An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for November 5, 2021

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A Message from Dr. Katie Jenner

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It’s hard to believe it is already November, and yet in many ways, I’m excited that it is. November not only brings a season of thankfulness, but also, toward the end of the month, an opportunity to rest and recharge for the final push of the first semester. As we look ahead to the end of the year and beyond, I wanted to share a bit about a one-of-kind event held recently at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). While the IMS is known for hosting the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” annually in May...after several years of planning, the track recently played host to another historic event, known as the Indy Autonomous event that gave participants a first-hand look at how quickly technology is advancing (can you imagine, driverless cars circling the Speedway...that’s exactly what happened!).

In total, nine teams competed in the world’s first autonomous racecar competition...I was totally cheering for Team Black and Gold Autonomous Racing from IUPUI and Purdue University! These teams represented 21 universities from nine countries, and the winners received a $1 million grand prize. The event attracted leaders in innovation from across the world and showcased advanced technologies from competing university teams and industry sponsors.

As part of the event, high school students were invited to watch the race, view demonstrations of advanced technologies, and even receive free FAFSA filing assistance. Hundreds of Indiana high school students, family members, and educators took advantage of this unique opportunity to engage with industry leaders and university representatives to see cutting-edge STEM technologies in action. 

Indy Autonomous Challenge

One group of students who I had the pleasure of meeting was from Perry Central High School in southern Indiana. Several students shared their post-high school aspirations, of which almost all of them indicated they had plans to continue their education and work in the STEM field (which is why they chose to participate in this event!).

I also met students from the Crawfordsville High School Jazz Ensemble, who played in the autonomous vehicle parade, as well as the student soloist from Mooresville High School who sang the national anthem to kick off the event. They, too, talked about their hopes and dreams after high school and really represented their families, their schools, and our state well!

In addition to meeting with students during the Innovation Showcase, it was also great to connect with several educators participating in the Innovate WithIN Teacher Training Cohort, including cohort leader and founder of the STARTedUP Foundation, Don Wettrick, and STARTedUP Foundation President Hunter Stone. While this opportunity is not solely for STEM teachers, all participating educators are prioritizing innovation in their classroom and schools. As a cohort, they are able to collaborate with a network of other teachers and receive leadership development training and support. By attending this event, they gained additional insight and experiences to further their mission of creating an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship across Indiana schools.

For an event that was designed to inspire our youth to explore and engage in the STEM field, I was left equally inspired by the talent and passion that I saw in our state’s students and educators. In a constantly evolving world, STEM education is critical to preparing students to contribute to society as our next generation of thinkers, creators, advocates, and entrepreneurs. Thank you for the work many of you are leading in this area...for challenging yourself to integrate STEM and innovation in your schools, and for helping Indiana students realize their full potential.

Office of Student Assessment

NEW: ISTEP+ Winter Retest 2021 Assessment Window Opens Monday

The ISTEP+ Winter Retest 2021 assessment window opens on Monday, November 8, for both online and paper testing. Paper testing will be available through Friday, December 3. Online testing will be available through Friday, December 10. Please contact the Office of Student Assessment with questions regarding test administration.

Office of Information Technology

NEW: Data Clean-Up Needed Even After Certification Windows Close

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 Student Information System (SIS) will provide a benefit to other schools. As such, all conflicts need to be cleaned up regardless of whether they impact your funding. Please note, local data practices such as setting all students' exit date to the end of the school year will create conflicts with other schools when a student leaves your school to attend another school prior to the end of the year. Being careful to accurately exit all students with dates which reflect their actual enrollment and attendance in your school will dramatically mitigate conflicts. Please be vigilant, and address all conflicts as proactively as possible. Questions about Data Exchange may be submitted through


NEW: Accurate Daily Attendance Data for Each Student Needed at Least Weekly

Please remember that accurate daily attendance is key to reducing data errors and ensuring your funding is aligned with the type of instruction students receive. Additionally, accurate attendance data influences direct benefits your students may receive from the state, such as payments for missed school meals through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program administered by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA). Please note, students without attendance data are excluded from counts. Please also note that complete attendance data will be required for the first semester of the 2021 school year in order to make any adjustments to student-level funding around the percentage of virtual instruction received. Complete attendance data for the entire year will be required in June for the final data certification of the 2021-2022 school year. Questions about Data Exchange may be submitted through


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 14. The certification window will be open beginning Monday, November 15, and ending Friday, November 19. Schools should verify if their 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 submitted through


REMINDER: 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.


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 School Building Physical Security and Safety

NEW: Upcoming Educational Opportunities for Students Related to Weather Safety

The Indiana School Safety Specialist Academy and the National Weather Service Indianapolis are happy to announce a series of educational opportunities for Hoosier students in elementary through high school. These sessions are grade level appropriate and will cover a variety of topics. For additional information, including how to register, please click here. Contact Stephen Balko 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: Reimbursement for 2021 Summer School Programs

The IDOE Office of School Finance has finalized the calculations for reimbursement of summer school costs based on the 2021 Summer School Final Cost Reports submitted by eligible school corporations and charter schools. The payment for 2021 summer school programs will occur the week of Monday, November 22. Additional information and the detailed list of distributions can be found here. Please contact Teresa Hemmerle or Melissa Ambre with questions.

Office of Student Supports and Accessibility

NEW: Results Driven Accountability Data Retreat Registration Now Open

Join the IDOE Office of Special Education for a full-day retreat aimed at helping local educational agencies (LEAs) to best use their data to improve outcomes for students with disabilities. Topics will include least restrictive environment (LRE), graduation rate, ISPROUT, statewide assessments, and academic impact. Additional information, including details on how to register, was emailed directly to special education directors earlier this week and can also be found here. For questions, please contact the Office of Special Education.


NEW: Trends in Disproportionality Webinar Monday, November 15

Special education directors and LEAs are invited to join an upcoming webinar with Leah Nellis, dean and professor at the Indiana University Kokomo School of Education, as she shares current trends found from the most recent file reviews conducted for disproportionality. Knowing trends in disproportionality will assist special education directors in understanding local data in order to prevent disproportionality in their district. This webinar will take place on Monday, November 15 from 2 to 3 p.m. ET. Registration is not required. The following link can be used to access the webinar via Microsoft Teams. For questions, please contact the Office of Special Education.

Office of Teaching and Learning/Digital Learning

NEW: 2022-2023 Formative Assessment Grant Assessment Program Approval Process

IDOE recently provided materials to assessment program vendors regarding the assessment program approval process for the 2022-2023 Formative Assessment Grant. Interested vendors should access the key documents on IDOE’s Formative (Interim) Assessment Grant webpage under Information for Assessment Program Vendors. Guidance for schools for the 2022-2023 grant cycle is scheduled for publication in January. Please contact the Office of Teaching and Learning with any questions.


NEW: IDOE Seeking Public Comment on Indiana’s Priorities for Early Literacy

IDOE is requesting feedback from educators across the state on a draft framework to provide additional support for Indiana schools as they teach students to read. Known as Indiana’s Priorities for Early Literacy, the framework focuses on intentional efforts to ensure students receive foundational reading skills for long-term success. This includes supporting schools in implementing evidence-based literacy practices based on the Science of Reading. The release of these priorities follows the certification of results from the spring and summer 2021 Indiana Reading Evaluation and Determination (IREAD-3) assessment, which measures the development of foundational reading skills by third grade. IREAD-3 results show that nearly one in every five Hoosier third grade students did not achieve reading proficiency on IREAD-3, with significant gaps persisting among Indiana’s racially and ethnically diverse, low-income, special education, and English learner students. To learn more about Indiana’s Priorities for Early Literacy and to provide feedback, click here. The public comment period will remain open through Friday, November 19. Please contact the Office of Teaching and Learning with any questions.


NEW: 2022-2023 Course Titles and Descriptions Now Available

The 2022-2023 Course Titles and Descriptions, linked here, provide important guidance as school leaders begin preparing their school’s course and content offerings for the upcoming year. In addition to core content and general elective course updates, the 2022-2023 Course Titles and Descriptions include updates specific to Career and Technical Education course offerings as upcoming transitions occur related to the state’s new Next Level Programs of Study (NLPS). Codes listed before each program/course title and description are to be used for IDOE data reporting. Please contact the Office of Teaching and Learning with any questions.


REMINDER: 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.

Office of Title Grants and Support

NEW: Title II and Title IV Preliminary Allocations

Title II and Title IV preliminary allocations were released on Thursday, October 21. All eligible LEAs received separate memos that outlined their Title II and Title IV allocations as well as provided important links to assist in the application process. Preliminary allocations will also be posted on the respective grant webpages for public viewing. Please note, both applications will be due on Tuesday, November 30. Please see below for additional grant specific information.


News From Our Partners


Updated vaccine information from the Indiana Department of Health is available in the resources listed below. 

For questions, please email



The Indiana Department of Health’s Indoor Air Program is offering an online presentation for school personnel to discuss various means of improving ventilation as part of the layered approach to preventing the spread of COVID-19. The presentation will review current recommendations for classroom ventilation along with options such as increasing outside air supply and filtration to achieve these goals. This presentation is scheduled for Wednesday, December 1 from 10 to 11 a.m. ET and will include time for questions. This presentation will be offered as a Microsoft Teams meeting. A call in number will also be available for those who do not have access to a computer or just want to listen in. To register for the presentation, email Ron Clark with your name, job title, and school district, and he will reply back with the link to join the meeting.



As part of the excitement surrounding the College Football Playoff (CFP) weekend in Indianapolis, the Extra Yard 5K will challenge participants to traverse the heart of downtown Indianapolis while raising money for teachers. The 3.1-mile route will start with registration in Hall A of the Indiana Convention Center before taking runners outside to bypass iconic locations like Lucas Oil Stadium and Gainbridge Fieldhouse while enjoying the energy of CFP weekend in Indy. Every runner will get a t-shirt and commemorative medal, while both the top male and female finishers will get two tickets to the CFP National Championship on January 10, 2022. Teachers can purchase an entry to the Extra Yard 5K at a discounted rate of $10. Register here, and contact Chelsea Wilson with any questions.



The Indiana Chapter of the Fulbright Association is pleased to share an exciting opportunity with teachers across Indiana. The Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad program provides K-12 educators in the arts, social sciences, and humanities with opportunities to participate in short-term seminars abroad to improve their understanding and knowledge of the peoples and cultures of other countries. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, December 28. Click here to learn more. Detailed application instructions can also be found here. If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact


NEW FROM THE EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER: Special Education Conference Call for Proposals

The Early Childhood Special Education Conference is seeking proposals focused on the topics of inclusion, collaboration, and transition. The infusion of family and community considerations is encouraged. Other related topics applicable to the conference theme are also invited. The conference goal is to offer presentations from practitioners as well as researchers. Proposals are due by Wednesday, December 1. The conference registration fee will be waived for the lead presenter. Please complete all sections of this survey to submit a proposal. Contact the Early Childhood Center with any questions.

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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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