Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
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Supplemental Educational Services - Provider
1. What are supplemental educational services?
According to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, supplemental educational services are tutoring, remediation, and other supplemental academic enrichment services that are in addition to instruction provided during the school day. Services must be of high quality, research based, and specifically designed to increase a studentĎs academic achievement on the stateís academic assessments toward proficiency in meeting the stateís achievement standards. These services may include academic assistance such as tutoring, remediation, and other educational interventions provided for low-achieving students.
2. Why are supplemental educational services important?
Supplemental educational services provide low-income families the opportunity to choose free tutoring services for their children. The program offers children who may be struggling in school an opportunity to obtain extra academic help and individual instruction they need to be successful.
Studies suggest that academically-based programs offered outside the school day can help students improve their achievement and work habits. Tutoring can help children improve achievement by building on the learning that takes place during the school day. Students at risk of academic failure have the most to gain from tutoring programs. Some of these students may not be successful in traditional classrooms and may be able to learn in different ways through tutoring. By helping individual students improve, supplemental educational services support teachersí and principalsí efforts to improve their schools.
3. Who is eligible to receive supplemental services?
Eligible students are all students from low-income families who attend Title I schools that are in their second year of school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring. If funds are insufficient to provide services to each eligible student whose parents request services, priority must be given to providing services to the lowest-achieving eligible students. For example, the school district might focus services on the lowest-achieving eligible students in the subject area (reading or mathematics) that caused the school to be identified for Title I School Improvement.
4. What is a state-approved provider?
A state-approved supplemental educational service provider may be a non-profit or for-profit entity or school district that meets the stateís criteria for approval:
- Has a demonstrated record of effectiveness in increasing student academic achievement
- Is capable of providing supplemental educational services that are consistent with the instructional program of the school district and the stateís academic standards
- Is financially sound
5. What does it mean to have a demonstrated record of effectiveness in increasing student academic achievement?
An applicant must be able to provide specific quantitative and qualitative evidence that the proposed program has accelerated the academic achievement in reading/language arts and/or mathematics of identified Title I students, at-risk students, students with disabilities, students covered under Section 504, and students with limited English proficiency. The applicant should be able to demonstrate that the proposed program has a positive impact on studentsí achievement as demonstrated through a state, local school system, or other independent, valid, and reliable performance assessment, particularly for low-income underachieving students.
6. How can an applicant demonstrate the capacity for providing supplemental educational services that are consistent with the instructional program of the school district and the stateís academic standards?
The applicant must be prepared to describe the proposed approach or model of instruction and how the approach or model of instruction will ensure student achievement. The application must describe the capacity to provide services that are consistent with the instructional program of the local school district and with Floridaís Sunshine State Standards. Instructional content and methods must be designed to help studens achieve proficiency in meeting state achievement standards. The applicant must be able to reflect the specific state standards in reading/ language arts and mathematics to be addressed in the program. For example: Reading standards should include phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, reading fluency, and reading comprehension strategies. Mathematics standards should include number sense, measurement, geometry and spatial sense, algebraic thinking, and data analysis and probability. For information on Floridaís Sunshine State Standards, please see http://www.firn.edu/doe/curric/prek12/index.html.
7. How can an applicant demonstrate financial soundness?
Applicants will be required to provide evidence of financial soundness. Evidence may include, but not be limited to, the following documents:
- Copy of applicantís liability insurance
- Copy of the organizationís most recent tax return or other evidence of fiscal soundness such as annual financial statements, fiscal audits, financial letters of credit, Dunn & Bradstreet reports, or profit/loss statements
- Evidence that the applicant is legally qualified to do business in Florida such as a certificate from the Division of Corporations
- Verification of business status or non-profit status. For example, Internal Revenue Service letter with FEIN or certificate issued by government
- Signed statement that the organization has not been suspended or disbarred from receiving federal funding from the head of the organization
8. What entities can serve as supplemental educational service providers?
Providers may include non-profit entities, for-profit entities, local educational agencies, public schools, public charter schools, private schools, public or private institutions of higher education, community agencies, child care centers serving school-age students, libraries, on-line schools, family literacy programs/even start programs, educational service centers, regional professional development centers, and faith-based organizations. All providers must meet the same identification criteria and must undergo the same selection process.
9. Can a school or a school district apply to become a state-approved provider?
Yes. A school or a school district is eligible to apply to become a state-approved supplemental educational provider. A school or school district that has been identified as in need of improvement, corrective action, or restructuring is not eligible to apply to become a supplemental educational service provider. A school that is making adequately yearly progress within a school district identified as in need of improvement, corrective action, or restructuring is eligible to apply for approval to provide supplemental educational services.
10. What entities are not eligible to apply to become a state-approved provider?
The following entities or organizations are not eligible to apply to become a state-approved provider:
- Public schools that have been identified as in need of improvement, corrective action, or restructuring
- School districts that have been identified as in need of improvement, corrective action, or restructuring
11. How are providers selected for approval by the department?
The department annually notifies potential providers and approves providers of SES through a Request for Applications (RFA) in which potential providers submit an application on-line.
A committee of state and school district educational administrators, program specialists, and instructors familiar in the selection of applications and with the NCLB, Title I, Part A provisions and in SES instruction and delivery of services will review each application and make recommendations for the approval of providers of SES for upcoming school year. Selection will be based on accurate completion of requested information and data, compliance with all provider eligibility requirements, and agreement with assurances set forth in the RFA document. Successful applications are those that obtain at least 70 points out of the maximum 100 points for the application narrative.
12. What is required of supplemental educational service providers?
A provider is responsible for meeting the terms of its agreement with the district. According to the USDOE Non-regulatory Guidance, a state-approved supplemental educational service provider must:
- Enable the student to attain his or her specific achievement goals (as established by the district, in consultation with the studentís parents and the provider) [Section 1116(e)(3)(A)]
- Measure the studentís progress, and regularly informing the studentís parents and teachers of that progress [Section 1116(e)(3)(A) and (B)]
- Adhere to the timetable for improving the studentís achievement that is developed by the district in consultation with the studentís parents and the provider [Section 1116(e)(3)(A)]
- Ensure that it does not disclose to the public the identity of any student eligible for or receiving supplemental educational services without the written permission of the studentís parents [Section 1116(e)(3)(E)]
- Provide supplemental educational services consistent with applicable health, safety, and civil rights laws [Section 1116(e)(5)(C)]
- Provide supplemental educational services that are secular, neutral, and nonideological [Section 1116(e)(5)(D)]
In the case of a student with a disability, the achievement goals, measurement and reporting of progress, and timetable described above must be consistent with, although not necessarily included in, the studentís individualized education program under Section 614(d) of the IDEA. In the case of a student covered by Section 504, they must be consistent with, although not necessarily included in, the studentís individualized services under Section 504.
In summary, it is the providerís responsibility is to:
- enter into a contract with the school district prior to delivering SES
- provide parents with information on the progress of their children
- provide parents with information on the progress of their children
- ensure that instruction and content used are consistent with the school district and the Florida Sunshine State Standards
- meet all applicable federal, state and local health, safety, and civil rights laws
- ensure that all instruction and content are secular, neutral and non-ideological
- ensure all employees who interact with students have undergone background checks
- develop an agreement in consultation with the school district and studentís parents that outlines goals for student achievement, describes requirements for reporting progress to parents and teachers, and sets timelines for completion
- protect the privacy of students eligible for, or receiving, supplemental educational services
13. Is the school district required to notify parents about the availability of supplemental educational services?
Yes. Each school district must notify parents annually that their children are eligible for supplemental educational services. The notification must be understandable and, where practicable, in the parentís language. The notice must inform parents of their childrenís eligibility, and provide a list of approved providers within the district with a brief description of the services, qualifications and demonstrated effectiveness of such providers. Districts must also help parents select a supplemental educational service provider if the parents request such assistance.
14. Is a district required to provide parents the list of providers?
Yes. Districts must notify parents regarding all of the providers approved to provide services in the school district. Districts may not limit the available providers for parents to choose. Many districts contract with providers prior to making the list available to parents to ensure that all of the providers on the list are committed to providing services in the district.
15. Can a district set a deadline by which parents must apply for their child to participate in supplemental educational services?
Yes. Each district may specify a deadline for parents to apply for their child to participate in supplemental educational services. Most districts have chosen to provide parents with two to four weeks to choose a provider and submit the application/enrollment forms to the districts. Districts must provide parents with a reasonable amount of time to study the provider options and make an informed decision.
16. Who selects the approved SES provider for eligible students?
Parents select a provider from an approved list of providers. If funds are not sufficient to provide services to all eligible students whose parents request the services, the district must give priority to the lowest-achieving children.
17. What happens after a parent selects a supplemental service provider for his or her child?
The school district must develop, in consultation with the parents and the provider, a Parent District Provider Agreement (PDPA) that includes a statement of specific achievement goals for the student, how the studentís progress will be measured, and a timetable for improving achievement. The PDPA must also describe how the provider will regularly inform parents and teachers regarding the studentís progress. The PDPA should include specific activities and services designed to meet the individual needs of students. In the case of a student with a disability, the PDPA must be consistent with the studentís individual educational plan.
18. Who is responsible for reporting studentsí progress to the studentsí parents and teachers?
NCLB requires that each provider must regularly inform each studentís parents and the studentís teachers regarding the studentís progress toward meeting the specific achievement goals for the student. The progress reports should be regularly scheduled in each studentís PDPA. Reports to parents must be in an understandable format. The provider is responsible for evaluating, monitoring, and tracking each studentís progress on a regular basis. The intent of this requirement is to ensure that students are improving their academic achievement and that instructional goals are being met.
19. Is a school district responsible for providing transportation to the service provider?
No. School districts are not required to provide transportation to or from supplemental educational services. Services may be provided in a student's school or at another location. A school district may enter into an agreement with a provider for transportation services. If a school district pays for transportation to service providers, the transportation costs may not be used to satisfy federal minimum expenditure requirements.
20. What if a student does not regularly attend tutoring sessions?
The provider must notify parents if their child is not attending regularly. Supplemental educational services can only be effective if the student regularly participates in the tutoring sessions. The provider must collaborate with the studentís school and his or her parents to ensure that students take full advantage of the opportunity to receive the supplemental services.
21. How long should supplemental educational services be provided to eligible students?
The school district must continue to provide supplemental educational services to a student receiving such services until the end of the school year in which such services were first received or until the per-pupil allocation is expended for that student. The school district is required to make supplemental educational services available to eligible students on an annual basis until the Title I school in which the student is enrolled makes adequate yearly progress for two consecutive years.
22. Can a parent switch to another provider during the school year if they are not happy with the services their child is receiving?
Yes, although some districts may only allow this to occur under certain conditions. For example, the parent might be asked to file a complaint and choose another provider. Students would then be able to receive services after a new Parent District Provider Agreement is signed.
23. Who coordinates supplemental educational services at the local level?
Each district school superintendent has designated staff to coordinate and manage the implementation of NCLB school choice options in the district. In addition, many districts have hired part time staff to coordinate the services at the school level. The part time coordinator may be a current school district employee, such as a teacher or administrator that is responsible for coordinating services at the school site.
24. Are providers required to serve students with disabilities?
States and school districts must ensure that eligible students with disabilities and students covered under Section 504 receive appropriate educational services and accommodations. These services must be consistent with each studentís individual education plan (IEP) under IDEA, or a studentís 504 plan. Such services and necessary accommodations must be available, but not necessarily from each provider. If no provider is available to serve an eligible student with a disability, the district must provide these services with necessary accommodations either directly or through contracted services.
25. Are providers required to serve students with limited English proficiency?
States and school districts must ensure that eligible students with limited English proficiency receive services. These services must be available, but not necessarily from each provider. If no provider is available to serve an eligible student with limited English proficiency, the district must provide these services either directly or through contracted services.
26. How much must a school district spend on supplemental educational services?
A school district must spend an amount equal to 20% of its Title I, Part A funds on public school choice options for parents. An amount equal to 5% of its Title I allocation must be spent to pay for choice with transportation; an amount equal to 5% of its Title I allocation must be spent for supplemental educational services; and an amount equal to the remaining 10% must be spent on choice with transportation, supplemental educational services, or both, as determined by the school district.
27. How is the 20% set aside to be allocated for public school choice options?
As provided in the Title I Regulations, an amount equal to 20 % of the total district allocation, including transfers and before any other reservations are made, must be reserved for the two choice options, unless a lesser amount is needed. Further, the regulations provide that a school district must spend at least 5% of the total allocation on choice with transportation, 5% on state-approved supplemental educational services, and the remaining 10% on one or both options, dependent upon demand. The set-aside funds may not be used for administrative costs associated with either choice with transportation or supplemental educational services and may not be used for transportation for supplemental educational services.
If the demand or actual cost of implementing the options with fidelity is less than the amount reserved, and the district can document that it has implemented the requirements for providing the two choice options, the remaining funds may be released for reallocation. Prior to the departmentís release of these funds for reallocation the district must document that it has fully met the demand for choice with transportation and state-approved supplemental educational services. This documentation must be maintained at the district office and presented to the department upon request.
28. How much money can be spent per pupil?
The district can spend the lesser of the per-pupil Title I allocation or the actual costs of providing the supplemental educational services.
29. What should a prospective applicant consider in calculating a rate for services?
Expenses that the approved provider incurs in the provision of supplemental educational services must be accounted for in the stated rate per student, per hour of instruction, and for each type of instruction. The rate submitted in the approved application will be used by all school districts in which the provider is approved to provide services to develop the contract between the district and the provider. Prospective applicants should consider the following when calculating a rate for services:
- tutor/student ratio
- variation in per-student allocations among school districts in the state
- variation in the cost of doing business among school districts in the state
- number of instructional hours
- qualifications and therefore cost of the tutoring staff
- cost of personnel expenses
- cost of instructional materials and equipment such as books, computers, and manipulatives
- amount of rent charged by the school district and other landlords, including variations throughout the state
- cost for transportation, if providing transportation
- cost of developing the Parent District Provider Agreements, including all assessment and evaluation costs that preclude any tutoring services
- school districtís payment policies regarding attendance and missed sessions
- employee criminal background checks
- cost of liability insurance
- administrative expenses
30. Will providers that serve multiple districts be able to vary their fees for services, as some districts will have more money available than others?
Applicants are required to identify the rate for their services on the application to become state-approved providers. All contracts between school districts and providers must be consistent with the rate in the approved application.
31. What are district policies related to the use of school facilities by supplemental educational services providers?
School districtsí policies vary around the state and the use of facilities must be negotiated at the local level. However, if the district charges fees to providers for the use of school facilities, they must be consistent with fees charged to other community groups.
32. Who sets the exact hourly rate to be paid to providers? May this rate vary from provider to provider?
The department establishes a range for the hourly rates that a provider may be paid. The final hourly rate that a provider may charge must be consistent with the rate in the approved application. Rates will vary from provider to provider based on such considerations as cost of employing staff, delivery model of tutoring sessions, instructional materials, leasing of facilities, and assessment instruments.
33. How are providers paid?
Providers will be paid from district business offices. The exact procedures for submitting invoices or other paperwork to receive payment for services will vary across the state. Student attendance is an important consideration in the invoice and billing process. Districts will only pay for the actual hours of instruction delivered to students. Therefore, accurate recordkeeping of attendance and all billing practices are critical to the process. It is recommended that these issues be addressed in the contract between the district and provider.
34. What is the ďway of workĒ between an approved provider and the school district?
NCLB requires each school district to enter into an agreement or contract with each provider approved to provide services in the district. The contract must:
- address the development and implementation of the Parent District Provider Agreement (PDPA)
- provide for the termination of the agreement if the provider is unable to meet goals and timetables
- contain provisions for payments to the provider by the school district
- prohibit the provider from disclosing any student identifiable information
The contract should also address student attendance/absences, policies relative to the use of school facilities by providers, and policies and procedures regarding ensure background checks and fingerprints for all provider employees who will have direct contact with students. The contract must be consistent with the information in the providerís approved application.
35. How will school districts find out which providers are approved to serve eligible students in their districts?
The Florida Department of Education is responsible for reviewing and approving applications for providers to provide supplemental educational services in the state. The department will notify approved providers and school districts and post a list of the state-approved providers on the departmentís website prior to the beginning of the school year.
36. When should districts begin communicating with providers?
District staff should contact providers approved to provide services in their district as soon as the state-approved provider list is released. Generally, the department notifies all school districts regarding the AYP designation for all schools by mid-June of each year. This notification will identify the Title I schools identified as in need of improvement, corrective action, or restructuring. District staff may wish to contact providers approved to provide supplemental educational services in their district as soon as possible following the release of the approved provider list and the adequate yearly progress status of Title I schools to begin negotiating the contracts between the district and providers.
37. Can the school district determine timelines for providers to sign the contract with the district and begin services to students?
Yes. School districts have the authority to set timelines that providers are required to meet, such as signing contracts, completing background checks, and submitting invoices and other reports. Timelines must be reasonable. If a provider is unable to meet the timelines, the district has the authority to reassign students to another provider based on parentsí second or third choices. Districts also have the authority to require providers to begin providing services to students within a specified reasonable time following the signed contract or the students assigned to the provider will be reassigned to another provider.
38. What restrictions are placed on providers for marketing and recruiting students?
Districts need to promote supplemental educational services to their eligible schools and families, while providers may need to market their specific services to schools and parents. The department strongly encourages school districts and providers to coordinate their efforts through such activities as Provider Fairs, information packets, backpack mailings, and media packets to ensure that parents have information to make informed decisions that best meet the needs of their children.
The use of incentives to enroll with certain providers is restricted. The department encourages providers to follow the Code of Professional Conduct and Business Ethics for Supplemental Educational Services Providers adopted by the Education Industry Association in marketing their services in Florida school districts.
39. What can providers expect by participating in district provider fairs or meetings?
Districts may invite providers to participate and display materials at a provider fair in which many other tutoring groups will be available. Generally, provider fairs are events in which many tutoring groups are available at booths or tables for parents to browse, ask questions, and choose a provider for their child.
40. Could the provider fair be set up for providers to recruit students from many schools in a district?
Yes. Some districts have used fairs for providers to recruit students from feeder- pattern schools. Coordinating provider fairs for feeder-pattern schools may create a more family-friendly situation by providing parents with the opportunity to interview providers that could provide services to several children in the same family that are attending different schools within the feeder pattern. Combining fairs for feeder-pattern schools may also simplify the provider fairs process for district planners by reducing the number of fairs that need to be held by the district.
41. What other ways might providers market their program in districts?
Providers can create materials to leave with students and families that convey what is unique about their program in a language that is easy for them to understand. In addition to providing these materials to schools and districts, providers may want to consider placing materials where families commonly go, such as community centers, places of worship, grocery stores, beauty salons.
42. What happens after a parent selects a supplemental educational services provider for his or her child?
The school district must develop, in consultation with the parents and the provider, a Parent District Provider Agreement (PDPA) that includes a statement of specific achievement goals for the student, how the studentís progress will be measured, and a timetable for improving achievement. The PDPA must also describe how the provider will regularly inform parents and teachers regarding the studentís progress. The PDPA should include specific activities and services designed to meet the individual needs of students. In the case of a student with a disability, the PDPA must be consistent with the studentís individual educational plan or 504 plan.
43. Can a provider use its own assessment to identify student needs for writing goals for the PDPA?
Yes, but the provider must verify with the district as to how and when the assessment can take place. The school district must provide student data regarding the students assigned to a provider. These data will include FCAT scores for students in third through twelfth grade. The FCAT is not a diagnostic tool, and providers must use assessment/diagnostic instruments to identify studentsí skill deficiencies in order to develop a PDPA that will specifically address a studentís individual academic needs.
44. What are the contractual obligations of providers to a district to continue services if their students achieve the goals originally agreed to in the PDPA?
According to federal guidelines, a provider must continue to provide supplemental educational services to eligible students who are receiving such services until the end of the school year in which such services were first received. Beyond that, district and provider contracts should specify the conditions for continuation of services.
45. How are providers of supplemental educational services held accountable?
States must develop and apply objective criteria for evaluating providers and monitoring the quality of services that they offer. In addition, supplemental educational service providers must give parents, as well as the school, information regarding their studentsí progress.
46. How will the public know if supplemental service providers are effective?
SES providers must be able to show how their program has helped students. Each state has to define how it will monitor the quality and effectiveness of the supplemental services offered by providers. If a provider fails for two consecutive years to contribute to increasing the academic achievement of the students it serves, the state must remove it from the state-approved provider list. The department is responsible for publicly reporting the results of the evaluation on the department website.
47. What is the role of the state in monitoring and evaluation?
The Florida Department of Education is responsible for monitoring and evaluating NCLB public school choice for school districts and providers, which includes choice with transportation and supplemental educational services. The department is also responsible for publicly reporting the results of the evaluation for removing any provider that fails for two consecutive years to contribute to the academic achievement of students. The department has designed a plan to evaluate the effectiveness of providers based on student learning gains.
48. How will providers be evaluated?
A formal evaluation will be conducted by the Florida Department of Education of each provider to measure studentsí progress in reading/language arts and mathematics. Effective providers must show significant academic progress with most of the students who received the services. Academic progress will be determined based on student learning gains on assessments identified by the state. Learning gains for students in fourth through tenth grade will be determined using student learning gains on the FCAT. The state will identify a state assessment instrument to be used to determine student learning gains for students in kindergarten through third grade at no cost to the provider. Any provider that fails for two consecutive years to increase student achievement will be removed from the state-approved list. Evaluation results regarding the quality and effectiveness of provided services will be publicly reported.
49. Can providers be removed from the state-approved list?
Yes. The department must remove a provider from the approved list if the provider fails for two consecutive years to contribute to increasing the academic proficiency of their assigned students. Also, the department has the discretion to immediately remove a provider from the approved list if the provider fails to meet provider eligibility requirements, provider responsibilities, general and internet assurances, or for other good cause such as refusing to deliver services to school districts in which the provider is approved by the state.
50. What is the role of districts in the monitoring process?
Districts will be asked to complete self evaluation monitoring work papers that will be based on and aligned to the Title I law and USDE guidance. Selected districts will be asked to submit verification documents to support their self-evaluation to the department for a Desktop Verification and in-depth review.
51. What will providers have to do as part of the monitoring process?
All state-approved providers will be required to conduct a self-evaluation and submit a report to the department. A select number of providers will be requested to submit verification work papers as well as participate in a department onsite-monitoring visit. Providers will be monitored against their approved applications. This monitoring will check to see if the instruction and assessments being used are consistent with the content and skills in Floridaís Sunshine State Standards. If any findings occur from the site visit, the provider will be expected to develop a Systems Improvement Plan.