An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for September 17, 2021

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A Message from Dr. Katie Jenner

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This past weekend, I joined my family and some friends in attending Indiana University’s first home football game of the 2021-2022 season. More than just a game for this reinvigorated Hoosiers team, it was also a chance to spotlight 20 high school marching bands from across Indiana who played alongside the Marching Hundred during halftime. If you can imagine 20 high school bands plus the Marching Hundred, the field was packed with students (see picture below)!

Also, while at the game, I learned something new. We kept noticing “LEO” in all sorts of places -- on signs, t-shirts, and then on a stadium featured video. (NOTE - I’m sure IU fans across the state are shaking their heads right now...but, it’s true…I’m just now learning about #LEO). My 11-year-old daughter leaned over to ask me, “what is LEO?,” and her question led to a small, yet impactful conversation within our group.

For those of you who do not follow IU football, Coach Tom Allen is the type of transformational leader who strives to foster successful humans--both as players on the field AND good people off the field. The team’s mantra, “Love Each Other,” is a reminder that even when things are tough, if we choose to show kindness and love each other through those moments, we’ll all be stronger (and better) because of it.

Watching this video about LEO, I couldn’t help but think about the application it has for us in the K-12 space. As educators, we are in this work for our students. We know that while our students come to school to learn...many of them also come to school to be loved.

And, this applies to adults of all ages, too. During a discussion on Wednesday, a principal from northeastern Indiana said (and I agree), “Our world is an environment of tension...emotions are running high,” which is causing additional stress on people and communities, and thus, impacts our schools and students. At different points, every school or local community has had conversations on really tough topics.

Through these challenging times, we can and should be the example. Admittedly, applying LEO to our students sometimes comes much easier than applying it to adults, especially when it comes to some of the polarizing topics being discussed. And yet as Coach Allen reminds us, love is unconditional...and while not always easy, we need more people spreading love in this this moment. As parents and communities, we must choose to love our schools and our educators for the invaluable role played in helping students learn and grow into successful young adults. And as educational leaders, we must continue to challenge ourselves to lead through this, rise above this, and seek to love each other.

Sometimes we might get entrenched in our daily or weekly personal and professional tasks. We endure both good and stressful times, and sometimes we just go through the motions. And, yet, when we pause...and listen, we can pick up inspiration in a variety of ways, from a variety of people.

It took my 11-year-old making me pause from the excitement of the game to really see and reflect on Coach Allen’s leadership...yes, we want to win...but above all, as people, we must love each other.

As we wrap up Extra Yard for Teachers Week, I hope that you know the reach of your own much you are making a difference...and how much your work truly does change lives.

Thank you to Coach Allen for leading by example, and thanks to each of you for the inspirational roles you play in your school! Keep up the great work!

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Office of Accountability

REMINDER: 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 Assessment

NEW: Indiana SAT Guidance

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) developed a resource of the most commonly asked questions from educators regarding accountability and graduation policy as it relates to Indiana's transition to the SAT. This document supplements the Implementation FAQ and What to Expect with the Digital SAT video, which offer more information on the digital SAT process. Please contact Andrew Jones with any additional questions.


NEW: Cambium Assessment, Inc. Test Information Distribution Engine Available Monday

The Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE) will be available for the 2021-2022 school year beginning Monday, September 20. Student data for each school will reflect their School Information System (SIS), Indiana IEP, and/or Indiana ILP. IDOE’s Data Exchange system will relay updates to Cambium Assessment, Inc. via a nightly data feed. Schools should review student settings in TIDE throughout the school year and ensure all correct data are maintained in the appropriate systems. Please contact the Indiana Assessment Help Desk regarding the TIDE refresh and related system functionalities. Contact IDOE’s Data Reporting team with any questions related to the new Data Exchange process.


NEW: ILEARN and IREAD-3 Webpages Are Now Available

The new ILEARN and IREAD-3 webpages are ready for use by schools and parents. Educators and parents can access test design documentation, scoring and reporting resources, policy information, and other program-specific guidance. Educators unable to locate specific information should contact Kelly Connelly for assistance.

Office of Information Technology

NEW: Data Exchange - Membership Milestones 

The following milestones are provided to ensure clarity and consistent expectations about the completion of the Period 1 Membership Count for the 2021-2022 school year.

  • Friday, September 17: This date was established by the Indiana State Board of Education for the fall count, denoted “census date” in Data Exchange. Any student “enrolled and expected to attend” may be submitted for a school’s Membership count. This date acts as the cut-off date for student enrollments that can be included in the fall count (even if they are not all submitted on that date).
  • Saturday, September 18 - Monday, October 4, 2021: During this period, all data required for Membership should be submitted through Data Exchange. Schools will only receive funding for valid Membership records. Any errors, conflicts, and exclusions are the responsibility of the school to review and rectify, if appropriate. After 8 p.m. on Monday, October 4, schools will no longer be able to run validation checks, and the Membership data will become final.
  • Tuesday, October 5 - Friday, October 8: Certification of Membership data begins. This short time frame is simply to allow the CFO and the superintendent, head of school, or school leader to review the accuracy of data and sign-off on the valid Membership counts.

Questions about Data Exchange may be directed to


NEW: Data Exchange - Membership Reminders

The following reminders are provided to ensure clarity and consistent expectations about the completion of the Period 1 Membership Count for the 2021-2022 school year.

  • All attendance data should be submitted at least once per week throughout the school year. Daily attendance submission is preferred. Accurate attendance data will be used in reconciliation of ADM as signaled by the Indiana General Assembly. Accurate attendance data is also used to determine eligibility for benefits such as Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT). Furthermore, attendance data has become a critical element for understanding the impact of COVID-19 on in-person learning.
  • By Monday, October 4, all attendance data for the week ending on Friday, September 17 must be submitted, as those attendance records are used in the validation of Membership records.
  • Until Monday, October 4, IDOE will maintain a list of known issues which may be impacting a school’s ability to validate Membership data. This list is available for review. Keep in mind that most of these issues do not have a global impact, but rather, arise in particular scenarios.
  • Schools should ensure all student-level errors and conflicts are resolved prior to the Monday, October 4 deadline.

Complete reporting guidance can be found on the Data Exchange Knowledge Hub, under Collection Membership (ME/MV/MA) and then Title Data Exchange EdOrg Associations (ME/MV/MA). Questions about Data Exchange may be directed to


NEW: Data Exchange SIS Vendor August 2021 Badging Announcement

IDOE has added Alma and NHA 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

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 and are not recorded. 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: Submitting P-EBT Eligible Days through Data Exchange for the 2021-2022 School Year

IDOE will be retrieving the 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

Office of Leadership and Innovation

REMINDER: Teacher Appreciation Grant Guidance

Local educational agencies (including charter and virtual charter schools) must submit a Teacher Appreciation Grant (TAG) policy for approval to by today, Friday, September 17. Please see the TAG Policy Submission memo here. Additionally, TAG distribution guidance related to House Enrolled Act 1001 (2021) can be found here. Contact Rebecca Estes with any 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 today, Friday, September 17. For more information, click here. Contact Rebecca Estes with questions.


REMINDER: Attend the Indy Autonomous Challenge at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Students, families, and educators are invited to the Innovation Showcase at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, October 23! This free event, held in conjunction with the Indy Autonomous Challenge, will provide students with the unique opportunity to learn more about STEM and innovations behind autonomous vehicles up close, followed by a unique opportunity to watch these cars zoom around the famous oval track (without drivers) in an all-new challenge. More information is available here, including information regarding how to register for free tickets. Contact Rebecca Estes with any questions.


REMINDER: Innovation Teacher Leaders Cohort Application Open Through Friday, September 24

The application is now open for up to 45 Indiana high school teachers to participate in the inaugural Innovation Teacher Leaders Cohort! IDOE's partnership with the StartedUpFoundation (SEUF) aims to build the capacity of innovative high school teacher leaders and enhance opportunities for high school students with the goal of creating an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship throughout Indiana. For more information and to apply, click here. Questions can be directed to Rebecca Estes.


REMINDER: Superintendents and Principals Encouraged to Nominate Educators for Emerging Leaders Recognition

IDOE’s Office of Leadership and Innovation is looking for confidential recommendations of teacher leaders representing the very best educators in Indiana. These emerging leaders must have between five and 15 years of experience, demonstrate leadership beyond the classroom, and positively affect school culture and student achievement. Superintendents and principals may submit recommendations here. Please contact Rebecca Estes with any questions.

Office of School Building Physical Security and Safety

NEW: Public School Transfers

Indiana Code 20-26-11-32 requires public school corporations to report to IDOE the date by which requests to transfer must be received by the school corporation. To learn more about the submission process, click here. Contact Catherine Danyluk with any questions.

Office of School Finance


This letter from House Speaker Todd Huston and Senate President Pro Tempore Rod Bray outlines the Indiana General Assembly’s intent to legislatively address Indiana’s ADM process for the 2021-2022 school year in order to avoid potential unintended financial consequences resulting from students receiving virtual instruction while being quarantined due to COVID-19. As noted in the letter, there are additional details we must still work out, but we hope this planned solution can ease concerns regarding virtual versus in-person attendance in the COVID-19 era. We are grateful for the Indiana General Assembly’s willingness to roll up their sleeves with us to find a solution.


REMINDER: 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: 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.


REMINDER: Membership Presentation

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


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

NEW: New Special Education Director Training 

New special education director training provided this summer by the IDOE Office of Special Education can be reviewed here for recently-hired directors. Please contact Dr. Nancy Holsapple with any additional questions.


NEW: Office of Special Education September 2021 Newsletter 

The Office of Special Education has released its September 2021 newsletter with important updates and reminders for the month. For questions please contact Colleen Pawlicki

Office of Student, School and Family Engagement

NEW: September is Suicide Prevention Month

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides the following Suicide Prevention Toolkit for High Schools. SAMHSA developed this toolkit to assist high schools with developing a community approach to reducing suicide deaths of students. The toolkit breaks down suicide prevention into seven chapters to include suicide prevention tools, education of staff and parents, screening tools, and connecting with community mental health services and partners. As a school district, you may already be connected with your Systems of Care (SOC). Those in your SOC would be great partners to assist in developing your suicide prevention policy. Should you have any questions regarding the utilization of this toolkit and/or putting it into practice, contact Jason Murrey for assistance.


NEW: Change the Frequency Youth Summit

Students, teachers, school staff, and professionals who work with youth are invited to attend the Change the Frequency Youth Summit for Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing School Violence, presented through a partnership between the Indiana FSSA Division of Mental Health and Addiction and IDOE. This virtual summit will take place Thursday, October 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The purpose of the 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. Students and professionals can register here at no cost. For more information, contact Jess Yoder.

Office of Student Supports and Accessibility

NEW: 2021-2022 Refugee Student Reporting

The submission window for reporting enrolled refugee student information is now open. This information is used to generate allocations for the federal 2021-2022 Refugee School Impact Grant. The 2021-2022 Refugee Student Report submission link includes more information as well as a data template. Refugee student reporting is due by Friday, October 15. Contact Emily Salinas with any questions.


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

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

Office of Teaching and Learning/Digital Learning

NEW: Formative Assessment Grant Distributions Approved

The Indiana State Board of Education approved 2021-2022 Formative Assessment Grant distributions. Additional details are available in this memo. You may also access this spreadsheet to confirm your corporation’s approved distribution. IDOE is scheduled to distribute funds to schools by the end of September. IDOE provides funds to schools via electronic deposit into Fund 3028. Funds are tagged with the memo line “Remediation Testing” to reflect current Indiana legislation naming conventions. Schools are not required to take any additional action to receive funds. If funds are not received in the corporation account on file with IDOE by Thursday, September 30, contact Michelle Kemper via email or telephone (317-232-3465) for support.


REMINDER: INLearning Partnership

IDOE, the Learning Lab, and Keep Indiana Learning are pleased to announce the launch of the INLearning Partnership to provide comprehensive professional learning resources for Indiana educators. Join us for a webinar to learn more about these offerings on Tuesday, September 21 at 3 p.m. (ET). Register here. Contact Diana Gill with any questions.


REMINDER: 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: 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. Our first workshop is available on-demand in the lab, and you can find additional September workshops by clicking 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: 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 Guidance from the Indiana Department of Health regarding vaccinations. Questions can be directed to


NEW FROM THE 500 FESTIVAL: Youth Program Registration

Registration is now open for the 500 Festival’s free youth programs, which reach tens of thousands of students across the state each year. The 500 Festival’s youth programs are free to all Indiana schools and youth-serving organizations. These resources and unique experiences are geared to help students explore the important role of the Indianapolis 500 in Indiana’s history and leverage the iconic OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon to inspire a culture of running and physical activity in Indiana youth. Full details about all three programs can be found here.



The Children’s Policy and Law Initiative of Indiana (CPLI) will train another cohort of schools through the Positive School Discipline Institute (PSDI) starting January 2022 through August 2022. The PSDI program provides a five- to seven-member school team with tools and strategies to help school administrators, teachers, and school resource officers reduce high suspension rates and excessive exclusionary disciplinary practices that undermine student academic success. Embedded in the PSDI program is a Master Trainer Program so that each school has a team member who has additional training and an online curriculum and tools to sustain the work and deliver professional development on learned strategies school-wide. Registration is now open. For more information and to schedule a meeting, please contact Fiona Makowski. Click here for an overview of the training program.



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.

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.

Stay Informed

Did you miss a message? View previous weekly emails here. Want daily updates? Be sure to follow the Department on Twitter and Facebook.

The Weekly Update from the Indiana Department of Education is created by the Office of Communications, and is distributed every Friday morning.