DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Office of the Secretary
Education Impact Analysis Pursuant to 14 Del.C. Section 122(d)
701 Unit Count
A. TYPE OF REGULATORY ACTION REQUIRED
Amendment to Existing Regulation
B. SYNOPSIS OF SUBJECT MATTER OF THE REGULATION
Pursuant to 14 Del. C. §122 (a), the Secretary of Education intends to amend 14 DE Admin. Code 701 Unit Count. The regulation is being amended to change the means by which schools are to notify each other of an intra-state student transfer from fax notification to email notification. Other changes are grammatical in nature and are made to ensure compliance with the Delaware Administrative Code Drafting and Style Manual.
Persons wishing to present their views regarding this matter may do so in writing by submitting them to the Department of Education, Office of the Secretary, Attn: Regulation Review, 401 Federal Street, Suite 2, Dover, Delaware 19901 or through the Department's online submission form at https://education.delaware.gov/community/delaware-education-laws-and-regulations/provide-public-comment/ by the close of business (4:30 p.m. EST) on or before September 1, 2022. Any person who wishes to receive a copy of the proposed regulation may obtain a copy from the Department at the Office of the Secretary on the second floor of the Townsend Building, 401 Federal Street, Dover, Delaware.
C. IMPACT CRITERIA
1. Will the amended regulation help improve student achievement as measured against state achievement standards? The amended regulation does not specifically address the improvement of student achievement as measured against state achievement standards.
2. Will the amended regulation help ensure that all students receive an equitable education? The amended regulation will help ensure all students receive an equitable education.
3. Will the amended regulation help to ensure that all students' health and safety are adequately protected? The amended regulation will help ensure all students' health and safety are adequately protected.
4. Will the amended regulation help to ensure that all students' legal rights are respected? The amended regulation continues to help ensure that all students' legal rights are respected.
5. Will the amended regulation preserve the necessary authority and flexibility of decision making at the local board and school level? The amended regulation does not change the decision making at the local board and school level.
6. Will the amended regulation place unnecessary reporting or administrative requirements or mandates upon decision makers at the local board and school levels? The amended regulation does not place any unnecessary reporting or administrative requirements or mandates on decision makers.
7. Will the decision making authority and accountability for addressing the subject to be regulated be placed in the same entity? The amended regulation does not change the decision making authority and accountability for addressing the subject to be regulated.
8. Will the amended regulation be consistent with and not an impediment to the implementation of other state educational policies, in particular to state educational policies addressing achievement in the core academic subjects of mathematics, science, language arts and social studies? The amended regulation is consistent with and not an impediment to the implementation of other state educational policies.
9. Is there a less burdensome method for addressing the purpose of the regulation? There is no less burdensome method for addressing the purpose of the amended regulation.
10. What is the cost to the State and to the local school boards of compliance with the regulation? There are no material costs to implementing this amended regulation.
701 Unit Count
1.1 All information submitted through the unit count process shall be on forms provided by the Department of Education or in such other format as may be acceptable to the Department.
1.2 Each school shall maintain September enrollment records in a manner which allows for efficient enrollment audits by the Department of Education and the State Auditor of Accounts. At the end of September, each school shall assemble a comprehensive enrollment file that contains all necessary support materials to substantiate the enrollments reported. This file shall be retained in the school for at least three (3) years.
1.3 Records to substantiate students with disabilities included in the enrollment count shall contain a student Individualized Education Program (IEP) in effect during the last week of school in September and eligibility documentation. However, individual student files may be reviewed by the Department of Education or State Auditor of Accounts to ascertain that the students reported are identified as a child with a disability determined to be eligible for special education and related services under 14 DE Admin. Code 925.
2.1 All exceptions and extenuating circumstances relating to the enrollment count are addressed to the Secretary of Education and shall be received by the Secretary for consideration prior to September 30.
2.2 Students with disabilities included in the special education unit count under the placement provisions of Transfer Students or Change of Placement shall meet the evaluation and placement requirements found in 14 DE Admin. Code 925.
2.3 Students not assigned to a specific grade shall be reported in a grade appropriate for their age or their instructional level for purposes of the unit count.
3.1 For students not in attendance at school during the last 10 school days of September during which students are required to be in attendance, the following information shall be on file to substantiate their inclusion in the enrollment count:
3.1.1 Reason for absence, usually medical, and date of last direct contact with student or parent.
3.1.2 Reason to believe that student will be returning to school prior to November 1.
3.1.3 District and charter schools enrolling an intra-state transfer student during the last 10 school days of September during which students are required to be in attendance shall first determine if the student is currently obligated under a choice agreement or first-year charter agreement before enrolling the student. If an agreement exists, “good cause” pursuant to 14 Del.C. §402 and §506(d) respectively must be determined before the receiving district or charter school can enroll the student. District and charter schools enrolling an in state transfer student during the last 10 school days of September shall notify the student's previous district or charter school of such enrollment no later than the last student attendance day of September. The notification shall be by fax electronic submission via email with a follow up letter to the previous district or charter school’s unit count coordinator’s office. The notification shall be clearly labeled Unit Count Transfer Students and include the student's name, grade, and previous school of attendance. A student enrolling with a formal notice of withdrawal from the previous district or charter school is exempted from this notification requirement. Failure to follow the notification procedure may result in including the same student in two different district or charter school enrollments and hence unit counts. If that occurs, the student will be disallowed from the receiving district or charter school’s enrollment and unit count. Copies of the fax transmittals electronic submission via email and follow up letters shall be on file to substantiate the student's inclusion in the receiving district or charter school’s enrollment and unit count.
4.1 Students in the following programs, situations and program types shall qualify for inclusion in the enrollment count:
4.1.1 Delaware Adolescent Program, Inc. (DAPI):
220.127.116.11 Students enrolled in DAPI shall be counted in the enrollment of the sending school.
18.104.22.168 Students shall receive the level of special education service as defined by the current IEP.
22.214.171.124 If a student was enrolled the previous year in a Career Technical Program in the reporting school, the students shall be reported as enrolled in the next career technical course in the program series.
4.1.2 Repeating seniors who are enrolled in school for a minimum number of instructional hours defined as three (3) traditional courses or an equivalent time in a block schedule, shall be included in the unit count provided they meet the age and residency requirements. Students in the James H. Groves In school School Credit Program (14 DE Admin. Code 915, subsection 2.2) and students in the Advanced Placement Program shall be enrolled and attend at least one (1) full credit course in their high school to be included in the unit count provided they also meet the age and residency requirements.
4.1.3 Temporary problem, usually medical, which precludes school attendance prior to November 1.
4.1.4 Supportive Instruction (Homebound)
126.96.36.199 Students receiving supportive instruction (homebound) pursuant to 14 DE Admin. Code 930 qualify for inclusion in the unit count.
188.8.131.52 A child with a disability receiving supportive instruction (homebound) shall be included in the unit count as a special education student if, in the child's placement immediately preceding the homebound placement, the child had an IEP in effect during the last week of school in September.
4.1.5 Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families or Department of Correction Facilities: Students on a temporary basis pending disposition of case who are expected to return to school prior to November 1.
4.1.6 Consortium Discipline Alternative Program:
184.108.40.206 Students enrolled at a Consortium Discipline Alternative Programs site shall be counted in the enrollment of the sending school pursuant to 14 DE Admin. Code 611.
220.127.116.11 Students shall receive the level of special education service as defined by the current IEP.
18.104.22.168 If a student was enrolled in the previous year in a Career Technical Program in the reporting school, the students shall be reported as enrolled in the next career technical course in the program series.
4.1.7 Except as provided in Section Sections 5.0 and 7.0, all pre-kindergarten children with disabilities shall be counted in the Preschool Pre-K to 12 Intensive Special Education (Intensive) or Pre-K to 12 Complex Special Education (Complex) units.
4.1.8 Students enrolled in residential facilities as of the last day of September are included in the enrollment count of the district operating the instructional program in that facility. The facilities that are eligible shall be identified each year by the Department of Education.
4.1.9 Regular programs include students who are enrolled in the regular elementary or secondary curriculum of the school, i.e., the core of the school subjects taken by most students.
4.1.10 Special education services include students who have been found eligible for special education and related services under 14 DE Admin. Code 925, Section 6.0 and have an IEP in effect during the last week of school in September. Students with disabilities must have appropriate supporting documentation on file as required by the Identification, Evaluation and Placement Process in 14 DE Admin. Code 925.
4.1.11 A maximum of 900 minutes of career and technical education time per week per student shall be credited toward the career and technical education unit determination. However, units shall be counted on the basis of one (1) unit for each 30 students for students enrolled in the New Castle County Votech School District, the POLYTECH School District and the Sussex Technical School District.
5.1 Students in the following programs and situations do not qualify for inclusion in the enrollment count:
5.1.1 Students who have not attended school during the last 10 days of September.
5.1.2 Students who are enrolled in General Education Development (GED) programs.
5.1.3 Students who are enrolled in other than Department of Education approved programs.
5.1.4 Students who are transferred to a state residential facility during September shall not be included in the enrollment count of the district or charter school unless that district or charter school operates the facility's instructional program; otherwise the student must be treated as a withdrawal.
5.1.5 Students enrolled in a homeschool as defined in 14 Del.C. §2703A.
6.1 For unit count purposes, if a career technical student in a school utilizing nontraditional schedules receives, during the course of the year, the same amount of instruction the student would have received under a traditional class schedule, the district shall average the time and calculate instructional time on a weekly basis; providing however, that a career technical student receives a minimum of 300 minutes of instruction per week.
6.1.1 The following exemplifies a situation with the required minimum minutes and hours for a full time career technical student and shows that the heavy concentration of minutes or hours could occur either in the fall or the spring of the year:
Fall and Spring Career Technical = 300 minutes per week
Spring and Fall Career Technical = 1500 minutes per week
1800 /2 = 900 minutes per week
6.2 For unit count purposes, a district shall meet the following criteria to include selected students participating in a district’s Distance Education/Twilight Program in the September 30 unit count:
6.2.1 For purposes of this section, a Distance Education/Twilight Program shall mean a district approved credit bearing program as follows:
22.214.171.124 Students must be currently suspended indefinitely or expelled by the district and enrolled in the district’s alternative placement program; or
126.96.36.199 Students with disabilities enrolled in the district’s Distance Education/Twilight Program for credit recovery only must be receiving services as decided upon by the IEP team and reflected in the IEP on-site; or
188.8.131.52 The inclusion of students with non-behavior issues and not special education in the unit count can only be included if there is not a break in educational service and they meet the entry criteria of the program and the additional criteria outlined in subsections 6.2.2 through 6.2.9;
6.2.2 Students and their parents or guardians must attend a mandatory program orientation session provided by the district staff. A sign in sheet and signed agreement will be kept on file and serve as sufficient evidence to meet this requirement.
6.2.3 Students must be enrolled for a minimum of three (3) courses.
6.2.4 Students must be required to complete a minimum number of hours of active engagement each week that they are enrolled in the program. The minimum number of hours should not be less than three (3) hours per week.
6.2.5 Students must be enrolled in eSchoolPLUS, the statewide pupil accounting system.
6.2.6 The district must keep records on file for the school year of the unit count on work completed and time spent working on the educational program for each enrolled student. The district must submit a sample to the Department of Education that may serve as sufficient evidence to meet this requirement.
6.2.7 The district must provide evidence of staff monitoring the progress of each student and providing feedback to participating students and their parents or guardians.
6.2.8 The district must show evidence on how progress of students enrolled in the program is incorporated into their academic record for meeting the district’s graduation requirements.
6.2.9 An audit file containing information listed in subsection 6.2 and its subsections must be maintained on all students participating in the program and must be presented upon request to the Department of Education or the State Auditor’s Office.
Funding for charter schools is limited to students lawfully enrolled in such grades K through 12 as the charter school may be approved to operate. Charter schools shall not include any Pre-K students in their enrollment for unit count purposes. This section shall not be interpreted to authorize any charter school to enroll Pre-K students.
If, after the units are certified by the Secretary of Education, a student is disqualified through the auditing process from the unit count, the units will be recalculated without that student. Another eligible student shall not be substituted for the disqualified student. A special education student who has been identified and is receiving special education services and is disqualified from the unit count due to irregularities contained within supporting documentation, may then be included in the appropriate regular enrollment category provided the student meets eligibility requirements. Only a student disqualified by the audit process may be reassigned to another unit category. In no event can this adjustment result in a net increase in units for a district.