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Monitoring Process

CDE intends to collaborate with LEAs to customize the following processes to best meet the needs of LEAs that have been identified for participation in each type of review process. Therefore, this document outlines and describes the basic process that will be used to tailor and implement in consultation with the participating LEA(s). 

Tier I (Desk and Phone) Reviews: Compliance and Program Impact

All indicators will be monitored annually; however, ESSA requirements on identification, service delivery, and evaluation of impact will be incorporated into the review process in future years. In 2018-2019 and each subsequent year thereafter, CDE will review all submitted materials to determine compliance with fiscal (conducted jointly with the ESSU, Grants Fiscal, and Federal Programs Units) and stakeholder engagement and partnership requirements. Any concerns with compliance may trigger tier II review in the subsequent year(s).

In some cases, when a large number of LEA schools meet the criteria, CDE may identify a sampling process and notify the district accordingly. An example of this relates to compliance with school-level parent involvement policies for Title I, Part A. Rather than collecting policies from all Title I schools in a large district, the district would submit the policies from a subset of schools identified by CDE. Another example would be submitting a few school-level reports to demonstrate how several notification requirements are met, instead of submitting copies of all parent notifications.

Finally, desk reviews may include phone conferences. This provides CDE with opportunities to clarify previously submitted evidence or discuss an LEA process, such as stakeholder engagement in developing the ESEA Consolidated Application. Information gathered in a phone conference may result in a decision to forego an onsite visit.

Existing processes and systems that will be used in 2018-2019 and each subsequent year[1] for tier I reviews:

  • ESEA Consolidated Application including LEA plans, response to reviewer comments, and post-award revision documentation.
  • Forms submitted to CDE, such as non-public school equitable services and supplement, not supplant forms.
  • Data collections, such as EDFacts, Consolidated State Performance Report, data pipeline collections (Student October, End-of-Year, and HR collections), maintenance of effort, expenditure reports, and end-of-year grant reports.
  • Data analyzed by CDE, such as accountability results (Performance Frameworks and ESSA identification), comparability, set-aside calculations.
  • Unified Improvement Plans (UIPs), inclusive of CS improvement plans.


Additional evidence to be submitted as part of tier I reviews in 2018-2019 and subsequent years[2]:

  • LEA parent, family, and/or stakeholder engagement policies, including any communication plans and policies that describe how the LEA informs parents/communities of required elements and activities (see Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement and Partnership indicators.
  • Parent notification letters.
  • Link to LEA and school report cards.
  • Link to LEA and school website where ESSA required information is posted.

Timeline - 2018-2019

At the beginning of each school year, all LEAs will receive notification of plans to review materials previously collected by CDE as part of the tier I review and request submittal of the above-referenced evidence to demonstrate compliance with fiscal and stakeholder engagement and partnership requirements. For 2018-2019, notification of tier I review plans and request for information to be uploaded into the online system (by January 11, 2019) will be sent by mid-September.

  • Training will be provided on fiscal and meaningful stakeholder engagement and partnership requirements in October and November 2018 
  • Training will be provided on the online system for submitting information in November and December 2018

CDE will review submitted items in January and February 2019 and provide feedback on reviewed materials and status of compliance on each indicator within 45 days of review. CDE will collaborate with LEAs to build plans and timelines to make corrections or take corrective actions before an agreed upon deadline. CDE will continue to work with and support LEAs until compliance is reached and progress is being made toward effective implementation of ESSA requirements. Results of desk review may trigger an onsite review, in-person support, or ongoing consultation during subsequent year(s). CDE will disseminate any exemplary practices noted as part of the desk review during the subsequent year. 



Tier II (Desk, Phone, and Onsite) Reviews: Compliance and Implementation

CDE will work with identified LEAs to schedule and plan onsite visits in a manner that is efficient and effective for both. Planning processes will begin with a notification that outlines the number of CDE staff participants, the types of monitoring activities (onsite document reviews, interviews, focus groups, or school visits) requested, the number of days (or hours) needed for the site visit, and monitoring indicators that will be the focus. During initial conference calls and prior to the anticipated visit, CDE will work with LEAs to develop a schedule that outlines proposed times, needs, and other specifics. When applicable, CDE will work with LEAs to identify a primary contact, who will help coordinate and schedule the visit.  LEA contacts and site visit teams will work together throughout the monitoring process. The LEA primary contact will draft the onsite agenda, including the schedule, content, and participating staff for all requested monitoring events and submit it to CDE four weeks prior to the visit. CDE will review and finalize the agenda in consultation with the LEA primary contact and share back with the LEA via Google Docs. All CDE and LEA participants will collaboratively design the agenda two weeks prior to the site visit. Any subsequent changes must be approved by both the LEA and CDE. 

The duration of the onsite visit is proportional to the programs under review, number of indicators being monitored, and LEA size. In most cases, a CDE team of 5-6 will conduct the onsite visit in accordance with the collaboratively-developed agenda, during the agreed upon date(s).  The visit may include onsite document reviews, interviews with key personnel, focus groups with families/parents, as well as district or school personnel, and visits to select schools. Full-scale site monitoring typically lasts 1-3 days. In some cases, a scaled down version might be appropriate and agreed upon by CDE and the LEA. Smaller scale visits may require only a half-day or one day for an integrated review. Smaller scale onsite reviews may involve a single CDE staff person, who may conduct a review of a small subset of indicators or focus on one area in need of review. In this case, the monitoring visit may require a minimal amount of time and a reduced interview, focus group, or school visit schedule. When smaller-scale monitoring can meet LEA needs, CDE will work with the LEA to scale back the time (days/hours) and effort (number of LEA participants in monitoring events). LEAs identified for smaller-scale onsite visits will receive full follow-up support and follow-through training and guidance. 

During site visits, CDE staff will review documentation that was not available prior to the visit and interview LEA and school staff, principals, teachers, parents, and other stakeholders, individually or in groups, as needed.  This multi-level interview strategy allows CDE program consultants to gather information from a variety of perspectives and better understand the administration and implementation of Federal programs at the LEA and school levels. School visits may include observations and walk-throughs to see practices in action. At the conclusion of an onsite review, the monitoring team provides an oral debriefing to LEA leaders, providing the LEA an opportunity to get initial, immediate feedback from the monitoring team and identify any additional evidence in response to any concerns in a timely manner.

Sample Onsite Visit Schedule

Day 1     9:00-9:30 am      Entrance meeting

                9:30 - Noon         Meetings with ESEA Director and program staff
                                                Break for Lunch

                1:00 – 4:00           Continue meetings with ESEA Director and program staff

4:00 – 5:00           CDE staff meets to organize data, debrief, and identify information gaps for follow-up the next day

Day 2     8:00 – 10:00        CDE Group A visits School A

CDE Group B meets with fiscal grants management personnel responsible for oversight of ESEA grant

                12:00 – 2:00        CDE Group A visits School B

CDE Group B continues meetings with fiscal grants management personnel responsible for oversight of ESEA grant

                2:00 – 3:00           CDE staff meets to develop content for exit meeting

                3:00 – 4:00           Exit meeting with LEA leadership


Tier III (Desk, Phone, and Onsite) Reviews and Support: Compliance, Implementation, and Program Effectiveness 

Tier III reviews may consist of program effectiveness meetings with LEA/school personnel, review of additional evidence by desk or onsite monitoring, and request that LEA staff participate in trainings or supports offered by various CDE units (e.g., training offered by ESSU pertaining to services for students with disabilities) depending on reasons the LEA was selected for tier III review.  CDE will work with LEAs to schedule and plan monitoring events such as onsite visits efficiently and effectively for both. The purpose of the monitoring event will be communicated to the LEA at least four weeks prior to the event. CDE and LEA staff will collaborate to build the plans and timeline for tier III monitoring events. An effort will be made to conduct tier III monitoring events in collaboration with other CDE offices and units in order to minimize burden on the LEA and coordinate CDE’s visits, requests, and engagement with LEA staff.

Online System and Process for Submitting Requested Documents 

In an effort to align processes and capitalize on the capacity of the LEAs to use existing CDE systems, UFPA will be collecting monitoring evidence in ESSU’s online platform, the Data Management System (DMS). CDE is in the process of uploading indicators into the DMS, creating portals for submitting evidence, and developing training on how to use the DMS. DMS is a user-friendly system that allows collection, review, and provision of feedback on indicators within the system. DMS also will be used to generate and track monitoring-related communications. LEAs will have DMS access to upload evidence, review compliance status and feedback from CDE, and respond to requests for any additional information or evidence.  DMS trainings will be provided in September-October 2018, prior to submission of any desk review items beyond those already submitted to CDE via other processes (e.g., Consolidated Application).


[1] On an annual basis, CDE will reflect upon and seek stakeholder input regarding the effectiveness and validity of using these systems and processes for monitoring purposes. As appropriate and when necessary, this document and the monitoring practices will be updated based on stakeholder input and evaluation of CDE’s ability to ensure compliance and create pathways for implementation of effective practices.

[2] These items may be adjusted or updated annually based upon evaluation of CDE’s monitoring work and stakeholder input.