Information for Districts, Campus, and Charter Schools with Areas of Need Identified through the 2017 State Accountability System

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ACTION REQUIRED FOR IR DISTRICTS AND CAMPUSES

August 16, 2017
 

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:

SUBJECT:      Information for Districts, Campus, and Charter Schools with Areas of Need Identified through the 2017 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) to assist districts, campuses, and/or charter schools in addressing areas of need identified through the state accountability system.

In 2017-2018, there are changes in the ways TEA approaches the support of districts, campuses, and/or charter schools, to provide greater flexibility and to meet the unique needs of each entity.  Because of feedback from various stakeholders, timelines and processes have been refined to better address the needs of districts, campuses, and/or charter schools based on their status and the number of years they have been in improvement. Additionally, various regions of the state will address school improvement needs using partners with a proven track record of success and regionally developed pilot programs. The results from these varied approaches will be monitored and used to inform the work of school improvement in 2018-2019 and beyond.

All districts, campuses, and/or charter schools will continue to utilize intervention requirements and resources provided through the framework of the Texas Accountability Intervention System (TAIS), which includes the continuous improvement process of data analysis, needs assessments, improvement planning, and implementation and monitoring of a targeted improvement plan.

On August 07, 2017, state accountability ratings were provided to districts, campuses, and charter schools by TEA’s Department of Performance Reporting via the accountability application within the Texas Education Agency Secure Environment (TEASE), and on August 15, 2017 state accountability ratings were released publicly.

Identification for Interventions
 
The state accountability system includes the performance index system and system safeguard measures, which are explained in detail in the 2017 Accountability Manual.  Engagement in the TAIS continuous improvement process is required if the district, campus, or charter school:

•    received the rating of Improvement Required (IR),
•    failed to meet the performance target for one or more system safeguards, or
•    has an appeal of a 2017 accountability rating pending,

State Accountability Rating Appeal

For questions related to the rating of campuses and districts, please contact the Department of Performance Reporting at (512) 463-9704 or performance.reporting@tea.texas.gov 

Intervention Requirements

Requirements for all campuses rated Improvement Required (IR)

Title 19 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §97.1063 and Texas Education Code (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 shall:

    • Submit the DCSI’s qualifications to TEA through ISAM by September 15th.
    • These updates and submissions are best completed after 2017 state accountability ratings are uploaded into ISAM which is projected to occur by the first week of September, and TEA will communicate via the School Improvement (SI) listserv and with PSPs and ESCs when this upload is complete.
  • View IR webinars and complete required trainings and interventions as outlined in the Intervention Calendars posted on the Division of School Improvement webpage.

Collaboratively, the CIT and the 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. In accordance with
requirements outlined for campuses that are Improvement Required (IR), support will be provided from a coordinated team of district-level staff, Texas Education Agency (TEA) consultants, Education Service Centers (ESC), and a designated Professional Service Provider (PSP). This coordinated team will work together to address areas of underachievement with an emphasis on improved student academic outcomes based on the timeline for the number of years the school has been identified as IR.

Coordinated Team Roles

The following descriptions provide an overview of the role each member plays in supporting IR campuses.

Superintendent:
The Superintendent (or designee):

  • communicates the sense of urgency based on the accountability rating and assures that appropriate district support addresses the needs of the campus in improvement and that requirements and submissions are completed;
  • selects the District Coordinator of School Improvement (DCSI), who is a district employee, who works with the campus in improvement to support the needed changes that will result in meeting standard; and
  • selects an approved Professional Service Provider (PSP) to provide external support and technical assistance for the campus in improvement.

District Coordinator of School Improvement (DCSI):
The DCSI:

  • oversees the work of school improvement as a required member of the Campus Intervention Team (CIT);
  • facilitates learning of the Texas Accountability Intervention System (TAIS) continuous improvement process and ensures the participation of all relevant staff in intervention requirements;
  • participates in the needs assessment, improvement planning and monitoring process using the Texas Accountability Intervention System (TAIS);
  • assures that requirements and submission are completed on time; and
  • serves as an advocate for the campus, communicates high expectations, a clear vision and focus on learning, a sense of urgency, assures operational flexibility and coordinates district support.

Principal
The Principal:

  • leads the work of school improvement as a required member of the Campus Leadership Team (CLT);
  • conducts the needs assessment, develops and monitors the Targeted Improvement Planning, in coordination with the CIT and CLT, using the Texas Accountability Intervention System (TAIS);
  • provides leadership to make bold changes that lead to improved instruction and student learning;
  • implements the daily activities, based on the Critical Success Factors, as outlined in the Targeted Improvement Plan (TIP);
  • collects evidence of effectiveness of implemented interventions; and
  • adjusts increase student academic performance outcomes.

Professional Service Provider (PSP)
The PSP:

  • is a required member of the Campus Intervention Team (CIT);
  • serves as a leadership coach and as a mentor for principals;
  • builds leadership capacity across the campus;
  • keeps leaders focused on effective instructional practices that drive school improvement effort;
  • supports implementation of all campus intervention requirements; and
  • monitors implementation of the targeted improvement plan and reports progress to the agency

Education Service Center (ESC)
The assigned Education Service Center (ESC) member:

  • assists in the selection of a PSP to meet the campus/district needs, at the request of the district;
  • assists with the work of school improvement as an optional member of the Campus Leadership Team (CLT);
  • meets with the DCSI, Principal, and PSP to determine the appropriate level of support needed;
  • participates in the needs assessment and development and monitoring of the Targeted Improvement Plan (TIP) using the Texas Accountability Intervention System (TAIS) framework; and
  • provides support through ESC resources and training opportunities tailored to the needs of the campus.

Texas Education Agency (TEA) consultant:
The assigned TEA consultant from the Division of School Improvement:

  • coordinates the support of partners providing support to IR campuses;
  • serves as a partner in the identification of campus needs and as a resource for identifying appropriate strategies for improvement;
  • reviews and provides feedback on required submissions to further drive school improvement efforts;
  • monitors progress of the targeted improvement plan and provides support in identifying necessary adjustments; and
  • requests additional information or poses questions to assist the CIT and CLT.

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 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.

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 2017 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 and qualification of the DCSI to TEA by creating or updating the DCSI’s profile in the contacts tab of ISAM by October 6, 2017. These submissions are best completed after 2017 state accountability ratings are uploaded into ISAM which is projected to occur by the first of September.  TEA will communicate via the SI listserv and with PSPs and ESCs when this upload is complete.

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 actionsplease see the Division of School Improvement webpage
 
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 Resources, Training, and Technical Assistance

We encourage you to work toward closely with your regional ESC for technical assistance, resources, guidance, and training. Additional information regarding accountability, intervention requirements, and resources are found on the Division of School Improvement webpage.

Performance-Based Monitoring Analysis System (PBMAS)
Additional communication will be sent when staging information is available. Districts and charter schools staged for PBMAS will be required to designate a DCSI, establish a DLT to engage in the TAIS continuous improvement process, and develop improvement strategies for implementation in the district targeted improvement plan to address the areas of low performance identified in the PBMAS report.

For further questions related to this school improvement communication, please contact Lizette Ridgeway in the Division of School Improvement at SIDivision@tea.texas.gov  or 512-463-5226.

Sincerely,

C. Lizette Ridgeway
Director, Division of School Improvement
Texas Education Agency

CLR/sh