Community Schools Sponsor Update

Community Schools Sponsor Update

Office of Community Schools Updates

8/24/2018

Dear Sponsors,

2018-2019 Sponsor Evaluation Technical Assistance and Sponsor Improvement Session Sept. 12  
Registration is open for the required Sponsor Evaluation Technical Assistance and Sponsor Improvement Session on Sept. 12, 2018. Attendees must register through STARS. This training is for sponsor employees/contracted staff only.
 
Five-Year Financial Forecasts
Recent legislative changes included in House Bill 87 extend the deadline for submitting five-year financial forecasts from Oct. 31 to Nov. 30 beginning in 2019. The deadline for the submission of the October 2018 submission continues to be Oct. 31.  Should you have any questions, please contact the Office of Community Schools at Community.Schools@education.ohio.gov. Sponsors also may contact their Office of Community Schools consultants.
 
Special Education Plan for Internet- or Computer-Based Community Schools
Note that Ohio Revised Code 3314.28 requires each internet- or computer-based community school to submit to the school's sponsor a plan for providing special education and related services to disabled students enrolled in the school on or before Sept. 1. The sponsor of each internet- or computer-based community school shall certify all the following to the Ohio Department of Education within 30 days:

  • A statement of whether the plan received is satisfactory to the sponsor;
  • If the plan received is not satisfactory to the sponsor, the sponsor's assurance that it will promptly assist the school in developing a plan that is satisfactory to the sponsor;
  • The sponsor's assurance that it will monitor the implementation of the plan; and
  • The sponsor's assurance that it will take any necessary corrective action to ensure the school's plan is properly and fully implemented.
Guidance is available from the Office of Community Schools in two forms (available on the Department’s e-schools website): Form A provides schools with a template for submission of the e-school plan to sponsors for review.  PLEASE NOTE: The plans are not required to be submitted using this form. It is a tool for both schools’ and sponsors’ convenience. Form B is a checklist for sponsors to use as they review the submitted plans. We are asking sponsors to begin using this form and submit a completed form in Epicenter by Oct. 1, 2018. A task will be scheduled for each e-school.

A Community School Operating in Multiple Facilities
Be advised the Office of Community Schools is reviewing all schools operating in multiple facilities to better respond to inquiries from the Auditor of State. Schools must meet all requirements in state law, including ORC 3314.05, to continue operating in multiple facilities for the 2018-2019 school year.
Should you have any questions, please contact the Office of Community Schools at Community.Schools@education.ohio.gov.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
 
Verification of Students’ Districts of Residence
Recent changes in state law that address verification of students’ districts of residence affect the sponsor-community school contract and required policies.
Provisions in HB 21 require contracts between community schools and their sponsors to include the following: (1) adopt an enrollment and attendance policy requiring a student's parent to notify the school of changes in the parent's or student's residence; and (2) an address verification policy for students. While not required by the legislation, the Office of Community Schools recommends including copies of the required policies as an attachment to contracts.
Effective Sept. 28, 2018, the governing authority of each community school must adopt one or more policies addressing all the following requirements:
  • Specifies the process used to verify the residence and address for students enrolling in or attending the school;
  • Requires a student’s district of residence be verified upon initial enrollment and the information and number of documents required to verify a student's residence upon initial enrollment;
  • Requires a student’s district of residence be verified on an annual basis and the information used for the annual verification of residency;
  • Requires a monthly review of the residency records of students enrolled in that community school; and
  • Requires parents, guardians or independent students age 18 and over notify the community school in which they are enrolled when a change in the location of the parent's or student's primary residence occurs.
A required task will be established in Epicenter for submission of updated policies.
 
More detailed guidance on this issue is forthcoming. Please forward any questions you may have regarding these new requirements to Community.Schools@education.ohio.gov and include ‘residency verification’ in the subject line. The Office of Community Schools will host a teleconference after the release of the guidance.

Automatic Withdrawal for Nonparticipation
With the passage of Senate Bill 216, the requirement that community schools automatically withdraw a student after 105 consecutive hours of unexcused absences changes to withdrawal after 72 hours. The Ohio Secretary of State has not yet posted the official effective date of the legislation, but we expect the effective date of this change to be the beginning of November 2018. Additional guidance will be forthcoming from the Office of Community Schools in early September.

Teacher Licensure
Effective July 1, 2019, school districts, community schools and STEM schools are prohibited from employing teachers of core subject areas unless they are "properly certified or licensed teachers." Per the statute, being properly certified or licensed means the teacher has completed all certification or licensure requirements applicable to the subject, grades and type of students being taught.
 
The Office of Community Schools is working with the Center for the Teaching Profession to provide additional guidance to assist community schools in making this transition.
 
We appreciate the work you are doing on behalf of our students. 
 
See you on the 12th,

Karl

Karl J. Koenig
Director
Office of Community Schools