School Improvement Weekly Newsletter

December 6, 2019

Announcements and Updates

General Communication

New: December TETN FAQs

As promised, attached to this week’s SI Newsletter are the FAQs from Thursday’s TETN. Please be sure to review the attached document, as there were a lot of great questions and feedback shared. Please be sure to forward this information to any of your team members who will need the information. There is also an updated TAP Draft Rubric attached to this week’s newsletter, based on some of the feedback we received during the TETN. Thank you for your great insight into making TAP Draft Review even stronger!


Reminder: Upcoming SI Lead In Person Meetings- Attendance

Our upcoming SI Lead In Person Meetings are scheduled for:

  • January 22nd – at Region 13 in McKinney Falls
  • May 5th and 6th – at Region 13 in State Capitol

Please plan on having 1-3 members of your SI team attend these meetings.

January in Person Meeting Hotel Info: We will have a room block at the Embassy Suites for the night of January 21st to be put on a Master Bill. There will be no need to send in hotel reimbursements. Reservation link will be sent out soon.

Registration on eCampus: SI Lead Face to Face (SU1842902) 

SI Processes and Plan Development

New: Turnaround Plan Draft Review Methodology

Specialists, Managers and Assistant Directors in The Division of School Improvement will be reviewing Turnaround Plan Drafts on December 16th and 17th, with the goal of emailing all feedback to campuses and ESCs on December 18th. The review process was reviewed on the TETN yesterday and then rubric and supporting documents (Essential Actions Success Criteria) that will be used for the review are attached to this week’s newsletter. We have updated the review rubric to ensure we are providing feedback to campuses based on the KEY PRACTICES not the SUCCESS CRITERIA, based on your feedback during the TETN. Please read the TENT FAQ document (also attached to this week’s newsletter) for more context.

Reminder: Upcoming Submission Date

Draft TAP Submissions are due in ISAM by Friday 12/13. At this time, campuses and districts will need to submit the following portions of the turnaround plan:

  • Complete Turnaround Foundations Tab (All campuses)
    • Campus information
    • Turnaround Method
    • Outcomes
  • School Improvement Tab (campuses pursuing school improvement)
    • System And Capacity Building: At least ONE Capacity builder aligned to one of the Essential Actions prioritized in year one
    • Critical Implementation Milestones: At least ONE critical implementation milestone for each of the Essential Actions prioritized in year one.

The Division of School Improvement will provide feedback to campuses by 12/18.

Reminder: TAP Budget Table Clarification

The Budget portion of the Turnaround Plan is required by statute to be included in a campus’ Turnaround Plan. This portion of the TAP is NOT required at the December 13th draft submission. However, it is required by the March 2nd submission. The Budget portion should include any necessary budgetary needs required by the campus to implement the TAP with fidelity. The purpose of this portion of the TAP is to ensure the DCSI and Board are aware of, approve, and support any budgetary needs that campus will have in order to implement their TAP.

Reminder: Turnaround School Action Webinar

The School Action Webinar for Turnaround Plans was held on November 20th.

Reminder: Upcoming Submission Date

Progress 1 Submission is due today November 22nd. At this time, campuses and districts will need to update the following sections:

  • Student Data Tab
    • Cycle 1 Actual results (Column E)
  • Cycle 1 Tab
    • Progress toward Milestones (Column I)
    • Necessary Adjustments/Next Steps (Column J)
    • Reflection and Planning for the Next 90-Day Cycles (at the bottom of Cycle 1 Tab)
  • Revisions or action steps from the Initial Submission Review phone call.

Specialists will begin scheduling phone calls very soon. The call window for Progress #1 Submission is 11/25-1/31- *This timeline has been extended* Please note that some campuses will receive feedback via email in lieu of a phone call. This was determined via an internal tiering system based on campus accountability ratings.


ESF Diagnostic and Facilitator Support

New: ESF Diagnostic Updates Training Web Course

CES has created a self-paced web course for our external facilitators based on the ESF Diagnostic Updates Training. The course info was sent out to externals on November 25th. Several of you have also indicated that you would like to use this training for your ESC ESFFs as well.

If ESC ESFFs complete the web course, CES does not need SI Leads to submit certificates. We do ask, though, that SI Leads monitor their completion by having your team turn in their certificates to you. We will be running reports through January 7th to verify completion of this course and update our ESF Facilitator database. In addition, if you are providing face-to-face training for your External ESFFs, please email Krista & Keith when they have completed that training so we can update their completion in our database.

To access this course you will need to log into eCampus and search the course catalog for ESF Updates – Spring 2020 (FA1942890) The web course will be open beginning, November 25th and close January 6th

New: ESF Diagnostic Survey Updates

Thank you for the quick follow up to check in on campuses with 0 survey response! It has certainly impacted survey engagement this week. A few notes from the week:

  • Survey Final Extension ends on 12/6/19: Just a reminder, the final extension ends on 12/6/19. On 11/25/19, all 0 responder and campuses with 0 response for staff and/or students received an email from TEA School Improvement. We have been closely tracking those campuses. A huge thank you to those of you have continued to reach out to these campuses and send them our way.
  • Early Diagnostic Campus Visits: Campuses with early diagnostics prior to February 1 will not likely be able to submit their pre-work to include their survey reflection. Please direct them to prioritize time between Jan 6-10 to complete their reflections and submit upon completion, prior to the campus visit if possible.
  • ESFF access to survey results: Panorama will provide all ESFFs access to their assigned campuses’ data on 1/6/20.ESFFs will, therefore, be able to review and include results in their Pre-Work Analysis Tools, even if they have not yet received the campus’s survey reflection tool yet.
  • Campus Access to tools for survey results analysis: As a reminder, campuses will receive their survey data from Panorama on 1/6/20. They will also receive the recorded training webinar and the accompanying campus reflection tool at that time. During the recorded webinar, Panorama and TEA will outline how to access and interpret survey results and successfully complete the ESF Diagnostic Survey Reflection Tool as pre-work for the diagnostic process.
  • ESFF training module for the Panorama Platform: Panorama has designed a short training module for ESF Facilitators, reviewing how to access and navigate the Panorama Platform. The module will be made available as of Dec. 21st and will remain accessible throughout the diagnostic window for ESFF reference.
  • As of today 11, 214 families,12,689 staff members, and 86,011 students have taken the ESF Diagnostic survey! Please continue to encourage campuses to proactively complete the surveys and remind them to direct their questions to


New: Verification of External ESF Facilitators

As mentioned in the TETN, CES is trying to obtain an accurate count of the number of External ESF Facilitators used during the 2019-2020 school year. This verification process will assist us as we ensure that all campuses have been assigned facilitators but also for planning purposes for our recruitment and training on new External ESF Facilitators. Please take the time to verify the information for your ESC. The directions are on the first tab of the google sheet. Please complete the google sheet by 12/20

New: Review and uploading of ESF Diagnostic Final Reportss

As a reminder, all Final Reports should be reviewed by the SI Lead prior to final submission to the DCSI/P and upload to ISAM. SI Leads can use the Final Report Look-Fors tool to guide their review. In addition, the SI Lead or assigned ESC designee should upload all ESF Diagnostic Final Reports into ISAM by their designated due date.

Reminder: Revised ISAM role for ESF Facilitators

A new ISAM role has been created for ESF Facilitators who support campuses that lie outside of their region. This role will allow access to the new campus while maintaining current viewing access to campuses/districts within the region.

Email the ISAM Support Team at for instructions on changing your ISAM role from ESC Staff to External Support Provider.

Note: This role is restricted to ESC staff who are approved ESF Facilitators. Instructions will be sent after approval verification with CES.


Reminder: Final Report Submission Reminder

We have officially wrapped up the Fall ESF Diagnostic Window, and therefore, all Final Reports should be finalized and uploaded to ISAM. If an ESF Facilitator still has an outstanding final report, please ensure that all are uploaded by the end of the day Monday, November 25th. As a reminder, the ESF Facilitator and/or SI Lead should upload the report once it is complete.

Reminder: ESF Diagnostic Updates Training Materials

The ESF Diagnostic Updates Training materials have been posted to the TexasESF website, in the “Trainer Tools” section. On the Trainer Tools page, you will be able to access the final version of the powerpoint with slide notes, participant materials, and the training agenda. The link to the soft copy exemplars which are reviewed during the training will remain live and will be linked in the powerpoint. Once the materials are posted, please take some time to thoroughly review them prior to facilitating the training updates with your team. Please work with your team to coordinate and schedule the face to face training to occur before January 15th, prior to Spring Diagnostic campus visits.

All facilitators must have completed an updates training (face to face or online course) prior to the Spring Diagnostic Window, and we would prefer they review the Survey module before their initial campus reachout.


Jessica McLoughlin (training)

Keith Thompson (Canvas modules)

Krista Peak (Canvas modules)

Reminder: Updated ESF Diagnostic Tools

Many of the ESF Diagnostic Tools have been updates over the course of the Spring and Summer based upon your feedback and the introduction of the ESF Diagnostic Survey. All ESF Facilitators will be trained on how to use these updated tools in the coming weeks.

All ESF Diagnostic tools should now be accessed solely through the TexasESF website, in the “Facilitator Tools” section, as these tools are the most up to date. In addition, we’ve also added Exemplars of critical tools to this page along with ESF Diagnostic and Final Report Look-Fors documents, which can support Facilitators in ensuring that their processes and tools are calibrated and strong.

Please ensure that as you begin to plan for and facilitate Spring Diagnostic visits, that you use these tools only moving forward.

Reminder: Planning for ESF Diagnostic Campus Visits and Post-Visit Conversations

As many of you are moving into planning your spring diagnostic calendars with your assigned campuses, make sure to plan your post-visit conversation date when you establish your campus visit date. This will help ensure that you follow up within a week of the campus visit, so that the compelling details of the visit are still fresh for all stakeholders. This way, you can also ensure that your finalized report is submitted within two weeks of the visit.


New: Deloitte Courageous Principals

Please use the following link to submit an interest form for the January, April or June Courageous Principals training program. Courageous Principals 1.0 is still available for all three sessions, however Courageous Principals 2.0 is only available in April and June. Comprehensive, Targeted and Additional targeted campus personnel can attend the training program with no participant fee.

New: School Improvement Grant: Campus Allocation Document

School Improvement specialists will reach out to DCSIs, who have not submitted the Campus Allocation Document, during the Progress #1 submission window. Please be aware, that districts might need assistance completing this document.

Reminder: ESC Cycle 1 Comprehensive Grant Amendment

IF you have not done so already, please make sure to complete an amendment for the 2018-2020 Title I ESC Comprehensive School Support grant. Additional funds will not be awarded until our Grants division processes the amendment.

Next Steps/Action Items

Upload any outstanding Diagnostic Final Reports to ISAM

All Final Reports for diagnostics conducted during the Fall Window should be uploaded to ISAM by EOD 11/25.

Deadline: Past Due

Update ISAM with ESF Facilitator and Diagnostic Dates

See email sent by Nicole Seltman on 11/22/2019.

Deadline: 12/4/19


Complete Verification of External ESF Facilitators

Verify the number of campuses that utilized an External ESF Facilitator in your Region.

Deadline: Before 12/20


Schedule TOT for Diagnostic Process Updates

Final materials available 11/18 EOD

Deadline: Before 1/15

Upcoming Events

  • 12/13: Draft Turnaround Plans submitted in ISAM; feedback provided by 12/18
  • 12/2-1/17: TIP Progress Submission 1 Calls/Emails
  • 1/6/20: Panorama survey data and webinar training released to LEAs (and ESFFs)

Communication Flow

Texas Education Agency (TEA)

  • ESF Self-Assessment and Diagnostic
  • ESF Facilitator support
  • ESF Diagnostic Survey
  • Vetted Improvement Programs and Aligned Improvement Programs

Center for Effective Schools (CES)

  • External ESF Facilitators (deployment, support, funding)
  • ESF Diagnostic Surveys for Opt-ins
  • ESF Website
  • ESF Facilitator Surveys for DCSIs/Principals

SI Specialists

  • Plan technical support
  • School Improvement Grant funds
  • SI Process questions

TEA, Grants

  • ESC Grants

  • School Improvement Grant


  • ISAM technical assistance