TEA Foster Care and Student Success Newsletter

Texas Education Agency

February 2021

Foster Care and Student Success 


 Greetings from TEA

We hope that you and your family had a favorable holiday season. Thank you for your continued support of students in foster care during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that through continued advocacy and support, Texas school systems can help students in foster care achieve their goals beyond graduation. As you go about your day, whether it be virtual or in-person, keep this student population in mind. Research has shown that students who have at least one trusted, caring adult in their lives are much more likely to have better academic outcomes. Read below to learn more about what you can do to support your foster care students.


Upcoming Events

February - June 2021

Human Trafficking Prevention & Awareness Monthly Webinar Series | Register Here

February 2021

McKinney-Vento 201 Training 

2/11 at 1:30 - 3:00 pm | Register Here

2/17 at 10:30 - 12:00 pmRegister Here

2/25 at 11:30 - 1:00 pm | Register Here

April 2021

Highly Mobile and At-Risk Webinar

04/01 at 1:00 - 2:30 pmRegister Here


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Subscribe to the English Learner Support newsletter via the EL web portal. 

Outside Resources

Texas Children's Commission

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)

Texas Association of School Boards (TASB)

Child Welfare Information Gateway

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Upcoming! Foster Care FAQ

Our team has worked with DFPS, the Children's Commission, and the TEA legal and PEIMS departments to bring you a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) covering students in foster care. We hope to clear up some of the complexities that can occur when interpreting state and federal laws concerning this student group. The FAQ will be released within the next month. Please check back on the Foster Care and Student Success Information and Resources webpage. 

Please look at this document if you have questions concerning identification, Pre-K qualification, post-secondary education, and services for students in foster care. If the FAQ does not have the answers you are looking for, please contact your LEA Foster Care Liaison, ESC Foster Care Champion, or send an email to FosterCareLiaison@tea.texas.gov.  

Did you know?

DFPS has a new email address for obtaining Pre-K verification letters: prekverificationltrs@dfps.texas.gov. Send a message to this inbox if you need to verify Pre-K eligibility for a student currently or formerly in DFPS managing conservatorship. 

Next month, the Foster Care FAQ will be released. You can use this document to determine the Pre-K eligibility for students in the Texas foster care system and those in out-of-state foster care systems. 



Foster Care Liaisons


LEA Foster Care Liaisons play an important role by advocating for the needs of students in foster care. We strive to equip you with the resources and information needed to support these students in achieving their goals. Thank you for dedicating your time to students in foster care. 

If you are new to the liaison role, the Foster Care and Student Success Resource Guide (PDF) is a great place to learn everything you need to know about students in foster care in Texas. 

AskTED Update

Districts must submit their Foster Care Liaison information to TEA through the district’s AskTED administrator. Charter schools must submit their Foster Care Liaison to the Charter School Division at TEA directly via (512) 463-9575 or CharterAskTED@tea.texas.gov. Include your liaison’s name, email address, and phone and fax numbers.

Please contact your district's AskTED administer or TEA's Charter School Division immediately if there are any changes. LEAs are required to keep the liaison information up-to-date and should have a systematic process for notifying the LEA's AskTED coordinator if there is a change. 

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Helpful Resources | Texas Association of School Boards (TASB)

These forms provide educators with resources to support collaborative education decision-making and transportation coordination with child welfare organizations. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires education agencies to collaborate with child welfare agencies and to maintain school stability for students in foster care. Both forms are included in the single PDF linked below. 

Educational Best-Interest Factors

DFPS, in collaboration with relevant school officials, is tasked with determining if it is in the best interest of a student in foster care to remain in their school of origin.

This form walks school employees through a series of questions and steps to support collaborative education-decision making in the best interest determination.

Individual Transportation Plan Template

This template helps school staff plan transportation for a student that will remain in their school of origin. With this template, schools can make decisions in a manner that is cost-effective, reliable, and manageable.

TEA Resources on ESSA

For a comprehensive overview of ESSA foster care provisions and the requirements for LEAs, read the Q&A released by TEA: ESSA Foster Care Preliminary Implementation (PDF).

See the Foster Care and Student Success Resource Guide for more information on:

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Serving students in the pandemic

See the COVID-19 Foster Care Guidance (PDF) for information on supporting students in the pandemic.

Frequent check-ins

Maintaining positive relationships and connections with caring adults is especially important for students in foster care during this time. Ideally, it is best for a school staff member who has a relationship with the student to follow-up and touch base (e.g. teacher, counselor, liaison, etc.). Weekly check-ins to touch base with students on their progress and well-being is recommended.

Contacting a student

In addition to the LEA’s data management system, information for the student’s caregiver is found on the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Placement Authorization 2085 form. The school may also follow up with the student’s Education Decision-Maker. This information is found on the DFPS Education Decision-Maker 2085-E form. Both documents should be located in the student’s file.

School transitions

If a student needs to change schools during COVID-19, ensure that the receiving school has a streamlined and clear process for enrollment and can provide educational continuity before withdrawing the student. It is critical that students remain enrolled in school and have minimal disruptions during this time.

Resource Guide Update

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Our team is working with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and the Children’s Commission to release an updated version of the Foster Care and Student Success Resource Guide. This version will include new laws, resources, and key updates, PLUS two new chapters covering the Every Student Succeeds Act and Trauma-Informed Education. The updated guide will be featured on our Foster Care & Student Success webpage in the coming months.

Sign up for our Foster Care newsletter to stay updated!


We are hiring!

The Highly Mobile and At-Risk Division is looking for a transformative leader to perform highly advanced consultative services and technical assistance work for HM&AR student groups. The Highly Mobile and At-Risk State Coordinator will lead and provide programmatic and technical assistance to agency staff, Education Service Center (ESC) staff, Local Education Agency (LEA) staff, school personnel, and other stakeholders that serve and support HM&AR students including students in foster care, human trafficking prevention and child abuse mandatory reporting, military connected, pregnant and parenting students, dropout prevention and other highly mobile, at-risk groups, as identified. Apply today!

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