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Supplemental Educational Services - Parents


1. What are supplemental educational services?
    According to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, supplemental educational services are free tutoring and other supplemental academic enrichment services that are in addition to instruction provided during the school day. These services must be of high quality, research based, and specifically designed to increase a studentĎs academic achievement toward proficiency in meeting the stateís achievement standards.


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 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 educational 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 the funds are insufficient to provide supplemental educational services to all eligible students whose parents request services, priority must be given to providing services to the lowest-achieving eligible students. The school district must use objective criteria to determine the lowest-achieving 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 as in need of improvement.


4. How do parents know if their child is eligible for school choice?
    School districts are required to notify parents if their child is eligible for school choice because his or her school has been identified as in need of improvement, corrective action or restructuring. Districts must notify parents no later than the first day of the school year following the year for which their school has been identified for improvement.


5. What is a state-approved provider?
    A state-approved provider of supplemental educational services is a non-profit or for-profit agency that 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; and is financially sound.


6. What are some examples of SES providers?
   

Many entities are eligible to apply to the state for approval to provide supplemental educational services to students including, but not limited to:

  • for-profit and non-profit organizations
  • community agencies and organizations
  • public, charter, and private schools
  • child care centers
  • libraries
  • community colleges
  • colleges and universities
  • family literacy programs
  • regional educational alliances
  • faith-based organizations



7. What is the role of parents in supplemental educational services?
   

Parents should be active participants in their childís supplemental educational services program. Parents must be able to choose from among all supplemental educational service providers identified by the state to provide services in their school district. The district will provide parents with a list of state-approved providers in the district, and parents should consider the components of each providerís program in choosing a provider that will most effectively meet the needs of their child. In addition, the district or school must assist parents in selecting a provider if such help is requested. Parents should also have an option to change or terminate services if they are not satisfied. Parents are encouraged to address their questions and concerns with their district Title I Coordinator or the Supplemental Educational Services Coordinator.

Parents, the school district, and the provider chosen by the parents must develop and identify specific academic achievement goals for the student, measures of student progress, and a timetable for improving achievement.




8. What is the role of parents in supporting student attendance at SES sessions?
    Parents should ensure that their children attend the supplemental services sessions in which they are enrolled. The sessions are provided at no cost to parents so students should take advantage of the opportunity for free academic help. The provider must notify parents if their child is not attending regularly.


9. How should districts inform families of their provider choices if they choose to take advantage of free tutoring through SES?
   

Districts are responsible for identifying eligible students in schools that have not made adequate yearly progress for three years. Districts must notify families if their child is eligible for supplemental educational services and give information to families about local providers. The information should be easy to understand, in multiple languages, and describe the services of each provider. For example, the information should give families the following information about each provider:

  • Subject areas (such as reading or mathematics) and grade levels covered
  • Providerís track record in raising student achievement
  • Qualifications of the tutoring staff
  • Where and when the services are offered
  • Providerís ability to meet the needs of students with disabilities or who are English language learners
  • Provider's contact information
  • Type of instruction (individualized, small group, online, etc)

Districts should provide the information to the families regarding how to select a provider and include deadlines for signing up for services. If a family asks the district for assistance, the district is required to help the family choose a provider. Districts should allow families enough time to compare providers and make informed choices.

Districts and schools will provide information to parents regarding providers and the enrollment process. Districts may also consider other forms of communication to inform families about supplemental educational services such as:

  • District websites
  • Phone calls
  • School newsletters
  • TV, radio, or newspaper ads
  • Parent-teacher conferences to reach families
  • Open houses or provider fairs for families to meet providers and learn more about their services



10. Who selects the approved provider for supplemental educational services?
    Parents select a provider from the state-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.


11. Is a school district required to provide parents the list of statewide providers?
    Yes. Districts must notify parents regarding all providers approved to provide services in the school district. Districts may not limit the list of available providers for parents to choose. Many districts contract with providers prior to making the list of providers available to parents to ensure that all of the providers on the list are committed to providing services in the district.


12. What factors should parents consider when choosing a provider?
   

Parents may want to ask the following questions when choosing a provider for their childís supplemental educational services:

  • Where are the tutoring services provided?
  • Will transportation be provided?
  • When will tutoring services be provided?
  • How often and for how long will my child be tutored?
  • How many hours of tutoring services will be provided?
  • Will my child be tutored in a small group? One-on-one? If my child is in a group, how many students will participate in the group?
  • What are the qualifications of the tutoring staff?
  • How will my childís individual academic needs be met?
  • How will the provider inform me of my childís progress?



13. What are provider fairs?
    Provider fairs are events in which many tutoring groups are available at booths or tables for parents to browse, ask questions, and make a choice. Parents are able to make informed decisions by asking questions of each provider regarding curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Parents should make every effort to participate in provider fairs to obtain information to assist them in choosing a provider that can most effectively meet the needs of their child.


14. How can parents enroll their children in supplemental educational services?
    The school district will notify parents regarding their childís eligibility to receive supplemental educational services and include information regarding the available providers. The school district will instruct parents how to apply or enroll children in the program. Enrollment may take place at a provider fair or a meeting at school.


15. Can a district set a deadline by which parents must apply for their child to participate in supplemental educational services?
    Yes. Each school district may specify a deadline for parents to apply for their child to participate in supplemental educational services. The district must ensure that parents have sufficient time, information, and opportunity to make decisions related to their children. Most districts have chosen to provide parents with two to four weeks to choose a provider and submit the application and enrollment forms to the district.


16. 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, outlines how the studentís progress will be measured, and provides a timetable for improving achievement. The PDPA must also describe how the parents and teachers of the student will be regularly informed 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.


17. Can parents choose to transfer their child to another public school AND obtain supplemental educational services for them?
    No.


18. 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 receive services after a new Parent District Provider Agreement is signed.


19. Can a provider use its own assessment to identity student needs for writing goals for the PDPA?
    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 receive services after a new Parent District Provider Agreement is signed.


20. Can a provider use its own assessment to identity 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 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.


21. Is the 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.


22. When does the provider offer services?
    Supplemental educational services must be provided outside of the regular school day. Most students participate in supplemental educational services after school. Students could also participate in these services before school, on weekends, or during the summer.


23. How long should supplemental educational services be provided to eligible students?
    The school district must provide supplemental educational services to eligible students 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.


24. Is there a limit on the number of members in a family who can receive the supplemental services?
    No. All low-income children in a low-performing Title I school are eligible to receive services. If the district determines that funds are not sufficient to provide services to all eligible students whose parents request services, the district must prioritize the services to the students with the greatest academic need.


25. Are students with disabilities or limited English proficient students eligible to receive supplemental educational services?
    Eligible students with disabilities and eligible limited English proficient students must be offered supplemental educational services.


26. How are students grouped during tutoring?
    Providers offer different types of instruction. Some providers tutor small groups of students at a time, while others offer one-on-one instruction or teach through computer programs. Other programs may use a combination of these approaches. Parents should choose a provider that offers instruction in a way that will work best for their child.


27. What are the responsibilities of the school district in providing options to parents of students with disabilities and students covered under Section 504?
    School districts must ensure that eligible students with disabilities and students covered under Section 504 participate in supplemental educational services if their parents choose for them to do so. The supplemental educational services program within the district may not discriminate against these students. A school district may not, through contractual or other arrangements with a private provider, discriminate against an eligible student with a disability or an eligible student covered under Section 504 by failing to provide appropriate supplemental educational services with necessary accommodations. Such services and necessary accommodations must be available, but not necessarily from each provider approved to provide services in the district. If no provider is able to make the services with necessary accommodations available to an eligible student with a disability, the district must provide the services with necessary accommodations either directly or through a contract.


28. What are the responsibilities of the school district in providing options to parents of students with limited English proficiency?
    School districts must ensure that eligible students with limited English proficiency participate in supplemental educational services if their parents choose for them to do so. The supplemental educational services program within the district may not discriminate against these students. If no provider is able to provide such services, including necessary language assistance, to an eligible student with limited English proficiency, the district must provide the services with necessary accommodations either directly or through a contract.