#ESCStories Series on Twitter!


Last week, we began a series on twitter to highlight the great work being done by the Texas ESCs: #ESCStories. This series will include examples of how ESCs are assisting schools and saving them financial resources that can in turn be spent on improving education in their local communities. Follow along at @TexasESCs  or by searching #ESCStories on Twitter. There will be a new story every day, highlighting an ESC and the work they are doing. This information is coming from the 2014 Rider 38 Report on the Cost Savings Experienced by School Districts and Charter Schools by Utilizing ESC Services. We will then provide more information here after they are posted on Twitter. We hope you enjoy the series!

ESC Stories: Week of April 13th:

Region 19- El Paso

Region 19 provides a significant number of trainings which support migrant and homeless programs. Region 19 also holds an annual special education conference which addresses legal requirements, saving each participant more than $109,000. Additionally, Region 19 offers continuous and unlimited technical assistance through phone calls, emails, and face-to-face regarding HB 5 college preparation course training in integrated reading and writing/integrated mathematics.  Combined, all trainings and assistance provided related to these programs is estimated to save each school approximately $167,000 per year.

Region 10- Richardson

Region 10 serves as the lead for many state initiatives, but none larger than the Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN). The TEA provides online courses to eligible students through the TxVSN. The TxVSN consists of two programs—the supplemental course catalog and the full-time online schools. Region 10 serves as TxVSN management through an inter-local contract with the TEA. The TxVSN team is responsible for day to day operations, centralized student registration system, course catalog listings, administrative and reporting functions, provider payments and receiver district course payments, and technical assistance to all stakeholders. During Fiscal Year 2014, the system supported 8,326 statewide catalog enrollments, 14 catalog course providers, 128 current receiver districts, and provided technical assistance to 7 TxVSN Online Schools programs.

The maximum catalog cost for a semester course was established as $400 by the Texas Legislature. The payment to course providers, however, is contingent on the successful completion of a course. If a student successfully completes a course, then the full course cost is due. If the student drops a course during the designated withdrawal period his/her district is not liable for the course cost. If the student drops after the withdrawal period or does not successfully complete course, then only 70% of the course cost is due. As a result, students’ districts pay for success, but pay less or nothing for a lack of success.

Region 13- Austin

Region 13 houses the Texas Center for District and School Support (TCDSS), which coordinates and leverages statewide technical assistance services to support districts and schools meeting required performance standards under both state and federal accountability systems. Additionally, the TCDSS leads and manages a number of grants and special projects for the TEA focused on building statewide capacity for school improvement to ensure all students graduate career and college ready. The TCDSS serves districts and campuses in the that are underperforming according to federal and/or state accountability systems. In addition, TCDSS serves turnaround technical assistance teams across all 20 regional ESCs, and select departments and divisions of the TEA. The purpose of TCDSS is to create a network among all 20 ESCs and to provide campus-based technical assistance, including comprehensive data analysis, evaluation, and planning for student achievement and support[1]. Over the past school year, the program served over 1,000 participants, saving schools approximately .

Region 13 is also the lead for the Statewide Mathematics Professional Development and Online Resources Center. The purpose of the Statewide Mathematics Professional Development and Online Resources Center is to provide maintenance and support of existing online courses; maintenance and support of the ESTAR/MSTAR universal screener and diagnostic systems; maintenance and support of project share gateway resources; and development of new content, including online professional development for the new high school mathematics TEKS to be implemented in 2015-16. This initiative provides LEAs free access to professional development and use of statewide mathematics applications to improve mathematics instruction and to support student achievement. Due to the efficiency of operations and the availability of resources, ESC 13 can develop products and provide services at 75% of the district cost, resulting in cost savings of per district.

Region 19- El Paso

Region 19 manages a migrant education program which works collaboratively with school districts, as well as regional, state and interstate agencies in an effort to provide high-quality academic and social opportunities for migrant students. Migrant staff serves as advocates for migrant students and design programs to help migratory students overcome educational disruption, cultural and language barriers, social isolation, various health-related problems and other factors that inhibit the ability of migrant students to do well in school. The Migrant Program prepares students to meet the challenging state academic standards, graduate from high school and make a successful transition to post-secondary education or employment in order to become contributing members of our society. This program has resulted in in cost savings per district.

Region 19 also implements part of the Texas Literacy Initiative (TLI), providing literacy professional development to educators in the Region 19 service area. Region 19 receives $18,911 to implement the program in the area.  Through efficiencies, Region 19 is able to offer these services at half the price of other service providers resulting in a savings of .

Region 2- Corpus Christi

Region 2 developed the Early Scholars Academy for all early childhood stakeholders including public schools, Head Start, child care centers, family day homes, and parent/child engagement. This facility provides children opportunities to experience places that they may not otherwise experience. Students learn about the world around them and explore different environments, such as the rain forest, ocean, and outer space. These hands-on learning environments are designed to inspire children to explore the world through exercises that teach math, science, and the importance of literacy.

The Early Scholars Academy houses 9 high quality, interactive discovery areas based on different parts of the world and space. The discovery centers not only encourage student engagement, but address cognitive and knowledge dimensions, preparing children for the early stages of their educational endeavors.

The Academy targets Pre-K through second grade, which is a critical age in developing school readiness.   When students enter our schools lacking cognitive, social, and motor skills development, they are unprepared for the demands of first grade, which too often leads to continued poor student achievement. By engaging children at a young age, educators are able to help children and their families understand the value of an education and supply students with the basic skills that set them on a trajectory towards academic success.


ESC Stories: Week of April 6th:

Region 7- Kilgore

For no charge, Region 7 provides various trainings and support that assist schools in complying with state and federal special education requirements. These include special education legal training, performance-based monitoring training and technical assistance, special education program review, state performance plan training, and other targeted technical assistance and onsite training.

Region 15- San Angelo

Region 15 provides professional development in the areas of Performance-Based Monitoring Analysis System (PBMAS) and the State Performance Plan (SPP). They also provide technical assistance, online support and consulting services for issues relating to the data input and targeted assistance for districts with low performance on specific PBMAS and SPP Indicators. Region 15 provides all of these services at no cost, creating a significant savings to the districts.

Region 20- San Antonio

Region 20 provides technical support and professional development to districts and charter schools as they implement the major components of the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and provide services to students with disabilities. Region 20 also provides specific training and technical support related to areas of program compliance.  Some of these areas of compliance include State Performance Plan compliance indicators, performance based monitoring, residential facility monitoring, special education funding requirements, as well as additional services that meet this core service. Region 20 provides all of these services at it would cost a LEAs if they went with an alternative provider.

Region 14- Abilene

Region 14 provides a number of trainings to schools as they implement state laws and rules. Recently, districts have been receiving significant training on the requirements of House Bill 5 (83rd Legislature) and applicable Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses, as they work to apply the law to meet their local needs. In total, more than 3,300 educators have received trainings in these areas. Additionally, Region 14 provides assistance with Title I, Migrant Education, and school safety. Including those trained in HB 5 and CTE courses, Region 14 trained more than 7,000 educators resulting in nearly $5 million in cost savings during 2013-2014.

Region 16- Amarillo

Region 16 provides significant cost savings to LEAs by assisting schools in complying with state and federal laws. Specifically, Region 16 serves as the Federal Program Director for 54 districts in the Panhandle and assists with the following programs: TxEIS-Student and Business Software Support, migrant services, CTE compliance, and a number of other far-ranging programs and services.  These programs are designed to assist schools with the implementation of state laws in an efficient and effective manner.

ESC Stories: Week of March 30th:

Region 1- Edinburg

Region 1 provides campus planning events to build core leadership school improvement teams. These teams focus on improving campus leadership that can create the greatest impact on improving student performance at a district or campus. Region 1 also provides a comprehensive needs analysis training at one-ninth the cost of comparable providers.

Region 3- Victoria

Region 3 provides trainings to strengthen the improvement process, understanding designations, requirements, and deadlines for reporting, planning, and content area trainings. They also provide face to face and technical assistance provided for Improvement Required, Focus and Priority Campuses, and Missed Systems Safeguards district and campus personnel. This includes unlimited face to face, phone and email technical assistance at no charge for campus or district personnel who are identified as low performing in the state accountability system.

Region 4- Houston

Region 4 provides support and training for site-based decision-makers, as well as, training for over 240 school board members. School board trustee trainings include updates to the Texas Education Code, board and superintendent roles and responsibilities, proper board operations, and other trainings required by law. These trainings provide over

Region 8- Mount Pleasant/Pittsburg

Region 8 provides professional development and technical assistance to assessed content area teachers, as well as teachers of foreign language, fine arts, physical education, and career and technical education. The ESC also provides training to school board trustees that include an introduction to the Texas Education Code, “Team of Eight” training, and updates on the latest best practices in teaching, learning, financial management, and technology.

Region 17- Lubbock

Region 17 provides significant training and support for business services, PEIMS, school finance, and school accountability. Offering regional training saves districts from the expense and time of traveling further away to receive training in these areas. Region 17 provided over 60 workshops, serving every district within the region, totaling nearly in projected costs savings

ESC Stories: Week of March 23rd:

Region 10- Richardson

Region 10 provided nearly 1,400 training sessions during the 2013-2014 school year to educators regarding math, science, social studies, and English Language Arts. Additionally, Region 10 collaborated with the Texas Council for Economic Education to deliver Personal Financial Literacy training and free resources.

Region 18- Midland

Region 18 provides training in the four assessed content areas, with a combination of full day face to face trainings, just-in-time classroom support with onsite coaching and modeling, as well as online training opportunities that focus on the process standards in the content areas. Region 18 also provides resources from smartertexas.org, a project of the Texas Council on Economic Education, at no cost for grades K-12.

Region 4- Houston

During the 2013-2014 school year, Region 4 provided training to over 38,600 educators related to bilingual/ESL, special education, and gifted and talented. These trainings took place both face-to-face and online, providing district and educators multiple opportunities in different formats to receive training as assistance in a format that best fits their needs. These trainings resulted in cost savings of over for districts and charter schools within Region 4 during the 2013-2014 school year.

Region 11- Fort Worth

Region 11 provides professional development and technical assistance to classroom teachers and administrators focused on meeting the diverse needs of students. For the 2013-2014 school year, Region 11 provided targeted assistance in each of the four sections outlined in the Texas Education Code to over 9,400 educators. Fees for trainings include unlimited face-to-face, phone, and e-mail technical assistance at no additional charge.

Region 17- Lubbock

Region 17 provided training to over 3,800 educators and parents in special education, compensatory education, bilingual, and gifted and talented. Bilingual/ESL training topics include: TELPAS, LPAC, ELPS, Certification, and Instructional Strategies. Additionally, Region 17 held a special education summer conference that addressed covered disability information, behavior management, FIEP training and specific topics for para-educators. Region 17 saved schools nearly in 2013-2014 by providing these trainings to schools within the region.

ESC Stories: Week of March 16th:

Region 16- Amarillo

Region 16 supports school districts and private schools in the Texas Panhandle, providing multiple low-cost computing technology options. Region 16 provides LAN maintenance, web hosting, disaster recovery, virus protection software, and other support systems that assist schools operate an efficient and effective technology departments.

Region 12- Waco

Region 12’s program, EDLINK12, provides Internet access to Texas school districts, charter schools, and educational supportive non-profit organizations. This is a service that many rural schools would not have access to without Region 12’s assistance. Other services include basic internet access, telephone support, onsite internet support, and firewall/filtering support.

Region 13- Austin

Region 13 provides broadband internet, managed firewall services, web content filtering, technical support, and other internet services to 41 LEAs in the Region 13 service area. If the district did not have access to these services, they would most likely have to hire a full-time employee to fulfill these responsibilities. This program saves each participating LEA $20,000,

Region 15- San Angelo

Region 15 has developed NetXV, a consortium of school districts connected via high speed internet access to Region 15, which acts as the hub site for the region. The primary functions of this consortium is to share information and collaboration with other school districts and entities.

Region 9- Wichita Falls

Region 9 provides a number of training opportunities to schools designed to assist them in teaching each subject assessed by the State of Texas. For example, during the school year, Region 9 provided 214 trainings for over 4,600 participants in math, science, and English Language Arts. These trainings also include unlimited , phone, and email technical assistance at no additional charge. In total, it is estimated that Region 9 saves schools within the region more than a year by providing these trainings.

ESC Stories: Week of March 9th:

Region 1- Edinburg

For the school years, Region 1 provided professional development opportunities via distance learning that were utilized by more than 25,000 educators. Additionally, about 2,300 educators received certification coursework through Region 1 via distance learning technology. This is critically important in this part of Texas, as the average round trip distance to the ESC from the region’s school districts is 50 miles. Currently, the state travel reimbursement rate is $0.55 per mile, meaning that for each employee to attend the same training at the ESC would cost $27.50 per participant per event.

Region 6- Huntsville

Region 16 has developed Eduhero, a fully customized website aimed at helping school districts learn material through engaging on-demand courses. Eduhero provides activities, videos, and questions that you would not see in another online course or face-to-face training. Eduhero pushes the boundaries for online professional development by giving users the ability to utilize these resources from any location.

Eduhero is developed by Texas educators and the course catalog is determined by participating districts and built to meet the needs of Texas schools. Many districts still have their own course development program, but use Eduhero to meet their statewide needs while using their staff to meet their own local needs. In total, from 2012-2014, over 125,000 educators received professional development through Region 6 and Eduhero.

Region 7- Kilgore

Region 7 provides a variety of online courses and professional development opportunities for approximately 100 LEAs residing in their service area. These include: virtual back to school conference, technology integration training, finance workshop for superintendents, webinars on STAAR, TxEIS training, PEIMS training, assessed subject area professional development, video conferencing, mental health and education training, and extended learning opportunities through professional learning networks.

Region 2- Corpus Christi

Region 2 provides a number of services designed to help schools operate more efficiently through low-cost computing technologies. For half the districts in Region 2, the ESC serves as the hosting site for a variety of technology services, including: TxEIS (an online software solution to manage student information and financial accounting for all of a district’s needs), email provider, network consulting, troubleshooting, information technology (IT) managed service provider, Voice over IP (VoIP), web content filtering, firewall protection and services, and spam and virus protection.

Region 9- Wichita Falls

Region 9 delivers low-cost computing technologies to 100 percent of the LEAs within their region. These schools rely on the ESC to provide eRate support, technology grant assistance, technology integration support and training, technical staff training, hardware/software support, and other technological support.

ESC Stories: Week of March 2nd:

Region 14- Abilene

Region 14 provides distance learning services that have a direct impact on students. From 2012-2014, over 4,000, students in Region 14 LEAs have utilized distance learning services to participate in dual credit courses or to complete required high school curriculum courses. Additionally, Region 14, in that same timespan, helped over 19,000 students access 500 virtual field trip. Region 14 provides these virtual field trips in collaboration with the Old Jail Art Center in Albany, the Grace Museum in Abilene, and the 12th Armored Division Museum in Abilene. Students are able to “visit” places such as Ireland, England, Spain, the Texas State Aquarium, the NFL Football Hall of Fame, the San Diego Zoo, as well as direct connect to schools in New York and Georgia.

Region 14 has also received four Rural Utilities Services grants that pay for distance learning equipment, installation, content, and support. Without the ESC, schools in this region would have a difficult time accessing these services, as there is not another provider in the area.

Region 20- San Antonio

Region 20 designs and develops a variety of online modules targeted to the identified needs in their region. They also have developed a wide variety of modules in partnership with the TEA that are deployed across the state. Region 20 also partners with two vendors to provide cost effective online content to staff and district personnel.

Region 20 facilitates connections between local junior colleges and high schools in the region for dual credit courses. They are currently connecting 15 classes in six subject areas. From 2012 to 2014, more than 2,600 students accessed these programs to receive dual credit or meet curriculum requirements.

Additionally, Region 20 helps teachers connect to classes with experts around the country for TEKS-aligned virtual field trips. In the past two years, Region 20 has connected almost 15,000 students to museums, zoos, nature centers and universities via virtual field trips.

Region 3- Victoria

Region 3 provides a variety of services via the NET3 televised system of communication.  NET3 is a service to all administrators throughout the region that provides information to district and campus administrators.  Districts have informed the ESC that they prefer this type of session to get information and appreciate the convenience of not having to leave their districts.

School Board and Superintendent “Team of Eight” trainings via the NET3 televised system of communication assists school districts in compling with the annual training requirement.  The team is provided training at their location while the ESC facilitator is at the Region 3 facility.  These training sessions offer board members the opportunity to interact with other board members while conserving resources.

Additionally, from 2012-2014, nearly 2,000 students participated in distance learning through Region 3 to access dual credit classes and approximately 13,000 students participated in . These sessions create increased opportunities for student learning and significantly reduce the cost to school districts. Without the ESC facilitating these services, many school districts would not have the capability to provide these opportunities to students.


ESC Stories: Week of February 23rd:

Region 5- Beaumont

Region 5, along with the majority of Region 5 school districts, have partnered with the petro-chemical industry to facilitate the implementation of House Bill 5 (HB 5), which was passed during the 83rd Legislative Session. Region 5 began the partnership by hosting a local Plant Managers Forum meeting, where superintendents and Region 5 personnel brainstormed employment opportunities and potential course offerings that fit local student and workforce needs. This included identifying the skills needed to fill current and future industry needs. The group focused on jobs that required high levels of specific skills and generate excellent salaries to keep students in South East Texas.

Region 5’s efforts have included an industry survey to get input regarding future needs, exploring partnerships with local universities and trade schools, and ongoing conversations between all stakeholders. The biggest event so far, has been working with the statewide Jobs for Texas Coalition to produce a Business & Education Workforce Symposium. This partnership is helped by the ESCs ability to serve as a central facilitator and coordinator, bringing the education and business sectors together to benefit students and communities.

Region 8- Mount Pleasant/Pittsburg

Region 8 has identified and nurtured many business and community partnerships, including a very active relationship with the Northeast Texas Workforce Solutions and the local Chamber of Commerce. In 2014, the Northeast Texas Workforce Solutions named Region 8 ESC as their “Partner of the Year.” This collaboration provided both organizations the means to distribute information about their partner and to create further alliances with those they serve. Through Region 8’s Career and Technical Education Program participants, the Workforce Solutions staff was able to implement new initiatives to increase the skilled workforce available to the business community of Northeast Texas.

ESC 8 also serves as an active member of the local Chamber of Commerce Education Committee. Through this partnership, ESC 8 helped organize and implement a “State of Education” luncheon for the local business community, a “Principal for a Day” event with area districts, and a “New Teacher Breakfast” which gave businesses an opportunity to meet teachers new to their community.

Region 12- Waco

Region 12 is part of a STEM research partnership with Baylor University and Huckabee architects to provide a state-of the-art STEM academy at the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaboration (BRIC) in Waco.  Region 12 leases 5,000 square feet of the BRIC for labs designed and provided by Huckabee.  In 2014-15, students and teachers will be trained by Region 12 alongside scientists and major high-tech firms.  Baylor will collect the metrics for research studies to determine best classroom designs for student achievement.  This relationship is part of ongoing research on the effect of the classroom environment on student achievement and teacher effectiveness: data collection and interpretations. Currently the program serves 18 teachers and approximately 450 students.

Additionally, Region 12 partners with Waco ISD and Baylor University to offer world-class speakers on topics that fit the needs of regional students and educators. This past year the focus was on poverty and college readiness. The event has been held for three years and has brought in 4,000 – 8,000 educators.

Region 11- Fort Worth

Region 11 has various systems in place that provide a wide-range of distance learning opportunities to school districts and charter schools. The Region Eleven Assistive Technology Access (REATA) system gives homebound students the ability to attend classes, interact with peers, and participate in a variety of educational experiences all by driving a robot using an iPad or computer from their home or hospital. Additionally, over 1 million students have had access to distance learning programs over the past 10 years through Region 11. This has allowed students to connect to colleges to complete dual credit courses and for districts to connect and share the cost of an instructor, saving schools money and resources.

Region 11 also provides live webinars, technical support with screen sharing, live-streaming of events statewide, and other virtually delivered support services. These are all designed to provide bridging and connections between providers, service centers, districts, and individual schools.

Presentation on Education Service Centers

Below is a link to a presentation that outlines what ESCs are and how they are set up to support schools and educators!

Presentation on ESC Presentation

Who’s My ESCs?

Every wonder which ESC serves the schools in your area? Now you will know! Below is a list of ESCs and the counties that they serve. While schools are free to chose services from any ESC, they each reside in a specific service area. Additionally, each link will take you to a two-page summary of the System of ESCs and the individual center!

ESC 1- Edinburg

Cameron, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Starr, Webb, Willacy, and Zapata

ESC 2- Corpus Christi

Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Live Oak, McMullen, Nueces, and San Patricio,

ESC 3- Victoria

Calhoun, Colorado, Dewitt, Goliad, Jackson, Karnes, Lavaca, Matagorda, Refugio, Vitoria, and Wharton

ESC 4- Houston

Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, and Waller

ESC 5- Beaumont

Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Newton, Orange, and Tyler

ESC 6- Huntsville

Austin, Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Houston, Leon, Madison, Milam, Montgomery, Milam, Montgomery, Polk, Robertson, San Jacinto, Trinity, Walker, and Washington

ESC 7- Kilgore

Anderson, Angelina, Cherokee, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Nacogdoches, Panola, Rains, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Smith, Upshur, Van Zandt, and Wood

ESC 8- Mt. Pleasant/Pittsburg

Bowie, Camp, Cass, Delta, Franklin, Hopkins, Lamar, Marion, Morris, Red River, and Titus

ESC 9- Wichita Falls

Archer, Baylor, Clay, Foard, Hardeman, Jack, Knox, Montague, Throckmorton, Wichita, Wilbarger, and Young

ESC 10- Richardson

Collin, Dallas, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman, and Rockwall

ESC 11- Fort Worth

Cooke, Denton, Erath, Hood, Johnson, Palo Pinto, Parker, Somervell, Tarrant, and Wise

ESC 12- Waco

Bell, Bosque, Coryell, Falls, Freestone, Hamilton, Hill, Lampasas, Limestone, McLennan, Mills, and Navarro

ESC 13- Austin

Bastrop, Bell, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Comal, Fayette, Gillespie, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Hays, Kendall, Lee, Llano, Milam, Travis, and Williamson

ESC 14- Abilene

Callahan, Comanche, Eastland, Fisher, Haskell, Jones, Mitchell, Nolan, Scurry, Shackelford, Stephens, Stonewall, and Taylor

ESC 15- San Angelo

Brown, Coke, Coleman, Concho, Crockett, Edwards, Irion, Kimble, Mason, Menard, McCulloch, Runnels, San Saba, Schleicher, Sterling, Sutton, Tom Green, and Val Verde

ESC 16- Amarillo

Armstrong, Briscoe, Carson, Castro, Childress, Collingsworth, Dallam, Deaf Smith, Donley, Gray, Hall, Hansford, Hartley, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Moore, Ochiltree, Oldham, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Roberts, Sherman, Swisher, and Wheeler

ESC 17- Lubbock

Bailey, Borden, Cochran, Cottle, Crosby, Dawson, Dickens, Floyd, Gaines, Garza, Hale, Hockley, Kent, King, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Motley, Terry, and Yoakum

ESC 18- Midland

Andrews, Brewster, Crane, Culberson, Ector, Glasscock, Howard, Jeff Davis, Loving, Martin, Midland, Pecos, Presidio, Reagan, Reeves, Terrell, Upton, Ward, and Winkler

ESC 19- El Paso

El Paso and Hudspeth

ESC 20- San Antonio

Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Dimmitt, Frio, Guadalupe, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Kinney, La Salle, Maverick, Medina, Real, Uvalde, Wilson, and Zavala