Lift Up and Anchor Collaborative Partnerships for Equitable Services Programs
The state ombudsman has played a vital role in recommitting, renewing and reimaging how LEAs and private school equitable services are provided to meet the needs of private school students and teachers. SEAs, LEAs and private schools having made positive leaps and bounds but still do face challenges regarding equitable services. This presentation will share and describe to participants the importance of as well as how to best engage in meaningful working relationships with the state ombudsman, school district leaders, and private school partner. This presentation will allow an opportunity for participants to hear from two state ombudsmen (Louisiana and Texas) who have assisted and been a part of these working relationships for Federal Program funding and COVID relief programs in both in-person and virtual formats.
Daphne Flentroy is the State Ombudsman for Louisiana. She has over 20 years of experience in Federal Programs working with private schools. Daphne has been very successful in building effective equitable services programs and bridging the communication gap between LEAs and private schools. To date, the Louisiana Department of Education has not had any informal or formal complaints regarding ESSA Act of 2015 equitable services program. As the State Ombudsman, she created an Equitable Services Workgroup to assist with developing protocols for open communication/collaboration, as well as, a checklist and flexible timeline to promote workable and agreeable relationships between LEAs and private schools. As a part of the Federal Support Team for the Louisiana State Department of Education, she supports and provides federal guidance to both private schools and LEAs. Participants describe her presentations/sessions as informative, interactive, thought-provoking, and passionate. Daphne serves on the National Ombudsmen Steering Committee.
LaNetra Guess is the state ombudsman of private nonprofit (PNP) school equitable services and program director for the Title IV, Part A program at the Texas Education Agency (TEA). She has focused on providing statewide guidance and program support in federal grant programs over 2 decades in both Kansas and Texas state education agencies. Ms. Guess earned her BA and MA from the University of Kansas. As the state’s PNP ombudsmen, she provides district and private nonprofit school officials technical assistance and support. Ms. Guess oversees the TEA Private School Equitable Services Workgroup comprised of districts, private schools, and education service center staff officials. The purpose of the Workgroup is to enhance communication and collaboration between the TEA, Texas PNP schools, and school districts on the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Ms. Guess is a member of the National Ombudsman Steering Committee.