October 22, 2015
TO THE ADMINISTRATOR
Early College High School Designation
The purpose of this letter is to inform school districts and
open-enrollment charter schools of an upcoming opportunity related to Early
College High School (ECHS) designation. Information and timelines are provided
Early College High Schools are innovative high schools that
allow students least likely to attend college an opportunity to earn a high
school diploma and up to 60 college credit hours. Under the authority of Texas
Education Code (TEC) §29.908(b) and Texas
Administrative Code (TAC) §102.1091, the TEA has developed a designation
process for Early College High Schools. The designation process ensures that
districts and colleges operating ECHS campuses maintain the integrity of the
model, which was researched and designed to target and serve students who would
not otherwise consider attending college.
In accordance with TAC §102.1091, the ECHS designation process
is required for all existing and proposed ECHS campuses. Schools that receive
the ECHS designation will receive the following benefits:
1) Recognition as an Approved ECHS Campus
Schools designated by TEA as
state-approved ECHS campuses will receive various forms of media recognition
including, but not limited to, identification on TEA’s website as a
state-approved ECHS campus and recognition in press releases.
2) Eligibility for State Programs
Designated ECHS campuses may take
advantage of activities and programs designed by the Texas Legislature, the
TEA, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) that target
Early College High Schools. Examples include, but are not limited to
a) Optional Flexible School Day: a program
created by the Texas Legislature to provide ECHS campuses (and other specified
schools) with a flexible method of attendance accounting. This program is
designed to enable school districts or charters to receive funding for serving
students outside of the regular school day.
b) ECHS Convenings: Special events hosted by
the TEA and the THECB for ECHS administrators and principals to provide input
on policies and procedures that impact ECHS.
3) Membership in the ECHS Network
The TEA periodically provides
opportunities for principals, teachers, and students at designated ECHS
campuses throughout the ECHS network to share best practices through
conferences and technical assistance sessions.
5) Access to Professional Development and
Designated ECHS campuses will
have access to high-quality professional development and technical assistance.
6) Recognition for Fidelity to the ECHS Model
Through the designation process,
the TEA and the THECB formally approve and recognize those ECHS campuses that
are designed and operated according to the ECHS Blueprint.
ECHS Designation Application
The application for ECHS
designation is now available. Please note the following requirements for
completing the designation application.
New ECHS Designation and
Designation for ECHS Campuses in Operation Fewer than Three Years
- Districts seeking designation for a new ECHS or
for an ECHS that has been in operation for fewer
than three years must complete the full ECHS designation application.
Currently designated ECHS campuses that were designated beginning in the 2014-2015
and 2015-2016 school years must complete the full application. Information for
ECHS campuses in operation three or more years has been communicated to the
ECHS contact via email.
- The full application for ECHS designation is
available online at http://thetrc.org/ECHS.
From the Application screen, please select Full Designation Application to
proceed to the application for new ECHS campuses and for those in operation
less than three years.
Districts interested in applying for designation on behalf
of a new campus are encouraged to
submit a notice of intent to apply by November 16, 2015. The Notice of
Intent to Apply for ECHS Designation is available online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2MZ5PGH.
- Applications must be submitted to the TEA
through the online application interface on
or before December 18, 2015, in order to serve as a designated ECHS
campus during the 2016-2017 school year. The TEA will notify each applicant of
its approval status to operate a designated ECHS campus in Spring 2016.
- The ECHS designation application for 2016-2017
is an online, web-based application. Please note that the application does not
support Firefox. Please select another browser when accessing the online
- A technical assistance webinar will be held
during the application window to provide information regarding the full ECHS
designation application. Participation in the technical assistance webinar is
not required; however attendance is strongly encouraged for new applicants, or
for administrators who are new to the ECHS application process. The webinar
will provide potential applicants information about how to access and navigate
the online, web-based application system.
- All questions regarding the completion of the
designation application should be submitted in writing to ECHS@tea.texas.gov. Answers will be
provided during the webinar (which will be recorded) and in an FAQ
- The ECHS Technical Assistance webinar will be
held Monday, November 2, 2015, at 1:00 p.m. (Central Time). Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5928541778211458050.
ECHS DESIGNATION TIMELINE
October 19, 2015
Online ECHS designation application available at http://thetrc.org/ECHS.
November 2, 2015
Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5928541778211458050.
November 16, 2015
Deadline to submit
Notice of Intent to Apply
Applicants of proposed new ECHS campuses are encouraged to
submit a Notice of Intent to Apply online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2MZ5PGH.
December 18, 2015
Applications must be received at TEA no later
than 5:00 p.m. on December 18, 2015, in order to be eligible for
designation as an Early College High School for the 2016-2017 school year.
Notification of designation
for new ECHSs
Districts or charters submitting applications on
behalf of a campus seeking new designation or designation for a campus in
operation for less than three years will be notified of either selection or
non-selection as a designated ECHS.