Monday, January 13, 2014
According to South Carolina statute 59-63-220, "Any district board may confer upon any administrator the authority to suspend a pupil from a teacher's class or from the school not in excess of ten days for any one offense and for not more than thirty days in any one school year but no such administrator may suspend a pupil from school during the last ten days of a year if the suspension will make the pupil ineligible to receive credit for the school year without the approval of the school board unless the presence of the pupil constitutes an actual threat to a class or a school or a hearing is granted within twenty four hours of the suspension."
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Today is the second day of on-site monitoring in the School District of Oconee County conducted by South Carolina's Department of Education, Office of Exceptional Children. Yesterday, the team conducted group interviews with parents, administrators, and special education providers and reviewed special education records for compliance. Today, the majority of the team is conducting IEP implementation monitoring on the following campuses: Northside Elementary, Keowee Elementary, West-Oak Middle, West-Oak High, Walhalla Middle, and Walhalla High. A concluding conference with me, the Special Education Director, will take place sometime this afternoon. I'm looking forward to the feedback that will help our department in our continuous efforts to improve outcomes for students with disabilities and support to our special educators and administrators.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
The School District of Oconee County completed the pre-collection data submission process for on-site monitoring on October 31, 2013. Therefore, we are expecting our list of participating schools and students any day now. Student records selected for participation will come from two elementary, two middle, and two high schools in our district. The subset of 35 to 50 students will include students who, in the past year, have:
*transitioned from Part C to B (were receiving services before the age of 3 through Baby Net then were determined eligible for an Individualized Education Plan and were placed as a child with a disability in our district no later than their 3rd birthday)
*received an initial evaluation
*been removed from school more than 10 days or have been placed at an alternative placement
*reached age of majority
*revoked consent for services
A broad range of students will be selected to include different grade levels (preschool through high school), different eligibility categories, different levels of least restrictive environment, and different schools and settings. Transition services will also be reviewed when applicable.
Monday, November 4, 2013
1. Complete special education file
2. Attendance records for the past year
3. Current class schedule
4. Evidence of service provision (for current school year)
5. Incident Management reports from PowerSchool
Individual schools will need to consider who will gather and present this information. For example, for items 2, 3, and 5, in some schools it may be easier for the PowerSchool operator to print the information in advance then give it to the special education teacher who will keep all records together for each student selected. We should have our list of participating schools and students selected within the next two weeks. School District of Oconee County administrators are encouraged to contact Marge Bright, Director of Special Services, with any questions related to the on-site monitoring process.
Monday, October 28, 2013
Special education teachers should prepare for school level on-site monitoring by doing the following:
1) Organize individual student IEP folders chronologically with the newest information on top. Clip all documentation related to each meeting together (e.g., Notification of Meeting Letters/Responses, resulting IEP, Prior Written Notice, progress reports, etc.).
2) Have all IEP implementation documentation ready for review (e.g., class schedules, attendance records, service logs, etc.).
3) Make sure progress reports are up to date.
4) Be prepared to show evidence that general education teachers received notice of classroom accommodations written in the IEP that must be provided in the general education classroom.
5) For students with Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs), be able to show evidence that school site administrators and general education teachers are familiar with the plan and are prepared to implement the plan when necessary.
Many thanks to our hard-working special educators as we prepare to demonstrate that the School District of Oconee County strives to provide a free and appropriate public education to students with disabilities while adhering to the procedural and substantive requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
According to training provided by South Carolina's Office of Exceptional Children, the school district of Oconee County can expect a team of about 8 members to visit our district on December 4th and 5th. On December 4th, all on-site monitoring team members will work from the district office. Following a 30-minute LEA district presentation in the morning, two members of the on-site monitoring team will conduct focus group interviews with school site administrators, special education teachers and parents of the students randomly selected for review. The group interviews will last about an hour. The remaining team members will conduct psychological folder reviews.
On December 5th, the on-site monitors will break up into three teams and will arrive at schools around 8:30 a.m. From 9:00-11:15, they will conduct IEP implementation reviews at two elementary and one middle school. From 12:30-2:45, they will conduct IEP implementation reviews at one middle and two high schools. They will debrief from 3:15-4:00 then will meet with the Director of Special Services for a concluding conference.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
1. Policies and Procedures Review--desk audit
2. IEP Development--desk audit of EXCENT IEPs and on-site review of student files
3. IEP Implementation--On-site visits to schools with review of student schedules, service logs, attendance records, and IEP progress reports
4. Other Data Collection--616/618 data, general education teacher and parent online survey results, and in-person interview information (parents, school administrators, special education teachers and service providers).
Our first round of data (LEA policies, procedures, forms and staffing) was submitted Friday, September 13th. Round two data (updated staffing information, student information spreadsheet, and email lists for teachers and parents participating in the online survey) will be sent in the next two weeks.
I want to thank all of our special educators and administrators for their hard work in preparing for our visitors. I am confident our district will benefit from the experience as we continue to strive to provide a free and appropriate public education to our students with special needs.