Office of Accountability

Q & A from 2012-13 Focus District Overview Webinar

TOPICS: PRIOR VS. NEW ACCOUNTABILITY DESIGNATIONS | SCHOOL/DISTRICT IDENTIFICATION | FOCUS/PRIORITY SCHOOL SELECTION | ADEQUATE YEARLY PROGRESS DETERMINATION | APPEALS/REMOVAL | IMPROVEMENT PROCEDURES |                 SES & ESEA WAIVER | SET-ASIDES | CONCERNS REGARDING STATUS

PRIOR VS. NEW ACCOUNTABILITY DESIGNATIONS:

What is the ESEA Waiver and the provisions that the NYS initiative has been granted?  What exactly is regulatory flexibility?

What are the changes for the new accountability system?

How does the new accountability system help schools get off the list as identified Priority Schools?

What can districts expect from SED in the next few months?

Where can more information on the waiver and designations be found?

If a school just had a JIT, how will the recommendations of this report be addressed under the new accountability system?

Are independent private schools affected by these new regulations?

Q-1:        What is the ESEA Waiver and the provisions that the NYS initiative has been granted? What exactly is regulatory flexibility?

A-1:        The United States Education Department, Secretary Duncan, issues waivers of certain provisions of the NCLB. States were able to receive flexibility in terms of changing the timeline in which students are expected to be proficient, i.e. the 2013-14 timeline of total proficiency, to a new one of districts being able to show progress towards closing the proficiency gap by half by 2015-16, 2016-17. There were also changes that allowed us to sunset our previous accountability continuum that identified schools as Improvement/ Corrective Action/Restructuring, and instead as Focus and Priority Schools and Districts. This will be the main topic of this Webinar. Additional flexibility was also granted regarding the implementation of improvement plans for highly qualified teachers and staff, as well as the transferability of funds and the repurposing of certain grants and funds. In exchange for this flexibility, states were required to demonstrate that they would guarantee the setting of CCR standards, measurable for all students and involve the administering of a an annual, state-wide high quality assessment as a means of measuring student growth. This standard is key to how we identified Focus Districts and Focus Schools under the new accountability model. Further requirements under the waiver surrounded the development of systems of differentiated recognition, accountability, and support – indicated by our new accountability system discussed today – and the support of effective teaching and leadership, inclusive of the new Teacher and Principal Evaluations and the use of student growth as a significant factor and legislation 34(c). We have as well begun steps to reducing duplication and unnecessary burden on state school districts underneath the new accountability system.

Q-2:        What are the changes for the new accountability system?

A-2:        Under the new accountability continuum, we start identifying schools at the highest level.  These schools will be identified as Reward Schools, a very rigorous designation based on their very high performance and progress. Those that are not RS, but are performing at a high and satisfactory standard, will be identified as Good Standing. Additionally, schools, not identified as Focus or Priority, will become LAPS if they have larger gaps of achievement between accountability groups, have failed to make AYP for three consecutive years with the same subgroup and measure, or are located in a non-Focus District but are among the lowest performing in the state for one or more subgroups and continues to not show progress.  These three types of schools will be identified annually, with the current designation being based on 2011-12 results. The next part of our accountability continuum are Focus Districts, which are those that either have 1+ Priority Schools or are districts that are among the lowest performing in the state for a particular subgroup and have not demonstrated progress. Focus Districts must identify a certain number of Focus Schools. Finally, Priority Schools are the persistently lowest achieving in state, identified in one of three ways. Under the waiver, Focus Schools/ Focus Districts /Priority Schools are essentially identified once at the beginning of the waiver period, and we will not identify additionally during the period. There will be opportunity for schools and districts to move off of this identification during the period.

Q-3:        How does the new accountability system help schools get off the list as identified Priority Schools?

A-3:        The purpose of the waiver is not to remove schools or districts from the list, but rather an attempt to focus our efforts on those districts and schools that need the most support, either because they are among the lowest performing or have specific subgroups that demand a greater need of support. There is, however, the likelihood that there will be fewer identified Focus Schools under the waiver than those previously identified under the former accountability system (1400 under Improvement/ Corrective Action/Restructuring accountability vs. 700 under Focus Schools/Priority Schools accountability).

Q-4:        What can districts expect from SED in the next few months?

A-4:        We have supplied your Priority School designations and further status information on your district’s secure IRS portal. We should have received a suggested Focus School list from your district by July 20th, and will be confirming the Focus School/Priority School and publicly announcing around the end of July. We have also supplied walk-through information for filling out the appropriate forms, as well as additional Field Guidance regarding the waiver set-asides and further Webinars for the Consolidated Application, DCIP, CEP, and new diagnostic tool. By October 1st, the Priority School list of improvement plans and schedules should be submitted to SED for approval.

Q-5:        Where can more information on the waiver and designations be found?

A-5:        Questions may be submitted to eseathnktank@mail.nysed.gov. There will also be a series of Webinars, former and upcoming, on the SED website at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/Webinars. We will also be issuing further field guidance regarding the specifics of the new accountability system.

Q-6:        If a school just had a JIT, how will the recommendations of this report be addressed under the new accountability system?

A-6:        As a district which just received a JIT report completes its Consolidated Application, it should look at the findings and recommendations, match them to the 6 tenants in the DCIP template, and use the JIT as the basis of the development for the CEP and DCIP (assuming that school is going to be one of your Focus Schools).

Q-7:        Are independent private schools affected by these new regulations?

A-7:        No, they are not a part of the designation system and will thus not be identified.

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SCHOOL/DISTRICT IDENTIFICATION:

How is a Priority School identified?

How are Focus Districts identified?

Can you walk us through an example of Focus District identification?

What’s an example of how Focus Schools are identified?

What is the next step for a Focus District in identifying its Focus Schools?

Q-8:        How is a Priority School identified?

A-8:        Under the wavier, a state must identify 5% of its Title I schools as Priority, but NYS has chosen to identify 5% of all its public schools (approx. 230). Priority school identification is done one of three ways: a) if a school was awarded a SIG in 2011-12 it is automatically preliminary identified; b) if a school had a graduation rate of its All Students group that was below 60% for the 2004, 2005, and 2006 4-yr grad cohorts; c) if a school has a combined performance of ELA and Math of 2010-11 results that does not meet these conditions: at the Elementary-Middle and High School level: did not have Improvement/Corrective Action/Restructuring 2011-12 year status, Performance Index of 111 for Elem-Middle and 106 for HS (based on the 2010-11 data as a baseline year of progress), made a gain in its 2010-11 combined ELA-Math PI for the All Student group compared to 2009-10 (10 pts for Elementary-Middle, 4 pts for High School), has a Student Growth Percentile (SGP) above 50% for 2009-2010 to 2010-11, or has less than 50% of its accountability groups with 2010-11 median SGP exceeding statewide median SGP. They could otherwise be identified if they hadn’t demonstrated a level of gain in PI and SGP (at Elementary-Middle with students’ 2011-12 results) or fell beneath certain cut points in this data.

Q-9:        How are Focus Districts identified?

A-9:        If a district has a Priority School, the district will automatically be preliminary identified. Otherwise, the district will be identified if its performance on one of the ESEA subgroups placed that district among the lowest performing 5% of district within the state for that particular subgroup (either for math-ELA results or graduation rate), and the district did not demonstrate progress in the measurement of that particular subgroup on the measure for which it was potentially identified. For Special Acts School Districts, we had separate guidelines for identification and only identified them if they had a Priority School within the district.

Q-10:      Can you walk us through an example of Focus District identification?

A-10:      District A is accountable for performance of Hispanic, LEP, and SWD. We first see the 2010-11 PI for ELA and Math, combined. The Hispanic group had PI of 110, which is below the 112 cut point of the bottom 5% for the state – so this group could cause potential identification. For LEP, this district had 75 with a state cut point of 77, so they could also be potentially identified for this group. However, for SWD, it had 71 when the state cut point is 70; it therefore could not be identified for SWD. Having looked at performance, the district could now be potentially identified for the performance of its LEP and Hispanic students. Now we’re going to look at the combined performance for 2009-10 and 2010-11. If the Hispanic students had above the combined 46th percentile Student Growth Percentile (SGP) for the state, then it could no longer be identified for Hispanic students. For LEP students, the median SGP is at the 50th percentile, and the group would need to be above that in order to be removed from potential designation. We can posit here, for example, that if this district was able to achieve a SGP above the 46th percentile for Hispanic students, it could no longer be identified for this group. However, we are still left with LEP as one that the district could potentially be identified for. The last guideline is based on the 4-Year Graduation Rate; we are looking to see if the LEP students graduated at a rate above 40%, which is the median rate for the state for the 2006 4y cohort. We are going to hypothetically posit that this benchmark was not achieved, and therefore District A was potentially identified for SWD, LEP, and Hispanic subgroups but would be designated a Focus District for LEP for they were among the lowest 5%, didn’t exceed the SGP statewide average, and their 4-Year Graduation Rate did not exceed the statewide average.

Q-11:      What’s an example of how Focus Schools are identified?

A-11:      District A has been identified for SWD subgroup performance. The reason why it was identified was that the SWD subgroup had a PI of 61 for combined Elementary-Middle and High School in ELA/Math, and (when rank-ordered) there were 631 districts accountable for SWD, 32 districts in the bottom 5%. This district was placed in 12th from bottom on this ranking, thus the bottom 5%. We then tested if the SWD group could be removed from consideration, but did not pass – so the district remained identified. There are 10 schools in the district, so the maximum number of schools that could be identified is 8 (85% of schools). There will always be an instance where there are 1-2 schools in a district that do not have to be identified as Focus. There is the case in which a district is comprised of only one school, and the school and district are therefore designated as Focus (as in the case with charter schools). When we counted up the number of non-proficient results in ELA and Math, we came to 656 results, whereas there were 65,600 results statewide in Focus Districts accountable for SWD. Therefore, this district is allocated 1% of Focus Schools from the state total of 471, which would be to identify 5 district schools, at a minimum.

Q-12:      What is the next step for a Focus District in identifying its Focus Schools?

A-12:      The State has provided each of the Focus Districts with a list of potential Focus Schools. One list, List A, is based on the absolute numbers of non-proficient and non-graduating students in the district of the groups that the district was identified for. The second list, List B, is based on the percentage of non-proficient and non-graduating results for that specific group within the district. Both are rank-ordered accordingly, and the district must select whether to use List A, List B, or another combination or option (subject to approval of the Department). District A is required to identify 5 schools. One list is based upon the numbers of students non-proficient in each school, with School A having 178 non-proficient results, and is rank ordered highest. When looking at the rank order for percentage, School A is 6th in rank order although it has the largest absolute number of NP students. Therefore, the two lists provided from the State may include similar and differing combinations of selected schools (ABCDE for List A, BCDFG for List B).

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FOCUS/PRIORITY SCHOOL SELECTION:

 How do I find out if my school is a Focus or Priority School?

How does the Department determine a District is Focus according to the 5% guideline?

How is the number of Focus Schools determined?

What options does a Focus District have in selecting Focus Schools?

Where can the district access the Lists A and B?

How will School Districts officially select FS?

A district is initially identified as Focus for the performance of its ELLS and is required to identify five schools after the proportionality calculation. They improve their district performance in the next year but still have two schools that don’t meet the exit criteria. Which and how many schools will they be required to identify next year? Will they get a new proportionality calculation based on new district performance?

Will every Focus District get a new number of required schools each year or only those that improve?

Is Public School Choice (PSC) still a district requirement?

A Focus District must offer PSC, but offers certain specialized programs for SWD and/or ELL in only some of its schools. Is this district obligated to provide these programs in all schools in the event that parents request to send their child to another school in the districts? Is “absence of specialized programs” considered the same as “lack of capacity,” in meaning the district cannot deny access for choice based on lack of specialized programs?

How and when must a district inform the State Education Department of its Priority School Implementation plan and schedule?

Q-13:      How do I find out if my school is a Focus or Priority School?

A-13:      Go to your secure IRS portal and it will provide you with information regarding the identification of your school. However, it is unlikely you were identified unless you received a letter from SED early in July.

Q-14:      How does the Department determine a District is Focus according to the 5% guideline?

A-14:      First, we computed the total number of districts within the state that were accountable for each of the ESEA subgroups. We then rank-ordered the PI or graduation rate for each of those groups and determined what the cut point was, below which the 5% would be identified. Ex: Racial subgroups: if PI is below 112, or graduation rate is <54%; SWD group: if PI of 70 or grad rate of <26%.

Q-15:      How is the number of Focus Schools determined?

A-15:      There are a number of steps that determine how many schools within a district must be minimally identified. Once a district is identified, all of the schools in the district are preliminarily identified. However, the district has the option to work with a specified minimum number of schools, or may choose to work with more than the designated amount. We determine the number by removing Priority Schools or schools which are closing from the district school list for 2011-12. All the remaining schools are analyzed for the number of non-proficient students in the group for which the district was identified, and the data is considered for the combined ELA and math results. For the example of District A, this would be LEP, and so we will count up the number of those within this group who were not proficient in math and not proficient in ELA; these totals are then added together (i.e. if a student is not proficient in both ELA and Math, they would be counted twice – students are weighted according to their membership to the groups for which the district was identified). The next thing is to remove schools from the process if they have fewer than 15 student results (very small school for identified groups), and also those in which more than 60% of students in the identified group are proficient. The cumulative count of all students within that group is then done within the district, and we repeat this process for 4-Year Graduation Rate, per specified subgroups, and consideration of the number of students in each group who did not graduate. We then compare each district’s count of non-proficient and non-graduation results, and compare the identified district’s numbers to that of the state. Each district is then given a number of schools to identify proportionate to the total 471 schools that the state wishes to identify.

Q-16:      What options does a Focus District have in selecting Focus Schools?

A-16:      There are 4 options the district has in selecting Focus Schools. 1) The district could select List A, which is a rank-ordering selection based on the recommended minimum number of schools to be identified as Focus School and ordered according to count of non-proficient results. 2) Accept the list of schools that are based upon the rank-ordering of the percentage of non-proficient results, List B. 3) The district may recommend its own list of schools in rank order, which may be a) a combination of List A and List B – which may occur if a district wants to work with schools that are both the highest in non-proficient for absolute percentage and absolute count (for District A that would be school ABCDF). Or even, if a district felt that it wants to work with a school that was in neither the top 5 for non-proficient percentage nor non-proficient count, it could still be selected as part of the list of FS (School H for District A), so long as the District provides justification for any school that is on neither List A or List B. 4) The final option is that a district could choose to work with all schools in the district, and approach it as a district-wide concern.

Q-17:      Where can the district access the Lists A and B?

A-17:      They can be found on the IRS portal, saved on a file for both List A and List B.

Q-18:      How will School Districts officially select FS?

A-18:      Focus Districts are required to submit a list of Focus Schools to the Department by July 20, via the “2012-13 Focus School Selection Form” found at www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/ESEAMaterials.html. Forms must be then certified by the superintendent and faxed or mailed to the Department.

Q-19:      A district is initially identified as Focus for the performance of its ELLS and is required to identify five schools after the proportionality calculation. They improve their district performance in the next year but still have two schools that don’t meet the exit criteria. Which and how many schools will they be required to identify next year? Will they get a new proportionality calculation based on new district performance?

A-19:      The requirements for removal are based upon two years of meeting the requirements (2011-12 and 2012-13). In the 2013-14, the district would get a new target of working with 2, instead of 5, Focus Schools – thus removing 3 schools from Focus School designation.

Q-20:      Will every Focus District get a new number of required schools each year or only those that improve?

A-20:      Only schools that improve will get a new number. The districts do have the choice of who to work with as FS, and they will receive a new recommended list each year. The number of schools will not increase during the waiver period, but it could decrease.

Q-21:      Is Public School Choice (PSC) still a district requirement?

A-21:      Yes, if a district is a Focus District and has Focus Schools, each school is required to provide Public School Choice if it is a Title I Priority or Focus School. Lack of capacity is not a reason to deny enrollment of students, but single school (Elementary-Middle and High School) districts that are identified as Focus and single-district Charter Schools identified as LEAs and Focus do not require public school choice to be offered (as it is considered that parents have the choice of maintaining charter enrollment or reenrolling their student in district public school).

Q-22:      A Focus District must offer PSC, but offers certain specialized programs for SWD and/or ELL in only some of its schools. Is this district obligated to provide these programs in all schools in the event that parents request to send their child to another school in the districts? Is “absence of specialized programs” considered the same as “lack of capacity,” in meaning the district cannot deny access for choice based on lack of specialized programs?

A-22:      Schools that have been identified as Priority Schools/Focus Schools and receive Title I funds are required to make available options for students in schools that have not been identified as Priority Schools/Focus Schools. However, if there is a screening process available in these schools, then these students would need to meet that screen. SWDs should have the option to go to the school with the least restrictive environment; with ELLs depending on the requirement of 154 being met, and the offering of a bilingual program at that school.

Q-23:      How and when must a district inform the State Education Department of its Priority School Implementation plan and schedule?

A-23:      The form for submitting a whole school reform model can be downloaded at www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/ESEAmaterials, to be submitted to SED by October 1st, 2012 in order for SED to schedule intervention visits to these schools. This must be implemented no later than the 2014-15 school year in all Priority Schools, with those that will be receiving SIG for 2012-13 implementing their programs for the 2012-13 school year. (Non-SIG should implement by 2013-14 and 2014-15, with districts selecting two-thirds of Priority Schools to begin implementation in 2013-14 and the remaining to do so by 2014-15.). Ex: if a district has 6 Priority School, one of them receiving SIG, then the SIG School would implement 2012-13, three schools would be able to implement in 2013-14, and the remaining two schools can be in 2014-15.

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ADEQUATE YEARLY PROGRESS DETERMINATION:What are the progress measures for Focus District Accountability Groups?

Are the growth targets calculated for each district or does each have to calculate its own growth?

How can we find out our combined math and ELA PI when looking at the state report card? Do we average the two?

What is the difference between 103 and 112 PI in academic terms? How much improvement is needed to show relevant improvement to be removed?

Q-24:      What are the progress measures for Focus District Accountability Groups?

A-24:      One way in which a subgroup could be removed from consideration is if that group was showing progress above the student growth percentile (SGP) for that subgroup and the PI of ELA/Math combined or 4-year graduation rate for that particular group. Ex: SWD SGP for the state is 42% (2010-11 compared to 2011-12). If a district was below the cut point that placed it in the bottom 5% of state districts with SWD, it could avoid the potential for Focus District designation by SWD if the district’s SWD SGP was above 42%. Similarly, we also look at the 4-Year Graduation Rate: for SWD, it’s 44%; if a district was above that 44%, we would remove SWD from consideration of that district receiving Focus District designation.

Q-25:      Are the growth targets calculated for each district or does each have to calculate its own growth?

A-25:      The growth targets have been calculated for each district, for each school, and for each subgroup (within a school or district), and can be located on the secure IRS portal.

Q-26:      How can we find out our combined math and ELA PI when looking at the state report card? Do we average the two?

A-26:      You cannot use the state report card to secure this information. You need to go to the IRS portal and download the files, using the 2010-11 data to compute – Elementary-Middle level has seen adjustment to incorporate growth and student improvement from proficient and “on-track” to proficiency. At the High School level, the PI has been changed to only provide full-credit if students receive college-and-career-readiness testing standards – 75+ on ELA and 80+ on math - with partial credit given to those scoring above 65. These two adjustments may indicate slight differences in the actual versus reported PI for both Elementary-Middle and high school level reports (Elementary-Middle will be projected lower and High School higher on the reports found on portal), but the otherwise calculated PI can be found on the secure portal.

Q-27:      What is the difference between 103 and 112 PI in academic terms? How much improvement is needed to show relevant improvement to be removed?

A-27:      The PI ranges from 0-200. A school or district in which all students are performing at level 1 would have a 0, whereas a school or district in which 100% are performing at level 3/4 would have a PI of 200. The difference you talked about is about 9% improvement from 103 to 200, which could be achieved by moving 9% of students who are level 1 to 2, or level 2 to level 3.

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APPEALS/REMOVAL:How can a district appeal as a Focus District or the status of its Focus Schools?

How are Priority Schools removed?

If students in a FS subgroup have been measured under a state-approved assessment and have demonstrated significant growth over the course of the school year, can these measures be used as data in an appeal?

May a district use 2011-12 student test scores as an indicator of demonstrating student progress to appeal Focus designation?

Q-28:      How can a district appeal as a Focus District or the status of its Focus Schools?

A-28:      The appeal must be submitted by July 20th. A district may issue an appeal according to one of three reasons: 1) the district believes the data used for determination for district or school is incorrect – *note: the data used had been previously submitted and verified by district  2) according to graduation rate for 2004, 2005, 2006, and in 2007 the school now has a graduation rate above 60%. 3) Extenuating or extraordinary circumstances ex: unknown closures of schools, school meets definition as a transfer high school, situations evident that performance is anomalous in the 2010-11 school year – i.e. previous performance history of school or district has been previously higher and would seem to continue at the higher standard in the near future, indicating this year’s poor results to be caused by an isolated concern or incident. This is still going to be a fairly rigorous process, though districts are welcome to appeal theirs or school designations. However, it is likely that the designation will stand.

Q-29:      How are Priority Schools removed?

A-29:      In order to be removed, a Priority School must have a combined ELA/Math for All Students group that exceeds the threshold for Priority Schools for two consecutive years, beginning with the 2011-12 results. Additionally, for high school, the 4-year graduation rate must equal at least 70% for two consecutive years, and it must meet the participation rate requirement in ELA and math for all groups for which it is accountable in the most current school year. In terms of removal of schools from Focus status, there is still the requirement to meet participation requirement in ELA and math for all accountability groups, but additionally must have a combined PI in ELA and math for each group for which the district was identified and that this exceeds the threshold for identification by at least 10 index points for two consecutive years and by at least 10% for all identifying groups for graduation rate. Once we have determined that the district meets requirement for removal, we must additionally check each Focus School, which involves a similar test for removal. If the district meets the requirements for removal, and some but not all schools meet the requirements, then the district must remain a Focus District, but the number of Focus School will be reduced.

Q-30:      If students in a FS subgroup have been measured under a state-approved assessment and have demonstrated significant growth over the course of the school year, can these measures be used as data in an appeal?

A-30:      We have already computed SGP for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 years. Potentially, this data could be used for the process of consideration for the appeal, but appeals should generally be based on extraordinary and extenuating circumstances for the 2010-11 school year.

Q-31:      May a district use 2011-12 student test scores as an indicator of demonstrating student progress to appeal Focus designation?

A-31:      The primary basis for appeal is extraordinary or extenuating circumstances during the 2010-11 school year. Proof of progress for the 2011-12 school year may serve as the basis for showing improvement in the first year of the two years of proven improvement necessary for Focus designation to be removed.

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IMPROVEMENT PROCEDURES

What are the details of a Whole School Reform Model?

What are the requirements for a District Comprehensive Improvement Plan (DCIP) and how do the new accountability standards affect its structure?

When will schools develop Comprehensive Education Plans (CEP)?

What is the difference between DCIP and CEP? Is the former the Focus District plan and the latter the Focus School plan? Why wouldn’t these be essentially the same plan?

Q-32:      What are the details of a Whole School Reform Model?

A-32:      A school identified as Priority is required to begin, no later than 2014-15, to implement a Whole School Reform Model that incorporates one of the four approved models (restart, turnaround, transformation, closure) as funded by SIG, or a three-year plan implementing the turnaround principles and funding by the School Innovation Fund (principles found on the ESEA waiver and slide 29). The turnaround principles are based on a) providing strong leadership, b) ensuring that teachers are able to improve instruction, c) redesigning the school yearly timeline to include additional time for student learning, d) strengthening the school’s instructional program based on student needs and in alignment with the Common Core, e) using data to inform instruction and for continual improvement, f) establish a school environment that improves school safety and discipline (by addressing non-academic factors that have an impact on student achievement), and g) engaging family and community in school enterprise. These principles are more flexible than those in the four improvement models.

Q-33:      What are the requirements for a District Comprehensive Improvement Plan (DCIP) and how do the new accountability standards affect its structure?

A-33:      Each Focus District must develop a DCIP, essentially a component of its Comprehensive Education Plan (CEP). For 2012-13, the DCIP should be based upon the latest visit from Department staff – school quality review, curriculum audits, joint intervention team visits. Based upon these results, the district will develop the DCIP, according to the six tenants of research-based elements of successful school improvement programs. The DCIP must then be approved by the Board of Education no later than three months following the designation of the Focus District and is subject to approval by the Commissioner, to be implemented no later than the beginning of the 2012-13 school year. It must, as well, specify the supports and interventions to be used from the list of allowable expenditures and activities approved by the Department, and be developed in consultation with parents and school staff, pursuant to section 100.11 of the Commissioner’s Regulations to be made widely available (likely through the district’s website and updated annually). We will begin using a new diagnostic tool in the 2012-13 school year to help districts develop these DCIP, and subsequent years will be formed by the DCIP with this tool. The template should be released in approximately two weeks.

Q-34:      When will schools develop Comprehensive Education Plans (CEP)?

A-34:      Any school identified as a Focus School will be required to develop a CEP, to be implemented by the beginning of 2012-13, as subject to approval. They should be updated annually, and incorporate the similar findings and collaboration of previous research-based visits. We expect the release of these templates within the next two weeks.

Q-35:      What is the difference between DCIP and CEP? Is the former the Focus District plan and the latter the Focus School plan? Why wouldn’t these be essentially the same plan?

A-35:      The DCIP is a district-wide plan, and provides SED a way in which the district is organizing its designation of schools, meeting the set-aside requirements and focusing on its schools. The CEP is school-specific and explaining the way in which the school will be focusing on the improvement of subgroups it was identified for, or the All Students group (if a Priority District).

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SES & ESEA WAIVER

Q-36:      What happens to Supplementary Educational Services (SES) under the waiver?

A-36:      Focus Schools and Priority Schools are not required to offer SES. SES is now an optional program that districts may choose to offer if they believe that it is the most appropriate use of their resources.  Although there is no longer a specific set-aside, it may be funded through general Title I funds. Districts may select which SES providers they would like to work with from the State approved list, but must make available at least 2 options. Regarding funding for SES, it is the same amount as before, and is calculated based on a per-pupil amount (PPA) per district, to be posted later this year on the Department’s NCLB SES website. (www.p12.gov/accountability/T1/ses/fiscalinformation).

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SET-ASIDES

Are there any new waiver Public School Choice (PSC) and Supplemental Education Services (SES) requirements that replace the requirement for a district to offer these services?

What programs and services can districts provide in the Focus School/Priority School to meet the set-aside requirements?

If high schools are identified as Focus Schools but a district only uses Title I funds for elementary schools, are there still set-aside requirements for parental involvement and/or support programs?

Q-37:      Are there any new waiver Public School Choice (PSC) and Supplemental Education Services (SES) requirements that replace the requirement for a district to offer these services?

A-37: Yes. There is no longer a specific set-aside for these; however, there are 2 new set-asides that Focus Districts must adhere to. The first is a 5-15% of Title I, Title IIA, and Title III funds that must be spent on a menu of allowable programs to support interventions in Priority Schools/Focus Schools. In terms of the 5-15%, this will be based upon the number of the percentage of schools in the district that have been identified as Priority School/Focus School (i.e. if the percentage of schools in the district identified is less than 25%, then the set-aside will be 5% and will continue increasing to 75% or more schools in the district and the maximum 15% is reached). Additionally, there is a set-aside of 2% for Focus Districts to participate in parent-involvement and engagement activities. This increases the 1% of funds for Title I schools, with emphasis on activities in the Focus School/Priority School. This will be further explained in the soon to be released Consolidated Application.

Q-38:      What programs and services can districts provide in the Focus School/Priority School to meet the set-aside requirements?

A-38:      A listing of the many programs and services that are acceptable for funds used can be found on slides 27 and 28. Examples: training and certification, professional development programs, appointment and payment of a distinguished educator, development of assessments, equipment and curriculum materials, implementing inquiry teams, supplemental compensation, means to implementing one of the school intervention models, supporting LEA and EPO, CMO, and charter school operators’ planning activities for implementation, academic intervention services, or Pre-K programs. The CA will provide further details regarding the set-asides, as well as the ESEA waiver on the SED website.

Q-39:      If high schools are identified as Focus Schools but a district only uses Title I funds for elementary schools, are there still set-aside requirements for parental involvement and/or support programs?

A-39:      There are some special rules that allow districts under the waiver to use resources in four high schools even if they have not been identified as Title I. The Consolidated Application should provide further information upon its release.

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CONCERNS REGARDING STATUS

How were the schools notified of their status?

Is there an automatic designation as a Priority School if a school was identified as a SINI last school year and received SIG?

Where can we find a list of Priority Schools?

Are charter schools designated as Focus or Priority considered an individual “district” for purposes of designation? Should it be working within the “district” with other schools, or as a single school?

Q-40:      How were the schools notified of their status?

A-40:      Schools have not yet been notified of their status. Districts received notification of preliminary status of the districts and schools, but it is up to the district as to how it wishes to share this information. Again, this is still a preliminary designation and appeals are still in the process of being filed.

Q-41:      Is there an automatic designation as a Priority School if a school was identified as a SINI last school year and received SIG?

A-41:      A school that received a SIG will only be automatically identified if it has received a “large” SIG (or under 1003(g)).

Q-42:      Where can we find a list of Priority Schools?

A-42:      The statewide list of PS will not be released until districts have been able to review their preliminary data, file an appeal (if they choose to do so), and the list is compiled and publicly released by SED.

Q-43:      Are charter schools designated as Focus or Priority considered an individual “district” for purposes of designation? Should it be working within the “district” with other schools, or as a single school?

A-43:      If a charter school is identified, it is considered a single school and is expected to meet the requirements. There are certain provisions different for charters, namely the planning requirements and involvement of the Charter officer, rather than development of the DCIP and CEP as indicated for Focus Schools and Focus Districts.

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Last Updated: October 25, 2012