Dear District Administrators,
Next month, we will provide a preliminary joint federal notification packet alongside information about coordinated statewide supports available to all schools and districts. Our intent is to make the school improvement process not only more manageable, but also more impactful, and we think you will find the system of requirements and supports more flexible and responsive than under past versions of federal laws.
The preliminary joint federal notification packet and related resources will be available in SAFE (Secure Access File Exchange) on Thursday, December 10. You can expect a confirmation email from me at that time. Before December, please check that the appropriate district staff, including your special education directors, have appropriate access rights in SAFE. You may also grant access to CESA staff with whom you are working on improvement. Please visit the Secure Home 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 Continuous Improvement webpage, including our 2-minute video about what these identifications will mean and the landscape we’re working to build.
As you know, there will be no new federal ESSA identifications issued in 2020-21. This is because of the assessment and accountability waiver DPI received from the U.S. Department of Education, which required a ‘freeze’ in ESSA accountability identifications. As such, this year, you will notice a change in ESSA reporting in SAFE: Instead of the 20-page ESSA Accountability Reports, we are providing 2-page ESSA Informational Reports with data that are available: 2018-19 graduation rate and absenteeism, and 2019-20 ACCESS for ELLs results. 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.
The U.S. Department of Education did not similarly waive identifications under IDEA. Because of this unprecedented time and demands on schools, the 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.
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.