Finding 3.4: Special Education Design and Delivery Are Inconsistent Across the System.
A strong school system develops and implements special education programs that consistently meet the needs of a wide range of students across the district. Such programs are guided by a meaningful vision and strong policies and procedures.
The auditors reviewed board policies and relevant documents; interviewed district staff members, parents, and community members; and conducted site visits to determine the status of special education programs in the Clover Park School District. Numerous concerns about the design and delivery of special education services were raised during interviews. The auditors found a fragmented program that does not consistently meet the needs of special education students across the district.
Several board policies reference special education, but do not provide direction for program design.
Board Policy 3115: Education of Students with Disabilities Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that students who are disabled within the definition of Section 504 will be identified, evaluated, and provided with appropriate educational services.
Board Policy 3115-P1: Procedures for Serving Students With Disabilities Under Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973 describes referral, screening, evaluation, accommodation plan, and educational services procedures.
Board Policy 4601: Education of Students with Disabilities describes the concept of individually determined education options for all handicapped students in accordance with federal and state guidelines.
Board Policy 4101-R2: Special Education Students” Graduation Requirements establishes that special education students meet graduation requirements either by completing the district graduation requirements or completing a high school individual education plan.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement for 1999-2002 states that the district will provide training on inclusion that includes teaching strategies and methods.
The Technical Manual provides administrators and site teams information about special education funding, staffing, and program descriptions.
Several years ago when the district moved to site-based management, the special education program was also decentralized. Currently, two special education co-directors manage the program. The remaining special education staff consists of psychologists, related services specialists (occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, vision, and counselors) and school-based special education teachers.
The percentages of district students enrolled in special education during the last five years are indicated in Exhibit 3.4.1.
Special Education Enrollment
Clover Park School District
Percentage in Special Education 11.1% 12.0%
Clover Park School District Audit Report Page 60
1996-97 1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01
District Data – Annual Average Enrollments
Actual December counts