Chelmsford Public Schools Report on Student Services and Special Education

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1 Chelmsford Public Schools Report on Student Services and Special Education Brad Brooks, Director of Student Services School Committee Meeting December 16, 2014 Brad Brooks, Director of Student Services

2 Role of the Student Services Department The Office of Student Services coordinates the services that the Chelmsford Public Schools provide to students who require specialized instruction and/or support. These services may include: Specially Designed Instruction Guidance and Psychological Services Nursing Services Specialized Transportation Related Services (speech, OT, PT, interpreting, mobility, etc.) 504 Plans

3 Chelmsford Special Education PHILOSOPHY Chelmsford students educated in Chelmsford Response to changing population of students Assisting students with accessing general curriculum Awareness of changing needs of students Social/Emotional needs Students with Autism Students with significant acting out behaviors Specialized Instruction Creative problem solving to unique situations Develop New Programs CHS Student Transitional Educational Program (STEP) New England Center for Children (NECC) partner classroom Expansion of co-teaching opportunities Programs for students with Language Based Learning Disabilities

4 Special Education Statistics Ages 3-22 Total Population of Students with Disabilities requiring IEP s: FY (2/22/12); (15% of total population) FY (1/20/13); (14.9% of total population) FY (12/1/13); (16% of total population) FY (12/9/14); (16.2% of total population) ***State Average: 17.3% IN DISTRICT FY FY FY FY OUT OF DISTRICT FY12 88 Private: 34 Collaborative: 54 FY13 87 Private: 39 Collaborative: 48 FY14 84 Private: 40 Collaborative: 44 FY15* 88 Private: 42 Collaborative: 46 *2 students cost shared with other communities

5 CPS Special Education population breakdown ***Many students have more than one disability Students with: Specific Learning Disability 234 Communication Impairment 115 Health Impairment 139 Developmental Delay/ Intellectual Impairment Number Autism** 123 Emotional Impairment 68 Neurological 10 Other (Sensory, Physical, Multiple disabilities) 16

6 Special Education Updates Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) upcoming parent trainings/informational nights Nutrition Guardianship Transition into adult services CPS hosting two day training in March on Mental Health and the continuum of supports and services for these students Special Education Program spotlight on Inside CPS Byam PDD Programs/staff PAVE Program at CHS McCarthy Life Skills Program Superflex curriculum and collaboration with guidance at elementary CHIP s Program

7 What makes us effective? Strategies we use to maintain an excellent Special Education department Well trained teachers, therapists, clinical psychologists and Board Certified Behavior Analyst s (BCBA s) able to complete: Psychological/Neuropsychological evaluations Occupational, physical and speech/language evaluations Educational/Learning Style evaluations Functional Behavior Assessments (FBAs ) Home Assessments Augmentative/Alternative Communication Evals Staff trained on updates of essential assessments (WISC V, WJ IV, CELF, etc.) Cuts down on need for Independent Evaluations at District Expense ($2,500-$4000 each)

8 Strategies we use continued: Well trained Chairpersons: Mediation Conflict resolution Team Building Skilled teachers, therapists, paraprofessionals Collaboration between regular and special education in all buildings Carefully selected workshops/certifications Home/School Facilitators Annual review of students placed out of district placements for potential transition back in district

9 Strategies we use continued: Creative problem solving strategies Avoiding the one size fits all approach to programming for students with specific needs Parent education on the special education process- goal of all team meetings In district supports 1:1 support when necessary (for students with intensive behavioral or medical needs) Behaviorists Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA s) BCBA oversight of Applied Behavior Analysis trained (ABA) paraprofessional s Ancillary staff accessed through contracted services: Vision specialists Sign Language Interpreters Mobility Specialists Audiologists (making classrooms acoustically friendly)

10 Contracted Services: What are they? Specialized instruction (services for students with mobility issues, hearing loss, low vision, etc.) Students who require specialized ABA paraprofessionals in order to access programming in district Program at Parker run by the New England Center for Children (NECC) Students who receive home services/parent training District BCBA PT clinical psychologist Any contracted PT, OT or SLP to cover for leaves/growth within the school year Students with home programs (programming does not occur in a traditional public or private school setting)

11 Unforeseen Costs/Staff considerations in Special Education Team recommendations mid year/change in educational status Specialized transportation Division of Child and Families (DCF) placements Cost shares with other communities Student hospitalizations Requests for Initial Evaluations New students move in to district or age in to services Special education responsibility begins on the day of a students 3 rd birthday and continues through age 22 or graduation

12 Special Education programming within the district

13 Chelmsford Integrated Pre-School (CHIP s)program Presently: Eleven ½ day classrooms and 2 full-day Intensive Special Needs (ISN) classrooms 144 students Trends: 70 general education students 74 students with disabilities Early Intervention, parent and private daycare referrals Students on the autism spectrum Students with complex medical needs/intensive therapy needs

14 Special Education Programs Elementary Programs (all buildings) Learning Center (students with a mild to moderate disability that requires academic support) Resource Room (students with moderate to intensive disabilities participate in a small group setting with specialized instruction) Early Childhood Centers (ECC) K-1 students with significant communication deficits, PDD or developmental delay receiving specialized instruction in the areas of language, math, and social skills

15 Special Education Programs Elementary Programs (specialized) Byam Elementary Grade K-1 and 2-4 classrooms for students on the autism spectrum/pdd Center Elementary Functional Academics/Life Skills classroom for students with developmental delays/intellectual impairment

16 Special Education Programs Middle School Programs Learning Center Resource Room Student Assistance Programs (designed for students social/emotional issues that inhibit their ability to effectively progress academically. Occasionally ADHD behaviors, difficulties with unstructured time, and organizational problems. They may also exhibit emotional issues such as withdrawal, depression, and oppositionality.)

17 Special Education Programs Middle School Programs (specialized) McCarthy- Functional Academics/Life Skills classroom Parker- Classroom for students on the autism spectrum who require a highly structured environment utilizing principles of ABA

18 Special Education Programs Chelmsford High School Programs Learning Center Resource Room Student Assistance Program PAVE- Providing Academic and Vocational Experiences Life Skills/Transitional readiness program for students with intellectual impairment STEP - Students referred (through Deans, principal, team chairperson) that, despite regular education and/or special education supports, have demonstrated poor academic progress and/or have been involved in serious disciplinary actions. They have exhausted all other opportunities to succeed within the traditional school setting and require a more intensive interim alternative educational setting.

19 Student Services/Special Education Department Kara Saranich-CHIPS Preschool Coordinator Patty Doherty- Team Chairperson (Harrington, Byam and Parker MS) Lisa Diaz- Team Chairperson (Center, South Row and McCarthy MS) Marla De La Cruz- CHS Team Chairperson Renee Morgan- Out of District Coordinator Administrative Support Terry Randolph- CHS Katie Wholey- CHS Shirley Dorai- Central Office

20 Moving into next year Evaluate: Programs across the district for maximum effectiveness Staffing patterns in programs Programs for students with autism across the district Therapist caseload for SLP, OT, PT Determine programs needed to meet changing needs of students Expand co-teaching opportunities for students

21 Moving into next year cont. Review of programs/levels of support for students identified at risk. Students who may: Present with intensive social/emotional impairment(s) Have experienced past trauma Be court involved/on probation Be DCF/DMH involved (Middle and high school SAP programs, CHS STEP Program)

22 What is it? Circuit Breaker Formula used to offset the cost of students whose program cost is significantly higher than average. Circuit Breaker Formula: District pays all costs up to foundation and is reimbursed at rate set by the state of Massachusetts after foundation is reached Reimbursement paid quarterly the following fiscal year FY 14: Foundation or % not yet determined Circuit Breaker Reimbursements: Foundation Reimbursement rate over foundation FY10 : 38,636 75% FY11 : 38, % FY12 : 38, % FY13 : 40,512 72%

23 Grants Allocation Grant (240) Contracted service providers Instructional materials Technology Transportation Early Childhood Grant (262) Consultants Paraprofessional and professional staff salaries Staff Development Grant (274) Teacher training MTSS Supporting students with social/emotional issues Substitutes for teacher training

24 Questions?

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