Office of Accountability

New York State Education Department
Field Guidance Memorandum
Restructuring Plans for Identified Persistently Lowest-Achieving Schools and Schools Under Registration Review

To:

Superintendents of Schools in Districts with Persistently Lowest-Achieving School or Schools Under Registration Review

From:

Ira Schwartz, Assistant Commissioner for Accountability

Date:

September 2010

Subject:

2010-11 School Year Restructuring Plans for Identified Persistently Lowest-Achieving Schools and Schools Under Registration Review

 

In June 2010, the Board of Regents voted to amend Commissioner’s Regulations 100.2(p) to merge the processes for identifying Persistently Lowest-Achieving (PLA) schools and Schools Under Registration Review (SURR). This amendment consolidates the processes of identifying schools as SURR under Commissioner’s regulations with the United States Department of Education’s (USDE) framework for identifying schools as PLA.  The consolidation of the two processes was needed in order for New York to be eligible to access State Fiscal Stabilization Funds (Phase II), School Improvement Grants and other federal funding opportunities. As a result of these changes, newly identified SURR and schools that were identified as PLAs during the 2009-2010 school year will be required to implement intervention strategies based upon School Improvement Grant guidelines issued by USDE in January 2010. The purpose of this memo is to provide additional guidance to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) with schools that have been identified as SURR and/or PLA regarding the requirements of the regulations and the resources available to support plan implementation. 

Under Commissioner’s Regulations 100.2(p), schools that have been identified as SURR or PLA during the 2009-10 school year are required to submit for approval, in a format and according to a timeline approved by the Commissioner, a Restructuring Plan to implement one
of the following school intervention models as defined by the USDE School Improvement Grant Under 1003(g) guidelines:

  • Turnaround
  • Restart
  • Transformation
  • School Closure

 

Each model delineates a series of required actions for full implementation (see attached regulations).  An LEA may choose to submit to the Commissioner a plan for a school that does not address all of the required actions within the chosen model.  The Commissioner will then review the plan and determine whether or not it should be approved. The LEA should be aware that while the Commissioner may approve a Restructuring Plan that does not address all of the required actions of the chosen model, certain federal programs may require that all actions within the chosen model are implemented.  Specifically, School Improvement Funds under Section 1003(g) will not be granted to an LEA for the PLA school if all of the required actions of the model are not implemented according to the timeline set forth by the USDE. Core elements of the turnaround and transformation models (those involving school leadership and staff) must be implemented in the first year of the grant.

In order to meet the requirements of Commissioner’s Regulations, LEAs that have submitted an application for 1003(g) funds that has been approved by the State Education Department (SED) are required to take the following actions:

  • Submit previously approved Model Implementation Plans (as submitted with the LEA’s School Improvement Grant application) for each identified school.  These plans must be revised to identify a person responsible for each action within the plan.
  • Submit evidence of school board approval of the approved Model Implementation Plans.

These plans are due by October 15th.  In addition, LEA Superintendents will be required to enter into a performance contract with the Commissioner, which delineates specific achievement targets on student achievement indicators. In the Fall, SED will provide LEAs with a template and a completion timeline for these performance contracts. 

In order to meet the requirements of Commissioner’s Regulations, LEAs that have submitted an application for 1003(g) that has not approved by SED or that choose not to submit an application for funding for some or all of the LEA’s PLA schools are required to take the following actions:

  • Submit Restructuring Plans for each identified school that outline the specific actions that will occur during the 2010-2011 school year, and that can be supported with the available 1003(a) funding.  These plans must identify a person responsible for each action within the plan.  Please use the Restructuring Plan template attached.
  • Submit evidence of school board approval of the Restructuring Plans.

These plans are due by October 15th. In addition, LEA Superintendents will be required to enter into a performance contract with the Commissioner, which delineates specific achievement targets on student achievement indicators. In the Fall, SED will provide LEAs with a template and completion timeline for these performance contracts. 

As in the past, in order to meet the requirements of Commissioner’s Regulations, LEAs with schools that have been previously identified (prior to the 2009-2010 school year) as SURR and have not been identified as PLA are required to submit a Restructuring Plan by September 1, 2010 for approval by the Commissioner.  The plan must address all of the findings of the school’s Registration Review report and must describe the school and LEA’s plan to increase student achievement.  LEAs are not required within this plan to choose one of the four intervention models or implement the required actions of those models.  However, if a school previously identified as a SURR is in the future identified as a PLA school, the LEA and the school will have to submit a Restructuring Plan, based on selection of one of the four intervention models.  The template and guidance document for SURRs to use to complete a Comprehensive Educational Plan/Restructuring Plan (2010-11) can be found at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/School_Improvement/cep.html .

All Restructuring Plans described in this memo should be submitted to:

Sandra Norfleet
Regional Education Coordinator
Office of Accountability
School Improvement Team
55 Hanson Place, Room 594
Brooklyn, New York 11217

 

Failure to successfully implement a Restructuring Plan, including the selected intervention model, could subject schools to revocation of registration. Schools that successfully implement a turnaround or the restart model or that improve results sufficiently to no longer meet the criteria for identification as PLA will be removed from Registration Review.

Should you have any questions, please contact Dr. Lisa Long at (718) 722-2796 or llong@mail.nysed.gov.

Attachment

Last Updated: October 4, 2010