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Profile School District Bethlehem, New Hampshire. Special Education Program Audit May 2007. Prepared for: Profile School Board. Prepared by: New England School Development Council 28 Lord Road Marlborough, MA 01752 Michael J. Palladino Ph.D. Purpose.

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Profile School DistrictBethlehem, New Hampshire

Special Education Program Audit

May 2007


Prepared for:Profile School Board

Prepared by:

New England School Development Council

28 Lord Road

Marlborough, MA 01752

Michael J. Palladino Ph.D.


Purpose

To assist the Profile School Board with future Special Education planning


Scope of the Work

  • Review of selected documents

  • Personal Interviews

  • Program and Classroom Observations

  • Analysis of:

    • Special Education Service Delivery

    • Student Records

    • School Facilities and Classroom Space

    • Related Service Case Load

    • Budget

    • Comparison with Like Communities and NHDOE


Six Key Areas

  • School Culture

  • Administrative Structure and Oversight

  • Staffing Patterns and Roles

  • Special Education Programs and Service Delivery

  • Budget Analysis

  • Comparison to Like School Districts


Profile Mission Statement

We, the Profile community, continue to pursue the ideal of providing students with comprehensive educational opportunities by encouraging and preparing young people for responsible community involvement and for careers which suit their interests and skills, and by inspiring students to pursue excellence and to rise to academic, social, creative and physical challenges. To this end, we expect that all constituents, including the faculty, administration and school board, and other community members, will demonstrate the same commitment to the pursuit of excellence.


Profile School Culture

  • Mission statement sets the tone

  • Qualitative – values, beliefs, traditions

  • Family-like atmosphere

  • Student-centered focus

  • Laws require a commitment

  • Dependent upon social values and individual worth

  • Inclusive school environment- all students


Administrative Structure

  • Superintendent SAU #35

    • Instructional Leader

    • Administrative Supervision

    • SAU Office Management

    • Budget

    • Facilities

    • (Special Education FY08)


  • Assistant Superintendent for Student Services

    • Regional Special Education Leadership

    • Local Program Oversight

    • Budget Development

    • Coordinate Out-of-District Placements

    • Itinerant Specialist Services

    • Staff Supervision

      (FY08 Position not filled – Retirement)


  • Special Education Coordinator

    • SAU #35 Services

    • Profile Daily Program Oversight

      • Principal

      • Assistant Principal

      • IEP Development

      • Inclusion

      • Special Education Curriculum

      • Staff Professional Development

      • Budget


Staffing Patterns & Roles

  • Commitment to Inclusion

    • Regular Education and Special Education

    • Administrative Team Effort

    • Matching Skills/Talents to Student Needs

      (“the right people on the bus’’ Collins, 2001)


  • Special Education Staff

    • 2 Resource Room Teachers (Licensed)

    • 4 Paraprofessionals Middle School

    • 4 Paraprofessionals High School

    • 3 Paraprofessionals 1:1

  • Paraprofessional Role Functions

    • Middle School – Core-Curriculum Content Classes

    • High School – Core Classes – Student Support

    • One-on-One Direct Instruction


Special Education Service Delivery

  • New Hampshire Rules ECD Required Continuum

  • Least Restrictive (Locally Based)

  • Most Restrictive (Out-of-District)

  • Profile Offers Full Continuum in Partnership with SAU #35


  • Within Profile School

    • Regular Classroom

    • Regular Classroom with Consultation

    • Regular Classroom with Specialist Assistance

    • Regular Classroom plus Resource Room

    • Regular Classroom plus Part-Time Special Class


  • SAU #35

    • Full Time Special Class

    • Out-of-District Special Day School

    • Residential Home

    • Hospital or Institution


Profile School Observation

  • Regular Classroom

    • Middle School Science Lab

    • High School U.S. History

    • High School English/Language Arts

    • School Cafeteria

  • Regular Classroom with Specialist Assistance (Paraprofessional)

    • Middle School – Math, English, Science, Social Studies

    • High School – Specific Student Support


  • Regular Classroom Plus Resource Room

    • Special Education Licensed Teacher

    • Paraprofessionals

    • Small Groups

    • Modified Curriculum – Core Subject Areas

    • State-Wide Assessments with Accommodations

    • New Hampshire Alternate Assessments


  • Regular Classroom Plus Part-Time Special Class

    • Resource Room

    • Paraprofessionals 1:1

    • Implementation of Instructional Program (modified)

    • Functional and Life-Skills Curriculum


  • Student Records Review

    • Random Sample 6 Student Records (15%)

    • In Compliance with New Hampshire Rules ECD

      • Historical Data

      • Statement of Current Performance

      • Explanation of Non-Participation in Regular Education

      • Related Services

      • Transition Services

      • Team Meeting Notification

      • Appropriate Testing and Explanation

    • Annual Goals/Objectives (Measurable ?)

    • Related Services (Entry/Exit Criteria?)


Budget Analysis

  • Total School Approach

  • Salary Averages

    • New Hampshire $46,860

    • Profile$44,789

    • Resource Room$41,500

    • Paraprofessionals$15,016


  • Paraprofessional Analysis

    • Classroom Support Function Effective

    • One-on-One Function Critical

    • Justifiable Spending

      • Mandated Services

      • No Control Over Referrals

      • Cost Related to Student Needs

      • Needs Unlikely to Change

      • Out-of-District Costs Considerable

      • Paraprofessionals Have Demonstrated Value


  • Related Concerns

    • SPED Budget Fluctuations Not Uncommon

    • Mandated Services Required When Identified

    • Difficult to Predict Months in Advance

    • Some SPED cost Very Expensive

    • Direct Discourse Toward the Proper Arena


Comparison of Like Districts

  • Total School Approach

  • Profile – Inclusive and Least Restrictive

  • “Blended” – Role Crossing Regular and SPED

  • Student Performance, in Part, Directly Attributable to Blended Model

  • Profile Students Consistently Perform Better Than Most Schools in NH

    • Regular Education

    • Special Education (Accommodations)

    • NH-Alternate Assessments


  • Like Schools

    • Colebrook

    • Gorham Regional

    • Lisbon Regional

    • Sunapee

    • K-12 Schools


  • Key Indicators

    • District Enrollment

    • District Finance

    • District Assessments

    • Most Current Data

      • Enrollments – 2006-2007

      • Finance and Assessments – 2005-2006


Data Observation

  • 3 of 4 districts with per pupil expenditures in excess of state average also exceeded state-wide performance in both Math and Reading Advanced/Proficient

  • School size alone not a significant indicator

  • Profile and Sunapee spent less on Regular Education and Student Support Services than the state average

  • Exceeded state average on Special Programs, Instructional Support Services and School Administration

  • Sunapee – Highest Teacher Salaries and Highest Scores


  • The data suggests a string correlation between per pupil spending, staff compensation and student performance. It is within this context that all students, including students with disabilities, are serviced at the Profile School.


Commendations

  • School Board

    • Commitment to Quality

    • Core Values

    • New Facility

    • Return on Investment is a High Performing School District


  • SAU #35 Administrative Team

    • Superintendent – Instructional Leadership

    • Assistant Superintendent – Program Oversight

    • “Every Child is Welcome” is a Core Value


3. Profile School Administrative Team

  • Principal and Assistant Principal

  • Instructional Leadership

  • School Culture

  • Staff Hiring

  • It is really about the people – the right people!


  • Special Education Coordinator

    • SPED Program Oversight – Inclusion

    • Works in Concert with School Administration

    • Staff Supervision

    • Staff Selection


  • Regular Education and Special Education Staff

    • Responsible for Implementation of and Inclusive School Culture

    • “The key to the whole thing is flexibility.”


Recommendations

  • No significant changes be made to Paraprofessional service delivery model

  • Consideration be given to a position upgrade for 1:1 Paraprofessionals

  • Consideration be given to limiting Paraprofessional 1:1 assignments

  • Develop a comprehensive Professional Development program for new Paraprofessionals


5. Consideration be given to a full-time special class for students with severe disabilities

6. Consideration be given to the enhancement of student learning through the use of technology

7. Develop Entry/Exit Criteria to support Related Services

8. Professional Development Program – Writing Measurable Objectives


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