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Preliminary Joint Federal Notification Packets - EMBARGOED

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Dear District Administrator,

As outlined last month, your preliminary joint federal notification packets are available today in SAFE.

What’s in Your Packet and How to Access It

The preliminary notification packets in SAFE include reports for all schools and districts. They include two types of reports that align with the two major federal education laws:

Preliminary LEA Determinations for all school districts, which include results and compliance data and preliminary identification for needs assistance, under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and

School-level reports (ESSA), which include preliminary identifications, if any, for Comprehensive or Targeted Support and Improvement.

The ESSA preliminary identifications are new and use a different formula from the Accountability Report Cards released to the public last month. Whether or not your packet reflects a preliminary identification under ESSA or IDEA for support, the information in SAFE can inform your continuous improvement efforts to eliminate achievement gaps.

To access your district’s packet, go to SAFE. If you need help accessing the system, please visit the SAFE landing page or complete a Help Ticket.

The data and reports in SAFE are embargoed until the public release, which will occur after final identifications are announced. During the embargo, preliminary identifications and data contained within SAFE should not be shared in any public setting, including public meetings. The LEA preliminary determination detailed report may contain student-identifiable information and should never be shared publicly.

Suggested Next Steps for Schools and Districts with Preliminary Identifications

If you receive a preliminary identification for support, we invite you to start a planning period for your district or school -- as you’ll see from our Timeline of Recommended Actions for Improving Achievement and Closing Gaps. We recommend taking this opportunity to use or build on successful continuous improvement efforts you are already engaged in, such as Educator Effectiveness -- using your current, or starting a new, continuous improvement cycle.

In our new, flexible approach, districts and schools that are identified in the final ESSA identification will be required to demonstrate they are engaged in continuous improvement - with some specific components - that addresses systemic issues.

Where Can I Go for Help?

If you are an administrator of a district with any preliminary school- or district-level identifications, we urge you to set up a 30-minute technical assistance phone consultation with us as your first step. DPI staff with expertise in these federal systems will walk you through your preliminary 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.

If your school or district is preliminarily identified for support, you have the opportunity to strengthen your existing improvement efforts, at little or no cost, by taking advantage of new supports. Thanks to new coordination among the DPI, CESAs, and other partners, available supports throughout the state are built around what we know works to help schools close achievement gaps. These resources are optional, and the cost, if any, will be minimal for districts and schools.

Supports include online tools, 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.

If you have questions about federal accountability, the data related to the preliminary identifications, or the available supports, please sign up for a 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.