FAQs

1) How many grants were awarded?

Three projects are funded. There was one additional project selected as a designated non funded site.

2) What is the level of funding appropriated for the Pilot program?

1.5 million.for 3 sites for 2012-13.

3) Will the $1.5M be split equally among each of the three funded applications?

Grantees should assume an even split; that is, $ .5 million each. OSPI can reserve the right to consider minor distribution changes such as distribution based on student enrollment.

Please note: currently the planning year is being funded. Once implementation plans have been developed and other variables are known, legislative appropriation requests might be adjusted. Also, please recall that the partnerships are to seek outside resources as well.

4) Within what period should these funds be expended?

Funding is for this biennium 2011-13. There would be additional money in the next biennium for this five year program. Districts should complete their expenditures by the end of this biennium June 30, 2013.

5) Does elementary mean K-6 level schools only or are K-8 schools allowed?

Elementary may include any school in which most students are in grades K-6.

6) Can two Institutions of Higher Education, through their collaborative efforts, provide support to a district/school as co-applicants in this pilot program?

One IHE has to be the lead. Other IHE's can be included in partnership profile. An added benefit of this type of model could be additional IHEs changing teacher and leader preparation programs as an outcome of this work.

7) It seems that OSPI has resources as per RCW 28A.657.040. We understand we need to select a provider in consultation with OSPI and PESB. Is there a list of providers? Should we be seeking out potential providers and bringing them to PESB and OSPI?

Under RCW28A.657.040- two evaluators have been used for performance audits. The BERC Group and the Center for Educational Effectiveness.
Currently, they provide the needs assessments for the Priority, Focus and Emerging schools identified in by OSPI through the ESEA Flexibility Waiver.
You could use some of your grant funds to contract with either for a needs assessment-or if you had a different research/evaluation team in mind that would also be acceptable.

8) Some places in the funding package instructions it says the assessment is "of the students to be served," in other places the subject of the needs assessment seems to be the IHE and District/School. We assume this means assessing the needs of the students and how the district, school and IHE are/have the potential to meet those needs. True?

True. The needs assessments provided through CEE/BERC will focus on the students in the school- with identified areas that would be revealed for the district/school/IHE to work on.

9) What exactly are the boundaries of "comprehensive"? If that isn't clearly identified somewhere, who might help us consider those boundaries as we think about engaging in the process?

Comprehensive in the authorizing legislation (SHB2799-section 5) “the needs assessment must use disaggregated student data and include a thorough evaluation of student needs as identified by the parents of students served by the school, as well as the levels of support within the school community and in the external community at large for students’ academic and social emotional needs. The needs assessment must also examine elements included in an academic performance audit under RCW 28A.657.040.

The audit statute includes the following areas and must be conducted based on criteria developed by the superintendent of public instruction and must include but not be limited to an examination of the following:

(a) Student demographics;
(b) Mobility patterns;
(c) School feeder patterns;
(d) The performance of different student groups on assessments;
(e) Effective school leadership;
(f) Strategic allocation of resources;
(g) Clear and shared focus on student learning;
(h) High standards and expectations for all students;
(i) High level of collaboration and communication;
(j) Aligned curriculum, instruction, and assessment to state standards;
(k) Frequency of monitoring of learning and teaching;
(l) Focused professional development;
(m) Supportive learning environment;
(n) High level of family and community involvement;
(o) Alternative secondary schools best practices; and
(p) Any unique circumstances or characteristics of the school or district.

10) How does the Academic Performance Audit fit into this?

The audit is referenced to be part of the criteria necessary in the needs assessment. Both CEE and the BERC Group have constructed their needs assessments to align the RCW 28A.657.040.