Heritage HS Accelerated Instruction

Information and Answers to Common Questions about HB4545

Introduction and Welcome

Mr. Urquhart AI Specialist

What is HB 4545?

House Bill 4545 recently passed in the 87th Regular Legislative Session. The new statute is effective, as of June 2021, with acceleration instruction practices required during the 2021-2022 school year for all students, based on STAAR/EOC results from Spring 2021.

Specifically, a student who did not pass their STAAR or EOC scores in Spring/Summer 2021 are required to receive 30 hours of accelerated instruction per tested area during the 2021-2022 school year.

To read the exact language of the bill, you can access HB 4545 through the LegiScan website.

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What is Accelerated Instruction?

For any student who does not pass the STAAR test in grades 3–8 or STAAR (EOC) end-of-course assessments, clarification of prior accelerated instruction requirements, specifying that it must include either:

  • Being assigned a classroom teacher who is a certified master, exemplary, or recognized teacher or
  • Receiving supplemental instruction (tutoring) before or after school, or embedded in the school day.

Accelerated instruction has specific requirements laid out by the state:

  • Delivers targeted TEKS-aligned instruction for the applicable grade level and subject area(s)
  • Is provided for no less than 30 hours total
  • If a student does not pass STAAR grades 3–8 or EOC assessment, 30 hours of accelerated instruction must be provided for each subject area.
  • Is designed to assist the student in achieving satisfactory performance in the applicable grade level and subject area(s)
  • Utilizes effective instructional materials designed for supplemental instruction 4
  • Is delivered in a small group environment, with no more than 3 students in a small group (or in a larger ratio with permission from all parents or guardians connected to students in the group)
  • Is provided by an individual with training in aligned instructional materials and under the district’s oversight
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When will accelerated instruction be offered?

During School - TASSEL

MHHS will be utilizing our 38 minute daily TASSEL blocks as a primary time to help students earn their hours during the school day. Students receiving state-required AI will be assigned to a TASSEL room where they will report all year, either every Wed or every Thur. For students who only need to complete AI for one subject, they should complete their time through weekly attendance of their designated room and assignment. For students who are receiving AI, their attendance will be part of their keeping or earning back their trust card.

For students who need accelerated instruction in more than one subject, it is highly recommended that they utilize other TASSEL days throughout the week to attend tutoring in the classes corresponding to those in which they need to complete AI hours (i.e., if a student did not make a satisfactory score on the English 1 EOC, attending normal TASSEL tutoring with the English 2 teacher would count toward their hours). If, as the year progresses, more time in AI is seen to be needed, students may have additional required days added to their weekly TASSEL plan.

Outside School Hours

MHHS and MISD are working to recruit high quality tutors and teachers to be available to provide AI sessions before or after school, as well as on some Saturdays throughout the school year. These extra sessions will support students who require a smaller group or who need extra opportunities to earn hours in more than one subject. More information will come as these options are finalized.

Students may "get ahead" on their AI time by coming to Saturday sessions, and can be dismissed from their weekly requirement if they complete 30 hours before the end of the school year. These times, and Saturdays in particular, will also be used should students fall behind the necessary AI schedule due to a lack of attending TASSEL AI days and/or TASSEL tutoring that can count toward their hour requirements.

MHHS Progress Monitoring Measures

MAP Testing and Benchmark Assessments

We will be using NWEA MAP testing at the beginning, middle, and end of the year to identify areas of need to specifically provide skills-based instruction catered to your student's needs. We will also use the EOC benchmarks administered throughout the year to measure student progress.

Formative Assessments

Every few weeks, teachers will formatively assess their students on the specific skills they are working on using a variety of district resources. These smaller "quick checks" will help teachers cater students' accelerated instruction appropriately.

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Common Questions

The state regularly updates this site with FAQs, but we are including some of the most common below.

What will my student be doing during accelerated instruction?

Teachers and tutors will be using a variety of resources to provide accelerated instruction. Depending on the skills being addressed, AI will be a differentiated approach of the following:

  • Small group instruction
  • Group or independent practice
  • Online modules or practice

AI will be TEKS-based and will support your student in their grade level/content area.

How can I look at my student's EOC/STAAR scores?

We have created a resource to help you with this. Follow these simple steps to access your student's scores and view their specific state assessment report card.

How will my student's hours be tracked?

We will be tracking both the hours of accelerated instruction and the progress they are making. Students will have a designated team of AI TASSEL teachers who will sign their weekly TASSEL plan, and students' Closed TASSEL teachers will mark when students attend their assigned AI time or applicable tutoring. Hours will be monitored, and if students fall behind their required time, they will be notified so they may plan on Saturday AI time or extra TASSEL tutoring time.

Will AI affect my student's schedule?

One of the legal stipulations of HB 4545 is that we will not be taking students out of their classes. We currently have a 38 minute TASSEL built in to each student's schedule that is separate from their 5th period classes. So your student's schedule will not be affected.

What is my student was absent for last Spring's assessments?

The state's mandate requires that schools consider students to have failed to meet satisfactory levels if a student did not take the STAAR/EOC for any reason. However, those students may take a released EOC or other similar assessment at the beginning of the year which, if satisfactory levels are met, may show they do not need AI in that area. Students who did not take assessment(s) in the Spring will be given an assessment in the first few weeks of AI, and will be made aware of their results and how that affects their designation. This assessment will not count toward the graduation requirement of STAAR/EOC assessments, nor will it be included in their official testing history.

What happens if my student passes their EOC in the fall/spring?

If a student passes their EOC during the school year, they no longer have to complete their 30 hours. For example, if a student failed English I EOC in the spring of 2021, but passes English I in the fall of 2021, they no longer have to earn hours for English I. For those tests which are not retaken (8th grade STAAR), students will remain in AI throughout the year unless they finish their state-required hours early.

Contact and Connect

If you have questions about anything here, or want to contact me regarding Accelerated Instruction, EOC Retakes, or things you can do to help your student at home, please email or call!

Zach Urquhart

Midlothian Heritage HS Accelerated Instruction/504 Administrator