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Welcome Back SC Public Charter School District Special Education Coordinators August 13, 2014
Agenda • Welcome and Introductions • Comprehensive Program Review • Policy and Procedures • School-level Procedures • Compliance within the IEP process • Transfers • PLOP • Annual Goals • Progress Monitoring • FAPE Continuum • Child Find • Restraint and Time Out • Disciplining SWD • Importance of PowerSchool • Enrich • Conversion data • Evaluations/Reevaluations • Potpourri • Confidentiality/FERPA • Exiting • Medicaid • Budgeting • EFA Coding in PowerSchool • Data • Dates • Closing/Questions
Who we are – • Robbie Compton, Ph.D. • Director of Federal Programs and School Safety • 803-734-8067; 803-230-9593 (cell) • Beckie Davis • Director of Special Services • 803-734-8050; 803-312-2491 (cell) • Kendall Stewart • Student Information Coordinator (Enrich/data) • In addition to PowerSchool • 803-734-0164 • Vamshi Rudrapati (Mr. V) • Assistant Director of Federal Programs • In addition to Title I, Title III, and homeless • 803-734-1105; 803-603-6433 (cell)
Who we are – District Special Education Coordinators • Mariann Carter • 803-230-9593 (cell) • email@example.com • Nichole Adams • 803-603-6590 (cell) • firstname.lastname@example.org • Mary C. Scott • 803-603-8424 (cell) • email@example.com
Accomplishments and Milestones • The District was cleared of all findings from the OSES on-site monitoring visit • Board approved 8 new charters and 1 transfer of a charter into the District • CPR was rolled out • Regional coordinator model was rolled out • 7 new schools opened for the 2013-14 school year • Enrich was rolled out*
Challenges • 4 Complaints with Office for Civil Rights alleging discrimination by schools • 1 request for Due Process Hearing • DPH officer determined no merit but only after • Day-long attempt at resolution • Countless hours of preparation, meetings, telephone calls, emails, … • Approximately $$$$ in legal fees • 1 State complaint • Withdrawn after school convened IEP meeting to address issues to parent’s satisfaction • 1 Revocation of a school’s charter • 1 Nonrenewal of a school’s charter • Changes in school administrators • Changes in school-level special education coordinators in mid-year • 33 schools located literally in every corner of the state • Enrich was rolled out*
Support Triangle Low Risk Schools High Risk Schools New schools Informal warnings Letters of caution Letters of noncompliance Revocation District/State/OCR findings • Adequate scores on CPR • Returning schools with no warnings/findings • No findings or reasons for concern
Support Triangle Low risk schools • Modified CPR • Transfer IEPs • IEPs • Reevaluations • Initial evaluations • Run-of-the-mill questions
Support Triangle High risk schools • New schools/new coordinators/informal warnings/letters of caution • Full CPR • Corrective action plan developed with sped coordinator • Targeted technical assistance via sped coordinator • Letter of noncompliance • District involvement (Robbie or Beckie) • Revocation • Legal involvement
Special Education Compliance is a big deal • The most recent revocation was related primarily to systemic, persistent special education noncompliance that had not been corrected within a year • A neighboring school district revoked the charter of a school for failure to issue progress reports
Comprehensive Program Review (CPR) • The Comprehensive Program Review (CPR) is a transparent and collaborative process used by the South Carolina Public Charter School District (District) to monitor schools' compliance with the various rules and regulations governing the education of students with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004. The CPR will consist of the following: • Onsite visits to the school or telephone/video conference; • Review of documentation: records, resources, materials, policy/procedures; and • Consultation with staff
Comprehensive Program Review (CPR) • The CPR occurs annually during the Fall semester. District staff and/or Regional Coordinators will schedule the CPR with each assigned school. • How: • School Procedures: • Complete the Self-Assessment rating • 0-Does not meet - No evidence of any degree of implementation or compliance • 1-Partially meets - Partial plan in place to meet legal requirements • 2-Meets - Plan is 100% in place and meets legal requirements • Prepare and describe evidence for the various compliance requirements to be reviewed by District staff and/or Regional Coordinators • District Procedures: • Examine the school's ratings and evidence for each rating • Provide justification for each rating of 0 or 1 • Determine the level of priority: • Low and Medium levels require an Improvement Plan (IP)* developed in conjunction with the Regional Coordinator • High level requires an Action Plan (AP) developed in conjunction with District staff
CPR • Returning schools will have a modified version of the CPR • Resources regarding the CPR will be on The Bookshelf • Including examples of possible evidence for indicators
The school has district-approved policies and procedures. • Special Education and related service staff are in place and are highly qualified, appropriately certified. • Special education related providers (school psychologist, OT PT, RN) are on staff or on contract are appropriately credentialed. • The total number of identified students are appropriately proportionate to hired special education staff so that all identified students are able to receive a FAPE. • Special education staff, other related service providers, and/or other school staff have engaged in professional development as to special education and RTI procedures, process and practice. • School files are kept confidential, locked, up to date, accessible, and organized with appropriate information stored for the required length of time. • The school maintains an up-to-date, confidential, and accurate database of students with IEPs. • All required information is marked complete and attached in Enrich in a timely manner. • All IEPs are compliant as demonstrated by a review of 5 IEPs (transfer, annual, initial evaluation, and/or reevaluations). • All active IEPs are reviewed annually.
All reevaluations have been conducted within appropriate timelines. • All active IEPs have documentation of progress monitoring at intervals described in the IEP. • Students receive services in accordance with their IEPs. • Evaluations for initial eligibility are comprehensive, are conducted by a multidisciplinary team, and contain evidence of previous research-based interventions. • Comparable services meetings occur within the first 5 school days after enrollment and services that are similar or equivalent to those that were described in the previous IEP are provided. • Transfer IEP meetings are conducted within 30 calendar days of enrollment. • The school has a means to track the removal of students for disciplinary reasons and to alert school staff when a student is approaching 10 days OSS. • All disciplinary removals of students with IEPs were done so in accordance with IDEA requirements and have been appropriately documented in Incident Management in PowerSchool. • The school has a means to document the provision of all accommodations and modifications required in IEPs.
All parents have been notified of their Procedural Safeguards at least annually. • Notices and other IDEA-required information have been presented to parents in understandable language (written language understandable by the general public and in the native language of the parent or other mode of communication used by the parent). • IDEA funds are used solely for district-approved IDEA related activities. • The school maintains an inventory of all equipment, materials, etc. purchased with special education funds throughout the life of the equipment. • The school submits timely and accurate data as required by Federal, State, and District reporting. • The school uses all forms required by the District.
SharePoint • http://sccharter-public.sharepoint.com/ • We’ve migrated from SharePoint to The Bookshelf • All policies and resources are on The Bookshelf • Enrich resources • Samples • Other guidance and resources
Policies and Procedures • As previously discussed, this year’s policies also include a section for the insertion of school-level procedures. • Schools must adopt our policies. • July 2014: changes indicated by orange font • The areas that schools need to address are: • Cover page (including school logo) • Assurances (p. 4) • Child Find (p. 12) • Procedural Safeguards (p. 15) • Monitoring of Suspensions (p. 21) • IAES (p. 22) • Serving students aged 21 (p. 35) • Sending Paperwork (p. 35) • LEA Designee (p. 36) • Meeting Notices (p. 37) • Transfers (p. 43) • School’s must submit your signed copies of their Policies and Procedures to your district coordinator by Friday, September 5th.
IEPs (Transfers) • VI (F) • Regardless of how the parent completes the enrollment information regarding previous special education services, it is the responsibility of the new school to verify whether or not the student received special education and related services in the previous district. • Since this is a transfer of educational records from the child’s previous LEA to the South Carolina Public Charter School District, no consent for release of documents is required.
Written, school-level procedures • How do you identify newly-enrolled students who have IEPs? • How/who requests records? • Where do you request records from – school versus district office? • What happens if you don’t get records within 5 days? • Once you get records, what happens?
School Requirements • Verify the student’s special education status with the previous school district – even if the parent “marks no” • Make this verification call to the former school • If you find out that the child has an IEP: • Request full records: • At a minimum: • Current IEP • Most current evaluation/reevaluation report • Make request to the former district’s director of special education, not the school (contact list located in SharePoint) • If, after a few attempts and reasonable amount time, you do not receive IEP records, contact Robbie for assistance
New this year • Expired IEPs • ISPs • Comparable services meetings
Expired IEPs – this is a change • For IEPs expired within the past 6 months, provide comparable services • May or may not need to initiate a reevaluation • For IEPs expired more than 6 months, provide comparable services and initiate a reevaluation to gather additional information to determine educational needs
ISPs (3) TRANSFERS WITH AN INDIVIDUAL SERVICES PLAN • IDEA requires that LEAs must develop and implement an Individual Services Plan (ISP) for each parentally-placed private school child with a disability who has been designated by the LEA in which the private school is located to receive special education and related services. (34 CFR § 300.132) The services plan must describe the specific special education and related services that the LEA will provide to the child in light of the services that the LEA has determined through the consultation process described below that it will make available to its population of parentally-placed private school children with disabilities. The services plan must, to the extent appropriate meet the requirements for IEPs and be developed, reviewed, and revised consistent with the same process for IEPs. The following applies to a child with a disability who transfers to the South Carolina Public Charter School District with an ISP: • Within five school days of enrollment for a child with a disability who transfers to the South Carolina Public Charter School District with an ISP from another district in South Carolina, the South Carolina Public Charter School District, in consultation with the parents, will provide a FAPE to the child, including services comparable to those described in the child’s ISP from the previous district. Because the previous LEA is responsible for providing equitable services and not a FAPE, the child’s newly designated IEP team in the South Carolina Public Charter School District would conduct a reevaluation planning meeting at the same time as the comparable services meeting to review existing information, including but not limited to, the most recent evaluation/reevaluation from the previous district, any draft IEP developed by the previous district, and the ISP, to determine what additional information, if any, was needed in order to develop and implement a new IEP. The team would obtain parent consent to gather any additional information determined to be needed. • Within thirty calendar days from the date of enrollment the South Carolina Public Charter School District will complete the reevaluation process and develop and implement a new IEP. When a child transfers with an ISP, eligibility has already been established in the previous district.
Comparable Services • An IEP team determines comparable services through a meeting (not the previous comparable services form) • It involves two things: • Transfer IEP • Parental Input • There are two meeting options: • Full IEP meeting • Agreement to amend IEP without a meeting • Comparable services meeting must take place within 5 days of enrollment
Comparable Services • Comparable services • Not going from 1950 minutes of special education services to 60 minutes • Not dropping the behavior/counseling goal because “we don’t do that here” • Not dropping the fine motor goal because “we don’t have an OT” • How do you determine comparable services?
Between Comparable Services to 30-day meeting • Gather data . . . . . • Monitor/adjust . . . . • Try interventions . . . . . • Monitor/adjust . . . . • Gather Data . . . .
30-day IEP meeting Team can only make changes if there are new data to support making changes
IEPs (Transfers) • VI (F)(1) • Within thirty calendar days from the date of enrollment the South Carolina Public Charter School District will: • adopt the child’s IEP from the previous LEA, • amend the child’s IEP from the previous LEA, or • develop and implement a new IEP.
Prior Written Notice sans meeting minutes
NEWS FLASH No more minutes/meeting summary So you will live and die by your PWN
The purpose of providing prior written notice to a parent is to: • provide comprehensive documentation of the proposed and refused actions made; • make sure the LEA and the parents are “on the same page” about a child’s educational program; • provide the parents with an opportunity to voice any concerns or suggestions; • provide sufficient information to ensure that the parent understands the rationale behind an LEA’s decision making regarding a particular proposed or refused action; • ensure that informed parental consent is obtained, as necessary; • assist the parent in determining the basis for any disagreement(s) with the proposed and/or refused actions addressed in the prior written notice and whether to seek resolution of any dispute through local dispute resolution procedures, a state complaint, mediation or a due process hearing. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) stated that the purpose for providing prior written notice is: • to ensure that a parent understands the special education and related services which an LEA has proposed or refused to provide to a student. If a parent does not understand the services being proposed, it follows that the parent could not have agreed to the proposed services. Letter to Boswell, 49 IDELR 196, (OSEP 2007)
Regulatory Requirements Regarding theProvision of Prior Written Notice PWN shall be given to the parent(s) of a child with a disability within a reasonable time before the LEA proposes or refuses: • to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement (including graduation with a standard or advanced diploma) of the child; or • the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for the child.
Examples of When Prior Written Notice Is Required Evaluation/reevaluation • Consent for evaluation • Student is found to be ineligible • Refusal to evaluate • Refusal to provide an independent educational evaluation (IEE)
Examples of When Prior Written Notice Is Required Identification • Initial categorical identification • Change in categorical identification • Termination of categorical identification
Examples of When Prior Written Notice Is Required Placement • Initial placement determination • Change in least restrictive environment along the continuum of placement alternatives • Refusal to change placement as requested by the parent • Change in placement due to parental placement of a student with a disability in a residential facility for non-educational reasons • When the brick and mortar placement location is in dispute • Change in placement due to disciplinary reasons
Examples of When Prior Written Notice Is Required Provision of FAPE • After IEP has been proposed by the LEA • After IEP addendum without a meeting • Refusal to provide a specific instructional methodology requested by the parent • Change in services • Change in accommodations/modifications • Changes in transportation arrangements that are required for provision of FAPE • Change of testing to any alternative assessment method • Provision of “comparable services” when a student transfers into an LEA • Graduation with Standard or Advanced Diploma • Termination of services
Examples of When Prior Written Notice Is Required Other • Refusal to convene IEP team meeting after parental request • Revocation of parental consent • Refusal to provide services to a student who is parentally placed in a private school when the parent requests services that are not provided under what the LEA previously determined to be the “equitable services” that would be provided to such students • Transfer of rights at age of majority
Mandated Requirements of Prior Written Notice 1. a description of the action proposed or refused by the LEA . 2. an explanation of why the LEA proposes or refuses to take action. 3. a description of any other options the IEP team considered and the reasons for the rejection of those options. 4. a description of each evaluation procedure, assessment, record or report the LEA used as a basis for the proposed or refused action. 5. a description of any other factors that are relevant to the LEA ’s proposal or refusal. 6. a statement that the parent(s) of a child with a disability have protection under the procedural safeguards. 7. sources for the parent to contact in order to obtain assistance in understanding the provisions of the notice requirements.
Generally the PWN must: • be comprehensive enough to address each of the LEA ’s proposed and/or refused actions. The PWN should eliminate all doubts and/or misunderstandings. • provide support for decisions communicated within the notice. • specify the reasoning behind any proposed and/ or refused action. • include and describe the facts of the meeting in a neutral tone and should be void of emotional, judgmental, or speculative statements. • avoid the use of acronyms, such as, IDEA, LRE, and IEE, without proper explanation.
1. A description of the action proposed or refused by the LEA. This mandated requirement appears to imply that a separate notice be completed for each proposed or refused action – however, there is nothing in the federal and or state special education laws and regulations which would prohibit an LEA from including all of its proposed and refused actions into a single prior written notice, as long as there is a description of each action that was proposed or refused. The description provided should be written as a statement that is factually grounded or informative, rather than being written in a vague, generic, and normative format.
2. An explanation of why the LEA proposes orrefuses to take action. This section of the prior written notice is where the LEA will detail its rationale for its proposed and/ or refused actions. It is from this section that the parent should understand how the LEA reached its decision on a specific action. The prior written notice document must specify the reasoning behind the school’s decision to reject the opinions of individuals or providers outside of the school. Ex: Alerting parents that the child’s IEP team has decided not to adopt the parent’s private provider’s recommendations may not be enough to guard the school division in a due process hearing. Additionally, if there was more than one reason for each decision, the IEP team should include each reason why it is proposing and/or refusing a specific action.