Case facilitators a best practice model for evaluation due process and coordination
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Case Facilitators: A Best Practice Model for Evaluation, Due Process and Coordination. Overview. The Problem The Rationale for Change The Challenge The Results The Model Today Final Thoughts. The Problem:. Special Education staff overwhelmed by various roles: Evaluator

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Case Facilitators: A Best Practice Model for Evaluation, Due Process and Coordination

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Case Facilitators: A Best Practice Model for Evaluation, Due Process and Coordination


  • The Problem

  • The Rationale for Change

  • The Challenge

  • The Results

  • The Model Today

  • Final Thoughts

The Problem:

  • Special Education staff overwhelmed by various roles:

    • Evaluator

    • Teacher/ Caregiver

    • Specialist

    • Behaviorist/ Therapist

    • Case Manager

    • Clerk

    • Conciliator/ Mediator

    • State Accountability

The Problem:

  • Time Study showed:

    • Less than 2/3 of service providers’ time during the school day spent in direct instruction.

    • 19% of service providers' time during the school day spent in administering assessments, writing evaluation reports, attending child study meetings and consultation

    • Special Education Evaluations take between 20-40 hours each

Rationale for Change:

  • Need to develop a system that maximized direct instructional time at no extra cost to the school district

  • To develop a system that increased Due Process Compliance

  • Having consistency across the district

  • Improving quality of special education due process procedures

The Challenge

  • Challenges Vary……

    • Setting up a model with existing staff at no additional cost

    • Higher caseloads for case managers

    • Fewer non-teaching responsibilities

The Challenge

  • Find key people to become facilitators

    • Excellent “people skills”

    • Flexible

    • Comfortable with change

    • Well organized

    • Special Education experience

    • Good writing skills

    • Being able to summarize information in a “parent friendly” manner

    • Extensive knowledge of special education laws, requirements and community resources

The Challenge

  • Little to no direct instruction time for facilitators

  • Time for frequent meetings for training and development of model

  • To get others to accept the position (at first)

  • Distinguishing the roles and responsibilities between a CF and Case Manager


  • Program Changes

    • Albert Lea started with 5 case facilitators in 1986. Currently, Albert Lea has 8.5 FTE

    • Faribault started in 2009 with 2 CF’s and 5 Due Process clericals

    • St. Peter started in 2008 with 1 secondary CF, currently has 3.5 CF’s

    • Waseca Area Schools started in 2004 with 3 CF’s, currently has 6 CF’s

  • Increased consistency in identification of students with disabilities

  • Responsibilities for documentation and evaluation delegated to staff who are not providing direct instruction

  • Increased time for preparation of materials and direct instruction by teachers

  • Frees up time for building administration to complete other duties

  • Allows sped director a “snap shot” of special education happenings or concerns

  • CF’s put out fires before they become explosions


  • New changes did not disrupt the whole system

  • Implementing change can be difficult when learning the new roles; however, over time, the model is highly valued

  • Developed “experts” in profession who are also leaders

  • Site based management evolved

  • Improved communication from district level to building level which provides consistency throughout the district

  • Identifying trends across the district

  • Increased district and state-wide test scores

Where are we Today?

  • Case Facilitator Model Concepts have evolved to meet the needs of the individual districts

    • MDE monitoring and compliance states a qualitative difference is noted in districts that have a CF model

The Essence of the CF Model

  • Due Process Excellence

  • Consistency, Training, Flexibility

  • Building Leadership

  • Team Building

  • Interagency Collaboration

  • Comprehensive Evaluation

Consultation/ Coordination

  • Pre-referral Interventions

  • Building Contact

  • Problem Solving

  • Consult with outside agencies

  • Facilitates building level meetings

  • Training

  • Distribution of Completed forms to all team members

Due Process

  • Maintain student data

  • School district representative at IEP meetings

  • Schedules and facilitates IEP team meetings

  • Compliance quality assurance


  • Referral process

  • Timelines/ Permission

  • Administer/ Interpret assessments

  • Student observations

  • Compiles evaluation data for eligibility

  • Writes Evaluation Reports

Albert Lea District Demographics

  • Total Student Population— 3,300

  • Number of School Buildings/ Sites– 7

  • Number of Students with Disabilities-- 659

  • Number of Case Facilitators-- 8.5 FTE

  • Average Case Facilitator Caseload— 84

  • Student to Teacher ratios: 1:18 to 1:21

Final Thoughts: Perceived Advantages

  • Continues to be strongly supported by Special Education staff, Administration and Parents

  • Monitoring and Compliance Data

  • CIMP

  • Low Special Education staff turnover rate

Final Thoughts

  • Continues to allow staff to “teach”

  • Roles and responsibilities continue to evolve to reflect the changes in the “world of special education”


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