Superintendent’s Memo #286-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

October 19, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Requirements and Technical Assistance Provided for Schools that are Required to Create a School Improvement Plan for the 2012-2013 School Year

Per the provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965 (ESEA) flexibility waiver, schools that do not meet the annual measurable objectives (AMOs) for subgroups must develop and implement improvement plans.  The plans should focus specifically on the interventions for those students at risk of not passing the statewide assessments including English language learners (ELLs) and students with disabilities.

The flexibility waiver provisions specify different requirements for Title I and non-Title I schools with subgroups not meeting AMOs.  Information about the requirements and support that will be provided by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) appears below.

Requirements for Title I Schools with Subgroups Not Meeting AMOs
Title I schools with subgroups not meeting AMOs must create a school improvement plan using Indistar®.  Indistar® is a Web-based tool for assessing needs, planning for and implementing intervention, and monitoring progress toward achieving rapid improvement school indicators. It was developed by the Center on Innovation and Improvement with funding by the U.S. Department of Education and is used in at least 24 states.

Identified schools required to use Indistar® to create a school improvement plan must complete the steps in the attached checklist (Attachment A) no later than the dates indicated in the checklist.

Identified schools, including those with existing school improvement plans, must create an Indistar® plan that includes the following required indicators:

TA01

The school uses an identification process (including ongoing conversations with instructional leadership teams and data points to be used) for all students at risk of failing or in need of targeted interventions.

TA02

The school uses a tiered, differentiated process to assign research-based interventions aligned with the individual needs of identified students (the process includes a description of how interventions are selected and assigned to students as well as the frequency and duration of interventions for Tier 2 and Tier 3 students.)   

TA03

The school uses a monitoring process (including a multidisciplinary team that meets regularly to review student intervention outcome data and identifies “triggers” and next steps for unsuccessful interventions) for targeted intervention students to ensure fidelity and effectiveness. 

 

Indistar® requires that the school improvement team must include at least one division-level staff person.  School improvement plans must be reviewed by the division staff member assigned to the school improvement team.  This division-level staff member will complete and submit a rubric on the Indistar® dashboard by the dates shown on the attached checklist (Attachment A).

Title I high schools that do not meet the federal graduation indicator rate are required by the federal flexibility waiver provisions to use the Virginia Early Warning System (VEWS) to plan, monitor, and implement a plan for improvement.  More information on VEWS can be found at the following Web site: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/support/school_improvement/early_warning_system/index.shtml.

Support from the Virginia Department of Education for Title I Schools Required to Complete a School Improvement Plan
The Virginia Department of Education’s Office of School Improvement (OSI) will provide a series of recorded webinars to assist schools required to use Indistar® to create a school improvement plan. The first recorded webinar is now available for viewing online at the following link: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/support/school_improvement/planning/index.shtml.
All sessions will be available for viewing online at this link as they are recorded.  No password is required to view the recorded webinars that may be accessed 24 hours a day.
Division-level staff assigned to school improvement teams will view all recorded webinars which will acquaint them with Indistar® and the rubric that must be completed and submitted by the division-level staff member assigned to the school improvement team no later than January 18, 2013, and April 30, 2013.

Non-Title I Schools with Subgroups Not Meeting AMOs
Non-Title I schools with subgroups not meeting AMOs including non-Title I high schools are required to create a school improvement plan that includes the following required components:

Non-Title I schools not meeting the AMOs are not required to use Indistar® to create their required school improvement plans. However, school leaders may elect to ensure compliance with federal waiver provisions by creating these plans in Indistar®.

Non-Title I high schools that meet all AMOs but do not meet the federal graduation indicator rate are required by the federal flexibility waiver provisions to create a school improvement plan.  Since the data on the report card reflects 2011 graduation data, an appeal can be filed if the school has made the target using the 2012 graduation data.  In order to appeal, please send a letter describing the rationale to the following address:  Virginia Department of Education, Office of Program Administration and Accountability, Attention: Marsha Granderson, P.O. Box 2120, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120.

Any school may view the recorded webinar series in support of using Indistar® for school improvement planning.  The first recorded webinar is now available online at the following link, with additional webinars to follow: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/support/school_improvement/planning/index.shtml.

Indistar® Login and Password Information—Submit Completed Surveys
Indistar® login and password information will be sent to Indistar® users (Title I schools required to submit a school improvement plan and non-Title I schools indicating on their survey that they intend to use Indistar®) after completion of verification form surveys. The OSI will request this information using contact information that you provide in the electronic surveys linked below.  Our office must collect contact information for key division staff members.  To provide us with this information, each division should complete and submit the survey for school divisions.  Each school in a category needs to complete the appropriate survey; for instance, if a division has two non-Title I schools required to complete a school improvement plan, both schools should complete the survey for those schools.

In order to ensure timely receipt of Indistar® login and password information, please ensure that the appropriate surveys are completed and submitted.  The appropriate surveys must be completed by all schools, even those non-Title I schools not choosing to use Indistar®.

For:

Please complete:

School divisions

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JDX2BT5

Title I schools required to submit a school improvement plan

 

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JZDZS9B

Non-Title I schools required to submit a school improvement plan

 

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JZ6X36G

Additional Technical Assistance
The OSI provides schools and divisions with differentiated technical assistance on a wide variety of topics.  To request technical assistance throughout the year, please complete the attached Technical Assistance Request Form (Attachment B) and send it via e-mail to OSITA@doe.virginia.gov.

If you need further information about the requirements to create school improvement plans, please contact Dr. Susan FitzPatrick, specialist, Office of School Improvement, at (804) 225-2897 or by e-mail to Susan.Fitzpatrick@doe.virginia.gov.

PIW/KMS/pl

Attachments:

  1. Office of School Improvement Checklist for Title I Schools Required to Create a School Improvement Plan (PDF)
  2. Technical Assistance Request Form (Word)