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 Kent School District November 2013 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 Kent School District November 2013 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 Kent School District November 2013 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. Kent School District November 2013 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 Kent School District November 2013 Methodology Document review Stakeholder interviews and focus groups School visitations Parent focus group and meeting Data analysis Report development Debriefing and presentation of findings Kent School District November 2013 Focus Areas of Report Special Education Eligibility Determination Student Achievement in the Least Restrictive Environment Best Practices Use of Resources Kent School District November 2013 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 standardsbased IEPs Emphasis on culturally responsive practices Partnerships with families, community, and business Kent School District November 2013 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 Kent School District November 2013 Report Recommendations: Special Education Eligibility Determination 1. Policy & Procedures Create a comprehensive and cohesive KSD policy and procedural manual for the provision of special education services under IDEA. 1. Response to Intervention RTI & Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports PBIS (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. Kent School District November 2013 Report Recommendations: Special Education Eligibility Determination 3. 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. Kent School District November 2013 Report Recommendations: Student Achievement in the LRE 1. 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 selfassessment of implementation. 2. Graduation Use data to determine which students are not on track to graduate. For students not on track, use a collaborative problemsolving structure to activate interventions and supports available through the MTSS framework. Kent School District November 2013 Student Achievement in the Least Restrictive Environment: Recommendations 3. Dropout Ensure 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 Kent School District November 2013 Student Achievement in the Least Restrictive Environment: Recommendations 3. Suspensions Collect 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. Kent School District November 2013 Best Practices: Recommendations 1. Professional Development To Support MTSS Implementation The 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 Kent School District November 2013 Best Practices: Recommendations 2. 3. 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 practices to increase family and community engagement, with a particular focus on addressing the concerns of parents of students with IEPs. Kent School District November 2013 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 Kent School District November 2013 Contact Information David Riley Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative [email protected] Claudia Rinaldi Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative [email protected] Kent School District November 2013 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 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 Questions • We appreciate the partnership with the Urban Collaborative in helping us ensure best practices in the Inclusive Education department and the district.