How Turlock USD Increased Monitoring Form Completion & Exceeded Reclassification Goals
Ellevation currently serves over 150 school districts in California, from the Central Valley, up to the Redwoods and down to the border with Mexico. Many districts that partner with Ellevation utilize our digital monitoring tools to stay in compliance and save their team time. The tools provide real-time dashboards that automate the distribution of teacher input and monitoring forms, clearly indicating when forms have not been returned, which teachers need follow-up, an email reminder system, and electronic-signature capabilities. Here’s how one Ellevation district in California greatly increased monitoring form completion rates and exceeded their reclassification goals with Ellevation.
Overseeing, monitoring, tracking, and ensuring compliance for reclassification and Reclassified Fluent English Proficient (RFEP) Monitoring Processes typically means tons of time and little support for most EL program administrators. Not for Alice Solis, Director of English Learners, Assessment, and Special Programs with Turlock Unified School District in Turlock, CA, and a team of Assistant Principals (APs) who are responsible for EL compliance at their school sites.
Alice implemented a far more efficient way of tracking reclassification and RFEP monitoring forms. “In my previous district we would literally have to run several queries and print several lists from our SIS (student information system), go down and cross reference the lists for every single student then manually highlight students who met our reclassification criteria. When I heard about Ellevation and that there was a platform to automate these processes, I asked myself, “Why are we still doing this by lists and hand; we must get on board with automating the processes.”
New District, Same Challenge
A veteran educator of 24 years with experience from elementary to the district level, Alice started her new position at Turlock Unified School District determined to bring the Ellevation Platform to the Turlock team. Located in the Central Valley of California, Turlock USD serves approximately 14,000 total students, of which 23% are ELs and 16% are RFEPs.
Each year, like all districts in California, Turlock must gather and receive teacher input on student performance as part of the state’s process to determine eligibility for EL reclassification, while simultaneously monitoring the RFEP students who have achieved proficiency and are no longer receiving services. With 39% of Turlock’s student population as either EL or RFEP students, a paper-and-pencil process simply was not going to meet their needs.
At her previous district, Alice was serving 1100 EL students; at Turlock that number had tripled. The cumbersome paper-and-pencil, queries, and lists process was indeed the system at Turlock when Alice first arrived. Like many other EL departments that hadn’t yet automated the process, it looked familiar: never-ending task lists, multiple data requests to the data or technology team, running (and re-running) assessment data reports, checking in and following up with Assistant Principals to go through student lists line-by-line to verify eligibility for reclassification and RFEP monitoring. In other words: tons of time, little support.
“I would follow up several times with our APs about lists of who forms should go out to and about forms collected. I felt like I was pestering them to find the missing forms, but it was required. It was time consuming for me as the district administrator to oversee and review all of this information,” Alice explained.
An Action Plan on Turlock's Timeline
So Alice got to work and started introducing Ellevation to the District English Learner Support (DELS) team, which consists of site Assistant Principals who were responsible for site EL compliance, and the District’s EL Task Force. Describing the process as deliberate and intensive, Alice engaged Turlock’s EL Task Force and Assistant Principals to outline Ellevation’s solutions over a series of presentations. She credits the time spent with teams and approval from Executive Cabinet, and their input, as central to the success that would soon follow.
“It was always on Turlock’s timeline. I knew Ellevation had the people and tools and that buy-in was critical at the ground level. Buy-in at the ground level because of the student population we serve,” Alice said. "Previously, everyone was running all over the district, following-up with teachers in-person, having to double check whether completed forms were in the Cumulative Folders. Imagine the challenge of looking at just one of our comprehensive high schools, which has 300-400 ELs; going through that many folders was not realistic.”
Immediate Impact, District-Wide
Once Alice got buy-in and had implemented Ellevation’s tools at Turlock, the impact was immediate. Prior to adopting Ellevation for their reclassification and RFEP monitoring processes, the district was completing 40% of both teacher input and RFEP monitoring forms with their paper-and-pencil process. Since they have adopted Ellevation, that rate has increased from 40% to 100%. That’s 6600 forms completed instead of 2600 forms completed; all automated through Ellevation with real-time tracking information and a seamless system to communicate with the EL task force, APs, and classroom teachers.
Alice meets with APs every month with Ellevation as a standing agenda item. APs are now creating their own data views, tracking progress towards reclassification, reporting back to her and more clearly identifying where students need support. They’re using Ellevation to stay in compliance and ensure their EL and RFEP students are participating in an equitable learning environment.
“That’s what you want as a district leader - sites taking ownership, a system working because it’s easy,” Alice shared. Which means no more flipping through folders, no more paper-and pencil process, and, most importantly, no more students slipping through the cracks. It’s a solution that Alice has now brought to two districts, both with the results she was hoping for.
“We’re meeting our requirements. We’re focusing on student data. But there’s something about Ellevation that makes people want to be in it. We found a system that works. It’s easy.”
See Ellevation’s digital monitoring tools in action.