Bristol Warren Regional School District Bristol, Rhode Island
SPECIAL EDUCATION STAFFING DRAFT POLICY
PURPOSE: To maintain compliance with No Child Left Behind and Amendments to the Rhode Island Special Education Regulations (effective July 1, 2008) requires districts to adopt a policy that guides special education staffing patterns.
STIPULATIONS: The policy will be filed with the Rhode Island Department of Education and must include evidence of the relationship between anticipated needs of students, including the delivery of a Free and Appropriate Public Education in the Least Restrictive Environment, and the determination of number and types of personnel. Additionally, there must be an opportunity for public input into the development/finalization of the district policy. The policy guides the development of a formal staffing plan that is adjusted annually or as otherwise required based on the changing needs of students or the addition/withdrawal of students from the Bristol Warren Regional Schools. The staffing plan is submitted to the Rhode Island Department of Education with the Consolidated Resource Plan application by June of each year.
POLICY STATEMENT: The Bristol Warren Regional School District is committed to providing high quality education for every child. Recognizing that every student has unique learning needs, diversified learning opportunities are provided for all students throughout the district. Learning opportunities are enhanced with supplemental programs and services both in and outside of the classroom. Special education and related services are provided to support students with documented disabilities or other identified learning needs in achieving academic and functional performance. A key element in the provision of a Free and Appropriate Public Education for all students is the availability of highly qualified teachers, related service personnel, and support staff to implement each student's Individualized Education Plan or Response to Intervention Plan. Professional development and training will be available regarding the requirements and intent of all regulations and research based practices used to provide an appropriate education for all students. The Bristol Warren Regional School District strives to continuously improve the quality of education to all students, and is dedicated to assess and evaluate the delivery of services to students with disabilities. The Bristol Warren Regional School District staffing plan will ensure that appropriate personnel are available to deliver the services and instruction required to fully implement student's Individualized Education Plan or Response to Intervention Plan and provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education in the least restrictive environment.
STAFFING PLAN: The staffing plan of the Bristol Warren Regional School District will follow these principles:
• All children can learn and will achieve adequate yearly progress in terms of their individual academic and functional needs.
• Due to the unique needs of individual learners, children will be provided with positive learning opportunities that are supported, when necessary and appropriate, with special education and related services that are specifically directed at the individual education needs of students with disabilities.
• A full continuum of special education and related support services will be available to all students both in and outside of the classroom as necessary.
• All children will be provided access to the general curriculum and special education services are provided in the least restrictive environment.
• Professional development consistent with the goals established through the District Strategic Plan will be provided to all teachers, related service providers, and teacher assistants to maximize skill levels necessary to deliver quality instruction and services as indicated in each child's Individualized Education Program.
• It is vital that parents or guardians participate in a child's educational program and in the development and implementation of an Individualized Education Program for their child. Parent involvement will be a regular part of the special education program and school activities.
• Special education teacher caseloads and staffing decisions are based on providing the services a student needs to be successful in the least restrictive environment.
• The special education services required by the student's Individualized Education Program will determine instructional programming as well as instructional and related service caseloads.
• There will be flexibility in special education and related service personnel staffing to address changes that may occur in a student's educational and functional needs throughout the school year.
• Special education teacher and related service personnel staffing considerations will include the need to provide specific interventions to students without Individualized Education Plans.
• Related service personnel staffing considerations will include the need for collaboration and consultation with general education teachers so that appropriate interventions are available in the least restrictive environment.
• Yearly consultation with building-level administration will play an important role in determining the special education teacher, related service provider and teacher assistant staffing needs.
• Special education staffing will be determined solely on student/district needs and the guidance set forth in this policy.
• Special education staffing will be compliant with federal and Sate law, regulation, and policies governing special education.
PUBLIC INPUT PROCESS: The Special Education Staffing Policy proposal will be forwarded to the Bristol Warren Regional School District Policy Subcommittee in August of 2008 for review and posted on the Bristol Warren Regional website for comment from August 5, 2008 through September 5, 2008. The policy will then be brought to the full committee on September 22, 2008 for the first reading and October 27, 2008 for the second reading. The Public input opportunities will include the Policy Subcommittee meeting in September, through the BWRSD website and School Committee meetings where the policy is read and opened for discussion during September and October. Notification of all committee meeting agenda's is posted in the local paper and Providence Journal. Agendas are also posted on the BW website, the Secretary of State's website and at each of the Town Halls.