June 26, 2017 - Money Matter$ | Summer Homework For Your School District

 

    News from Rea & Associates, Inc., CPAs and business consultants
www.ReaCPA.com  

Summer Homework For Your School District

Changes Made To 2017-18 Application For Title I Program

By Lisa Contini, senior accountant (New Philadelphia office)

Time is running out for school districts to file their 2017-18 Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan applications for enrollment into the State of Ohio's Title I program – and failure to meet the July 1, 2017, deadline could result in some major headaches. Districts that are able to turn in their paperwork on time will be rewarded with a substantially approved date and negative five points on their risk factor assessment for Elementary and Secondary Education Act monitoring.

That being said, regardless of where you are in the filing process, all districts must note several critical changes resulting from the Every Student Succeeds Act to avoid concerns in the years' ahead. Particularly, district leaders should be aware of the Supplemental Funds Test for Title I, Part A, which states that districts must to choose one of two methods of distributing state and local funds to school buildings.


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to read the whole article


Need Help?

If you have questions or concerns about securing adequate funding for your school district, email the government services team at Rea & Associates for assistance.


Lisa Contini is a senior accountant on the government services team at Rea & Associates. She serves clients throughout Ohio from the firm's New Philadelphia office. She can be contacted at 330.308.6839 or lisa.contini@reacpa.com.


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June 26,2017 - Transportation Update

July transportation training for community schools

Training sessions on school transportation specifically designed for community schools, sponsors and operators will be offered throughout Ohio in July. The Ohio Association for Pupil Transportation and the Department are providing the trainings to help school sponsors and operators understand their responsibilities and be compliant for community school transportation purposes. This information is extremely important for those community schools that wish to provide or contract their own transportation services and meet the requirements outlined in state law. Here is more information and registration. Email questions to schoolbus@education.ohio.gov.

June 23, 2017 - Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria Monthly Update  June 2017

Ohio Banner

 DATE:

 June 23, 2017

 TO:

 Ohio Superintendents

 FROM:

 Paolo DeMaria, State Superintendent

 RE:

 Monthly Update – June 2017

Hope everyone is enjoying spring/summer thus far!

Graduation Requirements: It appears that the Senate version of the budget bill contains changes to the graduation requirements for the class of 2018 that are substantially similar to the State Board’s recommendations and the recommendations of the Graduation Requirements Workgroup. Thanks to all of you that reached out to your senator(s) in support of this. The process, however, is not over. The Senate bill will soon make its way to a conference committee that will reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions. We have been working with House members to try to ensure their support for what the Senate did.

We will soon begin additional focus on the class of 2019 and possible longer-term graduation requirements adjustments. New data will be available shortly to help with this process.

State Budget Update: We are close to the end of the state budget development/enactment process. As you know, the state’s revenue picture continues to be challenging. The bill is headed to conference committee — the House and Senate took differing approaches to funding schools given the austerity of the state’s financial circumstances. You are probably receiving updates from BASA/OSBA/OASBO. If you are interested in more detail, the budget comparison document shows the differences between the Executive, House and Senate versions in terms of laws and policies. (Education starts on page 79 — the document doesn’t show items that are the same in all three versions.)

Assessment Recommendations: The Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Assessments completed its work and submitted recommendations to me on June 6. You can read the committee’s recommendations here. I made recommendations for changes to assessments that reflected some of the committee’s recommendations and deviated from others. You can read my recommendations here. This was presented to the State Board on June 12. The State Board did not take action at that time but will likely consider the issue at its July meeting.

The Senate version of the budget bill included provisions to eliminate the fourth and sixth grade social studies tests. There is continuing interest among members of the General Assembly to address the testing time issue.

District Links on Report Cards: We will be including the ability for districts to add links to their own webpages on the Ohio School Report Cards as presented on the Department’s website. This would give report card users access to a district quality profile or other content created by the district that allows a district to highlight other accomplishments beyond those contained on the report cards. We are going to start this at the district level to see how it works. Instructions to guide this process will come out shortly.

Assessment Results: On June 15, access to third grade English language arts test results from AIR was made available to districts. Other test results will be available on June 27. The data is available through the AIR portal. The Department only has access to preliminary statewide data at this time.

Third Grade Reading Guarantee – Promotion Score Establishment Timing: One of the responsibilities that falls to the State Board is to designate the cutoff score on the state’s third grade English language arts assessment that forms the basis for the promotion/retention decision. Ohio Revised Code 3301.0710(A)(3) specifies a phase-up approach for the cutoff score, which requires an annual upward adjustment each year until the score is set at the “proficient” level of the assessment. We are at the time of year when we need to begin the process to make this upward adjustment. We are trying to complete this earlier than last year so districts have the necessary information as soon as practicable.

Graduation Rate Computations and Students with Individualized Education Programs: This item is rather lengthy, as it involves changes in federal law and how those changes relate to the computation of state and district graduation rates. We are all committed to the education of all students, including students with disabilities. While we recognize that some students with significant cognitive disabilities may not be able to reach the expectations of non-disabled students, most other students with disabilities (who are primarily learning disabled and not cognitively disabled) can reach those expectations. Research shows that, with appropriate support, approximately 80 percent of students with disabilities should be able to master the same academic content as their non-disabled peers (Cortiella, C. 2007).

In our state, however, there are students who are capable but are not reaching the same academic expectations as their non-disabled peers. While approximately two-thirds of students with disabilities complete their high school education and graduate, only half of those students do so having met the same course and testing requirements (with accommodations as appropriate) as their non-disabled peers.

Under Ohio law, there are a number of ways students with disabilities can receive a high school diploma. In some instances, the student’s individualized education program (IEP) specifies that the student will take assessments with or without allowable accommodations, but the student is not excused from the consequences of the assessments. This student would graduate meeting the same requirements as a non-disabled student. However, a student’s IEP team can exempt a student from meeting the curriculum or assessment requirements (or a combination of both) needed to earn a regular high school diploma. Some examples that illustrate conditions under which students on IEPs can earn a diploma include:

a) The student meets his/her individualized IEP goals, which reflect different curricular requirements than non-disabled students are required to meet for graduation;

b) The student’s IEP specifies that the student will take assessments with or without allowable accommodations, but the student is excused from the consequences of those assessments, so the student meets a different requirement than non-disabled students; or

c) The student’s IEP specifies that the student will take an alternate assessment designed to meet an alternate achievement level. The student is not required to meet the same requirements as non-disabled students. This option is for students with significant cognitive disabilities.

I’m raising this issue because of a recent change to federal law as to how these students are included in reported state and district graduation rates. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) triggered several actions as follows:

· The law eliminated the term "secondary school diploma" and replaced it with "regular high school diploma," defined as “the standard high school diploma awarded to the preponderance of students in the State that is fully aligned with State standards."

· Regulations which were adopted to amplify this law change, but subsequently rescinded under the new administration, clearly prohibit states from including students similar to those illustrated in the examples given above in state and district graduation rates.

· The U.S. Department of Education issued non-regulatory guidance that further clarifies the definition of “regular high school diploma” as excluding students not meeting all graduation requirements. That guidance has not been recalled or revised.

The federal change has implications, in many cases, for district approaches to the development and implementation of IEPs and educational supports and services provided to students with disabilities. It also has implications for the district and school report cards, starting with the report card that includes the graduation rate for the class of 2018.

In the past, Ohio reported two different graduation rates for students with disabilities. The graduation rate for students with disabilities reported through Ohio’s report card (consistent with the requirements of Title I of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act) included any student with a disability who received a diploma under any of the examples listed above. The graduation rate for students with disabilities reported to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, however, included only those students who met the same graduation requirements as their non-disabled peers while separately reporting students who have graduated without meeting the regular diploma requirements — students described in the examples given above.

If the U.S. Department of Education maintains its current position as it was released under the prior administration, the Ohio Department of Education would need to report graduation rates by counting only those students with disabilities meeting the same graduation requirements as non-disabled students.[1]

It’s apparent that this change is intended to further support the equity interests of students with disabilities. Many students with disabilities who currently receive diplomas based on meeting different requirements than non-disabled students do not have cognitive disabilities that would preclude them from meeting the same academic expectations as non-disabled students. The federal policy recognizes and reinforces our continuing efforts and commitment to make sure that students with disabilities reach the same level of knowledge and skills acquisition as other students prior to receiving a diploma.

The implication of this change, if affirmed by the new administration, is that students with IEPs who receive a diploma but who have been excused from the consequences of assessments (with or without allowable accommodations) or excused from course requirements under their IEPs will not be counted in the graduation rate.

We are awaiting additional clarity from the federal government, continuing to assess this policy change, and identifying enhancements to our support and technical assistance to continue to promote strategies that can be successful in helping learning disabled students meet the same expectations are their non-disabled peers.

Changes to WorkKeys Assessment: We have been made aware that a new version of ACT’s WorkKeys test will be available starting Oct. 1. ACT is discontinuing the previous version of WorkKeys effective Sept. 30. Communications from ACT have not been particularly clear with regard to how the old assessment compares to the new one in terms of scores, etc. We are awaiting additional information. The new version has several changes, including different names for the various assessment sections and different items and scoring scales. The new WorkKeys is only administered online.

This creates some challenges for our current graduation requirements — most immediately for the class of 2018. Clearly, students who have already completed and met the score requirements under the original WorkKeys will not be impacted. Students who have already taken one or more sections of the old test and who need to retest will need to do so by Sept. 30. The new test will go live on Oct. 1 and will be accessible through Ohio’s WorkKeys testing portal. We will need to re-establish score requirements for the in-demand industry credential diploma pathway using the new WorkKeys. (Hopefully, the alternative career-technical graduation requirements approach, if enacted, could help with this situation.)

ESSA Update – Continuing Opportunity for Comments/Feedback: We continue to welcome comments to the newest draft of the state’s ESSA application. The full application will be submitted to the State Board for approval at its July meeting. You can find the new drafts of the plan at this website — http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Every-Student-Succeeds-Act-ESSA — in the section titled “Draft Sections of the ESSA Template.” Please provide your comments, by section, as soon as possible and offer as specific suggestions for changes as possible. Use the line numbers in the document for easy reference. Send comments to essa@education.ohio.gov. Include the section number in the subject line.

Strategic Planning Update – Workgroups: The work of strategic planning continues in its formative stages. We are currently attempting to finalize the focus and scope of the various workgroups. Each workgroup will be comprised of a variety of education practitioners and other stakeholders as appropriate to the focus area. We also expect to have one or two State Board members and legislative representation on each working group. At the end of this message you will find a draft of the workgroup structure and the scope for each. This is still under development, and I welcome any comments or suggestions you may have.

Policy Development Initiatives: We continue to make progress on a variety of policy initiatives, as follows:

  • Ohio Teacher Evaluation System Revisions: We have not seen any bill or amendment surface in the legislature related to the OTES revisions recommended by the Educator Standards Board and the State Board. We hope to see this soon.
  • Truancy: At the June meeting, the State Board approved a new model policy based on the provisions of HB 410. There are a number of common misunderstandings about what districts need to do or can do pursuant to this legislation. You can find some implementation guidance on the Department’s website here. Such guidance is provided at a summary level — more details are contained in the actual law itself. You should consult with your district’s legal counsel if you need additional clarification. The law requires the Department to publish additional guidance and resources by October.

Interactions and Opportunities: Now that many schools have completed the school year, my travel schedule has been a bit lighter. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Meetings and Other Visits

Ohio STEM Learning Network – Opioid Solutions Showcase

Ohio School for the Deaf Graduation

Ohio State School for the Blind Graduation

Lorain Academic Distress Commission First Meeting

Battelle for Kids: Connect for Success Conference

Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators Awards Luncheon

Ohio Education Association Summer Academy

Thanks for everything you do for Ohio’s students!

If you’d like to respond, do not press “Reply” on your message screen. Instead, write to me at superintendent@education.ohio.gov.  

Draft Strategic Planning Workgroup Focus Areas

1. Standards, Assessments and Accountability

  • State academic content standards, including career-technical education standards, and exploring the need for any additional standards
  • The processes for updating standards
  • State and local assessments, including career-technical education assessments and recommendations for developing new approaches to assessment
  • Accountability systems, including improvements and revisions to the state report card

2. Early Learning and Literacy

  • Access to early learning and development opportunities
  • Early literacy skills development
  • Ensuring quality
  • Ensuring appropriate staffing capacity
  • Alignment with other early care regulators/funders (ODJFS)

3. Excellent Educators and Instructional Practices

  • The educator human capital continuum including: teacher and principal preparation, recruitment, induction (including the Resident Educator Program), evaluation, professional development and leadership/growth strategies
  • Stronger curriculum alignment and models of effective curriculum
  • Educator shortage areas including geographically, subject area/licensure band, substitutes, etc.
  • School leadership best practices and strategies to promote high-quality leadership
  • Culture of continuous improvement and Ohio Improvement Process
  • Data analysis capacity among teachers and leaders
  • Instructional approaches including personalized learning, competency-based learning, project-based learning, technology-enabled strategies, STEM, etc.
  • Differentiated instruction, including strategies for students with disabilities, students who are gifted, English language learners, etc.
  • Cultural competency
  • Teacher licensure (including career-technical education educator licensure)
  • Role of coaching and embedded professional development
  • Cross-state reciprocity

4. Student Supports, School Climate and Culture

  • Integrated student supports such as health, wellness and nutrition, mental health and other community services through community learning centers or other approaches
  • Social and emotional learning including, but not limited to, positive behavioral interventions and supports, restorative justice and trauma-informed practices
  • Safe, nurturing learning environments
  • School culture focused on improvement
  • Family and community engagement

5. High School Success and Postsecondary Connections

  • The graduate profile and graduation requirements
  • Student transitions from high school
  • Career integration and connections
  • Dropout recovery  

[1] Ohio could choose to establish a state-defined alternate diploma for students with significant cognitive disabilities. This diploma would not be the same as the regular high school diploma. Such a diploma would continue to be counted in the state’s graduation rate.


 Ohio Department of Education

 

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June 17, 2017 - Last Call! Making the Most of Your School Building Webinar

 

Feeling the Squeeze? 

Why Bringing Space Planning Into Focus is Critical to Success

Join us for this new Facilities Webinar on Tuesday June 20, 2017 at 11:30am EST. Principals and boards don't want to miss this enlightening, 60 minute webinar full of tips and tricks on how to make the most of your facility!

About the webinar:

The building is the largest single financial asset a charter school has, yet it receives remarkably little attention as we put band-aids on space issues semester-to-semester and year-to-year. Poor space usage can be the root cause of unnecessary frustration and financial waste. Break the cycle and make facility space planning a priority to give your school a performance and financial edge for success. 

Join Institute Associate Dustin Sommer for a conversation about facts and tips for better space utilization for staff and students. Leave recharged with fresh ideas to implement this summer as you prepare for the next school year.

Register for this FREE webinar on Tuesday June 20, 2017 at 11:30am EST!

  

National Charter Schools Institute | 989.317.3510

www.CharterInstitute.org | Info@CharterInstitute.org

711 West Pickard Street, Suite M | Mount Pleasant, MI 48858

 

BE OUR FRIEND!   Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

 

National Charter Schools Institute, 711 West Pickard Street, Mount Pleasant, MI 48858

 

June 13, 2017 - Webinar Reminder: How to Make the Most of Your School Building

 

Feeling the Squeeze? 

Why Bringing Space Planning Into Focus is Critical to Success

Join us for this new Facilities Webinar on Tuesday June 20, 2017 at 11:30am EST. Principals and boards don't want to miss this enlightening, 60 minute webinar full of tips and tricks on how to make the most of your facility!

About the webinar:

The building is the largest single financial asset a charter school has, yet it receives remarkably little attention as we put band-aids on space issues semester-to-semester and year-to-year. Poor space usage can be the root cause of unnecessary frustration and financial waste. Break the cycle and make facility space planning a priority to give your school a performance and financial edge for success. 

Join Institute Associate Dustin Sommer for a conversation about facts and tips for better space utilization for staff and students. Leave recharged with fresh ideas to implement this summer as you prepare for the next school year.

Register for this FREE webinar on Tuesday June 20, 2017 at 11:30am EST!

  

National Charter Schools Institute | 989.317.3510

www.CharterInstitute.org | Info@CharterInstitute.org

711 West Pickard Street, Suite M | Mount Pleasant, MI 48858

 

BE OUR FRIEND!   Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

 

National Charter Schools Institute, 711 West Pickard Street, Mount Pleasant, MI 48858

 

 

June 2017

Keep watching for updates

Use the links on the right for past months' updates.