An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for September 24, 2021

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A Message from Dr. Katie Jenner

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It’s hard to believe that we’ve reached the end of September! This was another action-packed week in Indiana education, as we welcomed the U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona to our state! On a multi-state tour, he stopped at South Bend’s Madison STEAM Academy, where he was welcomed by teachers, school leaders, and many very excited students. More on the visit up to South Bend in next week’s newsletter, but this week I want to take a moment to highlight the power of student leadership and student voice.

I want to shine a light on a few of the remarkable organizations empowering our students to expand their horizons, such as the STARTedUP Foundation, Junior Achievement, and Notable Measures.

STARTedUP Foundation
The STARTedUp Foundation’s mission is to teach students how to view life through a lens of innovation and entrepreneurship, while building a life of purpose. Our friends at the STARTedUP Foundation encourage students to think outside of the box by helping them establish an “opportunities are everywhere” mindset, fueling innovation.

One example of their work, which I find particularly exciting, is their Innovate WithIN Pitch Competition. This year is the fifth year that Indiana high school students will have the opportunity to participate in the entrepreneurial competition and showcase their innovative business ideas for a chance to collaborate with world-class innovators and win a series of prizes totaling $25,000! During the 2020-2021 Innovate WithIN Pitch Competition, 815 student applications were submitted, representing 128 schools in over 75% of Indiana’s 92 counties. Many of these students were offered scholarship awards from 12 university partners totaling $19 million!

Junior Achievement
Another impactful organization supporting Indiana schools and helping many students is Junior Achievement (JA). JA is a nonprofit dedicated to developing students’ knowledge and skills to plan for their futures and make informed academic and economic choices. With 109 local JA areas across the nation, including several here in Indiana (northern Indiana, central Indiana, and southwestern Indiana), JA is making a big difference in the lives of our students.

Each year in central Indiana, they host the JA JobSpark. Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to join several others in a panel about the power of this event for student career exploration and exposure. It was energizing to witness industry leaders across the state coming together to “spark” career interest in over 10,000 eighth graders in central Indiana. Eighth grade is such a pivotal year for our students as they begin to consider options and career pathways to experience during and after high school.

An example out of northern Indiana is their JA BizTown. Here, students in grades five and six have the opportunity to explore 18 JA BizTown shops, learning what it takes to run a successful business, manage a checking account, and work as a team. I am very thankful that JA comes alongside our Indiana schools to encourage students to explore, engage, and experience a variety of careers--obviously stimulating their thoughts about “what’s possible” in their life ahead.

Notable Measures
Finally, a student-led organization, founded by two current Indiana students is Notable Measures. Established in 2017, Notable Measures is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds for youth music education programs and expanding access to musical experiences for all young people.

Over the summer, I enjoyed meeting with Notable Measures co-founders (and sisters!), Meg and Kate Dimmett, to discuss the incredible work they are leading to encourage others to pursue music education. Now a sophomore at Zionsville High School and a freshman at IU respectively, these students began their own musical careers by taking violin lessons at age three. Today, they help raise funds for youth music education programs across Indiana to increase opportunities for other young musicians. The work the Dimmett sisters are leading in their community and beyond is truly making an impact that can be felt around the state as they have awarded grants to several local schools.

Empowering student leadership and student voice can be some of the most important work we do to set our students up for success -- thank you to these organizations mentioned and others that are partnering with schools to do just that!

And as always, thank you for all the work you do!

Office of Accountability

NEW: Guidance Regarding 2022-2023 Calendars and Instructional Time

Please read this guidance regarding the Indiana Department of Education's (IDOE's) expectations for public school corporation calendars and instructional time for the 2022-2023 school year. If you have questions, please email the Office of School Accountability.


REMINDER: Deadline to Submit 2021 Graduates is Tuesday, October 5

All 2021 graduates (regardless of cohort year) should be submitted through the STN Application Center. Since the cohort process is running every morning, updates to graduate status should be visible the next business day. If you have questions, please email the Office of School Accountability.

Office of Assessment

NEW: Systems Readiness Test Availability 

IDOE recommends that all schools complete a systems readiness test (SRT) prior to their first test administration. An SRT is a simulation of online testing at the local level that ensures student testing devices and local school networks are correctly configured to support online testing. The SRT will be available in the test delivery system beginning Monday, September 27. The 2021-2022 Indiana Systems Readiness Guide for Cambium Assessments is available to support systems preparation, along with the 2021-2022 Systems Readiness Test: Test Administrator’s Script. Contact the Indiana Assessment Help Desk with any questions.


NEW: Assessment Accommodations Webinar Series Now Available

IDOE’s Office of Assessment and Office of Special Education, in partnership with the Indiana IEP Resource Center, have released a webinar series regarding assessment accommodations for the 2021-2022 school year. The webinar series includes separate webinars for the I AM, ILEARN, ISTEP+ Retest, and IREAD-3 assessments. Each video covers new and notable accommodations available for the assessment, tutorials for how those accommodations appear in Indiana IEP, and frequently asked questions related to assessment accommodations. Please reach out to the Office of Student Assessment with questions. 

Office of Information Technology

REMINDER: 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: 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


REMINDER: 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


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: Innovation Teacher Leaders Cohort Application Closes Today, Friday, September 24

The application to participate in the inaugural Innovation Teacher Leaders Cohort will close today, Friday, September 24. 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: 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: 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

REMINDER: Sixty-Day Emergency Plan Certification

Within 60 calendar days of the first day of each school year, superintendents shall certify to IDOE that all emergency preparedness plans for the school corporation and each school in the corporation have been reviewed and revised, if necessary. This can be completed here. Contact Stephen Balko with any questions.

Office of School Efficiency

NEW: Request for Information (RFI) on Efficiency Opportunities for Non-Instructional School Building and Transportation Services

The Indiana Department of Administration (IDOA) has released RFI 22-68275, soliciting existing or potential opportunities to improve the efficiency of non-instructional school services associated with school buildings and transportation. This RFI has been issued pursuant to HEA 1266-2021. Respondents may include, but are not limited to, school corporations, co-operative service centers, consortia of schools, other governmental entities, nonprofit organizations, consultants, service providers, subject matter experts, and project managers. All interested respondents are encouraged to respond. Questions on the RFI are to be submitted to IDOA by Monday, November 15, with final responses due by January 14, 2022. All questions pertaining to the RFI should be directed to IDOA’s Emily Cranfill, following the process outlined under the “Question / Inquiry Process'' section of the RFI.

Office of School Finance

NEW: Curricular Material Reimbursement Cost Instructions

Please read the following memo regarding the process for submitting the JotForm to request curricular material reimbursement, as this process has changed. The JotForm submission window will be open beginning Friday, October 1 through Sunday, October 31. Please email if you have questions concerning curricular material reimbursement.



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: 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

*Beginning next week, updates from the Office of Special Education will appear under the Office of Student Supports and Accessibility.

NEW: Special Education Logging Services in Indiana IEP

A new Service Logging Wizard is now available in Indiana IEP. This training will guide users through steps to assist in logging services for students with disabilities. Services added to the Provisions page in Indiana IEP as “Special Education Services” can be logged using the Service Logging Wizard in Indiana IEP. The type of service can be identified in the log to distinguish between services for math, reading, basic skills, or conducting an IEP Meeting. The “Reports” tab generates reports for these services for student records. Videos demonstrating the logging services can be found here. Please contact Colleen Pawlicki with questions.


NEW: School Calendars in Indiana IEP

IDOE has loaded school calendar information from Data Exchange into Indiana IEP to facilitate timeline compliance. IDOE will not complete another import. Any corporation or charter school needing to modify or add to their calendars must do so manually and is encouraged to consult the materials available here. Please contact Colleen Pawlicki with questions.

Office of Student, School and Family Engagement

NEW: College Board Opportunity Scholarships

Join College Board and IDOE on Thursday, September 30 for an information session to learn more about the College Board Opportunity Scholarships. The information session will provide you with additional materials to share with your students and families. To join the 12 p.m. ET session, click here. To join the 4 p.m. ET session, click here. You can also learn more about scholarship details and student eligibility by clicking here. Contact Michelle Clarke with questions.

Office of Teaching and Learning/Digital Learning

UPDATE: Networking and Professional Development for Leaders of Virtual and Hybrid Programs

The Digital Learning Team is offering a virtual workshop for leaders of virtual and hybrid programs on Monday, November 1. You can register for our virtual option here. The work of virtual and hybrid program leaders is important, and we hope to connect with you at one of our networking events as well as the virtual workshop. Contact Alisha Foor with questions regarding either opportunity.


REMINDER: STEM Certification

The window for STEM School Certification applications is currently open. Applications are due Friday, October 29! 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.

Office of Title Grants and Support

NEW: Required Data Collection for Return to In-Person Instruction and ESSER III Use of Funds Plans

IDOE ESSER III FAQs discussed the requirement for local educational agencies (LEAs) to post on their public website both their return to in-person instruction plans as well as their plan for the use of ESSER III funds. IDOE must provide direct links to these plans to the U.S. Department of Education for each Indiana LEA. Please provide the links to both plans via the following Jotform by Friday, October 1. For questions, please contact your federal grant specialist.

News From Our Partners

NEW FROM THE INDIANA STATE LIBRARY: Grade Four Student Essay Competition

Indiana’s grade four students are invited to participate in the annual Statehood Day Essay Contest. This year’s theme is Indiana’s Great Outdoors. Winners of the essay contest will be honored on Friday, December 10 at one of four participating locations or via a virtual ceremony. The deadline to enter is Friday, October 22. To learn more, click here. For questions, please contact Indiana Center for the Book at or 317-232-3700.



Over the last 20 years, the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) at the University of Indianapolis has led, advocated for, and partnered with educators to bring about dramatic and dynamic change to benefit Hoosier students. In celebration of their 20th Anniversary, join CELL at their complimentary presentation Wednesday, November 3 featuring New York Times bestselling author Dan Heath. Register here to attend in-person or via livestream. Contact Kyleigh Gerlach 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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