• LEA Consolidated Application 

    District Code:   761   District Name:   Atlanta Public Schools  

    Fiscal Year:   2013-2014   

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    Plan Descriptors 

    LEA has reviewed the Plan and no changes have been made for this school year.

    1. Title I, Part A; Title I, Part C; Title I, Part D; Title II, Part A and Part D; Title III; Title IV; IDEA; Perkins; EHCY

    A description of the process the LEA used to determine the academic needs of its student body including the unique needs of students served through each applicable federal program. An analysis of the results should be included.

    The district examines all available data to conduct a needs assessment. The following data is used as data sources:

    ·         Student Achievement data

    ·         System leaders and teacher Professional Learning Needs Assessment

    ·         GA's ESEA Wavier data (e.g. Priority, Focus, and Alert School Calculations)

    ·         Instructional Observations

    ·         Benchmark Tests

    ·         Input from District Stakeholders

    ·         Teacher Equity Data

    HiQ status of teachers: The district's overall highly qualified status was reported as 95.5%. The percentage of highly qualified teachers working in Charter Schools was significantly lower than in non-charter schools.  All Charter Schools are configured into the HiQ system statistical data.

    HiQ status of paraprofessionals: The district's overall highly qualified status was reported as 99.8 %. 

    Teacher experience: The distribution of teacher experience in the district is consistent with national trends.  Most teachers in the system fall under the "Middle Level" category with three to twenty years of experience.  The highest amount of experienced teachers was found at the elementary school level while the lowest amount of experienced teachers was found at the middle school level.

     

     

     

    Teacher experience in the district is as follows:

     

     

    Elementary:  average years teaching experience 10.4%

     

     

    (0-3 yrs.) 23.1%; (3-20 yrs.) 65.8%; (>20 yrs.) 17.7%

     

     

     

    Middle:  average years teaching experience 8.8%

     

     

    (0-3 yrs.) 24.5%; (3-20 yrs.) 66.2% (>20 yrs.) 12.8%

     

     

     

    High: average years of teaching experience 8.7%

     

     

    (0-3 yrs.) 29.9%; (3-20 yrs.) 58.3% (>20 yrs.) 16.3%

     

     

     

    Teacher training to meet diverse student needs: Student assessment data and feedback from instructional profiles, teacher needs assessments, teacher observation and assessment data, and advisory groups led to the identification of gaps in instructional practice. The gaps have been noted in the area of mathematics and science, and addressing the needs of special education students.

     

     

    Class size: Achievement data and GA's ESEA Waiver results revealed that our middle and high schools needed additional assistance and resources in meeting district and federal achievement goals.

     

     

     

    Atlanta Public Schools adheres to the Georgia class size formula to ensure that Title I and non-Title I schools have the same teacher-pupil ratio in its classrooms. 

     

     

     

    Retention: The overall retention rate at the elementary and middle school levels decreased slightly; while the rate for the high school level increased.

     

     

                          2008-2009          2009-2010                  2010-2011      

     

     

     

    Elementary:         78%                  77.1%                        89%

     

     

     

    Middle:               78.6%                75.9%                         89%

     

     

     

    High:                   74%                    83%                          86%

     

     

     

    While APS is not experiencing a shortage in total number of teachers overall, there is a need to retain highly effective teachers, especially in the areas of math, science, foreign and special education. Survey data reveals that newly hired and novice teachers are feeling better supported due to a more intensive induction program.

     

     

     

    Recruitment: APS is collecting data in our applicant tracking system to determine if there is a correlation between that data and our highly effective teachers.  We have begun to collect the following applicant data:  Colleges/Universities attended, and GPA, in order to make future recruiting and hiring decisions. Data indicates that there is still a need to staff high needs areas such as mathematics, science, special education at the secondary level, and foreign language.

     

     

     

    According to the data, Human Resources will continue its efforts to staff school equitably and appropriately based upon current data reflecting teacher quality, experience and class size. Human Resources will also continue to partner with Teaching and Learning and School Improvement/Leadership Development to support and train teachers to meet the needs of all student populations and increase the retention of highly effective teachers.

     

     

    Prioritized Needs:

     

     

    ·          Retention/Professional Learning Training

     

     

    ·          Non HiQ teachers and paraprofessionals

     

     

    ·          Class size reduction

     

     

    ·          Recruitment

     

     

    ·          Equitable opportunities for all students

     

     

    The Atlanta Public Schools understands the impact of establishing and maintaining equity across the district and within schools.  To achieve this goal it will take the collaborative work of all internal and external stakeholders; schools cannot accomplish this feat alone.  This means that central office departments will also need to work together to address teacher equity and effectiveness. There is a need to increase the number of opportunities for central departments to collaborate. APS will engage central administrators and principals more frequently to ensure that all are aware of all current and new regulations or processes. To that end, Equity Stakeholder Involvement is one of the ways the district will move towards a greater number of students graduating high school ready for post-secondary education and/or the work force.

     

     

     

    In alignment with School Keys Standard 2.1 – "Organizational Structures and Processes Encourage Student, Parent, and Community Involvement," our district reaches out to the larger community by inviting them into our system in a variety of ways to seek out areas of concern and develop plans to help improve areas where we have noted deficiencies.  PTA meetings, Local Schools Council, Teacher Advisory Committees, and Principal Advisory Board to name a few, are ways in which everyone can be involved to try to find necessary changes in moving students and the district forward.  As we work to address this indicator, APS will continue work to increase the consistency and quality of these interactions.

     

     

     

    Just as teachers have to differentiate instruction, the district differentiates resources and support to accomplish goals.  Thus, various departments and administrators such as the Regional Executive Directors of Schools, Teaching and Learning and School Improvement/Leadership Development, Administrative Services/Office of Federal Grants and Program Compliance, Special Education, Instructional Technology, Human Resources, Research, Planning and Accountability, and Communications work collaboratively to determine systemic needs for the district's diverse student population.  They analyze student assessment data to adequately convey this information to internal advisory groups and parent and community groups which ultimately lead to targeted planning of professional development, development of intervention and implementation strategies, and plans for monitoring and assessing quality and results.

     

     

     

    The Human Resources Department will partner with the Office of Federal Grants and Program Compliance to ensure that internal stakeholders are involved and are active participants in the implementation of the Equity Plan goals. Likewise, the Division of Curriculum and Instruction and the Board Office will ensure that external stakeholders are involved in the implementation and decision-making process. The goal of increasing stakeholder involvement will be addressed throughout the 2012-2013 school year with monitoring points each quarter.

     

     

     

    Atlanta Public Schools adheres to the state testing program. The system administers, on an annual basis, the following assessments: Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT), CRCT Modified, Georgia High School Graduation and Writing Tests (GHSGT/WT), End-of-Course Tests (EOCT), Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS), 3rd Grade Writing, 5th Grade Writing, Middle Grades Writing Assessment, Georgia Kindergarten Indicators of Developmental Skills (IDS), and the Georgia Alternative Assessment (GAA). Several of these tests are administered in both pen/pencil format and online. All regular program students, including home bound and homeless students, are tested as appropriate for their grade level. All students enrolled in the district whose first language is not English are assessed to determine their language proficiency level and academic performance level using the W-APT and ACCESS.

     

     

     

    Additionally, academic progress is regularly evaluated throughout the year based on the student's performance on the, ACCESS, CRCT, rubrics, portfolios and various other teacher created assessments. Students referred to Special Education through the SST process and found eligible for special education services are evaluated using informal assessments such as the Brigance Revised, Woodcock Johnson III, KTEA-II, DAB-3 and other types of informal assessments. Students with disabilities were given the same criterion-referenced tests as other students. Additionally, the GAA was given to a specific population of special education students, in accordance with the state procedures. Decisions for determining the academic needs of the student body served through the Title II D grant were made collaboratively with the Regional Executive Directors of Schools and administrators of those schools with the prescribed demographics and technology needs as outlined per the grant.

     

     

     

    Students participating in the Title II D program are engaged in learning experiences with increased rigor, which accelerates their conceptual understanding of the content standards and process standards development. Teachers in these targeted schools are receiving a jump start in becoming familiar with the new GPS they will be required to rollout in 2007-08. The baseline year for administering the BAMs to third grade students was 2005-2006. These data will be used to determine what revisions will be necessary to assist students in meeting State student academic standards.   In 2011-12, the district administered a computer-adaptive assessment to all students in grades 3 – 8 in the areas of reading and mathematics.  The computer-adaptive assessment is a norm-referenced assessment. In addition to the assessments stated above, the system participates in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in grades 4 and 8.

     

     

     

    High school students are encouraged to take the PSAT, SAT, ACT, and Advanced Placement exams. Many of these tests are administered in the spring of each academic year. In 2000 – 2001, the district contracted with instructional and accountability systems to develop and conduct instructional profiles (audits) of all APS schools. Instructional profiles describe the prevalent teaching practices that were identified during classroom observations. The teaching practices that are searched for in the observations are known to be necessary (best practices) for meaningful student learning, and are derived from four research-based Instructional Principles:

     

     

    1.     Effective learning will occur if teachers group students appropriately, focus instruction on students' needs, abilities, and learning styles; and keep students meaningfully and actively engaged at appropriate levels of difficulty for an entire lesson.

     

     

    2.     Effective learning will occur if teachers use time and resources to maximize instructional time for all students, based on their learning differences and required learning time.

     

     

    3.     Effective learning will occur if teachers teach the academic standards at the appropriate level, and put into action daily lessons that contain all of the instructional elements known to be effective in supporting learning activities that accommodate students' different learning backgrounds and styles.

     

     

    4.     Effective learning will occur if teachers use a variety of instructional strategies that are researched based and known to actively engage students in learning activities that are appropriately challenging.

     

     

     

    Assessment data (discussed below) support the findings conducted via the classroom observations and provides a platform on which professional development is based and new instructional practices will be adapted.

     

     

     

    These initiatives will be described in more detail in later sections. Upon receipt of the test reports, results are first reviewed by Testing & Assessment (T & A) to ascertain the accuracy of the scores, then compiled and analyzed. Not only does T & A review the results for all district students, the department compares APS student performance to the performance of students across the State. Data is disaggregated for all students as well as subgroups (ethnic groups, economically disadvantaged, and students with disabilities). Once the data have been reviewed and interpreted by T & A it is then reviewed with and by both the Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction. Upon the approval of the Superintendent, the results are distributed to Regional Executive Directors of Schools and if necessary, released to schools. Regional Executive Directors of Schools use the data to structure a plan for instructional improvements and to evaluate the performance of school leaders.

     

     

     

    State and system reports are further analyzed by principals and their instructional staff/teachers to fully understand student and teacher performance, help them evaluate the impact of their instructional program, and guide/make changes that are data based. District Snapshots and Test Briefs (testing summaries) are prepared by T & A and shared with every level of the organization from Board and the Senior Cabinet to partners and the public. APS analyzes assessments not only to assist the district to understand our ESEA Accountability waiver status but also to frame or adopt new approaches to teaching and learning, to make hiring decisions and to guide the purchase of instructional materials and tools.

     

     

    APS is a data-driven organization and as a result has implemented several new initiatives in response to district data. In 2006-07 a new Math Initiative was established. System performance in math has not consistently shown the levels of progress anticipated based on our formerly implemented reforms models. In 2007-08 APS established two new gender specific middle schools which have since grown to include high schools. Again, data suggests that males are not performing at the same levels as females in general but females are not performing as well as males in specific subject/content areas. Also, there is evidence that student performance begins to decline when students move into secondary programs. More focus is required at this level to ensure better student achievement and progress. The district has established a system goal of student success.

     

     

     

    In 2011 – 2012, Georgia submitted an ESEA waiver for accountability.  As such, there are three lists on which schools across the state that require additional action may find themselves: 1) Priority Schools, 2) Alert Schools, and 3) Focus Schools.

     

     

     

     

     

         Priority Schools will be identified every three years.  These schools are among the lowest five percent of Title I schools in the state based on the achievement of the All Students group in terms of proficiency on the statewide assessments and have demonstrated a lack of progress on those assessments over a number of years in the All Students group; are Title I-participating or Title I-eligible high schools with a graduation rate less than 60 percent over a number of years; or Tier I or Tier II schools under the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program that are using SIG funds to implement a school intervention model. The Priority Schools are: South Atlanta School of Health and Medical Science, Booker T Washington Banking, Finance and Investment, Booker T Washington Health, Sciences and Nutrition, Maynard H Jackson , Jr. High School, Hillside Conant School, School of Technology at Carver, Forrest Hills Academy, School of Health Sciences and Research at Carver, South Atlanta School of Computer Animation and Design, Therrell School of Law, Government and Public Policy, Therrell School of Engineering, Math and Science, Therrell School of Health and Science, Crim High School, and Douglass High School.

     

     

     

            Focus Schools will be identified every three years.  These schools are Title I schools that have the largest within-school gaps between the highest-achieving subgroup or subgroups and the lowest-achieving subgroup or subgroups or, at the high school level, have the largest within-school gaps in graduation rates (within-school-gaps Focus Schools) and are Title I high schools with a graduation rate less than 60 percent over two years that are not identified as Priority Schools (low-graduation-rate Focus Schools). The Focus Schools are: Heritage Academy Elementary, Bunche Middle School, Miles Elementary School, Price Middle School, Deerwood Academy, Martin L. King, Jr Middle School, and Grady High School.

     

     

     

            Alert Schools will be identified annually.  These schools are both Title I and non-Title I schools that fall into one of three categories using ESEA disaggregated subgroups or subject performance on both statewide assessments and graduation rate. Dunbar Elementary School is the only Alert School.

     

     

    2012 CRCT – Overall, the district's performance remained rather consistent with 2011 performance in most grade levels and subjects.  Performance for Spring was follows:

     

     

    Overall Georgia CRCT Reading, ELA, & Math

     

     

    ·         Eighty-three (83) percent or more of APS students, in each of the grades 3 – 8, met or exceeded the standard in Reading.

     

     

    ·         Eighty-four (84) percent or more of APS students in each of the grades 3 – 8 met or exceeded the standard in English/Language Arts.

     

     

    ·         Mathematics performance for Grades 3-5 ranged from sixty-seven (67) percent to seventy-one (71) percent passing. In middle school, the performance in mathematics ranged from fifty-nine (59) percent to eighty-two (82) percent passing.

     

     

    ·         Overall Seventy-five (75) percent of students in Grade 7 met or exceeded the standard in Science.

     

     

    ·         Sixty-five (65) percent or more of APS students in Grades 3 - 5 met or exceeded the standard in Science, while sixty-four (64) percent or more received a passing score in Social Studies.

     

     

    ·         Grades 6 and 8 experienced between fifty-four (54) percent and fifty-nine (59) percent passing Science and Social Studies.

     

     

    ·         Georgia CRCT Science and Social Studies

     

     

    The Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) is being phased out for both student and school accountability.  As such, data are not being included for the GHSGT.  Instead, we are reporting the Spring 2012 End of Course Test (EOCT) results. These will be used for student accountability in that they will contribute 20% toward the student's course grade.  Additionally, EOCT results will be factored into school and district accountability models. The results below are based on the Spring administration of the EOCT.

     

     

    ·         Forty-six (46%) percent of students in Mathematics I were proficient or above.

     

     

    ·         Thirty-one (31%) percent of students in Mathematics II were proficient or above.

     

     

    ·         Fifty-nine (59%) percent of students in Physical Science were proficient or above.

     

     

    ·         Fifty-three (53%) percent of students in Biology were proficient or above.

     

     

    ·         Sixty-nine ( 69%) percent of students in 9th Grade Literature were proficient or above.

     

     

    ·         Eighty-one (81%) percent of students in American Literature were proficient or above.

     

     

    ·         Sixty-eight (68%) percent of students in Economics were proficient or above.

     

     

    ·         Fifty-seven (57%) percent of students in U.S. History were proficient or above.

     

     

    The system is working diligently to ensure that we will see real/solid performance in those subjects in which the Georgia Performance Standards have been instituted. Simultaneously, we are gearing up for full implementation of the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS).

     

     

    Common Core Georgia Performance Standards

     

     

    During the 2012-13 school year, teachers and administrators will participate in professional learning sessions designed to strengthen their understanding of the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards.  During pre-planning, teachers will be provided with an overview of the standards and introduced to a 7-part lesson plan template that will outline specific strategies for literacy and technology integration and extension and intervention support for students.

     

     

     

    In addition, during the year, teachers will participate in cluster, region and district professional learning opportunities that will include lesson plan development sessions, lesson studies, professional learning community structures that support analysis of student work and researched instructional best practices.  Moreover, teachers of Science, Social Studies and the Technical Subjects will participate in professional learning designed to strengthen their capacity as teachers of literacy.

     

     

     

    All student reports are shared with all internal and external stakeholders in a variety of formats. Again, test briefs are shared with all interested parties. Highlights are shared during public Board meetings and published on the website. Schools share performance results with parents through PTSA meetings, newsletters and formal advisories (if the school is in Needs Improvement). Title IV (Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities) provides programs to prevent violence in and around schools, the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs, and to provide safe and drug-free learning environments that support academic achievement.

     

     

     Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

    2. Title I, Part A; Title I, Part C; Title I, Part D; Title II, Part D; Title III; IDEA; EHCY

     

     

    A description of high-quality student academic assessments that the LEA and schools will use:

     

     

    To determine the success of children in meeting the State student academic achievement standards, and to provide information to teachers, parents, and students on the progress being made toward meeting the State student academic achievement standards;

     

     

    To assist in diagnosis, teaching, and learning in the classroom in ways that best enable low-achieving children served under applicable federal programs to meet State student achievement academic standards and do well in the local curriculum;

     

     

    To determine what revisions are needed to projects so that such children meet the State student academic achievement standards;

     

     

    To effectively identify students who may be at risk for reading failure or who are having difficulty reading, through the use of screening, diagnostic, and classroom-based instructional reading assessments;

     

     

    As indicated in Descriptor #1, APS administers a variety of assessments, used to identify/diagnosis student needs as well measure academic performance. These include state required assessments, benchmark tests, online assessments, teacher developed tests, and rubrics). State mandated assessments are used to evaluate how well APS students are performing based on performance standards system expectations/goals and how our performance compares to students from across the State. Data reports are used at both the system and school levels to determine the need for academic improvements. These reports guide improvement strategies for both the district and classrooms. Regional K-12 Executive Directors of Schools use assessment reports to help principals analyze the strengths and weaknesses in their instructional programs. Principals are then able to work with their teachers on new or enhanced teaching and learning practices/approaches. Teachers examine the data for each of their students to identify the gaps in the student's performance. Once all student data has been examined, teachers are able to develop individualized learning plans for their students and design a strategy to differentiate instruction.

     

     

    Data reports are also shared with parents and stakeholders to elicit their involvement and support in meeting the goal of: student success. Performance results continue to suggest that there are still areas that require special attention (mathematics and science). These areas will be targeted in the development of instructional strategies and benchmark/diagnostic tests. Special emphasis will be placed on creating items for benchmark and teacher made tests that meet the more rigorous standards of the GPS. Students experiencing difficulty in reading, math, and science will receive additional instructional support. The Home Language Survey is built into the registration process for students. Assessments are made during this process to determine a child's fluency and proficiency with the language.

     

     

    As part of the services provided to homeless students by the District, a comprehensive assessment is conducted every child to determine any unique needs they may have that would impact their ability to achieve on par with their peers. The CRCT and ACCESS Terra Nova tests are currently utilized to determine the success of ESOL children in meeting State student academic achievement standards. Evidence of progress towards achieving State standards is available to teachers, parents and students. State approved ESOL Textbooks (Grades K-12, each textbook includes a diagnostic assessment) are used. In addition, tutoring in academic classes during and after school and ELCSA (English Language Center Summer Academy, ESOL Summer Camp) are offered. In addition to state required assessments, rubrics, portfolios and teacher made tests are utilized to determine/diagnosis the needs of low-achieving children under Title III. Student progress is monitored through the use of system data reports and the ESOL department. A comparison of test scores to gauge gains in academic achievement will be kept on file. As with all student populations, data from local and state tests will be analyzed. Comparisons will be made with data obtained from the CRCT, Terra Nova, and ACCESS. Also, the analysis of data will compare progress of English Language Learner's (ELL) per school. Teacher and principal evaluations of program initiatives will be developed, disseminated and analyzed to verify efficiency.

     

     

    Additionally, an ESOL survey will be distributed to private community members/leaders, parents, teachers and administrators to determine the need for revisions of existing projects so that ESOL students meet State student academic achievement standards. Again, the CRCT is currently used to identify students who may be at risk for reading failure or who are having difficulty reading. Additionally, the textbook diagnostic tool is available for ELL reading placement; accurate evaluation of the ELL student's reading level; and identification of reading weaknesses in ELL students.

     

     

    Students with disabilities are given all of the required standardized tests. However, informal assessments, student portfolio's and teacher made tests assist in determining the progress of these students. Progress reports are provided to parents three times per year and Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings are on-going throughout the school year to monitor student progress. Student performance is shared with parents and the larger community through several vehicles including but not limited t parent conferences, newsletters, APS and school websites, report cards and PTA/PTO meetings.

     

     

    Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

    3. Title I, Part A; Title I, Part C; Title I, Part D; IDEA; EHCY

     

     

    A description of how the LEA will participate, if selected, in the State National Assessment of Educational Progress in 4th and 8th grade reading and mathematics of the National Education Statistics Act of 1994 and how the results will be used in the local educational agency.

     

     

    Atlanta Public School is one of the urban districts that agreed to participate in the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) as part of a federally funded Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) program at grades 4 and 8 in reading and mathematics. Data obtained from the NAEP assessment is used, in conjunction with other assessment data, to help inform and support instructional decisions from the classroom to the central office, and they give system leaders the opportunity to engage the public in transparent conversations about the progress the district is making in closing the national achievement gap. TUDA 2007 2009 NAEP results also provide data by race/ethnicity, poverty, English-language proficiency and gender which include students who are identified as homeless and are unaccompanied.

     

     

    Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

    4. Title II, Part D; E-Rate

     

     

    A description of strategies to share system progress, disseminate evaluation results, encourage broad stakeholder involvement, and market the role technology can have in helping students achieve in innovative ways.

     

     

    APS recently implemented the 2012-2015 technology plan and will implement an instructional model enabled by technology in support of the National Education Technology Plan of 2010, Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology. The following components of the national plan critical to this vision include: learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure, and productivity.

     

     

    Teaching

     

     

    Engage technology to provide tools and resources to help educators improve instructional practices.

     

     

    Use technology to connect educators to learning, data, content, and systems allowing them to develop, maintain, and assess learning experiences.

     

     

    Learning

     

     

    Through standards-based technology integration practices, APS will create engaging and empowering learning experiences for all students that reflect their lives and their futures.

     

     

    Teachers will employ technology to implement relevant, rigorous, and engaging learning experiences that promote student creativity and learning.

     

     

    APS Administrators will create, promote, and sustain a shared vision for purposeful change that maximizes the use of digital resources to meet learning goals, support collaborative and technology-based instructional practices, and augment the performance of district and school leaders.

     

     

    Assessment

     

     

    ·         Evaluate authentic learning by developing and using assessments.

     

     

    ·         Develop assessments that incorporate digital tools and resources to measure students' contextual learning and promote creativity and active participation.

     

     

    ·         Use comprehensive technology-based assessment tools to measure and drive student learning.

     

     

    Infrastructure

     

     

    ·         Utilize available and relevant technology to create a comprehensive, device-neutral learning infrastructure where educators, students, and parents can collaborate, communicate, or learn wherever an Internet connection is available.

     

     

    ·         Develop a learning environment that provides 24/7 secure access to data stored in multiple locations.

     

     

    Productivity

     

     

    ·         Use best practices in technology to design and implement learning and organizational structural changes that improve the roles and processes of Atlanta Public Schools.

     

     

    School-based Technology

     

     

    APS is dedicated to making its school district the leader in learning by continuing to expand availability to emerging tools and technology. Some of the recent planning efforts include:

     

     

    ·         Bring your Own Technology (BYOT/BYOD) – Allowing students to bring in their smartphones, mobile tablets, or any device to school that can send and receive multimedia content via the Internet and access learning content at any time and in any place. Using this tool will help address the technological inequities currently found throughout the school district.

     

     

    ·         Distance Learning – Allows students who are unable to attend class to participate in a highly interactive environment from any location. It also provides students the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge at their own pace and through their own learning processes. Infrastructure improvements will provide students with speedy and consistent access to school resources.

     

     

    ·         e-Books – Using e-Books and e-Readers provide a cost effective and technology-based learning avenue where students are fully engaged in interactive learning experiences.

     

     

    ·         Technology-based Professional Development - Provides teachers and staff with several learning options to accommodate different learning modalities. Instructional Technology Services (ITS) will plan courses, workshops, and seminars as separate events rather than as segments of faculty meetings. Employ full-time technical specialists who can answer technology questions that relate to classroom instruction is a priority, as is, utilizing asynchronous learning to make training more accessible while easing scheduling conflicts.

     

     

    Learning Resources/Partnerships

     

     

    Global Learning

     

     

    APS looks to enable cost effective global learning resources to provide students with 24/7/365 access to practice exercises, learning aids, and assessments. Accessible from any computer with Internet access, this type of learning environment will benefit students by:

     

     

    ·         Providing students with 24/7/365 access to an extensive multimedia library of learning resources, exercises and assessments in all subject areas

     

     

    ·         Allowing students to progress at their own pace

     

     

    Microsoft Big and Bold

     

     

    The framework of the APS/Microsoft Big and Bold partnership (Learning Without Limits) will focus on leveraging technology as a tool to provide 24/7/365 learning opportunities and increase effective communication and collaboration across the school system and the greater community. This will be accomplished by:

     

     

    ·        Deploying a portal that will become the central repository for all key stakeholders (students, parents, business partners, community members, parents, building leaders and administrators) allowing them to find information tailored to meet their needs.

     

     

    ·        Implement Identity Management (ILM) to grant individual rights.

     

     

    ·        Push technologies to deliver meaningful subject matter information to stakeholders.

     

     

    ·        Use Web 2.0 tools to review, rate, and share content.

     

     

    ·        Deliver a multimedia communications platform providing real-time and on-demand information while increasing communications and collaboration across the community.

     

     

    ·        Provide communication options that include chat, instant messaging, and real time online video conferencing.

     

     

    ·        Provide the ability to deliver live lecture broadcasts while simultaneously capturing them for later sharing and reuse.

     

     

    ·        Photos, videos, audio files, learning objects, and entire lessons will be readily available.

     

     

    ·        The portal will foster better communication and collaboration.

     

     

    ·        Measuring and monitoring teacher effectiveness and allowing for data driven decision making.

     

     

    ·        Provide experiential learning and career planning opportunities through community partnerships.

     

     

    ·        Tools will help students make choices in planning their course work.

     

     

    ·        Tools will also be interwoven to provide clear and meaningful partnership and/or mentoring opportunities for students and the greater community.

     

     

    ·        Leverage technology and the expertise of partners across the district to encourage business and community partners to provide support to multiple schools.

     

     

    ·        Furnish partners with virtual or train-the-trainer professional development.

     

     

    ·        Utilize tools that match partners and volunteer candidates with students and/or schools.

     

     

    ·        Provide a repository of learning objects for students, staff, and community.

     

     

    ·        On demand professional development for staff that allows for extended learning opportunities beyond the bounds of the classroom and provides limitless learning opportunities for educators and students.

     

     

    ·        Create a "one stop" point of entry into APS.

     

     

    ·        Become the single source of information about APS as well as for APS staff, students, and community.

     

     

    ·        Provide internal users with connections to myriad internal systems.

     

     

    ·        Promotes greater use by simplification—fewer URLs to remember, fewer usernames and passwords to remember.

     

     

    ·        Promote greater use by exposing teacher and students to various resources more frequently.

     

     

    The goals stated in the APS Three Year Technology plan are:

     

     

    Goal 1: Enhancing the quality of teaching and learning through the effective integration of technology and instruction

     

     

    Goal 2: Providing a robust infrastructure to support teachers, students, and staff

     

     

    Goal 3: Managing a comprehensive application portfolio

     

     

    Goal 4: Protecting and managing the data assets used for teaching, operations, and decision making

     

     

    Goal 5: Provide professional development for teachers, staff, and administration for technology use and integration

     

     

    IEP Online helped special education teachers and administrators plan for and track education for special needs children. IEP online is now web-based where educators are able to access the dashboard from any internet connection. * Computers were purchased for all special education classrooms in order to enhance the learning environment. An electronic attendance program is linked to our student information system and allows teachers and administrators to track student attendance. The Georgia Online Assessment System allows teachers to build tests for use with students in preparation for state testing. . Computers for student use come preloaded with a variety of instructional and productivity programs. In addition, special programs are available in selected schools for remediation and differentiation of educational experiences. 

     

     

     Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

    5. Title I, Part A; Title I, Part C; Title II, Part D; Title III; IDEA

     

     

    A description of how the LEA will provide additional educational assistance to individual students assessed as needing help in meeting the State’s challenging student academic achievement standards. The description must include the following:

     

     

    Specific mention of disadvantaged students, migrant students, limited English proficient students, and students with disabilities.

     

     

    Specific steps the LEA will take to ensure that all students and teachers have increased access to technology.

     

     

    Specific steps on how the LEA will utilize available funds to support after school programs (including before and after school and summer school) and school-year extension programs.

     

     

    The disaggregating of data provides a comprehensive overview of all student performance. Students not meeting standard on multiple academic indicators become involved in support programs designed to help them gain the skills needed to move them into meets and/or exceeds standards. Strategies that schools can employ to move disadvantaged students include: Developed an IEP that targeted the students weaknesses All special education teachers participated in all curriculum workshops and taught the same QCC/GPS units as regular education teachers Funds from Title I, Perkins, and Title V provide schools with the ability to purchase enhanced curriculum materials and learning software Funds from IDEA , Title I and IV continue to pay paid stipends to teachers, paraprofessionals, and tutors to work in Saturday, special and summer programs IDEA funds were used to transport students to special after school tutorial sessions. Schools with large ESL ELL populations are given computer labs.

     

     

    A computer laboratory is also available at the Campbell English Language Center for students and parents with software designed to facilitate English language learning. Title II Math grant provides training designed in a differentiated model to meet diverse needs of students In addition to the above. Teaching and Learning Specialist are employed to provide support for teacher and to ensure effective teaching strategies and Behavior Specialists provides assistance to schools in behavior management, additional paraprofessionals and teachers have been hired to address the educational needs of SWDs, quality professional staff development on inclusion and collaboration will was provided to schools. Support was provided by assigning Special Education Lead Teachers to each school. to schools. Additional support staffs such as Assistive Technology Specialists, Psychologists, Nurses, and other wrap around support staff were assigned to schools for student support. Consultants were contracted to work on data analysis, autism and researched based instruction in special education. SWDs are given access to computer labs in their schools and as a part of the LEA Technology Plan, all teachers, including those that serve SWDs will be given a laptop.

     

     

    On a larger scale, data shows that mathematics performance is a challenge for many students at a number of grade levels. In an effort to be responsive to this need, the district has implemented a focused approach to mathematics instruction that will target professional development in this specific area for instructional leaders and teachers. At the same time, data also shows that our high schools are on average, not producing students with the high academic standards that the district desires. The district has restructured schools into regional K – 12 clusters to foster effective vertical professional learning communities with the overall goal of producing students who are college and career read.   

     

     

    Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

    6. Professional Learning; Title I, Part A; Title I, Part C; Title II, Part A; Title II, Part D; Title III; Title VI, Part B; IDEA

     

     

    A description of the strategy the LEA will use to coordinate programs under Titles I, II, III, IV, VI, Part B, Perkins, and IDEA to provide professional learning on the integration of technology into the curriculum and instruction to improve and support teaching, learning, and technology literacy. The description should include purchasing technology, available technology tools, distance learning opportunities, and professional learning for teachers, administrators, pupil services personnel, any other staff, and parents.

     

     

    APS recently implemented the 2012-2015 technology plan and will implement an instructional model enabled by technology in support of the National Education Technology Plan of 2010, Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology. The following components of the national plan critical to this vision include: learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure, and productivity

     

     

    Our technology and professional development divisions embrace the vision of Atlanta Public Schools is for all of our students to be successful. Realization of this vision will require critical strategies to address our achievement gaps, accelerate performance, and sustain growth. The infusion of technology in instructional practices, and reaching optimal use of technology, is a key factor in achieving quality instruction and quality schools. The use of technology in the teaching and learning process encompasses technology use for assessment of student performance, technology use for delivery of instruction, technology use for demonstration of student mastery, and technology use to support data-driven decision making to affect daily instruction and operational practices. Students and teachers of Atlanta Public Schools use appropriate technology to enrich, extend, individualize, and facilitate teaching and learning utilizing Georgia's Performance Standards. The success of the standards initiative will depend in part on the meaningful and appropriate use of technology to monitor student mastery of the Georgia Performance Standard (GPS) objectives.

     

     

    The new Common Core Georgia Performance Standards are enhanced by strategic technology support. First, the level of effective technology integration is gauged using technology integration assessments. The results are used to determine the technological literacy of teachers and staff in the district. After technology integration has been assessed, the school district utilizes a team of highly trained Educational Technology Specialists to enhance educators' use of technology by demonstrating for teachers how to meaningfully integrate technology into their daily lessons. Results from the survey guide the targeted professional learning that will be offered at individual schools and to individual teachers, aligned with the each School Achievement Plan and district initiatives.

     

     

    Additionally, the district utilizes the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for effective technology integration (developed by the International Society for Technology in Education – ISTE). The district has also begun implementing Imagine Learning Software, a WIDA Standards based program piloted at the Campbell Building for instruction of English Language Learners at low levels of proficiency. The district's leadership and instructional staff attempt to use technology as appropriate teaching aids to enhance professional learning opportunities and presentations by using Promethean ActivBoards along with other interactive white boards (IWB), LCD projectors, and technology-configured classrooms/furniture. Atlanta Public Schools offers teachers use of the following technology tools for technology integration into instruction: Internet, Office Suite, Apple iLife Suite, Apple iWork Suite, Infinite Campus, IEP OnLine, Geographical Information System , Thinkfinity, Accelerated Reader, Learning.com, NetTrekker, Discovery Streaming, GAILEO, MAPS 101, Teachingbooks.net and SRI/Read 180. and SRI/Read 180. The Program for Exceptional Children has piloted the Earobics program at Hutchinson Elementary and Fast ForWord at Springdale Park Elementary. All special education pre-school programs are utilizing SmartBoard technology.

     

     

    The district offers the following technology tools to infuse technology into instruction: Email, Business Education Software, Insight (an Information Management System), Curriculum and Classroom Management Software, Virtual Classrooms, Streaming Video, Parent Connectivity, Data Warehouse, Activeboards with remote voting devices, LCD Projectors, iPOD Touches, laptops (PC and MAC platforms) and eTextbooks. The district's technology infrastructure, including the network infrastructure (cabling, wiring, and wireless), hardware (servers, desktop computers, and peripherals), video/cable access, telecommunications, and daily technology support is offered by the Information Technology Department in order to minimize, if not eliminate interruptions in daily instruction due to technology-related concerns. All teachers are afforded exposure to professional development by the Teaching and Learning and School Improvement/Leadership Development and the Instructional Technology Departments. Instructional Technology provides ongoing professional development for school-based staff, providing specialists in schools a minimum of one day per week. In addition to the activities of the Instructional Technology staff, teachers and staff may register for technology-related courses offered by the Teaching and Learning and School Improvement/Leadership Development. The district web site, www.atlantapublicschools.us, continues to expand in information and in use. Further proliferation of websites for schools, providing an avenue of community-based communications for school neighborhoods, will continue to allow the district to progress in the infusion of technology into daily school operations. The APS Three Year Technology Plan 2009-2012 includes the APS Board Policy on Purchasing, Descriptor Code: DJEA (see page 100). In addition to the policy steps have been taken to ensure the security and stability of our network and all connected devices. The Division of Information Services has begun working with the Finance Department to ensure that any new technology products purchased across the district first gain the approval of the Information Technology Department. uses Instructional Profile audits to assess technology literacy. Instructional Technology uses feedback to design professional development for the district to increase technology integration in the classroom.

     

     

     

    The district has recently acquired a Professional Learning Management System as a web-based tool to capture professional learning across the district. The Professional Learning Management System is a web-based solution that will provide management of all professional learning related activities associated with each and every district employee. Each district employee will complete a personal profile which will be merged with an existing employee file.  The master file will be informed by the specific job title/position associated with the employee.   All information pertaining to certification, mentoring, performance evaluation, course registration and course completion will be housed and managed through My PLC or My Professional Learning Center. Individuals will be able to register for professional learning courses, pull their own training records, receive certification renewal notifications, as well as participate in professional learning communities and mentoring/coaching dialogue.  Principals/managers will be able to assign and track professional learning opportunities for their assigned employees.  Instructors will be able to submit courses, administer and manage courses to district employees.  Administrators will be able to retrieve reports which will reflect the professional learning taking place in the entire district.

     

     

     Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

    7. Title II, Part D

     

     

    A description of how the LEA is addressing 8th grade technology literacy by including:

     

     

    Evidence of the tools or strategies used to determine an estimation of student technology literacy at all grade levels (or bands of grade levels, such as PreK-2nd, 3rd-5th, 6th-8th, 9th-12th;

     

     

    An estimation of the students’ school-based experiences with developing technology skills and technology literacy at all grade levels (or bands of grade levels);

     

     

    Evidence of the tools or strategies the system is implementing to ensure that all students are technologically literate by the end of 8th grade.

     

     

     APS has a vision for the effective use of technology by all stakeholders. Our vision for technology use is anytime; anywhere access to appropriate technology tools and systems that support our focus on student mastery of the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards. Most APS schools are School-wide Title 1 schools. This has allowed us to implement technology uniformly throughout our schools. As indicated earlier, three year technology goals and benchmarks were established as part of the system technology plan.

     

     

    · For students, a technology rich environment will:

     

     

    -         Engage their learning, allow for students to become the owners of their knowledge and equip them with 21st Century College and Career ready skills

     

     

    -         Enhance their proficiency in researching, synthesizing and presenting data.

     

     

    -         Engage in global communications and collaboration.

     

     

    -         Provide virtual classrooms, distance learning, and home learning experiences.

     

     

    -         Link the school with the home and community to support anytime, anyplace, any-age learning.

     

     

    ·        For teachers, a technology rich environment will:

     

     

    -         Empower staff to access information to improve their instructional programs.

     

     

    -         Expand opportunities for access to intellectual resources such as universities.

     

     

    -         Improve their skills in collecting, synthesizing, and presenting data.

     

     

    -         Increase their use of telecommuting and tele-instruction resources.

     

     

    -         Provide timely access to student information and profiles.

     

     

    -         Increase opportunities of communication and collaboration with peers and colleagues.

     

     

    -         Utilize on-line resources for staff development and instruction.

     

     

    -         Facilitate more efficient and effective workflow processes.

     

     

     

    ·        For administrative staff and central office personnel, a technology rich environment will;  

     

     

    -    Increase productivity.

     

     

    -         Provide enhanced communications and collaboration.

     

     

    -         Encourage exploration, research, and problem solving that extend beyond school system boundaries.

     

     

    -         Provide simulated models for exploring solutions.

     

     

    -         Provide seamless access to information.

     

     

     

    ·         For community stakeholders, a technology-rich environment will:

     

     

    -         Increase access to appropriate district, school, and student information.

     

     

    -         Provide community, networking services via the Internet and broadcast media.

     

     

    -         Yield cost efficiencies gained from technology standardization and implementation.

     

     

    -         Provide greater community access and involvement in educational programs via virtual classrooms, tele-education, and at-home learning experiences.

     

     

    -         Increase community input and collaboration in the educational process.

     

     

    -         Improve accountability of staff and students.

     

     

    -         Provide timely and informative responses to community inquiries about district and local school administrative and instructional programs.

     

     

     

    This vision is realized in our classroom-level standards for students that guide teachers in the integration of technology instruction. The National Educational Technology Standards assist teachers in both teaching and assessing mastery of technology. Evaluation of student attainment of these standards is done in a number of ways. As with other performance standards, teachers assess student mastery through assignments that require the students to actually use technology to produce artifacts which show mastery. In addition, Educational Technology Specialists will collaborate with teachers in their classroom to model lessons to increase student engagement. APS is dedicated to making its school district the leader in learning by continuing to expand availability to emerging tools and technology. An estimate of the level of student attainment of technology standards is available in the APS 2012-2015 technology plan and will implement an instructional model enabled by technology in support of the National Education Technology Plan of 2010, Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology. The framework of the APS/Microsoft Big and Bold partnership (Learning Without Limits) will focus on leveraging technology as a tool to provide 24/7/365 learning opportunities and increase effective communication and collaboration across the school system and the greater community.

     

     

     

    A sampling of the standards is reproduced here. Basic Skills Use input devices (e.g. mouse, keyboard, remote control) and output devices (e.g. monitor, printer) to successfully operate computers, VCRs, audiotapes, and other technologies. Use a variety of media and technology resources for directed and independent learning activities. Communicate about technology using developmentally appropriate and accurate terminology. Use developmentally appropriate multimedia resources (e.g., interactive books, educational software, elementary multimedia encyclopedias) to support learning. Red: No work is being done on these standards-30% Yellow: Students are working on acquiring these standards-50% Green: Students have acquired the standards-20% Communication Uses technology tools to convey information and ideas, communicate, and collaborate at all levels from interpersonal to global. Red: No work is being done on these standards -40% Yellow: Students are working on acquiring these standards-50% Green: Students have acquired the standards fully-10% Technology Productivity Tools Use a variety of media and technology resources for directed and independent learning activities. Use technology resources (e.g., puzzles, logical thinking programs, writing tools, digital cameras, drawing tools) for problem solving, communication, and illustration of thoughts, ideas, and stories Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity. Students use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology- enhanced models, preparing publications, and producing other creative works Red: No work is being done on these standards-30% Yellow: Students are working on acquiring these standards-50% Green: Students have acquired the standards fully-20% Technology Research Tools Students use technology to locate, evaluate and collect information from a variety of sources. Students use technology tools to process data and report results Students evaluate and select new information resources and technological innovations based on the appropriate to specific tasks Red: No work is being done on these standards-10% Yellow: Students are working on acquiring these standards-70% Green: Students have acquired the standards fully-20% Many technology tools were identified in Descriptor #6 such as ActiveBoards, SmartBoards, digital cameras, scanners, LCD projectors, eTextbooks, etc. To ensure that students are technologically literate by the end of the 8th grade, Instructional Technology uses the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS). These standards are designed to provide teachers, technology planners, teacher preparation institutions, and educational decision-makers with frameworks and standards to guide them in establishing enriched learning environments supported by technology. The above sample of current attainment levels serves as an indication of the work that still needs to be done so all students are reach the desired levels of literacy.  APS received three competitive grants through Title IID. One was for King Middle School which provides laptop carts, student laptops and an Active Board with related software for 6th grade mathematics classes. The second grant provides Harper-Archer and Turner Middle Schools with interactive white boards, located in the media center of each school and in 3 classrooms per school, a laptop cart containing 30 laptops for student use as well as i-Pods for students, digital camera, micro-memo recorders, digital video recorders with microphones along with printers and software. All of these tools will improve instruction and student achievement.

     

     

     

     

     

    Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

     8. Professional Learning; All federal programs; E-Rate

     

     

    A description of how the local educational agency will ensure that funds are spent on scientifically and/or evidence-based practices and products for all programs including the purchase of technology and technology tools. Where applicable include how the practices and products will impact student technology literacy.

     

     

    For each major purchase, Atlanta Public Schools goes through a multi-step verification process. At the onset of purchases, a team of individuals is brought together to develop a set of district needs for the product. Documented research based best practices form the foundation of the determination of viable products for consideration. Next, products are researched to see which vendors in the market are able to fill the needs of the district. This research includes speaking with other districts who have previously implemented similar products and services and learning their successes and concerns. Next, the team brings in various vendors to do a pre-evaluation of the products that they are offering. After the pre-evaluation is finalized, the district has a formal Request For Proposal (RFP) process. The RFP is written and placed on a list that is available to vendors. Vendors respond in a written manner to the RFP and send proposals to the Purchasing Department. The district brings together a cross functional team to look at the proposals. Often times, respondents to the RFP are brought in to demonstrate their products or services. The team then evaluates the products and gives their recommendation. These recommendations are compared against price and other factors to get a final decision on which product is best for the district. The district allocates Title II funds and local funds to provide mentor stipends to site-based mentor teachers, to fund an Instructional Mentor Program, and to provide a Teacher Support Specialists (TSS) endorsement program in conjunction with the North Metro Regional Education Service Agency (RESA). These mentors serve as mentors to new teachers and provide ongoing support through a structured mentor support program during the first three years of employment. In a continuing effort to increase the number of clear-renewable teachers to fill critical areas in the district, to develop and retain quality teachers, and to improve student achievement, the district allots Title II funds to partner with local colleges and universities Georgia State University to provide an alternative certification program called Atlanta Preparing Leaders for Urban Schools (PLUS) for secondary education teacher candidates. In collaboration with district master teachers, this partnership provides instructors for required content and pedagogy, tuition and fees for participants through the duration of their certification process. The district also collaborates with The New Teacher Project. The New Teacher Center to provide ongoing development for mentors teachers such as mentoring, coaching, and analysis of critical issues. The district allocates Title I, Title II and Title IV funds to pay new and practicing teachers stipends for attending Saturday and summer workshops and trainings. This reduces the need to take teachers out of the classroom and provides them with an incentive for completing course work during the summer. These classes include: TSS endorsement, Consistency Management and Cooperative Discipline (CMCD), Second Step, Dating Abuse Prevention Training and Media Violence Training, Direct Instruction, Teacher Induction Series, Success for All (SFA), Move It Math, and mathematics problem solving (Mathematics Initiative). Specific training in mathematics content has been identified as a district need by areas of improvement within our student achievement data. The district also partners with The New Teacher Project to provide additional support for struggling teachers. Mathematics teaching at all levels requires that all teachers, including, PEC, ESOL, and Gifted teachers either have or are in the process of gaining an extensive knowledge of mathematics including mathematics pedagogical knowledge, knowledge of mathematics curriculum and how students learn. The district developed a Mathematics Initiative and through the Mathematics Initiative, a cadre of trainers was selected to train during the summer to redeliver developed modules using a paired school model. The mission of this initiative is to significantly improve student achievement in mathematics by assisting teachers in developing student-centered environments that engage students in inquiry-based collaborative work and investigative exploration for learning mathematics. This program, currently funded by the GE Foundation, formerly funded by the National Science Foundation and supported by the Partnership for Reform in Science and Mathematics (PRISM) was collaboratively developed by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, the Georgia Department of Education (DOE), colleges, universities and public school systems in four regions of the state. By the end of the current technology plan, on June 30, 2012, APS will have in place through the Professional Learning Management System that will include a complete online catalogue of the professional development opportunities available to teachers and instructions on how to access them, Teachers working in professional learning communities, modeling lessons, collaborating regarding lesson development and implementation supports technology literacy. Teachers are also provided with stipends to attend courses in advanced placement at colleges and universities to become skilled to teach higher-level classes such as calculus, physics, and world languages. The professional development department collaborates with the regional teams to provide learning opportunities to support teachers becoming highly qualified. All classroom teachers are supported by the Instructional Coaches, Educational Technology Specialists, Professional Learning Specialists and Common core implementation specialists. Many of these individuals observes instruction and then provides feedback or offers workshops that include content knowledge, research-based instructional strategies, and the use of various types of classroom assessments. The program was implemented in all middle schools during the 2006-2007 school year. As described in earlier sections, by 2004 APS required all schools to adopt a comprehensive school reform model (CSR) that best meet the unique needs of the school community. All of the CSR models in the APS must align with the eleven Federal CSR criteria as well as have clear research-based and proven best-practices. The process of identifying and selecting a CSR design was grounded in the school-based needs assessment, Making Good Choices. As a result, once a school identifies a program need it must demonstrate that the recommended program will address the instructional gap/need identified and that the program is a research-based best practice in that area/content. Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, the district has made the decision to disband the CRS models and to return to using research-based best strategies to meet the needs of all students. Curriculum specialists/coordinators are available to work with staff on identifying resources and/or supplemental programs that will provide the best solution to their need and that the solution is aligned to the standards. The procurement process requires that principals only approve purchases that are proven best practices and demonstrate the ability to improve instruction and student outcomes. Once purchases have been approved by the principal they are sent to the district procurement office for processing. Title IV will provide technical assistance / professional learning workshops on how to assure programs that are scientifically based for schools, implement a process for tying purchase requests to scientifically based practices. Over the next three years, on an annual basis Atlanta Public Schools will conduct self-assessments and update their professional learning plan based on National Staff Development Council Standards, the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards, the Mission of Atlanta Public Schools, the Core Beliefs of Atlanta Public Schools, and the Atlanta Public Schools' Strategic Goals. Assessment data is provided to each school, teachers analyze student data and class results, the teachers plan instructional programs, and monitor the progress of students. The schools develop their plans; together the school plans form the basis/core of the system plan along with all federal program coordinators. APS is actively training all appropriate staff on the CCGPS When standards based instruction is not observed, differentiation tools/practices are shared with the principal/school leadership team to support the teacher in a professional learning format as quickly as possible to ensure appropriate levels of instruction are on-going. The system is currently working toward the development of a professional learning framework and calendar that aligns to the CCGPS rollout and targets professional development/problem solving in identified priority areas which will change with student performance results. Title III proposed that the following procedures will be implemented to ensure the funds are spent on research-based, proven products and services: Follow-up will be conducted via email, conference calls, newsletters, school visits, meetings and observations with the individuals responsible for implementation of various parts of the grant. Data will be compiled and kept on file electronically. Program contacts will have computer access to collect and/or review relevant data, email and supporting information. Specific programs to impact ELL student technology literacy include Rosetta Stone -designed to improve ELL reading ability utilizing diagnostic and assessment devices.

     

     

     

     

     

    Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

     9. Title I, Part A; Title I, Part C; Title II, Part D; Title III; IDEA, EHCY

     

     

    A description of how the LEA will use federal funds to coordinate and integrate services with other educational services at the LEA or individual school level such as:

     

     

    Technology, professional learning, curriculum, media, Title I, special education, and ELL programs;

     

     

    Even Start, Head Start, Reading First, Early Reading First, IDEA preschool, and other preschool programs, including plans for the transition of participants in such programs to local elementary school programs;

     

     

    Services for children with limited English proficiency, children with disabilities, migratory children, neglected or delinquent youth, Indian immigrant children in order to increase program effectiveness, eliminate duplication, and reduce fragmentation of the instructional program.

     

     

     Generally, the organizational structure of APS allows the Assistant Superintendents for Teaching and Learning and School Improvement/Leadership Development to collaborate with the leadership from Department of Special Education and ESOL and other key personnel representing the various subject areas in order to ensure the coordination and integration of services of federal programs to provide maximum benefits to all students. This makes coordination of programs, timelines and budgets efficient and manageable All departments under Curriculum and Instruction collaborates and plans the work of the division.

     

     

    Title I: APS administers a school wide and targeted assistance program in all schools that are eligible to receive Title I services. As such, Title I resources are available to all students in the school regardless of their participation in any program including the Program for Exceptional Children (PEC), English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Early Intervention Program (EIP), McKinney-Vento (M-V), etc. The strong parental involvement program and component within programs like McKinney-Vento in APS allows APS parents ample opportunity to observe the success with which resources are equitably distributed.

     

     

    Title I funds are used to maintain adequate student/teacher ratios and supports other activities and initiatives such as parallel block scheduling, Pre-K, K-8 reading and math programs, etc. The Coordination between Title I Part A Set Aside based on the McKinney-Vento Act ensures that set-aside funds are used to support children and youth experiencing homelessness in non-Title I schools and Title I students who need additional support outside of school, including students living in shelters, motels, transitional living programs, and other locations. This support includes supplemental instruction via tutorial programs extended through the summer months.

     

     

    Title II: supports the professional learning necessary to ensure high-quality staff. Also through the eMath and EdTech programs, funds support enhanced learning tools and resources.

     

     

    Title III: uses federal funds for interpretation services for the web-site and school/system specific documents, provides interpreters for live translations/text translations/transcription services to all level of organization, for meetings, tribunals, social services, diagnostic/evaluation screenings, new student registration, social/cultural acclimation, notification of language assistance availability, and home visits.

     

     

    Title IV: coordinates funding with the other titled programs to ensure that students are taught in safe and drug free environments.

     

     

    EHCY: supports and coordinates with other federal programs in the following ways:

     

     

    ·Internal collaboration with IT on database development for development of monthly reports on homeless students, i.e. test data, grade level assessments, attendance reports and district wide tracking and systematic entering of student status upon enrollment to meet state reporting requirements (as informed by McKinney-Vento)

     

     

    · Coordination with the Office of Student Support to ensure access to comparable services, internal and external stakeholder engagement; and material needs for academic instruction are met

     

     

    ·Provides computers and computer educational materials, and student support services

     

     

    · Works collaboratively with the Flexible Learning Program and Expanded Day Programs to ensure student access to after-school supplemental instruction programs and academic support to facilitate learning continuity

     

     

    The Homeless Liaison serves on community task forces and committees and provides direct support to students and parents via parent workshops delivered at shelter locations, schools and in one on one office consultation visits.  This engagement occurs in conjunction with to include school social workers and student placement to promote academic engagement for children and youth in transition.

     

     

    Perkins: intended to improve vocational and technical education programs, funds will be are used to support the Regional Cluster Model/College and Career Ready Performance Index. . Grounded in our experience with the redesign of George W. Carver Comprehensive High School into the New Schools at Carver (a complex of four small schools), the recently redesigned high schools(Douglass High is divided into four small learning communities Maynard Jackson is divided into three small learning communities along with South Atlanta and Therrell High Schools and Washington is divided into four small schools) and pre-planning work with McKinsey & Company, will help this initiative will realize the following goals:

     

     

    · To ensure that every student receives a world-class educational experience through standardized, research-based instructional practices, content-specific and needs-based professional development for teachers and a college preparatory curriculum for all students

     

     

    ·  To secure our position as a world class school district and leader in the nation by graduating at least 90% of our 9th graders in four years through the implementation of smaller more personalized learning environments that provide comprehensive and targeted academic, advisement, and developmental supports

     

     

    ·  To ensure that all APS students graduate ready for college and/or careers with real and multiple postsecondary options through the implementation of a systemic and integrated student support structure that defines the benchmarks for postsecondary readiness from grades 9 – 12 aligned with supports and interventions for all students

     

     

    · To ensure that APS High Schools are the first choice for students and parents in the City of Atlanta through the expansion of high school programming and portfolios of career academies to offer more choices for students based on interest and/or community needs.

     

     

    Most Title I schools in APS are implementing school-wide programs. As a result, all staff and students in these schools are eligible to benefit from services provided through Title I funds. All schools prepare School Achievement Plans (SAP) and are directed to consolidate all funds and other resources to support initiatives, activities, and programs outlined in the plan. Schools use their external partners (community, business, grant, etc.) and federal, state and local resources to serve all the students in the district.

     

     

    The district serves homeless children, children residing in homes for the neglected and delinquent. The district funds teachers for students residing at facilities for the neglected and delinquent who receive full service residential care.  Public transportation passes are provided for students to fully participate in school.  School supplies, after-school instructional programs, and other key instruction based resources provided in collaboration with community agencies are also provided for these students. . APS personnel serve as tutors. ESOL students are identified based on the guidelines established by the Georgia Department of Education. The process includes the administration of the Language Identification Survey and WIDA ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT) and use of student scores on the W-APT to determine ESOL placement and services. Students receive English instruction from highly qualified, certified ESOL teachers. The district provides students and their parent's opportunities to participate in activities that help to reinforce their language skills, offers before and after school programs, and social assistance to help them acclimate to the district and community.

     

     

    Migrant students are identified using the migrant survey tool within the district's registration packet. Students would be properly coded in Infinite Campus and provided with the appropriate educational and support services that address their unique circumstance in an equitable, coordinated, and efficient manner through Title I, Title III, and all applicable programs. Services for migrant students are designed to help them overcome education disruption, cultural and language barriers, social isolation, health related problems and other factors that inhibit their ability to succeed.

     

     

    Youth at risk of dropping out are identified based on several risk indicators: tardiness, absenteeism and behavior. Student profiles are developed that record risk indicators and the involvement of families with service agencies. Programs such as Second Step and Character Education have been piloted in several elementary and middle schools in an effort to create a more positive and learning-enhanced school climate and culture. These programs can effectively change the school philosophy for students and their families. In collaboration with the Family Involvement department, Title IV hosts parenting community meetings to share violence prevention and awareness strategies. Other programs are coordinated with community agencies, district-level initiatives, and locally designed models.

     

     

    APS also implements an Early Childhood Program in partnership with Title I, Head Start, Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS), Office of School Readiness (OSR), Georgia Department of Education, post-secondary institutions, and other community agencies. The goal of the program is to prepare the district's future students. Children are accepted on a first-come basis. Children are eligible for participation under two categories: (1) the children of families that receive federal and state assistance, and (2) all other children

     

     

    Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

     10. Title IV

     

     

    A description of how the LEA will develop strategies that prevent violence in and around schools and the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs including how the prevention activities meet the Principles of Effectiveness; involve parents; and coordinate these efforts and resources with other federal, state, and community entities. In addition the LEA must explain how evaluations of effectiveness will be used to refine, improve, and strengthen the program strategies.

     

     

    Atlanta is a participant in the MRESA consortium on Safe and Drug Free Communities and Schools (SDFS). Our programs on drug, violence and tobacco standards are incorporated into the Health and Science curriculums. Researched-based programs are selected based on the outcomes from the annual Georgia Student Health Survey, schools identified through the survey as needing services, and the system incident report. In addition, we have worked with both private and public agencies, and civic groups to implement additional programs.

     

     

    The state goals on which these programs are based and that meet the Principles of Effectiveness are:

     

     

    1. To help ensure that all schools are drug free by promoting the implementation of high quality alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention programs.

     

     

    2. To help ensure that all schools are safe and disciplined by promoting the implementation of high quality violence prevention programs.

     

     

    The following drug and safety programs are in place throughout the system and have been integrated into the regular curriculum by teachers:

     

     

    · Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program

     

     

    · Second Step Violence Prevention Program

     

     

    · Substance Use Prevention and Education Resources (SUPER) 1 Program

     

     

    · G.R.E.A.T.

     

     

    · No Place for Hate

     

     

    · Outward bound Atlanta

     

     

    · Darkness to Light

     

     

    The following life skills programs are presented by our partners:

     

     

    · Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) - presented to 10th, 11th, and 12th grade   students

     

     

    ·Leadership Expeditions Accelerating Performance of Students (LEAP) - presented to 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students.

     

     

    · Safety Street Georgia - presented to students in grades 1 – 5

     

     

    · Emory and Grady Teen Health Services - presented to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students

     

     

    The prevention and life skills programs presented through SDFS are designed to help schools improve their overall academic performance and improve student performance on all state and local tests. The program reviews the results of student performance on the CRCT, EOCT, and GHSGT/WT assessments to align program offerings and opportunities for student growth and development. Data gained from program participants and character/climate survey's is also reviewed when new programs are being considered.

     

     

    Title IV shares assessment data results with principals, teachers, parents and community entities through staff meetings, PTA meetings, website, newsletter, and the Advisory Council meeting.

     

     

    Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

     11. Title I, Part A; Title II, Part D

     

     

    A description of the poverty and school eligibility criteria that will be used to select attendance areas for schools eligible for funding through Title I, Part A and school eligibility for grant opportunities through Title II, Part D.

     

     

    The Atlanta Public School District uses free/reduced meal percentages to identify eligible attendance areas and schools to be served. Schools with 75% or higher free/reduced meal status are addressed first in rank order. Then remaining schools are rank ordered. In 2011-2012, eighty-five percent of APS students were eligible for Free and Reduced Price Meals.

     

     

     

    Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

    12. Title I, Part A; Title I, Part C; Title IV

     

     

    A description of how teachers, in consultation with parents, administrators, and pupil services personnel, will identify the eligible children most in need of services in Title I targeted assistance schools.

     

     

    The APS plan to identify eligible children most in need of services uses multiple selection criteria to identify eligible students to be served in Targeted Assistance programs. The criteria used to select eligible students are CRCT and GHSGT scores, teacher recommendations, student retentions, failure in Reading/Language Arts and Math, and Student Support Team (SST) recommendations. Teacher recommendations are combined with a ranking of CRCT and GHSGT data to determine students in the greatest need to receive additional instructional support. In the absence of CRCT and GHSGT data, other standardized norm-referenced tests are administered to determine eligibility. If pertinent, student retentions, failure in core subjects and recommendations from Student Support Teams are given consideration in determining eligibility.

     

     

     

    Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

    13. All Programs

     

     

    A general description of the instructional program in the following:

     

     

    o   Title I schoolwide schools

     

     

    o   Targeted assistance schools

     

     

    o   Schools for children living in local institutions for neglected or delinquent children

     

     

    o   Schools for children receiving education in neglected and delinquent community day programs, if applicable.

     

     

    Schoolwide schools utilize Instructional Coaches and Core content coaches, such as Math, Reading/Language Arts, Science and Social Studies Teaching and Learning Specialist to provide professional development to teachers in areas that have been identified within the needs assessment for the school in order to increase student achievement. These schools also utilize before-school and after-school programs, extended day, summer programs, summer school for grades 2, 4 and 7, and a Summer Institute to address the remediation needs of students impacted by the CRCT standardized test.

     

     

    Targeted Assistance schools provide professional development to teachers in areas that have been identified within the needs assessment for the targeted students at the school. These schools also utilize before-school and after-school programs, extended day, summer programs and a Summer Institute to address the remediation needs of the identified targeted students based on standardized test results.

     

     

    As described in earlier sections, the organizational structure places the schools in four regions which form the governance units and support the delivery of education and services. Schools teach the performance standards required by the Georgia Department of Education. Quality Instruction/Quality Schools, the district's sustainability framework, provides best practice guidance.

     

     

    After-school and summer programs are offered for students in grades 1-8 who are at risk of academic failure. In summer 2012, students entering grades 3-8 in SY 2012-2013 who demonstrated a need for additional support attended the Summer Academy program, providing them with early exposure to the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards. The schools administer benchmark tests twice a year and provide frequent diagnostic assessments. Title I services are provided to students residing in local institutions for the neglected and delinquent.

     

     

     

    Schools have chosen to add programs/materials such as:

     

     

    ·        Mountain Math - K-5

     

     

    ·         Leapfrog Quantum Pad Programs

     

     

    ·         Shurley English Practice Skills for Remediation

     

     

    ·         Cornerstone Software for Remediation

     

     

    ·         The Teach Me Writing Program

     

     

    ·         Accelerated Reader Program

     

     

    ·        Breakthrough to Literacy - K and 1st Grade

     

     

    ·         GCRCT Coach Books

     

     

    ·         STAR

     

     

    ·         Saxon Phonics

     

     

    ·         READ 180

     

     

    ·         CAI (Computer Assistance Instruction)

     

     

    ·         CRCT Online Learning

     

     

    ·         Move It Math

     

     

    ·         River Deep

     

     

    Carrie Steele Pitts Home, Inc. and six other homes are occupied by children who are removed from their parents by the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) because of abuse and/or neglect or having involvement with the Department of Juvenile Justice. The children attend Atlanta Public Schools during the day and return to the home in the evening. When the students attend public school, they are provided Title I services on the same basis as other students. School age children bound to these institutions receive tutoring services from staff funded by Title I and technical assistance via the Homeless Liaison.

     

     

    Supplemental materials/programs, purchase through Title I, are designed to enhance the core curriculum in targeted areas. Title I funds provide counseling services to address the emotional and psychological problems that could impede grade promotion and graduation. The children also receive supplemental tutorials, technology services, and supplies to address academic deficits and promote academic preparedness through Title I funds allocated to the group home.

     

     

    This process is facilitated by the Homeless Liaison through regular visits to neglected and delinquent homes.

     

     

    As indicated in Descriptor #10, the following drug and safety programs (which meet the Principles of Effectiveness) are in place throughout the system and have been integrated into the regular curriculum by teachers:

     

     

    ·         Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program

     

     

    ·         Second Step Violence Prevention Program

     

     

    Through the APS Department of Career and Technical Education a variety of programs are available to students. Programs are concentrated in the following areas: Architecture, Communication, Logistics, Engineering, Technology, Business Information Technology, Marketing Sales and Services, Human Services, Hospitality, Healthcare Science, Agriculture, Government and Public Safety.

     

     

    Through these areas of concentration a number of courses are offered such as Construction, Drawing and Design, Maintenance and Operations, Automotive Technologies, Electronics, Financial Management, Network Systems, Travel and Tourism, Early Childhood, and many others.

     

     

    The English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program assists students in learning English and follows the requirements outlined in State Board of Education Rule 160-4-5-.02 LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE: PROGRAM FOR LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENT (LEP) STUDENTS.

     

     

    QBE funds are used to fund programs and staff required by QBE. Student support services are provided through counselors and school social workers which who are supplemental to the required instructional services and are paid for with QBE and local funds.

     

     

     

     

     

    Local funds are also used to supplement special initiatives, reduction in class size, paraprofessionals, professional learning, computer labs, coaches, mentors, and additional instructional materials, etc.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

     14. Title I, Part A; IDEA; EHCY

     

     

    A description of the services the LEA will provide homeless children who are eligible to receive services under applicable federal programs. The description should include the following:

     

     

    An assessment of the educational and related needs of homeless children and youths;

     

     

    A description of the services and programs for which assistance is sought to address the needs identified;

     

     

    A description of policies and procedures, consistent with section 722(e)(3), that the LEA will implement to ensure that activities carried out by the agency will not isolate or stigmatize homeless children and youth.

     

     

     In compliance with the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, (Title X, Part C of the No Child Left Behind Act, APS has designated a Homeless Liaison whose responsibility is to work directly with school based and district program specialists, parents and unaccompanied youth to identify homeless students. In addition, the system liaison coordinates with family and children services, local shelters, community service agencies, transitional living programs, and street outreach teams, housing departments, faith-based organizations and other governmental agencies to identify and determine service needs. On-going technical assistance to external stakeholders is provided by the liaison.

     

     

    Ongoing standardized assessments used for all students are used to identify academic skill gaps and to determine appropriate delivery of educational supports. Standardized assessment scores such as the CRCT, EOCT, ITBS and GHSGT are maintained to inform program development and supplemental support. In collaboration with Title I, the liaison ensures the provision of educational support services to homeless children/youth. Community based after-school programs provide homework assistance, direct instruction in reading, math, and science, CRCT preparation and planned enrichment activities.

     

     

    Students experiencing homelessness also have access to school-based after-school programs. Additional services provided include:

     

     

    · Coordination of transportation to schools of origins from shelters, motels, or any location a child is temporarily staying;

     

     

    · School enrollment/transfers; free school supplies; enrollment in free school nutrition programs;

     

     

    · Referrals to appropriate agencies for emergency food, clothing, shelter and medical           services.

     

     

    In addition, the liaison collaborates with the district data specialists to assure accurate collection and reporting of homeless data. In 2007-2008, the district reviewed and revised policies and procedures to implement immediate enrollment, ability to remain in school of origin, transportation assistance, access to comparable services and procedures for dispute resolution.

     

     

    In 2010-2011, an administrative regulation for homeless students was added to provide further explanation of the policy.  District policies and procedures are reviewed in an on-going manner to ensure continued compliance with McKinney-Vento mandates.

     

     

     

     

     

     Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

     15. Title I, Part A; Title I, Part C; Title II, Part D; Title III; Title IV; IDEA

     

     

    A description of the strategies the LEA will use to implement effective parental involvement in all programs. The description must include the following

     

     

    How the LEA included state and local government representatives, representatives of schools to be served, parents, teachers, students, and relevant community-based organizations in the development of the Comprehensive Plan for Improving Student Academic Achievement.

     

     

    How the LEA will provide the coordination, technical assistance, and other support necessary to assist schools in planning and implementing effective parent involvement activities.

     

     

    How the LEA will build school and parents capacity for strong parental involvement including how the LEA builds capacity to support a partnership among the school, parents, and community.

     

     

    How the LEA will coordinate and integrate parental involvement strategies under NCLB with other community based programs such as Head Start, Reading First, Even Start, State operated preschool programs, etc.

     

     

    How the LEA will conduct an annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of parental involvement.

     

     

    How the LEA will use data from the annual evaluation to design strategies for a more effective parental involvement policy.

     

     

    How the LEA will involve parents in schoolwide activities.

     

     

    Using the data from parent surveys, focus groups, and panel discussions of employees, Board members and community members, the APS staff identifies district goals, objectives, and performance measures to establish the annual Systemic Strategic Plan. All internal and external stakeholder groups contribute to the planning process in order to improve student achievement, recruit, develop and retain quality staff, seek capable leaders, and allocate resources effectively. Teaching and Learning and School Improvement/Leadership Development partners with content specialists, teacher and principal advisory groups, and Human Resources to develop annual professional learning needs assessments. Community Outreach Specialist and Parent Liaisons gather community input that is used by district leaders and principals to develop system and school wide achievement plans.

     

     

    The Parent Involvement Plan was developed and is annually updated in conjunction with the following committee representatives: parents, teachers, principals, Parent/Community Liaisons, Title I Central Office specialists, Community Outreach Specialist, and deputy superintendent's office representative. The plan is distributed to all schools and copies are given to the parents at the beginning of school each year. This plan was last updated August 2011. An excerpt from the Title I Parental Involvement Atlanta Public Schools Title I District Plan follows; however, the entire plan is available in an Attachment)... "Every school will promote partnerships that will increase parental involvement and participation in promoting the social, emotional, and academic growth of children"

     

     

     

    The Atlanta Public School System recognizes that the parent/family connection is one of the greatest driving forces behind the achievement of our students and that parent participation is vital to high levels of student success not only in school, but also throughout life. Research supports the positive academic and social impact upon students when there is meaningful parent and/or other family involvement. Therefore, the Atlanta Public Schools has implemented programs and policies to ensure increased parental involvement in the educational process.

     

     

    The Atlanta Public School System assures the rights of parents of children being served in programs funded by Title I in accordance with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to participate in the design and implementation of these programs. All parents of eligible Title I children, public and private, are invited to annual system wide meetings held in the spring and fall of each year. The annual system wide meetings are held at different times to give parents the opportunity to assist in formulating mechanisms for maintaining communications among parents, schools, LEA's and communities.

     

     

    Parents are also involved in the joint development of the district parent involvement plan and in the process of school review and improvement under Section 1112 and Section 1116 through the use of parent surveys and memberships on committees, school wide planning teams, and school improvement teams. A minimum of one percent of the Title I Budget is allocated for parental involvement programs. and Title I schools agreed to support the district initiative of providing a Community Outreach Specialist for each K-12 Cluster.  10 Community Outreach Specialist positions were created to serve as a liaison between the Title I district office, the local schools and the community to create an awareness of all Title I parent involvement components and requirements.

     

     

    Parents are involved in the decision of how funds are allotted for parental involvement activities. These funds may be used to fund a variety of services including parent-school liaison positions, materials and supplies, equipment, conferences, etc. The district funds a Parent Involvement Liaison who coordinates district parent involvement activities and directs the Atlanta Public Schools Family Involvement Center. The Center provides a plethora of resources designed to address the needs of parents and their children.

     

     

    The Parent Day of Learning and the Leadership Academy are two annual events sponsored by the district in conjunction with the P.T.A. Council. Additionally, Title I funds a system Title I Parent Involvement Coordinator who fulfills functions such as planning system parent meetings, providing parents with information about Title I, etc. Parent Centers and Family Engagement Specialists are provided for each of the four regions. Parent/Community Involvement Liaisons are contracted to provide support to schools for parent involvement activities. These persons provide guidance for the development and/or revision of local school parent involvement policies, school-parent compacts, and on-site and system-wide parent workshops.

     

     

    Local and system-wide parent workshops have been provided on topics such as: Understanding the New Law, NCLB, Study Skills, Legal Rights of Parents, Emotional Support for Peer Pressure, School Improvement, Men as Parents, Choice & SES, College Prep, Time Management, Anger Management, More on Testing, GED Training, and Parents as Tutors. Funds are used to provide materials and supplies, refreshments, transportation, babysitting services, and consultants for these meetings. Workshops, technical assistance and other resources are provided for school personnel to enhance their effectiveness in working with parents and educating staff on the value of parental involvement.

     

     

     

    Parental involvement programs and activities are coordinated and integrated with other Title I programs such as Evenstart, Headstart, Homeless, Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters and State-run preschool programs. Workshops are conducted to train parents in ways they can contribute to their children's progress and achievement. Programs are implemented and coordinated in order to build ties between home and school. Literacy and technology training is also provided. Opportunities are provided for the participation of all parents including parents with disabilities and non-English speaking parents by insuring that these parents are informed and providing interpreters as needed in system wide meetings.

     

     

    Each individual school is responsible for providing to parents a school profile and information related to school and parent programs, meetings and other activities in a language and format that can be easily understood. When system-wide meetings and workshops are planned, the district communications officer announces the meetings to the media and the public, and flyers are sent to all Title I parents.

     

     

    Atlanta Public Schools encourages partners in education programs, and make available information about opportunities for organizations and businesses to work with parents and schools. These groups are excellent resources to schools by providing instructional, financial and technological support. Many of these organizations can be found in the schools' communities. These partners and members of the community are invited periodically to participate in projects, provide materials and serve as speakers, mentors, tutors and chaperones. They also are encouraged to give feedback when warranted.

     

     

    Each school should have a parent resource center and provide activities that are appropriate for parents to learn about child development and child rearing issues beginning at the birth of the child. In addition, system wide workshops are provided based on parental input. Parents are encouraged to volunteer at their child's school so that they can become familiar with the day-to-day operation of the school and to offer assistance where they are needed. Sign-in and sign-up sheets will be placed in the school office. The Atlanta Public School System recognizes that the parent/family connection is one of the greatest driving forces behind the achievement of our students and that parent participation is vital to high levels of student success not only in school, but also throughout life.

     

     

    The APS provides monthly professional learning workshops for the Parent /Community Liaisons on working effectively with parents. The liaisons redeliver to the home school liaisons in the schools. Twice a year, the "APS Family Matters" newsletter is given to teachers and parents with tips on teachers working with parents, parents working with schools and other school and parenting information.

     

     

    An ESOL representative will give academic support to the parents and adults enrolled in the APS Parent Outreach programs. ESOL staff and other qualified translators and interpreters will be available during ELL specific events held at various school sites to update parents and student regarding academic and/or social needs. Each school will be given a draft plan to use as a guide for developing procedures at the school site for accommodating immigrant students. The district ESOL staff will assist with registration of new non-English speaking students. During registration, families will receive information on translation and interpreting procedures.

     

     

    Parental participation will be encouraged via special events in the school wherein parents/community members are asked to attend and/or volunteer for management of specific tasks. English classes for parents will focus on school specific vocabulary designed to teach parents about general school procedures, requirements and functions (i.e. attendance, grades, homework, standardized tests, conduct and board policies). Parent academies sponsored by Title I and ESOL will provide reading materials and other information to assist parents and their children with in-home reading activities and homework. Newsletters will be sent to parents quarterly containing tips to use at home, updates regarding school events and/or upcoming testing dates. All materials and communiqués will be translated into the student's home language or contain a translated statement announcing the availability of translation services. An ESOL staff person will monitor, evaluate and survey parent involvement participants to determine the effectiveness of the program.

     

     

    Through the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program, parenting workshops at shelter and other community based locations are provided by the Homeless Liaison. The Homeless Liaison will provide education and training to the parents of homeless children and youths about rights of, and resources available to children and youth. There is direct contact with parents (face to face and via telephone) to facilitate enrollment, transportation assistance and procurement of school supplies. This program also coordinates activities with shelters locations, schools and community resources. Educational conferences are also sponsored.

     

     

    Title IV, in collaboration with the Family Involvement department, hosts three (3) parenting community meetings per year to share in violence prevention and awareness. The Second Step Parenting workshop will take place monthly at the schools. Again, as mentioned above, the Parent University workshop is held annually. The Safe and Drug Free Schools Advisory Committee will put together the parent newsletter and website.

     

     

    The Department of Special Education employs two parent mentors as a part of a SDOE grant. These parents work with other parents who have children with disabilities and with schools to ensure that parents understand their rights as defined by federal and state statues. Workshops on parental rights are conducted at the request of school principals. Additionally, system wide parent workshops are conducted yearly to inform new and returning parents about the process for special education.

     

     

    The Department of Special Education also has a Stakeholders group that meets twice yearly to review goals and objectives for the Special Education Continuous Improvement Plan. Parents are an integral part of this group. A comprehensive report from the parent mentors is sent to the SDOE outlining all activities that have occurred for the school year. This report is data driven and rich. A copy of this report is on file at the SDOE and with the LEA. Additional parent involvement activities will be provided based on surveys, evaluations of workshops and the parental involvement program, and general feedback from parents.

     

     

    Each individual school is responsible for providing to parents a school profile and information related to school and parent programs, meetings and other activities in a language and format that can be easily understood. The district will conducts, with the involvement of parents, an annual evaluation to ascertain the effectiveness and content of the parent involvement policy and to determine if the policy: a. Increased the participation of parents b. Gave particular attention to the disadvantaged, limited English proficient and individuals with disabilities. The findings of these evaluations are used to design strategies for school improvement or revising the LEA parental involvement policy.

     

     

    Assistance is provided to parents in understanding such topics as state content standards, student performance standards, components of a school wide improvement program, state and local assistance, requirements of Title I, Part A, ways to work with parents to improve their children's performance and participation in decisions related to their children's education. As indicated above, the District's Parent Involvement Plan is distributed to parents on an annual basis; however, district news, announcements, and information is relayed to parents weekly and monthly via workshops in the local schools, newsletters, through media coverage, local PTA meetings, parent conferences and the Atlanta Council of PTAs. . The Family Involvement Center, Great Schools Atlanta, The Atlanta Council of PTAs and various community agencies host Educational Expos in Atlanta Housing Authority properties.

     

     

    Under the new accountability waiver, the graduation calculation changed to a five year, extended cohort graduation rate. As such, our preliminary data show a graduation rate of 51% in 2011. The official 2011 rate is expected to be released in the early fall. The 2012 rate, four nor five year cohort rate, has not been released. Given the new calculation, neither the 2011 nor the 2012 rates can be compared to historical rates.

     

     

    Atlanta Public Schools believes that all stakeholders should be involved in strategic initiatives to identify areas of need within the district. Using the data from parent surveys, focus groups, panel discussions of employees, board members and community members, the district staff has identified the following goals, objectives, and performance measures in its 2009-2010 Systemic Strategic Plan which address Title II, Part A requirements to identify certification deficiencies, monitor out-of-field teaching assignments, ensure the equitable distribution of teachers, and identify other needs based on federal guidelines and state goals.

     

     

    District-wide meetings will provide stakeholders, including employees and parents/community members, with information regarding federal and state "highly qualified requirements" and certification on a continuous basis. In addition, district employees will be informed of program initiatives, trainings/workshops, and resources. Specific goals, objectives, and performance measures as related to this equity plan (See Title II Equity Plan).

     

     

     

     

     

    Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

    16. Title I, Part A

     

     

    A description of the actions the LEA will take to assist its schools identified as Priority Schools, Focus Schools, and Title I, Part A Alert Schools.

     

     

    The SEA is required to administer annual assessments in math and reading/ language arts for the following grades: 3-5, 6-9, and 10-12. All students must participate in the assessment including disabled students and limited English proficient (LEP) students. The SEA must report disaggregated assessment results to the LEA by gender, ethnic subgroups, English proficiency status, migrant students, and students with disabilities.

     

     

    Under federal law all districts are required to participate in a statewide assessment and accountability system to hold districts accountable for academic achievement. The SEA must identify schools that have failed to meet state assessment standards. These schools are designated as "Priority, Focus and Alert.

     

     

    The LEA Office of Federal Grants and Programs Compliance is responsible for LEA Assurances. To ensure compliance with federal and state guidelines, the Office of Federal Grants and Programs Compliance organizes Peer Review teams to assist schools in developing School Improvement, Corrective Action and Restructuring plans. The Peer Review team includes Federal Grants Specialist, Educational Technology Specialists, Leadership Facilitators (GADOE) and School Improvement Specialist (GADOE) to review School Improvement, Corrective Action and Restructuring plans. The team provides feedback to schools and makes specific recommendations for revisions of plans.

     

     

    Plans must reflect an analysis of achievement data and include research based best instructional practices to address the causes of the schools' failure on the states academic assessment. Professional development and technical assistance is provided to the LEA by the Metro RESA School Improvement team. The LEA provides on-going technical assistance to schools in improvement status. Strategic federal and state budgetary resources are allocated and aligned for intensified focus in reading and math for identified schools in improvement status.

     

     

    The LEA provides Regional offices to serve as a direct line of support to schools, ensuring that schools receive adequate professional development, instructional coaching, mentoring and on-going support. LEA district wide and site-specific professional development in reading/ language arts, math, science and social studies provide learning opportunities to assist teachers with best instructional research based practices and assessment techniques.

     

     

    The LEA employs Professional Learning Specialist and Common Core Implementation Specialists whose primary responsibility is to assist schools with professional development and share instructional best practices in designated schools. Professional Learning Specialist and Common Core Implementation Specialists provide direct assistance to the building leadership and staff in implementing the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards, data analysis, performance standards, instructional planning, coaching and training. Learning Technology Specialists assist schools with benchmark assessments to monitor student improvement. Specific focus is given to professional development to improve student achievement for students with disabilities (SWD).

     

     

    The LEA utilizes staff, including Regional K-12 Executive Directors, Content Area Coordinators, Common Core Implementation Specialists, Educational Technology Specialists, Professional Learning Specialists and Digital Learning Specialists and staff from the Teaching and Learning and School Improvement/Leadership development Department to conduct site visits to monitor implementation and make recommendations to the school administration and staff. The GADOE Leadership facilitators and partner principals are assigned to schools in improvement status to provide additional support.

     

     

    The LEA requires schools to administer benchmark assessments. Data from benchmark assessments is collected and the data is analyzed. Targeted professional development is provided based on an item analysis of data to identify areas of instructional deficits.

     

     

    The LEA provides a team of school improvement specialist to participate in the Georgia Department of Education school visits and to assist with implementation of recommendations made by the GADOE. The LEA provides continuous support, on-going professional development, assessment, frequent monitoring and instructional modeling. The LEA recommends change in the school governance for schools not meeting state assessment standards The LEA School Improvement Plan specifically focuses on instructional alignment.

     

     

    Schools are required to include research based instructional strategies for students performing below expectations. School Improvement Plans are reviewed and monitored for implementation. Teaching and Learning staff and Georgia Department of Education conduct site visits to schools. Principals, as instructional leaders of schools, conduct a specified number of classroom observations with feedback, weekly.

     

     

    District personnel participate in training provided by the Georgia Department of Education, School Improvement Division on the School Improvement process. The GA DOE School Improvement Fieldbook is used by the district and schools to guide the continuous school improvement process. The system of support is based on the comprehensive and research based work of Robert J. Marzano.

     

     

    School Improvement Plans are written to reflect best instructional practices. School achievement data is analyzed and schools are required to utilize frequent on-going assessments. Each year more schools are making progress resulting in fewer schools designated as priority, focus and alert schools.

     

     

      Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

     17. Title I, Part A

     

     

    A description of the actions the LEA will take to implement Flexible Learning Program (FLP) for schools identified as Priority Schools, Focus Schools, and (where applicable) Title I, Part A Alert Schools.

     

     

    APS has established a process for notifying parents of students in schools that are identified as Priority, Focus and Alert status.

     

     

    The Atlanta Public School District conducts the following to notify parents of FLP:

     

     

    · Conducts a district wide meeting for parents on the implementation process of FLP

     

     

    · Provides guidance to Priority, Focus and Alert status schools regarding the           implementation of FLP through written communications and meetings

     

     

    · Completes required actions and documentation for parents:

     

     

    -  Notifies parents of eligible children of the availability of the Flexible Learning Plan (FLP) 

     

     

    -  Maintains a written record of parent's inquiry regarding FLP

     

     

    -  Retains resolution complaints on file.

     

     

    - Provides list of schools offering FLP and number of eligible students participating at each school.

     

     

    - Provides a worksheet showing calculation per pupil maximum for FLP

     

     

    The Atlanta Public School District will implement the following components for the FLP:

     

     

    o   Identify and explain the areas of need that will be addressed by the FLP offered at each school using school level disaggregated data

     

     

    o   Describe the multiple, educationally related, selection criteria by core content area

     

     

    o   Describe the scientifically research based strategies that the LEA will implement to ensure that supplemental academic intervention time is designed to support students meeting academic performance goals. 

     

     

    o   Describe the program delivery model that the LEA/school will implement. 

     

     

    o   Describe the professional development (PD) that the LEA will provide for the FLP instructional staff/contractor.

     

     

    o   Describe the procedures the LEA will implement to ensure that the instructional goals of the FLP students are aligned with the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards.

     

     

    o   Describe the procedures that the LEA will implement to maximize the enrollment and attendance of the students with the greatest need for the FLP.

     

     

    o   Describe the procedures the LEA/school will use to monitor the implementation of the program and the tracking of all required data (assessment, program cost, etc.). 

     

     

    o   Describe the internal controls that the LEA will implement to promote efficiency, assure the fidelity of the implementation of the LEA's FLP program, and to safeguard assets and/or avoid fraud, waste, and abuse.

     

     

     

    LEAs are required to evaluate outcomes of their FLP interventions. 

     

     

     

      Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

     18. Title I, Part A; Title II, Part A and Title II, Part D; Title III; IDEA

     

     

    A description of how the LEA will ensure that teachers and paraprofessionals meet the highly qualified requirements in Title I section 1119, QUALIFICATIONS FOR TEACHERS AND PARAPROFESSIONALS. Description must include:

     

     

    Highly Qualified trend data for LEA and school

     

     

    Information about numbers of teachers (disaggregated by subject taught and grade level) who lack certification and who are NOT designated as highly qualified;

     

     

    Activities of how the LEA will develop strategies and use funds to support teachers in becoming highly qualified;

     

     

    The percentage of teachers and administrators who are technologically literate; the method(s) used to determine teacher and administrator technology literacy; and strategies the school system will implement to increase the percentage of teachers and administrators who are technologically literate;

     

     

    A description of how the LEA will certify that all teachers in any language instruction educational program for limited English proficient students that is, or will be funded under Title III, are fluent in English and any other language used for instruction, including having written and oral communication skills;

     

     

     FY12 HiQ percentage for teachers is 96.52

     

     

    FY12 HiQ percentage for paraprofessional is 99.1

     

     

    Based on certification information provided at the time of hire, teacher course assignment at the school level, and the HiQ2 report, individuals are identified as non-HiQ. After identification, the Title II Compliance Officer develops individualized remediation plans to identify specific requirements and available resources to meet HiQ status. This plan is used to inform and guide teachers of requirements that must be fulfilled in order to convert their Non Renewable Certificates into Clear Renewable Certificates. Deadlines are given to assure that all requirements are completed within the first three years of the five year validity of the certification. Plans are sent to the individual and principals for agreement and signature.

     

     

    Atlanta Public Schools believes that every child should be provided with a competent, caring and highly qualified teacher and/or paraprofessional. The Human Resources Division collaborates with Information Technology to ensure that all teacher certification data is current and accurate. Human Resources also works with district leaders, teachers, paraprofessionals and principals to ensure individuals complete the remediation plans and obtain highly qualified status.

     

     

    Reviews of remediation plans are conducted in October and March by the Title II Compliance Officer and principals to ensure that teachers and paraprofessionals are on track with their signed remediation plan commitments. The Title II Compliance Officer also conducts individualized meetings throughout the year with principals and teachers to discuss teacher assignments in certification areas related to the remediation plans.  This information is currently housed in Infinite Campus an electronic database that captures student and teacher scheduling information. The follow-up meetings also provide teachers and principals an opportunity to communicate any issues that they are experiencing and to seek advice for alternative actions.

     

     

    In April, communications are sent to all plan holders as a final check of progress towards completion.  This email requests a status update from the teachers on all requirements that have been completed to date. Information collected at this time determines recommendations for retention or termination.

     

     

    The district notifies parents about their "right to know" about the professional qualifications of their child's teachers and paraprofessionals. Schools send a letter on school letterhead notifying parents of their "Right to Know" information via U.S. Mail. The letter states a specific contact person's name, telephone number, and e-mail address.

     

     

    The district ensures that parents have been notified of their "right to know by requiring Principals to sign a document prepared by the district office affirming that the letter notifying parents of their "Right to Know" has been sent. A copy of the letter will be kept on file in the district office.

     

     

    The district notifies parents when their child has been taught for 20 or more consecutive days by a teacher who is not highly qualified. The school is required to send notification letter to parents for non-highly qualified teacher placement when assigned to students for 4 or more consecutive weeks. The letter includes specific qualification details regarding the assigned teacher. It also includes the name, address, telephone number/email address for the school level contact on school letterhead. This letter is required to be distributed to parents via U.S. mail whenever this situation occurs.

     

     

    The district ensures parents have been notified when their child is taught by a non-HiQ teacher by reviewing teacher schedules on an ongoing basis and requiring copies of the letter will be kept on file in the district office.

     

     

    In addition to the performance measures listed above, the Human Resources Division has implemented the following strategies:

     

     

    · Conduct a mandatory meeting with teachers and administrative staff to inform them of the requirements needed to become HiQ.

     

     

    · Conduct mandatory meeting with paraprofessional staff to inform them of requirements          needed to become HiQ and/or maintain or achieve clear renewable certificates status.

     

     

    · Develop and manage remediation plans for teachers currently assigned out of their field or teaching subject areas for which they are not certified.

     

     

    · Provide reimbursements (as funds are available) for certified staff to take the appropriate GACE assessments they need through Title I.

     

     

    · Collaborate with the Professional Standards Commission regarding certification         requirements and status of Atlanta Public School's staff.

     

     

    · Conduct data review meetings with Principals and Executive Directors regarding the HiQ status of the teachers in their buildings.

     

     

    · Conduct a bi-annual review of individuals holding nonrenewable teaching certificates and require them to report their status in an approved program.

     

     

    · Notify Principals of necessary staffing changes to reflect HiQ status for all teachers.

     

     

    · Require Principals to report any staffing changes on a monthly basis.

     

     

    · Collaborate with the Office of Federal Grants and Program Compliance to ensure that teachers who are new to the field are adequately supported through resources from both departments.

     

     

    The district allocates Title II-A funds for the purpose of reimbursing GACE examination fees as well as provides GACE study materials to educators who are seeking highly qualified status. Funding is also provided for coursework (Reading endorsement, alternative certification programs, Exceptional children courses) and mentoring support to teachers and paraprofessionals.

     

     

    Although Atlanta Public Schools did not reach its goal of achieving 100% Highly Qualified Status for teachers and paraprofessionals, tremendous strides have been made in order obtain this goal.  APS 2009-2010 academic school year HiQ percentage was 89.6%, the 2010-2011 academic school year HiQ percentage was 96.6% and 2011-2012, academic school year HiQ percentage as reported by GaPSC is 96.49%. The district's overall highly qualified status for paraprofessionals was reported as 98.95 %. The percentage of highly qualified teachers working in Charter Schools has significantly increased.  University Community Academy is APS's only Charter School that requires teachers to hold a valid teaching certificate; however in FY13 University Charter will be closed.  All Charter Schools are configured into the HiQ2 system statistical data. Through careful evaluation of teacher and paraprofessional certificates, it was discovered that a large portion of teachers were indeed Highly Qualified by content.  There were numerous coding and assignment errors that were corrected district wide.  This resulted in a significant increase in the districts HiQ percentage.  Because of the district's new approach in adhering to the ESEA waiver guidelines we foresee the following as a result:

     

     

    · For 2012-2013 Academic Year, Atlanta Public Schools will increase its HiQ percentage to approximately 98%.

     

     

    · By 2014, Atlanta Public Schools will meet The ESEA HiQ Guidelines by achieving 100% Highly Qualified status.

     

     

     

    Policies are in place to ensure that students are not served by inexperienced or ineffective teacher The Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES) will be used to identify teachers who are ineffective. Those who are identified as being ineffective by the principal through formal observation will be placed on a Professional Development and Remediation Plan. If the teacher still fails to meet the target requirements based on the observation instrument, the teacher can be terminated.  Remediation Plans will also be sent to all non-highly qualified teachers and paraprofessionals in order to support their efforts in becoming highly qualified.

     

     

    Policies are in place to ensure that students are not serviced by inexperienced or ineffective teacher two years in a row.  If a teacher is identified as being ineffective by the principal through formal observation and the necessary modifications are not made to adjust instruction, the principal may place the individual teacher on a Professional Development and Remediation Plan.  If the teacher still fails to meet the target requirements based on the observation instrument, the teacher can be terminated.  Remediation Plans will also be sent to all non-highly qualified teachers and paraprofessionals in order to support their efforts in becoming highly qualified.

     

     

    In addition to the analysis of teacher observation data, student achievement data is also factored to ensure that students are not being served by ineffective teachers.  Student achievement data is analyzed by the administrative team to specifically identify trends and gaps in student achievement.  If a specific trend or gap can be identified as a trend for a specific teacher, the appropriate action steps are taken to support the teacher in the identified domain.  Another policy that exists to ensure that students are not serviced by ineffective, inexperienced teachers two years in a row is the FMLS policy.  This policy states that if a teacher is out for a period longer than 60 days, the Human Resources Division can move to replace the teacher in that classroom on the 61st day to ensure that students are not served by long term substitutes for an extensive period of time.  These and several other policies support not only the needs of the district, but the quality of education for the students.

     

     

    Given the above, during the 2009-2010 school year the Atlanta Public Schools HiQ percentages are as follows:  Atlanta Public Schools teacher percentages Title I 87.2%, Non-Title 96.2%, Charters 70.5%, non-Charters 89.6%, and Paraprofessionals 94.1%.  For 2011-2012 school year the HiQ percentages for teachers is 96.52 and the HiQ percentages for paraprofessional is 99.1. During the school year individuals who have not met HiQ were given Remediation Plans based on HiQ2 data whereby they had to indicate to Human Resources in writing their method(s) of becoming highly qualified.  In addition, the Remediation Plan provides a hard deadline date for individuals to fulfill HiQ requirements.  The Title II Compliance Officer is then charged with quarterly checks of the affected individuals to ensure that they are on track with their signed remediation plan commitments.

     

     

    The district makes every effort to only hire teachers and paraprofessional who are highly qualified. Teacher/paraprofessional experience, educational background, and certification are the primary criteria used to assess their highly-qualified status. When the district hires a teacher or paraprofessional whose credential and record indicate that they are not highly qualified, those individuals are given ninety days to become highly qualified. These individuals must pass the prescribed assessment in their area in order to evidence their qualifications.

     

     

    In order to abide by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, , the Teaching and Learning Department and the Human Resources Department provides learning opportunities and teacher assessment preparation (GACE) to support teachers and paraprofessionals to ensure that they become highly qualified. The district provides the reading and mathematics endorsement programs for middle school teachers and an online Paraprofessional Institute to assist paraprofessionals in becoming highly qualified. In addition to the process employed by the system, Title III takes extra steps to ensure that their teachers and paraprofessionals meet the highly qualified requirements in Title I by implementing the following processes:

     

     

    Results from local and state administered tests will be analyzed to determine the areas of weakness identified in teaching ELLs. Paraprofessionals will participate in all district wide ESOL focused professional learning sessions that will prepare them for working with ELLs. Participants will be chosen to attend conferences that focus on content areas (administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals, other school staff members as well as district staff) based on school needs identified through surveys, district administrators, or school administrators. In-service activities at school sites to improve teacher performance will be offered upon request and school needs.

     

     

    Speakers will be invited for district trainings and professional learning sessions, such as the APS ESOL specific conference, SPEAK (Supporting Principles of English Acquisition and Knowledge). Conversational Spanish classes will be offered through Professional Development for the purpose of training teachers and other school staff to communicate with parents and students. Professional Development courses focusing on accommodations, strategies and methodologies for teaching ESOL students in the regular classroom, teaching English Language Learners in content courses, Limited English Speakers and Reform Initiatives will be offered. HR will provide information to verify that professionals and paraprofessionals are fluent in English (i.e. met minimum requirement on state mandated teacher/professional/paraprofessional exam) and/or any other language used for instruction. Stipends may also be offered for various courses.

     

     

    The percentage of highly qualified teachers (as defined by the NCLB Act) and paraprofessionals increased by the end of the 2005 – 2006 school year to 93% and 76% respectively. Even though this represents an increase the district did not meet the strategic goal it set for itself. At the beginning of the 2005-06 school year the Title II-A federal report showed the following: 84.5% of teachers in Non-Title I schools were deemed highly qualified. 15.5% were deemed not highly qualified. 86.5% of teachers in Title I schools were deemed highly qualified. 13.5% were deemed not highly qualified. For the 2006-07 school highly qualified. 9.8% were deemed not highly qualified. Special education teachers are now required to hold certification in a specified content area opposed to a broad field special education certification. The district has made every effort to move teachers into areas in which they are highly qualified. The individuals who are not, have committed to completing requirements to become highly qualified by the end of the 2006-2007 school year. Data compiled from the May 2006 CPI Not-Highly Qualified Report indicates the following numbers of teachers were "not highly qualified': Elementary level - there were 145 regular education and special education cognitive level P-5 teachers; Middle level - there were 189 reading, 34 mathematics, 20 English/language arts, 63 science, 3 social studies and 4 foreign language teachers; High School - there were 3 reading, 19 mathematics, 23 English/language arts, 27 science, 19 social studies, and 3 foreign language teachers. These numbers do not include exploratory or cross-grade level teachers. Paraprofessionals are only assigned for Kindergarten and the Department of Special Education. There is remediation for those teachers remaining with the district who must become 'highly qualified'; however, several teachers have now been separated by APS. All schools have created two notices to parents that inform them of required Parental Notifications regarding the highly-qualified status of teachers in their child's school. The notices are sent out at the beginning of the school year to inform parents of their right to request the professional qualifications of their children's classroom teacher(s) and paraprofessional(s). Additionally, parents are informed if their child will be taught by a teacher for four consecutive weeks who is not highly qualified. The LEA provides professional development classes for reading endorsement and the opportunity to take the GACE for Reading Certification through Title I and Title II-A funds. The Title IID eMath grant provides consistent professional development in process and content knowledge in mathematics and technology use thereby increasing the proficiency of the teachers. Additionally, teachers are obtaining more than 60 hours of professional development as per the grant specification. These professional development hours count toward certificate renewal. Title III teachers are required to meet state certification requirements, i.e. ESOL Endorsed/Certified. Currently all APS ESOL teachers are ‘highly qualified' by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. The Department of Special Education has also developed an Action Plan that supplements the system's processes. The Action Plan, which has been submitted to Human Resources and the Georgia Department of Education, outlines how the district will prepare Special education, teachers to become certified and highly qualified. As an example, steps are specified in the Action Plan, such as 1. organizing a core committee of Special education, HR, and PPD to discuss the impact of this group of teachers, 2. holding meetings to include all Special education , teachers, assistant principals, special education liaisons, and program assistants to address the certification needs and assistance provided by the school system, 3. addressing individual staff concerns in the Region teams, and 4. providing assistance for teachers to in the use of courses, and 5. providing guidance in completion of the High Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE). Copies of memoranda sent from central office to schools and teachers are included in the Action Plan.

     

     

    EQUITY PLAN 2012–2013

     

     

    Introduction

     

     

    Atlanta Public Schools has over 6,000 employees who are responsible for shaping the lives of the nearly 50,000 students entering our classrooms daily. Through effective and innovative teaching that meets the needs of the individual learner, we are preparing students for a successful life beyond their high school careers. Families, teachers, students and community members are encouraged to fully participate in the educational process that offers rigorous academics, relevance to everyday life and builds strong relationships among students, peers, and adults.

     

     

    The past school year provided us with compelling insight into delivering a quality education to all students. Stable communities and stable school clusters often result in stable, quality schools. As a result, beginning in 2012-13, Atlanta Public Schools will operate according to a cluster model. We will form 9 clusters composed of dedicated elementary schools feeding into dedicated middle schools and ultimately into dedicated high schools. Our expectation is that every school within every cluster will follow a rigorous curriculum. All students will have access to music, arts, foreign language and core academic programs that are high quality and well-coordinated – from start to finish, from kindergarten through Grade 12.

     

     

    We believe the cluster model can help decrease the dropout rate and increase the graduation rate. The cluster approach will better support students, schools and instruction, especially as we begin implementing the Common Core State Standards across the curriculum this coming school year.

     

     

     

    During the 2011-12 school year, 49,536 students were enrolled in 101 learning sites throughout the district.  Overall, 76 percent of the students qualified for free or reduced price meals.  Student ethnicity was recorded as 79% African-American, 12% Caucasian, 6% Hispanic, 1% Asian, and a total of 2% from the American Indian, Pacific Islander, and Multiracial ethnic groups. All of the schools within the district, with the exception of 6 schools, receive Title I programs and services.

     

     

    Atlanta Public Schools is educating today's students for tomorrow's world. We are committed to ensuring that all students graduate from our schools ready for success. Our students deserve targeted, quality, research-based instructional programs that are managed by highly effective teachers and leaders. We will eliminate competing initiatives that are stifling student success and teacher effectiveness. We will continue to identify effective instructional programs and channel resources to support the programs that foster student success.

     

     

    The district's vision is that APS will be one of the nation's highest performing urban school systems, where 90 percent of its ninth-graders graduate from high school in four years ready for success in college or career.

     

     

    The district's mission is to improve student achievement, increase community engagement, strategically manage and leverage technology, ensure fiscal responsibility and stability, improve efficiency and effectiveness of district processes, increase employee capacity and leadership, increase employee engagement, improve recruitment and retention of highly effective staff and build a culture of alignment and accountability.

     

     

    It is the belief of Atlanta Public Schools that this Equity Plan will serve as the framework of implementation to build capacity as a district in meeting the Title II, Part A requirements on improving teacher and staff quality. The over-reaching goal of this plan is to identify projects, procedures, measurable goals, benchmarks and timelines that district personnel will use when collaborating and executing steps needed to ensure that all teachers, paraprofessionals, and administrators achieve and maintain highly qualified status throughout their employment with Atlanta Public Schools.  The district recognizes the fundamental importance of improving student achievement through the equitable distribution of resources and staff within all schools. 

     

     

    Provide a summary of how the needs assessment is conducted

     

     

    The district examines available data to conduct a needs assessment. Various stakeholder groups are engaged through surveys, focus groups and community meetings. Student achievement and teacher effectiveness data are also included as data points in the needs assessment.

     

     

       Identify data sources used

     

     

      Data sources include:

     

     

      Student Achievement Data

     

     

      Benchmark Assessments

     

     

      Teacher Observation and Evaluation Results

     

     

      System leaders, Teachers, and Paraprofessionals Surveys

     

     

      Parent and Community Member Surveys

     

     

      Community Meeting Data

     

     

     

     

     

    HiQ status of teachers

     

     

    The district's overall highly qualified status as reported by GaPSC is 96.49%. The percentage of highly qualified teachers working in Charter Schools has significantly increased.  University Community Academy is APS's only Charter School that requires teachers to hold a valid teaching certificate; however in FY13 University Charter will be closed.  All Charter Schools are configured into the HiQ2 system statistical data.

     

     

    HiQ status of paraprofessionals

     

     

    The district's overall highly qualified status was reported as 98.95 %.

     

     

     

    Teacher experience

     

     

    Teacher experience:  The distribution of teacher experience in the district is consistent with national trends.  Most teachers in the system fall under the "Middle Level" category with three to twenty years of experience.  The highest amount of experienced teachers was found at the elementary school level while the lowest amount of experienced teachers was found at the middle school level.

     

     

    Teacher experience in the district is as follows:

     

     

      Elementary:  average years teaching experience 10.4%

     

     

    (0-3 yrs.) 23.1%; (3-20 yrs.) 65.8%; (>20 yrs.) 17.7%

     

     

      Middle:  average years teaching experience 8.8%

     

     

    (0-3 yrs.) 24.5%; (3-20 yrs.) 66.2% (>20 yrs.) 12.8%

     

     

      High: average years of teaching experience 8.7%

     

     

    (0-3 yrs.) 29.9%; (3-20 yrs.) 58.3% (>20 yrs.) 16.3%

     

     

    Teacher training to meet diverse student needs

     

     

    Student assessment data and feedback from the leader, teacher, and paraprofessional surveys identified gaps in instructional practice in the areas of mathematics and addressing the needs of economically disadvantaged and special education students. The need for support in implementing the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards, accommodating all learners, and differentiating instruction were identified as focus areas for professional learning.

     

     

    Class Size

     

     

    During the 2011-2012 school year, APS adhered to the Georgia class size formula to ensure that Title I and non-Title I schools have the same teacher-pupil ratio in its classrooms. The district has been granted a waiver to exempt class size requirements for the 2012-2013 school year.

     

     

     

     

    Retention

     

     

    Retention: The overall retention rate for the 2010/11 school year is 88%.  The high school level is slightly lower than the elementary and middle school levels.

     

     

    2010-2011

     

     

    Elementary:                89%

     

     

    Middle:                       89%

     

     

    High:                            86% 

     

     

     

    Recruitment

     

     

    Recruitment: Our recruitment strategies have focused on the following areas:  Foreign Language- To establish a quality pool of highly effective foreign language teachers, APS utilizes Taleo, the applicant tracking system, to manage candidate applications on an ongoing basis and utilizes the services of Visiting International Faculty to provide highly qualified foreign language teachers.

     

     

    Student Teachers- APS has established relationships with student teachers who complete their student teaching experience in APS through pre-service orientations. These orientations serve as a recruitment tool to encourage student teachers to apply to APS. Student teachers are also invited to participate in external hiring events.

     

     

    College/University Relations- Representatives from Human Resources visit with local colleges/universities to maintain relationships with students and tell them about opportunities within APS. Recent graduates are targeted through college and university career centers and job boards.

     

     

    NOYCE- A partnership with Georgia State University has been maintained to recruit NOYCE Scholars to teach math and science within APS.

     

     

    Teach For America (TFA) - APS continues to partner with TFA to place highly qualified teachers in the following K-12 areas:  math, science, social science, English/language arts, reading, special education and foreign language.

     

     

    Global Teachers Research and Resources (GTRR) - APS partners with GTRR to place international teachers in high need positions including math, science and special education.

     

     

     

    Georgia Teaching Fellows- APS has recently partnered with Georgia Teaching Fellows as another source of providing highly qualified educators in high needs areas.

     

     

     

     Atlanta Urban Teacher Residency Program- APS seeks to create an internal pipeline of highly effective educators in the areas of greatest need to include- math, science, reading and special education.  The first cohort of math and science residents will train with a mentor teacher during the 2012-2013 school year. Upon successful completion of the residency year, Residents will become the teacher of record during the 2013-2014 school year.

     

     

    Social Networking- APS utilizes Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin to post positions that are vacant within the district.

     

     

     

    List Prioritized Needs

     

     

    The departments of Human Resources, Teaching and Learning, and School Improvement and Leadership Development will collaborate to ensure equitability across schools and support teacher and leader quality. According to the needs assessment results, the following have been identified as priority areas of need:

     

     

    o   Professional learning that meets the needs of staff

     

     

     

    o   Recruitment and retention of highly qualified teachers and paraprofessionals

     

     

     

    o   Equitable opportunities for all students

     

     

     

    o   Mentoring and coaching for teachers, paraprofessionals, and principals

     

     

     

    o   Identify Stakeholder groups (internal and external)

     

     

     

    Atlanta Public Schools believes that all stakeholders should be involved in strategic initiatives to help identify and support areas of need within the district. Input is gathered from the following stakeholder groups:

     

     

    Superintendent and Senior Cabinet Members

     

     

    Parents

     

     

    Community Members/Business Partners

     

     

    Local School Council and PTA Members

     

     

    Principal and Teacher Advisory Groups

     

     

    Board Members

     

     

    Accomplish annual needs assessment

     

     

     

    The Curriculum and Instruction Division, which includes content coordinators and teacher and principal advisory groups, partners with Human Resources to develop the annual need assessments.  Title I Community Outreach Specialists, Title I Parent Liaisons, and the district Parents as Partners Academic Center Liaison play a major role in engaging parents and the community. Parents and community stakeholders' input is used by district leaders and principals to develop system and school level achievement plans.

     

     

     

    Prioritize needs

     

     

    All internal and external stakeholder groups contribute to the planning process through participation in surveys and parent and community meetings. Information gathered is used to identify and prioritize needs.

     

     

    Identify actions or strategies contributed to equity plan.

     

     

    APS staff uses needs assessment data to identify district goals, objectives, and performance measures which establishes the annual District Strategic Plan. Specific actions such as improving student achievement, developing ways to recruit and retain high quality staff, and allocate resources effectively have been derived from the stakeholder collaboration.

     

     

    Provide teacher HiQ Percentage for the current year 96.52%

     

     

    Provide paraprofessional HiQ Percentage for the current year 99.1%

     

     

    Describe how a remediation plan is developed for non-HiQ teachers, non-HiQ paraprofessionals, and core academic teachers who do not hold a clear renewable certificate.

     

     

    Based on certification information provided at the time of hire, teacher course assignment at the school level, and the HiQ2 report, individuals are identified as non-HiQ. After identification, the Title II Compliance Officer develops individualized remediation plans to identify specific requirements and available resources to meet HiQ status. This plan is used to inform and guide teachers of requirements that must be fulfilled in order to convert their Non Renewable Certificates into Clear Renewable Certificates. Deadlines are given to assure that all requirements are completed within the first three years of the validity of the certification. Plans are sent to the individual and principals for agreement and signature.

     

     

    Individualized remediation plans are also created for highly qualified core academic teachers who do not hold clear renewable teaching certificates.  These plans do not exceed the end validity of the teacher's non-renewable teaching certificate.

     

     

    Atlanta Public Schools believes that every child should be provided with a competent, caring and highly qualified teacher and/or paraprofessional. The Human Resources Division collaborates with Information Technology to ensure that all teacher certification data is current and accurate. Human Resources also works with district leaders, teachers, paraprofessionals and principals to ensure that non-HiQ teachers, non-HiQ paraprofessionals and core academic teachers who do not hold clear renewable certificates are completing the requirements of  their remediation plans.  The desired outcome of the plan holders is to obtain a clear renewable certificate and highly qualified status. 

     

     

     

     

    Reviews of remediation plans are conducted in October and March by the Title II Compliance Officer and principals to ensure that teachers and paraprofessionals are on track with their signed remediation plan commitments. The Title II Compliance Officer also conducts individualized meetings throughout the year with principals and teachers to discuss teacher assignments in certification areas related to the remediation plans.  This information is currently housed in Infinite Campus a database that captures student and teacher scheduling information. The follow-up meetings also provide teachers and principals an opportunity to communicate any issues that they are experiencing and to seek advice for alternative actions.   

     

     

    In April, email communications are sent to all plan holders as a final check of progress towards completion.  This email requests a status update from the teachers on all requirements that have been completed to date. Information collected at this time determines recommendations for retention or termination.

     

     

    Describe how LEA monitors HiQ assignment of teachers based on student demographics and diverse needs of students.

     

     

    Although many of the areas as they relate to Title II Compliance are systematically monitored by the Human Resources Division, at this time we do not currently review HiQ status in direct correlation with student demographics such as poverty level.  Teachers that are alternatively certified through Teach For America (TFA), NOYCE Scholars, Visiting International Faculty (VIF), and Georgia Teaching Fellows are equitably distributed throughout the district.

     

     

    Describe how Title II-A or other appropriate funds support the remediation of plans.

     

     

    The district allocates Title II-A funds for the purpose of reimbursing GACE examination fees as well as provides GACE study materials to educators who are seeking highly qualified status. Funding is also provided for coursework (Reading endorsement, alternative certification programs, Exceptional children courses) and mentoring support to teachers and paraprofessionals.

     

     

    Atlanta Public Schools will provide professional learning to professional learning staff at the district, cluster and school levels to ensure that the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards are properly implemented in grades K-12.  Professional learning will include face-to-face and online opportunities throughout the school year.  Furthermore, professional learning opportunities will be job-embedded to ensure that teachers' adoption of the standards support students' continued growth and achievement.  The activities will include a focus on unpacking the standards for ELA, Math and Literacy in Science, History and the Technical Subjects, but will also include a focus on ensuring that teachers' pedagogical practices are aligned to support the rigor outlined in the standards.

     

     

    Describe how the LEA assesses teacher effectiveness

     

     

    The Atlanta Public Schools will implement Teacher Keys as the teacher evaluation system. This assessment system compiles student achievement results, teacher observation data, and student perception data to evaluate teachers and contribute to a teacher's effectiveness measure. Teacher effectiveness data will be compiled within the Teacher Effectiveness Dashboard (TED). The TED will serve as a repository for data that includes: experience, evaluation scores, student achievement data, observation data, and value-added results at the school level. This information will allow administrators to staff appropriately and differentiate professional development activities for staff members.

     

     

    Describe how the LEA plans to address any identified inequities in teacher experience across schools and classrooms in the system and within its schools and programs.

     

     

    During the 2011-2012 school year, teacher experience data was captured for all schools. Principals were able to utilize experience data as a consideration in making decisions regarding teacher assignments. During the 2012-2013 school year, district administrators will be able to monitor teacher placement and support for teachers based on experience levels. During the evaluation of teachers and the placement of students, APS will ensure that all students and teachers receive the academic support needed. APS will also ensure based on reviewing data from previous year and writing the scope of work for current year that all students receive service from highly effective teachers.

     

     

    Describe how the LEA plans to address any identified inequities in teacher effectiveness within its schools and programs.

     

     

    Using the data provided in TED, principals will be able to ensure that teachers are appropriately placed and supported with effectiveness being one of the areas of consideration. District administrators will also be able to monitor teacher placement and support for teachers based on effectiveness levels.

     

     

    To further assist with ensuring teacher effectiveness within schools, whenever there is a need to level the number of teachers assigned to a school, the district has developed a more equitable process. This process includes moving the middle percentile of teachers rather than the upper or lower percentiles, so that no school becomes inundated with all high or low achieving teachers.

     

     

    Describe the procedure to ensure that no student will receive an inexperienced, ineffective teacher two years in a row.

     

     

    If all teacher candidates are screened through a rigorous selection process that includes systemic prescreening and interviewing procedures, highly effective teachers will be hired.

     

     

    APS is developing the next version of TED which will give principals data regarding teacher effectiveness over a period of time and allow principals to differentiate individual teacher assignments based on skills, experience, specific strengths and weaknesses, and student needs. This will inform principal's staffing decisions. As we transition to the implementation of the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS), our goal as a district is to increase the capacity of teachers to provide excellent instructional learning environments for all students. Teacher will share effective teaching strategies and resources, analyze student data and work samples, and develop new learning opportunities, intervention strategies and action plans.

     

     

    Describe how the LEA plans to address identified inequities in class sizes across schools in the system and within its schools.

     

     

    APS will staff elementary and middle schools with teacher-pupil ratios that do not exceed the state class size rule. The district has received a class size waiver to allow high schools to be staffed within the guidelines of the approved waiver.

     

     

     

    In addition, the district will periodically pull random samplings of class schedule data from the student information system to review and ensure equity across all schools.

     

     

    Describe the process the system uses to assess teacher ability to differentiate instruction based on diverse needs of students.

     

     

    In an effort to provide teachers and paraprofessionals with effective teaching methods that will improve academic achievement and ensure that students are college and career ready; the staff of APS implements the following:

     

     

    o   School Learning Walks and informal observations to assess instructional delivery throughout schools

     

     

    o   Teacher self-assessment surveys to assess teacher perceptions of effectiveness and efficacy

     

     

    o   Student benchmark data to assess student learning and progress

     

     

    o   Teachers' performance will be measured by the use of Teachers' KEYS and classroom observations

     

     

    The above activities enable district leaders and principals to complete the following:

     

     

    o   Analyze data using researched-based assessment plans and tools

     

     

    o   Revise training delivery or content based on progress toward student improvement targets

     

     

    o   Measure impact of change on student achievement and teacher performance

     

     

    o   Review and revise instructional activities to align with curriculum, program goals, and state standards

     

     

    o   Utilize Professional Learning Specialists to train mentor teachers and instructional support staff to assist classroom teachers with differentiation strategies to meet the goals of the diverse learners

     

     

    o   Provide professional learning to assist teachers with strategies and methods to meet the needs of their diverse student population

     

     

    o   Common Core professional learning will include face-to-face and online opportunities throughout the school year.

     

     

    o   Common Core professional learning opportunities will be job-embedded to ensure that teachers' adoption of the standards support students' continued growth and achievement.

     

     

    Describe the teacher retention program that includes specific plans for schools and/or programs that have been identified with retention needs.

     

     

    Current research suggests districts that provide comprehensive induction programs are more likely to retain teachers at higher levels. Thus, APS has identified the induction of novice and newly hired teachers as a priority. The induction program includes a district-wide orientation, individualized mentor support throughout the school year, and ongoing professional learning opportunities.

     

     

    Novice teachers in the first 2 years of teaching receive intense support from Professional Learning Specialist for Teacher Quality and Instructional Mentors using the New Teacher Center Model. This model ensures that all first and second year teachers are supported 1-2 hours weekly through mentoring, coaching, and modeling of instructional practices.

     

     

     

    Newly hired teachers and teachers newly assigned to a different school are supported by school-based mentors. The school-based mentors are trained through the New Teacher Center Model and the Teacher Support Specialist (TSS) Endorsement Series.

     

     

    Retention is also a priority for veteran teachers. One way this is being addressed is through ongoing professional learning. Observation data and teacher self-assessments help to identify professional learning needs that are addressed through district and school level instructional support staff. APS has also developed plans to provide recognition programs and teacher-leader opportunities to ensure that effective teachers are retained in the classroom.

     

     

    Describe how Title II-A or other appropriate funds are used to support retention efforts.

     

     

    Federal, state, and grant funds are used to support training and retaining effective teachers. Atlanta Public Schools' funding sources in this endeavor are the GE Foundation and the GATES Effective Teacher in Every Classroom Initiative, Title I and Title IIA funds which focuses heavily on enhancing teacher quality through professional development. All of these funding sources support retention by:

     

     

    o   Providing instructional support

     

     

    o   Providing professional learning opportunities

     

     

    o   Providing instructional resources

     

     

    o   Collecting/reviewing feedback from teaching and addressing/meeting their needs

     

     

    Describe how the system plans for recruitment and placement of highly qualified, effective teachers to improve or maintain equivalent teacher experience at all grade levels and all content areas.

     

     

    Human Resources works cross-functionally with various departments to develop and implement a strategic recruitment plan. APS uses Colleges and universities to recruit potential teachers. The recruiter tracks the following information from colleges and universities:

     

     

    o   all content areas and grade levels

     

     

    o   teaching experience

     

     

    o   education levels of candidates

     

     

    Having this detailed information will enhance the equitable placement of teachers across the district.

     

     

    Recruiting and placing highly qualified staff begins with looking at where we are as a district and where we want to be. After determining the areas of need, the critical needs areas have to drive the target audience for recruitment. The district recruits in and out of state in order to meet the needs of the district.  Title II, Part A funds supplement costs for recruitment activities.

     

     

    Recruitment is not limited to seeking traditionally trained educators. APS also employs alternatively trained teachers through programs such as Georgia Teaching Fellows, NOYCE scholars, and Teach for America.  The district partners with the Visiting International Faculty and Global Teachers Research and Resources, Inc., to staff schools with culturally diverse teachers that are highly qualified. APS positions are posted on the district website via Career Connections. The district also posts vacant positions on education related websites and through social networking.

     

     

     

    APS is also implementing the Atlanta Urban Teacher Residency (AUTR) program.  AUTR will provide a pipeline of highly effective secondary teachers in the district's areas of greatest need – math, science, reading, and special education. 

     

     

    The goal of AUTR is to increase the number of teachers in the district with dual certification areas of math or science and special education along with an endorsement in reading.

     

     

    Describe how Title II-A or other appropriate funds are used to support recruitment efforts.

     

     

    The Program Manager of Recruitment Services will work to refine recruitment efforts of to better fit the needs of the district. Title II, Part A funds are used to supplement costs for recruitment travel to job fairs and travel to college and universities in an effort to establish partnerships with their departments of education. Funds are also used for recruitment related materials and supplies.

     

     

    Prepare a brief Summary of Impact that describes the actions taken to reach "target" and the LEA's evidence of success in reaching "target".

     

     

    Atlanta Public Schools is experiencing an increase in teacher retention.  This increase can be attributed to the steps taken by the districts use of federal, state and local funds for training and positions that were created to enhance teacher knowledge and support.  Professional Learning Specialist for Teacher Quality, site-based mentors, novice teacher instructional mentors, Title I School Improvement Specialists, Common Core Implementation Specialists, subject matter Instructional Coaches, and Leadership Support Specialists all work together to assist and support teachers while also increasing teacher efficacy, satisfaction and retention.  Although retention is a collaborative effort across the district, this work begins with recruitment.

     

     

    For the Human Resources Department in particular, retention is a priority.  Given this, the department utilizes an electronic applicant tracking system and staff to support this endeavor.  A Program Manager for Recruitment Services was added to work on strategic planning for recruitment and retention of certified staff through programs such as TFA, VIF, and other global recruiting efforts. 

     

     

    TALEO, the electronic applicant tracking system, is managed by an Application Systems Administrator.  This role ensures that job announcements are crafted in such a way that it helps to screen out the most qualified candidates for positions while ensuring compliance with Equal Opportunity Employer data. As well, the tool also provides technical support to internal and external applicants and hiring managers.

     

     

    The Title II Compliance Officer supports the implementation of the Equity Plan goals, assists all teachers and paraprofessionals in achieving and/or maintaining highly qualified status, and monitors and ensures compliance of Title II guidelines.  This person works with principals, as needed, with regards to staffing teachers in classrooms according to their area(s) of certification.

     

     

    What data supports the rating of "target"? Or if the LEA did not reach "target", what prevented the LEA from doing so?

     

     

     

    The district has shown an improved retention rate as exhibited in data from the past few school years.  For example, from school year 2005-2006 through 2008-2009, the district's turnover rate decreased from 22% to 9%.  The district's increase of teachers with three to twenty years of experience increased to 63.5% in 2009-2010 from 60.4% in 2008-2009.  The 2010-2011 data shows we improved again to 64.4%. The 2011-2012 data cannot be captured until after June 30, 2012.

     

     

    Identify at least one equity indicator that will be a focus for movement to "target"

     

     

    Equity Indicator 1: Equity of stakeholder involvement

     

     

    Provide a statement identifying the Actions/Strategies/Interventions or Programs for the selected equity indicator as a focus for next year.

     

     

    Atlanta Public Schools understands the impact of establishing and maintaining equity across the district and within schools.  To achieve this goal, it will take the collaborative work of all internal and external stakeholders; schools cannot accomplish this achievement alone.  The central office departments will work collaboratively to address teacher equity and effectiveness. There is a need to increase the number of opportunities for central office departments to collaborate. APS will engage central office administrators and principals more frequently to ensure that all are aware of all current and new regulations or processes. Equity Stakeholder Involvement is one of the ways the district will move towards a greater number of students graduating high school ready for post-secondary education and/or the work force.

     

     

    In alignment with School Keys Standard 2.1 – "Organizational Structures and Processes Encourage Student, Parent, and Community Involvement," our district reaches out to the larger community by inviting them into our system in a variety of ways to seek out areas of concern and develop plans to help improve areas where we have noted deficiencies.  PTA meetings, Title I workshops, Fireside Chats, Local Schools Council, Student Summits, Teacher Advisory Committees, and Principal Advisory Board, to name a few, are ways in which everyone can be involved to try to find necessary changes in moving students and the district forward.  As we work to address this indicator, APS will continue work to increase the consistency and quality of these interactions.

     

     

    Just as teachers have to differentiate instruction, the district differentiates resources and support to accomplish goals.  Thus, various departments and administrators such as the K-12 Executive Directors, Curriculum and Instruction, School Improvement and Leadership Development, Teaching and Learning, Office of Federal Grants and Program Compliance, Student Programs and Services, Learning Technology, Human Resources, Research, Planning and Accountability, Parents as Partners Academic Center, and Communications meet as a leadership team to determine systemic needs for the district's diverse student population.  They analyze student assessment data to adequately convey this information to internal advisory groups and parent and community groups which ultimately lead to targeted planning of professional development, development of intervention and implementation strategies, and plans for monitoring and assessing quality and results.

     

     

    The Human Resources Department will partner with the Office of Federal Grants and Program Compliance to ensure that internal stakeholders are involved and are active participants in the implementation of the Equity Plan goals. Likewise, the Office of Curriculum and Instruction and the Board Office will ensure that external stakeholders are involved in the implementation and decision-making process. The goal of increasing stakeholder involvement will be addressed throughout the 2012-2013 school year with monitoring points each quarter.

     

     

    Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

     19. Professional Learning; and all federal programs

     

     

    A description of how the LEA will provide training and/or incentives to enable teachers t

     

     

    Teach to the needs of students, particularly students with disabilities, students with special learning needs (including those who are gifted and talented), and those with limited English proficiency;

     

     

    Improve student behavior in the classroom;

     

     

    Involve parents in their child’s educations; and

     

     

    Understand and use data and assessments to improve classroom practice and student learning.

     

     

    Become and remain technologically literate.

     

     

     The district allocates Title II funds and local funds to provide mentor stipends to site-based mentor teachers, to fund an Instructional Mentoring Program, and to provide a Teacher Support Specialists (TSS) endorsement program in conjunction with the North Metro Regional Education Service Agency (RESA). These mentors serve as mentors to new novice teachers and provide ongoing support through a structured mentor support program during the first three years of employment.

     

     

    In a continuing effort to increase the number of clear-renewable teachers to fill critical areas in the district, to develop and retain quality teachers, and to improve student achievement, the district allots Title II funds to partner with Georgia State University local colleges and universities to provide an alternative certification program (APS TAPP Atlanta PLUS) for secondary education teacher candidates. In collaboration with district master teachers, this partnership provides instructors for required content and pedagogy, tuition and fees for participants through the duration of their certification process.

     

     

    The district also collaborates with The New Teacher Project to provide support to marginal and struggling teachers. ongoing development for teachers such as mentoring, coaching, and analysis of critical issues, and to share best practices for APS TAPP candidates who qualify for the Intern Certificates. The district allocates Title II and Title IV funds to pay new and practicing teachers stipends for attending summer workshops and trainings. This reduces the need to take teachers out of the classroom and provides them with an incentive for completing course work during the summer. These classes include: Teacher induction Move It Math, and mathematics problem solving (Mathematics Initiative). Specific training in mathematics content has been identified as a district need by areas of improvement within our student achievement data.

     

     

    Mathematics teaching at all levels requires that all teachers, including, , Special education , ESOL, and Gifted teachers either have or are in the process of gaining an extensive knowledge of mathematics including mathematics pedagogical knowledge, knowledge of mathematics curriculum and how students learn. The district developed a Mathematics Initiative and through the Mathematics Initiative, a cadre of trainers was selected to train during the summer to redeliver developed modules using a paired school model. The mission of this initiative is to significantly improve student achievement in mathematics by assisting teachers in developing student-centered environments that engage students in inquiry-based collaborative work and investigative exploration for learning mathematics.

     

     

    This program, initially funded by the National Science Foundation and supported by the Partnership for Reform in Science and Mathematics (PRISM), is a collaborative developed by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, the Georgia Department of Education (DOE), colleges, universities and public school systems in four regions of the state. The current Mathematic/Science Initiative is funded by the GE Foundation.

     

     

    For those teachers participating in schools that receive funds from the eMath grant, the grant provides professional development, stipends, and cutting edge resources as incentives for teachers to provide for the needs of the diverse student populations that they teach. Training in lesson planning, implementation, and instructional unit development supports a more dynamic classroom that is student centered thus decreasing off task behavior. The grant provides for sustained training over the life of the grant and teachers have the technology and resources to remain technology literate. Teachers working in professional learning communities, modeling lessons, collaborating regarding lesson development and implementation supports for staining training technology literacy.

     

     

    Title II funds assist the district in offering paraprofessionals serving Title I, Part A schools a Paraprofessional Online Institute. Provided by 21st Century Learning, the program assists paraprofessionals in meeting the ESEA and in the development of skills to become effective instructional assistants in the classroom in order to increase student achievement. The Institute is a collection of seven courses designed to address research-based knowledge and skills that include the stages of human development and learning, instructional and classroom management strategies, teaching diverse populations, teaching in the content areas, and educational applications of technology and professional responsibilities.

     

     

    Teachers are also provided with stipends to attend courses in advanced placement at colleges and universities to become skilled to teach higher-level classes such as calculus, physics, and world languages. In addition, Title III provides training and/or incentives via the following courses or offerings:

     

     

    · ESOL Endorsement: (stipends will be offered as an incentive to teachers with regular ED core certification (English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies) at the middle and high school levels to complete ESOL endorsement in order to teach core           sheltered course to ESOL students)

     

     

    · SPEAK Conference: (Supporting Principles of English Acquisition and Knowledge), The APS ESOL specific conference SPEAK

     

     

    · SIOP: (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners, Spanish for Educators, Classroom Management for ELLs, Local/State/National/International ESOL Conferences.

     

     

    · ESOL Community: Meetings, Literacy Initiative, SST meetings, Language Assessment Conferences, Parent Outreach (English Language Classes for Non-English Speakers)

     

     

     

     

    · Training: Ongoing for Infinite Campus Training, Desire2Learn Training, TransAct, and ACCESS, Ongoing   Infinite Campus, Desire2Learn, ACCESS, and TransAct training.

     

     

    IV.       HIGHLY QUALIFIED TEACHER EQUITY

     

     

    Atlanta Public Schools believes that every child should be provided with a competent, caring and highly qualified teacher and/or paraprofessional.  One of the strategic goals of the Atlanta Public Schools is to prepare and implement a comprehensive professional learning program that will ensure that every child receives a highly qualified and effective teacher. District leaders, along with the Human Resources Division, work with each teacher, paraprofessional and school administrator to determine what is needed of the individual to obtain high quality status.  They then make the necessary adjustments to place teachers and paraprofessionals into areas where they already meet highly qualified requirements or provide the resources, training, coursework, endorsement programs, mentoring programs, and alternative certification programs so that teachers and paraprofessionals may obtain this status. In addition, policies are in place to ensure that students are not serviced by inexperienced or ineffective teacher two years in a row. If a teacher is identified as being ineffective by the principal through formal observation and the necessary modifications are not made to adjust instruction, the principal may place the individual teacher on a Professional Development Plan. If the teacher still fails to meet the target requirements based on the observation instrument, the teacher can be terminated.

     

     

    In addition to the analysis of teacher observation data, student achievement data is also factored to ensure that students are not being serviced by ineffective teachers. Student achievement data is analyzed by the administrative team to specifically identify trends and gaps in student achievement. If a specific trend or gap can be identified as a trend for a specific teacher, the appropriate action steps are taken to support the teacher in the identified domain. Another policy that exists to ensure that students are not serviced by ineffective, inexperienced teachers two years in a row is the FMLA policy. This policy states that if a teacher is out for a period longer than 60 days, the Human Resources Division can move to replace the teacher in that classroom on the 61st day to ensure that students are not serviced by long term substitutes an extensive period of time. These and several other policies support not only the needs of the district, but the quality of education for the students.

     

     

    Restructuring and Organizational Improvements

     

     

    APS utilizes the Lawson Information System to periodically retrieve information by schools and central office personnel to make informed decisions regarding teacher and staff quality. The Lawson implementation project is currently re-engineering the enterprise information system for our finance, human resources and procurement operations in order to support a more efficient education operation. Infinite Campus, our new student information system which was implemented in Aug. '08 allows teachers to manage attendance and grades. In addition, it provides a parent portal that will give parents 24-7 online access to their children's grades, class assignments and attendance information (operational during the 2009-10 school year). The Human Resources Division's priority has been to recruit and retain highly qualified teacher candidates. Through the use of Title II Part A funds, a new position has been created in order to support the implementation of the Equity Plan goals. The new Title II Compliance Officer assists in ensuring that all teachers achieve and/or maintain HiQ status, support principals as needed with data regarding certification for placement as well as continually review and assess compliance with NCLB guidelines. In addition, the Human Resources Division identified the need to create two additional positions to address the needs identified in this plan. The new Program Manager for Recruitment services assists in the strategic planning for recruitment and retention of certified staff through various programs such as TFA placements, VIF, Atlanta PLUS and global recruitment efforts. The new TALEO Application Systems Administrator assist in maintaining the TALEO applicant tracking system; which includes developing filters to filter the most qualified candidates for positions, ensure compliance with EOE data and provide technical support internal and external applicants as well as hiring managers. All three of these positions work in collaboration to support their specific areas within the Human Resources Division.

     

     

    Trainings

     

     

    Highly Qualified: Teacher Quality

     

     

    The Human Resources Division will be creating training materials to assist school-based administrators in making credible hiring and placement decisions.  Content will include general Title II, Part A requirements, special education areas of concern, a review of the state's HiQ2 system, and an analysis of each school's highly-qualified and equity data.  In regards to equity data, administrators will be trained to use the state's Equity Technical Assistance (ETA) online resource which contains demographic and teacher experience data. In addition, information regarding teacher quality is shared with appropriate areas and departments on a more regular basis so that efforts are made to ensure that high needs areas are staffed appropriately. The Human Resources Division will continue to provide technical assistance to school-based administrators guiding them through the appropriate staffing and placement of teachers in alignment with each teacher's state certification. 

     

     

    GACE® Workshops

     

     

    As an effort to assist teachers, particularly special educators, meet the Georgia Professional Standards Commission content assessment requirements, GACE® workshops will be offered throughout the year.  Content assessment workshops will lead participants through a deeper understanding of Common Core Georgia Performance Standards and the state's   testing framework.  The Office for School Improvement/Leadership Development keeps an active referral system in place to direct teachers that need coursework to satisfy certification requirements. Teachers are directed to the on-line http://www.gace.nesinc.com/ website. In addition, Title I funds were also used to purchase resources related to GACE preparation.

     

     

    District-wide and Stakeholder Communication 

     

     

    Members of the Human Resources Division staff will provide new teachers with information regarding the federal and state Title II, Part A highly qualified requirements and to inform teachers of resources available through the district.  At the beginning of each school year, the Human Resources Division will provide directions to schools advising them to provide notification (Parents Right-to-Know) to parents of their right to acquire information regarding the qualifications of teachers and paraprofessionals. In addition, during the fall of each year, the schools will notify parents of students being taught by a teacher who is not "highly qualified" for a core subject area to which he or she is assigned.  Notification will also be sent to parents of students who have been taught by a long-term substitute for more than twenty days. Parents will be informed of the substitute's    non-highly qualified status and his or her professional qualifications. Teachers who have not reached highly qualified status at the beginning of the year will be sent an official notice by the Human Resources Division notifying them of Title II, Part A highly qualified requirements and informing them of their non-highly qualified status.  In addition, teachers will be provided with information regarding test reimbursements, if available, and other resources for becoming highly qualified. Throughout the year, the Human Resources Division will provide technical assistance to district personnel regarding certification and highly qualified status.  Teachers meet with their building administrators to outline and sign off on steps that will be taken to become highly qualified. To this end, the Human Resources Division will record plans for remediation for each teacher and paraprofessional who is not highly qualified in the state's HiQ2 System.

     

     

      Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

     20. Professional Learning and all federal programs

     

     

    A description of how the LEA will develop a three-year professional learning plan that will be included in the LEA Comprehensive System Improvement Plan according to the requirements in Rule 160-3-3-.04 PROFESSIONAL LEARNING.

     

     

    Over the next three years, on an annual basis Atlanta Public Schools will conduct self-assessments and update their Professional Learning Plan based on Leaning Forward (formerly known as the National Staff Development Council) Standards, the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards, the Mission of Atlanta Public Schools, the Core Beliefs of Atlanta Public Schools, and the Atlanta Public Schools' Strategic Goals, as well as state and local student assessments. The assessment data is provided to each school, where teachers analyze student data and class results, the teachers plan instructional programs, and monitor the progress of students. The schools develop their plans;

     

     

    Together the schools develop the system plan along with all federal program coordinators. The Professional Learning Plan is also informed by the:

     

     

    · Teacher Advisory Committee and the Principal Advisory Committee

     

     

    · Course and academy evaluations

     

     

    · Parental, school council, and community input

     

     

    · Progress toward student improvement targets

     

     

    · Budget restraints

     

     

    · Impact on teaching practices

     

     

    · The annual teacher evaluation process

     

     

    Teachers in all special programs are included in the existing professional learning plan. However, Title III has developed a three-year professional learning plan that addresses unique challenges/elements of their program. The following plan offers the support and assistance needed for their initiatives:

     

     

    · Continuation of ESOL Endorsement at the middle and high school levels in order to teach core sheltered course to ESOL students),

     

     

    · ESOL in APS - course for regular classroom teachers to become familiar with ESOL strategies and methods to positively impact ELL student achievement.

     

     

    · The APS ESOL specific conference, SPEAK (Supporting Principles of English Acquisition and Knowledge)

     

     

    · SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) - Strategies for Teaching English Language Learner

     

     

    ·Improving Student Behavior in the Classroom

     

     

    ·Spanish for Educators

     

     

    ·Classroom Management for ELLs

     

     

    ·Local/state/national/international ESOL Conferences

     

     

    Other learning opportunities will be provide in the form of ESOL Community meetings, Literacy Initiative, SST meetings, Language Assessment Conferences, Parent Outreach (English Language Classes for Non-English Speakers), Infinite Campus training, Desire2Learn Training, TransAct, Desire2Learn, and ACCESS.

     

     

    The district evaluates the efficacy of its current programs and professional development experiences through the following:

     

     

    ·Development of assessment tools that are aligned with high standards for student learning

     

     

    ·Through surveys and focus groups of staff, parents, and students

     

     

    ·Through participant course evaluation and implementation forms

     

     

    ·Through teacher evaluations and the performance management process

     

     

    ·Through student achievement data aligned to the services delivered by the program

     

     

    ·Through formal and informal observations by school leadership teams, coaches, model teacher leaders, administrators, and mentors

     

     

    School achievement plans also outline strategies for implementation of programs and the measures that will be used to determine if these programs worked. Summaries from these program evaluations are shared with school leadership in a number of ways. Through scheduled meetings of Regional K-12 Executive Directors, results/findings are presented and discussed to guide recommendations for needed changes and/or modifications. Regional K-12 Executive Directors work with region staff to disaggregate and analyze the findings for their unique cluster of schools before presenting the results to principals and school leadership. Principals review and examine this data with appropriate instruction/curriculum staff so that, together, a plan for improvement/correction can be developed.

     

     

    In its efforts to provide teachers and paraprofessionals with explicit, intensive, teacher-directed methods of teaching that will ensure class size equity, improve academic achievement, increase graduation rates, and produce a higher number of students attending college, staff of Atlanta Public Schools:

     

     

    ·Analyzes data based on assessment plans and tools

     

     

    ·Revises training delivery or content based on progress toward student improvement targets

     

     

    ·Measures impact of change on student achievement and teacher performance

     

     

    ·Reviews and aligns activities with state curriculum, program goals and standards.

     

     

    For example, based on student achievement data from the Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT), the Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT), and End-of-Course Tests (EOCT), the district focus is now mathematics and science. The district began a rigorous mathematics initiative that included a Mathematics Academy for low performing school personnel based on student achievement data. More than 375 principals, teachers, model teacher leaders, instructional coaches, liaisons and administrators met for a week before school started to work on strategies to improve student achievement.

     

     

      Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

     21. Professional Learning; and all federal programs

     

     

    A description of the activities that the LEA will carry out with program funds, including professional learning for teachers and principals and how their activities will align with challenging state academic standards. The description should outline the LEA professional learning programs and sources. The LEA professional learning programs should be consistent with nationally established criteria for quality professional learning, with such characteristics as incentives, self-directed learning, and authentic connections to actual work.

     

     

    Professional learning activities provided by Atlanta Public Schools conform to the guidelines presented in federal programs and also to the standards described by the Leaning Forward (formerly known as National Staff Development) Council. Professional learning opportunities are provided to all staff in the district, with the firm belief that all employees contribute to "Quality Instruction, Quality Schools" (QIQS).

     

     

    During the 2010 school year, 99% of teachers in Atlanta Public Schools participated in at least one high quality professional learning activity. A total of 92% of all professional learning opportunities offered during FY 2010 were scientifically based. This includes in-house activities and courses offered by universities.

     

     

    The information for school year 2011-2012 was being compiled across all departments at the time of CLIP submission. The descriptor will be updated with the current information as soon as it is available.

     

     

      Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

     22. Title I, Part A; Title I, Part C; Title I, Part D; Title III; Title IV, Part A

     

     

    A description of how the LEA will notify private schools of availability of funds to serve eligible children in each applicable federal program.

     

     

    As grant/funding opportunities become available, meetings are scheduled with participating private schools in the metro who have enrolled with students that who are residents of the city of Atlanta. These schools are contacted (through certified mail, email, fax, site visits and via telephone follow-up,) and advised of the availability of funds to serve eligible children. The letter includes the date, time, and location of the meeting, a response form for Title I, Title IIA, Title IV, and Title V programs, and contact names and phone numbers for all programs.

     

     

    Researched -based programs are selected based on the outcomes from the annual Georgia Student Health Survey; schools are identified through the survey as needing services. Alternate dates are set, if necessary. During the meeting, schools discuss the needs of their eligible students and plan for service provision. The week after the meeting, guidelines are sent to the private schools that choose to participate in the Title programs. When professional development is made available to the APS teachers, it is also made available to the private school teachers of the Title I students in those private schools.

     

     

    Atlanta Public Schools is currently serving 6 private schools.

     

     

      Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

     23. Professional Learning and all federal programs

     

     

    A description of the process the LEA will conduct annually to review and revise the LEA Comprehensive Plan for Improving Student Academic Achievement.

     

     

    The Comprehensive LEA Improvement Plan (CLIP) is reviewed and submitted to the GADOE in July annually. It is evaluated by multiple stakeholders and revised to reflect the current needs assessment priorities and initiatives of the district.

     

     

    Student achievement data from state and national assessments provide the basis for the CLIP. A number of other indicators are also used such as, instructional audit reports for schools and regional offices, SAT and ITBS student performance, and benchmark assessments. These and other assessments are discussed in detail in Descriptor #1.

     

     

    The district sets instructional priorities, and organizes and aligns programs and professional development to those priorities based upon the results of these success indicators. The CLIP is adjusted based upon the identified instructional and student needs. In addition, adjustments to professional development and programming are made based upon feedback and monitoring of individual programs. The following additional actions are completed annually:

     

     

    · Invitations, flyers, and emails are sent to all parents and guardians of eligible Title I students by the Office of Federal Grants and Program Compliance announcing the Title I fiscal year planning and input meeting for the community and school staff in April each year.

     

     

    ·During the meeting, the Title I staff gathers feedback on the annual review, evaluation, and revision of the Comprehensive LEA Improvement Plan (CLIP).

     

     

    ·Handouts are provided to parents to capture input on Title I programs. In an effort to capture more feedback, additional forms are distributed to parents to pass out at PTA meetings to those parents who are unable to attend the meeting.

     

     

    ·Sign-in sheets and agendas are kept on file in the district office.

     

     

    ·Forms are collected and feedback is requested throughout the remaining weeks of the current school year.

     

     

    ·Based on parent, teacher, and principal feedback; test scores; and State and District initiatives; the information is then compiled and utilized to make revisions to the CLIP in June.

     

     

    ·Program Assistants and a staff person identified for the purpose of monitoring Title III programs will observe and check bi-monthly on the progress and implementation of the Title III initiatives.

     

     

    ·A needs assessment will be distributed to principals and administrators. Results will be used to tailor in-services and professional learning courses and will be kept on file at the ESOL office.

     

     

    ·Teacher and principal evaluation of program initiatives will be developed, disseminated and analyzed for the purpose of evaluating their effectiveness.

     

     

    ·Student progress will be monitored via reports from ESOL teachers. A comparison of test scores to gauge gains in proficiency levels will be kept on file. This data will be disaggregated and analyzed to identify needed changes in programming.

     

     

    ·Data will be analyzed from local and state tests and a comparison of ELLs per school will be conducted.

     

     

    ·The Title I director submits the CLIP for the upcoming fiscal year in July

     

     

      Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

     24. Title I, Part A; Title I, Part C

     

     

    A description of how the LEA will provide supplemental support services for advocacy and outreach activities for migratory children and their families, including informing such children and families of, or helping such children and families gain access to, other education, health, nutrition, and social services.

     

     

    Migrant students make up 0% of the district's student population. As an urban center, it is not expected that this population will grow. However, should a student be identified as migrant, the district is prepared to offer parent and student registration, guidance and workshops, information at various community, school and other locations. Information sharing with new teachers and principals during orientation, annual updates to schools, and pupil personnel services workers will also be provided. 

     

     

     Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

     25. Title I Part A; Title I, Part C

     

     

    A description of how the LEA will promote interstate and intrastate coordination of services for migratory children, including how the LEA will provide for educational continuity through the timely transfer of pertinent school records, including information on health, when children move from one school to another.

     

     

    As indicated earlier, migrant students make up 0% of the district's student population. As an urban center, it is not expected that this population will grow. However, each APS school has a member of its clerical staff responsible for accurate student record keeping through the Infinite Campus system and reported to the state. Requests made to individual schools for student records are filled quickly, usually mailed within 72 hours.

     

     

     Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

     26. Title I Part A; Title I, Part C

     

     

    A description of how the LEA will identify and recruit eligible migrant families and youth moving into or currently residing in the district.

     

     

    Earlier statements (#24) indicate that migrant students make up 0% of the district's student population. As an urban center, it is not expected that this population will grow. The Occupational Survey Form has now been incorporated into the APS Student Registration Form. This allows the district to identify migrant students and families and actively develop a support program of services. The system migrant contact person will collaborate with other community agencies and school-based programs to provide appropriate services for identified families and children. When a student is identified as migratory they become eligible for Title I services. The district is prepared to offer parent workshops through Atlanta Public Schools (APS) facilities, shelters and other appropriate locations.  The district also provides information sharing with new teachers and principals during orientation; and distributes an annual update to schools and pupil personnel services workers.  

     

     

     Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

     27. Professional Learning and all federal programs

     

     

    A description of how the LEA will provide resources for the purpose of establishing best practices that can be widely replicated throughout the LEA and with other LEAs throughout the State and nation.

     

     

    The district has engaged in the identification of best practices in schools through the Quality Instruction/Quality Schools (QIQS) Initiative. The goal of QIQS is to identify, define, and analyze research based best practices and characteristics for all APS schools. QIQS will help schools assess and monitor progress, define gaps, and deliver resources so that all schools will Accelerate, Perform, and Sustain student achievement. Rubrics and tools for principals, teachers and other district staff are available at http://apskids.org/teachers.htm, a public website.

     

     

    Other district strategies for establishing and sharing best practices include:

     

     

    ·Utilizing the Professional Learning Management System as a web-based system to share, capture, track and monitor all professional learning.

     

     

    ·The ESOL department will provide resources for best practices that can be replicated by posting information on the APS Website and the Office of World Languages website www.apsesolinfo.com, disseminating the annual ESOL Program Overview, encouraging teachers and administrators to attend ESOL Community Meetings, and the annual APS/ESOL S.P.E.A.K Conference.

     

     

    ·Developing mathematics lessons and units, at all levels, which incorporate best practice and align with state standards. Units and lessons will be disseminated throughout the district and posted on the public website for access by all teachers and the larger community.

     

     

    ·Building professional learning communities that value teaching and learning and continuous individual professional development throughout the district.

     

     

    ·Identifying professional development experiences (including individual coaching, institutes, professional development academies, study groups, courses, inter-visitations) that are designed to increase the likelihood that students would encounter a richer array of learning opportunities.

     

     

    ·Conducting book study groups with teachers and administrators on relevant educational literature such as Good to Great, Learning by Heart, and The World Is Flat.

     

     

    ·Developing and implementing APS district teaching standards and rubrics which incorporate best practice and identify associated instructional behaviors.

     

     

    ·Grants by The Atlanta Families Awards are competitively awarded to teachers and support the implementation of pilot projects at the school level.

     

     

     

    ·Grant funds are sought to implement district-wide pilots that incorporate best practice in secondary school transformation and mathematics instruction. Programs and strategies are designed to be replicable and are evaluated annually for effectiveness.

     

     

     ·High school transition programs such as: Bridges...From School to Work (Marriott foundation), Sun Trust Entrepreneurial, Bobby Dodd Sheltered Workshop (Vocational Rehabilitation), Renaissance Hotel Training, and the preschool special education programs (Easter Seals/YMCA Headstart Inclusive Classrooms) are best practices that can be duplicated. In fact, several of the district's high school programs have already been duplicated by other LEAs. Project ALIGN, Assessing Learning and Instructional Goals Network emphasize building the capacity of special educators to use effective practices in educating SWDs.

     

     

     Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

     28. Title II, Part D; E-Rate

     

     

    A description of how the LEA will take steps to ensure that all students and teachers have increase access to technology. Include the strategies to be implemented to increase or maintain access to technology and to establish or maintain equitable technology access.

     

     

    Please refer to the attached Technology Plan for the following information: Goals, benchmarks, and strategies Pages 33-60 APS been using INsight, an instructional management system, to produce disaggregated reports in a user-friendly format. Additionally, our student information system, Infinite Campus, allows the district to customize reports in a variety of education formats on a number of different variables, such as student performance, attendance, etc. Central office and school based staff are currently able to access disaggregated school and district reports from the state's website. The Department of Instructional Technology will conduct a bi-annual audit to schools and access to hardware and software. The department will ensure there is equitable access and implement and maintain a standard issue for all schools on technology equipment. 

     

     

     Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

     29. Title II, Part D; E-Rate

     

     

    A description of the LEA’s long-term strategies for financing technology to ensure that all students, teachers, and classrooms have access to technology, technical support, and instructional support.

     

     

    APS recently implemented the 2012-2015 technology plan and will implement an instructional model enabled by technology in support of the National Education Technology Plan of 2010, Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology. The following components of the national plan critical to this vision include: learning, assessment, teaching, infrastructure, and productivity.

     

     

    Teaching

     

     

    Engage technology to provide tools and resources to help educators improve instructional practices.

     

     

     

    Use technology to connect educators to learning, data, content, and systems allowing them to develop, maintain, and assess learning experiences.

     

     

    Learning

     

     

    Through standards-based technology integration practices, APS will create engaging and empowering learning experiences for all students that reflect their lives and their futures.

     

     

    Teachers will employ technology to implement relevant, rigorous, and engaging learning experiences that promote student creativity and learning.

     

     

    APS Administrators will create, promote, and sustain a shared vision for purposeful change that maximizes the use of digital resources to meet learning goals, support collaborative and technology-based instructional practices, and augment the performance of district and school leaders.

     

     

    Assessment

     

     

    ·Evaluate authentic learning by developing and using assessments.

     

     

    ·Develop assessments that incorporate digital tools and resources to measure students' contextual learning and promote creativity and active participation.

     

     

    ·Use comprehensive technology-based assessment tools to measure and drive student learning.

     

     

    Infrastructure

     

     

    ·Utilize available and relevant technology to create a comprehensive, device-neutral learning infrastructure where educators, students, and parents can collaborate, communicate, or learn wherever an Internet connection is available.

     

     

    ·Develop a learning environment that provides 24/7 secure access to data stored in multiple locations.

     

     

    Productivity

     

     

    ·Use best practices in technology to design and implement learning and organizational structural changes that improve the roles and processes of Atlanta Public Schools.

     

     

    School-based Technology

     

     

    APS is dedicated to making its school district the leader in learning by continuing to expand availability to emerging tools and technology. Some of the recent planning efforts include:

     

     

    ·Bring your Own Technology (BYOT/BYOD) – Allowing students to bring in their smartphones, mobile tablets, or any device to school that can send and receive multimedia content via the Internet and access learning content at any time and in any place. Using this tool will help address the technological inequities currently found throughout the school district.

     

     

    ·Distance Learning – Allows students who are unable to attend class to participate in a highly interactive environment from any location. It also provides students the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge at their own pace and through their own learning processes. Infrastructure improvements will provide students with speedy and consistent access to school resources.

     

     

     

    ·e-Books – Using e-Books and e-Readers provide a cost effective and technology-based learning avenue where students are fully engaged in interactive learning experiences.

     

     

    ·Technology-based Professional Development - Provides teachers and staff with several learning options to accommodate different learning modalities. Instructional Technology Services (ITS) will plan courses, workshops, and seminars as separate events rather than as segments of faculty meetings. Employ full-time technical specialists who can answer technology questions that relate to classroom instruction is a priority, as is, utilizing asynchronous learning to make training more accessible while easing scheduling conflicts.

     

     

    Learning Resources/Partnerships

     

     

    Global Learning

     

     

    APS looks to enable cost effective global learning resources to provide students with 24/7/365 access to practice exercises, learning aids, and assessments. Accessible from any computer with Internet access, this type of learning environment will benefit students by:

     

     

    ·Providing students with 24/7/365 access to an extensive multimedia library of learning resources, exercises and assessments in all subject areas

     

     

    ·Allowing students to progress at their own pace

     

     

    Microsoft Big and Bold

     

     

    The framework of the APS/Microsoft Big and Bold partnership (Learning Without Limits) will focus on leveraging technology as a tool to provide 24/7/365 learning opportunities and increase effective communication and collaboration across the school system and the greater community. This will be accomplished by:

     

     

    ·Deploying a portal that will become the central repository for all key stakeholders (students, parents, business partners, community members, parents, building leaders and administrators) allowing them to find information tailored to meet their needs.

     

     

    ·Implement Identity Management (ILM) to grant individual rights.

     

     

    ·Push technologies to deliver meaningful subject matter information to stakeholders.

     

     

    ·Use Web 2.0 tools to review, rate, and share content.

     

     

    ·Deliver a multimedia communications platform providing real-time and on-demand information while increasing communications and collaboration across the community.

     

     

    ·Provide communication options that include chat, instant messaging, and real time online video conferencing.

     

     

    ·Provide the ability to deliver live lecture broadcasts while simultaneously capturing them for later sharing and reuse.

     

     

    ·Photos, videos, audio files, learning objects, and entire lessons will be readily available.

     

     

     

    ·The portal will foster better communication and collaboration.

     

     

    ·Measuring and monitoring teacher effectiveness and allowing for data driven decision making.

     

     

    ·Provide experiential learning and career planning opportunities through community partnerships.

     

     

    ·Tools will help students make choices in planning their course work.

     

     

    ·Tools will also be interwoven to provide clear and meaningful partnership and/or mentoring opportunities for students and the greater community.

     

     

    ·Leverage technology and the expertise of partners across the district to encourage business and community partners to provide support to multiple schools.

     

     

    ·Furnish partners with virtual or train-the-trainer professional development.

     

     

    ·Utilize tools that match partners and volunteer candidates with students and/or schools.

     

     

    ·Provide a repository of learning objects for students, staff, and community.

     

     

    ·On demand professional development for staff that allows for extended learning opportunities beyond the bounds of the classroom and provides limitless learning opportunities for educators and students.

     

     

    ·Create a "one stop" point of entry into APS.

     

     

    ·Become the single source of information about APS as well as for APS staff, students, and community.

     

     

    ·Provide internal users with connections to myriad internal systems.

     

     

    ·Promotes greater use by simplification—fewer URLs to remember, fewer usernames and passwords to remember.

     

     

    ·Promote greater use by exposing teacher and students to various resources more frequently.

     

     

    The goals stated in the APS Three Year Technology plan are:

     

     

    Goal 1: Enhancing the quality of teaching and learning through the effective integration of technology and instruction

     

     

    Goal 2: Providing a robust infrastructure to support teachers, students, and staff

     

     

    Goal 3: Managing a comprehensive application portfolio

     

     

    Goal 4: Protecting and managing the data assets used for teaching, operations, and decision making

     

     

    Goal 5: Provide professional development for teachers, staff, and administration for technology use and integration

     

     

     

     

     

     

     Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

     30. Title II, Part D

     

     

    A description of how the LEA will evaluate the extent to which technology integration strategies are incorporated effectively into curriculum and instruction. Describe how the LEA will ensure ongoing integration of technology into school curriculum and instructional strategies so that technology will be fully integrated.

     

     

    The Department of Instructional Technology will collaborate with Curriculum and Instruction to create seamless technology integration into the new APS Common Core Curriculum. Each content and grade level will have a lesson based on common core standards and a technology integration component built into the lesson.  Evaluation and monitoring of the strategies cited above will be conducted by focus area teams.  The two main functions of the focus area teams are t  1) monitor the existing strategies and initiatives to ensure that the evaluation methods are being applied appropriately and 2) to effectively manage the intake of new strategies into the existing work stream.  Each focus area is staffed with key project stakeholders and meets weekly to review the strategies contained within their portfolio.  Below is a detailed description of each of the focus areas: IT Administration Operations – The function of the IT Administration Operations focus area team is to implement the structure of relationships and processes necessary to manage and enable organizational effectiveness and compliance with regulatory (i.e., District, State, and Federal) policies and reporting. Website/Portal Collaborations – The function of the Website/Portal Collaboration focus area team is to provide relevant and timely delivery of information via Web services to all stakeholders of Atlanta Public Schools.  This team will oversee all Web / portal work efforts. Infinite Campus/Reporting – The function of the Infinite Campus/Reporting focus area team is to provide the guidance and support to implement all Student Information and reporting strategies.  This includes a very high level and brief description of the project (what we are proposing to do) and its objectives as they relate to increasing operational efficiency, reducing costs, and/or mitigating risks. Facilities Construction – The function of the Facilities/Construction focus area is to collaborate directly with Facilities personnel to ensure that the architect and engineer project plans for each newly constructed school site as well as any renovations are in compliance with the described technology infrastructure specifications. IT Infrastructure – The function of IT Infrastructure team is to design and build a secure, reliable, always available infrastructure that will grow and support the core business and instructional needs of the school district.  This will be realized by clearly defining and implementing measureable, realistic, and time-based strategies that create a fundamentally consistent way IT improves services to all of its customers, business owners and stakeholders. Financial Management/Human Resources – The function of the Financial Management/Human Resources focus area team is to deliver exceptional technology leadership and guidance in the selection, implementation, and operation of financial and HR applications.  It collaborates with business owners to identify their needs and opportunities, explore emerging technologies to address those needs and opportunities and ensure optimal planning for the execution of selected solutions.  Technology recommendations will be presented based on alignment with industry best-practices, district balanced score card initiatives and business owner’s strategic goals. School Support/School Applications – The School Support/School Applications focus area team provides client support, school technology support, business development, contract administration, and vendor management.  This focus area supports all strategies that are aimed at the instructional use of technology. INsight (Instructional Management System) – The INsight (Instructional Management System) focus area team provides support for making technology central to the development of standards-based instructional delivery and curriculum alignment through the use of INsight.  INsight addresses a strategy of making technology an assumed element of instructional management for the teacher to support and enhance student learning. It is a Web-based tool accessible by teachers, staff and administrators that provides data at "their fingertips" thereby enabling them to make data-driven decisions and identify potential problem areas earlier and easier so the problem can be addressed. District Operations – This focus area includes strategies in the following areas:  Construction, Transportation, Food Services, Safety & Security, Facility Operations, and Classroom Readiness. In addition to the information contained in the APS Three Year Technology Plan the findings from the evaluations of the three Title IID Competitive grants will provide further evidence of the effective integration into the school curriculum and instructional strategies by APS. 

     

     

     Is Plan Descriptor Revised?

     

     

     31. Title II, Part D

     

     

    A description of how the LEA will encourage the development and utilization of innovative strategies for the delivery of specialized or rigorous academic courses and curricula (e.g., distance learning).

     

     

    The Atlanta Public Schools plan of improvement centers on efforts of improvement in four critical areas: reading, English/language arts, mathematics, student enrollment in higher level courses, and student attendance. To support the development of innovative strategies, in schools and in classrooms, the district has implemented a new information management system called INsight. INSight has been partially funded through Title V. The system enables teachers, principals and central office staff to analyze data quickly and with great accuracy. A significant portion of the district's professional development will target the use of this system at the school level.

     

     

    The Ed Tech grant focuses on GPS training for teachers prior to the standards roll-out, which raises the level of their proficiency in mathematics and exposes the student to the performance-based instruction using the more rigorous Georgia Performance Standards. Additionally, private schools receive an allocation of Title V funds which they use to purchase media materials and technology innovations to support their instructional program.