Answer: The REAC3H Coach initiative was initially introduced in the ESEA Flexibility Waiver for the purpose of supporting several of the new education reform efforts. The 60 REAC3H Coaches were interviewed and selected by a professional panel of OSDE educators.
As part of their coaching responsibilities, they will provide professional development trainings, instructional modeling, and mentorship to teachers and principals throughout the state. The focus of the trainings will be to address best practices for implementing the Oklahoma C3 Standards which will include the Common Core State Standards.
The coaches will be well prepared to serve in their new role due to receiving extensive training in Pre K-12 Literacy concepts for Reading, ELA and Math. The coaches will work with those Districts receiving the Ed Jobs Grant Funds that will support their salaries, and also with surrounding Districts as well. All Districts will be served in an equitable manner. The coaching services will include all assigned school Districts/sites located within their geographically assigned region of the state. Great consideration has been taken regarding location, population density, and travel requirements for each of the 60 coaches.
The coaches will work in collaborative efforts with District administrators and teacher educators throughout the state in providing training that will serve to support a successful transition to C3 Standards, Common Core, and next generation assessments.
The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) will be responsible for providing the following REAC3H Coach services for Districts; (1) hiring, (2) training, (3) evaluating, and (4) tracking equitable time and effort hours spent with each district.
Answer: The Oklahoma State Department of Education selected an interview panel consisting of seasoned educators for the purpose of ensuring that each applicant chosen to participate in the interview process would be afforded the opportunity to be interviewed in a fair and impartial manner. The job description was posted online on March 19, 2012.
Answer: All Districts in the state will benefit from the services of the REAC3H Coaches. The 60 REAC3H Coaches were divided regionally by placing two coaches in thirty Career Tech centers throughout the state. The coaches will work with designated Districts in their assigned geographic area.
Answer: The Oklahoma State Department of Education was privileged to receive a supplemental award of Ed Jobs Funds. Several OSDE division personnel worked diligently with USDE’s Ed Jobs Program Contact and members of their Legal Counsel department to ensure that approval to distribute the funds in a different manner could be achieved. The Oklahoma State Department of Education received approval to expend funds in line with the REAC3H Coach Initiative.
Thirty Oklahoma Districts were then selected to receive the Ed Jobs funds to offset the cost of administering the coaches’ salaries, benefits, travel stipend, cell phone, and appropriated leave.
The Oklahoma State Department of Education corresponded with Districts by utilizing the following forms of communication; (1) phone calls, (2) emails, and (3) memorandums. This was performed for the purpose of providing technical assistance and clarity for the project purpose and how it will be implemented.
The Ed Job Funds were awarded to the thirty ‘receiving funds’ Districts. Receiving funds Districts were required to complete an online grant application revealing the amount of allocation received, the salary and benefits and personnel included on the application. Applications were reviewed by OSDE personnel. Ed Jobs funds have been approved by USDE to grant each sponsoring District an amount greater than the amount required to provide funding of two coaches in each of the 30 Districts.
Answer: Twenty-nine regional Technology Centers and one university - Oklahoma Panhandle State University, have agreed to provide an office for the REAC3H Coaches, an office phone, printing, and facilities for training based on availability. OSDE’s thanks and appreciation is extended to these facilities for their congenial efforts in supporting the coaching initiative.
Answer: OSDE’s Federal Programs office, Comptroller’s office, and the OCAS office will advise District superintendents and federal programs’ officers on all matters pertaining to coding funding, reporting and monitoring. OSDE’s office of Instruction will provide personnel that will serve in the position of supervising and evaluating the REAC3H Coaches while on the job. All District leadership is encouraged to offer input to supervisors at OSDE.
Answer: The coaches will begin a 10.5 month contract on July 1, 2012. They will participate in extensive training provided by OSDE in the summer of FY2012 and continue their training as designated throughout the year.
Answer: The REAC3H Coaches will provide the following services:
Answer: USDE’s Office of Ed Jobs and Legal Services division reviewed and approved the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s request to distribute the funds in this manner. See question number one.
Answer: The following OSDE members will act as supervisors for the REAC3H Coaches and serve as the district financial contacts:
Answer: Yes, OSDE provided sponsoring Districts a 10.5 month contract for the FY2012-2013 school year, which will be renewable on a year-by-year basis. OSDE, the Districts, and the coaches were required to sign the contract.
Answer: It is simply an acknowledgement that Districts were advised of the initiative and that the Districts understand the benefits to be provided by the REAC3H Coaches.
Answer: Yes, the REAC3H Coaches will receive a minimum of the following annual leave:
Districts will provide sick leave for coaches based on the sponsoring District’s policy.
Answer: The sponsoring Districts that have received funds for the positions are the legal employers of the REAC3H Coaches. The District is responsible for unemployment compensation and workers compensation; however, the REAC3H Coach contract clearly provides for the District to assign employment supervision and decision making regarding the coaches to the OSDE. In the event of litigation over the employment contract, OSDE will be joint or co-defendant.
Answer: The OSDE, by the employment contract, will be assigned the responsibility of daily supervision, monitoring, promotion, demotion, corrective action and/or termination of REAC3H Coaches; however, the hiring and termination of the coaches’ contracts will still require local District action based upon OSDE recommendation. All district leadership is encouraged to give feedback to OSDE related to the initiative, specific coaches and services provided.
Answer: Each sponsoring District received 1/30th of the state funding received from the Ed Jobs Funds grant. Districts will use Ed Jobs Funds per federal regulation on salaries and benefits for District employees, to offset the cost of two additional positions (coaches) in FY2012-2013. The amount awarded each sponsoring district is expected to exceed the actual cost of the coaches to Districts. This provides Districts with all residual funds from the award to be used towards other district employment expenses.
Answer: After it was determined that Districts met the criteria to host coaches, the selected Districts were contacted by phone to inquire if they were interested in sponsoring two Coaches. The Districts could either decline or accept the sponsorship. All Superintendents were asked to sign an agreement to either sponsor two coaches, or to receive the services of two coaches for their District. The agreement also served as notification that USDE agreed to the disbursement of Ed Jobs Funds in this manner in support of this initiative.
Answer: Yes, a meeting was scheduled with OSDE’s office of the Comptroller to discuss federal funding requirements and coding issues. Webinars were provided by the office of Federal Programs providing technical assistance regarding federal funding and online application requirements. Districts are always free to make inquiries to OSDE’s Legal Division, office of Instruction, the office of Federal Programs, and the Comptroller’s office.
Answer: Federal Law related to the eligibility for Ed Jobs Funds stipulates that the funds can only be distributed to K-12 organizations. Career Techs are not included in the Ed Jobs federal guidance as a receiving funds agency. Career Techs however; are appreciated in their efforts to support this initiative.
Answer: No. Due to overload in some areas, Districts had to be grouped (or not grouped) by density of teachers to be served. Logistically, coaches have been assigned to District(s) by geographic vicinity, availability of a nearby Career Tech (possibly not by feeder schools), and by as equitable a distribution as possible.
Answer: Yes. Following a technical assistance meeting with the Comptroller at OSDE, online grant applications were made available, and sponsoring Districts were guided through the process for completing a correct application and expending the funds according to specifications.