Goal 3: Progress Updates
June 12, 2023 • Strategy 3 Final Year 1 Update
We have met a total of six times this year. We have completed the tasks outlined in the strategic plan. We have created a presentation that outlines the current ratios and our proposed optimal ratios. After much discussion, we thought it was imperative to describe the current workload of our providers, not just the number of students on their IEP caseloads. In some cases, the optimal ratios were set by the national recommendations while others were set by the average of surrounding districts as no national recommendations were available.
The Parent Advisory Council has now met twice and will continue to meet on a frequent basis. They will continue to meet and then will bring questions and concerns to our Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) and the SEAC team will work through those concerns and ideas and will then communicate back to the Parent Advisory Council. This partnership will work to increase parental education, provide a parental lens to the special education department, and work proactively to make changes that positively impact students and families at Derby Public Schools.
Lastly, we have worked on professional development for our providers and support personnel for the district. Using the Council for Exceptional Children’s High Leverage Practices, we have created a spreadsheet to ensure our professional development (PD) options align with the four research-based pillars. We then align the PD to the underpinnings of those pillars. We have also scheduled a Paraprofessional Academy for August 7. This half-day training will be specific for paraprofessionals and their training concerns. We have asked for feedback from teachers, administrators, and paraprofessionals to learn what their needs are and are creating the PD opportunities to meet those needs. The events are planned to be an annual training for staff and will be written into our TIP Grant for funding.
During our time together, we have also started looking toward the future of our strategy and have notated some changes we would like to suggest for future goals. We have also started organizing our thoughts for next year, have set our dates, and created a survey to invite former and future participants to our strategy group.
March 6, 2023 • Strategy 3 Update
We have had two meetings since our last report, December 5 and January 19. The parent advisory council has now been defined to provide a forum for parents to collaborate with district professionals to ensure open communication and work to tackle challenges together for the betterment of the special services students and providers. This parent group will meet and bring suggestions, ideas, and questions to a liaison between the council and Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC). SEAC is an elected group of professionals with DNEA representation that brings together anonymous feedback from special education providers across the district. We have also begun to look at caseload numbers in Derby as compared to other districts of similar size and from across the area. Finally, we have begun to look at the Kansas State Department of Education’s evidence-based best practices and the Council for Exceptional Children’s High-Level Practices for professional development.
November 28, 2022 • Strategy 3 Update
Forty members of Strategy 3 attended our first meeting on November 7, 2022. Presented were the goals for the strategy as well as the two measurable outcomes for the 2022-2023 school year. Also presented were current IEP caseloads for the different classroom types and related services across the district. Conversation surrounded the formation of the Special Services Advocacy Committee and the focus of those in attendance. Our action step for our next meeting is to come with ideas on the formation of the Special Services Advocacy Committee and goals for the data needed to address our two measurable outcomes.