COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 150

August 3, 2007

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Special Education General Supervision and Monitoring Activities

 

The purpose of this memorandum is to advise you of several future activities pertaining to special education programs. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), section 616, the primary focus of states monitoring activities must be on improving educational results and functional outcomes for all children with disabilities; and ensuring that public agencies meet the program requirements under Part B of the Act, with a particular emphasis on those requirements that are most closely related to improving educational results for children with disabilities. To that end, states have revised their general supervision and special education monitoring systems through the federally-required State Performance Plan (SPP). The SPP evaluates the states efforts to implement the requirements and purposes of Part B of the IDEA and describes how the state will improve its implementation of Part B. States are required to submit an annual performance report to the U.S. Department of Educations Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) that provides information on the states progress or slippage in meeting measurable and rigorous targets established in the SPP.

 

The IDEA requires that the OSEP review the SPP and subsequent SPP performance reports and designate each state as 1) meets requirements; (2) needs assistance; (3) needs intervention; or (4) needs substantial intervention. The statute further requires that states, in turn, apply those designations to each school division. Based upon the Departments 2007 report (utilizing data from the 2005-2006 school year), Virginia received a determination of meets requirements for Part B. Before August 31, the Department will notify division superintendents, via a letter, of their determinations. The letter will provide detailed information on how determinations were made.

 

Through its analysis of Virginias 2005-2006 SPP performance report, the OSEP has requested that the Department take action to correct all identified noncompliance reported by school divisions within one year. The status of this corrective action is to be included in the 2006-2007 report. Therefore, school divisions that did not meet state targets on designated compliance indicators will be contacted and asked to provide actions taken or planned to correct noncompliance. This activity will be coordinated through your director of special education unless we hear otherwise from you.

 

In September 2007, the Department will offer regional informational sessions on data collection and reporting for the 2007-2008 school year. The sessions will describe some new data requirements and provide clarification on data collection and reporting. Data collection instruments will be provided for each indicator that requires local reporting.

Beginning this fall, the Department of Educations on-site monitoring of special education will transition to a targeted assistance model. This model will include on-site focused monitoring that will involve facilitated discussion on the school divisions performance against the state SPP indicators; a review of records, interviews, and observations for the purposes of determining compliance with regulations; verification of reliable and accurate data reporting; and facilitation on the development of action plans. School divisions will be required to develop an action plan when state targets are not met. When noncompliance is determined, the correction must be made within one year of identification. The Department will provide ongoing technical assistance to school divisions to meet targets and to correct noncompliance. In addition to selection based on performance, the Department may randomly select one or two school divisions from each of the eight superintendents regions for an on-site focused monitoring visitation. Additional information about the selection of school divisions for focused monitoring and targeted assistance and action plans will be provided at the September 2007 regional workshops and through other means.

 

If you have questions about the Departments revised monitoring system, you may contact Dr. Sandra E. Ruffin, director of federal program monitoring, at (804) 225-2768 or Sandra.Ruffin@doe.virginia.gov. Questions about data reporting should be directed to Mr. Paul Raskopf, director of financial and data services, at (804) 225-2080 or Paul.Raskopf@doe.virginia.gov.

 

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