An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for October 29, 2021

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A Message from Dr. Katie Jenner

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The Friday before Halloween is always an exciting (and interesting…) day in schools as students look ahead to the weekend. As fun as this day is for students, it can often result in a hopping day for us as educators.

As you prepare for the potentially eventful day ahead or are now relaxing after having completed it (depending on when you are reading this), I want to quickly share with you details about a celebration held earlier this week to name and honor our 2022 Indiana Teacher of the Year...a teacher whose passion and dedication to her students can be an inspiration to all of us.

As you know, the highest recognition a teacher in our state can receive is to be named Indiana Teacher of the Year. Of the 63,000 Hoosier teachers representing nearly 2,200 schools, only one teacher is named Indiana Teacher of the Year for the entire state. It is a recognition that comes with great prestige and also with great responsibility. Each individual named Indiana Teacher of the Year works to help elevate the teaching profession in Indiana, as well as represent Hoosier educators at the national level.

Each year, IDOE broadly announces the top 10 and top three finalists, but not even the awardee knows the final results until the minute they are announced as Teacher of the Year. This announcement often occurs at their school in front of this teacher’s students, colleagues, and sometimes their family. On Tuesday, I had the honor of travelling to East Tipp Middle School in Tippecanoe County to share in this special moment for our 2022 Indiana Teacher of the Year: Mrs. Sharita Ware. One of the most impactful moments of the day was seeing Mrs. Ware’s own children and how proud they were of their mom’s accomplishment. As educators, the nature of our work makes it a total family commitment. To see her share that moment, not only with her students, but with her own children and husband, made the day even more special.

Mrs. Ware answered the calling to become an educator after having previously worked outside of education in the marketing and engineering fields. She earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, specializing in engineering and technology teacher education from Purdue University as an Indiana Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellow in the STEM Goes Rural Program. In the 10 years since, she has dedicated her life to helping students build the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute in today’s ever-changing, technological world.

Mrs. Ware consistently goes above and beyond for her students and has launched several afterschool activities to further develop their STEM knowledge. This includes creating and facilitating programs, such as The Maker Monday Hour, a hands-on opportunity for STEM students to develop and create projects with the frequent help of Purdue University students. She also launched FIRST Lego League at East Tipp Middle School, a global program encouraging STEM students to find solutions for problems within their community.

Through project-based learning both in the classroom and after school, Mrs. Ware’s students are solving real-world problems, while building important life skills like creativity, innovation, and teamwork. She is positively impacting lives, and I am proud to call her our 2022 Indiana Teacher of the Year.

Thank you to Mrs. Ware, and thanks to each of you for also making a difference for students each and every day. Enjoy this fall weekend!

Office of Student Assessment

NEW: Supplementary ILEARN Resources Available in Moodle

ILEARN resources that previously appeared on the Indiana Department of Education’s (IDOE's) website (e.g., test development and scoring resources, English/language arts scoring rubrics, Lexile® and Quantile® trainings) are now archived within Moodle. Anyone with a valid Moodle account is able to access all materials archived in the ILEARN course. Please share these resources with educators and parents whose students will participate in ILEARN assessments this year. Contact Moodle Support for technical support and the Office of Student Assessment for content-related questions.

Office of Accountability

REMINDER: 2021 Graduation Audit Submission Window Closes Today, Friday, October 29

The 2021 Graduation Rate Audit submission window closes today, Friday, October 29. This graduation rate audit is the final opportunity to request a cohort change for a student in the 2021 cohort. Schools that have noticed an error on their 2021 cohort in Learning Connection should submit a Voluntary Graduation Rate audit. Schools that are subject to the Mandatory and Excessive Homeschool Exits audits are 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). Email with any questions.


REMINDER: Guidance Regarding 2022-2023 Calendars and Instructional Time

Please read this guidance regarding IDOE's expectations for public school corporation calendars and instructional time for the 2022-2023 school year. Email with any questions.

Office of Information Technology

NEW: Fall Membership Counts Finalized

The Fall 2021 Membership counts were finalized at 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 28. Any requests for data corrections after that time are not being processed. The IDOE team is doing some final checks and clean-up on the data, and we expect payments to be processed as normal using the new counts. Schools are still expected to sign-off (signature from superintendent and CFO) on their Membership counts if they have not already done so. Sign-off on counts has typically lagged but is still necessary for audit purposes. If any final minor adjustments need to occur based on case-by-case review, we anticipate making those adjustments as part of the anticipated reconciliation process designed to address funding discrepancies arising from COVID-related virtual attendance. IDOE will be working to address any critical Membership tickets as we turn our attention to the next sign-off period opening on Monday, November 8. Thank you for the efforts of each school in submitting this Membership data to IDOE through Data Exchange. We appreciate your patience, persistence, and commitment to accurate and timely submission. Questions about Data Exchange may be directed to


NEW: Identifying Indiana Teacher Shortage Areas

IDOE is preparing to submit the list of Indiana teacher shortage areas to the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE). USDOE will then make this information publicly available for all states, providing a resource for recent graduates as well as trained, experienced teaching professionals aspiring to serve school districts with shortages. Additionally, the listing serves as a resource in advising federal student financial aid recipients of the potential to reduce, defer, or discharge student loan repayments by teaching in certain areas. Indiana’s proposed shortage areas are informed by 2020-2021 emergency permit issuance, long-term vacancy data collected from schools, and IDOE job bank postings. Click here to view the proposed list. If you are experiencing significant shortages in other content areas, please email with the subject line “Teacher Shortage Areas” by close of business on Friday, November 12.


NEW: 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, November 7. The certification window will be open beginning Monday, November 8 and ending on Friday, November 12. 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. Guidance is available on the Knowledge Hub and is consistent with guidance provided for the 2020-2021 school year. Training is also available in the IDOE Moodle Data Exchange course. Questions about Data Exchange may be directed to


NEW: Cybersecurity Awareness Month

In honor of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the Information Technology team would like to highlight several resources to help you get started with improving your school’s cybersecurity posture. First is a cybersecurity scorecard. This scorecard only takes about 15 minutes to complete and can be a good place to start a discussion with your school leadership and IT teams. Another helpful resource is this quick quiz, which lets you assess your knowledge of cybersecurity threats. If you find you need more training for your team, don’t forget to sign up for KnowBe4 training from IDOE in the School Cybersecurity Moodle Community before licenses for this valuable resource are consumed. For questions about any of these resources, please contact Brad Hagg.


UPDATE: Data Exchange - SIS Vendor Badging Update

IDOE has added Connexus (Pearson) to the list of SIS vendors meeting all data requirements for August 2021. PowerSchool, Infinite Campus, Jupiter Ed, and FACTS have also met all data requirements for October 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. The 2022 Data Exchange Vendor Certification Status list is updated regularly for schools to check the status of SIS vendors. Questions about Data Exchange may be directed to


REMINDER: Data Exchange Enhancements Released

IDOE is pleased to announce enhancements to the bulk upload process used by schools to submit data not already in their Ed-Fi compatible 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 were released on Monday, October 25. Questions about Data Exchange may be directed to


REMINDER: 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


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 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 was 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 Leadership and Innovation

NEW: 2022 Indiana Teacher of the Year Announced

This week, IDOE announced that Sharita Ware, an engineering and technology teacher at East Tipp Middle School in Tippecanoe School Corporation, has been named the 2022 Indiana Teacher of the Year. The full release can be found here. For more information on the Indiana Teacher of the Year program, contact Rebecca Estes.


REMINDER: Webinar on Educator Recruitment and Applicant Tracking System

All Indiana superintendents and/or HR directors are invited to attend a webinar on Thursday, November 4 at 1 p.m. ET. This webinar will be an introduction to a new platform to significantly enhance local capabilities around educator recruitment and applicant tracking. Register for the webinar here by Wednesday, November 3. Questions may be directed to Rebecca Estes.

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 Student Pathways

NEW: High School EARN Program - Expansion Grant  

In preparation for a planned statewide expansion, IDOE, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce are seeking applications from Indiana school communities for a $1 million pilot grant opportunity in partnership with area employers. The EARN Indiana expansion pilot grants aim to build local capacity to connect high school students with high-quality internship/pre-apprenticeship experiences beginning in summer 2022 and continuing through the 2022-2023 academic year. Click here to learn more about the grant as well as upcoming informational sessions. Applications are due Wednesday, December 15. Questions can be directed to Sally Saydshoev, Assistant Director of Educator Engagement with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.


REMINDER: 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

NEW: Wednesday Professional Development from the English Learner and Migrant Education Team

Join the English Learner and Migrant Education team in the Learning Lab for workshops throughout November. Workshops include Hidden Roots, an overview of the Indiana Migrant Education Program on Wednesday, November 10 and Rolling Out the 2020 Edition of the WIDA Standards on Wednesday, November 17. To register, visit the Learning Lab calendar. If you have not yet created your free Learning Lab account, you can do so by visiting the LINK Portal or by visiting the Learning Lab website directly, and using your school email to log in. Contact the Office of Digital Learning with any questions regarding the Learning Lab and Adam Pitt with questions regarding this workshop series.

Office of Teaching and Learning/Digital Learning

NEW: Digital Learning Speaker List

The Office of Digital Learning is creating a Digital Learning Speaker List to identify and connect talented presenters who can provide local expertise, primarily for the Summer of Learning conference series, but also for state and district professional development sessions. If you would like to be added to the speaker list, please complete this form before Wednesday, December 1. Contact the Office of Digital Learning with any questions.


REMINDER: 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 the Office of Digital Learning 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. Contact the Office of Digital Learning with any questions.


REMINDER: Summer of Learning Grant Closing Monday, November 1

The Summer of Learning, formerly eLearning, grant application closes on Monday, November 1 at 5 p.m. ET. 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 the Office of Digital Learning with any questions.

News From Our Partners


The following links are intended to help schools register for and obtain personal protective equipment via the Langham Portal. Please be sure to establish a Langham account if your school corporation does not already have one. 

For questions regarding Binax, email For questions regarding PPE, email



Sponsored by Project AWARE, the fourth annual Educating the Whole Child Summit will be held in-person in Indianapolis on February 23, 2022. Join us for a day of learning and sharing as we continue our collective journey to educate the whole child in Indiana. All the information you need to submit a proposal, exhibit, sponsor, book a room, and register is now available on the Indiana School Mental Health Initiative's website. Questions may be directed to Dr. Kristy Eaton, Assistant Director of the Indiana School Mental Health Initiative.



Join us for College Football Day at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis on Saturday, November 6, as we celebrate teachers at the Sports Legends Experience. The 7.5-acre outdoor activation will be transformed to focus on all things football with games, giveaways, special appearances, and more! Limited quantity of free tickets are available for teachers (first come, first served) with additional teachers receiving discounted admission. Click here to learn more. Secure your tickets today by calling 317-334-4000.

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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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Weekly Updates

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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.