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Preliminary Joint Federal Notification Packets - available in SAFE

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Dear District Administrator,

As outlined last month, your preliminary joint federal notification packets are available today in Secure Access File Exchange (SAFE). Whether or not your packet reflects a preliminary identification for support under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the information in your packet can inform your continuous improvement efforts to eliminate achievement gaps. Reviewing ESSA school level reports in conjunction with IDEA LEA Determination and IDEA Racial Equity in Special Education (Disproportionality) reports provides a more rounded picture of student outcomes.  

What’s in Your Packet and How to Access It

The preliminary notification packets contain reports for all schools and districts, and include :

  1. For IDEA - preliminary 2020-21 LEA Determinations  for all school districts, which weigh equally results and compliance for preliminary identifications, and
  2. For ESSA - no new federal ESSA identifications issued in 2020-21; instead --
    1. ESSA Informational Reports replace ESSA Accountability Reports with available data:

i. 2018-19 graduation rate
ii. 2018-19 absenteeism, and
 iii. 2019-20 ACCESS for ELLs results

3. Schools with existing identifications will continue to receive a Progress to Exit Report, again for informational purposes since no schools are able to exit this year.

To access your district’s packet, you will need access to the SAFE application. If you need access to SAFE, you can submit a request through WISEsecure (formerly ASM). If you need help accessing the system, please visit the SAFE landing page or complete a Help Ticket.

The data and reports are in SAFE until the public release, which will occur after final identifications are announced in spring 2021. This gives districts and schools an opportunity to review and understand the data prior to the public release. We ask that you not share this info in any public setting, including public meetings until the data is released publicly. The LEA preliminary determination detailed report may contain student-identifiable information and should never be shared publicly.

Flexibility during COVID-19

The U.S. Department of Education granted an assessment and accountability waiver to DPI for the 2020-21 school year, which required a ‘freeze’ in ESSA accountability identifications. Because there are no new identifications under ESSA, please continue your improvement work through SY2021-22 based on last year’s reports.

There are new 2020-21 identifications under IDEA because the U.S. Department of Education did not waive them. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is exercising the maximum flexibility allowed under IDEA as it relates to required actions for districts identified during this school year. Please see preliminary LEA Determination for required action, if any.

Where Can I Go for More Information or Help?

If you are an administrator of a district with any preliminary school- or district-level identifications, we urge you to organize your team of general and special education leaders and set up a 30-minute technical assistance phone consultation with us as your first step. Ensure team members have access to the reports in SAFE and WISEgrants Continuous Improvement Performance Reporting (CIPR), as well as the Continuous Improvement Process Criteria and Rubric. DPI staff with expertise in these federal systems will walk you through your preliminary identifications, share information about continuous improvement requirements for federal identifications,  and address your questions. We urge you to invite others to participate in the call, such as CESA staff focused on improvement efforts and building leaders from schools with preliminary identifications. Click here to reserve a time slot through JFN Support.

If your school or district is preliminarily identified for support, you have the opportunity to strengthen your existing improvement efforts by taking advantage of continuous improvement supports. These resources are optional, and the cost, if any, will be minimal for districts and schools. Supports include online tools related to continuous improvement planning, future availability of funding for schools identified for Comprehensive Support and Improvement, and professional development. Specifically, CESA staff have been trained to support you in continuous improvement, and there are aligned professional learning opportunities scheduled in each CESA.

Again, if you have questions about federal accountability, the data related to the preliminary identifications, or the available supports, please sign up for a JFN Support technical assistance phone call so we can assist your district directly.

Thank you for partnering with us in the work of ensuring every student graduates college and career ready. These preliminary federal identifications provide an opportunity to better understand your school’s and district’s performance and to continue to improve outcomes for each and every student. DPI and CESAs are your partners in this work, and we stand ready to assist.