The passage of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), significantly changes how California funds, evaluates, and supports local educational agencies (LEAs). LEAs, defined as county offices of education, school districts, and charter schools, receive assistance through the System of Support to meet the needs of every student, with a focus on building capacity to sustain improvement and effectively address gaps in student opportunities and performance.
A key concept for the System of Support is that there is “No Wrong Door” from which LEAs may enter. All doors will lead to support, either directly or through a collaborative referral, and it will not be solely upon the LEA to navigate the system. The System of Support is based on a three-level framework. The first level is general assistance that provides resources and assistance that is made available to all local educational agencies. Differentiated assistance is the second level that one or more agency is required by statute to provide to LEAs that meet certain eligibility criteria. The third level is intensive intervention, which is generally required based on persistent performance issues over a specified period of time.
A series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) were identified to highlight the specific responsibilities of county offices of education, the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence, and the California Department of Education to assist LEAs eligible under level two (differentiated assistance). FAQs on Differentiated Assistance
The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are intended to help build understanding about the three levels of the System of Support and CCEE’s role in the System of Support to help LEAs before they transition to intensive intervention (level three support).
No LEAs have been identified as eligible for Intensive Intervention for the 2022-2023 school year.
When LEAs are transitioning from general assistance to a more individualized approach within Differentiated Assistance, LEAs and assistance providers may utilize other improvement strategies with the system of support. For example, LEAs receiving Differentiated Assistance may, in some cases, be referred by the assistance provider to CCEE for additional, ongoing support that is individually designed to address the LEAs performance issues (Education Code 52074(g)(1)). To support this need for differentiation, CCEE engages in Systemic Instructional Reviews (SIR) with the school district, county office of education, and other educational partners to identify improvement strategies in collaboration with the LEA, local educators, families, and community members, as well as other support providers
The Systemic Instructional Review (SIR) is a Pre-K through 12 comprehensive analysis of the LEAs instructional systems (academic and social-emotional) and implementation of teaching, learning, and leading practices, The goal of the SIR is to identify what improvement strategies may help the LEA be able to ensure that every student is making academic progress and social and emotional growth so they will be prepared to thrive as their best self.
In collaboration with the LEA, their COE, and other partner agencies, CCEE will provide support to the LEA to identify and help sustain the work needed to achieve systemic improvement. With support from CCEE and partner agencies, LEAs engage in internal continuous improvement processes in three phases. Through the SIR process, LEAs receive support and guidance to improve instructional practices and cultivate coherent systems to positively impact student outcomes.
Following the release of the 2022 California School Dashboard, school districts referred for expanded differentiated support were notified by the county offices of education currently providing Differentiated Assistance.
Eligible districts will continue to participate in differentiated assistance provided by county offices of education. SIR support is not intended to duplicate differentiated assistance. It complements differentiated assistance by conducting a deeper dive into the instructional and organizational needs of the district. The findings from the SIR and the quality improvement process the LEA engages in along with the COE will provide feedback and help inform future differentiated assistance strategies provided by the county office of education. In addition, the SIR findings will be considered in determining if the district should transition to intensive intervention.
When a district is eligible for SIR support through Education Codes 52072 or 52074(g)(2)(A) it will receive communication from its county office of education regarding this eligibility for additional support. After this initial contact, the CCEE will initiate Phase I, Collective Learning Journey of the SIR support process. This involves convening members of the LEA, COE, and Geo Lead to identify the core team that will be referred to as the District Leadership Team (DLT). In this phase, the CCEE SIR team collaborates with the DLT to learn and understand the current state of the LEA and how we can amplify efforts to achieve the Local Control Accountability Plan.
Throughout the SIR Phases, District Leadership Team, as determined in Phase 1 Collective Learning Journey will initiate the collaborative, local process to support the LEA as it conducts a deeper dive into evidence-based instructional and organizational practices. This core team will include representatives from the county office of education Differentiated Assistance (DA), the LEA’s district office instructional and program leadership, school site leadership, labor partners Geo Lead, CCEE, and other leads from the System of Support. Additional local partners such as students, families, and school site staff including school site administration and teaching staff, will be involved in Phase II, Listen to Learn.
If CCEE accepts the referral, yes. The Systemic Instructional Review process to support LEAs is meant to be a partnership in which support providers collaborate with participating districts to identify and implement systemic improvements that best serve the LEA’s students. LEAs are encouraged to voice district needs, share work that is underway or has been completed, and more. The support provider team will work collaboratively to help meet the individual needs of each district. If the CCEE does not accept the referral, support will be provided through the CA System of Support.
No additional state funding is provided to districts that are referred for SIR support or to county offices partnering in the SIR process. This collaborative support process is currently funded through existing funding streams. The county office of education will continue to provide support in the form of time and resources associated with differentiated assistance (DA) and will collaborate with participating districts as the improvement plan is implemented upon the completion of the SIR support.
Geographic Leads and other lead agencies will provide support as called for in statute. For example, Geographic Leads will coordinate and calibrate assistance and support for eligible districts within its defined geographic area, expert lead agencies, and special education resource leads (Education Code section 52073).
The district will be responsible for implementing the improvement plan and for any costs associated with that implementation. In some cases, those costs may be accounted for in the LCAP or other established funding streams.
The overall SIR support time frame, consisting of the three phases, may take approximately 2-3 years depending on the local challenges and priorities of the district.
- Phase I, Collective Learning Journey, begins in the first year and takes approximately 10-16 weeks, dependent on district and partner availability. In this phase, the CCEE SIR team collaborates with the DLT to learn and understand the current state of the LEA and how we can amplify efforts to achieve the Local Control Accountability Plan.
- Phase II, Listen to Learn, also occurs during the first year of support and takes approximately 14-18 weeks. In this phase, the team engages in data collection across the district and its schools.
- Phase III Collaborative Improvement Journey may vary between 2-3 years; during this phase, the TLLC improvement coaches and lead professional experts work closely with the LEA and COE to guide and support them in deepening systems change through the quality improvement process. The purpose is to build coherence within leadership to improve systemic change and student academic and social-emotional outcomes.
CCEE initiated Phase I, Collective Learning Journey, with the current set of identified districts by March 2023 and may begin Phase II, Listen to Learn, in the summer or fall of the 2022-2023 academic year. The schedule may be adjusted based on the availability of the district.
In Phase III, the LEA will develop an improvement plan, determine the priority areas and will develop and implement their own improvement plans with support from CCEE and their county office of education. CCEE will work as a strategic thought partner with our leadership to ensure that we make progress toward improving outcomes for all students.
The county office of education will provide support and guidance to the district as it engages in quality improvement protocols. County office of education staff will function as thought partners and collaborators with LEA staff to identify and overcome challenges and adapt strategies when needed. The county office of education will support efforts to align and combine the focus and supports provided through differentiated assistance to the LEA improvement efforts that arise from the Systemic Instructional Review process.
Geographic Leads will access the wider Statewide System of Support to ensure that the district has access to experts related to serving students with disabilities, English learners, multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), foster youth, and others. The Geographic Leads will also provide additional assistance as needed as defined in statute.
CCEE will provide additional guidance on prioritizing and coaching as the LEA implements its improvement plan. Throughout the process, a team from CCEE will support the LEA and include a certified improvement coach to provide executive support and capacity building.
The SIR support will take place at the district and within the local community (e.g., school sites and community centers). Some aspects of the SIR will be conducted virtually to provide access to the broader school community. Representatives from CCEE will be present in person and virtually to support the LEA during this local process, thus, increasing the opportunities for authentic collaboration and greater engagement with the district.
The specifics of the exit guidelines will be determined in partnership with the LEA to ensure alignment with the student groups and LCFF priorities which led to the LEAs identification for SIR support. Exit guidelines will include both quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative data will be comprised of local and state measures in relation to student outcomes and will be identified in collaboration with the LEA. Qualitative data will be collected on a yearly basis beginning with the initial engagement with an LEA. If the LEA reaches its qualitative and quantitative goals, the LEA will exit and have a yearly quality improvement check-in for 2-3 years following their exit.