Rhode Island Code of Regulations
Title 200 - Board of Education
Chapter 20 - Council on Elementary and Secondary Education
Subchapter 10 - Academic Standards, Programs and Operations
Part 1 - Basic Education Program (200-RICR-20-10-1)
Section 200-RICR-20-10-1.4 - Administration, Management, and Accountability of the Local Education Agency

Universal Citation: 200 RI Code of Rules 20 10 1.4

Current through March 20, 2024

1.4.1 Accountable Management

A. Leading the Focus on Student Learning and Continuous Improvement
1. At all levels of the LEA system, leadership shall focus on student learning and development and create educational environments conducive to learning. LEA leadership shall establish and communicate agreed upon standards for student learning and development, based on relevant state grade level and grade span expectations, that reflect both the disciplinary content of critical subjects-including career and life related subjects--and the essential thinking skills required to explore, invent, develop, and communicate important intellectual products within these subjects. In addition, LEA leadership shall ensure that all management and operating systems are focused on student learning and achievement.

2. The primary method for leadership to achieve the focus on student learning is the management of a continuous improvement process, which consists of the following five elements:
a. Collect relevant qualitative and quantitative data to assess performance in relation to measurable expectations;

b. Use available data to measure gaps in current performance of students, educators, and systems against state standards;

c. Develop and disseminate integrated school and LEA level plans that clearly describe what each person involved in the plan should do;

d. Implement improvement plans with fidelity and sufficient resources, including time; and

e. Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of improvement efforts using relevant qualitative and quantitative data and make such reports publicly available.

B. Management Duties and Responsibilities
1. The LEA is ultimately responsible for operating a system of education and support services that is reasonably designed and adequately resourced to achieve compliance with all aspects of the BEP. The primary responsibility of the administration is the leadership and management of the educational system at multiple levels.

2. Each LEA shall employ a chief executive, under the direction of the established governing board, who is responsible for the leadership, management, operation, and accountability of the LEA and who shall be the chief administrative agent and highest ranking education professional employed by the governing board. The chief executive shall provide the vision and educational leadership for creating a high performing education system that is focused on student learning and development. Within the parameters of law, the chief executive shall assign administrative and supervisory personnel, including building level leadership to assist in the effective management of the LEA. Although the chief executive may delegate appropriate powers and duties so that operational decisions can be made at various administrative levels, he or she is accountable for the execution of these powers and duties.

3. The chief executive shall comply with provisions of federal and state law, including the full implementation of the BEP, as well as with applicable municipal charter provisions and with all ordinances and directives of the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. Under the supervision of the governing board, the chief executive shall exercise his or her management authority to accomplish the following responsibilities that are deemed by the Board of Education to be essential to the mission of implementing a statewide system of public education:
a. Planning and Evaluation: The chief executive shall effectively accomplish system-wide planning and evaluation, including:
(1) Implementation of policies and strategic plans developed in conjunction with and approved by the governing board, as well as development and implementation of administrative procedures necessary to implement board policy;

(2) Establishment and implementation of district wide plans and programs that are applicable to all schools; identification of roles and responsibilities for carrying out such plans that will entail analysis of the plans and leveraging and engaging partners to accelerate improvement efforts; and,

(3) Evaluation of the effectiveness of educational plans, policies, and programs to meet the needs of the students of the LEA, including implementing the governing board's policies concerning curriculum and ensuring the availability of multiple pathways of instruction, student support systems, textbooks, and local assessment systems in order to provide a guaranteed and viable curriculum for all students.

b. Organizational Structure: The chief executive shall establish an academic organization within the LEA in order to ensure continuous improvement of learning and teaching, including:
(1) Establishment and implementation of annual and daily school calendars based on the learning needs of students;

(2) Creation of building and staffing plans based on the educational program needs of the LEA;

(3) Establishment and implementation of grade and program organizations within the levels of the LEA that ensure that students achieve proficiency on all state achievement standards;

(4) Establishment of structures to ensure communication and collaboration among constituency groups to assist in the development and implementation of programs and policies; and

(5) Establishment and implementation of specific procedures, internal controls, and timelines designed to provide the state with written assurances that the LEA goals and objectives will be met.

c. Information: The chief executive shall oversee a comprehensive information system of data collection, analysis and reporting, including relevant achievement criteria and measurement sufficient to inform the LEA about its progress in improving student learning. To that end, the information system shall support meaningful communication and professional learning.

d. Human Capital: The chief executive shall oversee administration of the personnel function consistent with personnel standards, policies, and the table of organization established by the governing board that includes: policies and procedures for recruiting, supporting and retaining highly effective staff; ongoing supports to improve the effectiveness of staff; cohesive professional development; and evaluation of personnel performance.

e. Fiscal Oversight: The chief executive shall oversee the development and adoption of a responsible budget with spending priorities that reflect the LEA strategic plan and that is focused on student learning and continuous improvement.

f. Facilities Oversight: The chief executive shall oversee the administration of an operational and maintenance program that will ensure that all educational facilities and transportation programs are efficiently operated, properly maintained, and in a safe condition for students, staff, and the community.

g. Communication: The chief executive shall lead the development and implementation of a comprehensive system of communication that ensures that all district staff, parents, guardians, and the community at large are fully informed regarding the goals, programs, opportunities, achievements, and needs of the education system. To that end, the chief executive shall articulate educational issues and values to district staff, the community and other governmental agencies. He or she shall be accessible to community members and shall work with them to further the LEA goals and to build a strong, positive community commitment to public education.

4. In performing his or her management responsibilities, the chief executive shall adhere to the operational requirements outlined in §1.4.2 of this Part.

1.4.2 Accountable Operational Systems

A. Information
1. A comprehensive, integrated information system is essential to the creation and support of a 21st century learning environment. High quality information systems allow the collective LEA community to continuously improve. High quality information systems enable accurate and reliable data collection, analysis, and reporting.

2. The LEA shall provide data and reports as are required by federal or state law and Board of Education regulations or as are necessary for ensuring all aspects of accountability. These data and information shall provide the basis for meaningful comparisons of data by the LEA. These data and information will also provide the basis for the information required to set policies, align resources, and ensure equality of educational opportunities. The LEA shall provide appropriate access to its information systems and shall utilize all state and federal data systems necessary to implement its information system.

3. Information systems enable the LEA to address the following functions: Lead the Focus on Learning and Achievement; Use Information for Planning and Accountability; and Engage Families and the Community. Information Systems shall adhere to state and federal laws regarding open records, public access, security, and confidentiality, as applicable. The system shall interface with various types of communications networks and shall be designed to accommodate anticipated advances in technology, to the greatest extent possible.

4. The LEA shall develop and adequately maintain comprehensive, accessible, and transparent information systems with specific implementation strategies that address the following components:
a. Student Learning
(1) The information system shall promote achievement of the academic standards in the classroom and lifelong learning and success in our digital society; enhance student acquisition of technology and information literacy skills needed to succeed in the classroom, higher education and the workplace; ensure that each student has sufficient access to technology to support achievement of the academic standards; promote learning, including English language acquisition; and foster remediation to enhance student learning and close achievement gaps.

b. System Efficiency and Effectiveness
(1) The information system shall improve student achievement data collection, analysis, reporting, and decision making; maintain and improve the LEA student record keeping and assessment efforts; maintain and enhance personnel and fiscal records and functions; maintain and enhance governance, operations, and administration; and promote cost effective sharing of informational resources.

c. Communication and Support
(1) The information system shall facilitate and improve meaningful communication between and across all members of the school community; support intra-district dialogue that addresses mutual expectations; maintain and improve routine operations that enhance accessibility for end users, and connect the school community to local, state, and global networks and supports.

d. Technical Support
(1) The information system shall provide ongoing support on interpreting and using information for planning, professional development and continuous improvement and shall enable staff to exchange ideas with peers and to establish communities of practice.

B. Human Capital
1. Improving achievement requires recruitment of talented educators driven by strategic human capital management. Human capital management involves the practices of recruiting, developing, rewarding and retaining talented and demonstrably successful staff. The human capital management system enables the LEA to address the following functions: Recruit, Support and Retain Highly Effective Staff; Use Information for Planning and Accountability, and Ensure Equity and Adequacy of Fiscal and Human Resources. In order to effectively meet these functions, each LEA shall maintain control of its ability to recruit, hire, manage, evaluate, and assign its personnel.

2. Each LEA shall develop, implement, and monitor a human capital management system that is connected to its educational improvement strategy, and supports the people with the knowledge and skills necessary to execute that strategy. Human capital management systems shall adhere to standards and state regulations that relate to professional knowledge, skills, and competencies expected of all staff. Human capital management systems shall contain the following components:
a. Policies and Procedures to Recruit, Support, and Retain Highly Effective Staff.
(1) The LEA shall establish a set of policies and an array of strategies to recruit, hire, and retain highly effective district and school personnel; said policies and strategies shall align to district needs, focus on screening methods for determining candidate knowledge and skills to match the needs of the LEA, promote early identification of openings, use research-based protocols and incentives to address LEA related factors affecting retention and its impact on mobility trends, and address staffing low performing schools with highly effective and experienced staff.

(2) The LEA shall establish effective procedures for ensuring the completeness and security of personnel records and files for all of its employees. The LEA shall provide for proper storage, retention, and access. Each LEA shall have a policy for the examination of personnel records by individual employees. All personnel records shall adhere to state and federal laws regarding open records, public access, security, and confidentiality, as applicable.

b. Ongoing Supports to Staff
(1) Staffing schools and districts with qualified and effective personnel requires a systems approach that allows support for all staff throughout their professional careers. The LEA shall provide differentiated support to all staff. These supports shall include induction programs to support the developing proficiencies for new staff and staff serving in new assignments, mentoring and coaching to enhance professional learning and to foster peer relationships, job embedded professional development for continuous improvement, a compensation system reasonably related to achieving the purposes of these regulations, and a targeted support system for staff in need of improving their performance.

(2) Each LEA shall develop and implement policies and protocols that promote the health of school employees to support their overall well-being and their performance as educators and role models, including, as necessary, wellness programs, employee assistance programs, referral systems, and/or other services or supports as may be needed to help school staff maintain healthy lifestyles.

c. Cohesive System of Professional Development
(1) Effective professional development is planned systematically, driven by multiple sources of data and designed with input from staff. It is job embedded and considers an individual's growth needs as well as district and school improvement goals. A cohesive system of professional development is designed to affect student achievement and overall student success as well as to enable professional growth. It shall be informed by analysis of district needs and aligned with state expectations for student proficiency and professional standards. The LEA shall require all staff to participate in professional development that is structured and coordinated to ensure that all support staff meet their individual as well district goals. The LEA shall monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of professional development and make necessary changes to support individual growth and the effectiveness of resources.

d. Evaluation of Personnel Performance
(1) Appraising personnel performance and quality is an extremely important factor affecting student learning. The LEA shall establish a set of clearly detailed and widely disseminated policies and procedures for the supervision and evaluation of all staff. These policies and procedures shall include personnel policy statements, job descriptions that outline job functions and responsibilities, and assignment and discipline of all LEA staff.

3. In order to ensure that all staff show consistent positive impact on student learning, the LEA shall have a formal evaluation process that is completed on a regular basis and is compliant with applicable legal requirements. The evaluation system promotes the growth and effectiveness of staff, provides feedback for continuous improvement, and includes processes for disciplinary action and exiting of ineffective staff. The evaluation system shall be developed, implemented and managed by persons with the necessary qualifications, skills, and training. The evaluation system shall be described in sufficient detail so that it is clear who is responsible and what is expected.

C. Fiscal Oversight
1. Each LEA shall ensure the fiscal health of the LEA and provide public accountability through the adoption of sound fiscal policies and oversight of the LEA financial condition. Furthermore, the LEA shall ensure that the financial systems support the LEA mission that includes goals for student achievement and a high quality educational program. Fiscal oversight enables the LEA to address the following functions: Ensure Equity and Adequacy of Fiscal and Human Resources and Use Information for Planning and Accountability. To accomplish this, the following components must be in place:
a. Efficient and Effective Finance System
(1) Each LEA shall adopt and maintain a financial accounting system, in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), and with requirements prescribed by the Commissioner of Education, in which all revenue and expenditure data shall be recorded. This system shall be the basis for the periodic reporting of financial data by the LEA to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
(AA) Each LEA shall use the best available techniques of long range planning, budget development, and budget administration and shall establish efficient procedures for accounting, reporting, purchasing, contracting, making payments, auditing, maintaining fixed assets, and fulfilling all other areas of fiscal management. These procedures will be accomplished by:
(i) Developing budget policies and strategies for optimal protection, investment, and allocation of resources;

(ii) Managing the federal grants process for integrating federal, state, and local resources and for ensuring timely reconciliation of accounts and submission of federal grant reports;

(iii) Ensuring that all financial transactions are in compliance with generally accepted accounting principles as well as with internal policies and procedures;

(iv) Maintaining a cash management process that ensures timely, accurate drawdown of funds;

(v) Developing appropriate procedures and policies for procurement as well as for managing bids and contracts;

(vi) Monitoring of cash flow, revenue, budget, and expenditures on an ongoing basis; and,

(vii) Providing a quarterly upload of financial data to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

2. Each LEA shall utilize a financial accounting system that permits the reporting of all school LEA revenues and expenditures in accordance with the Uniform Chart of Accounts as issued by the Office of the Auditor General and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. This system shall integrate with other key systems, including those for human resources, payroll, and asset protection.

3. Each LEA shall maintain an adequate system of internal controls and shall establish and document such policies and procedures as are necessary to ensure an effective management system for the accountability of funds administered by the LEA. Internal controls shall promote operational efficiency and effectiveness, provide reliable financial information, safeguard assets and records, encourage adherence to prescribed policies, and comply with applicable statutes and regulations.

D. Audit and Accountability
1. In accordance with state law, municipalities and regional school LEAs shall engage an independent certified public accountant to make a detailed post audit of their financial records. LEAs that are part of the primary government of a municipality shall be included in the post audit of the municipality and shall not be required to obtain a separate post audit.
a. Annual audits of municipalities and LEAs shall be conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards and government auditing standards.

b. The selection of auditors is subject to final written approval by the State Auditor General. Municipalities and school LEAs shall not engage auditors nor shall they contract for their services until such written authorization is received from the Auditor General.

c. Each LEA shall, within six months of the close of its fiscal year, arrange for and undergo an independent audit of its financial records and submit the report of this audit to the Office of the Auditor General, the state Director of Administration, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, no later than December 31 of each year.

d. In conjunction with the audit process, independent auditors shall also audit the compliance of an LEA with the Uniform Chart of Accounts (UCOA). A special report, due no later than December 31 of the year, shall be provided to the Office of the Auditor General and to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

e. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall conduct review and follow-up procedures to ensure that audit exceptions are evaluated and appropriate actions are taken. The Commissioner of Education shall be notified of any material and significant findings that reflect on the ability of the LEA to provide a high quality education or that indicate that progress toward satisfactory resolution is not being made.

E. Facilities Oversight
1. LEA facilities, consisting of the site, building, equipment, and utilities, are major factors in the functioning of the educational program. The LEA facilities provide more than a place for instruction; the physical environment assists or limits student achievement of desirable learning outcomes. Facilities oversight enables the LEA to address the following functions: Foster Safe and Supportive Environments for Students and Staff and Ensure Equity and Adequacy of Fiscal and Human Resources.

2. The 21st century high performing LEA must provide physical environments that contribute to the successful performance of educational programs designed to meet students' educational needs. The buildings must be adequate to meet current demands as required by the Rhode Island Standards for School Buildings and Facilities ("SBC- 13 "). The spaces within must be sufficiently flexible to provide for multiple uses of the area, including educational and non-educational programs. The facilities shall have adequate space with respect to student enrollment, the instructional program, and necessary administrative and supporting services. The facilities oversight system shall adhere to standards and state regulations and shall address the following:
a. Facilities Planning, Coordination, and Maintenance
(1) Each LEA shall prepare a long range Educational Facilities Master Plan (EFMP), with annual revisions and updates that address all facilities under the control of the district and that is aligned with the Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The LEA shall develop methods and procedures to coordinate their facility planning with local governments and related comprehensive community plans. The LEA shall develop a Comprehensive Maintenance Plan (CMP) with annual revisions and updates, using the template provided in the School Housing Aid and School Construction Regulations.

b. Safe, Healthy, and Sanitary Physical Environments
(1) All school facilities, which shall include buildings, grounds, and equipment necessary for the provision of instructional programs, shall be operated and maintained in safe, healthful, and sanitary condition. The physical environment of all schools shall be in compliance with local, state, and federal standards, codes, laws, and regulations regarding health and safety, accessibility, and energy conservation. Each LEA shall have a chemical hygiene plan.

c. Adequate Facilities to Promote Student Learning and Development
(1) LEA facilities shall be sufficiently flexible to provide for multiple uses of the area in regard to both educational and supplementary activity programs. The facilities shall have adequate space with respect to student enrollment, the instructional program, and necessary administrative and supporting services. Instructional environments, including classrooms, laboratories, library-media centers, and recreational facilities, shall be adequate to serve the specific purpose for which they are intended, shall have sufficient area to accommodate each student, and shall afford access to resources as appropriate to the age of the students in the school.

F. Communications
1. Each LEA shall develop, implement, and monitor a comprehensive system of communication that ensures that parents, guardians, and the community at large are fully informed regarding the goals, programs, opportunities, achievements, and needs of the education system.

2. Communication systems enable the LEA to address the following functions: Lead the Focus on Learning and Achievement; Use Information for Planning and Accountability and Engage Families and the Community. Each LEA shall develop and implement a written comprehensive communication plan that establishes the guidelines and procedures for the design, implementation, monitoring, and revision of the district wide communication system. The comprehensive communication plan shall address the following:
a. Strategies to fully inform parents, guardians, and students of their individual rights under state and federal laws as well as to keep the public fully informed about the goals, programs, opportunities, achievements, and needs of the education system in a timely manner and in a culturally and linguistically responsive format;

b. Communication methods that accommodate the needs of all members of the public, including the visually or hearing impaired, those whose primary language is not English, and those with other special needs;

c. Opportunities for the public to give input on LEA issues and operations;

d. Strategies for ensuring that staff members are responsive to requests by parents, guardians, and members of the public for information or assistance and for providing staff members with professional development regarding service to the public, parental engagement, and community relations;

e. The organizational structure for implementing the communication strategies throughout the school community and within and across the district and its schools; and

f. The process for approval, review (based on data and information collected regarding the efficacy of the LEA communication system), revision, and renewal of the LEA communication plan.

1.4.3 Accountability for Continuous Improvement

A. Accountability for Continuous Improvement
1. Rhode Island has incorporated the accountability requirements set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act into its existing state system as set forth in the Comprehensive Education Strategy (CES). This unified system serves as the basis for classifying schools and districts based on whether the schools have met Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) on the state assessments for English language arts and mathematics and other indicators of progress.

2. Each LEA shall develop, implement, monitor, and evaluate an accountability system, using information from multiple sources, to inform analysis of the many aspects of the education system. Relevant data shall consist of a combination of contextual and demographic information, measures of student learning, curriculum and instruction strategies and practices, and perceptual or evaluative data.

3. The accountability system shall:
a. Include the processes and written plans described in §§1.2.3(A) and (B) of this Part for a comprehensive assessment system and identified in § 1.3 of this Part for systemic problem solving;

b. Specify policies, procedures, and strategies for public reporting that comply with state and federal reporting requirements and ensure broadly accessible and timely dissemination of information;

c. Establish procedures by which a thorough self-study of the district functions and capacities for continuous improvement, as stated in §1.4.1 of this Part shall be conducted using criteria established by the Commissioner of Education, as indicated in §1.4.3 of this Part; and,

d. Include development of a plan that demonstrates how the LEA will use self-study findings to inform allocation of resources, strategic planning, and differentiated supports to schools.

B. Intervention and Support
1. Based on the accountability system described above, the LEA shall design a system of differentiated supports and interventions for schools that are not closing achievement gaps, are not continuously improving, or are not reaching state performance standards. The differentiated system of supports shall include specific strategies and investments that address:
a. Leadership. Strengthening hierarchical and distributive leadership capacity to accelerate performance;

b. Personnel. Changes or enhancements to staffing, professional development, mentoring, technical assistance, peer observation, and modeling effective practices;

c. Infrastructure. Modifications in organizational structures, processes, resources, and materials that serve as barriers to improvement; and,

d. Content. Intensifying academic and developmental programs, practices, and initiatives, based on scientific research.

2. The LEA shall develop a district action plan and individual school plans that identify and develop solutions that take into account the underlying causes for low performance by students, set forth a detailed and adequately resourced implementation strategy, and provide for evaluation of the improvement efforts. These plans shall be disseminated to the public in a timely manner.

3. Failure to increase student performance to target levels at the school level shall result in increased LEA oversight responsibility on a year to year basis. Consecutive years without demonstrated improvement shall result in state intervention and decreased local authority. In cases in which there is insufficient LEA leadership capacity to implement these directives, the LEA must communicate said lack of capacity to the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education.

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