TWC Transmittals

The Texas Workforce Commission division of Adult Education and Literacy is led by State Director Anson Green. Below is a collection of “TWC Transmittals” from Anson that contain general grant-related information, policy clarifications and helpful guidance for AEL-funded programs. This compilation includes select TWC Transmittals dated April, 2018 forward and is updated regularly as new TWC Transmittals are generated. Messages are in date order beginning with the most recent correspondence. To help find topics, you can use your browser’s “Find” function (command + f) to find words in titles listed on this page.


Quick Menu

2020
May 14, 2020: Distance Learning (DL) Professional Development (PD) Requirements
May 8, 2020: IET During the Pandemic Survey
April 24, 2020: March Performance Reports
April 24, 2020: Forthcoming questions for FAQ
April 23, 3030: Weekly Conference Call 4.23.2020 Additional Attachments
April 16, 2020: 2020 AEL Assessment Guide
April 14, 2020: UPDATE-Guidance on Serving New Students at a Distance
April 14, 2020: AEL Provider Funding Support for COVID-19 Response
April 7, 2020: 4/7/2020 Guidance on Remote Testing
April 2, 2020: Policy Concept (Chapters 800/805)
March 27, 2020: New COVID-19 Bill Offers Lifeline for Nonprofit Budgets
March 27, 2020: DRAFT Guidance Serving New Students at a Distance
March 25, 2020: February Performance Report
March 21, 2020: Recording- 3.19.20 AEL/TWC Coronavirus Update
March 20, 2020: Distance Learning and Remote Instructional Support and Calls
March 19, 2020: YOUR SURVEY RESULTS: AEL Updates During COVID-19 Pandemic
March 19, 2020: AEL 05-20, Modifications to Grants Awarded under TWC RFP 320-18-01
March 17, 2020: AEL Updates During COVID-19 Pandemic
March 16, 2020: Distance Learning Plan Submission Date Change
March 13, 2020: February Data Validation
March 12, 2020: AEL COVID-19 Impact Survey
March 11, 2020: AEL Evaluation Survey 2020
March 3, 2020: January Monthly Performance Reports
February 15, 2020: Ad Hoc Distance Learning Plan due April 15th
January 30, 2020: Performance-based funding winners 2020
January 28, 2020: December Performance Report
January 8, 2020: Deploys 1/10/2020 TEAMS 4.8 Full Release Notes_F

2019

November 7, 2019: Save the Date Career Navigator Convening
November 7, 2019: TEAMS 4.6 Release Webinar
October 28, 2019: September AEL performance data
October 22, 2019: Accelerate Texas / Ability to Benefit Convening
October 14, 2019: PY '19-'20 Performance-based Funding Measures
September 27, 2019: Monthly Performance Report (MPR) for August 2019
August 21, 2019: EOY MPR PY 18-19

2018
November 14, 2018: AEL Monthly Performance Report for September 2018
October 18, 2018: Release of TEAMS Version 3.8
September 28, 2018: Deliverable 6.8
August 30, 2018: Action Required - AEL Enrollment Target Negotiations
August 29, 2018: Professional Development Plan Template and Revised Staff Qualifications and Training Chart
August 14, 2018: Report Templates
August 14, 2018: Cash Draw and Grant Closeout Packages Due ASAP
July 10, 2018: Revise Draft Approach to Collecting MSG for IET Participants
July 6, 2018: New Year Now Open in TEAMS!
July 2, 2018: Send Out Q4 Narrative Template
May 17, 2018: TABE 11/12 Guidance
April 26, 2018: Performance quality improvement awards



2020


May 14, 2020: Distance Learning (DL) Professional Development (PD) Requirements

Good morning Dear grant recipients and providers:

Please be advised that the Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) Distance Learning (DL) Professional Development (PD) requirements for AEL are temporarily being adjusted through the end of the ’19 – ’20 program year.

Any local program level staff currently teaching, facilitating, or supporting distance learning are required to complete DL Academy Module 1: Nuts and Bolts through the PD Portal before the end of the program year, if not previously taken. This includes AEL Directors, DL Instructors, DL data clerks and others who implement local DL policy to accumulate proxy hours for programs. This does not include AEL staff involved solely in Remote Learning and applies only to those engaged in DL activities with Approved Distance Learning Curriculum: https://tcall.tamu.edu/twcael/initiatives/distcurriculum.html.

Please send any questions to AELTA@twc.state.tx.us


May 8, 2020: IET During the Pandemic Survey

Dear grant recipients and providers:

Good Morning! I hope you are doing well.

As promised, here is the link to the survey for more depth on your IETs during the pandemic.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/IETinPandemic

Please complete and don’t hesitate to add comments to your responses. Forward to any subrecipients that are delivering IET or IET ELCIVICS programs. I’ve attached a version in PDF so you can prepare to respond.

We’ll do a formal report out to the field after receiving what you submit.

And finally, look for an invite from Alaina for our next statewide IET call on Friday 5/15 at 10:00am.

Survey_IETs During the Pandemic (Phase 1)


April 24, 2020: March Performance Reports

Dear Grantees,

Thank you so much for all your hard work and efforts during the last two months.

Two notes:
First, the updated deliverable due dates are posted on AEL/TWC Coronavirus Update website under my website address at https://tcall.tamu.edu/COVID-AEL.htm

Second, I wanted to share with you the March performance reports and make a few clarifications:

  • These reports only reflect participants in TEAMS and will not include those reported externally on the PASES tracker
  • All the reports for March—June will include a footnote referencing COVID-19 impacts to performance
  • We will continue to pull data on the 16th of each month and encourage that all data through the previous month be entered into TEAMS by that time

As we move closer to closing out another adventurous program year, we want you to know that you will continue to see tips, tools, and resource updates on how to serve students remotely moving forward into PY 20-21 as well as preparations for continuing current students. Great job on the SSN rate collection, keep up the diligent work! We will continue to monitor this for purposes of combining TANF funds.

I hope everyone takes some time for themselves this weekend. Stay safe, stay healthy and let us know how we can help.

AEL - MPR Summary Report March
AEL Credential Jan 1, 2018 - Sep 30, 2018
AEL Employed or Enrolled 2nd - 4th Qtr After Exit Jan 1, 2018 - Sep 30, 2018
AEL Employed or Enrolled 2nd Qtr After Exit Jul 1, 2018 - Mar 31, 2019
AEL Measurable Skills Gain Contracted Jul 1, 2019 - Mar 31, 2020
Missing SSN Rate Jul 1, 2013 - Mar 31, 2020


April 24, 2020: Forthcoming questions for FAQ

Dear grant recipients, providers, and stakeholders:

TGIF and Good Morning!

I hope you are doing well.

Please find below a preview of questions and answers that will be included in our next FAQ which we hope to have out Monday.
(you can find the current FAQ here https://tcall.tamu.edu/docs/COVID-19FAQ.pdf.

Accessing Teams TEAMS
Q: We have had many issues with accessing TEAMS or getting kicked out. When will this issue be fixed?

A: TEAMS is operates on the same server system as Unemployment Insurance (UI) system. Due to the extreme volume of people applying for UI, both websites are affected during peak times. We recommend to try accessing TEAMS before or after the hours of 0800-1700.

Conference Cancelation
Q: If a conference, training, or other activity related to a grant from the Department is cancelled due to COVID-19, may grant funds be used to reimburse nonrefundable travel (e.g., conveyance or lodging) or registration costs that were properly chargeable to the grant at the time of booking?

A: Yes, provided that a grantee or subgrantee first seeks to recover nonrefundable costs (e.g., travel, registration fees) associated with a grant from the Department from the relevant entity that charged the fee (e.g., airline, hotel, conference organizer). Some businesses are offering flexibility with regard to refunds, credits, and other remedies for losses due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Moreover, many agreements or contracts for conferences, training, or other activities related to a grant contain an emergency or “act of God” provision, and the grantee and its subgrantees must seek to exercise those clauses to the extent possible in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. If a grantee or subgrantee is unable to recover the costs the grantee or subgrantee may charge the appropriate grant for the cancellation costs, provided the costs were reasonable and incurred in order to carry out an allowable activity under the grant, consistent with the Federal cost principles described in 2 CFR Part 200 Subpart E of the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance). Grantees and subgrantees should not assume additional funds will be available should the charging of cancellation or other fees result in a shortage of funds to eventually carry out the event or travel. Grantees and subgrantees must maintain appropriate records and cost documentation as required by 2 CFR § 200.302 (financial management) and 2 CFR § 200.333 (retention requirements for records) to substantiate the charging of any cancellation or other fees related to the interruption of operations or services.

Conference Rescheduling
Q: If a conference is postponed, not cancelled, and the individual cannot attend the new date, or the new date falls outside the grant period, may grant funds be used to reimburse nonrefundable travel (e.g., conveyance or lodging) or registration costs that were properly chargeable to the grant at the time of booking?

A: The grantee must take the following actions: • If the grantee cancels its conference registration and associated travel arrangements because the grantee is not available on the new conference date, the grantee must make a reasonable attempt to recover the costs from the entities that charged them. If the grantee is unable to recover the costs, then, consistent with the above-referenced ED Fact Sheet, the grantee may charge the AEL grant for the costs, provided the costs were incurred to carry out an allowable activity under the grant, and are consistent with the Federal cost principles in the Uniform Guidance.

  • An AEL grant cannot pay for a grantee to attend a conference that will occur after the AEL grant ends. (The end date is inclusive of any renewals or extensions.) Therefore, if the TWC AEL grant award will end before the conference occurs, the grantee must make a reasonable attempt to recover costs from the entities that charged them unless:
    1. the grant is extended to an end date that includes the conference date, and
    2. the grantee attends the conference during the extension. TWC may consider extending the end date of the grant award if doing so is necessary to accomplish the grant purpose, and sufficient grant/fund balance and fund life exist for the extension. If the grant is not extended to a new end date that includes the new conference date (or if the grant is extended, but the grantee does not attend the conference), the grantee must attempt to recover conference costs from the entities that charged them. If the grantee is unable to recover the costs, then, consistent with above-referenced ED Fact Sheet, the grantee may charge the costs to the grant, provided the costs were incurred to carry out an allowable activity under the grant, and are consistent with the Federal cost principles in the Uniform Guidance.
  • For AEL Local Provider grants, if the grantee will attend the conference before the AEL Local Provider grant ends (inclusive of any renewals), but the specific funding period to which charges were made will expire before the conference occurs, the costs already charged can remain in the funding period from which they were paid, and any remaining costs of attending the conference will be chargeable to a funding period that is available when those conference costs become payable, provided the conference occurs before the AEL Local Provider grant award ends.

    The Year 1 funding of the AEL Local Provider grant expires June 30, 2020; Year 2 funding of the AEL Local Provider grant is available July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2021; and Year 3 funding will begin July 1, 2020. So, for example, if the grantee will attend the conference before the grant ends:
    1. any conference costs that were necessary for the grantee to pay between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 continue to be chargeable to the Year 1 funding;
    2. any conference costs that were necessary for the grantee to pay between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020 can be charged to either the Year 1 funding or the Year 2 funding, provided that sufficient grant balance exists in the selected funding period to cover the cost; and
    3. any conference costs that are necessary for the grantee to pay between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 can be charged to either the Year 2 funding or the Year 3 funding, provided that sufficient grant balance exists in the selected funding period to cover the cost.

In situations where it is necessary for a grantee to attempt to recover conference costs, but the grantee was unsuccessful in its efforts, the grantee’s supporting documentation for the conference costs should include a brief description of the steps that the grantee took to attempt to recover the costs. The explanation may be scrutinized by TWC monitors and other external parties as they consider whether reasonable steps were taken to avoid or reduce any conference cancellation costs.

Prepaid Phones
Q: Can an AEL Provider purchase prepaid phones to support staff or students who either not wanting to give out their personal numbers or use their phone for class participation either because it is being used other multiple family members, or they have limited minutes?

A: A prepaid phone (also commonly referred to as pay-as-you-go, pay-as-you-talk, pay and go, go-phone, prepay, or burner phone) is a mobile device such as a phone for which credit, typically through a top-up credit card that is purchased in advance of service use. The purchased credit is used to pay for telecommunications services at the point the service is accessed or consumed. If there is no credit, then access is denied by the cellular network.  Users can top up their credit at any time using a variety of payment mechanisms.

For AEL staff: Prepaid mobile cell phones and top-up credit are allowable costs for staff who are reasonably required to maintain contact with participants during the pandemic. Supporting documentation should include a brief statement to that effect and the necessity to keep the staff’s personal phone number private.  Contact your TWC grant manager to make a budget changes to accommodate the costs.

For AEL Participants: Before purchasing pre-paid cell phones for participants, AEL providers should consider and exhaust all other options. Decisions should generally be made on a participant-by-participant basis, and the supporting documentation should explain why the participant needs the phone to participate in the AEL program, for example, a combination of the reason that the AEL program requires phone communication, the frequency of phone communication that the program requires for program participation, the circumstances that prevent the participant from engaging in phone communication (e.g., no access to a phone, a shared phone with limited minutes, etc.), and a determination that the individual is ineligible to receive phone assistance through other public assistance or phone programs. If there is a cost savings in recycling them for future participant use, a system for recovering the phone, sanitizing it and clearing any personally identifying information and data, and “assigning it” to the next participant will need to be set in place. AEL providers must follow the same loaning guidelines for laptops/tablets in this FAQ. Please see: Question 16 Loaning Laptops/Computer Equipment to Students.

Methods to Track Attendance
Q:  Some of our providers have purchased Zoom and Data Clerks are able to view and pull attendance straight from this platform.  Is it acceptable for Data Clerks to pull attendance from Zoom, in lieu of having an instructor sending it via email?

A:  Yes.  Personally Identifiable Information, and other sensitive information, must not be disclosed to anyone other than an individual or entity authorized by law to receive the information. Data Clerks may pull attendance straight from Zoom to ensure participant data is protected.  Providers must include this method of data collection in their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). 

Q:  For instructors that are emailing a screen shot or excel sheet for attendance purposes, can their email signature be used instead of their hand-written signature, or will they have to print and sign it before emailing it?

A: Grantees must ensure that appropriate protections be put in place to avoid a Personally Identifiable Information breach.  The same methods used for collecting enrollment forms, such as Adobe Pro or Docusign can be used.  If a Provider chooses to use the email signature, it must include an acknowledgement such as ‘ I certify this attendance for my Zoom class on this date, etc…’ or something similar to this.  Providers must include this method of data collection in their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
April 23, 2020: Weekly Conference Call 4.23.2020 Additional Attachments

Good morning,

Attached is an additional document (AEL Remote Testing Letter Draft) that will be discussed during today’s AEL Weekly Conference Call.

AEL Letter - Remote Testing


April 16, 2020: 2020 AEL Assessment Guide

Good morning,
Attached for your review is the final draft of the 2020 AEL Assessment Guide. Revisions are shown in Track Changes.
Please e-mail comments to workforce.editing@twc.state.tx.us by 11:55 a.m., Thursday, April 23, 2020.

If no comments are received by the five-day deadline, we will assume that the document is approved without comment.

Texas AEL Assessment Guide (12.19.19) Track Changes (Five-Day Review)
Texas AEL Assessment Guide (12.19.19) Clean (Five-Day Review)


April 14, 2020: UPDATE-Guidance on Serving New Students at a Distance

Good Morning ! I hope you are doing well.

Please find a slightly updated version of the PASES tracker:The instructions tab has been updated to reflect specific column descriptions to assist users with completing appropriately.

I appreciate all you do!

PASES_New Student Tracker_Final4.14.2020


April 14, 2020: AEL Provider Funding Support for COVID-19 Response

Dear grant recipients,
Good Morning! I hope you are doing well, and I appreciate all you do!

This morning, the TWC Commission approved modifications and additional projects to support AEL grantees as part of a COVID-19 response package using available funding resources at the agency’s disposal to provide funds to quickly to providers as they redesign services and address local impacts from the pandemic. In this response package, AEL staff noted there was an increased need to support serving participants at a distance.
The documents discussed are attached (See pages 8 and 11 of the attached PDF for the AEL information) and at https://www.twc.texas.gov/materials-april-14-2020-900-amtexas-workforce-commission-meeting.
The Commission approved two response strategies to immediately support grantees

  1. First, the Commission rescinded the quarter 3 performance-based funding measure, approved on October 8, 2019, to release approximately $1 million, or 66.7% of the 3% performance-based holdback included in each grantee’s AEL allocation as described in AEL Letter 02-20, Program Year 2019–2020 Performance-Based Funding and Performance Allocation Holdbacks. To see the released amounts to each grantee, please see Page 11 of the attached PDF. (The AEL letter will be revised to include this update.)
  2. Second, the Commission expanded the scope of the Workforce Integration and Follow-Up Activities (see page 8 of the attached PDF) approved on December 17, 2019 and described in AEL Letter 04-20.  While the distribution amounts remain unchanged for this from those approved in December, the Commission approved expanding of the scope of allowable expenses under this funding to support the increases in distance and remote learning resulting from school closures. Allowable expenses now include increases in licenses for distance learning and related remote education services, including mobile messaging applications and supplies necessary for the expansion of remote and distance learning. (The AEL letter will be revised to include this update.)
  3. Third, the Commission also approved funding to TCALL to develop virtual learning resources for use in distance and remote learning activities.
  4. Finally, the Commission Increased funding to the Student Support Call Center Project to support students at a distance.

We will be making edits to both AEL letters related to these items 1 and 2.

The Commission asked that we revisit the progress of work under these projects and determine future funding needs as Texas AEL expands distance and remote instruction and other work resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,  

If you have any questions on this funding.  Please contact me.

Commission Meeting Materials 041420 Item 10a


April 7, 2020: 4/7/2020 Guidance on Remote Testing

Dear grant recipients and providers:

I hope you are doing well.

Yesterday the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) released information on virtual/remote testing on the Best 2.0 (attached).

Providers should not yet begin testing remotely until TWC provides guidance.  TWC is awaiting forthcoming guidance from the U.S. Department of Education and is developing guidance on how providers can use this option and hopes to issue this via email in the next day or two. This guidance will also be included in the FAQ document to be released this week.

Please submit your questions to AELTA@twc.state.tx.us.

BEST Plus 2.0 Virtual Test Administration Guidance 200402


April 2, 2020: Policy Concept (Chapters 800/805)

Good afternoon,

As discussed in the conference call this morning, below is the link to the Policy Concept for Rules 800/805. I have also attached (below) the email sent from TWC Govdelivery as a reference for where to send comments and public feedback.

https://twc.texas.gov/files/partners/800-805-policy-concept-approved-3-31-20-twc.pdf

-----

1. Purpose: The purpose of this communication is to engage interested parties including, but not limited to, Board chairs, members, and executive directors in TWC rule and policy development by:
--informing interested parties by providing documents regarding recent rule and policy action by the Commission (Item 2); and
--requesting feedback and comments on approved rules. This circulation may not include all actions by the Commission.

2. Commission Actions Regarding Rules and Certain Policy Items for the Week of 3-31-20:
Policy Concept: On March 31, 2020, the Commission provided guidance on the following:
Policy concept regarding Chapter 800 and Chapter 805 rules: 

High School Equivalency Subsidies (House Bill 3) and Performance-Based Funding (House Bill 1949) Policy Concept
The policy concept will be published in the “In Addition” section of the April 10, 2020, issue of the Texas Register, and will be discussed during the April 10, 2020, 11:00 a.m. conference call.

Please address feedback to TWCPolicyComments@twc.state.tx.us by COB on May 11, 2020.

To view currently proposed and recently adopted Commission rules on TWC’s website, go to http://www.twc.state.tx.us/twcinfo/rules/texas-workforce-commission-rules.html
March 27, 2020: New COVID-19 Bill Offers Lifeline for Nonprofit Budgets

Dear grantees and stakeholders:

In this difficult moment, I know so many of our non-profit provider organizations are struggling financially. Please share this  potential support available from federally backed (forgivable!) loans.  

-----

New $2 trillion Congressional COVID-19 bill offers hope for nonprofit budgets

The massive $2.2 trillion spending package just passed by Congress offers a potential lifeline to nonprofit organizations hard-hit by the COVID-19 epidemic. The bill includes $350 billion in loans as part of the "Paycheck Protection Program" to avert layoffs at small businesses and nonprofit organizations. 

The loans are forgivable -- that is, they will not need to be paid back -- provided that organizations meet requirements for not laying off employees -- that is, maintaining the average size of their workforce pre-epidemic. (Some organizations that have already had to lay off staff will be eligible as well, if they rehire those staff.) However, a 4% interest charge on the loans will need to be paid regardless.

Organizations with fewer than 500 employees will be able to apply for loans of up to $10 million per organization to cover payroll, insurance premiums, rent, and other costs incurred during the crisis. Loans will be guaranteed by the Small Business Administration, and loan applications should be submitted through banks, credit unions, or other lenders who are partnered with SBA. Turnaround time for loan approvals may be quick: The goal is for lenders to be able to offer 24-hour approvals (and equally quick payments!) to applicants as soon as next week

The inclusion of nonprofit organizations as eligible entities under the loans provision in the federal bill is critical to adult education, workforce development and human service organizations' capacity to continue to serve clients during this time of crisis. For many local practitioners, the forced move to remote services means they’re helping clients in new ways – often without access to national or state grant funding to provide services like trying to access unemployment claims or meet work requirements associated with SNAP or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits. Organizations are also seeing a wave of new jobseeker clients given the mass layoffs occurring in the hospitality, retail, and other sectors. 

These loans will be critical to enabling a robust network of training and human service organizations to persist during the crisis, but it will be vital that nonprofits are able to access loan funds and are not penalized as being risky loan recipients based on low capital resources or other standards. National Skills Coalition encourages education and workforce programs to let us know of their successes or challenges in obtaining Paycheck Protection Program loans.


March 27, 2020: DRAFT Guidance Serving New Students at a Distance

Dear grant recipients,

Good afternoon,
This will be the final email from me to you today!

Attached is draft guidance for serving new students at a distance.

Thanks to all who contributed to this!

My intention is to have you review it through April 1 to gather your questions and feedback so that when we release the final guidance it is as strong as possible.  A feedback survey is included in the attachment.

Don’t feel like you have to do that this weekend. I wanted to get this out there early because I know some of you will want to complete it since you’ll be perhaps busier next week.

Everybody, have a safe weekend and find some time to relax and enjoy your family and some hopefully nice weather where you are.

Serving New Students at a Distance_f


March 25, 2020: February Performance Report

Dear Grantees,

NOTE: Anticipate having a much expanded FAQ document out this afternoon.

In our ongoing efforts to keep the trains moving, I wanted to continue to provide regular communication on monthly performance. While we wait for a response and more information from our federal partners on potential performance modifications, we will continue to pull data as we always have and include a footnote (starting with March data) indicating the impact of COVID-19. This will allow us to capture the impact for historical purposes.

Attached you will find the February performance reports. Your assigned program support staff will send participant level data to you, as usual.

I also want to remind you of the new TEAMS MSG Management Report that is available now! Mahalia Baldini will be completing a recorded webinar that highlights the new functionality and how this report can be used locally to support performance improvement. While the timing of this report may not be ideal as you are all working diligently to establish remote and/or distance learning options for students and little opportunity to provide testing services, it will be a valuable tool once we get back to normal business operations and presents a good opportunity to get to know the report features.

Also, be on the lookout for some guidance on enrolling new students during this time when testing to establish eligibility may not be available. We are developing a tool for use in documenting new enrollments! This approach will help us to continue to tell the story of all the thoughtful and innovative practices that are being deployed locally to continue to support our students that need us during this time.

Many thank and  TWC, the AEL Team, and I greatly appreciate your efforts to keep the trains running!

AEL - MPR Summary Report
AEL Measurable Skills Gain Contracted Jul 1, 2019 - Feb 29, 2020
AEL MSG Management Report Jul 1, 2019 - Feb 29, 2020


March 21, 2020: Recording- 3.19.20 AEL/TWC Coronavirus Update

Dear grant recipients and providers,

Please review the recording of our first 3.19.20 AEL/TWC Coronavirus Update conference call. https://youtu.be/EufgCjXaZl8?t=1  (Excuse the audio problem. Due to technical problems, I had to join by calling Lori Slayton’s phone which she held up to her mic.)  

I’m working your question into the next version of our FAQ, which we hope to release Monday.  

As a reminder we have another call next Thursday, March 26th, the bi-weekly call will be held as scheduled with only a slight modification; TCALL will be hosting the call via web-ex. Please join us at 10:30 am via the web-ex link below,

https://tcall.webex.com/tcall/j.php?MTID=m3bd94eb00c3da0b33467a6db53856f98

password: twc
March 20, 2020: Distance Learning and Remote Instructional Support and Calls

Dear grant recipients and providers,

Next Thursday, March 26th, the bi-weekly call will be held as scheduled with only a slight modification; TCALL will be hosting the call via web-ex. Please join us at 10:30 am via the web-ex link below,
https://tcall.webex.com/tcall/j.php?MTID=m3bd94eb00c3da0b33467a6db53856f98
password: twc

An agenda will be sent separately as we get closer to Thursday.

As a reminder, Monday we will be hosting a Q&A Forum focused on distance learning and remote instruction. Myself and several of our finest subject matter experts will be available to discuss and respond to your questions from the field. These topics are so critical to the continuation and expansion of Adult Education and Literacy programs that we will hold sessions twice on Monday, see web-ex information below to join us:

Monday 10 – 11:30 am:
Link to webex: https://tcall.webex.com/tcall/j.php?MTID=m7cff581b33eb8e09d455b3ac3813635d
Password: twc (lower case)
Call in: +1-415-655-0002 US Toll
Access code: 808 809 966

Monday 3 – 4:30 pm:
Link to Webex: https://tcall.webex.com/tcall/j.php?MTID=mb96239f1bf970a356061a224f80671b3
Password: twc (lower case)
Call in: +1-415-655-0002 US Toll
Access code: 802 734 688

Been thrust into the brave new world of “remote” education?, we have the session for you!
This is different from distance learning, and we have gathered a panel of AEL remote instructors to present “I’m Taking My Classroom Virtual, Now What?” This extended webinar will provide remote instructors with an overview of various online learning platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts and WebEx, and includes demonstrations of engaging tools to keep students active while participating in a virtual classroom.

Divided into four 30-minute segments, this webinar includes the ability for participants to join in each of the rooms to check them out. See information below to join us:

Wednesday, March 25th 10:00 am – 12:00 pm: Registration is through the PD Portal Events Calendar. See https://tcall.tamu.edu/PD-Portal.html . Support on PD Portal? Contact (800) 441-7323 or PDPortal@TAMU.edu

To further assist during this unprecedented time, TCALL has developed and instituted the “Distance Learning Curriculum Help Desk for Teachers,” a group of remote instructors who have volunteered their time to share with you their own experiences with specific TWC-approved Distance Learning Curriculum. This group can be found on the TCALL COVID-19 landing page, or through the direct link here:
https://tcall.tamu.edu/docs/TCALL-AEL-DistanceLearningCurriculumHelpDeskAvailability_32020_nophone.pdf.

Although we are in uncertain times, Texas AEL strives to bring quality education to our participants, and we will continue to support you in any way that we can!

Onward!
March 19, 2020: YOUR SURVEY RESULTS: AEL Updates During COVID-19 Pandemic

Good evening!
As an update, please find attached the results from your responses to the first survey. 

These might be helpful for you to see what your peers are doing in response.

Texas Provider Data All 200319


March 19, 2020: AEL 05-20, Modifications to Grants Awarded under TWC RFP 320-18-01

Good afternoon grantees and providers:

Many thanks again for your responsiveness and communication during this period!

As discussed in today’s Q&A on responding to challenges that have come up due to the COVID-19 service delays, attached is the AEL Letter 05-20, Modifications to Grants Awarded under TWC RFP 320-18-01, Adult Education and Literacy Service Provider Grant.

This letter clarifies that language in RFP 320-18-01 related to a fifteen percent budget restriction for laptops and similar items, is removed, in order to remain consistent with 2 CFR 200 cost principles.

As a reminder, all equipment purchases of $5,000 or more must have prior approval and submitted with Form 7100 (attached). Instructions for this can be found on page 3.

This letter is posted on the TWC “Workforce Policy & Guidance” page at https://twc.texas.gov/agency/laws-rules-policy/workforce-policy-and-guidance

Many thanks to all of you for your questions and clear communications at this time. We look forward to our call with you on Monday.

7100 Request for Purchase Review
AEL-05-20-TWC


March 17, 2020: AEL Updates During COVID-19 Pandemic

Dear providers,

I know you are all very busy with preparations related to local responses to COVID 19.  I want to thank all of you for the valuable feedback you have provided us, and I appreciate the direct communications to me.   Please do not hesitate to text or email me at the contact info below.

TCALL has worked with my team to develop a COVID-19 response page https://tcall.tamu.edu/index.htm  where we plan to post TWC updates today, a FAQ, and distance learning resources.

Many thanks to Jorge, Lori  and the TCALL team for all their support in building this so fast!

Please consult this frequently as events are fast moving.

My team is moving to 100% telework, but they do lots of that as you know, so there should be no disruptions.
March 16, 2020: Distance Learning Plan Submission Date Change

Dear Grantees,

Due to the current circumstances regarding the COVID-19 virus, the deadline for submission of your Distance Learning Plan has been moved from April 15, 2020 to May 31, 2020. This may be pushed out further, depending on how things progress. As we continue to hope for the health and safety of all AEL Grantees, students and stakeholders, you may check for TWC updates on the revised TCALL landing page, here: https://tcall.tamu.edu/index.htm.


March 13, 2020: February Data Validation

Dear Grantees,

Thank you for taking the time to submit the survey on COVID-19 local impact. If you have not yet done so, please take the time to complete it at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AELimpact.

After discussions with our Department of Operational Insight (DOI) and external/internal stakeholders, we are notifying you of the following:

  • Should you feel an extension to February data validation is needed, please submit an email to TEAMS.technicalassistance@twc.state.tx.us with your request for an extension in the subject line. Include in your request an expected completion date.
  • Statewide data reports will be compiled and distributed on schedule with a footnote to include potential impact to COVID-19 closures and delays, but will not be delayed due to requested extensions

We are in discussions and planning for Q3 Data Sign Off and will release another statement early next week after we are able to better understand local decisions for closure and determining potential impact to PBF measure B.

Again, thank you for your feedback and ongoing communication as we work through the many unknowns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. We are with you!
March 12, 2020: AEL COVID-19 Impact Survey

TWC is monitoring recent developments of coronavirus (COVID-19) and is evaluating the best course of action for our customers.  I will be sure to provide you updates as we learn them. Feel free to text or email me questions  (cell: 512-348-5874, anson.green@twc.state.tx.us).

In an effort to assist our planning and support to you and your students, I would like to ask you to complete this survey as soon as possible. Grantees who are consortia, please send the survey to your subs.  We will be happy to share collected data on subs with the corresponding grantees.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AELimpact


March 11, 2020: AEL Evaluation Survey 2020

Dear grantees and providers,

I hope that some of you who are on spring break are enjoying yourselves and being safe - those going next week will do the same.

Attached you will find a survey going out to all AEL providers that I mentioned at our last business meeting and in a recent bi-weekly phone call. If you are a primary contact, please forward this to all of your sub-recipients.

Evaluation Survey: TWC AEL and Division of Operational Insight have joined together to evaluate what kinds of services/activities are offered to students during orientation and/or the first three weeks of class instruction. We (TWC) will use that information to evaluate whether some services or a combination of services may be related to better student retention rates and more positive outcomes (i.e. more gains). The findings of this study will then be passed on to the grantees/providers for them to use as potential program improvement techniques. We anticipate completing the study by the end of 2020.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AELevalsurvey2020

Please complete this survey by March 27th .
March 3, 2020: January Monthly Performance Reports

Dear Grantees,
Good Morning!

Thank you all for such a great business meeting at TALAE this year!

I know we threw a lot of information at you, but we want to ensure you have deep knowledge of how we (TWC) are being measured by OCTAE and how your local efforts support statewide performance.

Attached you will find January performance through several reports:

  • Monthly Performance Report—this is a holistic look at enrollment, MSG, Credential, and Employment measures as of data available through January 31st, 2020
  • Breakdown Reports—Reports that take each of the above measures and gives a simple breakout by Grantee

BAEL also sends you a trend of your expenditures by funding group. These reports assist you with having a comprehensive view of grant health. Our expectation is that these are reviewed and analyzed in detail with appropriate staff so that you can develop and implement local strategies of improvement. For example, if your reports are showing that you are exceeding your enrollment targets but not meeting MSG’s or spending your money—you should develop a plan that supports quality improvement on outcomes and expenditures. Maybe this is the purchase of additional supplies, equipment, distance learning needs, etc…
If you are spending all your money but not meeting your enrollment or MSG’s—you should analyze cause/effect for those results. Are you overstaffed? Too much money for facilities/overhead? Large but ineffective marketing strategies?

Our goal at its core is simple: We want to serve as many Texans each year and lead those individuals to positive measurable outcomes and achievements in academic/literacy gains, post-secondary education and employment. We (TWC) want to support you in this effort and will continue to provide additional data and refined policies and processes.

I really appreciate all the feedback received and I continue to marvel at your continued efforts. Keep up the charge! I want to blow the performance away this year and celebrate come July!

AEL - MPR Summary Report
AEL Enrollments Jul 1, 2019 - Jan 31, 2020
AEL MSG Management Report Jul 1, 2019 - Jan 31, 2020
AEL Measurable Skills Gain Contracted Jul 1, 2019 - Jan 31, 2020


February 15, 2020: Ad Hoc Distance Learning Plan due April 15th

Dear Grantees,

In the TWC State Distance Learning Policy, AEL Providers have certain requirements for maintaining a Distance Learning (DL) Plan. From the State DL Policy;

All AEL providers offering distance learning classes will develop and maintain a Distance Learning Plan, which must be available for review at the request of TWC. AEL providers may have a single plan that includes subcontractors and partner agencies, or it may oversee multiple program plans that consortium members and subcontractors develop themselves.
The Distance Learning Plan is first developed during participation in Module 3 of the Distance Learning Academy. Program leadership must maintain the plan with revisions, as needed, to accommodate changes in the delivery of distance courses, including the addition of new distance learning curricula, new sites, new technology, and/or new distance learning providers.

At this time, TWC is requesting an Ad Hoc submission of your Distance Learning Plan to be submitted on April 15th, 2020. Reports should be submitted to the AEL Distance Learning mailbox at aeldistancelearning@twc.state.tx.us. If you have questions about submissions, please email the AEL Distance Learning mailbox.

The full State Distance Learning Policy may be found here, including Professional Development requirements for all staff participating in DL:
https://tcall.tamu.edu/twcael/initiatives/dlstatepol.html

To support you in updating/revising your DL plan, we have arranged for Jen Vanek from WorldEd to host a webinar on February 25, 2020 from 12:00 – 1:00pm. Jen is a nationally-renowned Distance Learning expert and will guide us through what a good DL plan should look like and how to revitalize an existing DL plan. Registration for the webinar is through the PD Portal Events Calendar. If you have questions about registration, please contact pdportal@tamu.edu.

A copy of the current TWC AEL Distance Learning Plan template is below.

Distance Learning Plan


January 30, 2020: Performance-based funding winners 2020

Dear AEL grantees,
Good morning!
I would like to congratulate the grantees who successfully earned the first performance-based funding set aside this year by achieving 65% of their contract enrollment target by the end of the second-quarter which ended December 31.  

The TWC finance office will release the performance based funding hold back in CDER.

Grantees who did not earn this performance funding will have these funds removed from their grant at a later date.

AEL Total Enrollments PBF Jul 1, 2019 - Dec 31, 2019 (Corrected)


January 28, 2020: December Performance Report

Dear Grantees,

As discussed on the bi-weekly call January 16th, we will begin sharing all the non-participant level data each month as we receive it from our Department of Operational Insight (DOI). I have attached the reports as of December 2019. We are reviewing the reports for the Performance Based Funding (PBF), Measure A (1%) results and will have a separate correspondence to announce the release of those funds.

Why are the Exit Based Reports Missing?
We needed to clarify a few items on the exit based reports (Credential/Employment) before distribution and did not want to delay the transmittal.

How can we use these reports?
We will be discussing performance measures at the TALAE pre-conference (Feb. 12th) to ensure that you:

  • Understand how performance is calculated across several measures
  • Understand how local management choices can influence performance and
  • Can analyze improvement strategies, if necessary

If you have any questions about the reports, please send them through AELTA@twc.state.tx.us

We have many exciting things in the works to assist local programs, such as, additional reports and functionality in TEAMS and an extension of data review through an Agency purchased data warehouse—all coming soon-ish!

AEL MPR Summary Report - Dec 2020
AEL Measurable Skills Gain Contracted Jul 1, 2019 - Dec 31, 2019
AEL MSG Management Report Jul 1, 2019 - Dec 31, 2019
Missing SSN Rate Jul 1, 2013 - Dec 31, 2019
AEL Enrollments Jul 1, 2019 - Dec 31, 2019


January 8, 2020: Deploys 1/10/2020 TEAMS 4.8 Full Release Notes_F

Dear Grantees,

In our ongoing efforts to create a more user friendly and WIOA aligned data management system, we have the following updates to share with you. The attached release notes are for you to share with your staff and partners to ensure they understand the changes being made in the system, how it will influence their daily process or provide additional features to support decision making locally.

The deployment of these changes will go into effect Friday, 1/10/2020. A summary of the changes include:

  • Ability to add high school diploma as both a credential and an MSG on the Educational Outcomes screen
  • Ability for users with ‘write’ access (Data Entry, Supervisor and Directors) to edit Date of Birth (DOB), Social Security Numbers (SSN) and Gender in the system—you will no longer have to send these to TWC
  • Additional POP report extract filter options: Contact Information and Identity Information
  • Addition of ‘Other Document Number’ on the POP report summary page

The next release (4.9) tentatively scheduled for 2/1/2020 will be a Measurable Skills Gain (MSG) management report.  Be on the lookout for additional information and prototypes in the next few weeks followed by webinars on how to use the report!

As we continue to strategically plan for updates in TEAMS, our goal is to be as proactive as we can to allow you time to communicate updates and train staff. Looking forward to sharing some exciting new features with you in 2020!


2019


November 7, 2019: Save the Date Career Navigator Convening

We are happy to announce a wonderful resource this winter for our valuable career navigators!  
As a preconference to the Texas Association for Literacy and Adult Education (TALAE) conference this February, we will be having a Career Navigator Convening on  February 12th 2020!

PLEASE share with your navigators!  More info and registration forthcoming.

Also, please submit your ideas to help build the agenda here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/28QMLK7.
November 7, 2019: TEAMS 4.6 Release Webinar

Dear Grantees,

We wanted to release a ‘just in time’ webinar to go over the recent updates in TEAMS 4.6 release.

The changes in the system were to align system functionality to guidance found in AEL Letter 02-19 and AEL Letter 05-18 (view this policy here). These changes require data that supports the collection of important student information that allows us to continue to remove the TANF eligibility burden for you and support the AEL Combined funding model. This information also supports improved high school equivalency data matches with TEA and performance data collection for exit-based performance measures.

We appreciate all the feedback that you provided via the survey and we are working on options to possibly extend the October data entry deadline.

Some of you were more impacted than others and we are sensitive to those needs.

Please review the webinar or share it with staff that may want additional background on the TEAMS 4.6 release changes.

http://twc.adobeconnect.com/p20imgttpy7s/

If you have any questions regarding the release or need assistance, please send inquiries to TEAMS.technicalassistance@twc.state.tx.us.
Due to the ‘just in time’ nature of this webinar, it will not be posted online.

Many thanks to our AEL Supervisor Mahalia Baldini, who manages all of the TEAMS system enhancements, and the AEL provider “A-TEAM”, our team of expert TEAMS users and performance accountability experts, who support us in the development of policy and guidance.     


October 28, 2019: September AEL performance data

Good Morning Grantees!
Please find attached September AEL performance data that will be useful for you to determine how your fall efforts stack up and for you to complete your quarter 1 report.

[Download data document]


October 22, 2019: Accelerate Texas / Ability to Benefit Convening

Attached are the following items related to the Accelerate Texas / Ability to Benefit Convening:

Date: 12/3/2019 (This is a pre-conference to the TWC Annual Workforce Conference)
8:30 a.m.- 4:00p.m. (Lunch will be on your own and there are multiple restaurants at the hotel.)

Gaylord Texas Resort and Convention Center
1501 Gaylord Trail
Grapevine, TX 76051
Room –Texas 3 & 4

Meeting Goals
The goals of this convening are to provide a detailed review of integrated education and training (IET) model compliance and related measurable skill gains and credential performance. In doing this, we also have the objective of providing an opportunity for creating a peer-to-peer community within AEL.

Please make your travel arrangements and plan to join us on December 3rd. The TWC Annual Workforce Conference starts after lunch on Wednesday, December 4th, and we invite you to attend that event as well.
  
We look forward to seeing you as a group, sharing practices and learning from one another. If you have any questions, please reach out to Alaina Zachmann, our new administrative assistant. She answer or route your question to the right person.  

Have a great week and look for additional information and requests for contributions to this session (via power points and presentation.)
October 14, 2019: PY '19-'20 Performance-based Funding Measures

On Tuesday, October 8th, the Commission approved the performance-based funding criteria for PY’19-’20 as discussed biweekly conference call.   If you have questions, please send them to AELTA@twc.state.tx.us.  

We will be developing a webinar to explain these measures very soon.

Categories A and B are similar to measures from previous program years, and Category C is the implementation of new Texas Statute, House Bill 1949, described below.

Category A: Early Enrollment—Participants Served by the Second Quarter of the Program Year (33.33% of PY ’19-’20 PBF)

Description: To help ensure that AEL programs meet expectations for the total number of participants to be served, grant recipients will be awarded approximately 33.33 percent of their PY’19 performance-based funding allocations, once approved by the Commission, if they have met 65 percent of the negotiated target for total participants to be served based on their “base” PY’19–’20 allocations (that is, excluding carryforward targets), as approved by the Commission August 27, 2019, by the end of the second quarter. 

This measure does not include carryforward targets associated with PY’18–’19 funds.

Access to Funds: Funds for achievement of this measure will be released after the second quarter of PY’19, once approved by the Commission.

Category B: Measurable Skill Gains  (66.67% of PY ’19-’20 PBF)

Description: To increase performance in measurable skill gains (MSGs), grant recipients will be awarded approximately 66.67 percent of their PY’19 performance-based funding allocation, once approved by the Commission, if by March 31, 2020, participants enrolled in the first two quarters of the program year meets the grant recipients’ first to third quarter MSG targets (approved by the Commission on August 27, 2019 ).

Access to Funds: Funds for achievement of this measure will be released after the third quarter of PY’19, once approved by the Commission.

Category C: HSE or Ability to Benefit Enrollment and Achievement (33.33% of PY’20-’21 PBF for PY’19-’20 Performance)

Description: HB 1949 requires the Commission to consider certain criteria when awarding performance-based funding. To receive funding in this category, grant recipients must meet both of the following criteria:

  • At least 25 percent of all PY’19–’20 participants served in the program year must be enrolled in an HSE or postsecondary ability to benefit program.*
  • At least 70 percent of participants who were in an HSE or postsecondary program during the program year and exited during the program year must achieve either an HSE or a recognized postsecondary credential.
  • Denominator: All PY’19–’20 participants who were in an HSE or postsecondary ability to benefit program during the program year and exited during the program year
  • Numerator: Exiters from the denominator who achieved an HSE or postsecondary credential during the PY or after exit

To ensure that AEL grantees meet expectations for HB 1949, they will be awarded approximately 33.33 percent of their Commission-approved PY’20 performance-based funding allocations, once approved by the Commission, if they meet the targets as described.

Access to Funds: This category focuses on all participants served in the entire PY and also focuses on those participants who were in an HSE or ability to benefit program and exited during the PY. This means that is it not possible to determine whether a grant recipient qualified for the award until more than 90 days after June 30, 2020, because exit occurs when a participant does not receive AEL participatory services for more than 90 days and that period was not part of a planned gap. To account for the delay in determining results under this category, the Commission will approve and award performance-based funding for this category after the first quarter of the next program year, PY’20.

*Consistent with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Credential Rate Denominator, a participant in an HSE program is a participant who reaches an Educational Functioning Level of at least ABE 5 in all domains or takes and passes a portion of the HSE exam. A postsecondary ability to benefit program is a postsecondary credential program for individuals who lack a high school diploma or equivalency, qualify for federal student financial aid, and demonstrate on an assessment instrument, such as the Texas Success Initiative Assessment, that they can pass college-level courses with some support.

A forth measure is included to support career pathways toward Measure C, Category D: Milestones in Meeting HSE or Ability to Benefit Enrollment and Achievement is included and will be further define once TWC has sufficient data to establish milestone targets.
September 27, 2019: Monthly Performance Report (MPR) for August 2019

What a productive meeting we had this week on performance!

Thanks for everyone’s contributions.  I learned so much about what you are doing. Where you are going, and what you need.

I had to end the weak with some Performance!  

Attached you will find the Monthly Performance Report (MPR) for August 2019. These numbers will include any enrollments/participants by category from July 1-August 31st 2019. Since final targets were not approved by the Commission until August 27th, 2019, we did not supply you with a July MPR.

MSG’s
While MSG’s are typically low this time of year due to the newness of full class schedules, I encourage you to put in a lot of effort when planning and tracking MSG’s. I am so excited to discuss all the great strides made last year at our upcoming Fall Institute, but we need to keep our eyes and focus on participant needs this year as well and ensure that we are leading participants to the outcomes they hired us to help them do! It starts with developing and implementing a quality model for student success—putting in the work to retain our students and that starts at first contact with us.

Enrollments
I wanted to make one clarification on the proportional target methodology. The proportional target is meant to give you a percent of full target to strive for each month. It is not representative of AEL’s enrollment trends, but rather a simple calculation of taking your full target dividing by 12 (mos) and then multiplying that number by the program month we are in within the program year. Example: 100% / 12 (mos) = 8.33% x the reporting month we are in ( August = 2). So, 8.33% x 2 = 16.67% . Take your full target and times it by 16.67% for August enrollment target.

What is more important is to understand your local trends when recruiting and planning your enrollment periods. We all know that the same number of students do not walk in the door each month, so you have to analyze your peaks periods and plan more heavily for your low enrollment periods—balancing these ebbs/flows will help keep enrollment strong to the end of the program year!

I am looking forward to another fabulous year!
August 21, 2019: EOY MPR PY 18-19

Congratulations on another program year in the books ! We are excited for PY 19-20 and joint efforts for continuing improvements to our outcomes in PY 19-20!

In looking at last year’s performance, I wanted to identify some progress we have made in certain areas:

  • Increase in # of grant recipients meeting the Measurable Skill Gains!  As you all know, this is an area of continued focus for us in PY 19-20 and we are counting on you to implement successful strategies to improve.  This measure show the extent to which participants are learning in your program. WIOA give us a lot of tools and new measures to document progress.  Please use them.
  • Increase in number of Participants making educational gains in reading, language and math!
  • Improvement in Credential Rate, largely due to the TEAMS data fixes that connected more participants to High School Equivalency (HSE) through data match and your efforts in IET credential attainment tracking and reporting where we are showing progress, but have a long way to go.  Let’s support these Recognized Postsecondary Credentials and enter them into TEAMs!
  • Building collection of SSNs that support exit-based measure collection (and state-level TANF eligibility matching)
  • More students getting Civics Education!
  • More students getting training through quality an IET models
  • Providing more Intensive Services in the areas of Employer Engagement/Workplace Literacy, Re-entry for Justice Involved Individuals, and Foreign Trained ELL Professionals!

You are carrying the message for Texas and we see you!

Review your data against the peers, meet with your leadership teams, ask questions, ask us/me, and develop strategies for conquering your performance challenges.

The September institute will focus solely on this.  

For PY 19-20, I want us to continue our efforts in these areas and laser focus on:

  • getting students to outcomes through thoughtful comprehensive assessment. Do you really understand the “job” your students are “hiring” you to do or are they voting with their feet and leaving after too few hours? Are you gathering Planned MSGs and using them?
  • increasing understanding of performance and reporting .  Know your Assessment Guide and AEL 01-18 and 01-19!  Watch the webinars: https://tcall.tamu.edu/twcael/TEAMSResources.htm  
  • developing best practices for use of the basic education MSGs and post-testing
  • collecting  follow-up documentation for exit-based measures
  • meeting our expenditure benchmarks by developing quality programs and follow up-tracking. Unspent funds means you community is not being adequately served. Unspent PD funds means your TEAM (who delivers performance) is not being adequately supported!

We will be analyzing EOY reports and reaching out to programs who need some technical assistance on targeted areas.

Don’t be shy, dialog with men (cell: 512-348-5874).  We are all in this together.

I’m looking forward to working with you again this year and finding more student success stories for Texans in PY 19-20!

2018


November 14, 2018: AEL Monthly Performance Report for September 2018

As I shared on our last all-grantee phone call, I will begin sharing the monthly performance report (known as the MPR) for all statewide performance. 

In sharing this, we are working to increase transparency of performance across the state as envisioned under WIOA, as well as help you gauge your performance in the context of other grantees across the state.

The performance numbers for your program use the same methodology, and thus are the same, as the program status sheets.
As you read this the explanations are probably obvious: -P = Less than 95% of target; MP = 95% to less than 105% of target; +P = 105% or more of target

We encourage you to use the MPR to work with your staff and / or consortium partners for program improvement and to identify peers for opportunities such as sharing best practices.

For now, we will only be sending these via email transmittal. They will not be posted on our website.


October 18, 2018: Release of TEAMS Version 3.8

We are excited to announce the release of TEAMS version 3.8 on Monday, October 22.  TEAMS will be down beginning Friday, October 19 at 6:00 PM as we begin moving the release to the live system.

This release contains, for the first time ever, the ability to see an individual’s periods of participation, including when a participant has exited. 

In advance of the release, we invite you to view this pre-recorded webinar that outlines these changes.

The webinar can be viewed here: http://twc.adobeconnect.com/pczgfz29wfgv/

Thank you, and we look forward to this next exciting phase of TEAMS!


September 28, 2018: Deliverable 6.8

Please find attached the template for deliverable 6.8, Assurance of Full Services Implementation for Adult Education and Literacy Programs.

I missed this in our timeline and as a result we are extending the deadline to October 15, 2018.

Thanks for your patience and thank you for your continued great work!   I visited with several of you this week and am ending the week very impressed!

[Download Attachment]


August 30, 2018: Action Required - AEL Enrollment Target Negotiations

Attached to this email you will find your target negotiation tool for PY18-19.  Please read the instructions below carefully.
Please send all questions related to completing the tool to Carrie Tupa and Adam Leonard, with a copy to freda.jackson@twc.state.tx.us, charmagne.coston@twc.state.tx.us, and your assigned program specialist. 

Overview of the Target Negotiation Tool
The target negotiation tool provides a summary of the targets used in the proposal process for RFP 320-18-01, updated targets with the revised allocations, and TWC staff recommended targets.

  • Base Targets from AEL RFP 320-18-01: These are the targets that were provided in the target setting tool when completing your application under RFP 320-18-01
  • Base Targets using Allocations: These are the targets, using the same methodology applied in RFP 320-18-01, updated for revised final allocation approved by the Commission on 7/3/18
  • Alternate Targets Suggested by Staff: These are TWC staff recommendations based on recognized statewide and local trends as well as updated legislative targets and planning

Process

  • Select your grantee from the dropdown menu in Cell A2

Select a Grantee example

  • Rows 5 and 6 will display the planning estimates from the RFP and the Approved allocations

Planning Estimates Display

In these rows:

  • Column B is the amount you have to spend on direct services (your total allocation minus performance funding and professional development funds)
  • Column C is the amount you have to be spent on EL Civics (IET and non IET)
  • Column D is the amount that we anticipate you spending on Career Advancement Models (IET EL Civics, Intensive and IET) using staff recommendations
  • In the yellow cells, enter your proposed target negotiations for EL Civics, IET EL Civics, Intensive and IET.  Total served will automatically adjust based on the values you enter in the other columns.  If you propose keeping the staff recommended amounts, please still enter those amounts in the cells and save and return following the instructions below.
  • Your formal TWC targets are:
    Column B: EL Civics
    Column C: IET EL Civics
    Column F: Intensive
    Column H: IET
    Column L: Total Participants Served

    Columns K and M are informational only and not official TWC targets
  • Errors: Before you submit your tool, you will want to check for errors. 
    1) Error in Cell D13 – If you have an error in cell D13 you must remedy it.  Since EL Civics funds can only be spent on EL Civics services, the total targets in these columns must add up to an amount that will expend these funds.
    2) Error in Cell F13 – Your proposed intensive target needs to be at least 35% of your total IET EL Civics and IET targets.  If you are proposing a smaller amount, you must provide a justification when you send the tool back.
    3) Error in Cell H13 – The sum of your proposed IET EL Civics Target and IET target need to be at least 90% of the sum of the base IET EL Civics Target and IET target (in row 10), meaning you can only decrease the total of these amounts by 10% from what is in the base targets.  If you are proposing to decrease these targets by more than 10%, resulting in an error, you must provide a justification when you send the tool back.
    4) Error in Cell I13 – The amount to be spent on Career Advancement Models (cell D12 + cell G12 + cell I12) needs to meet or exceed the amount in cell D6. 
    5) Error in Cell L13 – The total amount of participants to be service (cell L12) needs to be at least 95% of the Base targets (cell L11), meaning any adjustments you make from staff recommendations cannot result in a reduction of total served by more than 5%.  If you are proposing an alternative, you must provide a justification when you send the tool back.

Returning the Tool
Send the tool, saved as “Program Name_PY18 AEL participants Served Target Negotiation Tool for Grantees”, to Adam Leonard, adam.leonard@twc.state.tx.us, with a copy to Freda Jackson, Freda.jackson@twc.state.tx.us and Carrie Tupa, carrie.tupa@twc.state.tx.us
Include any justifications for negotiations outside of the recommended range in the body of your email. 

Due Date
We cannot approve any negotiations until we receive all negotiations and can review for statewide levels, so please return your tool as soon as possible via the instructions above, but no later than Monday, September 10. 

Questions

Please send all questions related to completing the tool to Carrie Tupa and Adam Leonard, with a copy to freda.jackson@twc.state.tx.us, charmagne.coston@twc.state.tx.us, and your assigned program specialist.

[Download Attachment


August 29, 2018: Professional Development Plan Template and Revised Staff Qualifications and Training Chart

Below you will find the template to be used to develop your local Professional Development (PD) plan as well as a revised Staff Qualifications and Training Chart.

Since this template has evolved considerably over the last few weeks, we are extending the due date for this grant deliverable (6.2) to October 31st, 2018.

Our expectations are that your local team responsible for PD, accountability/quality assurance/instruction/DL will work with your assigned PD Specialist and TWC Program Specialist to ensure that not only is this seen as a compliance document to satisfy a deliverable, but more importantly as a planning tool developed after extensive local data analysis and discussion.

As you identify target areas based on your analysis, create goals that will aide in addressing and/or improving targeted areas of concern. Please see this as a living document and as goals are being met, it should be revised to ensure that continuous planning is in place.

As always, please feel free to reach out to your assigned staff if you have any questions.

[Download Attachment 1] [Download Attachment 2]


August 14, 2018: Report Templates

Thank you for your patience as we worked to develop a more purposeful and efficient template for the following deliverables as well as revise due dates:

6.1 Detailed Project Plan & Expenditure Projection—Due September 15th, 2018
6.7 Sub-Recipient Monitoring Report—Due last day of month following end of quarter: October 31, January 31st, April 30th and July 31st.
6.11 Quarter Narrative Report—Due last day of month following end of quarter: October 31, January 31st, April 30th and July 31st.

The attached spreadsheet contains all three deliverable templates along with instructions for how to complete. The first deliverable due is the Detailed Project Plan & Expenditure Projections (6.1). You should submit the entire spreadsheet even though template for deliverable 6.11 and 6.7 will be blank at this time. Moving forward, you will continue to use your Detailed Project Plan to build and report quarterly narrative and sub-recipient monitoring reports. Please make sure you save a copy to your own device and name using your contract number for easy tracking when submitted.

For your convenience, a pre-recorded webinar with detailed instructions can be located at this web address: http://twc.adobeconnect.com/p981iw2lm3vi/ .

If you still need assistance in completing the template, reach out to your assigned Contract Manager.

Again, thank you for your patience.

[Download Attachment]


August 14, 2018: Cash Draw and Grant Closeout Packages Due ASAP

CDER will be down starting close of business, August 23, 2018 through September 3, 2018 for FY18 closeout. For this reason you will need to ensure that any cash draw requests and/or Grant Closeout Packages are submitted by August 20, 2018. Take into consideration that cash draw requests can also take up to 3 business days to process. Please do not wait and risk missing the deadline!

We strongly encourage that you share this with your finance department and anyone else in your institution who will be impacted.

Contact your Grant Manager immediately if you have any questions.
July 10, 2018: Revise Draft Approach to Collecting MSG for IET Participants

In preparation for the summer institute, I wanted to provide an update on a change we are making related to performance accountability for IET’s.  This change will be reflected in a future revision to AEL 01-18, Educational Outcomes for Adult Education and Literacy.

MSGs For IET Participants
BACKGROUND Historical IET program performance has revealed that certain programs models have inconsistent and / or weak provisions of basic education (reading, writing, math, English language), sometimes resulting in high failure rates among students. 
This weak performance reduces the likelihood of students successfully completing postsecondary education and training and entering employment. 
Grantees must ensure a rigorous and intensive contextualized education provided in IETs to best support the educational and career advancement of the student.
TWC research on educational outcomes (largely the Pretest-Posttest (Type 1a MSG) uncovered that, despite weaknesses in certain program models, overall, students in IET programs perform better in both MSG and Credential attainment rates than students not in IET programs.  For PY’16 –‘17, rates for MSG for all participants were 48% compared to the Non-IET participant rate of 34%.

DRAFT REQUIREMENT
For program year ’18-’19, grantees must be aware that to support the educational and career advancement of IET participants, providers must report and document MSGs that measure both basic education and workforce training performance.
MSGs that measure basic education include:

  • Achievement on a Pretest-Posttest (Type 1a). For IET participants, testing may be in only the basic education domain identified as most critical for the participant to succeed in the workforce training as documented by the common learning objectives of the IET; and
  • HSE Achievement (Type 2).

Note: The Postsecondary Enrollment MSG (Type 1b) does not apply to participants enrolled in IET because participants in IET do not exit AEL services.
MSGs that measure workforce training include

  • Postsecondary Transcript or Report Card in IET (Type 3);
  • Progress Milestone in IET MSG (Type 4); and
  • Skills Progression MSG (Type 5).

Collecting MSGs that measure basic education competencies will

  • better ensure students’ successfully pass workforce training and complete IETs and earn a Recognized Postsecondary Credential;
  • support the potential for continued postsecondary education or training and career advancement; and
  • support advances in overall MSG attainment for Texas.

The revised AEL letter 01-18 (not yet published) will be distributed at the institute and will clarify how IET programs can support participant MSG gains through the alignment of both basic education and workforce training competencies to the IET common learning objectives. 
I wanted to provide early notice so that you could revise your IET implementation strategy accordingly.

Questions? https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/IET-MSGS
July 6, 2018: New Year Now Open in TEAMS!

I’m pleased to announce that the new year is open in TEAMS for data entry!  Please note some important information related to the new year:

Continuing Grant Recipients
If there has been any change in the configuration of your grant, you will have a new grantee ID in TEAMS, and will either need to have your access updated or get a separate account.  The primary POC should have received an email with specific instructions from Carrie Tupa.  For further information, please contact your program specialist.  If there has been a change in your grantee ID, you cannot rollover classes.

All Grant Recipients

  • Updates to the participant profile have been initiated for the new PY that ensure more accurate data entry through validation checks.  A summary of these changes can be found in the attached document.
  • As mentioned on the grantee call this week, it is imperative that you properly set up your providers and sites.  Many of you should only have 1-2 providers.  A provider is the entity who is actually providing direct services.  If you are providing services at a specific location, that should be set up as a site not a provider.  We will be sending separate emails to some grantees who have this set up incorrectly in previous years. 

Please let your program support specialist know if you have any questions, and here’s to a great new year!

[Download Attachment]


July 2, 2018: Send Out Q4 Narrative Template

Attached you will find your last quarterly narrative for RFP 320-14-10.  I greatly appreciate the hard work you have all done to build such a successful system for adult learners under TWC first AEL statewide grant award!  You have all really delivered in many ways.    

As stated on the last conference call, the deadline for the submission of these were extended to Monday, July 16th.

Also, a reminder your 4th quarter Data Sign Off (DSO), and Sub-Monitoring report are also due July 16th.
  
Please let me know if you have any questions.

[Download Attachment]


May 17, 2018: TABE 11/12 Guidance

We have had several discussions about the TABE 11/12 on our grantee phone call, and recently requested feedback from you all via survey monkey. We have finalized our guidance on the implementation of TABE 11/12 and are working on an AEL letter to outline these requirements.

In the meantime, I wanted to provide you with this information so that you can plan accordingly in your programs.

Why do we have to switch to the TABE 11/12?
The TABE 9/10 is no longer approved for use in the NRS beginning February 2019, with a sunset period until June 30, 2019. Additionally, Data Recognition Corp (DRC), the publisher of TABE, has already begun discontinuing their support of the TABE 9/10, which is why it is imperative that local programs begin the onboarding of the new test as soon as possible.

When will we be required to make the switch from the TABE 9/10 to TABE 11/12?

  • Baseline test using TABE 9/10: AEL grantees and providers may continue using the TABE 9/10 as a baseline test, if appropriate, through December 31, 2018. In order to use the TABE 9/10 as a baseline assessment during this time, the program must be able to progress test the participant before the end of the program year (June 30, 2019); as a reminder, you must pre-test and post-test on the same version of TABE.
  • Progress test using TABE 9/10: AEL grantees and providers may continue using the TABE 9/10 as a progress test through June 30, 2019.
  • Baseline test using TABE 11/12: AEL grantees and providers must begin using the TABE 11/12 as a baseline test for new participants beginning January 1, 2019.

We haven’t purchased the TABE 11/12 yet. What should we do?
You should begin the process of purchasing, training staff, and preparing implementation processes for the TABE 11/12 as soon as possible. The test is substantially different, in administrative requirements, answer forms, increased rigor, and use of the locator; therefore, it is important that you begin preparations immediately to ensure that staff administering the test are prepared to administer the TABE 11/12 no later than January, 2019. Additionally, if you plan on implementing the paper-based test, there are necessary supply purchases that you must make (enough scientific calculators of the same model type to administer the math portion; a scanner that meets certain technical specifications to scan in the score sheets).

Timely preparation is key to avoid disruptions or administrative delays in testing as the 9/10 is phased out.

If you are unfamiliar with the new TABE, or just need a refresher, Mike Johnson, Texas’ DRC representative, will be hosting an open webinar on May 24, 2-3 CST.
To join the webinar, go to https://tcall.webex.com and “Search Meetings.” Click “Join” once the session starts. If joining by a mobile device (tablet or phone), please download the WebEx app from your preferred app store. Once you are in the webinar room, you have the option of calling in on your phone or using a headset and joining using your computer’s audio.

Will TEAMS be ready to collect the new TABE scores beginning July 1?
Yes.

When will training for test administration be available?
Dates are being finalized and registration information will be announced by TCALL and TWC soon!

Questions? Please submit any questions related to this letter to your AEL Strategic Technical Assistance Team member.
April 26, 2018: Performance quality improvement awards

This year, the Texas Workforce Commission’s three-member Commission approved the use of Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) State Leadership funds for performance quality improvement awards to recognize exemplary program performance in three areas: employer partnership, college integration, and high school equivalency achievement. The purpose of these funds is to support AEL grant recipient project performance and innovation by disseminating information about proven models and promising practices.

Awardees will be recognized at the 2018 Annual Texas Workforce Conference scheduled for November 28-30, 2018 in Houston.

To submit a nomination:

  • Complete one or more of the nomination forms for the College Integration Award and Employer Partnership Awards.
  • Email the nomination form and any attachments to awards@twc.state.tx.us.
  • The nomination email must include a courtesy copy to the grant recipient grant signatory authority.
  • The submission deadline is Thursday, June 7, 2018.
  • Need help? Email awards@twc.state.tx.us or call Awards Committee Co-chairs Reed O’Brien, (512) 463-5624, or Fabiana Ramirez, (512) 936-3297.

Nomination guidelines, instructions, and forms can be found at: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/adult-education-and-literacy-performance-quality-improvement-awards
Note: You may need to do a hard refresh on your screen to see the 2018 nomination forms.