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Amy D Diamond

April 2, 2017
Running Project 1

Introduction

Cape Girardeau School District 63 is a suburban district located in southeast Missouri on

the bank of the Mississippi River. The school district has 4,020 student enrolled kindergarten

through 12th grade. Of that population, 65% of the students are eligible for free and reduced

lunch. The special education population comprises 15% of the students in this school district.

The student population is composed of 56% white students and 29% black students. The

remaining races or ethnicities in attendance were a minute population. My family and I live in

this district and my children have attended this district their entire lives. The district that I work

is Jackson R2 which is a neighboring rural school. I teach early childhood special education.

My morning class is composed of 3 & 4 year olds. Six of my students are deemed typically

developing and provide peer models for my other six students who have some type of

developmental delay. My afternoon class is composed of 4 & 5 year olds. Twelve of these

students are typically developing and six students have some type of developmental delay. I co

teach this classroom with a general education teacher. I also assist in our evaluation and

transition process for incoming students and Part C recipient transitions. I assess students using

the Battelle Developmental Inventory and sometimes perform formal observations. Our

evaluation team works together to generate evaluation reports and provide the information and

interpretation to the families.

Results of Quality Indicators Survey

1. Transition-Focused Curriculum and Instruction Domain score 2.71


In the area of transition focused curriculum and instruction, the school district had several

strengths. The work based and school based programs that are currently in place provide

excellent opportunities for development in authentic settings. The high school works

collaboratively with the Career and Technology Center to provide curriculum instruction

that addresses a wide variety of skills. The current curriculum allows students to take

courses that provide certification in some areas such as welding, auto body repair, etc. It

also provides courses that are preparatory or introductory in nature, allowing the student

to explore different fields to find which ones are of interest to them. Several of our work

based programs offer the opportunity to work at a local employer for a portion of the

semester. The weakest portions of this domain include teaching independent living skills

and social/interpersonal skills. Cooking and personal finance are taught as general

education courses but are not specifically designed to address the needs of students with

disabilities whose transition plans include independent living. We also do not offer any

courses on basic living skills that include house cleaning or grocery shopping, etc. These

particular skills are expected to be addressed by special educators within the context of

resource classes. However, only students who are severely disabled typically have these

type of services, so when students who have a disability but do not receive pull out

services, they are expected to derive this information from general education courses

using their accommodations and modifications.

2. Interagency Collaboration and Community Services Domain Score 2.60

This is an area that is stronger than most. This school district has a positive

working relationship with agencies in our area but the number of agencies is limited. The

agencies and school are familiar with procedures and staff of one another and therefore
work easily together. We have one public high school and two different local public

agencies. While these entities do a great job of working together to prepare students for

life after high school, dissemination of information to families falls primarily to the

schools. If families are seeking options outside of the local area, options and information

must be gathered by the family and brought to the school. The school looks at their

responsibility to students on a local basis only.

The school also works closely with many of the larger employers in the area to

determine what skills they find valuable in a work force and assess if their students are

graduating with such skills. The Career and Technology Center is a direct result of this

collaboration due to a deficit in skilled trade workers in our area. The Career and

Technology Center provides a viable economic option for students who are not interested

in or able to pursue a four year degree in a university setting. Most recently the CTC as

we call it, has partnered with a community college to offer freshman level courses that

will transfer to the local university if students are interested in continuing further with

their education.

3. Systems Level Infrastructure Domain Score 2.50

Currently, this school has been targeting their dropout rate as part of their school

improvement plan. This has included strategies for dropout prevention but also

professional development for educators in facilitating inclusion of students with

disabilities and adapting instruction to meet the needs of a diverse student population.

Teachers have incorporated strategies as a result of research showing that students with

disabilities are at higher risk for dropout. The school does not have a single professional

who is responsible for coordinating transition services. The special education teacher is
responsible for coordinating services and curriculum planning. However, frequently,

class schedule selection is performed by the student without the input or assistance of the

special education teacher or guidance counselor. The school provides a list of specific

courses students are expected to take in order to be eligible for graduation. The students

transition plan or postsecondary goals are not often accounted for when making class

selections.

4. Transition Planning Domain Score 2.13

This school initiates transition planning after a student enters high school as a

freshman. However, the transition planning process is a static, one time event each year.

The course of study is determined by the graduation expectations and then the student can

select whatever electives they choose to take outside of those courses. Annual IEP goals

are still written to address student deficits and to achieve academic outcomes. Progress

towards students postsecondary goals are reviewed at the IEP meeting and when families

have concerns regarding grades in required courses. The school needs to derive methods

for monitoring and assessing post secondary goal progress. Literature indicates that

transition should be an ongoing, dynamic process. It is possible that a transition

coordinator could assist with monitoring progress in a more dynamic fashion. By

monitoring more frequently, it would allow courses and services to match student

interests, preferences and achievement.

5. Student Involvement Domain Score 1.86

Because of the schools partnership with the Career and Technology Center ad

area colleges, they are able to offer opportunities for students to learn about post

secondary education and other post school options. However, the remaining indicators
for this domain are areas that the school could improve on. The school offers a class for

all incoming freshman called Preparing for Academic Success. The class covers a

variety of goal setting and decision making skills. It also addresses general study habits,

organization and character education. However, there are no classes that specifically

developed for students with disabilities to learn decision making or self advocacy

strategies. Students do not have the opportunity to lead their IEP and transition planning.

In fact, when I brought it up to an educator, the statement was made that as long as her

name was responsible for the IEP, her students would never lead the meetings. I found

this highly discouraging, especially after last weeks module which highlighted the

increased engagement and ownership by students when they were able to participate in

meetings and not just be present.

6. Transition Assessment Domain Score 1.67

The strengths demonstrated by the school in this domain include a wide variety of

for formal and informal assessments and using assessments to evaluate specific transition

needs, strengths, preferences, and interests. Unfortunately, the transition process is not

ongoing throughout the year. It is treated as an annual objective to be met. The

transition assessment information is not shared with the student or family, but is only

summarized in the present level.

7. Family Involvement Domain Score 1.67

The school works to include family members in the IEP meetings. However,

there is no pre-planning that occurs prior to IEP meetings or transition planning.

Families do not receive any training or information regarding transition other than at the

IEP meeting and that is a general overview of what transition means for their student.
The current process does not empower the family or student to be active participants in

the meeting. Families are provided with a basic needs and preferences assessment survey

prior to the meeting but it does not seem to be seriously considered in the IEP or

transition planning process.

I consider the Family Involvement Domain the area that is the most critical to

address by this school. Families are not being informed and prepared to participate in

planning process for their students transition. I consider this the most critical area to

improve because families will be more involved with their student following post high

school choices than the school will be. Families need to be prepared to accommodate and

support their student in their choices after high school. If families are unaware of

supports that are necessary for some choices, they many not be able to adequately assist

the student in achieving those goals. While the school makes attempts to contact families

regarding meetings, it is very difficult to schedule a meeting after school. Meetings are

frequently scheduled very close to IEP due dates as well, leaving very little flexibility for

families. The process that is this schools current transition planning is very much to

meet compliance and does not necessarily honor the spirit of IDEA.

References

1. Interviews with educators and parents in the district.

2. Quality Indicators of Exemplary Transition Programs.


Quality Indicators of Exemplary Transition Programs (QI-2)
Email address: adiamond@ku.edu
Date: 2017-04-02 20:34:28
State: MO
District: Jackson R-II
Role: Special Ed. Teacher
Explanation of Scores
The score for each domain is an average (mean) of your total responses to each quality indicator
statement in that domain.The
highest average for each domain is 4 and the lowest is 1.
The higher the overall domain score, the more quality indicators you've achieved in that domain.
The low domain scores are the domains you may want to target for change.
The domain average can help you identify which area of transition might be the most critical for
you, your district, or state to
begin planning around or making changes.
You can track your QI2
Survey results under My Portfolio > My Surveys. This section keeps track of each time youve
taken the
QI2,
your scores each time you take it, and gives you access to print or email your QI2
scores.
Domain SCORE
Transition Planning Domain Score: 2.13
1. Transition planning begins early in a student's educational experience (but no later than 16
years old). 3
2. Progress toward a student's postsecondary goals are reviewed on an ongoing basis. 2
3. Transition planning incorporates studentcentered
approaches (e.g., MAPS, Personal Futures Planning 2
4. Postsecondary goals are based upon student strengths, interests, and preferences. 2
5. Postsecondary goals target postsecondary education/training, employment, and when
appropriate independent
living. 2
6. Transition services and a course of study are identified to assist the student to reach
postsecondary goals. 2
7. Annual IEP goals addressing both academics and transition needs are identified. 2
8. Approaches are used during transition planning to identify outcomes supporting student and
family cultures. 2
Transition Assessment Domain Score: 1.67
9. A wide variety of formal and informal transition assessments are available to use with
students. 2
10. Assessments for each student evaluate specific transition needs, strengths, preferences, and
interests. 2
11. The transition assessment process is ongoing throughout the year. 1
12. Transition assessment results are shared with students, families and staff in a meaningful
way. 1
13. Student postsecondary goals are based on transition assessment results. 2
14. A summary of performance with recommendations for meeting postsecondary goals is
developed when student
exits high school 2
Family Involvement Domain Score: 1.67
15. Family members (including extended family, friends, or legal guardians) regularly participate
in transition planning
and IEP meetings. 3
16. The family's needs and supports are taken into consideration during transition planning. 2
17. Information and training are provided to families about transition. 2
18. Preplanning
activities are in place so families can provide input prior to transition meetings. 1
19. Family members are actively involved throughout the transition planning process. 1
20. Supports are in place to involve family members in transition planning meetings (e.g.,
flexible time and location,
language interpreter).
1
Student Involvement Domain Score: 1.86
21. Decisionmaking
skills are taught using evidencebased
curriculum and/or strategies. 2
22. Opportunities to make reallife,
meaningful choices are provided to students. 2
23. Goal setting skills using evidencebased
curriculum and/or strategies are taught. 2
24. Opportunities for students to learn about specific postschool
options (e.g., postsecondary education and training,
employment, independent living) are provided. 3
25. Evidencebased
curriculum and/or strategies are used to teach students to develop and lead their transition
planning process. 1
26. Students have the opportunity to lead their IEP and transition planning process. 2
27. Parents are provided with information and training to support student selfdetermination
and selfadvocacy.
1
TransitionFocused
Curriculum and Instruction Domain Score: 2.71
28. Programs are in place to teach academic strategies (e.g., mnemonics, graphic displays,
learning strategies, selfmanagement).
3
29. Accommodations are identified and implemented in the general curriculum. 3
30. Effective instructional methods are in place to teach academic content (e.g., universal design
for learning,
cooperative groups). 3
31. Schoolbased
programs are in place to teach career development. 3
32. Workbased
programs are in place for community employment and career experiences. 3
33. Programs are in place to teach independent living skills. 2
34. Programs are in place to teach social/interpersonal skills. 2
Interagency Collaboration and Community Services Domain Score: 2.60
35. Schoolbusiness
partnerships exist to support career development activities. 3
36. A process is in place for schools and agencies to determine the anticipated service needs of
students who are
moving from school to community services. 3
37. Referrals to outside agencies are completed before students exit school. 3
38. Accurate information about the range of community services is provided to students and
families. 2
39. Interagency agreements identify roles and responsibilities regarding exchanging information,
sharing resources,
and coordinating services. 2
Systems Level Infrastructure Domain Score: 2.50
40. A comprehensive data collection system is in place that includes academic, behavioral,
transition, and
postsecondary outcomes data. 2
41. Comprehensive data systems are used to evaluate secondary programs and transition
services. 3
42. The school district has at least one professional responsible for coordinating transition
services and working with
outside agencies. 1
43. Dropout prevention programs are in place to support students to engage in school. 3
44. Transition policies and procedures are communicated to all school personnel involved in
transition planning. 2
45. Procedures are in place for facilitating the inclusion of students with disabilities into general
education programs,
activities, and extracurricular
events. 4
46. Teachers in core academic and vocational courses are provided with assistance to adapt
instruction to meet the
diverse needs of students. 3
47. Professional development related to transition is regularly provided to school personnel
involved in transition 2
planning.
Morningstar, M.E. Erickson, A.G., Lattin, D.L. & Lee, H. (Revised June, 2012). Quality
indicators of exemplary transition
programs needs assessment summary [Assessment tool]. Lawrence, KS. University of Kansas,
Department of Special
Education. Retrieved from www.transitioncoalition.org
Copyright 2012