Issue 9 Stories

DESE Monitoring Review for Special Education: Civil Rights, Educational Stability (Week of 11/11/19)

Tiered Focused Monitoring 

This is our year for participating in the Tiered Focused Monitoring (TFM), formerly known as the Coordinated Program Review (CPR) with the DESE. Schools are reviewed every three years, with the focus most tied to student outcomes for Special Education and Civil Rights. Simultaneously, CBRSD is participating in an Educational Stability audit regarding students in foster care, military involved families and those who identify as homeless. 

What does this mean? 

CBRSD is identified in Group B. Therefore, the Universal Standards that are being addressed include:

  • Licensure and professional development
  • Parent/student/community engagement
  • Facilities and classroom observations
  • Oversight
  • Time and learning
  • Equal access for all students

In addition, the Department has reserved a specific set of criteria, collectively known as Targeted Standards, employed when LEA or school-level risk assessment data indicate that there is a potential issue. CBRSD has been flagged for discipline (suspensions) and the state turnaround plan occurring at Nessacus. 

There are 2 phases of this process:

Self-Assessment Phase:

  • District/school reviews special education and civil rights documentation for required elements, including document uploads to the DESE (completed).
  • District/school reviews a sample of special education student records selected across grade levels, disability categories and levels of need (completed).
  • Upon completion of these two internal reviews, the district/school's self-assessment is submitted via WBMS to the Department for review. (completed).
On-site Verification Phase (Fall 2019):

  • Review of student records for special education: The Department selects a sample of student records from those the district reviewed as part of its self-assessment, as well as records chosen by the Department from the special education student roster. The onsite team conducts this review, using standard Department procedures, to determine whether procedural and programmatic requirements are being met. 
  • Review of additional documents for special education or civil rights
  • Surveys of parents of students with disabilities: Parents of students with disabilities are sent a survey to solicit information regarding their experiences with the district's implementation of special education programs, related services, and procedural requirements.
  • Interviews of staff consistent with those criteria selected for onsite verification.
  • Interviews of parent advisory council (PAC) representatives and other telephone interviews, as requested, by other parents or members of the general public.
  • Observations of classrooms and other facilities: The onsite team visits a sample of classrooms and school facilities used in the delivery of programs and services to determine general levels of compliance with program requirements.

 When is this occurring?

The DESE will be conducting on site visits the week of November 11, 2019. They have already specified touring Becket Washington, Kittredge and Nessacus. We will notify you once a specific schedule is identified, including who will be participating in staff interviews. The DESE will notify us by the position (Superintendent, Director of Student Services, Principals, Teachers, Parents and SEPAC members, etc). This is nothing to panic over! We will meet with those who will be interviewed to answer any questions they may have ahead of time. Gretchen West and Jennifer Bell will be available to support you. More information will be shared as we obtain it. 

 Following the onsite visit, the onsite team will hold an informal exit meeting to summarize its comments for the superintendent and anyone else he or she chooses. Results of this review will be made public. Any identified areas of concern will be outlined and will have to be addressed via an action plan.

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Opening Day with Cornelius and Kassandra Minor