Medway Special Education Minimize Impact; Maximize Participation, Independence and Achievement

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1 Medway Special Education Minimize Impact; Maximize Participation, Independence and Achievement Special Education Improvement Plan To increase the district s ability to meet the social, emotional, behavioral and academic needs of all students in the least restrictive environment using best practices and evidence- based research.

2 2012 Focus Areas for Special Education 1. Philosophy of Inclusion, reality of MCAS 2. Data taken on students frequently and discussed often Protocol for Data Team Meetings 3. Liaisons conduct Annual Reviews 4. Procedures to support the work we do 5. Consistency throughout the district 6. Program Development for LINKS and MOVE

3 Special Education Improvement the need for leadership Program Quality Survey: Developed with multidisciplinary team last year. To be sent out by end of November. Summer survey: Responses collected and analysis in process. State Survey: Although the response rate was low, the greatest area of concern is that parents of newly eligible students do not feel they receive enough information about resources from their child s school. Bimonthly staff newsletter Quarterly parents newsletter

4 Leadership vs. Management

5 What does the data show about Special Education in Massachusetts? (Focus Area 1 & 2) Thomas Hehir, Todd Grindal, & Hadas Eidelman study, 2012 MA students with disabilities are educated in classrooms with their typically developing peers at similar (slightly higher) rates as students with disabilities across the country. MA students are identified as eligible for special education vary substantially by category. Rates of special education identification vary substantially within and between MA school districts. Districts that have a larger percentage of low-income students, on average, identify a larger percentage of their students in the High Incidence disability categories. Though some wealthy districts have high rates of special education identification, overall high-income districts are not primarily responsible for the relatively high identification rates in the state (high income districts are more likely to have inclusive opportunities for students).

6 What does the data show about Special Education in Massachusetts? The performance of a school district s general education students is, on average, the strongest predictor of the performance of a district s special education students. Students in the High Incidence disability categories in districts that identify a higher percentage of children as disabled do not demonstrate meaningfully higher scores on the MCAS. Identifying a student with Special Needs does not, in the long run, help that student achieve a higher score on the MCAS. Low-income students are nearly twice as likely as students who are not lowincome to be identified as having a High Incidence designation. This is particularly true for low-income students in relatively wealthy school districts. Low-income students with disabilities are segregated at higher rates than students with disabilities who are not low-income. This finding was consistent across grade levels and in controlled statistical models. Conclusion: Students with disabilities who spend more time being educated with their typically developing peers, on average, earn higher scores on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests.

7 Procedures/Consistency (Focus Areas 3, 4 & 5) Rationale: Over time, each school has developed their own cultures related to special education procedures. This has made consistency very difficult and parents feel this inconsistency when moving from one school to another. Procedures Manual Annual Review Walk Throughs, ETS work with multiple buildings Tiered Instruction and General Education/Special Education Teams

8 Program Development (Focus Area 6) Rationale: Build high-quality, cost-efficient, in-district programs. In addition, use development process as a way to improve regular education interventions MOVE program: Students in all grades. Currently 14+ students distributed in programs at the Middle and High schools. Students have a complex profile including some degree of cognitive involvement, the need to support communication, decreased adaptive daily living skills, and can range from completely sub-separate to more than 50% included. LINKS program: Students in all grades. Currently, programs at Memorial, Medway Middle, and Medway High School. Built in cooperation with Walker Partnerships. Memorial has two students, Medway Middle has two students, Medway High has four students (two recent returnees) with the potential for a tuition-in students from other towns.

9 Medway LINKS Classroom Linking Home, School and Community Designed in cooperation with Walker partnerships to help cognitively intact students reintegrate back into the school and/or the classroom, LINKS is also a short term stabilization support in the event of an imminent or recent psychiatric assessment or hospitalization Staffed with a full time intervention specialist, school psychologist, part time teacher and tutor, students are able to spend all or part of their day in the classroom as applicable. LINKS staff provide the support and resources for students to feel successful and supported as they work with classroom staff to develop strategies. Students remain in the classroom for varying lengths of time depending on their needs. Once reintegrated into the school/classroom environment, students may still receive support form counselors in the program.

10 Pre Vocational Classroom MOVE: Both Programs are designed to support student with Intensive Special Needs: Vocational Career Classroom Work-site Opportunities: Student Center Programming That May Include: Specially Designed Instruction for All Core Academics Life Skills Functional Academics Social Skills Inclusive Opportunities Transition Planning Community Skills Medway High School Store Medway High School Copy Center Medway High School Cafeteria Medway High School Supply Room Job Readiness Skills: Career Inventories Career Exploration Entry Level Work Skills Social Skills for the Workplace Pre-Vocational Programs Within the School Setting Job Skills: Successful Workplace Attitudes & Behaviors. Accessing and filling out job applications Job Interview Skills. Job Coaching and Work Exploration Within the Community MOVE Cafe Medway Community Education Five Guys Burgers and Fries Dean College Food Services Medway Community Farm Medway Gardens Charles River Bank Burke Pre-School

11 ETS K-6: Carolyn Daniels ETS 7-12: Kim Condon ETS Model Implementation Asst. Dir: Kim Woodford (OOD, pre-k, HS and Memorial liaison with consult to MOVE) Dir. Kat Bernklow (Student Services Leadership, MS and McGovern liaison with consult to LINKS) By The Numbers Staff Grade # IEP # Reevaluation Total (with Initials) Kim Woodford pre-k meetings (incl. OOD and initials) Carolyn Daniels K students 49 meetings (+17 Initials so far) Kim Condon students 76 meetings HS * (+ 4 initials so far, High # reevals due to testing waivers)

12 Minimize Impact; Maximize Participation, Independence and Achievement Home-Based ABA Services (using new guidelines): Cost to district: 2011 Budget (21 students): 400, Actual (17 students): 316,146 11/12 estimate (10 students): 190,846

13 Moving Forward Continue to develop systems that that make consistent our approach to service while still honoring the cultures that have developed within buildings. Continue to focus on keeping students in their home schools whenever possible. Continue thoughtful program expansion that supports the above and functions as a model of best practice. Continue to support principals and their staffs as they move their buildings towards more inclusive environments. Continue to provide needs-based programming throughout the year for eligible students. Continue to make transparent the procedures and decision making involved in Special Education.

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