SPECIAL EDUCATION and RELATED SERVICES SPARTA SCHOOL DISTRICT - SPECIAL SERVICES DEPT. JULY 28, 2014

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1 SPECIAL EDUCATION and RELATED SERVICES SPARTA SCHOOL DISTRICT - SPECIAL SERVICES DEPT. JULY 28, 2014

2 TODAY S OBJECTIVES To provide an overview regarding: Child Study Team general procedures to include the referral process. The evaluative process and what a comprehensive evaluation entails. Eligibility Categories Definition of a Specific Learning Disability. How Sparta identifies a student with a Specific Learning Disability. Severe Discrepancy Model and other related methods used for eligibility. Sparta Special Services Student Numbers and Percentages. How Sparta Compares to State Recommended Averages.

3 THE CHILD STUDY TEAM Each building has it s own Child Study Team comprised of a School Psychologist, Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant, and School Social Worker. Quite often, a Speech / Language Therapist is also a part of this team and are housed in each building. Outside specialists can also be a part of the CST, including Occupational Therapists, Behavioral Therapists, and Physical Therapists. In Sparta we are very lucky to have professionals ranging from a NJ licensed psychologist, doctorate level psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, and a nationally certified educational diagnostician. PhD. PsyD. LCSW NCED CCC-SLP NJ Licensed Psychologist Cross discipline collaboration is necessary to ensure that our students receive a high level of service and that as professionals there is ongoing joint learning. Cases are often reviewed and analyzed for accuracy and for the promotion of appropriate interventions.

4 REFERRALS A student can be referred for Special Education either by a parent or school staff member because regular education interventions have not been met with success. These regular education interventions are developed through a rigorous Intervention & Referral Services (I&RS) process. Once referred, an initial planning meeting with the CST, parent, and regular education teacher occurs and it is determined whether or not testing is warranted. Testing is conducted by appropriate Child Study Team members and any other necessary professionals (ie. Audiologist, Psychiatrist, Neurodevelopmental Specialist, Occupational Therapist, or Physical Therapist). Eligibility for Special Education and Related Services is determined.

5 14 ELIGIBILTY CATEGORIES Auditorily Impaired Orthopedically Impaired Autistic Other Health Impaired Cognitively Impaired Communication Impaired Emotionally Disturbed Multiply Disabled Deaf/blindness Preschool Child with a Disability Social Maladjustment Specific Learning Disability Traumatic Brain Injury Visually Impaired

6 SPECIFIC LEARNING DISABILITY The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) defines a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) in Title 20 United States Code Section 1401 (30) [cited as 20 USC 1401 (30)] as follows: (30) Specific Learning Disability. (A) In General. The term specific learning disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which disorder may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations.

7 SPECIFIC LEARNING DISABIIITY (Con t) (B) Disorders Included. Such term includes conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. (C) Disorders Not Included. Such term does not include a learning problem that is primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

8 SPECIFIC LEARNING DISABILITY (SLD) ELIGIBILITY The District uses the discrepancy model to determine SLD eligibility. When a severe discrepancy is found between the student s current achievement and intellectual ability in one or more of the following areas: 1.Basic Reading Skills 2.Reading Comprehension 3.Oral Expression 4. Listening Comprehension 5. Mathematical Calculation 6. Mathematical Problem Solving 7. Written Expression 8. Reading Fluency

9 SEVERE DISCREPANCY The term 'Severe Discrepancy' refers to one of the primary components of most State and/or local guidelines for determining if a student is eligible for Special Education services related to a Specific Learning Disability. Although the real basis of a learning disability is an assumed information processing weakness, 'severe discrepancy' between ability and achievement is the standard method used to determine how much impact the processing problem has on a student's actual achievement. 'Discrepancy' is a measure of underachievement (the difference between ability and achievement) and 'severe' refers to how much underachievement is required by a given State or district before a student will qualify for Special Education services.

10 SIGNIFICANT DISCREPANCY MODEL To measure significant discrepancy the Child Study Teams for the Sparta Public School District use a statistically sound formula of a minimum of one and one half (1.5) standard deviations for all students grades K-12 (i.e. minimum difference of 22 standard score points between achievement and aptitude.)

11 Sussex County Schools District: DFG: Discrepancy Model: Andover Regional FG 22 pts Byram Twp I 22 pts Frankford Twp FG 15 pts Franklin Boro CD 22 pts Fredon Twp GH 13 pts Green Twp I Regression Analysis Hamburg Boro DE 15 pts Hampton Twp GH 22 pts High Point Regional DE Regression Analysis Hopatcong FG 15 pts Kittatinny Regional FG 22 pts Lafayette Twp GH 22 pts

12 Sussex County Schools cont d District: DFG: Discrepancy Model Lenape Valley Regional GH 22pts Montague Twp B 22 pts Newton CD 22 pts Odgensburg Boro FG Regression Analysis Sandyston-Walpack Twp FG 22 pts Sparta Twp I 22 pts Stanhope Boro GH 22 pts Vernon Twp FG 22 pts Wallkill Valley Regional DE 15 pts/cognitive

13 Essex & Morris County Schools District: DFG: Discrepancy Model: Boonton Twp I 22 pts Caldwell-West Caldwell I 22 pts Cedar Grove Twp I 22 pts Denville Twp I 22 pts Florham Park I 22 pts Glen Ridge Boro I Estimator Program Hanover Twp I pts Kinnelon Boro I 22 pts Livingston Twp I 22 pts Madison I 22 pts

14 Essex & Morris County Schools cont d District: DFG: Discrepancy Model: Montclair I 22 pts Montville Twp I 20 pts Morris Plains Boro I 22 pts Randolph Twp I 15 pts Rockaway Twp I 22 pts Roseland Boro I 22 pts South Orange-Maplewood I 22 pts Verona I 23 pts Washington Twp I 15 pts West Essex Regional I 22 pts West Morris Regional I 15 pts

15 Simple Discrepancy Model...Process Not So Simple A student is referred with a clear profile, standard testing is completed, and a discrepancy is found. A student is referred where the team further explores the psychological processes behind the child s learning challenges, when a clear profile does not present. In these instances, the CST may expand the testing and look at other tools or a student may need to see a professional outside of the school staff.

16 Not So Simple (cont d) Child Study Teams consider a variety of data sources when making an eligibility determination. Determination of SLD, like any other disability determination, cannot be made using a single criterion. That is, teams may not use one screening assessment, one observation, or a single assessment score to determine eligibility. Ultimately, the CST must decide whether a student has a disability, whether the disability has an adverse educational impact, and whether the student requires specialized instruction to make academic progress.

17 Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses The Child Study Team conducts a comprehensive evaluation for ALL students. CST considers a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance and/or achievement that is determined by the group to be relevant to the identification of SLD when considering eligibility. Patterns of strength and weakness historically refer to the examination of profiles across different tests used in the identification of children with SLD.

18 Totality of Circumstances Academic achievement Cognitive Ability Psychological Processes Visual Processing Perceptual Organization Working Memory Attention and Memory Visual / Auditory memory

19 OTHER METHODS USED IN CONSIDERATION FOR ELIGIBILITY General Abilities Index (GAI) The GAI is an optional index score within cognitive assessment with reduced emphasis on working memory and processing speed relative to the full scale IQ. Regression Formula - Regression discrepancy models use statistics to correct some of the measurement problems inherent in less sophisticated standard score comparison models. A regression formula is basically a statistical procedure that provides an achievement range for a specific intelligent quotient, adjusted for regression toward the mean. Verbal vs. Performance Discrepancy - This discrepancy model provides a comparison of verbal and performance measures that yield inter- and intra-cognitive differences.

20 TOOLS FOR EVALUATION Identifying the deficit in the basic psychological processes can help pinpoint the cause of a student s academic problem. This information can also assist us in developing appropriate interventions to help the student. Comprehensive evaluations help create an understanding for how a child thinks, learns, and behaves. How does the Child Study Team do this? Learning Consultants: Use academic achievement tools such as the Woodcock Johnson III, Gray Oral Reading Test, etc. Psychologists: Use Wechsler Intelligence Scales, Woodcock Johnson III Cognitive Batteries, Differential Abilities Scales etc. Speech/Language: Phonological Awareness Test, Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing etc. All of these tools are nationally standardized, reliable, and valid. The tools such as the WJIII and Wechsler Scales are considered to be the Gold Standard assessment tools.

21 EVALUATIVE PROCESS Interview teachers and parents at referral Observe student s classroom performance Review past records, such as standardized test results Review results from informal reading and math inventories Review reports cards and academic work samples Check cumulative file for comments & lower marks in basic reading and math skills Review response to intervention programs Look for family history (i.e reading problems)

22 EVALUATIVE PROCESS The results of such tools are used in conjunction with functional data such as classroom observations, teacher input, parent input, interviews, and work samples.

23 SPARTA SCHOOL DISTRICT SPECIAL EDUCATION NUMBERS Total Sparta Student Body # Sparta Students Receiving Special Ed & Related Services

24 Sparta Classification List Auditorily Impaired 1% Visually Impaired <1% Traumatic Brain Injury <1% Autistic 7% Communication Impaired 5% Specific Learning Disability 30% Eligible-Speech- Language Services 14% Emotionally Disturbed 3% Preschool Child with a Disability 6% Other Health Impaired 31% Multiply Disabled 3% Mild Cognitive Impairment <1%

25 OUR NUMBERS During the past two school years, 154 school-age students have been referred for a Child Study Team evaluation. The referrals are made as a result of a myriad of concerns, including but not limited to emotional disturbance, attentional concerns, and learning challenges. 112 of those students received a Child Study Team evaluation. 93 of the 112 cases were deemed eligible for Special Education and Related Services. A review of the cases deemed ineligible were due to reasons such as academic progress or parent denial of services.

26 HOW DOES SPARTA COMPARE? According to the US Department of Education, the recommended average percentage of all students receiving Special Education and Related Services is 13%. Sparta Township School District provides services to 15% of its population.

27 SPARTA COMPARED TO US RECOMMENDED AVERAGE 15% Sparta Students, 15% US Average 13% 10%

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