Skip to content
Quick Start for:
Chapter 2
EDUCATIONAL SERVICE DELIVERY

This chapter reviews the educational service delivery of the Rosebud-Lott Independent School District (RLISD) in the following sections:

A. Instructional Program Delivery
B. Student Performance
C. Special Programs
D. Safety and Security
E. Co-curricular and Extracurricular Programs

C. SPECIAL PROGRAMS

School districts offer educational programs and services, in addition to the regular education curriculum, for students with a variety of educational needs. These programs include special education, Gifted and Talented (G/T) education, career and technology education (CATE), bilingual/English as a Second Language (ESL), counseling and guidance services, library services and health services. Federal and state programs provide districts with additional funding to offset the cost of delivering many special programs. The Legislature required all Texas school districts to undergo a mandatory audit of all compensatory education expenditures in 2002-03. Districts provided these initial audit results to TEA in January 2003.

All districts face the challenge of providing programs for students with special needs. These programs allow a district to provide the best education in light of instructional level, student interest and/or identified needs. Districts can combine many of these programs with regular classroom programs (based on individual needs) to provide for a more complete education and integration with other students.

Exhibit 2-18 shows RLISD's student participation rate in special programs. RLISD exceeds the state participation rate for CATE and special education and is below the state average for student participation in Bilingual/ESL and G/T programs.

Exhibit 2-18
Student Enrollment by Program
Number and Percent
2002-03

Program RLISD
Student
Enrollment
Percent of
Total
Enrollment
State
Student
Enrollment
Percent of
Total
Enrollment
Bilingual/ESL Education 499 52.4 572,319 13.5
Career and Technology Education (CATE) 231 24.2 841,438 19.8
Gifted and Talented (G/T) Education 73 7.7 332,551 7.8
Special Education 182 19.1 492,973 11.6
Source: TEA, PEIMS, 2002-03.

Section 29.181 of the TEC requires school districts to provide a curriculum that affords each student an opportunity to "master the basic skills and knowledge necessary for managing the dual roles of family members and wage earner, and gaining entry-level employment in high-skill, high-wage jobs or continuing the student's education at the post-secondary level."

State Board of Education rules [Texas Administrative Code, Section 74.3(b)(2)(I)] require school districts to offer school-to-career education courses. Districts must offer education courses in at least three of eight career and technology educational areas: agricultural science and technology, business education, career orientation, health science technology, home economics, industrial technology, marketing and trade and industrial. CATE is a curriculum designed to prepare students to live and work in the future by providing training in areas such as health sciences and technology, marketing, industrial technology and trade and industrial occupations. The CATE curriculum is designed primarily for students who do not intend to enroll in college. CATE programs give students an opportunity to make informed occupational choices and develop marketable skills.

TEC Section 42.152 (c) defines accelerated or compensatory education as a program designed to improve and enhance the regular education program for students at risk of dropping out of school. In determining the appropriate accelerated or compensatory program, districts must use student performance data from state assessment instruments and other tests administered by the district. District and school staff uses the needs assessments to design the appropriate strategies for their students. Districts and schools should include these strategies in their DIPs and CIPs.

By law, the improvement plan must include the comprehensive needs assessment, measurable performance objectives, strategies for student improvement, resources and staff, timelines for monitoring each strategy and formative evaluation criteria. Each district is responsible for evaluating the effectiveness of the locally designed program.

Texas allocates state funding for compensatory education based on the number of economically disadvantaged students in the district. TEA calculates each district's compensatory education allotment from the number of district students that were eligible for free or reduced-price lunches in the preceding school year. This calculation only determines the size of each district's allocation; districts enroll students in compensatory education programs according to need, not according to economic status.

RLISD classifies about 45 percent of its students as economically disadvantaged or eligible for receiving free or reduced-price meals. The district received $305,582 in state compensatory funds in 2001-02. This represented 8.8 percent of its budgeted instructional expenditures.

TEA and the federal government provide specific guidelines to districts on how they can spend the compensatory education funds. RLISD submits an annual program evaluation for all its compensatory education funds to TEA. TEA reviews the data that schools submit through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) to ensure equity. TEA also ensures that districts use their compensatory funds to supplement, not supplant, their regular education funds. TEA conducts a comprehensive audit of each district that receives compensatory funding every three years.

RLISD uses its compensatory funds to provide a variety of programs for students at risk of dropping out of school. The federal government bases its compensatory education allocations on the poverty level of the school district's geographic area. Title I, Part A funding is for helping disadvantaged children at risk of failure to meet high standards; Part C is for the education of migratory students. Title II, Part B is for the Dwight D. Eisenhower professional development program. Title IV is for safe and drug-free schools and Title VI is for innovative education program strategies. Exhibit 2-19 shows that RLISD uses 75 percent of its compensatory education funds for Title I programs.

Exhibit 2-19
RLISD Compensatory Funding Uses
2001-02

Campus Disciplinary Alternative
Education Program
Activities Related
to Basic Services
Alternative Education Program
Activities Related to
Supplemental Costs for
Compensation Education
Disciplinary Alternative
Education Program Activities
Related to Supplemental Costs for
Compensatory Education
Title I, Part A Schoolwide
Activities Related to State Compensatory
Education on Campuses with
50 Percent or More Economically
Disadvantaged Students
Other State
Compensatory
Education
Activities
Rosebud Primary School $0 $0 $0 $90,465 $0
Lott Elementary School $0 $0 $0 $97,779 $0
Rosebud Intermediate School $0 $0 $0 $47,144 $0
Rosebud-Lott Junior High School $1,803 $0 $0 $0 $25,847
Rosebud-Lott High School $52,705 $0 $0 $0 $61,776
District Total $54,508 $0 $0 $235,387 $87,623
Source: Lott, Vernon and Company, PC, and RLISD, Special Report for State Compensatory Education, 2002.

Federal and state laws require school districts to provide bilingual/English as a Second Language (ESL) programs for students whose first language is not English. these programs to help Limited-English-Proficient (LEP) students to become competent in comprehending, speaking, reading and writing the English language.

Texas mandates bilingual programs if the district has more than 20 LEP students in a particular grade level. RLISD does operate bilingual programs. The district uses the Idea Proficiency Test (IPT) to identify LEP students. RLISD used the IPT Reading and Writing tests and the TAAS test for grades 3 to 8 and grade 10 to judge the progress of students and to determine if the students are ready to exit the ESL program.

RLISD offers an ESL program for the LEP students that it identifies. The district classifies 27 of its students as LEP. The district serves these students in ESL classes in all grades. The district does not have the 20 or more LEP students in a single grade level that would require the district to provide a bilingual program.

The elementary ESL program is supplemental to the district regular reading and language arts classroom instruction. ESL teachers pull elementary ESL students out of class for an ESL session that lasts 30 to 45 minutes a day. The district sends an ESL progress report to each students' home every three weeks. Students use a language lab at least once a week with a bilingual educator. Regular classroom teachers use a translation Web site to communicate with students as needed.

RLISD's secondary ESL program is similar to its elementary program. Secondary students spend 50 minutes a day with a certified ESL teacher. The district sends parents a progress report every three weeks. Students use the language lab every week. RLISD bases the amount of time that ESL students in grades 7 to 12 spend in ESL interventions outside of regular classes on the language proficiency of each child.

Teachers participate in professional development for ESL as available. The superintendent said that ESL teachers strive for 12 training hours per year. They receive local staff development that includes strategies for working with LEP students. TEA completed a bilingual/ESL program audit of the district in January 2003 and found the district to be compliant.

FINDING

RLISD's director of Special Programs publishes and distributes a monthly newsletter, Update, to increase the availability of special education and special program information to the community. The director of Special Programs also uses the special education section on the district's Web site to promote communication with the community. In addition to information regarding the district's special programs, Update also includes some districtwide information such as new staff introductions. The director of Special Programs and principals said that this effort has increased parents' awareness about the district's programs. Additionally, staff reported that the newsletter provides parents with general information about special services and programs reducing the number of routine questions asked of district and campus staff.

COMMENDATION

RLISD maximizes special programs' communication between district staff and the community through a monthly publication available electronically and in print.

FINDING

RLISD participates in the Falls Education Cooperative allowing the district to provide special education programs and services to its students that it would not otherwise be able to provide.

The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1975 requires districts to provide a free and appropriate public education for all children with disabilities regardless of the severity of their disabilities. Districts must provide this education in the least restrictive environment. The act also requires that states and districts include students with disabilities in their assessment programs. IDEA directs districts to develop an individual educational plan (IEP) for each child that receives special education services. The IEP must include input from regular education teachers and parallel educational plans for children without disabilities in regular education classrooms. Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committees at each school handle student referrals, develop their IEPs and decide when if the student should be moved back into the regular education program.

The Falls Education Cooperative provides instructional, supplemental and diagnostic services to students of member districts that would otherwise be unavailable or unaffordable to the district. Marlin ISD serves as the fiscal agent that administers this contractual relationship; the Cooperative has existed for 20 years. The Cooperative serves approximately 800 students from six participating school districts. About 25 percent of the Cooperatives students are from RLISD. RLISD's superintendent and school principals supervise the district's program in conjunction with the Cooperative's director.

The Falls Education Cooperative furnishes the district with diagnostic personnel, speech pathologists, social work services, psychological services, occupational therapy services, physical therapy services, vision services, audiological services, medical services and other special education administration functions. Each participating district hires special education teachers and ensures certification and, if needed, emergency teaching certificates. In 2002-03, RLISD employed two special education teachers under emergency certificates. The Falls Education Cooperative publishes its policies and procedures manual on the Internet and updates this manual as necessary.

The Falls Education Cooperative also provides special education staff development to all participating districts every two years during the summer. If also performs all administrative procedures for admission, review and dismissal meetings, child find requirements and reporting for state and federal funding outside of standard PEIMS reporting. The Cooperative furnishes aides for supplemental services noted in admission, review and dismissal meetings as well as needed for classes or life skills, behavior adjustment, alternative high school and special education transportation services. Cooperative staff handle preparation for these administrative requirements and many of the needed preparations for district effectiveness and compliance monitoring by TEA. Additionally, the Falls Education Cooperative participates in the School Health and Related Services (SHARS) reimbursement program and keeps all funds it receives from these reimbursements.

COMMENDATION

RLISD provides high quality educational programs to its special education students at a low cost by participating in an educational cooperative with surrounding districts.

FINDING

RLISD identifies and serves fewer overall and minority students in its G/T and Advanced Placement (AP) programs than the state and region.

RLISD defines gifted and talented students as those students "who perform at or show the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience or environment and who excel in a specific academic field." The district develops G/T programs in the areas of general intellectual ability and creative and productive thinking. RLISD reviews the placement of all G/T students at the end of grade 6 for the sole purpose of subject area identification at the secondary level. RLISD offers a generalized G/T program to students from kindergarten through grade 6. The district offers specialized gifted and talented subject areas to secondary students. RLISD had 67 students enrolled in its G/T programs in 2001-02.

RLISD requires its G/T teachers to attend at least 30 additional hours of training. The G/T teachers must take six hours of training annually. The district also requires that all administrators and counselors responsible for program decisions receive six hours of annual professional development. RLISD requires 30 hours of training in gifted and talented education from teachers who provide advanced placement instruction.

Minority student participation in RLISD's G/T program and AP courses, tests and passing rates for AP tests is low. RLISD minority students in these classes score lower in aggregate than all students taking AP tests. There is a significant disparity between the number of Anglo students and minority students taking and subsequently passing AP tests in RLISD.

In 2001-02, according to AEIS information 21.9 percent of the students who took AP exams were Anglo as compared to 8.5 percent African American and 9.1 percent Hispanic. Of those minority students taking AP courses, none took any AP exams as compared to 16.2 percent of Anglo students taking an exam. In 2001-02, 61.1 percent of those students received a score at or above the passing criterion. District officials said that Region 12 assisted them in re-writing the procedures for scoring students for placement in gifted and talented education programs.

Many districts with minority representation in G/T programs that is commensurate with the overall minority student demographics distribute enrollment and student performance data for all students on a districtwide level. These districts ensure that schools address any discrepancies in identification and service through specific reference in their CIPs. In an effort to increase minority student participation in G/T programs, Kerrville ISD (KISD) sends a note to teachers every January reminding them to review relevant information for minority students as they submit student nominations to the G/T program.

Several districts use alternative testing instruments to identify minority students who are qualified for the G/T program. One of these tests is the Aprenda, the Spanish equivalent of the Stanford Achievement Test. Alief ISD qualifies students by using a matrix that assigns graduated statistical points for student scores rather than a single qualifying mark or point for all students.

The State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students provides guidelines for student assessment. It also requires districts to "assure an array of learning opportunities that are commensurate with the abilities of gifted/talented students, and that emphasize content in the four (4) core academic areas." The Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented and Region 12 both provide assistance to districts regarding G/T student identification and implementation of services.

Recommendation 12:

Develop, implement and monitor a plan to increase overall and minority student participation in the Gifted and Talented and Advanced Placement education programs.

IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE
1. The superintendent directs principals and counselors to meet and prepare a plan in collaboration with Region 12 to increase overall and minority student participation in G/T, pre-AP and AP programs. July 2003
2. The principals and counselors assess successful G/T education, pre-AP programs and AP programs across the state and present their findings to the superintendent. August 2003
3. The superintendent presents the plan to the board for approval. August 2003
4. The district incorporates the goals of the plan in the annual District Improvement Plan (DIP) and Campus Improvement Plans (CIPs). September 2003
5. The superintendent directs principals, counselors and faculty to implement the plan to increase student participation in G/T, pre-AP and AP programs. October 2003
6. The superintendent directs principals and counselors to monitor, evaluate and modify the plan as necessary. October 2003 and Ongoing

FISCAL IMPACT

This recommendation can be implemented with existing resources.