The purpose of this letter is to notify local education agencies (LEAs) of timelines related to the required collection of data for students with disabilities who reside in residential care and treatment facilities (RFs) within the geographic boundaries or jurisdiction of an LEA. The purpose of this correspondence is to remind LEAs of the ongoing obligation to enter data into the RF Tracker system for the 2012-2013 program year and to notify LEAs that the RF Tracker data collection is open for 2012-2013 data entry. The required timelines for 2012-2013 data entry are referenced below.
The required data collection includes facility and student information related to the provision of special education and related services to students with disabilities who reside in RFs within an LEA’s boundaries. Each district or charter with an RF within its boundaries or jurisdiction in which students with disabilities reside must complete the data collection. Other LEAs are not required to complete the data collection. The data collected through the RF Tracker are used by the TEA in making certain determinations related to the staging and selection of LEAs for intervention activities under the RF monitoring system.
For the purpose of reporting and monitoring under RF Monitoring System, an RF provides 24-hour custody or care of a student 22 years of age or younger if the student resides in the facility for detention, treatment, foster, or any non-educational purpose. This does not include traditional foster homes licensed by the Department of Family and Protective Services as Foster Family Homes (independent). Therefore, for the purpose of RF monitoring, an RF student is a student with disabilities who lives in an RF.
LEAs that are required to complete the data collection can access RF Tracker through the Texas Education Agency Secure Applications (TEASE/TEAL) under the RF Tracker link. LEAs must establish access to the RF Tracker application by completing an on-line request for access. Instructions for establishing access are available on the TEA website at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2684. LEA users who work within a shared services arrangement (SSA) and who need access to the application on behalf of more than one LEA still must use the paper application access request form, which can be downloaded from the TEA website link referenced above. Once access has been established, the RF Tracker application can be accessed at the above link: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2684.
For LEAs that are reporting data into the RF Tracker for the first time during the 2012-2013 school year, guidance regarding completion of RF Tracker data can be found in two documents, the RF Tracker Guidance Document and a Helpful Hints document, located on the TEA website link referenced above. These documents provide information on data documentation, data definitions, and use of the RF Tracker data collection system.
LEAs that entered data into the RF Tracker data collection system during the 2011-2012 program year will see that data rolled forward into the 2012-2013 application. The purpose of this rollover is to decrease data entry obligations for LEAs. However, it is important that LEAs review all of the data that has been rolled forward into the 2012-2013 program year and revise it as necessary to reflect accurate current information.
For LEAs with residential care and treatment facilities within their boundaries or jurisdiction, a due date of November 9, 2012, has been established for updating the 2011-2012 RF Tracker data to reflect the current status of each RF student and residential facility. After November 16, 2012, the RF Tracker system will remain open for data entry, and LEAs will be responsible for maintaining current and accurate records in the system.
Additional correspondence related to the end-of-year due date for the completion of 2011-2012 RF Tracker data will be disseminated to LEAs in the spring of 2012. If you need assistance completing the RF Tracker data collection, you may contact your ESC monitoring or special education contact at the phone numbers available from the TEA website at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=2147503292.
We appreciate your ongoing assistance with the RF Tracker data collection process. If you have questions regarding the content of this letter, please contact the Division of Program Monitoring and Interventions at (512) 463-5226 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.