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Parent & Community Information Sessions on KCSEC (Co-Op) Withdrawal OEHS – July 9, 2014 Southbury Elementary School – July 10, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Parent & Community Information Sessions on KCSEC (Co-Op) Withdrawal OEHS – July 9, 2014 Southbury Elementary School – July 10, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Parent & Community Information Sessions on KCSEC (Co-Op) Withdrawal OEHS – July 9, 2014 Southbury Elementary School – July 10, 2014


3 Session Objectives To provide background information on SD308 BOE’s determination to withdraw from KCSEC To answer online questions submitted from parents and the community about educating students with special needs for 2014-2015 school year To inform stakeholders of ongoing communication measures as the withdrawal process unfolds

4 BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE Q: Can you provide some background of the rationale for this departure or point me to a link that provides this information? Q: What is the purpose of the departure? Q: Has the District talked with other school districts that have left SpEd Co-ops to learn about the challenges they faced?

5 Special Education Audit SpEd Audit commissioned (October 2013) Findings reported to the BOE (February 10, 2014) – Audit findings can be found on the SD 308 website under District Leadership --- Board of Education ----Board Agendas ----BoardDocs 2.10.14 Open Session Minutes, pp. 10-13 – Podcast of SpEd Audit Parent Presentation found at k/edit?usp=sharing AUDIT RECOMMENDATION: “District 308 should consider planning for independence from the Kendall County Special Education Cooperative for the following reasons…”

6 Reason #1: Improving Academic Performance Presently, the SD308 culture and philosophy is one where the attitude is that general education and special education programs are two separate entities. Reviewing students’ performance on the state assessment tests for the area like-size school districts indicates that districts that have adopted this philosophy and have infused it into its school culture have higher performance scores on state assessments for all students, not just students with special needs. And, that translates to higher student academic achievement.


8 A more collaborative and cohesive working relationship between general education and special education staff will more likely be developed if the entire educational program were planned, delivered, and managed from a single source. The school philosophy and school culture should be educating all students through general education and supplementing general education with services for students with special needs. Reason #2: Greater Cohesion

9 Reason #3: Common Approach for Like-sized Districts Eight of the nine comparable area like-size school districts do not utilize a special education cooperative. District 303 (St. Charles) was the only comparable like-size district that uses a cooperative, but their participation is minor (73 low-incidence special needs students).

10 Reasons #4: Ability to Provide Services Cooperatives are most effective and efficient when school districts have small student enrollments and cannot provide the full gamut of required services for special needs students. SD308’s enrollment has increased more than 58% during the last 10 years and is more than large enough to provide a full array of programming and services for its own special needs students.

11 Reasons #5: Our Own Governance Lines of responsibility and fiscal accountability can be better overseen if SD308’s Board of Education (BOE) manages its own program. This includes decision-making, approvals, mission, goals, direction, values, funding determinations, program monitoring, evaluation, etc…

12 STUDENT PROGRAMMING Q: How would this change affect my child and his/her programming, especially for such services as Opportunity School, deaf/hard of hearing, orthopedically impaired, STARS, etc…? Q: Would there be changes in our IEP or with the services that we can avail? Q: What kind of organizational structure will be provided for SpEd services? Q: Will students be forced to mainstream even if that is not what is in their best interest?

13 Programming Student IEPs will continue to be developed and monitored at the building level with parent and team input. The potential withdrawal from KCSEC will see NO interruption in any special education programming, as per law.

14 Programming Student IEPs will determine services provided, both by KCSEC and SD308 for the 2014-2015 school year. IEP teams determine in what environment a student should receive specialized instruction. The law requires all teams to consider general education first. This is determined on an individual basis.

15 STAFFING Q: Will SD308 consider hiring experienced KCSEC employees before hiring teachers right out of college? Q: As there are several SpEd groups, would there be a coordinator representing each one who can specifically address our concerns and guide us through these changes? Q: Does the district currently employ enough teaching staff and para professionals to adequately service all these students?

16 Staffing Negotiations with KCSEC, SD308, the other member districts, and union leadership will determine staffing components. Support is also being provided through the IL Education Association (IEA) via its Uniserve Director.

17 FINANCE Q: Who is going to fund the cost of special education teachers and staff needed to take care of students? Q: Is this decision being made due to budget restrictions? Q: Will the district have the funds available to send district employees to appropriate professional training and seminars?

18 SD308 currently pays KCSEC approximately $16.3 million a year for programming and services. Professional development for SpEd and general education staff is available through the Co-op, SD308 and outside providers. Finances

19 WITHDRAWAL LOGISTICS Q: Is it just a proposed agenda item that has not been voted on? Q: Is this decision irrevocable? Q: Why not just work with the Co-op to revamp it? Q: How do you responsibly and ethically replicate the delivery of services in less than a year?

20 Withdrawal Timeline TimelineAction Feb 2014SpEd Audit findings shared with BOE Jun 2014SD308 BOE votes to withdraw from Co-Op Fall & Winter 2014 SD 308 develops its Comprehensive Plan for running its own SpEd program Spring 2015The Comprehensive Plan is submitted to ISBE July 1, 2015SD 308 begins operating its own SpEd program

21 COMPREHENSIVE PLANNING Q: What are the items/ requirements of the State in the District’s Comprehensive plan that needs to be approved? Q: What kind of organizational structure will be provided for SpEd services? Q: If the district leaves the Co-op, will all students automatically return to their home school? Q: How will the district address staff development and appropriate time to plan for the needs of their students?

22 Comprehensive Plan Section 1: Statistical Data Section 2: Overview of Administrative Structure Section 3: Continuum of Program Options Section 4: The District’s Special Education Policies and Procedures Section 5: A Copy of All District Special Education Forms

23 STATE MONITORING STATUS Q: Will the district be simultaneously working on the Comprehensive Plan as required to ISBE and bringing the LRE (Least Restrictive Environment) numbers in line with state expectations as communicated to the district by the ISBE?

24 State Monitoring Yes. We will continue to work with ISBE through January 2015 to continue to make Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) improvements. For 2014-2015, KCSEC Coordinators and building administration will meet monthly to work collaboratively to improve special education services, especially regarding LRE.

25 Your Input Needed Focus group meetings to begin in early Fall – Stakeholder groups: Parents, Administrators, Teachers, Specialist, Teacher Assistants, Students Co-led by Special Education Audit Facilitator and Outside Special Education Expert

26 ONGOING COMMUNICATION Q: I am not able to come to the information sessions. How can I acquire the information presented? Q: Would there be more informational sessions that will specifically discuss plans for change? Q: Will there be multiple opportunities for parents to be involved in adding input that the district will use completing this comprehensive plan?

27 Staying Informed PowerPoint to be posted on website Follow-up contacts with parents FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) to be posted on SD308 website Updates via Building Principals Parent Forums to provide input for the comprehensive plan

28 Final Thoughts Services provided for Special Education students will not change, as per law. IEPs are a building-level issue to be discussed and implemented at each respective building. This change in the governance model may be one of the most significant positive changes in recent SD308 history. Our BOE will have greater authority to improve special education programs over time resulting in enhanced student achievement, systematized expectations and training, and collaboration.

29 Being a fragmented, separate group of teachers, leaders, and parents is not working. TOGETHER, we can become one SD308 team serving ALL students. UNITY IS BEST. Final Thoughts


31 Additional Questions?

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