TXCC hosted a webinar for TEA's High-Quality Pre-K and HB 4 Workgroup on December 2, 2015. The purpose of the webinar was to provide an overview of the public input on the draft Family Engagement Plan and Strategies that were developed during Workgroup Session 1 as well as input from the public hearing held on December 1, 2015. TEA staff shared input on the draft definitions of “family” and “family engagement” along with comments on the draft components and evidence-based strategies prior to an analysis of the input. In mid-December, TEA was informed that the due date for the Family Engagement Strategies and Plan had been advanced from February 2016 to the end of December 2015. TXCC reviewed documents and identified salient points from the public input (i.e.., continuation of local control, suggested rather than required strategies, recommendations on components that needed to be included in an local education agency plan, acknowledgement of effective practices/and programs already in place like Head Start and Montessori schools) while TEA made revisions to the draft document. On December 21, TXCC hosted another webinar so that TEA could share the revised documents with the workgroup members, who provided additional feedback and then gave consensus for TEA to move forward with the document’s submission to the commissioner.
TXCC has also started working with TEA on another HB 4 requirement to submit a 2016-17 commissioner's list of prekindergarten language and literacy assessment instruments, focusing on phonological/phonemic awareness, phonics, and text comprehension (listening only). This work is also on a tight timeline but is in its initial stages.