An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for October 15, 2021

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A Message from Dr. Katie Jenner

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This week marked an important milestone in the ongoing development of Indiana’s new school performance dashboard. On Wednesday, the State Board of Education (SBOE) approved a resolution affirming that the following five characteristics, which best indicate a student’s preparation for success after high school, will comprise the framework for the Indiana Graduates Prepared to Succeed (GPS) dashboard:

  • Academic mastery;
  • Career and postsecondary readiness: credentials and experiences;
  • Communication and collaboration;
  • Work ethic; and
  • Civic, financial, and digital literacy.

While the Indiana GPS dashboard is a paradigm shift in terms of school accountability for Indiana, the foundational components of the Indiana GPS characteristics are not new for Indiana students or educators. In fact, much of this is already supported via Indiana Academic and Employability Standards. Moving forward, however, these five characteristics will be elevated based on feedback from stakeholders across Indiana (including many of you!) regarding how much these particular knowledge and skills matter.

Stakeholder engagement has been a critical part of this process, and it will continue to be important every step of the way. As we shift our focus now to the indicators that will be used to measure the five characteristics, there will continue to be opportunities for public input. While some of these measures may already exist, some are new and will require innovative methods for collecting or accessing new data. These aspirational measures will need to be built through a multi-year research and development process, which will not be possible without your collaboration.

In the coming weeks, IDOE will solicit public comment and stakeholder input on indicators to measure each Indiana GPS characteristic, which the SBOE will consider at its December meeting. These indicators will then inform the development of Indiana’s school performance dashboard. Stay tuned to our newly-launched Indiana GPS webpage for updates and future opportunities for stakeholder input!

As educators, we know that students are so much more than a single test score. By continuing to work together on the development of the Indiana GPS dashboard, we have an opportunity to re-envision how we strategically measure school performance and work to prepare every student for life after high school. Whether our students chose employment, enrollment, or enlistment leading to service, the characteristics that make up Indiana GPS will be critical to their personal and professional development and success, and I look forward to seeing what we are able to accomplish together for our students.

Thank you, as always, for your leadership and engagement!

Office of Student Assessment

NEW: Register for November SAT Implementation Workshops

College Board and the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) are providing workshops for test coordinators to explain the policies and procedures for administering the Digital SAT School Day. The training will review various accommodations and how to request them in Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Online, College Board’s Student Supports and Accommodations Management System. Participants should bring laptops. Register at the links provided below.

A webinar presentation will be provided after the in-person workshops are completed. Please contact the College Board directly with any questions.


REMINDER: ISTEP+ Retest Test Administrator’s Manual Now Available

The 2021-2022 ISTEP+ Retest Test Administrator’s Manual (TAM) is available on the ISTEP+ Portal to help prepare for and administer the ISTEP+ Retest. Contact the Office of Student Assessment with questions regarding policy and participation and the Indiana Assessment Help Desk for technical assistance.

Office of Accountability

REMINDER: Graduation Rate Audit of the 2021 Cohort is Now Open

The 2021 graduation rate audit of the 2021 cohort is now open in the Accountability Portal. The submission window closes Friday, October 29. Schools that are subject to the Mandatory and Excessive Homeschool Exits audits have been notified and are also posted in the School Accountability & Accreditation Moodle Community (Cohorts & Graduation Rate > Audits, enrollment key: AccountabilityCommunity). The Moodle community also contains additional information and helpful tips about the audit process, including a guidance document, common issues from previous audits, a checklist, and a cohort video series (video enrollment key: Cohort). Schools with an error on their 2021 cohort in Learning Connection can submit a Voluntary Graduation Rate audit until Friday, October 29. This graduation rate audit is the final opportunity to request a cohort change for a student in the 2021 cohort. Email with any questions.

Office of Information Technology

NEW: Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)

With the first distribution of P-EBT coming later this fall, schools should continue to maintain accurate student addresses, attendance, and free/reduced lunch statuses for each student in the Student Information System (SIS) so that this data can flow seamlessly to Data Exchange. The August to September data was pulled for initial distribution review on Monday, October 11 and will be refreshed again on Monday, October 18, pending USDA program approval. Depending on the approved distribution date, there may be further data refreshes, but September attendance data should be reviewed as soon as possible to ensure the accuracy of initial distribution data. Additional information, including an FAQ for parents, is available on the FSSA Division of Family Resources P-EBT website. Questions about Data Exchange may be directed to


NEW: Cybersecurity Awareness Platform for K-12 Schools

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. IDOE would like to remind school leaders of the critical link between cybersecurity and physical school safety. Techniques such as social engineering as well as the many technologies involved in school physical security demonstrate how important it is for school IT leaders to be involved in school safety committees and school safety planning. Please contact Brad Hagg with any questions.


REMINDER: Membership Certification Deadline Extended

The Membership Certification period has been extended through today, Friday, October 15. IDOE will continue to work with schools to resolve unresolved data conflicts. For assistance, please be sure to submit a support ticket. Use the “Request Data Correction” button on the September Certification tab in Data Exchange to queue a request for a new snapshot of your Membership data after errors have been addressed. Schools may be prompted to provide justification or additional documentation for these data correction requests. Questions about Data Exchange may be directed to


REMINDER: Data Exchange - October Data Certification Timelines and Reminders

The October certification period includes the following data: Pupil Enrollment, Curricular Materials Reimbursement, Certified Employee (CE), English Learner, and Non-Certified Employee (NE). IDOE will snapshot this data on Sunday, October 31. The certification window will be open beginning Monday, November 1 and ending Friday, November 5. Schools should verify if their Student Information System (SIS) vendor is equipped to sync staff information, otherwise, schools should plan to utilize the templates for reporting CE and NE. NE guidance is available on the Knowledge Hub and is consistent with guidance provided for the 2020-2021 school year. An announcement will be made when CE information becomes available. 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

Office of Leadership and Innovation

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.

Office of School Efficiency

REMINDER: 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. 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: Common School Loan Application Window

The window to submit applications for construction and technology loans is now open through Friday, November 12. School corporations and school corporation career and technical education schools are eligible to apply. Petitions must be received by the Office of School Finance by Friday, November 12 to be considered. Blank applications can be found in the Public School Finance Community in Moodle under Common School Funds > Fall. If you have any questions, please email


REMINDER: 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.


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 Student Supports and Accessibility

NEW: State Board of Education (SBOE) Approves Special Education Alternative Route Licensure

This week, the SBOE initially approved new rules that will allow special education teachers to stay in the classroom while completing requirements for full special education licensure. The new rules, in compliance with federal requirements, create an alternative route licensure in special education that would be valid for three years. Educators with this license would be required to hold a bachelor’s degree, be employed by a school, and be enrolled in an approved alternative education program. Over these three years, the educator would have time to complete a professional educator special education license or a special education addition to their existing educator license. As a reminder, in alignment with federal requirements, one-year emergency permits will no longer be issued following the end of the current school year (2021-2022). More information about this alternative route license is available here. Please contact Risa Regnier with any questions.


NEW: Embedded Speech-to-Text Available for ILEARN and ISTEP+ Retest

Embedded speech-to-text (STT) is available for the ILEARN and ISTEP+ Retest assessments. To properly document the use of this accommodation within the student’s plan (IEP, SP, CSEP, or 504 plan), please specify that STT is needed in the classroom as well as on statewide assessments. Please include this accommodation in Indiana IEP (IIEP) when describing additional accommodations needed by a student or within the conference notes. Information on the embedded STT accommodation can be found in the Accessibility and Accommodations Training Module. STT will be available for students to interact with once online practice tests and the Released Items Repository (RIR) refresh deploy in late January 2022.

Corporation Test Coordinators must complete a JotForm to collect this information prior to testing for deployment in the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE). The IEP or SP will not directly communicate the need for this accommodation in TIDE and must be specifically communicated through the JotForm. As a reminder, non-embedded STT continues to be an available accommodation on statewide assessments. For non-embedded STT, the student must have the following accommodation selected from the list of accommodations in IIEP: “Student has access to assistive technology device(s).” To use non-embedded STT, the student must also have selected “Permissive mode to access assistive technology device(s)” as an assessment accommodation in IIEP. Please contact Angela Vaughn with any questions.

Office of Teaching and Learning/Digital Learning

NEW: Applied Digital Skills - Free Professional Development

Google’s Applied Digital Skills curriculum helps students develop critical, job-ready digital skills. Kiker Learning, in partnership with IDOE, brings online training on the Applied Digital Skills platform and curriculum around the themes of digital learning, STEM, accelerated learning, special education, and innovative literacy practices. Sign up for these virtual opportunities hosted throughout November. Please contact Meri Carnahan with any questions.


REMINDER: STEM Certification

The window for STEM School Certification applications is open! Applications are due by 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.


REMINDER: PRIME Math Transitions Course Grant Application Available

Grants are now available for high schools seeking to build capacity to offer the Indiana PRIME Math Transitions Course during the 2022-2023 school year. The Indiana PRIME Math Transitions Course is intended for students who have currently achieved the minimum mathematics requirements for a Core 40 Diploma but may need additional instruction before pursuing credit-bearing courses at a postsecondary institution. Additional information can be found here. Applications are due Friday, October 29. Contact MacKenzie Cox with any questions.


REGISTER: Virtual Summit - The Transition to Kindergarten

Educators and administrators are invited to attend a virtual summit on the topic of the transition to kindergarten. Spend an afternoon dedicated to the importance of successful early-transition experiences on Thursday, November 4, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. ET. Learn more and register here. Please contact Sarah Parks-Reese with any questions.


REMINDER: Frameworks are Live in the Learning Lab

The Literacy, Mathematics, Science, and Computer Science frameworks are available in the Indiana Learning Lab. Early Learning Foundations Guidance is also available. Create a free Learning Lab account by visiting the LINK Portal or the Learning Lab website directly and using your school email address to log in. Contact Diana Gill with any questions.


REMINDER: Fall into Digital Citizenship Week

The INLearning Partnership is bringing educators a full week of events to celebrate Digital Citizenship Week beginning Monday, October 18. This flyer shares all of the learning opportunities, including a live summit, a webinar with Common Sense Education, a podcast release, keynote event, and more! Contact Diana Gill with any questions.


REMINDER: Summer of Learning Grant Application Available

The Summer of Learning, formerly eLearning, grant application is open through Monday, November 1. This grant offers corporations the opportunity to coordinate summer conferences focused on innovative, technology-enhanced pedagogy related to learning recovery, STEM, literacy, and digital learning. Important information regarding the grant and application can be found in this memo. Contact Diana Gill with any questions.


REMINDER: Networking and Professional Development for Leadership 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. Register for our virtual workshop here. The work of hybrid and virtual leaders is vital, and we hope to connect with you at one of our networking events as well as the virtual workshop. Contact Alisha Foor with any questions.

News From Our Partners

NEW FROM THE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR: Hoosier Holidays Program at the Statehouse

The official Hoosier Holidays program at the Statehouse will take place on Monday, December 6. Any second, third, or fifth grade educator wishing to bring their students to the event is encouraged to make arrangements through the Statehouse Tour Office at 317-233-5293. Schools will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis, so please make your arrangements early. Click here for additional details from Indiana First Lady Janet Holcomb.


NEW FROM KEEP INDIANA LEARNING: Indiana Special Education Collaborative Support Network (CSN)

Join Keep Indiana Learning as they build a community of support among the special education and special needs educators of Indiana. This first meeting is a collaborative starting point to connect, share needs, and set a plan for the future of the CSN. The learning intentions are to:

  • Establish a network of special education and special needs educators in Indiana;
  • Explore ways for a CSN to be developed and shared across the special education community; and
  • Explore needs for the CSN to create and deliver support, professional learning, and community for special education and special needs educators.

The kickoff event will be held on Wednesday, October 20, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. ET. Additional information is available via the following flyer and registration link. Please contact CIESC Director of Professional Learning Laurie Ferry 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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