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Monitoring Review: What Every New Coordinator Should Know Victoria Rankin and Greta Colombi, NDTAC
Overview • Introduction to Monitoring Reviews • What is monitoring review? Which programs are monitored? Why is monitoring beneficial? • Monitoring Review Processes • Federal, subgrantee, program/facility • Conducting Monitoring Reviews • Onsite, off-site • Challenges to Subgrantee Monitoring Reviews • Resources
Introduction: What is Monitoring Review? • Program monitoring involves the regular and systematic examination of program implementation and administration. • Monitoring of Title I, Part D (Part D)-funded programs is conducted to ensure compliance with applicable State and Federal laws.
Introduction: Which Programs Are Monitored? Monitoring reviews occur at three levels: • The U.S. Department of Education (ED) monitors State education agencies (SEAs) that receive funds (Federal monitoring). • SEAs monitor their State agency (SA) and local educational agency (LEA) subgrantees (subgrantee monitoring). • SA and LEA subgrantees monitor the facilities and programs to which they allocate funds (facility monitoring).
Introduction: Why Is Monitoring Beneficial? • Allows administrators at all levels to ensure that students receive a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education. • Provides a mechanism for collecting information about State and local needs to enable administrators to target assistance and other resources more effectively.
Monitoring Review Processes: Federal Monitoring • Student Achievement and School Accountability Programs Office (SASA) within ED monitors SEA administration of the Title I, Part D, program. • SASA examines the State’s Part D program against a set of consistent, program-specific criteria or "indicators."
Federal Indicator Areas • Three areas of focus: • Standards, assessment, and accountability • Instructional support • Fiduciary • Frequency of review • Typically, every 2˗3 years
What Is Involved? Each Federal monitoring review involves: • A comprehensive desk review of documents the SEA/coordinator is asked to submit. • Interviews with the SEA, all SA subgrantees, and a selection of LEA subgrantees. • Interviews occur remotely via video conference or in-person during an onsite review that occurs simultaneously with the Title I, Part A, onsite review.
Pre-SASA Contact Preparation Tips Things to do before you receive SASA’s call: • Become familiar with each monitoring indicator. • Check when your State was last reviewed (available at http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/monitoring/index.html). • Identify your program’s team at each level (SEA, SA, and LEA, if there is a Subpart 2 program). • Locate the materials that SASA will request at least 2 months before your review.
Tips To Facilitate SASA’s Review Some factors to remember: • Logistics—Who will be the contacts? Where and when will they meet? How and when will they communicate? • Documentation—Organize by indicators and refer to SASA monitoring indicators for lists of documents by indicator that you will need to prepare. • Interviews—Review the questions included in the SASA monitoring guide and prepare yourself and appropriate staff to answer all questions that are outlined.
Federal Monitoring Results Postreview, SASA prepares a report that includes one or more of the following three status assessments for each indicator: • Met Requirements—State has fulfilled all requirements for this indicator, and no action is required. • Recommendation—SASA recommends a certain action to improve programming, but not required. • Finding—State is not fulfilling a requirement of the Title I, Part D, law and must take action to rectify the problem.
What Comes Next? • States usually receive the SASA monitoring report a few months postreview. • For findings, the State must: • Project a timeline for SASA regarding the completion of corrective actions. • Describe how corrective actions will be taken within 1 year.
Postreview Tips • If, after 2 months, you have not received your report, follow up with your State Title I director. • DO NOT contact the Federal program manager or Title I, Part D, monitor about the review before receiving your report unless he or she asks followupquestions. • Use information from your exit conference and monitoring report in your response to any findings and required actions.
Federal Monitoring: Your Responsibilities • Review the indicators and documentation that Federal monitors typically require to assess SEA program compliance. • Communicate with ED. • Review past monitoring reports for your State. • Prepare your SAs and LEAs for Federal monitoring reviews and involve them in planning.
Monitoring Review Processes: Subgrantee Monitoring Review • Per the Federal statute and regulations, SEAs—represented by State coordinators are required to: • Monitor SA and LEA subgrantees’ implementation of Title I, Part D (Part D)-funded programs. • Implement a monitoring process that involves conducting reviews on a set schedule and developing related monitoring protocols and tools. • In turn, SAs and LEAs are responsible for monitoring the facilities and programs to which they allocate funds.
Conducting Subgrantee Monitoring Reviews • Often done through: • Offsite review • Review documents (e.g., desktop review) • Administer self-assessment • Onsite review • Review documents • Interview SAs, LEAs (if SEA administers Subpart 2), and facilities • Conduct onsite reviews at facilities (e.g., classroom observations)
Conducting Offsite Monitoring • Two primary methods: • Desktop review • SEA requests information/data, subgrantees submit, and SEA determines compliance. • Self-assessment • Subgrantees complete and inform SEAs of compliance.
Steps Within the Offsite Monitoring Process • Set your offsite monitoring schedule. • Develop your tools/protocols. • Gather information/data. • Review information/data. • Respond to information/data provided.
1. Set Offsite Monitoring Schedule • In light of the onsite monitoring schedule, determine how often you need to conduct offsite monitoring. • Consider the method(s) you plan on using and when.
2. Develop Tools/Protocols • Tools you will use: • Forms • Checklists • Vehicles you will use: • E-mail • Online system • Web-based survey • State system • Video/phone conference • Other
3. Gather Information/Data • Know the requirements you want to review. • Consider what else you may want to know: • Do you have questions based on your review of their data and onsite monitoring results? • Are there broader issues that you want to investigate?
4. Review Information/Data • Check the information/data: • Confirm receipt • Confirm completeness • Confirm quality • Analyze the information/data: • Identify problematic patterns • Identify good examples that can be shared
5. Respond to Submitted Information/Data • Response to identified findings: • SEA writes official response/corrective action plan. • Subgrantee submits plan to address areas of noncompliance. • Response to findings and other identified issues: • Develop a tiered technical assistance (TA) approach based on analyses of results: • Tier 1: TA for all • Tier 2: TA for some • Tier 3: TA for a few
Conducting Onsite Monitoring • Primary activities: • Document review • SEA reviews subgrantee information/data and SEA determines compliance. • Interviews • SEAs meet with subgrantees and discuss compliance. • Site Visits • Visit subgrantee facility to confirm what the subgrantees have shared.
Onsite Monitoring– State Agencies • Easier because usually have just a couple of SAs and they tend to be physically close to SEAs. • Ideally coordinate with other SEA offices (e.g., special education)
Onsite Monitoring– LEAs • SEAs tend to coordinate onsite reviews with other federal programs: “Consolidated Reviews”. • Set monitoring cycle over a few years, where SEAs review a selection of LEAs and a couple of facilities among those selected LEAs. • The frequency of onsite monitoring reviews depends on the size of the state, number of funded LEAs, and SEA resources.
Subgrantee Monitoring Challenges • Onsite monitoring reviews tend to be short and infrequent. • Staff turnover tends to be high. • Title I, Part D, requirements can be challenging to understand. • Offsite monitoring is often necessary, but can be challenging without effective communication and tools that help to • Coordinate the receipt of appropriate materials • Coordinate between your team of reviewers • Address issues as they arise
Subgrantee Monitoring: Your Responsibilities • Create subgrantee monitoring protocols and guidelines. • Establish consistent monitoring “cycles” or schedules. • Require corrective actions for subgrantees not in compliance. • Ensure that LEAs and SAs are monitoring every facility with which they have contracted for services.
Resources • Guide to Meeting Compliance Requirements for the Title I, Part D, Program, available on the NDTAC Web site. • ND Communities’ Monitoring and Compliance topic page for examples of subgrantee monitoring forms and protocols from many States. • Federal Monitoring Forms—available under “Monitoring Indicators” on the ED Web site (http://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/monitoring/index.html). • Your NDTAC State Liaison!