March 2020, Volume 8

The "Tweener" Month

March has always seemed like the "tween" month for me. It starts as winter, but ends as spring according to the calendar. However, it doesn't seem to know this is the case. Sometimes it comes roaring in like a lion, all blustery, cold, and snowy. Other times, it rolls in like a lamb, all cute and sweet. It just can't make up its mind.

Regardless, for a gardener like myself, it is a time to begin in earnest planning my garden. I've read my gardening books over the past few months to see what technique I want to try this year (since moving back to Indiana, planning is a little different than in the past). I've tried many techniques in New Mexico: plants in pots, raised, in-the-ground, even straw bale gardening. Each had its successes and its failures with the New Mexico weather and altitude.

What technique for this year you ask? It will be square-foot gardening. Since I love to cook (can't beat fresh vegetables), entertain friends and neighbors, and to can, this technique seems as if it will give me more bang for my buck in terms of productivity with little waste.

No matter how it turns out, I'll be in one of my happy places for the next several months. I'll let you know the results.

Here is what you'll find in this issue:

  • INtelligrants Roll-Out and Ongoing Support
  • Part Two: Meet the IDOE Programmatic Self-Audit Assessment
  • Title Con 20/20 Update
  • Title V Needs Assessment Survey
  • Indiana Census 2020
  • Important Upcoming Deadlines
  • Twitter Accounts to Follow
  • Links to other IDOE newsletters
  • Archived #INspirEDgrants

Please remember to like and follow us using the buttons over the banner above. By following us, you will receive a notice when the next newsletter is ready each month. Feel free to share using the Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest icons above as well.

To all my fellow green thumbers, happy planning and happy planting.


INtelligrants Roll-Out and Ongoing Support

IDOE will begin releasing short videos regarding the roll-out of INtelligrants, which is the new grants management system that will house all funding streams through IDOE. A few grants are being piloted now, but the next to utilize the system are Titles I, II, III, IV, RLIS, and immigrant influx.

Due to the complex nature of these funds and several changes that take advantage of the new features of the system, please look out for these weekly resources, which will be posted on our INtelligrants landing page. The first video, regarding the Pre-Application, can be found here along with an accompanying resource.

Part Two: Meet IDOE's Programmatic Self-Audit Assessment

Part One of this “self-audit” commentary titled, A New Year’s Resolution Idea for Federal Program Administrators, appeared in the January Issue of #INspirEDgrants newsletter. It introduced readers to the idea of performing an audit of their federal grant programs as a way to increase overall efficacy, and mitigate potential findings and subsequent corrective actions in the event of a programmatic monitoring audit by your local state education agency (SEA), the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). Most movie aficionados would argue the sequel is never quite as good as the original. Luckily for you the reader, this is neither “Speed 2: Cruise Control”, nor a movie. While Part One may have piqued the interest of the masses (more than 10 clicks!), it did leave those readers craving additional tasks to complete without an actual template or tool for doing so.

Introduction: IDOE's Programmatic Self-Audit Assessment

IDOE Title Grants and Support Team members are pleased to introduce you to the IDOE Programmatic Self-Audit Assessment! Team members worked to draft, edit, and ultimately create this assessment over the course of several meetings and with input from members of the IDOE Federal Grant Advisory Board.The overarching objectives of this project were two-fold:

  1. To provide local education agencies (LEAs) with a way to gauge the probability of a programmatic audit, and

  2. To provide LEAs with a practical tool for both identifying and correcting potential compliance issues prior to on onsite or desktop monitoring visit.

Profile: IDOE's Programmatic Self-Audit Assessment

Anonymity: IDOE's Programmatic Self-Audit Assessment is an anonymous tool. Data submitted via JotForm will not be factored into IDOE Risk Assessment methodology.

Practical: This assessment is comprised of two parts, Risk Assessment and Compliance of Federal Programs, with 15 total items. By contrast, IDOE’s onsite monitoring rubric contains well over 60 indicators.

Embedded Resources: Guidance and resources pertinent to each item are embedded directly within the self-audit tool.

Big picture

Tips for Using the IDOE Programmatic Self-Audit Assessment

  1. Complete this assessment as a team. Gather all pertinent staff who manage components of your federally funded programs. E.g., Title I - IV program administrators, building principals, human resources staff, etc.

  2. Schedule strategically. Once you have identified who needs to be in attendance, choose a time that works best for all parties, but be mindful of the fact that many programmatic requirements under ESSA refer to the distribution of documents and evidence of meetings that are to occur within the first two months of the school year. Give yourself time to both identify compliance issues and implement corrective actions. Two hours should be sufficient time for team members to complete the self-audit.

  3. Keep evidence in mind. While your team may not have all records or documentation available to them during the completion of the self-audit, it is important to press for details. E.g., Simply asking a building principal if they have sent out required information in a timely manner, or if a meeting took place is not enough. How have you documented the distribution of this information? What evidence do you have of these meetings occuring? Do you have agendas and sign in sheets? Etc.

There will also be a session on the self-audit at Title Con 20/20. Presenters will go cover the Self-audit in more detail during the session.

Title Con 20/20 Update

What to Expect

Please visit the Conference At-a-Glance page on the Title Con 20/20 website for additional information. Here is just a sampling of other things in the works:

  • Student Art Contest: Students attending Title I Distinguished School nominees and recipients for school year 2018-2019 have been invited to participate in an art contest.
  • Raffle Drawings: Title Con 2020 sponsors have provided a variety of gift baskets and items to be raffled off during plenary sessions throughout the conference.
  • Student Performances: More details to come.
  • Brown Bag Lunch Sessions: See details below.
  • Spark Activities (April 16): ULEAD, Inc., will facilitate interactive activities in the hallways of the venue to showcase creative learning activities applicable for both staff teams and student engagement.
  • Evening Reception with Title Grants and Support (April 15, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.): Relax, unwind, and network with IDOE staff at the Embassy Suites lounge. Hotel guests can enjoy complimentary beverages and snacks; non-guests can choose from a variety of options at cost.

Brown Bag Sessions Added

Bring your own lunch and spend an hour learning INtelligrants and TransAcT. Brown Bag sessions will be held on April 15 and 16 from Noon to 1:00.

  • INtelligrants, IDOE Staff

    This will be an informal question and answer session offered to all federal program administrators whom will work within the new grant cycle platform.

  • TransACT, David Holbrook, TransACT Communications Executive Director of Federal Programs and State Relationships

    Mr. Holbrook will lead participants through user-friendly improvements in the ESSA-focused online parent notices program that is available at no cost to all Indiana educators.

Breakout Session Listing

We would like to announce the titles, dates, and times for Breakout Sessions are now available on the Title Con 20/20 website. Please note the dates and times are tentative, and subject to change, as planning continues. More details on the presenters and full descriptions coming soon.

Registration is Open

Registrations for Title Con 2020 has been overwhelming--there were over 200 registrations on the first day alone. At the time of this writing, registrations are at 98 percent of capacity. If you have been delaying registering, now might be the time to do so. There will be a wait list, but once we reach capacity, we must adhere to that limit.

All registrations should be done via EventBrite. You may request up to five registrations at a time. Once registered, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with your ticket. You will need to save, flag or print your ticket as you will need access to the QR code on the ticket when you check in at Title Con 20/20. Registration will close on April 8.

If you have any questions, please contact your Federal Grants Specialist.

Hotel Reservations

The Embassy Suites has completely sold out for the nights of April 14 and 15. If you are still in need of a hotel room, please visit the Hotel and Travel page on the Title Con 20/20 website.

Title V Needs Assessment Survey

The Indiana Department of Health is conducting a maternal and child health needs assessment to better understand the state of health and well-being of women, children and families in Indiana. Your feedback will help the Indiana State Department of Health better prioritize funding and serve you and others across Indiana. This survey is voluntary and anonymous. Anyone over 18 years old is welcome to take the survey. It should only take about 15 minutes to complete. Find the survey at https://www.research.net/r/TitleV-IN.

Big picture

Indiana Census 2020

The 2020 Census count impacts the federal funds that communities receive each year for programs and services that are critical for schools, students, and younger children, such as:

  • Title I, II, III, and IV Grant Funding
  • Special Education Grant Funding
  • Head Start
  • After-School Programs
  • National School Lunch Program (including free and reduced-price school lunches)
  • Maternal and Child Health Programs

Here are links for additional information on the Indiana Census 2020 and Statistics in School: Classrooms Powered by Census Data.

Important Upcoming Dates

Title Con 20/20

  • Registration closes April 8
  • Pre-Conference April 14
  • Conference April 15 - 16

Title I

  • Amendment Window closes May 29

Full Calendar of dates for Title Funds.

Twitter Accounts to Follow

IDOE Newsletters

Many IDOE departments provide informational newsletters that might be of interest to you. Here is a link to all the newsletters in one place.


Big picture