October 1st is Coming…

September 22nd, 2017

 

For those LEAs who have yet to submit their ‘LEA Transportation Plan to Ensure School Stability for Students in Foster Care’ into ALEAT, help is on the way. Listed below is another version of a guidance email that will be sent out through ALEAT.

Dear Colleague,

I trust this correspondence finds you doing well and excited for the cooler weather on the horizon. Many LEAs have already uploaded their ‘LEA Transportation Plan to Ensure School Stability for Students in Foster Care’ into ALEAT with great success. With a little over a week remaining before the Oct. 1st deadline, I wanted to send out some guidance regarding the aforementioned instrument in ALEAT. This instrument is intended to capture the LEA’s ‘big picture’, overall plan, to ensure transportation is provided, arranged, and funded for children in foster care to remain in their school of origin. The ‘LEA Transportation Plan to Ensure School Stability for Students in Foster Care’ in the only document that needs to be uploaded to ALEAT in this instrument.  

In the ‘Resources’ tab, you will find a sample fillable template that you may use as your Transportation Plan to Ensure School Stability for Students in Foster Care. This template is intended to be used in the following manner:

  • The top section is to capture your LEA information, specifically your LEA Foster Care Point of Contact. (The LEA Foster Care Point of Contact (POC) needs to be designated. Be sure to check the LEA POC list at http://www.azed.gov/fostercare/lea-poc-list/ to be sure your LEA has the correct person designated. If your Foster Care POC changes, be sure to email [email protected] & [email protected].
  • The second section is another catch, along with the Statement of Assurances that are included in the consolidated grant, that the foster care provisions in ESSA will be in adhered to.
  • The third section is the bulk of the transportation plan.
    • The first question aims to address how the LEA will ensure foster children are going to retain school stability and how transportation for children in foster care to their school of origin will be provided, arranged, and funded in the interim (i.e. while you are setting up the long term transportation plan).
    • The second question aims to address how the LEA will find any existing transportation options that may be used to transport students in foster care (i.e. if a student in foster care has an IEP that calls for transportation already, that would be an existing option).
    • The third question aims to undertake some of the details of the transportation plan. Be sure to address with detail all of the italicized remarks in the parentheses.

The second item in the ‘Resources’ tab, is a link to the www.azed.gov/fostercare webpage. This webpage has bevy of information to help guide your transportation plan:

  • The ‘Law’ menu has the full text of ESSA and the isolated foster care provisions in ESSA.
  • The ‘Guidance’ menu has the non-regulatory federal guidance and a transportation guidance.
  • The ‘Training’ menu has an ESSA Foster Care 101 PowerPoint and other supporting documents.
  • The ‘Resources’ menu has national and state resources.
  • The ‘Blog’ menu has the ADE Foster Care Education blog. This blog will be used to push out important program updates, initiatives, and highlights. Subscribing to the blog will benefit your LEA greatly.

Students in foster care face enormous challenges and barriers to a successful education. Studies have shown, that every time that a foster child changes school they lose about six months of academic progress. On average, about 42% of foster children attend two or more schools in a given school year and have a graduation rate of about 33%. Needless to say, school stability is vastly important for this population.

Thank you for role in serving these foster students!

 

As always subscribe to the blog for future updates regarding ADE and foster care education. If you have a story of success for a foster student or a great program that is serving foster students, please submit them to [email protected]. ADE would love to celebrate triumphs in this community!