You have been notified by the California Department of Education (CDE) that your Local Education Agency (LEA, i.e,, District, County Office, or direct-funded Charter School) has been selected for an On-site or Online Federal Program Monitoring (FPM) review in the 2018-19 School Year. Whether it's coming up soon in the fall of 2018 or is farther off in 2019, few of you are joyful about this information, and many of you may already be experiencing some anxiety and stress about have to prepare for the FPM review, which requires that all evidence documents be uploaded to the California Monitoring Tool (CMT) 30 days before the start of the scheduled review, especially if it encompasses several programs and sampled school sites.
If you have been given the job of being your LEA's FPM Coordinator, you need to decide how much of your time you will have to commit to the FPM review, on top of all your on-going responsibilities. Then you need to decide who else -- administrators and staff -- need to be assigned work related to the various programs included in the FPM review, in addition to their own on-going work. Who has the deepest working knowledge of the programs as well as the legal requirements that will need to be met, as indicated in the FPM Program Instruments? Which staff are responsible for creating or collecting the mulltitude of documents that are needed to address the various Evidence Requests associated with various Instrument Items?
Few if any county, district, or school administrators or staff have FPM revews written into their job descriptions or duty statements as a significiant part of their work assignments, and yet an FPM review can take a significant number of hours over weeks or months on the part of several adminstrators and staff in addition to the FPM Coordinator. To have a successful FPM review of your programs requires more of your FPM team than is indicated by an "Other Duties as Assigned" placeholder in your duty statements. The cost in staff time, the salary costs of that time, and the other work responsibilities deferred in order to conduct a successful FPM review are significant. In addition, administrators and staff often experience stress and anxiety in the process of interpreting the legalese in program instruments and items, understanding the often generic descriptions of evidence requests, and searching for the documents that will adequately address evidence requests and legal requirements.
As a former FPM Compensatory Education (CE) reviewer of Title I programs who worked colleagially with other FPM program reviewers, I have the experience and expertise to provide critical and strategic assistance with your FPM review. My FPM Success (TM) consulting services are geared to saving you and your LEA significant time, money, and stress during the following stages: Pre-Review (leading up to the 30-day deadline), Lead-up to Review (30 days before to first day of FPM review), During Review (the days scheduled for the FPM review), and Post-Review (when any findings need to be resolved). My work with your LEA will emphasize working as extensively as possible during the Pre-Review phase--the most critical phase for having a successful FPM review, with few or no findings of non-compliance with legal requirements. It is during this phase that you can put any needed policies and procedures in place to meet legal requirements, improve services to students, engage stakeholders, and document those activities.
Please contact me if you need assistance with your FPM review. I am here to help you have a very successful FPM review with less time, cost, and stress to you and your team!
Dr. Larry Boese