Promising Practices in Primary and Secondary Education in Texas Edna Butts, Director, Intergovernmental Relations & Policy Oversight, Austin ISD Alice Cox, Special Education Director, Brownwood ISD Kelly Kravitz,Foster Care Education and Policy Coordinator, TEA, Division of Federal & State Education Policy Beverly Nelson, Education Specialist, DFPS, Region 3 Raquel U. Rodriguez, District Social Worker/Foster Care Liaison, Schertz-Cibolo Universal City ISD
Austin ISD Edna Butts, Director, Intergovernmental Relations & Policy Oversight, Austin ISD
Administrative Issues Enrollment ensure all campuses know policy and enroll immediately and any time of day Transfer of credits how can districts better cooperate to transfer records timely and easily? IEP
Assessment of Student’s Needs Academic do we have current records? gaps? helping student catch up Special needs Health-related Behavioral challenges
Preparing Student for the Future Academic counseling begin in Middle School Enroll in dual credit class(es) to qualify student for college tuition waiver Financial literacy Mentor
Brown County Consortium Alice Cox, Special Education Director, Brownwood ISD Chair, Brown County Consortium
The Consortium’s Origins “Necessity is the mother of invention.” -Plato As the number of youth in foster placement escalated in the 1990s, problems arose. CPS extended an invitation to the CPAs in the area to attend a monthly meeting to address concerns. These two groups quickly realized the area schools needed to be included in discussions.
Different AgendasDifferent Solutions Education Specialist The creation of the Education Specialist position by Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (CPS) provided the cohesive agent necessary to ensure productive, meaningful communication among those involved.
Meeting Details • Meet three times yearly • 15-45 people attend each meeting • Representatives include four to five CPAs, six to eight schools, representatives from CPS, and three to four community agencies • Shared contact information creates an invaluable network of resources
Future Planning“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” Helen Keller Developments in all three entities (CPAs, CPS, ISDs) will be discussed in order to facilitate the most effective plan to enhance the lives of all children in foster placements.
Call to Action • Recognize the benefits a consortium can bring for the youth in your area • Area Education Specialists are in a key position to identify the needs and the stakeholders • The more students in placement = the higher need for communication through a consortium • Have patience
HISD Pilot Project Kelly Kravitz Foster Care Education and Policy Coordinator and Trio Project Coordinator, TEA
Texas Trio Project Overview • TEA/HISD contract: cross-system pilot project with DFPS Houston office and other partners • Disproportionality & Disparities Regional Specialist • Texas Trio Team • University of Texas Evaluation Team (Child and Family Research Institute) • Two pilot schools
Participants from DFPS and HISD • DFPS: • ConservatorshipProgram Director; Education Specialist; Education Specialist Supervisor; Adoption Preparation, Program Director; Family Based Safety Services, Investigation, Special Investigators; Disability Specialist; Legal Liaison Supervisor; Foster Care Alumni – Youth Specialist; Disproportionality Specialist • HISD: • Foster Care Education Coordinator; Manager Counseling Servings; School District Foster Care Liaison; Manager Student Engagement; McKinney Vento Liaison; Program Specialist; Parent Liaison Special Education
HISD Pilot Project Outcomes • Conducted cross-system information-sharing, problem-solving, strategizing • Coordinated monthly meetings with state and local team • Identified cross-system training needs, provided presentations • Worked in two pilot schools (Westbury and Booker T. Washington) to identify improved enrollment processes, tracking mechanisms, barriers, student supports • Implemented MOU between DFPS and HISD to determine comprehensive academic baselines • Developed tools and resources to use in other districts
Lessons Learned • Increased communication and coordination is necessary to improve processes and practice • Involve local schools in project planning: consider school calendar • Coordination and communication with residential facility and emergency shelter within the school zone is beneficial • Identifying students at enrollment provides opportunity for school to provide increased supports and ensure proper referrals are made • Strategies to improve enrollment: • Use of DFPS Placement Authorization Form (2085) to identify students • Added “Foster Care” identifier to school enrollment checklist
Lessons Learned, cont’d. • Personal Graduation Plan (PGP) can be used as a targeted intervention tool for academic goal-setting • Tracking students in student data system can help identify and assist with student supports • Many opportunities for cross-system training exist: knowledge of existing programs, resources, and supports are mutually beneficial • Commitment! Ongoing coordination, communication and cross-system training is necessary for systemic improvements
Cross-Systems Collaboration: Making it Work • Working across systems requires willingness to learn and adapt • Large learning curve in engaging in cross-systems work • Hearing from multiple perspectives provides new insights • Understand that both systems operate within multiple constraints and processes that impact the ability and timeliness of coordination • Work to remove assumptions and blame; trust is essential • Remain open to growth of collaboration and involvement of multiple stakeholders • Flexibility and adaptability is important
DFPS Region 3 Education Specialists Beverly Nelson and Norma Eaves, Regional Education Specialists, DFPS (Region 3: Dallas/Fort Worth/Outlying Counties)
Challenges • Records delay • Testing/evaluation • Credit recovery, summer school, tutoring • Discipline
Intervention Techniques • Education Specialist assists in obtaining previous school records • Attends Student Intervention/RtI meetings to help expedite testing • Working with Stakeholders, CASA, CPAs to eliminate the financial barrier of credit recovery, summer school, and tutoring • Utilizing resources within school districts
Progress • Improvement of records access by use of Education Portfolio • Established workgroups to address fees for credit recovery, summer school, tutoring • Continual education advocacy training to DFPS, ISDs, and CPAs to improve educational outcomes for foster youth
Foster Care Liaisons in SCUCISD Raquel Rodriguez, LBSW District Social Worker/Foster Care Liaison Schertz-Cibolo Universal City ISD
Essential Team Members • PEIMS Coordinator • Attendance Clerks/Registrars • Food Service Department • Campus Cafeteria Managers • Campus Administrators • Campus Counselors • Campus Nurses • Communities in Schools • Foster Care Liaison • McKinney-Vento Liaison • Transportation Department • Special Education Department
Important Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Forms • 2085FC-Placement Authorization Foster Care/Residential • 2085KO-Placement Authorization Kinship or Other Non-Foster Caregiver • 2085B-New Attachment B-Designation of Medical Consenter • 2226-Adoptive Placement Agreement • 2298-Agreement for Parental Child Safety Placement
Other Important Forms • SCUCISD Student Residency Questionnaire • Foster Care Liaison Coding Notification Form • Court orders
Foster Care Coding and Processes • Identification at time of enrollment with SRQ or DFPS form. • Registrar or Attendance Clerk notifies Foster Care Liaison of enrollment and sends copies of placement authorization document, preferably on day of enrollment. • Foster Care Liaison contacts caregiver to verify information, inform of role and services. • Foster Care Liaison contacts CPS caseworker or Supervisor if necessary.
Processes • Foster Care Liaison notifies essential personnel of foster care coding and any requests or concerns the caregiver might have. • Attendance Clerks and Registrars enter students into generic FOS code. DART produces a list of these students, found in the special programs module/generic program report. Checked every 6 weeks. • Food Service Department and Campus Cafeteria Manager automatically enter students in Free Lunch Program.
Processes • Attendance Clerks and Registrars are asked to notify Foster Care Liaison if students withdraw or transfer to a different campus. • We learn something new everyday.
Contact Information Raquel Ugalde Rodriguez, LBSW Schertz-Cibolo Universal City ISD District Social Worker/Foster Care Liaison 301 Main Street Schertz, Texas 78154 210-945-6443 210-619-4065 Fax: 210-945-6427 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org