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ESSA & the presidential transition: A Q&A with Dr. David Holbrook about what to watch

By Alyssa Thornley | December 12, 2016

The election of Donald Trump and the presidential transition presents a number of unknown scenarios for school districts and educators across the country, with many questions surrounding education legislation, federal education funding, and immigration enforcement.

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ESSA: December 10, 2016 deadline for implementing Title I foster care requirements

By Dr. David Holbrook | December 12, 2016

The 2016-2017 school year is a transition year between the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which goes into full effect in 2017-2018. While most of the requirements for ESSA are scheduled to be implemented after July 1, 2017, guidance from the U.S. Department of Education (USED) indicates that the new requirements under Title I for students in foster care must be implemented starting December 10, 2016. 

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Plain Language for ESSA Parent Notices

By Dr. David Holbrook | November 21, 2016

While parent notices have the requirement to meet federal standards of communication, it remains pivotal that they also meet the spirit of the law itself: helping parents be an informed participant in their student's education. Towards this end, and based on feedback from customers and our ESSA National Advisory Board, all new parent notices in the TransACT Parent Notices collection are being written following plain language criteria.

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How should Title I & Title III Directors work together to prepare for ESSA’s shift in EL requirements?

By Dr. David Holbrook | November 21, 2016

When it comes to requirements for English Learners (ELs) in ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act), one of the biggest shifts in responsibility is the move of accountability for ELs progress toward English proficiency from Title III to Title I. Under ESSA (as compared to NCLB) it is more clearly noted that Title I funds can be used for programs to help ELs attain English proficiency. In addition to the accountability
measures, the following two requirements have also been moved to Title I (and must be implemented for ELs in programs funded by either or both Title I and Title III):

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U.S. Department of Education releases guidance around the new 'Block Grant'

By Dr. David Holbrook | November 21, 2016

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) released guidance for the new ‘Block Grant’ for Well-Rounded Education in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The ‘Block Grant’ is found in Title IV, Part A of the ESSA and provides funding for a variety of programs.

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3 Steps to Optimizing Compliance with TransACT® Parent Notifications

By Dr. David Holbrook | November 15, 2016

When it comes to creating a state or school district communication strategy, it is equally as important to balance federal compliance with the ability to authentically reach out to parents of diverse home languages about their students. While many districts struggle to keep pace with legal requirements and the ability to sit down and provide clear school-to-home communications in plain language, TransACT® provides relief by providing states and districts with district-wide solutions that encompass unique strategies, specialized systems, and helpful customization depending on what the district needs most.

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School-to-Parent Notification Tools Achieve ESSA Compliance & Parent Engagement

By Dr. David Holbrook | October 26, 2016

As the United States seeks to enforce more competitive academic standards while continuing to increase populations who speak English as a Second Language, the way educators and communities interact to support students is rapidly changing. As of December 2015, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) has come to a close, and the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA)—the most recent reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act—will take its place during the 2017-2018 school year.

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Strategies for Achieving Efficient and Effective Parent Communications

By Dr. David Holbrook | October 21, 2016

Running a school district is not without challenges. In addition to the standard dynamics of running a large organization, administrators have the responsibility of communicating across diverse languages to promote student engagement and retention, all while remaining compliant with civil rights and federal education laws.

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WIDA panel on English Learner (EL) programs & ESSA: opportunity, challenges & concerns

By Alyssa Thornley | October 20, 2016

On Thursday, October 13th 2016, TransACT’s Director of Federal Programs, Dr. David Holbrook, joined a WIDA panel discussing the opportunities and challenges of ESSA implementation. The panel was moderated by Jesse Markow, Chief Strategy Officer at WIDA, and included Dr. Gary Cook, Research Scientist at WIDA, and Kenneth Bond, WIDA Executive Committee Member and ESL/Bilingual Program Coordinator at the New Jersey Department of Education. 

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ESSA: Oct. 1 deadline for McKinney-Vento related parent notices. TransACT adds new documents and adopts “plain language” notices to enhance parent engagement.

By Dr. David Holbrook | October 18, 2016

The 2016-2017 school year is a transition year between the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which goes into full effect in 2017-2018. The first implementation deadline was October 1, 2016, and it related to communication regarding students and families experiencing homelessness. To prepare districts for the new laws, TransACT has created new documents, and made a significant change to their existing collection. 

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