ESSA went into full implementation last school-year. This year, districts are preparing for state monitoring visits regarding ESSA Compliance.

USED Rescinds 72 Special Education Guidance Documents

By Dr. David Holbrook | November 8, 2017

In July 2017 I wrote a blog about the U.S. Department of Education (USED) requesting comments on regulatory reform. The reason for the USED action is Trump’s executive order requiring each federal agency to establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force to evaluate existing regulations and make recommendations regarding their repeal, replacement, or modification.

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Press Release: Maine Department of Education Partners with Company to Provide ESSA Compliant Parent Notification Software for Parent and Family Engagement

By Alyssa Thornley | October 24, 2017

To help with new Parent and Family Engagement requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and to meet the civil rights obligations of schools in working with Limited English Proficient (LEP) and English Learner (EL) families across the state of Maine, leaders in the Maine Department of Education are partnering with TransACT® Parent Notices to provide all 266 local education agencies representing thousands of schools and teachers with unlimited access to expertly written parent notifications that meet legal requirements and guidance on required audiences, and recommended timelines.

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ESSA RoadMaps: What You Need to Know for ESSA Compliance

By Alyssa Thornley | October 9, 2017

Transact RoadMaps are a compliance and guidance component of TransACT Parent Notices subscriptions that existing subscribers can access at any time. RoadMaps use a series of yes/no questions to guide educators through the process of determining which parent notices are required to send out in a particular time period or situation. This helps educators to create a list of notices they need based on the unique characteristics of their school and/or school district. RoadMaps are a helpful, time-saving compliance tool for:

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Parent Conference Forms Can Help Increase Parent Attendance in Required Meetings

By Dr. David Holbrook | September 14, 2017

Parent participation is an essential component to academic growth and achievement. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015 considers parent participation so pivotal that sixteen different types of meetings are defined throughout the law. In this blog and in our free ebook, "The Parent Participation Form for Parent Meetings: What You Need To Know", we discuss best practices for raising participation in parent meetings, and review the components of an effective meeting notification.

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Can ESEA (ESSA) Funds be used to Pay EL Teacher’s Salaries?

By Dr. David Holbrook | August 2, 2017

When I was employed at a state department of education, I monitored school districts for compliance with ESEA requirements for both Title I and Title III. I also contracted with the U.S. Department of Education (USED) and helped USED monitor Title III in five states. One of the most common English Learner (EL) program monitoring issues I found was an improper use of Title I or Title III funds to pay for the salaries of teachers working in a district’s core “language instruction educational program” (LIEP), also know as an EL program.

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Are Charter Schools Considered School Districts or just Schools?

By Dr. David Holbrook | August 1, 2017

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) went into effect at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, forcing districts across the country to evaluate, re-write, and re-translate the parent and family notifications that are required under the law. During a webinar training about the required changes (recorded July 24, 2017), the question was raised, “Which letters do charter schools use to schedule a Parent and Family Engagement Policy development meeting, the ‘school’ level letter or the ‘district’ level letter?”

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House Appropriations Bill Retains Significant Funding for 21st Century Community Learning Center Programs

By Dr. David Holbrook | July 27, 2017

Back in April I wrote about the efforts of local, state, and national organizations who were urging congressional leaders to retain funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Center (21CCLC) program (ESSA Title IV, Part B) at no less than the current funding level ($1.167 billion). Trump’s budget proposal included elimination of the 21CCLC program and advocates for this program came out to support the program in force. Well, their efforts may be seeing some results.

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Response to Trump Executive Order: U.S. Department of Education Issues Request for Comments on Regulatory Reform

By Dr. David Holbrook | July 11, 2017

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) published a notice in the Federal Register requesting comments concerning regulations and policy guidance that members of the public might recommend to be repealed, replaced, or modified. The Federal Register notice is in response to Trump’s Executive Order 13777, which requires federal agencies to establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force to evaluate existing regulations and make recommendations to the agency head regarding their repeal, replacement, or modification, consistent with applicable law. The executive order says, that, at “a minimum, each Regulatory Reform Task Force shall attempt to identify regulations that:

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Section 508 Compliance and TransACT Parent Notices

By Dr. David Holbrook | June 21, 2017

TransACT Parent Notices is an online subscription for educators and administrators to manage their federal parent communication requirements. We offer expertly written, legally reviewed parent notifications in multiple languages, guidance on important requirements, and access to expertise to support understanding federal requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act, Section 504, and IDEA

Occasionally, we receive questions about whether our Parent Notices and software as a service (SAAS) platform comply with the Section 508 Standards of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. §  794(d)). This can be a point of confusion because Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act specifically applies to school districts serving students with disabilities, but Section 508 of the Rehabilitations Act applies only to Federal Agencies (not to States or school districts).

The Section 508 standards for accessibility for individuals with disabilities apply to Federal Agencies, in the development, procurement, maintenance, or use of electronic and information technology. The Section 508 standards do not apply to States and school districts because these agencies are not Federal Agencies. TransACT products are purchased by States and school districts. The Section 508 standards do not apply to TransACT because Federal Agencies do not engage in the procurement of TransACT products.

For more information on a subscription to compliant parent notifications in multiple languages for ESSA, Section 504 and IDEA for your district, request a demonstration here.

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Using Remaining Funds Prior to the New Budget Year to Start School Year 2018-19 Off Strong

By Tina Nguyen | May 29, 2017
In just one month the 2017-18 school year will end, and districts will begin to grapple with implementing changes required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). As the end of the budget year approaches, now is the time to leverage remaining unallocated funds to address ESSA requirements in order to stay in compliance for the upcoming 2018-19 school year.
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