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January 26, 2017 Georgia Department of Education launches Career Pipeline Tool  Georgia businesses need a skilled workforce, and every year, Georgia high schools are graduating talented students in need of meaningful career opportunities. In an effort to better connect those two groups, to the benefit of Georgia students and the overall economic health of the state, the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) and state partners are launching the Georgia Career Pipeline Tool, accessible at gacareerpipeline.gadoe.org. The Career Pipeline Tool, developed by the GaDOE in partnership with business, industry, education and state-agency partners, is a web application that allows students and business/industry leaders to compare the CTAE programs offered in each Georgia high school with the workforce needs of specific regions within the state. This will provide students with helpful information on areas of growth within their region (or a region where they’d like to live after high school), allowing them to match the career education they pursue with available opportunities. The tool will also allow businesses to see the availability of students with a specific skillset in any Georgia county, zip code, or Economic Development Region – helping them make important decisions concerning growth, development, and workforce needs. “We know there are many businesses who are doing great work and investing in Georgia’s economy, and they need a strong pipeline of qualified employees,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “We also know Georgia’s high schools have redoubled their efforts to equip students with practical skills so they can move into a successful, fulfilling future. The Georgia Career Pipeline Tool will connect those two groups and expand opportunities for Georgia’s high school graduates.” In Georgia’s schools, students take Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) courses and, in high school, choose a Career Pathway that equips them with skills and industry certifications in a field of their choice. Students are studying everything from manufacturing to finance to health science through courses that provide real-world experiences and work-based learning opportunities. “In order to accomplish our CTAE mission of educating Georgia’s future workforce by providing experiences for Georgia students that will prepare them for workplace success, we must partner with a variety of stakeholders,” said Dr. Barbara Wall, GaDOE’s Director of Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education. “The Georgia Career Pipeline is an example of a true partnership where many stakeholders realized their own return on investment and were willing to work together to produce a product that will be beneficial to everyone.” The Georgia Career Pipeline Tool is available for public use for business/industry representatives, students, teachers, school counselors, Chamber of Commerce and economic development leaders, postsecondary recruiters, state workforce associations, and any others who may find it useful. “When I started my position with the Atlanta Electrical Contractors Association some 17 years ago, I was charged with building a ‘pipeline of applicants’ from area school systems for our electrical apprenticeship program,” said Chuck Little, Human Resources Director for the Atlanta Electrical Contractors Association. “What that meant was hours and days and weeks of researching individual school systems to find the right schools, the right administrators and the right teachers who could help me make that happen. This new Georgia Career Pipeline web application puts all that kind of information right at your fingertips instantaneously. It is amazing how you can find not only the right contacts, but you will know everything about the potential pool of students in each and every Career Pathway around the entire state of Georgia.” Other GaDOE initiatives aimed at increasing collaboration between the education and business communities include a new Superintendent’s Business and Industry Advisory Council, the creation of an Economic Development Specialist position, and collaborative work with the Technical College System of Georgia, the University System of Georgia, the Georgia Department of Labor and the Georgia Department of Economic Development. The Career Pipeline Tool is part of the Educating Georgia’s Future Workforce initiative, which is aimed at increasing the state’s focus on career education and expanding partnerships with the business community. 
January 10, 2017 From the Capital: Day 2: Dissecting Assessment Requirements and the CCRPI  Released by Angela Palm, GSBA: There was a Joint meeting of the House and Senate Education Committees today. They asked the Georgia Department of Education (DOE) staff to do a presentation on the state assessment program and the CCRPI. Melissa Fincher and Alison Timberlake did a great job of explaining the two topics in plain English. Several district personnel also spoke. The main issues seemed to be the testing window, the length of time it takes for the release of the growth and CCRPI scores, failure to consider transiency of students in the index, and the graduation rate calculation. The DOE staff said the testing window will be later next year to allow more instructional time and meet the terms of last year's SB 364. Some Committee members suggested that instead of using dates that DOE tell districts to test no earlier than a certain number of weeks before the end of school. Some districts want to test earlier to get the results back so the students know by the end of school that they need to go to summer school and retest. The CCRPI is a critical part of the state's efforts to draw up a new plan to meet the terms of the Every Student Succeeds Act. DOE also said they are looking at ways to simplify it so stay tuned for possible changes. 
January 10, 2017 Note from the DOE Regarding CRDC Data Upload  We have been informed of the upcoming Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) which will open February 6, 2017 and all Georgia public schools are required by federal law to participate in this survey. Since 1968, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) has conducted the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) to collect data on key education and civil rights issues in our nation's public schools. This survey will collect SY15-16 education data. For this survey, we will assist Georgia LEAs by preloading student and staff data that has already been reported to GaDOE and signed off by the district superintendent. The OCR is allowing Georgia the opportunity to begin the preloading proc ess on January 17, 2017. This will provide us the opportunity to preload data into the survey before it is opened to the schools. When the survey opens on February 6, 2017, you may complete the survey by entering data for the remaining questions. If districts do not agree with the preloaded data, districts may upload a file or manually enter data to overwrite data uploaded by GaDOE. We will not be uploading any data into the survey after the survey opens for the LEAs. Please view the CRDC Data Collection Crosswalk attachment to see which sections will be preloaded. Based on our calculation, we will be able to preload 86% of the data for Part 1 of the survey and 53% of the data for Part 2 of the survey. Note: To view the attached document, please log into the MyGaDOE Portal and view this message within Message Center application. If your school district has questions regarding this mandatory data collection, pl ease contact the CRDC PSC using the information below. The CRDC PSC provides technical assistance to school districts on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education. The PSC is available for questions between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET.  
December 13, 2016 State Board of Education adopts the amendment to State Board of Education Rule 160-5-1-.28 Student Enrollment and Withdrawal. Agenda for the December meeting Navigate to the following link to view the complete agenda. https://simbli.eboardsolutions.com/Meetings/ViewMeetingOrder.aspx?S=1262&MID=56406 
November 8, 2016 REMINDER: ESSA Online Survey available to the public through November 11  The Georgia Department of Education announced today an online survey to get the public’s feedback on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In addition to the survey, eight feedback sessions are being held throughout the state to allow all citizens to give input on Georgia’s ESSA plan. The online survey can be found at the following link: http://gadoe.org/ESSASurvey Learn more about the Every Student Succeeds Act and the development of Georgia’s state plan at gadoe.org/ESSA. View a one-page overview here. 
November 3, 2016 New State Board rule eliminates some test requirements In many dual-enrollment courses, students who earn post-secondary credit can now exempt EOC  The State Board of Education today approved the State School Superintendent’s recommendation to eliminate End of Course tests for students in many dual enrollment courses, provided those students pass the course and receive college credit. With the exception of 9th Grade Literature and Composition, Algebra I, Coordinate Algebra, and Biology, students are now exempt from taking the Georgia Milestones End-of-Course assessment for a core subject course if they earn a post-secondary credit in that course through dual enrollment pursuant to O.C.G.A. 20-2-149.2 or 20-2-161.3. Students must take the EOC in Ninth Grade Literature and Composition, Algebra I or Coordinate Algebra, and Biology due to federal laws that require assessments in math, ELA/reading, and science at least once in high school. All other high school EOCs can now be exempted for students in corresponding dual enrollment courses. “We have consistently heard from parents, educators, and students about the issues associated with requiring an End-of-Course assessment for a college course, and we firmly agreed that a solution was needed,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “We are confident that students receiving post-secondary credit from Georgia’s institutions of higher education have met and exceeded the requirements set forth in a high school course. Providing the opportunity to exempt the EOC in the majority of cases where students are receiving college credit is another step toward responsible accountability and a further reduction of the volume of assessment required of Georgia’s schools and students.” The rule amendment approved today includes language pursuant to Senate Bill 364 eliminating testing in grades 3, 4, 6, and 7 in science and social studies. It also includes language pursuant to Senate Bill 364 that adds, subject to appropriations, formative assessments in reading and mathematics to grades one and two. This language refers to diagnostic assessments that help teachers assess students’ progress, not high-stakes assessments at the end of the year. “I fully supported Senator Lindsey Tippins’ bill, SB 364, because it reduces the number of state-mandated tests students have to take,” Superintendent Woods said. “With the passage of the testing rule today, we have integrated the SB 364 language, eliminating testing requirements in grades 3, 4, 6, and 7 in science and social studies, freeing schools to focus on literacy and numeracy in the early grades, giving students a better foundation for success.” 
November 3, 2016 Approval of Amendments to State Board Rule 160-3-1-.07 (Testing Programs-Student Assessment)  Earlier today, the State Board of Education adopted several amendments to Rule 160-3-1-.07 (Testing Programs – Student Assessment). These amendments were initiated at the Board’s September meeting. Prior to seeking the amendment, District Assessment Coordinators were consulted on multiple occasions. Below is a summary of the amendments approved today: · End of Course (EOC) requirement for Dual Enrollment/Move On When Ready enrollees o These provisions are effective beginning with the Winter 2016 EOC administration that opens Monday, November 28, 2016. o These students, who earn post-secondary credit for a course associated with an EOC, are exempt from the requirement to take certain EOCs. o To ensure high schools are not negatively impacted, the post-secondary course grade will be used in the accountability system (CCRPI). o The table below provides an overview of the EOCs eligible for exemption and those that are not eligible. Required of All Students: Ninth Grade Literature & Composition, Coordinate Algebra or Algebra I, Analytic Geometry* or Geometry*, Biology --- Allowed Exemption American Literature & Composition, Physical Science, US History, Economics *Analytic Geometry/Geometry are not allowable as a dual enrollment/MOWR option. · Amendments resulting from Senate Bill 364 (2016) and House Bill 91 (2015) o Removed the requirements for the grades 3, 4, 6, and 7 assessments in science and social studies (SB 364); o Added the requirement for formative assessments in grades 1 and 2, subject to appropriations (SB 364); and o Removed references to the Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT) and Georgia High School Writing Test (GHSWT) (HB 91). · Amendment resulting from Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) o Extends the English Learner-Monitored (EL-M) period from 2 to 4 years § Provision of standard accommodations remains limited to the first 2 years of the 4 year period, if needed § EL-M students remain ineligible for conditional accommodations stemming from their English proficiency · Updates to definitions and acronyms where necessary 
October 19, 2016 Note from DOE: ESSA Feedback Sessions Rescheduled for Dougherty and Savannah-Chatham Counties  October 19, 2016 – The Georgia Department of Education announced make-up dates for feedback sessions on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in Dougherty and Savannah-Chatham Counties. Both meetings had to be canceled due to inclement weather from Hurricane Matthew. Meeting Details Each ESSA feedback session will include a welcome from Superintendent Woods and an introduction to the Every Student Succeeds Act. Participants will then choose specific topics to discuss in working groups. The public will also be informed of next steps and additional opportunities to provide feedback. Before attending the meeting, we encourage you to review this one-page overview of ESSA topics. For those unable to attend an in-person meeting, a survey opportunity will soon be announced and posted at gadoe.org/ESSA. Feedback can also be emailed to essa@doe.k12.ga.us. November 1: Dougherty County, Dougherty Comprehensive High School, 1800 Pearce Avenue, Albany, GA 31705 November 3: Savannah-Chatham County, Pulaski Elementary School, 1001 Tibet Avenue, Savannah, GA 31419 
October 11, 2016 Note from GaDOE Regarding Data Reporting Deadline Extensions   All FTE, CPI, SR coordinators, technology coordinators, superintendents, and charter schools. Due to the effects of the recent Hurricane Matthew that impacted several Georgia school districts, the deadlines for FTE and CPI have been extended to Friday, October 28, 2016. The deadline for Student Class has been extended to Wednesday, November 2, 2016. Data Collections will work with impacted districts if additional time is needed. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact the Technology Management Customer Support Team by using the Help-dticket link on the left side of the MyGaDOE portal menu. To Login to the MyGaDOE portal please follow this link: https://portal.doe.k12.ga.us/Login.aspx You may also request assistance by emailing dticket@doe.k12.ga.us or by calling 1-800-869-1011. Please provide a detailed message as well as your contact information.  
October 13, 2016 GaDOE seeks input on GNETS Rule  MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651- 7358, mcardoza@gadoe.org -Follow DOE on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram October 13, 2016 – The Georgia Department of Education will host three regional feedback sessions to collect stakeholder comments before drafting State Board of Education Rule 160-4-7-.15 GEORGIA NETWORK FOR EDUCATIONAL AND THERAPEUTIC SUPPORT (GNETS). We invite you to attend one of the meetings. Hall County Date: October 24, 2016 Time: 3-6 p.m. North Hall High School Performing Arts Center 4885 Mt. Vernon Road Gainesville, Georgia 30506 Tift County Date: October 27, 2016 Time: 3-6 p.m. Northeast High School 3021 Fulwood Road Tifton, Georgia 31794 Fayette County Date: October 28, 2016 Time: 3-6 p.m. LaFayette Educational Center Building A, Media Center 205 LaFayette Avenue Fayetteville, Georgia 30214 Any person interested in providing feedback may do so either in person or by email. The following protocol will govern the feedback meetings: • If you want to provide feedback in person, you must limit your comments to no longer than three minutes in order to allow time for each person to fully express their comments. Although not required, we suggest you prepare written comments and use the written comments to ensure your complete message is heard. A timekeeper will ensure everyone has the full three minutes to speak. • You may also submit your written comments by leaving a paper copy at the registration desk. • While any individual may attend any or all of the feedback meetings, you must decide which meeting you want to share comments in person. Allowing individuals to speak at only one feedback session gives everyone an opportunity to have their voice heard. If you prefer to provide written comments, you may do so by emailing your comments to GNETrule@doe.k12.ga.us. If you have any questions, contact Julie James (paralegal) at jjames@doe.k12.ga.us. 
September 12, 2016 Data Conference Presentation Uploaded to Website  The presentations from the 2017 GaDOE Data Conference have been uploaded to the GaDOE website. To view, navigate to: http://dcconference.gadoe.org/Pages/Presentations.aspx 
 Dougherty County ESSA Feedback Session RESCHEDULED: Public invited to give feedback on Georgia's education plan  The Dougherty County ESSA Feedback Session originally scheduled for tonight has been rescheduled for October 6, 2016. It will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the original location (Dougherty Comprehensive High School, 1800 Pearce Ave, Albany, GA 31705). October 6: Dougherty County, Dougherty Comprehensive High School, 1800 Pearce Ave, Albany, GA 31705 
September 9, 2016 Note from DOE Regarding Georgia Career Information System (GCIS)  Georgia Career Information System (GCIS) will be available for the 2016-2017 school year as an alternative to GAcollege411. As you are aware, GAcollege 411 is now GAfutures and, effective July 1, 2016, no longer supports k-12 students. As a result of collaborative efforts across divisions and agencies, GCIS will be provided to all school districts at no cost, allowing students the opportunity to explore careers, take career-related assessments, and have a tool to help develop an individual graduation plan. GCIS will be available for all middle, high, and state schools to utilize in fulfilling the BRIDGE legislation as well as CCRPI indicators. This is great news for our students across Georgia! Special thanks goes to Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA) staff for their partnership with the Special Education and Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) division at the GaDOE to implement services outlined through the E3 Grant (Georgia’s Career Pathways to Work: Explore, Engage, and Employ) received by GVRA through the US Department of Education, as part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to help reach students as early as middle school and to provide more inclusive services to all students. It is expected that this grant and the opportunities will help many students across Georgia to have a pathway to success. Additional information will be available later this month concerning the rollout schedule and how systems will gain access. Webinars and face to face trainings will be held this fall. Please feel free to contact Dr. Myrel Seigler at mseigler@doe.k12.ga.us or Maria Grovner at mgrovner@doe.k12.ga.us with questions. 
August 19, 2016 Coming Soon - 2015-16 CRDC Advance Website  In preparation of the 2015-16 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), the Advance Website (AWS) is anticipated to open toward the end of next week! See below for more information. What is the CRDC? The Civil Rights Data Collection contains data on key education and civil rights issues in our nation’s public schools by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The CRDC collects information about school characteristics and about programs, services and outcomes for students. It is mandatory for every public school and school district in the country to respond to the SY 2015-16 CRDC. What is AWS? The AWS is a pre-registration tool that gathers contact information from districts for the CRDC. It also provides a list of schools for each district to review and update, as needed. The Information collected by the AWS helps OCR finalize the school and district directory incorporated into the CRDC data collection tool. The AWS is expected to close September 30, 2016. The CRDC data collection tool is expected to open in early December 2016 and remain open for 75 days. Next steps? Next week, account login information will be sent to all superintendents and Principal Contact Persons via two emails—one email with the username and one email with the password. Additional directions will be included in next week’s email. Need Information? Visit the CRDC Resource Center for the latest resources and news about AWS and the SY 2015-16 CRDC. The CRDC Partner Support Center (PSC) is available Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET at 855-255-6901 or crdc@aemcorp.com. 
September 2, 2016 GADOE Announces ESSA Input Sessions - REMINDER  The Georgia Department of Education and State School Superintendent Richard Woods are urging anyone interested in the future of Georgia's public education system to attend one of eight public feedback sessions on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA is the replacement for the law commonly known as No Child Left Behind, and offers an enormous opportunity for Georgia's students, teachers, parents and communities because it replaces the top-down federal approach required by NCLB. The new law allows states and local schools/districts to make education decisions that are best for their students, and requires states to develop plans that address standards/assessments, school and district accountability, and special help for struggling schools and students. "For all those invested in the future of Georgia's education system - and those interested in a more holistic approach for students - whether you're a parent, a student, an educator, or a community member, I strongly encourage you to offer your feedback as we develop our ESSA state plan," Superintendent Woods said. "If you can, please attend a meeting - you'll invest two hours of your time in exchange for many years of education policy. If you're not able to attend in person, there will be opportunities to offer your feedback online and via email. Again, I urge you to join us as we shape the future of education in our state." Meeting Details Each ESSA feedback session will include a welcome from Superintendent Woods and an introduction to the Every Student Succeeds Act. Participants will then choose specific topics to discuss in working groups. The public will also be informed of next steps and additional opportunities to provide feedback. Before attending the meeting, we encourage you to review this one-page overview of ESSA topics. For those unable to attend an in-person meeting, a survey opportunity will soon be announced and posted at gadoe.org/ESSA. Feedback can also be emailed to essa@doe.k12.ga.us. September 1: Dougherty County, Dougherty Comprehensive High School, 1800 Pearce Ave, Albany, GA 31705 September 14: Fulton County, North Learning Center, 450 Northridge Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30350 September 19: Muscogee County, Northside High School, 2002 American Way, Columbus, GA 31909 October 12: Laurens County, Old West Laurens (OWL) Training Center, 338 West Laurens School Road, Dublin, GA 31021 October 13: Chatham County, Pulaski Elementary School, 1001 Tibet Avenue, Savannah, GA 31419 October 17: Gordon County, Gordon County College & Career Academy, 305 Beamer Road, Calhoun, GA 30701 
August 19, 2016 Attendance Works and Attendance Resources  A note from the DOE: Student attendance continues to be a major issue in our schools. During the 2015-2016 school year, Georgia’s students missed over 13 million days of instruction due to excused and unexcused absences. The following Attendance Works website is intended to call attention to the importance of student attendance. The “Superintendent Call to Action” contains information and suggestions, including a toolkit, to improve student attendance. Last year, Georgia was one of the leading states in the number of superintendents who signed the Call to Action to emphasize the importance of student attendance. We encourage you participate in this year’s Call to Action. http://www.attendanceworks.org/superintendents-call-to-action/ Attendance Works information can be used to focus on student attendance during September, which is National Attendance Awareness Month. 
August 18, 2016 SLDS Access for Parents  From Bob Swiggum: SLDS Parent Portal which is already available to all Infinite Campus users is now also available for all PowerSchool users with version 9.2.4 and above. I’d also like to take this opportunity to let you know how “turning on” the SLDS Parent Portal will benefit you now and in the near future. Once you enable the SLDS Parent Portal, parents in your district will be able to see ten years of longitudinal data on their children, including summative assessment scores (down to the domain level), Lexile scores, growth model data, and local assessment data (if implemented by your district). Additionally, parents are able to access digital resources to assist their children in achieving mastery on the Georgia standards for their courses. In the coming year, we plan to deliver electronic copies of the Milestones student reports through the SLDS Parent Portal. Additionally, over the next couple of years there are several new SLDS applications that will need students to access the SLDS Student Portal. These include the student career assessments, the Student Backpack, and TestPAD. Starting in the FY17-18 school year, the student career assessments will be the starting point for the middle and high school students’ Individual Graduation Plans. The Student Backpack will allow students to access assignments, announcements, and calendar events that have been sent to them by their teachers, and will enable the student to complete assignments online to return to their teachers. TestPAD is a new formative assessment application that will allow teachers to create tests and quizzes for their students and deliver them electronically to the students. Students will be able to access the TestPAD assessments, as well as GOFAR assessments, through the Student Backpack. Both TestPAD and the Student Backpack are in pilot now and we plan to release them by the spring of FY16-17. 
August 2, 2016 Information Concerning Georgia Career Information System (GCIS)  Georgia Career Information System (GCIS) will be available for the 2016-2017 school year as an alternative to GAcollege411. As you are aware, GAcollege 411 is now GAfutures and, effective July 1, 2016, no longer supports k-12 students. As a result of collaborative efforts across divisions and agencies, GCIS will be provided to all school districts at no cost, allowing students the opportunity to explore careers, take career-related assessments, and have a tool to help develop an individual graduation plan. GCIS will be available for all middle, high, and state schools to utilize in fulfilling the BRIDGE legislation as well as CCRPI indicators. This is great news for our students across Georgia! Special thanks goes to Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA) staff for their partnership with the Special Education and Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) division at the GaDOE to implement services outlined through the E3 Grant (Georgia’s Career Pathways to Work: Explore, Engage, and Employ) received by GVRA through the US Department of Education, as part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to help reach students as early as middle school and to provide more inclusive services to all students. It is expected that this grant and the opportunities will help many students across Georgia to have a pathway to success. Additional information will be available later this month concerning the rollout schedule and how systems will gain access. Webinars and face to face trainings will be held this fall. Please feel free to contact Dr. Myrel Seigler at mseigler@doe.k12.ga.us or Maria Grovner at mgrovner@doe.k12.ga.us with questions.  
July 14, 2016 Important information concerning access to GAfutures  With the upcoming launch of GAfutures.org on July 26, the process to receive or grant access to SURFER/STARS has been updated. All users will access SURFER/STARS through the GAfutures homepage. As previously, Super User (now Administrator) access must be granted by GSFC. Current Super Users (now Administrators) do not need to submit a new Administrator Access Request Form. If your high school, district or postsecondary institution would like to change the Administrator, however, please complete the new Administrator Access Request Form and submit it to GSFC for processing. Administrative Users The new Administrator Access Request Form is located in SURFER within the Forms section and in STARS within the Documentation section. The Administrator (formerly the Super User) will complete and submit the Administrator Access Request Form to GSFC. Once the form has been received, the Administrator or District Administrator will receive an email with access information to GAfutures. This enables the Administrator to grant additional employees who work with student records access to the necessary system. Quick Guides will be available on GAfutures to help you navigate to SURFER and STARS. Note: While the look of SURFER/STARS has changed slightly, the left hand menu options remain the same for SURFER and continue to be your main navigation. There are two new menu options for STARS that will handle the school profile and transcripts processes. The Quick Guides will have instructions on the new menu options. Institutional Users Institutional Users (formerly School Users) will no longer have a paper form to complete to gain access to SURFER/STARS. After the prospective user creates a GAfutures account, the Administrator will provide access to STARS or SURFER. The Institutional User will then receive the Terms of Privacy Agreement and Data Sharing Agreement electronically and will be able to simply read and click to have their access to the appropriate system granted. If you have questions or have issues accessing the forms, please contact gmann@gsfc.org for SURFER or trex@gsfc.org for STARS.  
July 14, 2016 GAfutures Online July 26, 2016  On Tuesday, July 26, GAfutures is scheduled to be online and all of the above systems and functionalities will be available through the new GAfutures website. In order to minimize disruption for our customers, here are some dates and guidelines to help users prepare for the transitional downtime: Complete reviews and verifications of HOPE GPA calculations for high school seniors before July 15. GPA calculation processing will stop at this time then resume once GAfutures is live July 26. The final date for schools to release transcripts from GAcollege411 to a postsecondary institution for admissions processing will be July 20 at 5 p.m. EST. After July 20, schools will need to mail official transcripts to postsecondary institutions for 2016 and prior year graduates. Beginning with the 2017 transcript/GPA processing, schools will be able to send transcripts through STARS which will be accessible via GAfutures. Encourage students to complete any applications that are processed through our systems (admissions, GSFApps, MOWR, etc.) before July 20. Incomplete applications will not migrate to GAfutures. Students will need to complete and submit a new application once GAfutures is launched on July 26 if they did not fully submit their application prior to July 20. For a quicker and easier transition, create any new SURFER/STARS user accounts before July 20.  
June 20, 2016 Update from Anthony (Tony) Eitel Regarding SB 364  We are writing to provide you information regarding Senate Bill 364 (SB 364) that was passed by the Georgia General Assembly during its 2016 session and signed into law by Governor Deal in May 2016. While this law has many facets, what we wish to provide you in this message is information that relates directly to Georgia’s state-mandated student assessment program. SB 364 reduces the amount of testing that will be conducted through the Georgia Milestones Assessment System and the Georgia Alternate Assessment (GAA) beginning with the 2016-2017 school year. English Language Arts and Mathematics will continue to be assessed in grades 3 – 8 and high school. The content areas of Science and Social Studies will be assessed in grades 5 and 8 only; while high school students will continue to be assessed in Biology, Physical Science, U.S. History, and Economics as in past years. For our students in elementary and middle schools this action reduces the number of Georgia Milestones test sections taken in grades 3, 4, 6, and 7 from nine to five. In light of this reduction in testing, Student Growth Percentiles (SGPs) will not be calculated for Science and Social Studies beginning in 2016-2017 (given there are no prior assessments). The law also provides that a “research-based formative assessment with a summative component” be administered in grades 1 and 2 in the areas of English Language Arts/Reading and Mathematics. GaDOE is currently exploring options in this regard for possible initial implementation in 2017-2018. In the meantime, and if your district has an interest, please be reminded that the Georgia Online Formative Assessment Resource (GOFAR) contains both test items and benchmarks for grades 1 and 2. SB 364 also directs the State Board of Education to “study and adopt policies beginning with the 2017-2018 school year that will move the end of grade [EOG] and end of course [EOC] assessment testing windows as close to the end of the school year or semester as possible.” It is important to note the explicit mention of the 2017-2018 school year; the state testing windows for 2016-2017 will not change from the published dates that are posted at: http://www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/Assessment/Pages/Information-For-Educators.aspx. Requests for extension of the Spring 2017 EOG calendar beyond May 5, 2017 cannot be approved. Relative to the EOC state testing calendar, both the Winter and Spring EOC windows already meet the expectation contained in SB 364. We welcome any thoughts you may wish to share on this topic.  
July 14, 2016 GAcollege411 Goes Offline July 20, 2016  GAcollege411 will no longer be available beginning Wednesday, July 20 at 5 p.m. EST. This means you will be unable to access any of the information, functionalities and applications currently associated with GAcollege411. 
May 27, 2016 Delay of Georgia Milestone Results Email to Superintendents from State Superintendent Richard Woods The following was sent to Superintendents on Friday, May 27th. It appears scores for the End of Course Georgia Milestones will be delayed up to one week, and many school districts will not receive End of Course results in time for teachers to finalize all grades prior to the end of post-planning. Because of that, there will be a delay in students and parents receiving final course grades. Like schools and parents, we are greatly disappointed, as we planned and worked with our testing contractor to deliver a two-week turnaround. That obviously did not happen for many districts, so we will be conducting a thorough review as soon as possible to address these issues and streamline the process. We understand this unfortunate incident has impacted many – including students, parents, teachers, schools and districts – and we apologize for the burden this has placed on you and them. 
May 25, 2016 New School Grades Website  Yesterday Governor Deal announced award winning schools and a new state website to house the A-F grading system that the legislature refused to pass a few years ago. "The Georgia School Reports website provides easy access to information about a school's performance by compiling information from multiple sources into a single report. The report presents A-F letter grades for schools based on their CCRPI scores. The CCRPI score, which ranges from zero to 110, is based on state test scores, student growth on these tests, graduation rates and other factors," according to the press release. Since a report card is required by federal and state law, why don't we just do one that provides easy access to information and settle on one way to label schools? Instead, we have CCRPI reports, the report card from the Office of Student Achievement, the School Grades website, focus schools, priority schools, reward schools, OSD-eligible schools, the SSO Low-Performing schools list, and probably more. We encourage all of you to be aware of all the information available on your schools. You need to know the picture that is painted by the data and labels so that you can address the issues as you work with your community. Make the information about your schools as simple and transparent as possible as you tell the story of the children you are educating and the many ways you get the job done and change course as needed.  
April 26, 2016 HB 887 Signed by Governor Effective July 1, 2016, parents experiencing short-term difficulties with the ability to perform the regular and expected functions to provide care and support to their children, may confer to a relative or fictive kin the temporary authority, through the use of a power of attorney, to act on behalf of a child without the time and expense of a court proceeding or the involvement of the Division of Family and Children Services of the Department of Human Services. The kinship caregiver may be delegated caregiving authority for a period that may not exceed one year, except as provided in Code Section 19-9-150. Except as limited by federal law, this article, or the direction of a parent, guardian, or legal custodian of a child as expressed in the power of attorney, an agent shall have the same rights, duties, and responsibilities that would otherwise be exercised by such parent, guardian, or legal custodian of a child pursuant to the laws of this state. The agent under a power of attorney shall have the right to enroll the child in a public school serving the area where the agent resides and may enroll the child in a private school, pre-kindergarten program, or home study program. A public school shall allow such agent with a power of attorney executed under this article to enroll a child. At the time of enrollment, the agent shall provide to such public school such residency documentation as is customary in that school system. A public school shall not unreasonably deny enrollment of a child. If a public school denies enrollment of a child by an agent, such denial may be appealed and shall be treated as any other denial of enrollment of a child in that school system, including all of the remedies otherwise available when enrollment is denied to a child.  
May 19, 2016 DOE Masking Student Data Elements  Beginning May 19, 2016 reports containing student level data will be modified to mask specific data elements from report view. Data Masking is the process of concealing or encrypting selected information to protect the identity and privacy of individual students, teachers, or administrators. The modification will not impact the Student Record Error Report or any associated error reports. See the GaDOE Message Center Alert sent to subscribers on May 18, 2016. 
May 12, 2016 GOFAR Maintenance Notice for Interested Districts Georgia Online Formative Assessment Resource (GOFAR) will be offline for maintenance/upgrade work over Memorial Day weekend (Friday, May 27th @ 4:00 PM until Tuesday, May 31st @ 7:00 AM). This work is designed to both improve overall performance and add new features in anticipation of the upcoming school year; there will be no effect to any assessments or student results that reside in the system.  
May 10, 2016 Accountability Website Updated Webiste updated with 2016 CCRPI Info As the 2015-2016 school year comes to a close this month, it is time to start gearing up for the 2016 CCRPI! The GaDOE Accountability Department has prepared several resources. Please visit and bookmark the newly-designed accountability webpage. 2016 CCRPI Resources in the CCRPI Resources for Educators section can be found on the updated website. Resources include the 2016 CCRPI Data Element Quick Reference Guide and Ensuring Accurate Career Data for CCRPI. Additional resources will be posted as they become available. Importantly, there are no major calculation changes for the 2016 CCRPI. 
May 10, 2016 Georgia Milestones EOG Reporting Release concerning EOG, interruptions, and reports The following is a message that was released by Melissa Fincher, Deputy Superintendent for Assessment & Accountability. "We have completed a first round of preliminary interruption analyses. In comparing the performance of students who experienced interruptions to those who did not experience interruptions, we have not uncovered any significant systemic impact. We will continue to analyze the data, but given this finding, we will begin to post student level results for the End of Grade later this week. We anticipate that EOG reports will begin posting Thursday morning (May 12, 2016). If we are able to begin posting earlier, we will. We will notify System Test Coordinators, via email, when results begin to post in eDIRECT. Reports will update on a rolling basis once posting begins. Please note that at this time, the scoring of the constructed-response items is continuing. Reports will continue to post as scoring is completed. As a reminder, the reporting schedule is based on when your district tested. While posting of student level reports will begin, we will continue to analyze the data, and as I indicated last week, we will use what we learn to inform the 2016 accountability measures. In closing, we know that many districts experienced success with online testing. The actions taken to date, and continuing, are being done in an abundance of caution in the interest of those districts, schools, and students who experienced some technical challenges this spring." 
May 5, 2016 State Board of Education waives promotion/retention requirements for 2016 Georgia Milestones End of Grade tests May 5, 2016 -- The State Board of Education today granted a waiver of promotion, placement, and retention requirements tied to the 2016 administration of the Georgia Milestones End of Grade (EOG) tests. During this year's administration of the Georgia Milestones EOG tests, some local school districts reported technology-related interruptions of online testing. While some of these events were short-term and quickly resolved, with minimal impact on student experiences, others required more extensive technical support. The GaDOE believes that further analysis of the possible impacts of these interruptions is warranted prior to the release of student scores, given the stakes involved for students. Read full article here: http://www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-and-Policy/communications/Pages/PressReleaseDetails.aspx?PressView=default&pid=434 
February 15, 2016 FTE Cycle 3 New Element - Total Service Minutes New element requires the total minutes of IEP services per week for active students. Report the total number of minutes for all IEP services which were in effect the week of the FTE count. Report for active students only. Exception Criteria: Students that meet the following criteria should not report TOTAL SERVICE MINUTES. Leave field null. 1. Students in grade level PK 2. Students with a service plan (ISP) or No IEP 3. Students reported by State Schools 
December 9, 2015 65% Tool Many issues are being discovered with the 65% Tool.  As we discover problems, we will update the article on our News & Announcements page.  
May 10, 2015 New GaDOE 65% Calculation Tool for TKES-LKES A new tool is on the GaDOE portal that RT3 districts must use this year, and non-RT3 districts will be required to use next year to explain why each student who do not have both a pre and post SLO to explain why this is missing. The tool requires an explanation for LAST YEAR students who are missing these measures. One Infinite Campus District has developed a numbering scheme using negative numbers and is requiring teachers to use these for their students this year. Then next year, when it is required, this information will be recorded electronically. Because the score is a negative number, it is treated as a No Score for data reporting, but is available for locally developed reports. 
May 10, 2015 GaDOE Rule IDA-3-One Course Receiving Science and CTAE Credit The new state course rule says that "students who earn a unit of credit for Essentials of Healthcare (25.44000) will also receive a unit of credit for Human Anatomy/Physiology (26.07300)." The GSIS Board is compiling a list of questions for the GaDOE, including whether to schedule both courses or just add the additional credit to transcript, how this will affect SLO, and possibly HiQ. 
April 16, 2015 SB100 and TAADRA Changes to Georgia Senate Bill 100 affects how data is reported for TAADRA. From Jeff Hodges, GaDOE "We will be working with DDS to address the changes in the law. It basically eliminates driver’s license suspensions due to attendance and discipline infractions. When the legislation becomes law, schools will simply have to certify that a student is “enrolled” and not under expulsion to be eligible for a driver’s license or learner’s permit." 
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