October 12, 2016
TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:
SUBJECT: Required RF Tracker Data Collection for Local Education Agencies with Residential Care and Treatment Facilities within Their Geographic Boundaries and/or Jurisdiction
The purpose of this letter is to notify local education agencies (LEAs) of timelines related to the required 2016-2017 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. Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff continue to work toward data elements being added to the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) in order to be able to identify these students and facilities throughout the state. However, until such time that this can be accomplished, LEAs have the ongoing obligation to enter data into the RF Tracker data collection system, which is now open for 2016-2017 data entry.
As part of the efforts to implement the provisions of Senate Bill 1, General Appropriations Act, Rider 70, TEA has reduced the required data collection to facility and basic 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 or jurisdiction. 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. Districts that serve students with disabilities who reside in RFs are no longer assigned a separate intervention stage. Serving students with disabilities who reside in RFs is a function of a district’s overall special education program. Therefore, a district’s integrated intervention stage/determination status will include intervention activities specific to RF monitoring, as applicable.
For the purpose of reporting and monitoring under the RF Monitoring System, an RF provides 24-hour custody or care of students 22 years of age or younger that reside in the facility for detention, treatment, foster care, 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 request access to the RF Tracker application through the Texas Education Agency Secure Environment (TEASE) by completing an on-line request form. Instructions for establishing access are available on the TEA website at http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/Other_Services/Secure_Applications/TEA__Secure_Applications_Information/. LEA users who work within a shared services arrangement (SSA) and need access to the application on behalf of more than one LEA must submit a PDF application. The SSA application can downloaded from the TEA website link referenced above. Once access has been established, the RF Tracker application can be accessed at the following link: https://seguin.tea.state.tx.us/apps/logon.asp
For LEAs that are reporting data into the RF Tracker for the first time during the 2016-2017 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 Special Education RF Intervention Guidance and Resources webpage. 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 2015-2016 program year will see that data rolled forward into the 2016-2017 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 2016-2017 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 18, 2016, has been established for updating RF Tracker data to reflect the current status of each RF student and residential facility. After November 18, 2016, 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 2016-2017 RF Tracker data will be disseminated to LEAs in the spring of 2017. 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/regional_services/esc/.
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 School Improvement at (512) 463-5226 or by email at SIdivision@tea.texas.gov.
C. Lizette Ridgeway
Director, Division of School Improvement
cc: ESC Executive Directors
ESC Special Education and RF Monitoring Contacts