win a 2022 annual state park pass. Additionally, multiple Indiana State Parks will host guided programs aimed at increasing mental wellness through outdoor recreation. Check your local park for upcoming events here, and learn more about what Project AWARE is working on by visiting Contact for questions or more information.


NEW FROM THE DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. INDIANA HOLIDAY COMMISSION: Elie Weisel Hoosier Student Art and Writing Competition

The twenty-third annual State of Indiana Holocaust Remembrance Program will take place on Tuesday, November 9, from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at the Indiana Statehouse. This year, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Indiana Holiday Commission is inviting middle and high school students from across the state to submit an original piece of art or writing to be considered for inclusion in the 2021 State of Indiana Holocaust Remembrance program booklet and marketing materials. The contest deadline for all art work submittal is Friday, October 1, and the winner will be announced on Friday, October 15. To learn more, click here.



The U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services has issued new guidance. This guidance, Return to School Roadmap: Child Find Under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, can be found here.



The new Indiana Career Explorer (INCE) is expected to go live in the next two to three weeks, with historical data from the previous INCE platform available for users. Training videos and materials to support this launch will be available soon. Please check the DWD website for additional updates. Contact Pam Warner with any 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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