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RULE §129.1027Optional Flexible School Day Program

(a) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this section, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) Campus--For the purposes of this section, a campus is an organization that provides instructional services to students, maintains a separate budget, and has an administrator whose primary duty is the full-time administration of the campus.

  (2) Campus of innovative redesign--A campus with an approved campus turnaround plan in accordance with the requirements of Texas Education Code (TEC), §39A.107, that:

    (A) provides a rigorous and relevant academic program;

    (B) provides personal attention and guidance;

    (C) promotes high expectations for all students; and

    (D) addresses comprehensive schoolwide improvements that cover all aspects of a school's operations, including, but not limited to, curriculum and instruction changes, structural and managerial innovations, sustained professional development, financial commitment, and enhanced involvement of parents and the community.

  (3) Community-based dropout recovery education program--For the purposes of this section, a community-based dropout recovery education program is a public or private program authorized under the TEC, §29.081(e), offered on a campus or through an internet online program that leads to a high school diploma and prepares the student to enter the workforce as defined in TEC, §29.081(e-1) and (e-2).

  (4) Instructional contact hours--Except for the purposes of subsection (b)(1)(B) of this section, instructional contact hours are the hours spent learning the curriculum under faculty and administrators with baccalaureate or advanced degrees. For the purposes of subsection (b)(1)(B) of this section, instructional contact hours are hours spent learning the curriculum under the direct supervision of an educator meeting the qualifications of the State Board for Educator Certification or the employing charter school.

  (5) Optional Flexible School Day Program (OFSDP)--An OFSDP is a program authorized under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §29.0822, that is approved by the commissioner to provide flexible hours and days of attendance for eligible students, as defined in subsection (b) of this section.

  (6) School district--For the purposes of this section, the definition of a school district includes an open-enrollment charter school.

  (7) School district board of trustees--For the purposes of this section, the definition of a school district board of trustees includes a charter holder board.

(b) Student eligibility. A student is eligible to participate in an OFSDP if:

  (1) the student:

    (A) has dropped out of school or is at risk of dropping out of school, as defined by the TEC, §29.081;

    (B) is attending a campus implementing an innovative redesign;

    (C) is attending a community-based dropout recovery education program, as defined by the TEC, §29.081(e-1) and (e-2);

    (D) is attending an approved early college high school program, as defined by the TEC, §29.908; or

    (E) as a result of attendance requirements under the TEC, §25.092, will be denied credit for one or more classes in which the student has been enrolled; and

  (2) either:

    (A) the student and the student's parent, or person standing in parental relation to the student, agree in writing to the student's participation if the student is less than 18 years of age and not emancipated by marriage or court order; or

    (B) the student agrees in writing to participate if the student is 18 years of age or older or has otherwise attained legal status as an adult by reason of marriage or court order.

(c) Application to operate an OFSDP. Any school district may apply for authorization to operate an OFSDP.

  (1) The Texas Education Agency (TEA) shall make available to each eligible school district an application form for initial approval or renewal that must be completed and submitted annually to the TEA for approval.

  (2) The board of trustees of a school district must approve the application. The board of trustees of a school district must include the OFSDP as an item on a regular agenda for a board meeting in compliance with subsection (h)(2) of this section before applying to operate an OFSDP.

  (3) A school district must submit an application in accordance with instructions provided by the TEA.

  (4) As part of the application process, a school district shall include the following information:

    (A) implementation plan description;

    (B) staff plans;

    (C) schedules; and

    (D) student attendance accounting security procedures and documentation.

  (5) The school district must have submitted the required annual audit report for the immediate prior fiscal year to the TEA division responsible for financial audits. The annual audit must be determined by the TEA to be in compliance with applicable audit standards.

  (6) The commissioner may consider academic and financial performance at a campus or a district when reviewing application qualifications.

  (7) The TEA may defer or reject an application based on pending or final audit of data submitted, irregularities in assessment administration, accreditation status, accountability ratings, or interventions or sanctions under the TEC, Chapter 39A.

  (8) The TEA may grant or reject an entire application or grant or reject any campus submitted on an application.

  (9) The TEA will notify each applicant of its approval or nonapproval to operate an OFSDP.

  (10) The school district must receive notice of approval to continue or begin participation in the program.

(d) Attendance. A school district must report student OFSDP attendance in a manner provided by the TEA in the Student Attendance Accounting Handbook adopted under §129.1025 of this title (relating to Adoption By Reference: Student Attendance Accounting Handbook). Funding for attendance in an OFSDP is proportionate to attendance in a full-time program meeting the requirements of the TEC, §25.081 and §25.082.

(e) Funding under the TEC, Chapters 46, 48, and 49. Attendance in an OFSDP that is not authorized or does not meet the requirements of the TEC, §29.0822, or this section is not eligible for state funding. For funding purposes, attendance for a student for a 12-consecutive-month school year cannot exceed the equivalent of one student in average daily attendance with perfect attendance.

(f) Extracurricular participation. A student enrolled in an OFSDP may participate in a competition or activity sanctioned by the University Interscholastic League (UIL) only if the student meets all UIL eligibility criteria.

(g) Conditions of program operation. A school district and campus operating an OFSDP must comply with all assurances in the program application. Approved OFSDPs will be required to submit annually one progress report on a form to be provided by the TEA and signed by the district superintendent or executive officer. The data in the progress reports must be disaggregated by ethnicity, age, gender, and socioeconomic status. Approved OFSDPs will submit data as stated in the assurances section of the program application.

  (1) A school district with a campus operating an OFSDP must reapply annually to continue to operate an OFSDP to verify that student eligibility requirements specified in subsection (b) of this section are met.

  (2) A student participating in an OFSDP must take all assessment instruments as defined by the TEC, §39.023, during the regularly scheduled administration periods.

  (3) A school district operating an OFSDP must conduct audits every other year of the OFSDP student attendance processes, procedures, and data quality to maintain eligibility for the program. Audits may be conducted by an internal auditor, external auditor, or an authorized school district administrator responsible for student attendance accounting.

  (4) The commissioner may consider academic performance and student attendance accounting documentation and procedures to continue district or campus eligibility for the OFSDP.

(h) School district annual performance review.

  (1) Annually, each school district shall review its progress in relation to the performance indicators required by this subsection. Progress should be assessed based on information that is disaggregated with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status.

    (A) A school district must include high school graduation as one of the performance indicators for students participating in the OFSDP.


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