The purpose of this letter is to inform school districts and open-enrollment charter schools of upcoming opportunities related to Early College High School designation. Information and timelines are provided below.
Early College High Schools (ECHS) are innovative high schools located on or in close proximity to a college campus and 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. Over the last several months the agency has taken steps to transition to an updated and streamlined ECHS designation process.
In accordance with TAC, §102.1091, the designation process is required for all existing and proposed ECHS campuses. The designation process, which has historically occurred in the spring, will be moved to fall 2013. This new timeline will facilitate a more coherent student recruitment and enrollment process. In addition, the change in the timeline will enable the TEA to finalize plans to refine and update the designation process, including completion of an online application. This work will strengthen ECHS programs moving forward.
The information below highlights the timeline and requirements for districts and open-enrollment charter schools wishing to apply for ECHS designation.
Existing ECHS campuses
- Existing ECHS campuses that wish to continue in the ECHS network must complete a Notice of Intent to Maintain Designation at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/L2PZKWX. This notice includes a signature page, which must be printed and returned via mail or email.
- Currently designated ECHS campuses that complete a Notice of Intent to Maintain Designation will remain designated for the 2013-2014 school year as they are designated in the 2012-2013 school year.
- Notices of Intent to Maintain Designation are due to the TEA on or before May 1, 2013. The TEA will notify each applicant of receipt of the notification and continued designation status on or before May 15, 2013.
Proposed ECHS campuses
- School districts and open-enrollment charter schools that wish to seek designation for a proposed ECHS campus are encouraged to complete a Notice of Intent to Pursue Designation at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LQLLZ6L. This notice includes a signature page, which must be printed and returned via mail or e-mail.
- Proposed ECHS campuses that complete a Notice of Intent to Pursue Designation will be eligible for technical assistance opportunities designed to prepare districts and open-enrollment charter schools to implement a new ECHS campus. The Notice of Intent to Pursue Designation is not required to apply for ECHS designation next fall, but is required to receive available technical assistance prior to the 2014 designation.
- Notices of Intent to Pursue Designation are due to the TEA on or before April 1, 2013. The TEA will notify each applicant of receipt of the notification on or before April 15, 2013. Details regarding technical assistance opportunities for proposed ECHS campuses will be shared as soon as possible.
For more information regarding Early College High Schools, please contact Laura Gaines, Program Coordinator, by phone at (512) 463-9581 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.