Monthly Archives: October 2021

More Good News For Georgetown Public Schools From The DESE

Superintendent Carol Jacobs

Georgetown

51 North Street

Georgetown, MA 01833

 

Dear Superintendent Carol Jacobs:

 

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MA DESE) and local education agencies (LEAs) across the Commonwealth have made it their priority to increase educational access and equity for our most marginalized students, especially students with disabilities. This priority necessitates that we identify inequities in special education and respond to them. As part of this work, MA DESE implements multiple initiatives. These include significant disproportionality in special education, and indicators 4, 9, and 10.

 

The purpose of this email is to notify your LEA of its status across these initiatives and indicators for the 2021-2022 school year. It is recommended all district staff carefully read all information in this email as if flagged or identified there will be required actions of the LEA.

 

Information about your LEAs’ status for each initiative and indicator are included in the table below.

 

Georgetown’s Status for Initiatives and Indicators

Initiatives and Indicators Status Area of Identification/Flag
Indicator 4A Not Identified
Indicator 4B Not Identified
Indicator 9 Not Flagged
Indicator 10 Not Flagged
Significant Disproportionality Not Identified or At-Risk

 

More information on all these initiatives and indicators are included below and is also available here:https://www.doe.mass.edu/sfs/discipline/indicators-4-9-10.docx.

 

MA DESE is working to create a system of technical assistance, professional development, and other supports that is customized for each LEA. This will include district level meetings, monthly supports, professional learning communities (PLC), and online convenings.

 

For LEAs identified or at-risk of significant disproportionality in special education and LEAs flagged or identified for indicators 4, 9 and 10, you will receive an email with more information about requirements, upcoming technical assistance opportunities and PLC groups.

 

More Information on Indicators and Initiatives

Indicators 4A and 4B are required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and, through data analysis, measure whether students with IEPs, overall and from certain racial and ethnic groups, are suspended or expelled in LEAs more than students with IEPs statewide. Through this data analysis LEAs are identified for indicators 4A and 4B.

 

All LEAs identified by way of this data analysis are required to identify and address factors that may be contributing to disproportionality. LEAs found to have policies, practices, and procedures (PPPs) that lead to this discrepancy are required to write a corrective action plan which must be completed by the next reporting year.

 

Any LEA identified under indicators 4A and 4B are invited to participate in Rethinking Discipline Professional Learning Network meetings, and in other MA DESE provided technical assistance and professional development.

 

More information on Indicator 4 is available here: https://www.doe.mass.edu/sfs/discipline/indicators-4-9-10.docx.

 

Indicators 9 and 10 are required by IDEA and, through data analysis, measure whether students from certain racial and ethnic groups are disproportionately receiving special education services in LEAs, both in general and in specific disability categories, because they were inappropriately determined eligible for special education services. Through this data analysis LEAs are flagged for indicators 9 and 10.

 

All LEAs flagged by way of this data analysis are required to send PPPs to MA DESE. IDEA requires MA DESE to determine whether the disproportionate representation is due to inappropriate identification of students for special education services by reviewing the LEA’s PPPs regarding disability determination and eligibility determination. If it is determined that PPPs are inappropriate and are contributing to the disproportionate representation, corrective action procedures are required.

 

Any LEA flagged under indicators 9 or 10 are invited to participate in MA DESE provided technical assistance and professional development.

 

More information on Indicators 9 and 10 is available here: https://www.doe.mass.edu/sfs/discipline/indicators-4-9-10.docx.

 

Significant Disproportionality in Special Education: IDEA requires states to measure whether students from certain racial and ethnic groups are disproportionately receiving special education services in specific disability categories, whether they are disproportionately placed in certain settings, and whether they are disproportionately receiving certain kinds of disciplinary removals. IDEA requires different calculations for this measurement than it requires for Indicators 9, 10, 4A, and 4B.

 

LEAs identified with significant disproportionality are required to complete the following:

  1. Review and, if appropriate, revise policies, practices, and procedures
  2. Publicly report revisions of PPPs
  3. Reserve 15% of IDEA funds for comprehensive coordinated early intervening services (CCEIS) to address factors contributing to the significant disproportionality. Funds must be used for students ages 3 through grade 12 and for students with or without disabilities.
  4. Identify and address factors that may be contributing to significant disproportionality
  5. Submit Action Plans to DESE in Spring 2022. More information on these action plans will be included in follow-up emails.

 

Though at-risk LEAs are not required to take specific action right now, they may wish to assess their policies, practices, and procedures for reasons that may have contributed to the LEA’s high risk ratios or take additional steps to examine the data that suggest disproportionality.

 

Any LEA at-risk for future identification with or identified with significant disproportionality is invited to participate in the MA DESE provided technical assistance and professional development.

 

Data for Significant Disproportionality in Special Education is made available to all LEAs, no matter their status for this initiative, in an Edwin report: SP301 Significant Disproportionality in Special Education. This report can be found in Edwin Analytics in the Security Portal: https://gateway.edu.state.ma.us/.

 

More information on Significant Disproportionality is available here:

 

Please contact Brian Coonley of the MA DESE’s Special Education Planning & Policy Office at 781-338-3374 orbrian.coonley@mass.gov with questions. He will be your primary point of contact on this matter.

 

Thank you, in advance, for your shared attention to this important work. We look forward to our continued partnership.

 

Best Regards,

Russell D. Johnston, PhD

Senior Associate Commissioner

 

CC:       Jack Tiano, Special Education Director

Suzanne Sutherland, District Business Leader

Collin Macdonald, Curriculum Director

Brian Coonley, Special Education Equity, and Inclusion Specialist

Jamie Camacho, Director, Office of Special Education Planning and Policy

Tiered Focused Monitoring Set For The Week Of December 13th

Georgetown Public Schools To Participate In Tiered Focused Monitoring Review

During the week of December 13, 2021, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Office of Public School Monitoring (PSM) will conduct a Tiered Focused Monitoring Review of Georgetown Public Schools. The Office of Public School Monitoring visits each district and charter school every three years to monitor compliance with federal and state special education and civil rights regulations. Areas of review related to special education include student assessments, determination of eligibility, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team process, and IEP development and implementation. Areas of review related to civil rights include bullying, student discipline, physical restraint, and equal access to school programs for all students.

In addition to the onsite visit, parent outreach is an important part of the review process. The review chairperson from the Office of Public School Monitoring, Andrew MacKenzie, will send all parents of students with disabilities an online survey that focuses on key areas of their child’s special education program. Survey results will contribute to the development of a report. During the onsite review, the Office of Public School Monitoring will interview the chairperson(s) of the district’s Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). Other onsite activities may include interviews of district staff and administrators, reviews of student records, and onsite observations.

Parents and other individuals may call Andrew MacKenzie, Public School Monitoring Chairperson, at (781) 338-3761 to request a telephone interview. If an individual requires an accommodation, such as translation, to participate in an interview, the Department will make the necessary arrangements.

Within approximately 60 business days after the onsite visit, the review chairperson will provide Georgetown Public Schools with a report containing information about areas in which the Georgetown meets or exceeds regulatory requirements and areas in which Georgetown requires assistance to correct or improve practices. The public will be able to access the report at http://www.doe.mass.edu/psm/tfm/reports/.

 

TFM Press Release

A Reckoning In Boston

Yesterday afternoon I had the privilege of watching an advanced showing of the movie “A Reckoning In Boston”.  Included in this showing was a question and answer session with the movie’s director.  The film certainly lived up to its’ hype, delivering emotional testimonies and footage of the struggles people of color continue to endure in and around Boston.  I have included the press release below.

 

PressKit_A ReckoninginBoston

It’s Baaaack…..SEPAC Trick Or Trunk!

Please remember to pre-register for this amazing experience, as tickets will not be sold the day of the event.

So looking forward to the huge turnout!

October Awareness Information

SEPAC & Tiered Focused Monitoring Overview

Dear Georgetown Community Members:

The Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC), in collaboration with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), will be hosting a parent orientation to learn about the upcoming Special Education and Civil Rights review in our district, also known as Tiered Focused Monitoring. The parent orientation will be held at 6:00 on Tuesday, October 5th. This will be conducted via the Zoom application.  The link is:

ID: 86569655107
Passcode: Wmzz411y

Please join us!  Once the orientation is complete, I will also be presenting a powerpoint on Basic Parent Rights.

Please feel free to contact me at (978) 352 – 5777 x. 100, or at tianoj@georgetown.k12.ma.us, with questions about the parent orientation or the review.  I very much look forward to seeing you all via Zoom!

Sincerely & Respectfully,

Jack

Public Statement From Superintendent Jacobs

I am pleased to announce that the Georgetown Public Schools  have agreed with the Roxbury Prep School to retain an independent investigator to look into the unfortunate events during the football game between our two teams on September 17th. We are committed to obtaining all the facts and will work together to do so. We will have a further announcement once an investigator is retained.