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Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative. Evaluation of Special Education Services to Students with Disabilities in the Kent School District  A Report of the External Core Team. The Collaborative. The Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative was founded in 1994

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urban special education leadership collaborative
Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative

Evaluation of Special Education Services to Students with Disabilities in the

Kent School District 

A Report of the External Core Team

the collaborative
The Collaborative
  • The Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative was founded in 1994
  • Sponsored by the Education Development Center, Inc.
  • The Collaborative’s Mission: To improve educational results and life’s opportunities for students with disabilities and other diverse learners
  • Current Membership: Approximately 100 large, medium, and small school districts across the country
external core team
External Core Team
  • Ronald Felton, Associate Director
    • Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative
    • Former Associate Superintendent, Miami-Dade County Schools
  • Orla Higgins Averill, Senior Training and Technical Assistance Associate
    • Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative
  • Caroline Parker, Senior Research Scientist
    • Education Development Center, Inc.
  • David Riley, Executive Director
    • Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative
  • Claudia Rinaldi, Assistant Director
      • Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative
  • Kimberly Willingham, Senior Training and Technical Assistance Associate
    • Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative
purpose of the review
Purpose of the Review
  • Kent School District commissioned this review to examine its programs, policies, and practices with the intention of improving the educational performance and post-school outcomes of students with disabilities.
evaluation context
Evaluation Context
  • Pursuit of best practices
  • Efficient and effective systems
  • Meeting the needs of students with IEPs
  • Access to rigorous curriculum and quality instruction
  • Capacity building of schools and personnel
  • Response to Intervention (RTI) and Positive Behavioral
  • Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
  • Alignment of special education services and supports with school district’s strategic goals
methodology
Methodology
  • Document review
  • Stakeholder interviews and focus groups
  • School visitations
  • Parent focus group and meeting
  • Data analysis
  • Report development
  • Debriefing and presentation of findings
focus areas of report
Focus Areas of Report
  • Special Education Eligibility Determination
  • Student Achievement in the Least Restrictive Environment
  • Best Practices
  • Use of Resources
strengths
Strengths
  • Expansion of inclusive practices throughout the district
  • Commitment to changing the nature and identity of special education
  • Adoption of an RTI model in academics
  • Efforts to produce meaningful, compliant, and standards-based IEPs
  • Emphasis on culturally responsive practices
  • Partnerships with families, community, and business
report recommendations
Report Recommendations
  • Special Education Eligibility Determination
    • Policy & Procedures Manual
    • Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Framework
    • Communication
  • Student Achievement in the LRE
    • MTSS Framework
    • Graduation
    • Dropout
    • Suspensions
  • Best Practices
    • Professional Development To Support MTSS Implementation
    • IEP Development
    • Family and Community Engagement
  • Use of Resources
report recommendations special education eligibility determination
Report Recommendations:Special Education Eligibility Determination
  • Policy & ProceduresCreate a comprehensive and cohesive KSD policy and procedural manual for the provision of special education services under IDEA.
  • Response to Intervention RTI & Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports PBIS (MTSS) FrameworkIntegrate efforts in the areas of RTI and PBIS to develop a robust and systemic MTSS framework for both academic and behavioral instruction and intervention.
report recommendations special education eligibility determination1
Report Recommendations:Special Education Eligibility Determination
  • Communication Develop a strategic communications plan for the Office of Inclusive Educational Services to be shared with stakeholders throughout the district – teachers, school leaders, central office administrators, parents, and community partners – that delineates specific expectations and procedures for communication between the district and schools about IES initiatives, policies, processes, and practices.  
report recommendations student achievement in the lre
Report Recommendations:Student Achievement in the LRE
  • MTSS Framework Integrate efforts in the areas of RTI and PBIS to develop a robust and systemic MTSS framework for both academic and behavioral instruction and intervention that incorporates ongoing self-assessment of implementation.
  • GraduationUse data to determine which students are not on track to graduate. For students not on track, use a collaborative problem-solving structure to activate interventions and supports available through the MTSS framework.
student achievement in the least restrictive environment recommendations
Student Achievement in the Least Restrictive Environment: Recommendations
  • DropoutEnsure that no student with an IEP drops out of high school by activating five strategies proven to help prevent dropout among students with disabilities.
    • Establish persistence, continuity and consistency in the message to stay in school
    • Monitor student’s risky behavior
    • Establish a connection between a school-based adult and the student
    • Foster a sense of belonging to school through participation; and
    • Develop student’s problem-solving skills
student achievement in the least restrictive environment recommendations1
Student Achievement in the Least Restrictive Environment: Recommendations
  • SuspensionsCollect and analyze suspension data comparing students with/without IEPs to determine the extent to which MTSS and specially-designed instruction is effectively reducing the time the students are out of school or classes because of misconduct.
best practices recommendations
Best Practices: Recommendations
  • Professional Development To Support MTSS ImplementationThe district should develop a Professional Development plan that supports the systemic implementation of an MTSS framework, with the first steps being a focus on increasing all students’ access to rigorous, effective, and differentiated Tier 1/ Core instruction and with explicit attention to the following:
    • Co-teaching
    • Multi-tiered behavioral instruction and intervention
    • Use of data
    • Impact evaluation
    • Culturally responsive pedagogy
best practices recommendations1
Best Practices: Recommendations
  • IEP Development The district should continue to provide a mix of in-person and online training opportunities related to using IEP Online to develop quality, standards-based, and instructionally-relevant IEPs. These training opportunities should be available to all schools.
  • Family and Community Engagement Expand existing practicesto increase family and community engagement, with a particular focus on addressing the concerns of parents of students with IEPs.
use of resources recommendation
Use of Resources: Recommendation

Central Office Alignment and Coordination Align the work and structures of central office departments to support the vision of Inclusive Educational Services. Attend specifically to:

  • Establishing cross-functional design team to guide MTSS implementation
  • Establishing support for district-wide implementation of PBIS
  • Considering an alternate methodology (e.g., workload analysis) for establishing caseload configurations of related service providers and develop guidelines for students to exit related services
  • Developing a protocol for paraprofessional allocation
contact information
Contact Information
  • David Riley
  • Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative
    • driley@edc.org
    • Claudia Rinaldi
    • Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative
    • crinaldi@edc.org
slide19

District Response

  • Creation of a District Response Taskforce
    • Careful review of recommendations by various stakeholders (teachers, administrators, district staff, parents/guardians, community members, etc.)
      • To connect and build on previous work
      • To enhance response to students’ and staff’s needs
        • Taskforce expected outcome:
          • Create an action plan with deliverables
            • Update to Board in March 2014
  • Established a district “Programming for Student Success” committee
slide20

District Response

  • Created of a comprehensive Inclusive Education procedures manual (currently in draft form)
  • Plans to work with stakeholders in developing a comprehensive department communication plan
  • Paraeducator allocation protocol developed
  • Exit guidelines for related services under development by workgroups
  • Workload/caseload pilot with occupational/physical therapist workgroup
slide21

Questions

  • We appreciate the partnership with the Urban Collaborative in helping us ensure best practices in the Inclusive Education department and the district.