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Preparing for Preliminary Federal Notifications

Monday, November 11, 2019

Dear District Administrators, 

Next month, we will provide a preliminary joint federal notification packet. We will also provide information about newly coordinated statewide supports available to all schools and districts whether they are preliminarily identified under ESSA, IDEA, or not at all. We think you will find the system of requirements and supports is more flexible and responsive than under past versions of federal laws. Our intent is to make the school improvement process not only more manageable, but also more impactful.

We will notify you in early December when the preliminary joint federal notification and related resources are available. The preliminary joint federal notification packet will be available in SAFE (Secure Access File Exchange). Because the structure for the preliminary joint federal notifications dropdown mirrors the structure for the Accountability Report Cards you received this fall, please check that the appropriate district staff, including your special education directors, have access. Additionally, CESAs have staff that work closely with DPI within a statewide system of support for ESSA and IDEA preliminary identifications and can, at your discretion, have access to these materials in SAFE. Please visit the WISEhome information page and follow the steps there to manage access to SAFE. If you have any questions about accessing SAFE, please contact the Help Desk.

The preliminary notifications in SAFE include reports for all schools and districts. In preparation, I encourage you to review the resources on our new Continuous Improvement webpage, including our 2-minute video about what these identifications will mean and the new landscape we’re working to build.

(REVISED) This year, for the first time and as forecasted, LEA Determinations under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act will weight results indicators equal to the weight of compliance indicators. Final notifications (tentative release date: March 2020) will include Racial Equity in Special Education reports.

Also this year, per the timeline in the ESSA State Plan, Wisconsin will not be identifying new schools for Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) or Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI). However, all schools will continue to receive the annual ESSA Accountability Reports.

This year’s final change is that the preliminary joint notification packet will also include new reports this year. Schools identified for Comprehensive or Additional Targeted Support last year will receive an ESSA Progress to Exit Report, which will include information about the school’s performance related to exit criteria. Please note that two years of data are necessary for a school to exit so no schools will exit this year.

These reports are for informational purposes, to consider as part of your local improvement planning. Please look for an email from me in early December that will let you know the preliminary federal notification packets are in SAFE.