Zapata County Independent School District

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District of Innovation - Local Innovation Plan Draft
Posted: April 13, 2018
 
Proposed Exemption #1
 

First Day of Instruction

Texas Education Code Section 25.0811

(a)  Except as provided by this section, a school district may not begin instruction for students for a school year before the fourth Monday in August.  A school district may:

(1)  begin instruction for students for a school year before the fourth Monday in August if the district operates a year-round system under Section 25.084; or

(2)  begin instruction for students for a school year on or after the first Monday in August at a campus or at not more than 20 percent of the campuses in the district if:

(A)  the district has a student enrollment of 190,000 or more;

(B)  the district at the beginning of the school year provides, financed with local funds, days of instruction for students at the campus or at each of the multiple campuses, in addition to the minimum number of days of instruction required under Section 25.081;

(C)  the campus or each of the multiple campuses are undergoing comprehensive reform, as determined by the board of trustees of the district; and

(D)  a majority of the students at the campus or at each of the multiple campuses are educationally disadvantaged.

(b)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a), a school district that does not offer each grade level from kindergarten through grade 12 and whose prospective or former students generally attend school in another state for the grade levels the district does not offer may start school on any date permitted under Subsection (a) or the law of the other state.


Last Day of School

Texas Education Code Section 25.0812

(a)  Except as provided by Subsection (b), a school district may not schedule the last day of school for students for a school year before May 15.

(b)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a), a school district that does not offer each grade level from kindergarten through grade 12 and whose prospective or former students generally attend school in another state for the grade levels the district does not offer may schedule the last day of school on any date permitted under Subsection (a) or the law of the other state.


Rationale

Zapata County ISD’s DOI Committee has determined that a school calendar that offers the option to begin the first day of instruction prior to the fourth Monday in August as currently required by the TEC will provide the District the ability to effectively meet the instructional needs of all students.

Such a calendar will better prepare our students for college and career readiness and allow for focused professional development in conjunction with the instructional minutes requirement.

In addition, by having the flexibility in the start and end of the school year, students will be able to enroll in college courses that start in early June, thereby increasing college and career readiness.

Removing the uniform start date could also let the District start classes as a short week, easing the transition for students entering kindergarten, middle school, and high school.

Furthermore, this will also allow for more flexible professional development opportunities for our staff.

 

Plan

Start date flexibility allows the district to determine locally, on an annual basis, what best meets the needs of the students and local community. This empowers the District to personalize learning, increase college and career readiness, and balance the amount of instructional time per semester.

  • Students will be able to start school earlier than the 4th Monday in August
  • District scholastic calendar will have the flexibility to align with local universities/colleges and state assessment timelines;
  • This exemption will increase local control of the instructional calendar in order to be responsive to the needs of the ZCISD teaching and learning community.
  • To meet local and community needs, this plan will allow for balanced instructional days prior to the state assessments administered during the Fall and Spring semesters.
 
 
 
Proposed Exemption #2
 

Certification Required

Texas Education Code Section 21.003

A person may not be employed as a teacher, teacher intern or teacher trainee, librarian, educational aide, administrator, educational diagnostician, or school counselor by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued as provided by Subchapter B.

Parental Notification

Texas Education Code Section 21.057

A school district that assigns an inappropriately certified or uncertified teacher to the same classroom for more than 30 consecutive instructional days during the same school year shall provide written notice of the assignment to a parent or guardian of each student in that classroom.

 

Rationale

Zapata County ISD is committed to placing the right teacher in every classroom and every effort will be made to ensure teachers hold the proper certification in the content area as assigned.

However, the District incurs challenges in the recruitment of certified teachers in specific core (dual credit) and career technical education due to the geographic location of the community. Several applicants choose to reside in larger communities with districts that have a high demand for teachers and offer competitive pay scales.

 

Zapata County ISD will utilize hiring procedures that will err on the side of credential and certified teacher. However, in response to the need for more students to obtain the educational-benefit coursework that is applicable to the curriculum requirements set forth by the Texas Education Agency, dual credit, and career and technical/STEAM course offerings for graduation plans, the District seeks to establish its own local-qualification requirements for such courses in lieu of the requirements set forth in law.

 

Plan

The District will establish local criteria for training and locally certifying individuals for CTE and dual credit courses.  In doing so, parental notification of “inappropriately certified or uncertified teachers” under Section 21.057 would no longer be necessary. The exemption would also allow internal applicants seeking assignments outside of their traditional certification area to be considered. This exemption directly supports the move from “highly qualified” requirements in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

 

Plan - CTE

Through an exemption from existing teacher certification requirements set forth by state law for career and technical education, ZCISD will be granted the flexibility to hire non-certified industry professionals in specialized trades and vocations to teach CTE courses if certified teachers are not available.

 

The qualification requirements to teach CTE courses will mirror the qualification requirements set forth by SBEC with the exception of completing an Educator Preparation Program. In lieu of a state teaching certificate, the Superintendent shall issue a local teaching certificate provided that CTE applicants complete district level training in the areas of but not limited to, Classroom Management and Sound Instructional Practices. They will also be assigned a mentor to mirror the same process as new hires for at least one school year. A statement of qualifications must be approved by the Career and Technical Education Department and the Human Resource Department prior to issuing the local teaching certificate.

 

The campus principal may also submit to the Superintendent a written request to allow a certified teacher to teach one CTE course/subject out of their certified field. The principal must specify the reason for the request and document what credentials, work experience or content knowledge the certified teacher possess which would qualify this individual to teach this course/subject.  The superintendent will make a determination as to whether the applicant is qualified to teach such a course or vocational skill through a local teaching certificate. Local teaching certificates will be for one year. The employee will receive a non-Chapter 21 contract. The Superintendent will then report this action to the Board of Trustees. This plan will provide more flexibility in scheduling and more options for students will be made available in class offerings.

 

Plan - Dual Credit

The District will have the flexibility to hire credentialed community or university
college instructors in specific content areas to afford more students the opportunity to
take dual credit courses if certified teachers are not available to teach these courses.

The District will have the flexibility to hire faculty with required higher education credentials to teach dual credit courses in specific content areas.  The requirement that dual-credit faculty be SBEC certified will be waived. Once faculty is approved as adjuncts for the institute of higher education (IHE) and recommended for employment by Zapata County ISD, the Superintendent will issue a local teaching certificate.  They will also complete district level training in the areas of but not limited to, Classroom Management and Sound Instructional Practices and be assigned a mentor to mirror the same process as new hires for at least one school year.

 

 

Proposed Exemption #3

 

Designation of Campus Behavior Coordinator

Texas Education Code Section 37.0012

(a)  A person at each campus must be designated to serve as the campus behavior coordinator.  The person designated may be the principal of the campus or any other campus administrator selected by the principal.

(b)  The campus behavior coordinator is primarily responsible for maintaining student discipline and the implementation of this subchapter.

(c)  Except as provided by this chapter, the specific duties of the campus behavior coordinator may be established by campus or district policy.  Unless otherwise provided by campus or district policy:

(1)  a duty imposed on a campus principal or other campus administrator under this subchapter shall be performed by the campus behavior coordinator; and

(2)  a power granted to a campus principal or other campus administrator under this subchapter may be exercised by the campus behavior coordinator.

(d)  The campus behavior coordinator shall promptly notify a student's parent or guardian as provided by this subsection if under this subchapter the student is placed into in-school or out-of-school suspension, placed in a disciplinary alternative education program, expelled, or placed in a juvenile justice alternative education program or is taken into custody by a law enforcement officer.  A campus behavior coordinator must comply with this subsection by:

(1)  promptly contacting the parent or guardian by telephone or in person; and

(2)  making a good faith effort to provide written notice of the disciplinary action to the student, on the day the action is taken, for delivery to the student's parent or guardian.

(e)  If a parent or guardian entitled to notice under Subsection (d) has not been reached by telephone or in person by 5 p.m. of the first business day after the day the disciplinary action is taken, a campus behavior coordinator shall mail written notice of the action to the parent or guardian at the parent's or guardian's last known address.

(f)  If a campus behavior coordinator is unable or not available to promptly provide notice under Subsection (d), the principal or other designee shall provide the notice.

 

Rationale

Zapata County ISD’s DOI Committee has determined that flexibility with regard to the designation of campus behavior coordinators allows for greater collaboration when addressing the social and emotional needs of students.  School discipline is best administered and managed within a team concept and should not be limited to one school administrator being responsible for contacting parents and maintaining documentation requirements.

 

Plan

By eliminating the designation of a single campus behavior coordinator at each campus, the District will be able to create a system where the duties are shared among the campus administrative staff.  The district may delegate the designation of the Campus Behavior Coordinator to campus administrator(s), e.g. all campus principals and assistant principals, to fulfill the discipline and behavior duties.   All certified campus administration will serve as joint behavior coordinators and work collaboratively with campus and district staff to promote campus goals.

 

In addition to exempting the district from the application of TEC 37.0012, any

responsibility or duty of parental/guardian notification shall be exercised by appropriate

school officials as per ZCISD Board Policy.

 

This will allow Zapata County ISD to increase efficiency and continue with a collaborative approach with students and parents since campus administrators shall notify parents/guardians of disciplinary infractions/actions either

  • in person;
  • telephone or;
  • by providing the student with a hard copy of the disciplinary referral

 

 

 

Proposed Exemption #4

 

 

Planning and Decision-Making Process

Texas Education Code Section 11.251

(a)  The board of trustees of each independent school district shall ensure that a district improvement plan and improvement plans for each campus are developed, reviewed, and revised annually for the purpose of improving the performance of all students.  The board shall annually approve district and campus performance objectives and shall ensure that the district and campus plans:

(1)  are mutually supportive to accomplish the identified objectives;  and

(2)  at a minimum, support the state goals and objectives under Chapter 4.

(b)  The board shall adopt a policy to establish a district- and campus-level planning and decision-making process that will involve the professional staff of the district, parents, and community members in establishing and reviewing the district's and campuses' educational plans, goals, performance objectives, and major classroom instructional programs.  The board shall establish a procedure under which meetings are held regularly by district- and campus-level planning and decision-making committees that include representative professional staff, including, if practicable, at least one representative with the primary responsibility for educating students with disabilities, parents of students enrolled in the district, business representatives, and community members.  The committees shall include a business representative without regard to whether the representative resides in the district or whether the business the person represents is located in the district. The board, or the board's designee, shall periodically meet with the district-level committee to review the district-level committee's deliberations.
(c)  For purposes of establishing the composition of committees under this section:

(1)  a person who stands in parental relation to a student is considered a parent;

(2)  a parent who is an employee of the school district is not considered a parent representative on the committee;

(3)  a parent is not considered a representative of community members on the committee;  and

(4)  community members must reside in the district and must be at least 18 years of age.

(d)  The board shall also ensure that an administrative procedure is provided to clearly define the respective roles and responsibilities of the superintendent, central office staff, principals, teachers, district-level committee members, and campus-level committee members in the areas of planning, budgeting, curriculum, staffing patterns, staff development, and school organization.  The board shall ensure that the district-level planning and decision-making committee will be actively involved in establishing the administrative procedure that defines the respective roles and responsibilities pertaining to planning and decision-making at the district and campus levels.

(e)  The board shall adopt a procedure, consistent with Section 21.407(a), for the professional staff in the district to nominate and elect the professional staff representatives who shall meet with the board or the board designee as required under this section.  At least two-thirds of the elected professional staff representatives must be classroom teachers. The remaining staff representatives shall include both campus- and district-level professional staff members. If practicable, the committee membership shall include at least one professional staff representative with the primary responsibility for educating students with disabilities.  Board policy must provide procedures for:

(1)  the selection of parents to the district-level and campus-level committees; and

(2)  the selection of community members and business representatives to serve on the district-level committee in a manner that provides for appropriate representation of the community's diversity.

(f)  The district policy must provide that all pertinent federal planning requirements are addressed through the district- and campus-level planning process.

(g)  This section does not:

(1)  prohibit the board from conducting meetings with teachers or groups of teachers other than the meetings described by this section;

(2)  prohibit the board from establishing policies providing avenues for input from others, including students or paraprofessional staff, in district- or campus-level planning and decision-making;

(3)  limit or affect the power of the board to govern the public schools;  or

(4)  create a new cause of action or require collective bargaining.

District-Level Planning and Decision-Making

Texas Education Code Section 11.252
a)  Each school district shall have a district improvement plan that is developed, evaluated, and revised annually, in accordance with district policy, by the superintendent with the assistance of the district-level committee established under Section 11.251.  The purpose of the district improvement plan is to guide district and campus staff in the improvement of student performance for all student groups in order to attain state standards in respect to the achievement indicators adopted under Section 39.053(c). The district improvement plan must include provisions for:

(1)  a comprehensive needs assessment addressing district student performance on the achievement indicators, and other appropriate measures of performance, that are disaggregated by all student groups served by the district, including categories of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sex, and populations served by special programs, including students in special education programs under Subchapter A, Chapter 29;


(2)  measurable district performance objectives for all appropriate achievement indicators for all student populations, including students in special education programs under Subchapter A, Chapter 29, and other measures of student performance that may be identified through the comprehensive needs assessment;

(3)  strategies for improvement of student performance that include:

(A)  instructional methods for addressing the needs of student groups not achieving their full potential;
(B)  methods for addressing the needs of students for special programs, including:

(i)  suicide prevention programs, in accordance with Subchapter O-1, Chapter 161, Health and Safety Code, which includes a parental or guardian notification procedure;

(ii)  conflict resolution programs;

(iii)  violence prevention programs; and

(iv)  dyslexia treatment programs;

(C)  dropout reduction;

(D)  integration of technology in instructional and administrative programs;

(E)  discipline management;

(F)  staff development for professional staff of the district;

(G)  career education to assist students in developing the knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary for a broad range of career opportunities; and

(H)  accelerated education;

(4)  strategies for providing to middle school, junior high school, and high school students, those students' teachers and school counselors, and those students' parents information about:

(A)  higher education admissions and financial aid opportunities;

(B)  the TEXAS grant program and the Teach for Texas grant program established under Chapter 56;

(C)  the need for students to make informed curriculum choices to be prepared for success beyond high school; and

(D)  sources of information on higher education admissions and financial aid;

(5)  resources needed to implement identified strategies;

(6)  staff responsible for ensuring the accomplishment of each strategy;

(7)  timelines for ongoing monitoring of the implementation of each improvement strategy;

(8)  formative evaluation criteria for determining periodically whether strategies are resulting in intended improvement of student performance; and

(9)  the policy under Section 38.0041 addressing sexual abuse and other maltreatment of children.

(b)  A district's plan for the improvement of student performance is not filed with the agency, but the district must make the plan available to the agency on request.

(c)  In a district that has only one campus, the district- and campus-level committees may be one committee and the district and campus plans may be one plan.

(d)  At least every two years, each district shall evaluate the effectiveness of the district's decision-making and planning policies, procedures, and staff development activities related to district- and campus-level decision-making and planning to ensure that they are effectively structured to positively impact student performance.

(e)  The district-level committee established under Section 11.251 shall hold at least one public meeting per year.  The required meeting shall be held after receipt of the annual district performance report from the agency for the purpose of discussing the performance of the district and the district performance objectives.  District policy and procedures must be established to ensure that systematic communications measures are in place to periodically obtain broad-based community, parent, and staff input and to provide information to those persons regarding the recommendations of the district-level committee.  This section does not create a new cause of action or require collective bargaining.

(f)  A superintendent shall regularly consult the district-level committee in the planning, operation, supervision, and evaluation of the district educational program.

 

Campus-Level Planning and Site-Based Decision-Making

Texas Education Code Section 11.253
(a)  Each school district shall maintain current policies and procedures to ensure that effective planning and site-based decision-making occur at each campus to direct and support the improvement of student performance for all students.

(b)  Each district's policy and procedures shall establish campus-level planning and decision-making committees as provided for through the procedures provided by Sections 11.251(b)-(e).

(c)  Each school year, the principal of each school campus, with the assistance of the campus-level committee, shall develop, review, and revise the campus improvement plan for the purpose of improving student performance for all student populations, including students in special education programs under Subchapter A, Chapter 29, with respect to the achievement indicators adopted under Section 39.053(c) and any other appropriate performance measures for special needs populations.

(d)  Each campus improvement plan must:

(1)  assess the academic achievement for each student in the school using the achievement indicator system as described by Section 39.053;

(2)  set the campus performance objectives based on the achievement indicator system, including objectives for special needs populations, including students in special education programs under Subchapter A, Chapter 29;

(3)  identify how the campus goals will be met for each student;

(4)  determine the resources needed to implement the plan;

(5)  identify staff needed to implement the plan;

(6)  set timelines for reaching the goals;

(7)  measure progress toward the performance objectives periodically to ensure that the plan is resulting in academic improvement;

(8)  include goals and methods for violence prevention and intervention on campus;

(9)  provide for a program to encourage parental involvement at the campus; and

(10)  if the campus is an elementary, middle, or junior high school, set goals and objectives for the coordinated health program at the campus based on:

(A)  student fitness assessment data, including any data from research-based assessments such as the school health index assessment and planning tool created by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;

(B)  student academic performance data;

(C)  student attendance rates;

(D)  the percentage of students who are educationally disadvantaged;

(E)  the use and success of any method to ensure that students participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity as required by Section 28.002(l); and

(F)  any other indicator recommended by the local school health advisory council.

(e)  In accordance with the administrative procedures established under Section 11.251(b), the campus-level committee shall be involved in decisions in the areas of planning, budgeting, curriculum, staffing patterns, staff development, and school organization.  The campus-level committee must approve the portions of the campus plan addressing campus staff development needs.

(f)  This section does not create a new cause of action or require collective bargaining.

(g)  Each campus-level committee shall hold at least one public meeting per year.  The required meeting shall be held after receipt of the annual campus rating from the agency to discuss the performance of the campus and the campus performance objectives.  District policy and campus procedures must be established to ensure that systematic communications measures are in place to periodically obtain broad-based community, parent, and staff input, and to provide information to those persons regarding the recommendations of the campus-level committees.

(h)  A principal shall regularly consult the campus-level committee in the planning, operation, supervision, and evaluation of the campus educational program.



Dropout Prevention Review

Texas Education Code Section 11.255

(a)  Each district-level planning and decision-making committee and each campus-level planning and decision-making committee for a junior, middle, or high school campus shall analyze information related to dropout prevention, including:

(1)  the results of the audit of dropout records required by Section 39.308;

(2)  campus information related to graduation rates, dropout rates, high school equivalency certificate rates, and the percentage of students who remain in high school more than four years after entering grade level 9;

(3)  the number of students who enter a high school equivalency certificate program and:

(A)  do not complete the program;

(B)  complete the program but do not take the high school equivalency examination; or

(C)  complete the program and take the high school equivalency examination but do not obtain a high school equivalency certificate;

(4)  for students enrolled in grade levels 9 and 10, information related to academic credit hours earned, retention rates, and placements in alternative education programs and expulsions under Chapter 37; and

(5)  the results of an evaluation of each school-based dropout prevention program in the district.

(b)  Each district-level planning and decision-making committee and each campus-level planning and decision-making committee shall use the information reviewed under this section in developing district or campus improvement plans under this subchapter.

 

Rationale

Zapata County ISD has a history of collaboratively involving multiple stakeholders in the processes of annually assessing campus and district needs and establishing and monitoring short and long term goals.  Stakeholders will continue to be involved in the process, but one that meets the needs of this district, school, and community as opposed to the broad brush of statutory requirements leveled down from a one size fits all approach as detailed in the code.

 

Plan

Zapata County ISD shall determine the processes and memberships of its site-based decision-making committees. While ZCISD will continue to develop district and campus improvement plans based upon a comprehensive needs assessment, the district is claiming exemption from the specific mandates of these sections and shall determine the contents of its plans while honoring federal mandates that cannot be excluded.

 

 

Proposed Exemption #5

 

Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs

Texas Education Code Section 37.008
(a)  Each school district shall provide a disciplinary alternative education program that:

(1)  is provided in a setting other than a student's regular classroom;

(2)  is located on or off of a regular school campus;

(3)  provides for the students who are assigned to the disciplinary alternative education program to be separated from students who are not assigned to the program;

(4)  focuses on English language arts, mathematics, science, history, and self-discipline;

(5)  provides for students' educational and behavioral needs;

(6)  provides supervision and counseling; and

(7)  employs only teachers who meet all certification requirements established under Subchapter B, Chapter 21.

(a-1)  The agency shall adopt minimum standards for the operation of disciplinary alternative education programs, including standards relating to:

(1)  student/teacher ratios;

(2)  student health and safety;

(3)  reporting of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of students;

(4)  training for teachers in behavior management and safety procedures; and

(5)  planning for a student's transition from a disciplinary alternative education program to a regular campus.

(b)  A disciplinary alternative education program may provide for a student's transfer to:

(1)  a different campus;

(2)  a school-community guidance center;  or

(3)  a community-based alternative school.

(c)  An off-campus disciplinary alternative education program is not subject to a requirement imposed by this title, other than a limitation on liability, a reporting requirement, or a requirement imposed by this chapter or by Chapter 39 or 39A.

(d)  A school district may provide a disciplinary alternative education program jointly with one or more other districts.

(e)  Each school district shall cooperate with government agencies and community organizations that provide services in the district to students placed in a disciplinary alternative education program.

(f)  A student removed to a disciplinary alternative education program is counted in computing the average daily attendance of students in the district for the student's time in actual attendance in the program.

(g)  A school district shall allocate to a disciplinary alternative education program the same expenditure per student attending the disciplinary alternative education program, including federal, state, and local funds, that would be allocated to the student's school if the student were attending the student's regularly assigned education program, including a special education program.

(h)  A school district may not place a student, other than a student suspended as provided under Section 37.005 or expelled as provided under Section 37.007, in an unsupervised setting as a result of conduct for which a student may be placed in a disciplinary alternative education program.

(i)  On request of a school district, a regional education service center may provide to the district information on developing a disciplinary alternative education program that takes into consideration the district's size, wealth, and existing facilities in determining the program best suited to the district.

(j)  If a student placed in a disciplinary alternative education program enrolls in another school district before the expiration of the period of placement, the board of trustees of the district requiring the placement shall provide to the district in which the student enrolls, at the same time other records of the student are provided, a copy of the placement order.  The district in which the student enrolls shall inform each educator who will have responsibility for, or will be under the direction and supervision of an educator who will have responsibility for, the instruction of the student of the contents of the placement order. Each educator shall keep the information received under this subsection confidential from any person not entitled to the information under this subsection, except that the educator may share the information with the student's parent or guardian as provided for by state or federal law.  The district in which the student enrolls may continue the disciplinary alternative education program placement under the terms of the order or may allow the student to attend regular classes without completing the period of placement. A district may take any action permitted by this subsection if:

(1)  the student was placed in a disciplinary alternative education program by an open-enrollment charter school under Section 12.131 and the charter school provides to the district a copy of the placement order; or

(2)  the student was placed in a disciplinary alternative education program by a school district in another state and:

(A)  the out-of-state district provides to the district a copy of the placement order; and

(B)  the grounds for the placement by the out-of-state district are grounds for placement in the district in which the student is enrolling.

(j-1)  If a student was placed in a disciplinary alternative education program by a school district in another state for a period that exceeds one year and a school district in this state in which the student enrolls continues the placement under Subsection (j), the district shall reduce the period of the placement so that the aggregate period does not exceed one year unless, after a review, the district determines that:

(1)  the student is a threat to the safety of other students or to district employees;  or

(2)  extended placement is in the best interest of the student.

(k)  A program of educational and support services may be provided to a student and the student's parents when the offense involves drugs or alcohol as specified under Section 37.006 or 37.007.  A disciplinary alternative education program that provides chemical dependency treatment services must be licensed under Chapter 464, Health and Safety Code.

(l)  A school district is required to provide in the district's disciplinary alternative education program a course necessary to fulfill a student's high school graduation requirements only as provided by this subsection.  A school district shall offer a student removed to a disciplinary alternative education program an opportunity to complete coursework before the beginning of the next school year. The school district may provide the student an opportunity to complete coursework through any method available, including a correspondence course, distance learning, or summer school.  The district may not charge the student for a course provided under this subsection.

(l-1)  A school district shall provide the parents of a student removed to a disciplinary alternative education program with written notice of the district's obligation under Subsection (l) to provide the student with an opportunity to complete coursework required for graduation.  The notice must:

(1)  include information regarding all methods available for completing the coursework; and

(2)  state that the methods are available at no cost to the student.

(m)  The commissioner shall adopt rules necessary to evaluate annually the performance of each district's disciplinary alternative education program established under this subchapter.  The evaluation required by this section shall be based on indicators defined by the commissioner, but must include student performance on assessment instruments required under Sections 39.023(a) and (c).  Academically, the mission of disciplinary alternative education programs shall be to enable students to perform at grade level.

(m-1)  The commissioner shall develop a process for evaluating a school district disciplinary alternative education program electronically.  The commissioner shall also develop a system and standards for review of the evaluation or use systems already available at the agency.  The system must be designed to identify districts that are at high risk of having inaccurate disciplinary alternative education program data or of failing to comply with disciplinary alternative education program requirements.  The commissioner shall notify the board of trustees of a district of any objection the commissioner has to the district's disciplinary alternative education program data or of a violation of a law or rule revealed by the data, including any violation of disciplinary alternative education program requirements, or of any recommendation by the commissioner concerning the data.  If the data reflect that a penal law has been violated, the commissioner shall notify the county attorney, district attorney, or criminal district attorney, as appropriate, and the attorney general. The commissioner is entitled to access to all district records the commissioner considers necessary or appropriate for the review, analysis, or approval of disciplinary alternative education program data.

Rationale

A limited number of students are assigned to DAEP and usually for a short-term requirement.  Students maintain certified teachers of record at the home campus. All academic responsibilities and resources are provided to the student by his/her teacher of record for each course.  In addition, classes are provided using computer-based instruction.

 

Plan

The District seeks exemption from having a certified teacher in DAEP for each and every content areas.  Although currently all staff for DAEP is certified, the District will utilize instructional aides. The campus administrator will ensure that DAEP staff have the support necessary to properly supervise the students assigned to the program and will lend assistance of teachers with specific certification as needed.