EDUCATIONAL SERVICE DELIVERY
This chapter reviews the educational service delivery of the Rockwall Independent School District (RISD) in the following sections:
- A. Curriculum and Instruction
- B. Organization and Staffing
- C. Student Performance
- D. Gifted and Talented Education
- E. Special Education
- F. Bilingual/English as a Second Language Education
- G. Career and Technology Education
- H. Title I/State Compensatory Education
- I. Guidance and Counseling
- J. Alternative Education Program
F. BILINGUAL/ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE EDUCATION
Chapter 29 of the Texas Education Code (TEC) requires that students whose home language is different than English and who are identified as limited English proficient (LEP) "shall be provided a full opportunity to participate in a bilingual education or English as a second language program."
Texas requires all school districts with an enrollment of 20 LEP students in the same grade level to offer a bilingual/English as a Second Language (ESL) classes or an alternative language program. Schools must provide bilingual education in pre-kindergarten through the elementary grades. Districts must provide bilingual education, instruction in ESL or other transitional language instruction approved by TEA in post-elementary grades through grade 6. For students in grades 7 through 12, districts must provide only instruction in ESL.
State law requires school districts to identify LEP students and provide bilingual or ESL programs as an integral part of the regular educational program. Texas also requires districts to provide these programs with certified teaching personnel.
Educating students with limited English language proficiency is an important task for Texas public schools. Texas school districts enrolled nearly 500,000 students (12.5 percent of the student body) in bilingual or ESL programs in 1999-2000. TEA's Policy Planning and Evaluation Division created a Policy Research Report entitled "Enrollment Trends in Texas Public Schools" that states, "Of the 666,961 students added to the Texas public education system between 1987-88 and 1997-98, more than 60 percent were students receiving bilingual education/English as a second language services." The report notes that the number of Hispanic students increased by 45 percent in the last decade; this is more than double the growth rate of the total student population. The State Board of Education's Long-Range Plan for Public Education 1996-2000 states "enrollment in the state's bilingual education program is projected to increase by 50 percent over the next five years."
From July 2001 through November 2002, RISD improved its bilingual program. The district operates a comprehensive Bilingual/ESL program at three schools to meet student needs. The bilingual program serves eligible students from pre-kindergarten to grade 6; the ESL program serves students in grades 7 through 12. Rochell, Dobbs and Jones Elementary Schools host bilingual classes for LEP students from pre-kindergarten to grade 6. A certified ESL teacher serves ESL students in grades 3 through 6 at Rochell. Another ESL teacher provides services to ESL students at Dobbs, Reinhardt and Cullins-Lake Point Elementary Schools and Nebbie Williams Middle School in a pullout program. The district hired a full-time director and used a formal needs assessment to determine which areas of the bilingual/ESL program need improvement. Exhibit 2-46 describes the outcome of the needs assessment.
Exhibit 2-46Source: RISD coordinator of Bilingual/ESL Education.
RISD Needs Assessment and Resulting Program Improvements
Assessment Findings Solutions Lack of consistency in delivery of instruction
- Research program models and select a district-wide model of 50/50 dual language instructional delivery that is referred to as a one-way bilingual immersion program.
Failure to adequately serve secondary students in the English as a Second Language Program
- Add personnel at Utley Freshman Center and Cain Middle School Develop a new home language survey that gives more information to determine migrant and immigrant identification service.
District not serving migrant eligible students
- Implement services for migrant and immigrant students.
- Increase and improve LPAC training for identification and available services.
LPAC committees exhibit lack of training
- Provide campus training for staff and parent committee members.
- Provide district/campus training to meet state requirements for the LPAC decision-making.
Lack of integration between special education and bilingual education
- Train interpreters to serve on ARD committees for Spanish speaking parents.
- Revise the CARE process to include non-English speaking students who need special education services.
- Train diagnosticians to test non-English speaking students.
- Increase training for special education staff for serving limited English proficient (LEP) students.
Lack of consistency among testing procedures
- Re-evaluate all students to ensure proper identification.
- Provide training on the LPAC decision-making for TAKS exemption.
- Implement a consistent districtwide program for program identification and exit process.
Lack of required modifications in instruction
by general education teachers for LEP students
as required by Chapter 89 Texas Administrative
- Provide training and strategies for how to modify instruction for LEP students.
Lack of required documentation in cumulative folders of students
- Continue internal audit of all student records.
- Provide training for campus personnel on required documentation.
- Implement steps to ensure student records comply with to Chapter 89 of TAC.
Limited communication for Spanish speaking parents
- Create a district process for translating materials for parent communication.
- Communicate expectations to all campuses for increased Spanish materials.
- Implement Spanish translation for all districtwide communications, including student handbooks, student code-of-conduct, district communications, etc.
- Investigating EDP software program to see if it will translate report cards, progress reports, etc.
Limited participation in adult ESL classes
- Hire a RISD employee to teach adult ESL class through community education.
- Increase communication and public awareness of ESL classes for adult learning opportunities.
Lack of compliance to Chapter 89 of TAC
- Implement required norm-reference testing.
- Update all student records.
- Increase instructional time for bilingual students.
- Increase English instruction for bilingual students.
- Conduct a district bilingual program
Lack of summer school program as required
by Chapter 89of TAC
- Conduct a summer school program for bilingual students entering kindergarten or first grade.
- Conduct a summer school program for LEP students through grade 8.
RISD fulfilled all of the above recommendations.
RISD joined the bilingual/ESL Cooperative at Region 10. RISD also provides staff development for the bilingual/ESL teachers and contracts with Region 10 bilingual/ESL consultants who work at schools with concerns and help with program design. The district also integrated the bilingual program with the Head Start program and investigated other potential community partnerships.
The district made improvements in communication and support between the central office and school personnel who serve the bilingual students. The new coordinator for the bilingual/ESL program developed a support network with other districts in the North Texas area and has developed a working partnership with the bilingual/ESL department at TEA. The coordinator also implemented budget procedures for school administrators to have funds to address their bilingual/ESL program needs.
RISD uses specific criteria for qualifying program students. The district uses one set of criteria for children in pre-kindergarten to grade six and a different set of criteria for students in grades 7 through 12. RISD uses the oral and written versions of the oral language proficiency tests in English or Spanish for assessing students. Entry criteria for bilingual/ESL classes typically include the Home Language Survey, oral language proficiency scores and reading proficiency test scores. Exit criteria for the classes include scores above the 40th percentile on the reading and language arts sections on the TEA approved norm-referenced English reading or language arts tests; a score of non-LEP on the oral language proficiency post-test; proficient scores on the reading proficiency test in English; passing scores on the state criterion referenced test (reading and writing TAKS tests); and showing mastery of the state curriculum standards in the classroom.
Each school has a Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC) with authority over the identification, instructional placement and classification of LEP students. RISD requires each school's LPAC committee to have a chairperson, a parent and the building administrator of each school. The LPAC chairperson creates the temporary student folder to organize the required LPAC documentation, schedules the test administration and prepares for the LPAC meeting. The LPAC chairperson must also record the minutes of each meeting, collect the signed parent letter for permission or denial, place the documentation in student's permanent folder, report the PEIMS information to the PEIMS clerk at the school and communicate the LPAC designation to all school stakeholders.
The LPAC meets within the first four weeks of student enrollment and thereafter every four weeks as necessary to review new students' data. The committee also decides which LEP students in grades 3 through 8 to exempt from TAKS, which LEP students should take the TAKS in English and which students should take the TAKS in Spanish. The LPAC also determines whether students will leave the bilingual program at the end of the year and monitors the academic performance of LEP students.
RISD improved the bilingual/ESL program in the district by using multiple strategies to address a wide range of needs.
While RISD has made improvements at some campuses, the district has not consistently implemented an instructional delivery model for the bilingual/ESL education program. In 2001-02, RISD organized an advisory committee to review the current model of instruction for the bilingual students in the district. This advisory committee met several times during the school year and visited two Dallas metropolitan area school districts that are experiencing success with both the transitional model and the two-way bilingual model of instruction.
RISD followed the advisory committee decision and adopted a one-way bilingual program for the district. But each school is implementing the new bilingual program differently. In a one-way bilingual program, teachers deliver half their instruction in English and the other half of the instruction in the language that students are most comfortable with. RISD gives its teachers the discretion to choose how to split their classroom time between English and Spanish. Some teachers alternate weeks of English and Spanish; others alternate days of Spanish and English. This practice does not provide consistency across the district.
A major goal of the committee was to identify methods to improve RISD Spanish TAAS scores. Spanish TAAS scores did show significant improvement in 2002. But most scores remain below the state average, in some instances by more than 40 percentage points. Exhibit 2-47 compares RISD Spanish TAAS test scores to the state averages.
Exhibit 2-47Source: RISD coordinator of bilingual/ESL education, November 2002.
RISD and the State Spanish TAAS Scores
2000-01 and 2001-02
RISD State RISD State Test 2000-01 2000-01 2001-02 2001-02 Grade 3 Reading 42.9% 76.7% 77.8% 76.8% Grade 3 Math 35.7% 83.5% 77.8% 87.3% Grade 4 Reading 50.0% 66.4% 33.3% 73.2% Grade 4 Math 75.0% 76.0% 50.0% 92.2% Grade 4 Writing 62.5% 89.3% 33.3% 85.1% Grade 5 Reading 66.7% 71.8% * * Grade 5 Math 66.7% 87.1% * *
*RISD did not give the 5th grade Spanish Test in 2001-02.
RISD's Curriculum and Instruction Division did not include ESL in its scope and sequence documents. The lack of an articulated curriculum adds to the existing inconsistency of the bilingual program.
Valley View ISD (VVISD) has a good system for providing consistent ESL instruction. The principal at Valley View Elementary School explains that the district gives each teacher a definitive transition plan to follow for implementing the bilingual program. The plan tells the teacher where in the lesson plan to use English and where to use Spanish. The scope and sequence documents include specific vocabulary for both languages. Students at the school receive instruction in their native language and in English beginning in the pre-kindergarten program. VVISD monitors each teacher to ensure consistent delivery of the bilingual model. This approach help VVISD win an "exemplary" rating from TEA for 2001-02.
All of VVISD's teachers-both monolingual English and bilingual teachers-follow the scope and sequence documents precisely. The principal at Valley View Elementary School believes the consistent delivery of the district's ESL program by strong teachers with high expectations provided their school with the tools they needed to become exemplary.
Adopt a consistent delivery method for the bilingual/ESL program that includes a specified written transition plan to be used by each bilingual teacher from pre-kindergarten through grade 6.
Adopting a consistent delivery method, including a specified transition plan, for the bilingual/ESL program allows RISD to ensure consistent, monitored instruction for each student.
IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE
1. The coordinator of Bilingual/ESL programs meets with the Bilingual/ESL staff to review test data and review the one-way bilingual model. July -
2. The Bilingual/ESL coordinator and staff research and review the models of other districts that use a consistent "time"-monitored model. July -
3. The coordinator of Bilingual/ESL programs takes a representative group of bilingual teachers and at least one principal to visit exemplary schools in other districts that are consistently delivering the one-way model in every classroom. October -
4. Teachers who made the visits to other districts report their findings to the entire Bilingual/ESL staff. January 2004 5. The coordinator of Bilingual/ESL programs makes a final decision on how to provide consistent delivery of the one-way model of instruction. February 2004 6. The coordinator integrates the delivery model into the scope and sequence documents. March 2004 7. The coordinator of Bilingual/ESL programs monitors lesson plans to ensure consistent delivery of the bilingual model. April 2004
8. The coordinator of Bilingual/ESL programs monitors the district's Spanish and English TAKS score to ensure that students are scoring at least at the state passing standard or higher. May 2004
This recommendation can be implemented with existing resources.
RISD has no strategies to ensure that it is using its bilingual/ESL resources to promote a successful program. RISD allocates substantial resources to its bilingual/ESL programs. Exhibit 2-48 indicates that the district allocates more bilingual/ESL funds per student than all but one peer district.
Exhibit 2-48Source: TEA, PEIMS, 2002-03.
Bilingual/ESL Enrollment and Program Budgeted Expenditures
RISD, Peer Districts, Region 10 and the State
Eanes 75 1.1% $202,998 $2,707 RISD 451 4.8% $1,150,400 $2,551 Carroll 18 0.3% $45,322 $2,518 Coppell 488 4.9% $926,106 $1,898 McKinney 1,225 8.1% $2,298,768 $1,877 Frisco 425 3.8% $736,332 $1,733 Allen 474 3.8% $696,659 $1,470 Region 10 98,876 15.6% N/A N/A State 572,319 13.5% N/A N/A
The district budgets approximately $1.2 million annually for bilingual/ESL programs, but its District Improvement Plan (DIP) has no objective to measure the effectiveness of the expenditure. Campus Improvement Plan (CIP) strategies do not specify how to evaluate individual strategies. Only one elementary CIP lists any strategy for supporting and monitoring the effectiveness of the bilingual program. This strategy identifies improvement on the TAKS and Reading Proficiency Test in English (RPTE) as the total measure of success. The limited scope of the strategy gives the school little information on how to improve its ESL program.
Spring ISD (SISD) allocates district resources according to priorities developed in the planning process. This enables the district to meet its objectives through available district funds. The district planning and management system begins with the Five-Year Education Plan, which is emphasized in decision-making at all administrative levels to maintain consistency. The district forms its budget in concert with each plan priority; the district tracks and reports expenditures according to each priority. SISD ties administrator compensation to the achievement of each plan priority. The development of the plan is a collaborative effort involving teachers, administrators, parents and students through surveys, task groups and committees. Seven related activities support and enhance the Five-Year Education Plan. These include: adopting annual priorities, writing and updating campus improvement plans, following a program development cycle to review programs in all subjects, developing a program evaluation system, completing and monitoring administrative work plans, maintaining an updated personnel evaluation system and using a management information system to track and record district progress. All of the activities contribute to creating a well-defined and documented plan for allocating resources.
Develop strategies in district and campus improvement plans to measure the effectiveness of the bilingual/English as a Second Language program.
Including measurable strategies in the campus improvement plans that require data to show effectiveness will provide RISD with the information it needs to continue growing and improving.
IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE
1. The assistant superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction and the coordinator of Bilingual/ESL programs meet with the principals to develop a five-year growth plan for each school's bilingual/ESL program. June 2003 2. Administrators, teachers, parents and students from each school develop annual measurable priorities for their bilingual/ESL programs, and the schools include these priorities in their CIPs. September 2003 3. Principals and the school coordinator of the Bilingual/ESL program decide how to evaluate the school's bilingual/ESL program annually. April 2004 4. Principals and the coordinator of the Bilingual/ESL program at their school use evaluation data to update the growth plan for their school and the annual priorities for their school the following year. May 2004
This recommendation can be implemented with existing resources.
The coordinator of bilingual/ESL education does not have the language capability to monitor and evaluate bilingual teachers. The coordinator supervises the program and assists administrators in overseeing the quality of instruction in the classrooms of these students. The coordinator has experience as an ESL teacher but has never been a bilingual teacher and is not proficient speaking Spanish.
Teachers in the district's bilingual program conduct 50 percent of the instruction in their classrooms in Spanish. An individual who cannot understand the instruction the programs provide cannot effectively monitor the program and ensure its success.
Contract with an experienced administrator with bilingual certification and Spanish language proficiency to conduct walk-through and formal observations in the bilingual classrooms.
An administrator who can speak and understand the language of instruction should conduct classroom walk-through observations and formal observations. The contractor should share the information collected with the coordinator of the bilingual/ESL program. The two positions can use the information for documentation that effective classroom strategies are used in each classroom and to determine if improvements need to be made.
IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE
1. The coordinator of Bilingual/ESL Programs reviews the skill sets of several bilingual consultants to find out if they suitable to conduct the classroom observations and evaluations for RISD. September 2003 2. The coordinator contracts with one of the consultants to provide the observation and walk-through evaluations for the district. October 2003 3. The consultant provides the bilingual observation and evaluation services. January - May 2004 and Ongoing
Contracting with an experienced bilingual administrator/consultant will cost the district $500 per day for classroom observation and formal evaluation. The district should contract with the consultant for at least five days per semester for a total cost of $5,000 per year (5 days x 2 semesters = 10 days per year x $500 per day).
Recommendation 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 Contract with an experienced administrator with bilingual certification and Spanish language proficiency to conduct walk-through and formal observations in the bilingual classrooms. $0 ($5,000) ($5,000) ($5,000) ($5,000)
Hispanic families in RISD do not believe that the district addresses their home language communication needs. Poor communication with any group of parents will hinder the students by limiting information that fosters better home involvement. At the focus group meeting with Hispanic parents, the review team identified the following issues:
- the district does not translate report cards, reports or school information into Spanish;
- the district does not offer interpreters at all school meetings for parents;
- schools do not offer tutoring in reading and other subjects for bilingual students;
- schools do not make Spanish books available for students;
- Spanish textbooks were not available in the bilingual classrooms as of November 7, 2002;
- no one at the administration building can communicate in Spanish; and
- Hispanic students are not participating in extra-curricular activities.
Program improvements that the district implemented since summer 2001 have increased services to Hispanic families in RISD. The number of interpreters to the parents at school meetings has increased. Rochell Elementary School and Utley Freshman Center always have interpreters at their meetings. Dobbs Elementary and Cain Middle School have interpreters at most of their meetings. Rockwall High School does not provide interpreters. Cain Middle School and Utley Freshman Center offer regular tutoring to students in Spanish in the core academic subjects. Dobbs, Jones and Rochell Elementary Schools offer reading tutoring in Spanish.
Killeen ISD (KISD) used a variety of informational measures to increase parental understanding of the district's bilingual/ESL programs. KISD reports increased parental participation and satisfaction with the bilingual/ESL program. According to an evaluation conducted in July 1998, KISD's rate of parental refusals for student participation in bilingual/ESL programs exceeded the state average. To increase parental participation in these programs, the district commissioned a video and distributes handbooks and written materials explaining the benefits of bilingual/ESL programs to parents. The handbooks, which outline ESL services and options, are available in four languages. The district also documents participant names and dates during school meetings with parents and conducts interim evaluations of program participation three times a year as benchmarks for improvement.
Develop a Hispanic Parents' Advisory Committee to examine the needs of the Hispanic families in the district and make recommendations to the administration for meeting their unique needs.
This advisory committee will give Hispanic families an avenue to increase communication with the district. Hispanic families can express their specific needs to this group; the committee can communicate the needs to district staff.
IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE
1. The coordinator of Bilingual/ESL Programs assembles a Hispanic Parents' Advisory Committee and schedules regularly monthly meetings that will rotate meetings to all schools in the district. September 2003 2. The Hispanic Parents' Advisory Committee meets once a month to make recommendations to the director for publications. October 2003 - May 2004
3. The coordinator of Bilingual/ESL programs meets regularly with school principals to remind them to make sure that they translate everything they send home to Spanish speaking families. Ongoing 4. The coordinator of Bilingual/ESL programs makes random spot checks to ensure that all Spanish-dominant families are receiving information from their child's school in Spanish. The coordinator of Bilingual/ESL programs will make reports on the spot checks at principal's meetings. Ongoing 5. The coordinator of Bilingual/ESL programs will post agendas and minutes of the advisory committee meetings on the district Web site in English and in Spanish. Ongoing
This recommendation can be implemented with existing resources.