An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for October 22, 2021

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A Message from Dr. Katie Jenner

Katie Jenner Headshot

We all have those team members in our life who are “frequent callers.” We may not call them as much as we do a close friend or family member, but in some ways they become our “work family.” While most of the time these calls are about work-related matters, I always appreciate when the personal side of someone comes out. One such frequent caller in my life is Indiana Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box.

Our frequent communication has been prompted by the same circumstances that led Dr. Box to become a household name across Indiana. In the height of the pandemic, she became a reassuring voice for many. When faced with the decision between doing what is popular and what she feels is right, Dr. Box always leads with the latter. And although we have had many tough conversations, I have always had the utmost respect for her because of that.

After a work call with her recently, I shared that one of my daughters always pretends to be a teacher who instructs a room full of imaginary, yet named, students...or she pretends to be Dr. Box (seriously, I can’t make this up). As I told this story, what I did not know about Dr. Box is just how early she had decided her own career path...a decision that was inspired by one of her past teachers, Ms. Pauline Magnuson.

As a sixth grade student at Collett School in Terre Haute, Dr. Box loved to learn from Ms. Magnuson. Whether she was singing tunes from the Beatles while Ms. Magnuson played the piano or learning about the human body…everything she did inspired Dr. Box. Ms. Magnuson also had a saying, “we only get one body, so we have to take the best care of it we can.” After instilling that in her students, she would show them system by system how the body works, reviewing the skeletal system, respiratory system, and how we see, hear, smell, and taste. These were not simply words on a page. Ms. Magnuson brought these concepts to life through the use of diagrams, drawings, and other interactive activities. It was that hands-on learning that helped Dr. Box develop her knowledge and skills in a number of areas, including the arts, mathematics, and science.

Teacher Who Shaped Us_Dr. Box

This video is the first in a series, known as Teachers Who Shaped Us. In this first video, Dr. Jenner sits down with Dr. Box to learn more about a teacher who made a lasting impact on her life.

Because of what she learned and experienced in the sixth grade, Dr. Box proceeded to structure and order the rest of her K-12 academic life in a way that would help her achieve her dream of becoming a doctor. Her focus in seventh and eighth grade became learning as much as she could so that when she got to high school, she would be best positioned to take advantage of the pathways and opportunities that would lead to college and ultimately, her career in medicine. In high school, she balanced knowledge and intentional skill development, both in the classroom and beyond. This included having high school work-based learning experiences by working in a dental office, shadowing physicians, surgeons, respiratory therapists, etc. at the local hospital, and earning her basic CPR certification.

These experiences meant so much to Dr. Box that when she became a physician herself, she continued to pay it forward, providing lessons at the local high school as well as encouraging students to shadow her in her work. While Dr. Box grew up in a family of healthcare professionals, she recognized that this is not the case for all students. So for her, providing that entry point and showing students a pathway for the future has been just as rewarding as her work in the office.

At the end of our conversation, Dr. Box said, “I would love to find [Ms. Magnuson] and thank her...I’ve never been able to do that, but it’s because of her that I’m doing what I am today.”

When you think about all the lives that have been impacted by Ms. Magnuson, through the work of Dr. Box and all of her other students, we begin to understand the profound truth behind the phrase “great teachers change lives.” I left that conversation, yet again, feeling grateful for and proud of all who choose the purposeful, difference-making teaching profession and also excited by the opportunities ahead to lift all students to better lives through education.

What makes this story even more inspiring is that we each have a Ms. Magnuson in our own lives...someone who helped to shape us into the person we are today. In honor of this, IDOE continues to partner with the 2022 College Football Playoff Indianapolis Host Committee to recognize teachers across the state. And very soon, you’ll see an announcement about Indiana’s next Teacher of the Year.

Who is your “Ms. Magnuson?” Share the teacher who changed your life by completing this form, or simply tagging Hoosier teachers on social media using the hashtag #INTOY21.

Thank you, Ms. Magnuson, for inspiring Dr. Box when she was 12 years old...and thank YOU for inspiring and loving Indiana’s students.

Office of Student Assessment

NEW: Collection of Testing Accommodations - 504, EL, and CSEP

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) has opened the DOE-TA data submission in the STN Application Center for the collection of Section 504, English learners with accommodations not included in the ILP system, and Choice Special Education Plans (CSEP). This is the same process used in previous years to submit accommodations for these students. These accommodations will not be collected through Data Exchange and must be submitted via the DOE-TA. Accommodations from Indiana IEP and Indiana ILP will continue and do not need to be submitted in the STN Application Center. DOE-TA will remain open for all assessments during the 2021-2022 school year. Please contact IDOE Data Reporting Help with any questions.

Office of Accountability

REMINDER: One Week Left in the 2021 Graduation Rate Audit Submission Window

The 2021 Graduation Rate Audit submission window will close next 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: Data Exchange Enhancements To Be Released

IDOE is pleased to announce enhancements to the bulk upload process used by schools to submit data not already in their EdFi compatible Student Information System (SIS). The newly engineered feature provides a significant upgrade to the reliability of the system and will also provide improved status messages around the processing of these files. As part of these enhancements, there will be no change to the templates or to the process for uploading them. These changes will be released during business hours on Monday, October 25. Questions about Data Exchange may be directed to


NEW: Data Clean-Up Needed for Membership, Even if Your School Has Certified

As everyone learns the ins and outs of Data Exchange, it is important to remember that Data Exchange treats every day as count day. This allows schools to see how current data would impact any certification window throughout the year. This also means that proactively addressing conflicts in the data in your SIS will provide a benefit to other schools. As such, all conflicts need to be cleaned up, regardless of whether they impact your funding. For example, Data Exchange will show a conflict message for a student if two or more schools have submitted overlapping enrollment dates for the student, no matter when the overlap occurs. A two-day overlap of enrollment for a single student in two schools in August will show as a conflict in Data Exchange and will prevent either school from getting funding, even if only one school shows the student as enrolled on the census count date for Membership. Accurate entry and exit dates will dramatically mitigate conflicts. Please be vigilant and address all conflicts as proactively as possible. Questions about Data Exchange may be directed to


NEW: Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. In honor of this event, we'd like to spotlight three resources and recommend that every school/district has at least one employee engaged with them.

For questions about any of these resources, please contact Brad Hagg.


NEW: Membership Certification Nearing Completion

The Membership Certification period has closed. IDOE continues to work individually with schools on cleaning up the few remaining data issues. For assistance, please make sure to submit a 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



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 25, 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

Office of School Building Physical Security and Safety

NEW: Vision and Hearing Screening Guidance Documents

Vision and hearing screenings should be done this school year for all students in the required grade levels. Schools are encouraged to ask teachers and families to refer students in the non-mandatory grade levels for a screening if the student is suspected of having a visual or hearing deficit. Additional vision screening information can be found here. Additional hearing screening information can be found here. Please contact Cheryl Coffey with any questions.

Office of School Finance

REMINDER: 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 Pathways

NEW: IDOE Accepting Applications for Second Round of Accelerated Learning Grant Program

IDOE is now accepting applications to fund community and school partnerships through Indiana’s new Student Learning Recovery Grant Program and Fund. With the goal of accelerating student learning, $27.5 million is now available through the grant’s second funding round. Created this year through House Enrolled Act 1008, the Student Learning Recovery Grant Program and Fund allocated $150 million to support accelerated learning plans, with a focus on partnerships between community organizations, education service centers, higher education institutions, and K-12 schools. Applications for this second round of funding are due Sunday, November 28. Questions about the program or the process may be directed to To learn more, click here.


NEW: College Board's Pre-AP Informational Webinar

College Board’s Pre-AP program was designed in collaboration with educators nationwide to address the central curricular challenges they face every day. Please join us for our upcoming Indiana Pre-AP Informational Webinar from either 10 to 11 a.m. or 3 to 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, November 10, to learn:

  • How Pre-AP benefits students and the impact it has on schools;
  • The advantages of offering Pre-AP courses at your school; and
  • How Pre-AP is designed to promote accessible opportunities for all students.

Register here for the time that best fits your schedule. Please contact Whitney Coake with any questions.

Office of Student Supports and Accessibility

REMINDER: IDEA Part B Section 611 and 619 ARP Grants Due Monday, November 1

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B Section 611 and 619 American Rescue Plan (ARP) grant submissions are due on Monday, November 1. Grants should be submitted here. Please contact Jen Thompson with any questions.


REMINDER: FY 2019 and FY 2020 Part B Reimbursement Request Deadline

The deadline to submit a reimbursement request for the FY 2019 and FY 2020 IDEA Part B Section 611 and 619 grants is Wednesday, December 15. Please contact your assigned fiscal specialist or Jen Thompson with questions​. A list of fiscal specialists assigned to each local educational agency can be found on Moodle (Office of Special Education Community>Fiscal>Part B Grants for Special Education>LEA Assigned Specialists).

Office of Teaching and Learning/Digital Learning

NEW: Indiana Learning Lab Guest Presenter Submissions Open

Are you an educator with an interesting idea or engaging strategy that you would like to share with other educators? The Indiana Learning Lab is looking for guest presenters, and applications to share a 30-minute live workshop are now open! Please submit your idea using this form by Wednesday, December 1. Contact Diana Gill with any questions.


NEW: November Wednesday Professional Development with IDOE

Join us for a wide range of sessions in the Indiana Learning Lab on Wednesdays throughout November from 4 to 4:30 p.m. ET. More information on these sessions, led by members of the IDOE team, can be found here. All past workshops are also available on-demand in the Learning Lab. To access this on-demand content, visit the Learning Lab resources here. To register for upcoming workshops, be sure to create a free Learning Lab account by visiting the LINK Portal or by visiting the Learning Lab website directly and using your school email to log in. Contact Diana Gill with any questions.


REMINDER: 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: 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.


REMINDER: 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.

News From Our Partners


Please see updated COVID-19 Guidance from the Indiana Department of Health regarding vaccinations. Questions can be directed to



Applications are now available for students seeking funding for select educational projects through Students in kindergarten through grade eight are encouraged to submit applications in one of 10 subjects. Winners will receive a grant of up to $3,000 for their selected educational project. Additional details are available here. Applications are due Friday, November 5. Contact Molly Wright at the Indiana Sports Corp with any questions.



Submissions are now open for physical and digital artwork created by current Indiana PreK-12 visual arts educators. In partnership with the 2022 College Football Playoff Indianapolis Host Committee, the College Football Playoff Foundation, and the Indianapolis Airport Authority, selected artwork will be displayed in the Indianapolis Artsgarden, the Indianapolis International Airport’s KIND Gallery, and the Airport’s SHARP monitor in the Ticket Hall. Selected artists creating physical artwork will receive prizes totaling $200. Selected artists creating digital artwork will receive $50 as a licensing fee for their work. See more details here. Artwork submissions are due Sunday, November 7. Contact Kate Oberreich at the Indy Arts Council with any questions.


NEW FROM THE INDIANA YOUTH INSTITUTE: Registration for the 2021 IYI KIDS COUNT® Conference Now Open

Registration is now open for Indiana Youth Institute’s (IYI’s) 2021 KIDS COUNT® Conference! This year’s conference will be held virtually on Tuesday, November 30 and Wednesday, December 1. Join your colleagues from across the state for two days of innovative trainings, practical resources from national experts, and best practice models. Registration for this year’s conference is $25 and supports IYI’s mission to improve the lives of all Indiana children. Scholarships covering this cost are available during registration to any Indiana youth-serving professional in need. See more details and reserve your spot here. Contact Ashley Haynes at the Indiana Youth Institute with any questions.



The 23rd Annual State of Indiana Holocaust Remembrance Program will be hosted at the Indiana Statehouse on Tuesday, November 9 from 12 to 1:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Middle and high school students from across the state are invited 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 as well as displayed in the Indiana State Museum throughout the month of November. For contest guidelines and more information, click here. The deadline for submissions has been extended to Sunday, October 24 at 11:59 p.m.. Registration to attend the program can be completed here. To request any accommodations or for more information, please contact MacKenzie Holden via email at or via phone at 317-232-2614.

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.