An Update From the Indiana Department of Education for March 4, 2022

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A Message from Dr. Katie Jenner

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Finally…sunshine, some warmer temperatures, and a welcome to MARCH! We persevered through the months of January and February - having several wins, including the COVID-related precautions removed in February and our schools remaining open and in-person (despite a January omicron surge and the snow/ice storm that hit Indiana in early February). While I know this progress is a welcomed positive for many of us, there continue to be other challenges in our world that are undoubtedly weighing heavily on many hearts and minds. I join many here at home and in the international community who are praying for the people of Ukraine. And, while the world around us has many uncontrollables, let us continue to keep our focus on doing everything we can to support, love, and teach our students.

On that note, let me take a moment to highlight some of the positive work happening across Indiana schools. As you may know, February was National Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month – a time for celebrating intentional and purposeful CTE work that prepares students for a bright future. CTE courses provide our students with the knowledge and skill development to excel in today’s ever-changing, technology-driven global economy…and CTE enrollment set a state enrollment record, with more students than ever in our history taking CTE courses this school year.

The benefits of CTE in our schools are clear – and your work in this space truly matters. That’s because we know:

  • A student’s increased educational attainment is advantageously linked to his or her future quality of life, health, living wage, employment, and sustained earning. If a student graduates high school with a high-value credential in hand, then that student is better prepared for success ahead.
  • Nationwide, over 90% of CTE students say they are better prepared for their future careers. (Source: Advance CTE)
  • Students who go on to earn a CTE-focused associate degree increase their earning potential by 45%. (Source: Econofact)

With these benefits in mind, I want to take a moment to look back at CTE Month by shining a light on three great examples of how schools serving all grades are encouraging students to explore, engage, and experience the range of career opportunities available to them after high school.

LaVille Elementary School

LaVille Elementary School

Last month, students at LaVille Elementary (Union-North United School Corporation) in Lakeville celebrated Career Day, a school-wide spirit day organized by school counselors Amber Lawmaster and Kari Hovermale! Beginning in elementary school, our counselors play an active and important role in helping students explore and engage in future career paths.You can see their excitement through the smiles of Miss Marissa Grove’s kindergarten class on Career Day! From firefighters to chefs and doctors to photographers, Miss Grove’s students took the opportunity to explore careers, ultimately dreaming big and thinking about their future in a fun way! 

North Putnam Middle School (NPMS) 

From there, career exploration and engagement continues in middle school. Four students at North Putnam Middle School (North Putnam Community Schools) in Roachdale were recently selected as winners of NASA’s TechRise Challenge, and took the opportunity to put on their aerospace engineering hats and ask: Should Airline Passengers and Astronauts Wear Sunscreen?

With support from North Putman principal Bucky Kramer and science teacher Randy Funk, students and TechRise Challenge winners Christian Kramer, William Smith, Gavin Simonson, and Kaleb Walton had the opportunity to answer this question through an engineering project – allowing them to engage in potential career paths that they would not have otherwise explored. Through their exploration and engagement, three out of the four students want to pursue a career at NASA…and one wants to become a teacher! 

Career exploration and engagement at the middle school level is imperative for our students and our communities. As principal, Mr. Kramer emphasizes it’s essential to prioritize these opportunities for students early:

“Helping our students develop an understanding of the career paths available to them in their immediate surroundings helps educate them about their communities. Developing forward-thinking as to careers that may exist in the future empowers our students to start changing their tomorrows. It is critical that all students are encouraged that no matter where they come from, everyone can impact their communities, state, nation, and world with the talents that they possess.” 

Southern Indiana Career and Technical Center (SICTC)

And as our students enter the last four years of their K-12 journey, our high schools and community partners are leaning-in to support students in experiencing careers firsthand. This includes work-based learning, as well as growing opportunities for students to earn high-value credentials through dual credit, dual enrollment, and/or advanced placement courses.

An excellent example is the Southern Indiana Career and Technical Center (SICTC), which serves high school students from North and South Gibson, Spencer, Posey, Vanderburgh, and Warrick counties. About 7,000 students enroll annually in CTE courses at SICTC…which are offered at the career center and at students’ home high school, and through programs like the Evansville Early College Program and the RAMP program! SICTC also works closely with the OptIN program, which educates students on their postsecondary and career options with local employers.

Like many career centers and CTE opportunities across Indiana, SICTC’s 18 different pathway options provide students with the knowledge and skills they’ll need regardless of whether they pursue employment, enrollment, or enlistment leading to service. 

These are just a few examples of the good work happening for our students around Indiana…and this is only because of your willingness to think big, remove barriers, develop strategic partnerships within your community, and stay laser focused on making it better for students. Thank you!

Office of Student Assessment

NEW: Spring 2022 IREAD-3 Testing Window Opens Monday, March 7

Corporation Test Coordinators (CTCs) should ensure that all Test Administrators (TAs) have the appropriate materials the day of testing, including the 2021-2022 IREAD-3 Test Administrator’s Manual (TAM). TAs must use the IREAD-3 Secure Segment 1 Script with all students. TAs must use the IREAD-3 Read Aloud Scripts for Fixed-Form Paper-and-Pencil Assessments with any students whose formal plan requires a human reader and a paper test. Both scripts are available for download in the CTC’s Secure Inbox in the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE). Contact the Office of Student Assessment with any questions. 


NEW: Spring 2022 IREAD-3  Monitoring 

The Office of Student Assessment will conduct monitoring visits during the Spring 2022 IREAD-3 testing window. Please ensure that school administrators and staff are aware that these on-site and virtual visits will be conducted. More details can be found here. Contact the Office of Student Assessment with any questions.


UPDATE: Revised SAT Makeup Testing Window

The makeup testing window for the SAT will open on Wednesday, April 13, and close on Wednesday, April 20. No makeup testing will be held on Friday, April 15, or Monday, April 18. Additional guidance related to the SAT makeup testing window will be distributed to CTCs and appropriate School Test Coordinators (STCs) in the coming weeks in emails from College Board and the Indiana Department of Education’s (IDOE’s) Office of Student Assessment. Contact the Office of Student Assessment with any questions.


REMINDER: First Year I AM TA Training

New TAs for I AM must complete the First Year TA Training. Registration is available on the I AM Assessment Portal. The live session will be held from 3:30 to 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 17. A recording of the session will be available on the portal, Thursday, March 31, for those who are unable to attend the live session. Training completion should be documented and kept locally. Contact the Office of Student Assessment with any questions.

Office of School Building Physical Security and Safety

NEW: Severe Weather Preparedness Week 

The National Weather Service, in conjunction with IDOE, the Indiana State Police, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the Indiana Broadcasters Association, the American Red Cross, and Amateur Radio Operators will conduct a statewide test of communication systems on Tuesday, March 15, at 10:15 a.m. ET. More information and resources can be found on the National Weather Service website. Contact Steve Balko with any questions.


REMINDER: Indiana School Safety Specialist Academy

Registration for the Spring Advanced Training 2022 is now open. The training will be held from Thursday, May 19, through Friday, May 20, at the Westin Indianapolis. Registration can be completed here. Contact Steve Balko with any questions.

Office of School and Community Nutrition

NEW: Nomination Form for 2022 School Food Service Employee of the Year Award Now Open

The Office of School and Community Nutrition is looking to recognize exemplary school food service employees who significantly contribute to their schools by benefitting the health and learning capabilities of their students. Superintendents and principals are encouraged to nominate food service employees from their schools who impact their students in the cafeteria and beyond. Nominations must be submitted by Friday, March 18. Click here to access the nomination form. Contact Suzette Hartmann with any questions. 

Office of School Finance

REMINDER: Fall 2022 Membership Estimates

IDOE will be collecting a fall 2022 average daily membership (ADM) estimate from school corporations and charter school officials through Wednesday, March 23. Please read this memo for additional information. Contact with any questions. 


REMINDER: Summer School Estimates

The window to submit the Estimated Cost Report for Summer School 2022 is open through Friday, April 1. Please read this memo and FAQ for information regarding eligible courses, important dates, and financial provisions. Detailed information about the summer school program and how to report is included in the presentation Summer School 101. Contact Teresa Hemmerle or Joe Engelstad with any questions.  

Office of School Support & Transformation

NEW: Now Accepting Public Comment for Proposed Amendment to State ESSA Plan

IDOE is seeking public comment on a proposed amendment to the state ESSA plan. The amendment would expand eligibility for School Improvement Grants (SIG) to schools with Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) plans and/or Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) plans. The plan will also be amended to place an emphasis on SIG applications that prioritize operational flexibility and that aim to redesign the educational experience for their students. Public comment will be available on this form until Monday, April 4. Contact with any questions. 


REMINDER: Annual 1003 Flexibility Waivers

IDOE’s Office of School Support and Transformation is now accepting applications for 1003 flexibility waivers. The following revised guidance was developed to help local school districts promote innovative approaches to transform student learning. Interested officials can read more about the opportunity on the State Board of Education’s website. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through Sunday, June 5. Contact with any questions.

Office of Student Pathways and Opportunities

NEW: Crossing the Finish Line - Accelerating Credential Completion for High School Students

For the second consecutive summer, thousands of Indiana high school students will have the opportunity to accelerate the completion of a high-quality credential, including the Indiana College Core, an associate degree, or a Career and Technical Education (CTE) postsecondary credential, for free through Crossing the Finish Line, a partnership between IDOE, the Commission for Higher Education, the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet, Ivy Tech Community College, and Vincennes University. All Indiana superintendents, principals, and counselors should have received an initial email from IDOE explaining the program and outlining next steps. School counselors will also receive a follow-up communication from Ivy Tech and/or Vincennes with a list of eligible students at each school. Counselors can review this list, ask questions directly of team members at each institution, and develop local plans to best support students during this process. In early March, eligible students will also be contacted directly by either Ivy Tech or Vincennes via email and postcard, alerting them of their eligibility. To learn more, click here. Contact Ivy Tech/Vincennes directly with any questions.

Office of Student, School, and Family Engagement

REMINDER: Suicide Prevention Training

The Office of Student, School, and Family Engagement is offering free, in-person Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) suicide prevention training. QPR is an evidence-based program that ensures every participant will be able to recognize the signs of someone in distress who may be having suicidal thoughts; to engage; and to deescalate the crisis. This training is two hours in length and can count toward professional growth points for licensure renewal. Contact Jason Murrey to participate in this training and for any questions.

Office of Teaching and Learning/Digital Learning

NEW: Identification of Academic Standards in Essential Need of Support

In order to support educators and students, IDOE will identify the Indiana Academic Standards in essential need of instructional support each year (beginning April 2022) as a way to help educators focus instruction on areas of essential need. Review this memo for details. IDOE will provide additional guidance and training upon release. Contact the Office of Teaching and Learning with any questions.


NEW: Science of Reading Visits - Indiana’s Priorities for Early Literacy

IDOE is seeking to highlight schools implementing strong practices aligned to the Science of Reading per Indiana’s Priorities for Early Literacy. IDOE plans to visit schools at different points in the implementation process, share best practices learned with other schools, and recognize school accomplishments in the Indiana Learning Lab. If you are interested in a potential site visit, please contact Andrea Washington to share more about your work!


NEW: Virtual Voyagers March and April Dates

The Office of Digital Learning is continuing the Virtual Voyagers series with new topics throughout the months of March and April. Join us for the first March session at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday, March 10, with Supporting English Learners in Virtual and Hybrid Learning. More information on this 45-minute microlearning session and links to register for additional sessions can be found on this flyer. Contact the Office of Digital Learning with any questions. 


NEW: Training Camp with Alfreeda Goff Live in the Learning Lab

A new session for the Extra Yard for Teachers Training Camp series in the Indiana Learning Lab will be held at 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 24. Join Alfreeda Goff, senior leader of the Horizon League and member of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, for her session titled Women in Leadership. Register for the session here. Contact the Office of Digital Learning with any questions. 


REMINDER: Indiana’s Early Literacy and STEM Initiatives - Opt-In Schools

Indiana schools may 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 via the appropriate form (Literacy, STEM) by 5 p.m. ET on Friday, April 8. Contact the Office of Teaching and Learning with any questions.


REMINDER: March Professional Development (PD) with IDOE

IDOE has a new series of Wednesday PD opportunities in the Indiana Learning Lab beginning at 4 p.m. ET each Wednesday in March. More information on these PD live sessions can be found in this March flyer. To register for workshops, create a free Learning Lab account by visiting the LINK Portal or use your school credentials to log into the Indiana Learning Lab website directly. Contact the Office of Digital Learning with any questions.


REMINDER: 2022 Digital Learning Grant

The 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. 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. 

News From Our Partners

NEW FROM THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION: Masks No Longer Required On School Transportation 

Effective Friday, February 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) no longer requires the wearing of masks on buses or vans operated by public or private school systems, including early care and education/child care programs. More information is available on the CDC’s website here.


NEW FROM THE U.S. FEDERAL COURTS: Federal Court Teacher Institute

Registration is now open for the 2022 Federal Court Teacher Institute hosted by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. This year's program will be held in Indianapolis at the Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse on Wednesday, June 15, and Thursday, June 16. Meet a federal judge, observe court, take an exclusive tour of the historic federal courthouse, participate in interactive activities, and take away new ideas, content, and lesson plans for your classroom! The program is designed for middle and high school teachers and is offered free of charge. Registration is required and space is limited. To reserve a space, download an application here. Contact Mary Giorgio with any questions.



Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s AskRose Homework Help is a free math and science tutoring service for Indiana students and other students in grades six through 12. Students can call 877-ASK-ROSE, email, video, or chat live with a friendly tutor to work through and better understand homework assignments. Students may also visit to get started.



The National Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), CSTA Indiana, 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.

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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