Information for Districts, Campuses and Charter Schools with Areas of Need Identified through the 2016 State Accountability System

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TIME SENSITIVE - ACTION REQUIRED
SPECIAL NOTE - NEW VERSION WITH UPDATED INFORMATION

August 24, 2016

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:

SUBJECT:       Information for Districts, Campuses, and Charter Schools with Areas of Need Identified through the 2016 State Accountability System

The purpose of this correspondence is to provide information regarding requirements under Texas Education Code (TEC) §39 and resources available from the Texas Education Agency (TEA or agency), which are designed to support districts, campuses, and/or charter schools in their improvement efforts.  To meet our state’s shared goal of improving student performance, TEA collaborates with local education service centers (ESCs) and the Texas Center for District and School Support (TCDSS) to assist districts, campuses, and/or charter schools in addressing areas of need identified through the state accountability system.  Intervention requirements and resources are provided through the framework of the Texas Accountability Intervention System (TAIS), which includes the continuous improvement process of data analysis, needs assessment, improvement planning, and implementation and monitoring of a targeted improvement plan.

On August 12, 2016, state accountability ratings were provided to districts, campuses, and charter schools by TEA’s Division of Performance Reporting via the accountability application within the Texas Education Agency Secure Environment (TEASE), and on August 15, 2016, state accountability ratings were released publicly. 

Identification for Interventions

The state accountability system includes the performance index framework and system safeguard measures, which are explained in detail in the 2016 Accountability Manual.  Engagement in the TAIS continuous improvement process is required if the district, campus, or charter school:

Campuses are also required to continue engaging in the TAIS continuous improvement process if the campus is identified as:

  • Formerly Improvement Required (FIR) due to receiving an IR rating in 2015 and receiving a rating of Met Standard or Met Alternative Standard in 2016, or
  • a priority or focus school.

Statute specifies graduated interventions and sanctions for districts, campuses, and charter schools based on the number of years identified for low performance in the state accountability rating system.

Intervention Requirements

Requirements for All Campuses Rated Improvement Required (IR)

Title 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §97.1063 and TEC §39.106 stipulate that a campus intervention team (CIT) shall be assigned to a campus when it is rated IR in the state accountability system.  A campus identified as IR needs to:

  • identify members of the campus intervention team (CIT), which is composed of the:
  • professional service provider (PSP) and
  • district coordinator of school improvement (DCSI), and
  • identify members of the campus leadership team (CLT).
  • The PSP and DCSI’s profiles need to be created or updated in the contacts tab of ISAM by September 26, 2016:
  • If the DCSI is new to the district, also submit the DCSI’s qualifications to TEA through ISAM by September 26.
  • These updates and submissions are best completed after 2016 state accountability ratings are uploaded into ISAM which is projected to occur by the end of August, and TEA will communicate via the Program Monitoring and Intervention (PMI) listserv and with PSPs and ESCs when this upload is complete.
  • Send required staff to TAIS training:
  • For campuses rated 1st year IR, the DCSI and principal are required to attend the TAIS 101 training at their local ESC.
  • For multi-year IR campuses (2nd year and higher), the DCSI and principal are required to engage in the online TAIS module trainings delivered by the PSP.
  • New principals or those new to the TAIS framework are encouraged to attend the TAIS 101 trainings held by their local ESC.
  • For more information regarding priority/priority progress and focus/focus progress (as outlined in the June 15 TAA letter), as well as trainings and support, please click on the following link: http://www.tcdss.net/training/details/tcdss/tcdss-taa-follow-up.

Collaboratively, the CIT and CLT will perform the intervention duties reflected in statute, which include engaging in the TAIS continuous improvement process evidenced by a targeted improvement plan and progress reports submitted to the agency.

The PSP:

  • Provides on-site technical assistance and support to build the capacity of campus leaders, teachers, and school staff to understand TAIS
  • Serves as a liaison to TCDSS, TEA, ESC, and district/charter schools
  • Is an approved member of the PSP Network (a registry of qualified PSPs available in each region and accessible via the ISAM application within TEASE)
  • Supports implementation of all campus intervention requirements
  • Monitors implementation of the targeted improvement plan with CLT at least once a quarter and makes any needed mid-course corrections  
  • Reports progress to the agency

The DCSI is a district-level employee who:

  • Ensures district support for the academic achievement of the campus and implementation of all intervention requirements
  • Is in a leadership position in school improvement, curriculum and instruction, or in another position with responsibility for student performance
  • Has a direct line of contact to the superintendent and other critical district personnel
  • Has the authority and influence to encourage operational flexibility and eliminate potential barriers to continuous improvement efforts

In larger districts with several campuses rated IR, the DCSI may be supplemented by employees with similar skills and expertise serving as members of a district support team; these persons may be recommended for service on the CIT in lieu of the DCSI.

The CLT consists of key campus leaders responsible for:

  • Development, implementation, and monitoring at least once a quarter of the targeted improvement plan
  • Monitoring student performance
  • Determination of student interventions and support services

Districts should carefully review the job descriptions found at each link above before identifying and proposing a PSP and DCSI and prior to establishing the CLT.  After carefully reviewing the job descriptions for the PSP and DCSI and communicating with the regional ESC turnaround team regarding the selection process, the district or charter school may submit names of the recommended DCSI and PSP for each IR campus to TEA.  Districts/charter schools are encouraged to use their regional ESC as a resource for guidance in identifying and recommending a PSP and DCSI and for submitting the names through ISAM.

In accordance with TEC, additional interventions and/or sanctions are required for campuses that have been identified for low performance for multiple years.  House Bill 1842 passed in June 2015 by the 84th Legislature sets new requirements for these additional interventions.  Campuses rated 2nd year IR in August 2016 will be required to develop a campus turnaround plan, and campuses rated 3rd year IR and up will be required to implement the approved turnaround plan developed in the 2015-2016 school year. Campuses implementing a turnaround plan will complete the turnaround implementation tab in the 2016-2017 improvement plan template.

Requirements for Campuses Rated Formerly Improvement Required (FIR)

Campuses are designated as FIR because they received an IR rating in 2015 and a Met Standard rating in 2016.  According to TEC §39.106(e)(1)(A), the CIT is required to continue its work with the campus until it meets performance standards for two consecutive years, unless the CIT is released as stipulated in TEC §39.106(e)(1)(B).  Therefore, FIR campuses will fully engage in the TAIS continuous improvement process, including working with the CIT and developing a targeted improvement plan, which is monitored quarterly.  The FIR designation will be noted in ISAM, and TEA will separately notify districts/charter schools with campuses that are eligible for a CIT release. FIR campuses that developed a turnaround plan in the 2015-2016 school year have the option to implement, modify, or withdraw their turnaround plan.

Requirements for All Districts Rated Improvement Required

Intervention requirements differ for districts and charter schools with a single campus (single-campus districts) and for districts and charter schools with more than one campus (multi-campus districts).  Single-campus districts will implement the interventions required for an IR campus as noted in the section above, while multi-campus districts will engage in the district-level interventions described in this section.

Districts that are rated IR in 2016 must determine who will serve as the DCSI, and who will serve on the district leadership team (DLT).  Districts and charter schools should carefully review the job descriptions found at each link above before identifying the DCSI and establishing the DLT.  Districts need to submit the name of the DCSI to TEA by creating or updating the DCSI’s profile in the contacts tab of ISAM by October 31, 2016. These submissions are best completed after 2016 state accountability ratings are uploaded into ISAM which is projected to occur by the end of August.  TEA will communicate via the PMI listserv and with PSPs and ESCs when this upload is complete. Additionally, if the DCSI is new to his/her position as DCSI, the DCSI’s qualifications also need to be submitted through ISAM by October 31, 2016.  If the DCSI for a district rated IR has not attended a TAIS training, he/she is highly encouraged to attend a TAIS training at the local ESC.

The DCSI and DLT will collaboratively engage in the TAIS continuous improvement process and submit the resulting targeted improvement plan and progress reports to the agency.  For additional information on intervention activities and district/charter school actions please see the District-Level Interventions flowchart.

Intervention Requirements for all Campuses, Districts, and Charter Schools rated Met Standard that Failed to Meet One or More System Safeguard Measures

Districts, campuses, and charter schools rated Met Standard or Met Alternative Standard that failed to meet one or more system safeguard measures are required to utilize the DLT/CLT to engage in the TAIS continuous improvement process to address the system safeguard(s) missed.  Districts and campuses should include intervention activities that are designed to address the missed system safeguard(s) in their TEC §11 improvement plans.  Although no submissions or progress reporting are specified at this time, TEA may request the submission of the district or campus TEC §11 plan that contains these intervention activities.

Additional Intervention Systems

Federal Requirements

Texas will maintain the current list of priority and focus campuses during the transition school year 2016-2017. TEA will differentiate its support and intervention requirements for schools on the priority and focus list using data from the 2016 Accountability Reports released on August 12, 2016.  Additional information about identification, requirements, differentiated interventions, supports, and funding can be found at: http://tea.texas.gov/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=51539608995.    

An FAQ also providing additional information may be found at: http://tea.texas.gov/Student_Testing_and_Accountability/Monitoring_and_Interventions/School_Improvement_and_Support/Priority,_Focus,_and_Reward_Schools/.

Performance-Based Monitoring Analysis System (PBMAS)

Districts and charter schools will receive Performance-Based Monitoring Analysis System (PBMAS) reports at the end of August, and additional communication will be sent later in the fall when staging information is available.  Districts and charter schools staged for PBMAS interventions will be required to designate a DCSI and establish a DLT.  The DCSI and DLT will engage in the TAIS continuous improvement process and will develop strategies and interventions in the district’s targeted improvement plan that address the low performance identified in the PBMAS reports.

Additional Resources

We encourage you to work closely with your regional ESC for technical assistance, resources, and guidance regarding the intervention requirements, assistance in the determination of the DCSI, PSP, and membership of the leadership teams, and training for all stakeholders.

Additional information about state accountability intervention requirements and resources are found on the PMI website at http://tea.texas.gov/pmi/accountabilitymonitoring/ and the Texas Center for District and School Support website.  All campuses and districts engaging in interventions requiring the submission of a targeted improvement plan will use the 2016-2017 improvement plan template.

Additional intervention resources such as the Intervention and Submission Requirements chart can also be found on the PMI website.  District, campus, and charter school designations and 2016-2017 resources are projected to be updated in ISAM in late August 2016.  You can also receive email updates by joining the PMI listserv.  If you have further questions, you may contact the Division of Program Monitoring and Interventions via email at pmidivision@tea.texas.gov or via phone at (512) 463-5226.

Sincerely,

C. Lizette Ridgeway
Program Monitoring and Interventions
Texas Education Agency