Wednesday, September 23, 2009

MDUSD Special Education Self Review and Independent Study Explained

During the 2009-2010 school year, Mt. Diablo Unified School District will be engaged in two processes where special education services and programs will be reviewed. These two processes are the California Department of Special Education Self Review (SESR) and the MGT of America, Inc. study of the District’s Special Education and Section 504 programs. Dr. Mildred Browne, Assistant Superintendent of Special Education and Student Services for MDUSD explains the purpose of and process for each review.

Special Education Self Review (SESR):
The California Department of Education’s Special Education Quality Assurance Process (QAP) evaluates school, school district, county office of education and Special Education Local Planning Area (SELPA) compliance with federal and state laws and regulations. QAP verifies that students with disabilities receive the programs and services they need, positive results are achieved and procedural safeguards are provided. This year, Mt. Diablo will be involved in the SESR which is one critical component of QAP. The process includes a self-review of each school site completed by school district personnel with a follow-up review by each school district held six months later. The SESR will include data review, parent input meetings, development of a monitoring plan, review of student records, educational benefit, IEP implementation, structural interviews and a review of the Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) governance.

The SESR will be closely monitored by the California Department of Education (CDE). Shirley Geddis, CDE Consultant, will be providing training for district staff in the district board room on September 28, 2009. A final report will be submitted to CDE March 2010 which will include a complete summary of findings.

MGT of America Independent Study (MGT):
The MGT of America, Inc. study of the District Special Education and Section 504 programs is a much broader process than the CDE Special Education Self Review. This study was requested and approved by the Board of Education. MGT of America is a national consulting firm who completes studies and program evaluations for school districts throughout the nation.
MGT’s comprehensive study will analyze operations of the delivery of special education and Section 504 services throughout the district. The study will:
• Review service delivery options that may be expanded or modified to realize a cost savings and include recommendations for strategies to reallocate resources and program development to improve program effectiveness.
• Review communication practices and opportunities for dialogue with parents to determine community satisfaction with all district processes relating to obtaining services for their students.
• Analyze disproportionate representation of students of color with Individual Education Programs (IEPs) and/or Section 504 Plans in the district as it relates to student discipline and placement in Special Education programs.

Dr. JoAnn Cox, Ms. Patti Davis and Ms. Jolene Tollenaar, MGT consultants, will be in the district on October 5th and 6th to conduct a Diagnostic Review. This review will include meetings with board members, administrative staff and a parent input meeting. The parent input meeting will be on October 5th from 7-9 p.m. in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District Board Room. MGT consultants anticipate the study to be completed by February 2010.

The Administration believes that both studies will assist the district in continuing to insure that students with disabilities receive appropriate and cost-effective services in the district.

Important Dates

Monday, September 28, 9am - 12pm: SESR Training, DENT Center Board Room, 1936 Carlotta Dr, Concord, RSVP

Wednesday, September 30, 10am – 12pm: SESR Focus Group at the Willow Creek Center Multi Use Room, 1026 Mohr Ln. Concord

Wednesday, September 30, 7pm – 9pm: SESR Focus Group at the Pleasant Hill Ed Center Community Room, One Santa Barbara Rd Pleasant Hill

Monday, October 5, 7pm: Public Input for MGT at the DENT Center Board Room, 1936 Carlotta Dr, Concord

Wednesday, October 14, 7pm – 9 pm: SESR Focus Group at Riverview Middle School Multi Use Room, 205 Pacific Ave. Bay Point

Thursday, October 15, 8:30am – 10:30am: SESR Focus Group at Northgate Lecture Hall, 425 Castle Rock Rd. Walnut Creek

Thursday, October 15, 7pm – 9 pm: SESR Focus Group at Concord High School Multi Use Room 4200 Concord Blvd, Concord

Tuesday, October 20, 7pm - 9pm: SESR Focus Group at Camebridge Elem Multi Use Room, 1135 Lacey Lane, Concord (Spanish)(Tentative, check our calendar for updates)

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