An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for February 11, 2022

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A Message from Dr. Katie Jenner

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As we look forward to celebrating #LoveTeaching Week next week, today’s message is all about sharing positivity, affirmation, and support for the many ways in which educators (and adult mentors) positively influence the lives of students. When it comes to expanding our students’ learning and skill development, this important work takes place both inside and outside of the classroom. Involvement in co-curricular activities, whether that’s through academics, the arts, athletics, or other clubs, are some of the most important ways to keep a student engaged, learning, and building skills. Today, I’d like to shine a spotlight on a couple, of many, examples of this work happening in our state.

Boy Scouts of America 
In mid-December, I had the opportunity to attend the 26th annual Governor’s Luncheon for Scouting, which recognizes the significant impact that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has on our students. Through hands-on experiences, scouts develop important skills such as collaboration, work ethic, civic engagement, and leadership.

In particular, at the event we heard from Xavier Ntamere, a junior at Shortridge High School in Indianapolis and Life Scout for Troop 199, who has been involved in scouting since the first grade and has earned 80 badges (check out the photo of ALL his badges!). For his Eagle Scout project, Xavier built the “Rites of Passage” bridge at Jameson Camp in Indianapolis. In addition to his love of community, through scouting, Xavier also discovered his love of swimming. Putting those passions into practice, Xavier helped his fellow troop members pass the BSA swim test and later founded his high school swim team, allowing future generations of Shortridge students to learn this sport as well.


Rocket Club & Robotics Club at North Decatur Elementary School 
On Monday, I had the opportunity to visit North Decatur Elementary School (NDES) in Greensburg to learn more about their partnership with NASA, and the work of their students in the Rocket Club and Robotics Club.

In November, NDES was awarded an Educational Downlink from NASA, where their students were given the chance to ask questions of astronauts aboard the International Space Station in real-time. As part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, parents of students pitched in to build their very own life-size replica of the International Space Station. Watch this story from The 812 to hear more specifically about the incredible experience students had to explore and engage with STEM learning and careers.

Two teacher leaders, Dave Sell (6th grade science) and Linda Smith (2nd grade) inspired the event and took the lead, while Principal Rob Smith supported his teachers…and what an event it was! On the day of the event, the students took over, providing tours and presentations through the mock space station. They asked real-time questions of the astronauts, and they also showed off some of the co-curricular STEM learning they do year-round through participation in the Rocket Club and/or the Robotics Club!

The students’ communication skills were impeccable, and they were so proud to show off the rockets they launched, the robots they programmed, and the 3D models they built…some of the students had even worked on a project to 3D print a set of braille dominos for a fellow student who is visually impaired. As Mr. Dave Sell describes, these opportunities help students to develop “...skills, and then the confidence…to create something that they have never done before. While they are working on each of these different units of study, they find out early that the work is challenging, but not impossible. They learn patience and perseverance to work to the end of the project. Finally, they learn that they may possess creative skills that they did not know they had. They discover more about themselves and what they are capable of.”


The power of co-curriculars is evident – it helps our students apply what they have learned in the classroom, and in some cases, it keeps our students wanting to come to school. Thank you for all you do to support learning in the classroom and out…all contributing to building well-rounded, prepared students. 

Office of Student Assessment

NEW: SAT Question & Answer (Q&A) Webinar on Tuesday, February 15

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) Office of Student Assessment is hosting a live Q&A webinar on the upcoming digital SAT School Day administration on Tuesday, February 15, from 4 to 5 p.m. ET. Registration is not required, and you may join the session here. Contact the Office of Student Assessment or College Board with any questions.


NEW: ISTEP+ Retest Spring 2022 and ILEARN Biology End-of-Course Assessment (ECA) Winter 2022 Test Windows Now Open

Students in cohort 2022 or earlier who have not yet passed the ISTEP+ for their Graduation Qualifying Exam (GQE) requirement must attempt the ISTEP+ once per school year to qualify for the GQE waiver, unless they are on track to graduate via a Graduation Pathway. The ISTEP+ Retest Spring 2022, open through Friday, March 4, is the last opportunity this school year for this requirement. 

Students completing the high school biology course during the second trimester should participate in the ILEARN Biology ECA Winter 2022 now through Thursday, February 24. Contact the Office of Student Assessment with any questions.


NEW: ISTEP+ Retest Spring 2022 and ILEARN Biology ECA Winter 2022 Monitoring 

IDOE’s Office of Student Assessment will conduct monitoring visits during the ISTEP+ Retest Spring 2022 and ILEARN Biology ECA Winter 2022 assessment windows. Please ensure that school administrators and staff are aware that these on-site and virtual visits will be conducted. Click here for more details. Contact the Office of Student Assessment with any questions.


REMINDER: Opt-In - Early Indicator of Student Reading Proficiency

When it comes to the fundamentals, data shows that the roadmap of opportunity is endless for students who are literate by the end of grade three. IDOE is committed to supporting early literacy by providing reading proficiency information earlier, allowing schools to respond quickly and provide targeted support for students who need it most. IDOE is offering the opportunity for schools to administer IREAD-3 to grade two students, beginning with the Spring 2022 IREAD-3 administration, as an optional administration by schools. 

  • Early indicator of proficiency means earlier intervention and support for students.
  • Early reading support leads to higher rates of reading success at grade three.
  • Early reading support may lead to reduced numbers of Good Cause Exemptions needed at grade three. 
  • Students who pass IREAD-3 in grade two have reduced testing requirements at grade three.   

Additional details on this exciting opportunity can be found here. Submit this JotForm by Tuesday, March 1, to officially opt in. Schools are invited (not required) to participate, and currently, more than 220 schools have opted in. IDOE may reach out to additional schools to participate to ensure that there is a representative sample of student data for the “On Track'' cut score. Grade two teachers should review the Test Administrator (TA) Certification Course and be included in similar IREAD-3 test administration, test security refresher, and accommodations training, as applicable. Contact the Office of Student Assessment with any questions.

Office of Leadership and Innovation

NEW: Applications for Spanish Visiting Teacher Program

Details for the school year 2022-2023 Spanish Visiting Teacher Program can be found here. Districts may also express interest by completing the following JotForm. The application deadline is Friday, March 18. For more information, contact Rebecca Estes.

Office of School Finance

NEW: February Tuition Support Payment

Please read this memo regarding the February Tuition Support payment. Contact with any questions.


REMINDER: Curricular Material Reimbursement Estimates

Please read this memo regarding the distribution of curricular material funds on Friday, February 25. Contact with any questions.


REMINDER: FY 2023 Indirect Cost Rates

Beginning Tuesday, March 1, local educational agencies (LEAs) are eligible to apply for FY 2023 Indirect Cost Rates. Please read the following memo, which includes application instructions. Contact with any questions. 

Office of School Support and Transformation

NEW: Next Generation School Improvement Planning Grants 

The Office of School Support and Transformation is accepting applications for planning grants as part of the Next Generation School Improvement Grant (SIG) program. In 2022, IDOE intends to expand eligibility for this grant to all schools currently identified for Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI/ATSI) and Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) under Indiana’s ESSA Plan. Interested school officials can read more about the grant program on IDOE’s SIG webpage. A list of eligible schools can be found here. The application will remain open through Friday, March 25. Contact with any questions.

Office of Student Pathways and Opportunities

NEW: Application for New Locally Created Pathways (LCPs) Opens Tuesday, March 1 

The application for submitting new locally created pathways for the 2022-2023 school year will open on Tuesday, March 1 and close on Saturday, April 30. The LCP Scoring Rubric can be a helpful resource as schools design an LCP for submission to the State Board of Education. More information about the application process and timeline will be provided in the coming weeks. Schools that have questions about LCPs can learn more here or contact

Office of Student Supports and Accessibility

NEW: Feedback Requested on the Individualized Education Program (IEP) and Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) Systems  

IDOE’s Office of Special Education will engage in a procurement process for the IEP and ILP systems as we continue to enhance these resources for the 2023-2024 school year. Please complete this JotForm to document areas of priority and enhancements as IDOE engages in this process. Contact the Office of Special Education with any questions.


NEW: IEP Stakeholder Committee 

IDOE’s Office of Special Education is seeking participants for the IEP stakeholder committee. The committee will meet quarterly to discuss concerns or changes within the Indiana IEP system. The meetings will be held virtually and an invitation will be sent once the committee has been selected. If you are a special education teacher, administrator, or director, please complete this JotForm to indicate your interest. Contact the Office of Special Education with any questions.

Office of Teaching and Learning/Digital Learning

NEW: Indiana’s Early Literacy and STEM Initiatives: Opt-In Window Open Now Through Friday, April 8 

Indiana schools may now apply to opt in to the voluntary coalition with IDOE to implement evidence-based early literacy practices in alignment with the Science of Reading or integrate high-quality STEM instruction. Implementation of both programs will involve the use of a locally-managed coaching model. IDOE will provide collaboration and training opportunities at no cost for participating schools. Review more opt-in implementation details related to Indiana’s Priorities for Early Literacy and Indiana’s Priorities for STEM Education and formally indicate your school’s interest by 5 p.m. ET on Friday, April 8. Contact the Office of Teaching and Learning with any questions.


NEW: Upcoming Learning Lab Presentation - Science of Reading Overview

The Science of Reading is an integral component of Indiana’s Priorities for Early Literacy. IDOE invites educators to attend an upcoming Learning Lab presentation on Thursday, February 24, at 4 p.m. ET hosted by Dr. Kelly Williams, Assistant Professor of Special Education and the Dyslexia Graduate Certificate Coordinator at Indiana University. Register for this session here. Contact the Office of Teaching and Learning with any questions.


NEW: 2022 Digital Learning Grant

IDOE’s Office of Digital Learning is proud to announce the release of the 2022 Digital Learning Grant. This competitive grant opportunity is available to all public school corporations in the state of Indiana for the 2022-2023 school year. The grant application window will be open until 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 16. Please see this memo for more information on this grant opportunity. The Digital Learning Team will host a kickoff meeting on Wednesday, February 16, at 1 p.m. ET to answer questions from interested school corporations. Contact the Office of Digital Learning with any questions.


NEW: February Professional Development (PD) with IDOE 

IDOE wants to share the love of learning in the Learning Lab each Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET. Join IDOE on Wednesday, February 16, for the session What are Your Students Eating? Feeding Your Learners to discuss how educators can provide actionable, timely, and quality feedback for students. Information on this session can be found here. To register for upcoming workshops, create a free Learning Lab account by visiting the LINK Portal or the Indiana Learning Lab website directly and using your school email to log in. You may also suggest a topic for future PD with IDOE sessions by completing this form. Contact the Office of Digital Learning with any questions.


REMINDER: STEM Acceleration Grant (Cohort 6) Application Deadline Friday, February 18

The STEM Acceleration Grant Overview and Application memo has been updated to reflect that districts may apply on behalf of their district’s schools that meet eligibility criteria. Applications for the STEM Acceleration Grant will close on Friday, February 18. Contact the Office of Teaching and Learning with any questions.


REMINDER: Virtual Voyagers: Microlearning in Support of Virtual and Hybrid Programs

IDOE’s Office of Digital Learning continues the Virtual Voyagers series on Thursday, February 24, at 1 p.m. ET with Mentoring Online & Blended Teachers. This 45-minute microlearning session can be accessed using this flyer. Contact the Office of Digital Learning with any questions.


REMINDER: Digital Learning Day on Tuesday, February 22

Join the IN Learning Partnership on Tuesday, February 22, at 2 p.m. ET for a panel discussion, hosted by IDOE, regarding the current digital learning landscape and what educators can do to continue moving student learning forward. Register for the Digital Learning Day panel discussion here. Contact the Office of Digital Learning with any questions.


REMINDER: Register Now for Coach Edcamp on Monday, March 14

Digital Learning coaches - it’s time to reunite our coach family! Join us for an in-person Coach Edcamp on Monday, March 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET, at the Center Grove Innovation Center. This professional learning opportunity, specifically for those in educational technology coaching and leadership roles, is a roundtable style, one-day conference. Register for this opportunity here. Contact the Office of Digital Learning with any questions. 

Office of Title Grants and Support

NEW: Maintenance of Equity

The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) will be collecting Maintenance of Equity data related to ESSER III funds. Please visit IDOE’s Maintenance of Equity webpage for current information. The Office of Title Grants and Support will soon distribute a memo with further instructions to all ESSER III program administrators, superintendents, and treasurers. Contact Frank Chiki with any questions.


NEW: ESSER Data Collection

USDOE has set a deadline of May 2022 to submit ESSER spending data. Once IDOE receives the data collection tool, LEAs will receive instructions on what data and how the data is to be collected, along with the deadline for LEA submission to IDOE. Please mark your calendars so that you may begin preparing for this next round of data collection. Contact Frank Chiki with any questions.


REMINDER: ESSER I Reimbursement

LEAs are reminded, if not already doing so, to begin seeking reimbursement for expended ESSER I (CARES) funds. The deadline to encumber funds is Friday, September 30, with a liquidation date of Thursday, December 15. The amendment deadline for ESSER I (CARES) will be Monday, May 30. Contact your assigned federal grants specialist with any questions.

News From Our Partners

NEW FROM THE INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (IDOH): Indiana Health Issues and Challenges Grant

A new funding opportunity, made available as a part of the American Rescue Plan Act, has been released by IDOH. The Indiana Health Issues and Challenges Grant will provide funding to eligible entities to implement programs focused on addressing health issues and challenges within Indiana. Funds must be used to develop and implement services focused on improving health outcomes related to one or more of the following priority areas: chronic disease (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and cancer), tobacco use, food insecurity/obesity, elevated blood lead level reduction, and disease prevention programs (community health workers/patient navigators and community paramedicine for chronic disease, immunizations, and substance use disorder). Additional information can be found here. Contact with any questions.



The Office of CTE is seeking feedback from school counselors on the topic of Career Services and Advising. Input from building level staff is critical as the office continues to develop guidance and resources to assist education partners in improving connections between Next Level Programs of Study (NLPS) and opportunities in the workforce. All student services professionals are invited to complete the following survey to help identify the landscape of career services and advising across the state in the K-12 space. Contact Gina Woodward with any questions.


NEW FROM THE COMPUTER SCIENCE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION (CSTA): Computer Science Professional Development (CSPD) Week 2022

CSTA, the Indiana CSTA Chapter, Nextech, and IDOE are partnering to host Indiana’s first ever CSPDWeek. Indiana K-12 teachers are invited to convene from Monday, June 27, to Friday, July 1, to learn, network, create community, and continue to expand high-quality, rigorous computer science education. The application and workshop catalog are now available, and applications can be completed here. Contact with any questions.



U.S. federal law requires all men to register with the Selective Service System within 30 days of turning 18. To learn more about this requirement, click here. Contact with any questions.

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