Focused Monitoring Report State Supported/Operated Programs

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1 Focused Monitoring Report State Supported/Operated Programs Education Agency: Excel Institute Special Education Coordinator: Ms. Wanda Smith Focused Monitoring Date: December 1-3, 2008 Date Mailed to Coordinator: January 23, 2009 Date of Verification Call From Coordinator: Date Documentation Due: 30 Day 6 Month Special Education Services Team Leader: Mrs. Deborah Rainwater The Focused Monitoring Process is a blend of the previous compliance monitoring system and a shift toward addressing program development and improving outcomes for students. This report is based on findings from the System Profile Information, Special Education Coordinator s Questionnaire, Student File Review, Student Services Review, and Compliance Verification Form Summary. During the Focused Monitoring Process, a designated number of student files were reviewed to verify compliance with state and federal requirements. Also, during this process, a small number of students have been reviewed to determine student status and related system performance results. Each SSR provides a combination of quantitative and qualitative results that reveal, in rich detail, what it is like to be a consumer of services and what is currently working for the student. The purpose of this report is to provide feedback to the school system in identifying areas of strengths and assist in correcting current problems and establishing/implementing a continuous self-monitoring system. In addition, the department hopes that this information will help advance practice by developing a collegial effort between the State Department of Education, Special Education Services, and the education agency.

2 Page 2 of 11 The Focused Monitoring Report includes the following: Areas of Strengths identified during monitoring. include systemic problems and student files that require immediate correction. Strategies address correcting specific student files. Strategies address correcting problems that could affect the quality of services and outcomes for all students with disabilities. Documentation of Strategy Implementation includes documentation of immediate corrections to student files that must be completed within 30 working days from the date of the verification call. All systemic areas of needed improvement must be addressed through professional development activities and either amending the Special Education Plan for Children with Disabilities to reflect appropriate current practice or documenting appropriate implementation of the current plan. GLOSSARY AAC... Alabama Administrative Code ADRS... Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services AMSTI... Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative ARI... Alabama Reading Initiative AYP... Adequate Yearly Progress AOD... Alabama Occupational Diploma BBSST... Building-Based Student Support Team CRS... Children s Rehabilitation Services CTIP... Career Technical Implementation Plan DB... Deaf-Blindness DD... Developmental Delay ED... Emotional Disturbance EI... Early Intervention ESL... English as a Second Language ESY... Extended School Year FACE... Functional Assessment of the Classroom Environment GEMS... Gaining Expertise through Mentoring and Support HI... Hearing Impairment IEP... Individualized Education Program LEA... Local Education Agency LEP... Limited English Proficiency LRE... Least Restrictive Environment MD... Multiple Disabilities MR... Mental Retardation OHI... Other Health Impairment OI... Orthopedic Impairment OT... Occupational Therapy PT... Physical Therapy SAT Stanford Achievement Test 10 SDE... State Department of Education SES... Special Education Services SETSWeb... Special Education Tracking System SIG... State Grant SLD... Specific Learning Disabilities SLI... Speech/Language Impairment SSR... Student Services Review STI... Software Technology Incorporated TBI... Traumatic Brain Injury VI... Visual Impairment VRS... Vocational Rehabilitation Service

3 Page 3 of 11 Areas of Strength The students residence and the school are clean and attractive. There is a good staff to student ratio. The Institute has completed the Medication Administration Certification program. The school has a computer lab available for student/class use. A range of health services are provided to students annually. Staff reported that changes are made to students school schedule and/or residence assignment as needed to provide students a calm and safe environment. Areas of Concern NOTE: These concerns are not systemic at this time; however, if not addressed by the education agency, they may become systemic problems. Evaluation, Eligibility, and Reevaluation. (i.e., appropriate evaluations completed and documented on eligibility report, process for initial evaluation or reevaluation, notice of meeting, timelines met, appropriate membership including parents, decision regarding reevaluation, notice and consent for reevaluation, etc.) In some files reviewed, the additional data needed as determined by the IEP Team on the Notice of IEP Team s Decision Regarding Reevaluation form was obtained prior to receiving consent. In some files reviewed, selected subtests was written on the eligibility report next to the intelligence test and the achievement test causing confusion regarding what data was used in determining eligibility. In some files reviewed, the eligibility decision did not include documentation that the disability was not due to student's lack of instruction in math, or reading, or limited English proficiency as required by the AAC.

4 Page 4 of 11 IEP Development / Implementation. (i.e., IEP notice, implementation/duration date, implementation date for preschoolers beginning on third birthday, student profile, goals, benchmarks, supplementary aids and services, related services/supports for school personnel, reporting of progress, transition, state testing information, appropriate membership, LRE, documentation copy of IEP given to parents and service providers informing them of their responsibilities and access to IEP, behavior intervention plan review, notice and consent for the provision of services, etc.) In some files reviewed, the reasoning process for IEP development was not apparent; there was not a clear and measurable link between the information provided in the student profile and other IEP components including, but not limited to, transition needs/services, present level of performance, goals and benchmarks, statement of and related services, modifications and/or accommodations, supports for school personnel, and LRE as required by the AAC. In some files reviewed, the IEPs were not individualized to meet the specific needs of each student as required by the AAC. In some files reviewed, Alabama Student Assessment forms were not completed appropriately. The program does not have a clear understanding regarding the determination of the appropriate state assessment. In some files reviewed, progress reports did not reflect progress toward all IEP goals. General Concerns. There was a lack of instructional materials, supplies, equipment, and textbooks needed to implement IEPs. Due to lack of related service personnel, some students with disabilities may not be receiving needed related services. There was a lack of focused intervention for (elementary, middle, high school) students with disabilities in the area of reading. The public agency has not adopted a research-based reading or math program for students with disabilities.

5 Page 5 of 11 Evaluation, Eligibility, and/or Reevaluations. (i.e., appropriate evaluations completed and documented on eligibility report, process for initial evaluation or reevaluation, notice of meeting, timelines met, appropriate membership including parents, decision regarding reevaluation, notice and consent for reevaluation etc.) (1) Notice of Proposed Meeting/Consent for Agency Participation forms were not completed (e.g., missing forms, required participants not indicated, reasonable prior notice not provided, no documentation of attempts/alternate methods to ensure parent, student, and/or other agency personnel participation, and/or contact information not provided) as required by the AAC. (1) Provide to the appropriate teachers and administrators information, training, and/or technical assistance on the use and proper completion of the Notice of Proposed Meeting/ Consent for Agency Participation form. Provide to the appropriate teachers and administrators training and/or technical assistance to ensure parents are given an opportunity to participate in all meetings when decisions are being made regarding identification, evaluation, placement, and provision of services. (1) Provide to the SDE documentation of the information, training, and/or technical assistance provided on the use and proper completion of the Notice of Proposed Meeting/Consent for Agency Participation form including, but not limited to, training agenda/outline and participant sign-in forms. Participant sign-in (2) All evaluations for disability areas were not conducted as required by the AAC. (2) Convene the IEP Team and review the eligibility of the two students listed below: (2) Provide to the appropriate teachers and administrators training on the evaluation, eligibility, (2) Provide to the SDE a copy of the Notice of Proposed Meeting/Consent for Agency Participation, (2) Provide to the SDE documentation on the evaluation, eligibility, and reevaluation process/training

6 Page 6 of 11 Appropriate assessments and/or assessment data were not used in determining eligibility as required by the AAC. (2 student files) Reevaluate students as determined appropriate by a review of eligibility. Convene the IEP Team/eligibility team and determine eligibility for the students who were evaluated as determined appropriate by the review. and reevaluation process/criteria and requirements for the disability areas. Notice of IEP Team's Decision Regarding Reevaluation, Notice and Consent for Reevaluation (if appropriate), and Notice and Eligibility Decision Regarding Special Education Services form for the two students indicated. requirements including, but not limited to, training agenda/outline and participant sign-in forms. Also include a random sampling of eligibility reports completed after the review. Participant sign-in IEP Development/ Implementation. (i.e., IEP notice, implementation/ duration date, implementation date for preschoolers beginning on third birthday, student profile, goals, benchmarks, supplementary aids and services, related services/ supports for school personnel, reporting of progress, transition, state testing information, appropriate membership, LRE, documentation copy of (1) Specific IEP components (e.g., special factors, transition needs/services, benchmarks) were not completed as required by the AAC. (1) Review the IEPs of the four students listed below: (4 student files) Address the components that were not completed as required. Revise IEPs as determined appropriate by the review. (1) Provide to the appropriate teachers and administrators training on IEP development that includes completion of the form as well as the process for developing an IEP based on the individual needs of the student. Begin with the profile and continue through the delivery and evaluation of services. (1) Provide to the SDE documentation that the IEP review process has occurred for the four students indicated. If the public agency has determined that an IEP Team meeting will be held to make the required corrections, documentation should include a copy of the Notice of Proposed Meeting/Consent for Agency Participation (1) Provide to the SDE documentation that training on IEP development/writing has occurred including, but not limited to, training agenda/outline, and participant sign-in forms. The participant sign-in

7 Page 7 of 11 IEP given to parents and service providers informing them of their responsibilities and access to IEP, behavior intervention plan review, notice of intent, notice and consent for the provision of services, etc.) form and/or the written agreement of nonattendance (indicating the IEP Team members not in attendance) or the consent for excusal (indicating the IEP Team members excused) and a copy of the revised IEP. If the public agency has determined to amend the IEP without holding an IEP Team meeting, documentation should include a written statement indicating who will meet with the parent to amend the current IEP and a copy of the revised IEP. (2) The IEPs lacked comprehensive planning and implementation of transition for students age 16 (or for younger students as appropriate) as required by the AAC. (2) Provide training to counselors, administrators, and teachers working with Grades 7-12 on the transition process, including the completion of the (2) Provide to the SDE documentation of the information, training, and/or technical assistance on the transition process including, but not limited to, training agenda/outline, and

8 Page 8 of 11 transition page of the IEP, the use of transition assessments, and the development of transition goals. Provide training to teachers working with Grades 7-12 on how to verify the transition components of the IEP using the Transition Verification Report in SETSWeb. participant sign-in forms. The participant sign-in (3) Files were missing the Notice and Consent for Provision of Special Education Services form as required by the AAC. (3) Obtain the missing consent form for the four students listed below: (4 student files) Complete the Notice of Intent Regarding Special Education Services form with explanation regarding the missing consent form. (3) Provide to the appropriate teachers and administrators information, training, and/or technical assistance on the proper use and completion of consent forms. (3) Provide to the SDE a copy of the missing consent form and the Notice of Intent Regarding Special Education Services form for the four students indicated. (3) Provide to the SDE a description of the information, training, and/or technical assistance provided on the proper use and completion of the consent forms including, but not limited to, training agenda/outline, and participant sign-in forms.

9 Page 9 of 11 Participant sign-in Surrogate Parents. Training for surrogate parent(s) was not provided as required by the AAC. Establish a list of persons willing to serve as surrogate parents and provide training. Provide to the SDE documentation of surrogate parent training including, but not limited to, training agenda/outline and sign-in form for the participants. Inservice Training. (Annual training in confidentiality, the special education process, general issues and training for parents). Training for special education teachers, general education teachers, administrators, related service personnel, and support personnel, on confidentiality, the process, and general issues was not conducted and/or not documented as required by the AAC. Provide to special education teachers, general education teachers, administrators, related services personnel, support personnel, and parents training on confidentiality, the process, and general issues. Provide to the SDE documentation of the required training including, but not limited to, training agenda/outline, and participant sign-in forms. Participant sign-in

10 Page 10 of 11 Personnel Certification/ Licensure. (Special education teachers, counselors, PT, OT, SLP, psychometrists, and nurses). Related service personnel are not properly licensed/certified as required by the AAC. Monitor the status of the progress toward proper certification for the teachers indicated. ly attempt to locate properly certified personnel to provide services to students with disabilities. ly attempt to locate properly certified/licensed related service personnel to provide services to students with disabilities. Provide to the SDE documentation of recruitment attempts, results of interviews, if appropriate, and justification for not hiring properly certified personnel. Provide to the SDE documentation that all personnel serving as teachers are properly certified, that uncertified personnel are making adequate progress toward proper certification, and/or that continued attempts to recruit certified personnel are made. Provide to the SDE documentation that all related services personnel providing service to students with disabilities are properly licensed/certified., uncertified personnel are making adequate progress toward proper certification, and/or that continued attempts to recruit certified personnel are made.

11 Page 11 of 11 Instruction Time. Instructional time did not meet the requirements of the Alabama State Board of Education. Restructure the school day to meet the instructional time requirements of the Alabama State Board of Education. Provide documentation to the SDE regarding the restructuring process and the outcomes resulting in meeting the instructional time requirements of the Alabama State Board of Education.

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