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NEBRASKA SUPREME COURT COMMISSION ON CHILDREN IN THE COURTS: EDUCATIONAL SUB- COMMITTEE AND CQI IMPLEMENTATION Hon. Lawrence Gendler, Vicky Weisz, Ph.D,

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Presentation on theme: "NEBRASKA SUPREME COURT COMMISSION ON CHILDREN IN THE COURTS: EDUCATIONAL SUB- COMMITTEE AND CQI IMPLEMENTATION Hon. Lawrence Gendler, Vicky Weisz, Ph.D,"— Presentation transcript:

1 NEBRASKA SUPREME COURT COMMISSION ON CHILDREN IN THE COURTS: EDUCATIONAL SUB- COMMITTEE AND CQI IMPLEMENTATION Hon. Lawrence Gendler, Vicky Weisz, Ph.D, Kristin Kelly, J.D.

2 History  December 2004: Nebraska Supreme Court Commission on Children in the Courts established  June 2012: Educational work group makes recommendations to Commission  One recommendation was the establishment of an educational sub-committee to address and improve educational outcomes for court involved youth.  Commission approves recommendation and Nebraska Supreme Court authorizes creation of sub-committee

3 Sub-Committee Members  Broad based representation throughout the state  Judge Reggie Ryder; Lincoln  Judge Mike Burns; Hastings  Vicky Weisz; CIP  Karen Hasse; Counsel to 200 school districts in NE  Corey Steel/Jeanne Brandner; Probation  Emily Kluver/Kathleen Stolz/Tricia Kingsley; Department of Health and Human Services  Cala Heathershaw Risko; counsel to the Department of Health and Human Services  Kim Hawekotte; Foster Care Review Office  Michele Borg; Department of Education  Natalie Nelsen; Attorney and G.A.L  Kristin Kelly; American Bar Association  Amy Peters; Nebraska Children and Families Foundation  Brandy Buscher; North Platte Public Schools  Judge Larry Gendler; Sarpy County

4 Goals  Create an education information court report to be distributed to judges, counsel and agencies responsible for supervision of minors.  Improve the change of placement form distributed whenever a minor was moved from a placement to include educational best interests information.

5 Education Court Report Form  Pilot sites around the state agreed to use education court report form  Prior to implementation, a survey was developed by Kristin Kelly to determine initial thoughts about use and effectiveness of form  Follow up survey was created by Kristin Kelly to measure the form’s progress and to determine adjustments of content

6 Amendments to Form  As a result of the post-survey, and with input from the sub-committee, several changes were made, including:  Including information about infants/toddlers (Part C screenings/evaluations, pre-school, special learning needs)  How students were doing in core classes  Extra curricular activities  Post graduate plans

7 State-Wide Implementation  The sub-committee approved the education court report form at the July meeting  Effective September 1, the form is being used statewide and incorporated in probation pre-disposition court reports and case plans prepared by DHHS  Survey distributed to all Nebraska school districts regarding sub-committee efforts  Results show that schools and system need to continue these efforts to improve communication and exchange necessary information  Sub-committee will review a proposal that will require this information be provided to the court, counsel or record, and other necessary parties at upcoming September meeting

8 Best Interest Considerations for the Change of Schools  The student shall remain in the current school unless consideration of the following factors indicates that a change of school placement is in the child’s best interest:  The child’s permanency goal, plan and expected date for achieving the permanency supports a change in school placement.  The parents/prior custodians or child believe that changing schools is in the child’s best interest.  The length of the commute to return to the current school would negatively impact the child.  The child has only attended the current school for a short time or is not attached to the school.  Safety considerations favor a change in school placement.  Transferring schools will positively impact the child emotionally, socially or academically.  The new school will better meet the child’s academic needs.  The new school will better meet the child’s special education needs.  Changing schools will NOT undermine the child’s ability to stay on track to graduate.  The timing of the school transfer will NOT undermine school success.

9 Year’s End Goal  Change of placement/educational best interest form in use by year’s end  State probation office has already agreed to provide this information to us whenever a minor must change their placement (in NE probation is responsible for the supervision of all youth who are law violators or who are status offenders; however, they are not a custodial agency and therefore require court action to effectuate any change in enrollment)

10 Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI): …an ongoing process of identifying, describing, and analyzing strengths and problems and then testing, implementing, learning from, and revising solutions.

11 CQI Strategies Gather information from multiple sources and stakeholders Evaluate data and identify challenges and strengths Make program and policy changes, develop or modify interventions REPEAT

12 Long-term Goals  Where do we want to be? What are the ultimate outcomes that we hope to achieve?  Improved coordination between child welfare agency and school districts  Improved education outcomes including: Increase proportion of children and youth in age- appropriate grade Increased proportion of children scoring proficient or advanced on standardized tests Increased GPAs among high school students Improved graduation rates Increased enrollment in post secondary education.

13 Short(er)-term goals  What do we hope to achieve through the pilot program in the near-term?  Increased focus on education issues in court hearings  Better information for the court to aid decisionmaking  Increased collaboration between schools, child welfare and probation  Increased attention by all parties to school stability and success

14 Data Collection (Past, Present, and Future)  2012 “State Ward Statistical Snapshot” (July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011) ents/StateWardEdSnapshot.pdf  Foster youth liaison survey (June 2013)  Pre-pilot “baseline” survey (October 2013)  Post-pilot “follow-up” survey (March 2013)  2014 education survey  2014 “State Ward Statistical Snapshot” (Fall 2014)

15 Pilot Pre and Post Survey  Using Data to Inform Practice Change  Probation reported duplication in form; revised process  Using Data to Demonstrate Progress  25% increase in respondents reporting that judges receive the educational information they need  Using Data to Highlight Areas in Need of Improvement  High school instability  changes in child welfare policy

16 Lessons Learned (Data)  Don’t wait for “perfect” data  Use multiple sources, with multiple stakeholders, over a range of time  Look for strengths, but acknowledge weaknesses  Celebrate victories

17 Questions/Comments?


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