August 9, 2012
TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:
SUBJECT: Districts with Campuses Required to Engage in the Texas Accountability Intervention System
Under the provisions of Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 39, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Title I School Improvement Program (SIP), the state is required to provide interventions to improve low-performing schools. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Texas Center for District & School Support (TCDSS) have developed the Texas Accountability Intervention System in an effort to transition from parallel state and federal accountability intervention systems to one integrated system. The Texas Accountability Intervention System is designed to assist districts in their improvement efforts and avoid unnecessary duplication of work.
Campuses are required to engage in the Texas Accountability Intervention System due to identification of low performance in the state and/or federal accountability system.
· Federal Accountability
Under the ESEA School Improvement Program (SIP), a Title I, Part A funded campus that has not met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for two or more consecutive years in the same indicator (reading/English language arts, mathematics, attendance rate, or graduation rate) is subject to Title I SIP requirements. Based on Preliminary 2012 AYP statuses released on August 8, 2012, any Title I campus that did not meet AYP (for the same indicator missed in the prior year(s)) is included in the Preliminary List of Campuses in Title I SIP for 2012-2013. You may access the preliminary list at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=4459&menu_id=798. These campuses are subject to intervention requirements during the 2012-2013 school year.
· State Accountability
No state accountability ratings will be released in 2012. However, TEC §39.116 and the House Bill 3 Transition Plan state that, during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years, the commissioner shall continue to implement interventions and sanctions for districts and campuses identified as having unacceptable performance in the 2010-2011 school year in accordance with the performance standards applicable during the
2010-2011 school year and may increase or decrease the level of interventions and sanctions based on an evaluation of the district's or campus's performance.
· Establishing the Intervention Team
Campuses participating in the Texas Accountability Intervention System must establish an intervention team to conduct and monitor improvement activities. The intervention team will perform duties reflected in TEC §39.106 and the Title I SIP. For purposes of the accountability intervention system, the intervention team consists of the following:
• Professional Service Provider (PSP)—this individual is an approved member of the PSP Network and is responsible for assuring implementation of all intervention requirements and reporting progress to the agency;
• District Coordinator of School Improvement (DCSI)—the DCSI is a district-level employee who is in a leadership position in school improvement, curriculum and instruction, or another position with responsibility for student performance. The DCSI is responsible for ensuring district support for the academic achievement of the campus; and
• Campus Leadership Team (CLT)—key campus leaders responsible for development, implementation, and monitoring of the improvement plan, monitoring student performance, and determination of student interventions and support services.
In certain circumstances, the intervention team will consist solely of district and campus personnel (the DCSI and CLT). A school will not be required to have a PSP under the following circumstances:
· the school is identified for the first time in the Title I SIP in 2012 because it did not meet AYP for two consecutive years in the same indicator (Stage 1, Year 1); or
· the school previously was rated Academically Unacceptable (AU) in the state academic accountability rating system but earned a 2011 rating of Academically Acceptable (AA) and, under the authority of TEC §39.106(e)(1)(B), was granted approval for the early removal of the PSP (Formerly AU with PSP Released).
Job descriptions for the members of the intervention team will be available on the Program Monitoring and Interventions website at: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/pmi under the Accountability Monitoring link. Districts should carefully review the job descriptions before proposing a PSP and DCSI and prior to establishing the CLT.
In accordance with requirements of 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §97.1063(a)(1) and Title I SIP, the district must submit to the TEA for approval the name(s) of the proposed PSP and/or DCSI. The proposals must be submitted for approval no later than September 7, 2012, via the Intervention Stage and Activity Manager (ISAM) application within the Texas Education Agency Secure Environment (TEASE). Additional guidance on how to submit PSP and DCSI information via ISAM is available on the Program Monitoring and Interventions website under the Accountability Monitoring link. Districts are encouraged to use their regional education service center (ESC) as a resource for guidance in submitting PSP and DCSI names. The TEA and TCDSS will notify the district of final determinations regarding membership of the intervention team. For campuses continuing in the SIP, the TCDSS will work in conjunction with the campus and district to determine whether the current PSP will continue in that role.
Staff of the TEA and the TCDSS will be responsible for approving PSP and DCSI proposals, reviewing and approving intervention documentation submitted, and working with the intervention team to ensure that: 1) intervention requirements are properly met, 2) timely implementation of the improvement plan is occurring, and 3) student performance gains are being made. Additionally, the regional ESCs will provide professional development, technical assistance, and support for the intervention team and improvement process.
Approved PSPs and DCSIs must participate in accountability intervention system training provided by the regional ESC. Members of the CLT are strongly encouraged to participate. All approved PSPs and DCSIs must be able to commit the time necessary to support the campus improvement process, perform duties, and meet the requirements of TEC §39.106 and/or the Title I SIP.
For more information on the PSP Network, go to http://www.psptexas.net.
· Required Campus Intervention Activities
Each campus required to engage in the Texas Accountability Intervention System must collect and analyze data, conduct a needs assessment to determine factors contributing to low performance, develop an improvement plan that addresses all areas not meeting the required performance standard (state assessment results, completion/graduation rate, attendance rate, dropout rate, and/or participation rate), and monitor the implementation of the improvement plan. The bullets below describe the process to address the factors contributing to low performance:
• Data Analysis and Review of Student Level Data—a data analysis and review of student level data will be conducted by the intervention team; results from these analyses will be considerations for the needs assessment and development of an improvement plan. The intervention team will update the review of student level data on a periodic basis in order to analyze student performance data, assess the effectiveness of student support services and interventions, and determine any needed changes.
• Needs Assessment—the needs assessment will be facilitated by the PSP/DCSI and is designed to determine the causal and critical success factors contributing to the campus’s low performance and lack of progress. Findings from the needs assessment and PSP/DCSI recommendations will be addressed in the improvement plan or through other action.
• Improvement Plan—an improvement plan will be developed by the CLT, assisted by the PSP/DCSI, and is designed to address all performance measures not meeting accountability performance standards (state assessment results, completion/graduation rates, dropout rates, attendance rates, and/or participation rates). Factors identified through the data analysis and recommendations determined through the needs assessment must be addressed in an improvement plan.
• Reconstitution, Corrective Actions, Restructuring and Alternative Governance—campuses rated AU for two consecutive years (2nd Year AU) and campuses in stages 3 and 4 of the SIP must address applicable redesign requirements.
• PSP/DCSI Progress—the progress report provides the TEA and TCDSS with periodic updates by the PSP/DCSI on the progress made toward implementing the improvement plan and the impact on student academic performance.
• Targeted Student Analysis—the targeted analysis is designed to facilitate analyses of and reflection on targeted student performance data.
More detailed information about required interventions will be available in the Texas Accountability Intervention Guidance Document at: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/pmi under the Accountability Monitoring link.
Specific Federal Requirements for Title I SIP Campuses
Title I SIP campuses must meet general federal requirements, as well as specific requirements for each stage of improvement. The bullets below describe these requirements:
· Parent Notification Letters
Title I SIP campuses are required to use the parent notification letters provided by the TEA, which are available in both English and Spanish on the agency’s School Improvement website at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=4459&menu_id=798. The letter provided will allow the LEA to insert information specific to the campus identified for improvement.
Stage 1 campuses must submit a copy of the school choice parent notification letter to the ISAM mailbox at firstname.lastname@example.org at the same time it is disseminated to parents. Districts with campuses in Stage 2 or above also must provide information to parents on Supplemental Education Services (SES). Additional information on SES is available at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=4459&menu_id=798.
The school choice and SES parent notification letters for campuses in Stage 2 or above will be reviewed and maintained by the PSP at the LEA. This is a new procedure. As stated in previous correspondence from the agency, to meet federal non-regulatory requirements, the LEA must notify parents by letter of choice options no later than 14 calendar days before the start of the school year. SES letters (for campuses in Stage 2 and above) must be mailed no later than September 10, 2012.
· Technical Assistance to Campuses Identified in School Improvement Status
The Division of School Improvement and Support at the TEA provides, through the Texas Center for District & School Support, technical assistance to campuses identified as being in School Improvement status. A representative from the TCDSS office will contact district and school administrators with information regarding required activities designed to assist schools through the school improvement process. For information about the SIP trainings and webinars, the upcoming Advancing Improvement in Education (AIE) conference, or SIP technical assistance, please contact the TCDSS in accordance with the contact information available at www.tcdss.net/.
· Supplemental SIP Funding
Title I campuses identified in School Improvement status are eligible for additional funding under the federal SIP. Funding information will be available at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=5040&menu_id=951.
Stage 1, Year 1 campuses will be awarded funding to assist in meeting federal SIP requirements. For campuses where all student groups score at or above 70% in reading and mathematics, districts can designate those funds towards locally-identified improvement efforts. For those Stage 1, Year 1 campuses with any student group scoring below 70% in reading and/or mathematics, funding will be provided to the district, with the stipulation that 20% of the funds be directed to the regional ESC to support improvement efforts and compliance with Title I SIP requirements.
For campuses in Stage 1, Year 2 and above, the SIP funding formula continues to consist of two categories—base services funding and effective strategies funding. Base services funding may be applied for by the SIP campus to conduct any allowable and applicable school improvement activity identified by the campus’s comprehensive needs assessment. The majority of the funding formula is available for implementing effective strategies. Effective strategies funding is optional funding for which the eligible campus may choose to apply only if the campus agrees to implement one or more of the effective strategies from the agency’s approved list. The campus must review its comprehensive needs assessment with its PSP or local ESC to determine the appropriate effective strategies to choose. Detailed information about the effective strategies will be available in the Program Guidelines for the School Improvement Program application for funding when it becomes available in eGrants.
Campus allocations and the eGrants application for the SIP will be available through the TEA eGrants system on September 10, 2012. The application must be completed and submitted to the TEA through the eGrants system no later than 5:00 p.m., CST, October 25, 2012. Campuses continuing in the SIP should note that some campus allocations will be very different from allocations that were generated in the funding formula for the 2011-2012 school year.
TEA will approve pre-award costs for any SIP-related costs incurred by the campus as of
July 1, 2012, for existing SIP campuses, and August 8, 2012, for new SIP Stage 1 campuses. Although a Title I, Part A campus is not required to accept the SIP program funding, the Title I, Part A campus is required by statute to implement all statutory SIP program requirements.
Any SIP campus that exits school improvement status upon the August 8, 2012 AYP release may not expend 2011-2012 SIP funds after that date. If services or materials were received before the August date, those invoices may be paid. The LEA must ensure that no SIP funds are expended on the campus after the AYP results are released in which the campus exits school improvement.
In order to receive SIP funding, the following requirements must be met:
Participate in the Texas Accountability Intervention System.
Participate in information sessions provided by the TCDSS and local ESCs.
Stage 1, Year 2 and above campus principals and the DCSI must attend the AEI Conference on October 16-18, 2012, in Austin, Texas.
Campuses in Stage 2 and above that have less than 100% of core academic subject area classes taught by highly qualified teachers must create a Highly Qualified Teacher Continuous Improvement Plan.
Districts with campuses in Stage 2 and above must provide SES, implement the EZSES Management System, and participate in the Evaluation of the Supplemental Educational Services.
Campuses in Stage 1 and above must meet all the requirements for their Title I SIP Stage as posted at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=4459&menu_id=798.
Additionally, Stage 1, Year 2 and above campuses receive PSP services that are pre-paid by the TEA through the TCDSS. By completing the electronic signature and submitting the Title I School Improvement Grant application for funding in eGrants, the superintendent or designee is agreeing that: 1) the campus will participate in the PSP program, and 2) the PSP services will be pre-paid.
· Appeals of AYP Designation
Campuses planning to appeal their school improvement designation released on
August 8, 2012, should complete and submit the SIP application for funding by the October 25, 2012 due date, regardless of the status of their appeal. In the event that the appeal is denied, the campus already will have approved SIP funding for the school year. Even if a district submits an appeal to the agency by the September 7, 2012 appeal deadline, the requirements referenced in this letter must be implemented in a timely manner. The parent notification requirement must be implemented immediately.
If a campus successfully appeals the school improvement designation, and the approved appeal exits the campus from School Improvement status, the following requirements apply:
• All SIP funding will be stopped immediately upon the appeal being granted because the campus no longer is in SIP designation and no longer is eligible for SIP funding. The campus must file a final expenditure report within 10 days of the appeal being granted. All remaining 2012-2013 SIP funds will be reallocated to other SIP campuses within the state.
• If the exited campus has SIP carryover funds from 2011-2012, other SIP campuses within the district may use the funds. If the district has no other SIP campuses, the remaining SIP funds from the exited campus will be reallocated to other SIP campuses within the state.
• If an eligible student has exercised the option to transfer to another public school campus, the LEA must permit the student to remain in that campus until he or she has completed the highest grade in the campus. However, the LEA no longer is obligated to provide transportation for the student once the home campus has exited SIP.
For additional information regarding the information contained in this letter, you may contact your regional ESC.
For questions regarding implementation of the PSP program, TCDSS technical assistance, TCDSS trainings and webinars, or the AIE conference, please email email@example.com, or contact specific TCDSS staff using the contact information provided through www.tcdss.net/.
For information regarding corrective actions, restructuring, and other intervention activities, contact the Division of Program Monitoring and Interventions at firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions regarding the specific federal school improvement requirements, contact the Division of School Improvement and Support at email@example.com.
Please disseminate this information to the appropriate district and campus staff.
Karen Batchelor, Director, Program Monitoring and Interventions
Sally Partridge, Director, School Improvement and Support