Friday, January 15, 2016

Latest on EEU/School Board Meeting

Update: here's a bit of the discussion from the last Board meeting on EEU where Director Peters asks a very direct question to Sped head, Wyeth Jessee.

End of update

Via the Support Big K Facebook page:

I'm very sad to report the below update on EEU - 

"I'm in disbelief that we are asking people to join us again (at the next School Board meeting.)

Despite all of your incredible support at our last meeting, the powerful moving testimony, the passion, and the unanimous support of the school board- no solution has been reached.

The Executive Director and Director of Special Education stated at a Special Education PTSA meeting 'no solution will be reached by open enrollment.'
We will be protesting this decision and asking for the School Board to continue to ask the administration to support the families we all serve."
‪#‎inclusionmatters‬

To note about next week's School Board meeting:
Public testimony sign-ups for this meeting will begin at 8 am on Monday, January 18th, even though Monday is a holiday. Testimony requests can be made by calling 206-252-0040, or emailing boardagenda@seattleschools.org, and providing your full name, your contact information, and the topic on which you would like to speak.
Board Agenda 
It's a fairly short one.

Assessment Presentation - hey, look at that SBAC scores by grade (not great and where are the 10th grade scores?)

Equitable Access to Programs & Services Annual Report
ORCA card BAR to be voted on.  New wording added to BAR:
Because this is the first year of this program, it is anticipated that there will be opportunities to refine this program and serve more eligible students. Therefore by March 15, 2016, this program will be reviewed to determine usage and potential expansion within the constraints of funding and transportation service standards. Under consideration is a plan to enhance distribution of cards to students who qualify for Free and Reduced Lunches (FRL) who participate in Running Start and Choice Schools, but live within the 1-2 mile walk zone. Additionally, consideration for FRL qualified students who live within 0-11-2 miles who have hardship situations may also be considered. 
On January 14, 2016, representatives from the district, City Council, Mayor’s office, and Seattle Department of Transportation met with the Rainier Beach Transit Justice Team, including students and the school community, to discuss implementation strategies for the 2015-16 school year and beyond. The city and district are committed to continuing to engage with this community and other school communities as this program is refined and enhanced for future years. The district will create an ORCA Card Implementation Task Force per School Board policy 4110 and 4110 SP to help plan, implement and evaluate an open and transparent ORCA Card program.
 Upon approval of this motion, the proposed amendment will be executed promptly with eligible students receiving ORCA Passport cards beginning February 1st, 2016.
From the MOU with the City:


DISTRICT WILL PROVIDE:

The District will provide ORCA cards to the following low-income students:

High school students living within the 1-2 mile walk zone of their school that are not currently provided district funded transportation.

Middle school students living within the 1-1.5 mile walk zone of their school that are not currently provided district funded transportation.

The District will provide the City of Seattle non-identifiable data to be used in evaluation and assessment of the Partnership Indicators (II.).

39 comments:

Robert Cruickshank said...

The school board needs to intervene here and require the district staff to save EEU. If they won't, then it will be a sign that our new board isn't willing to stand up for parents and successful programs - and it will be instead time for protest action.

Anonymous said...

How can the school board let this go? They gave direct instructions to the Superintendent and staff on this matter. Where is Tolley? Isn't he accountable? Where is Nyland?

Asking questions

Watching said...

What are the issues with EEU.

Regarding funding: It should be noted that voters approved $53M for Seattle City's Prek program. The city will serve 2000 students @ $20K/ each.

If funding is an issue, perhaps the city can help cover costs.

Anonymous said...

I think that what the Superintendent and Board need to grasp is that the families who kids are slated to attend the EEU are not being told by the District what are the alternatives. There are no obvious options for inclusive or even blended K programs in Seattle PubliC schools. Nobody seems willing or able to challenge the Superintendent and the Board to fix this basic problem, with transparency and with speed.

The Special Education Department and the Capacity Planners in SPS should not be allowed to operate in this inequitable manner. If there were no K programs for kids with red hair or for left-handed kids, wouldn't there be some intervention? Duh. Oh, but it's allocating resources for kids with disabilities and realizing their rights to education in the least restrictive environment. That's just optional. It's not optional, but that is how it is being treated.

Our Superintendent is asleep on the job. He is sleep walking. The Board needs to wake him up and get a clue themselves about what their jobs. Their job includes oversight of the Superintendent who is currently presiding over and supporting a basically inequitable situation for K students with disabilities who need access to General education. It's breaking the law. Would Teaching and Learning under Michael Tolley ever dream of telling parents they don't have reading materials in schools xyz and have no plans to resolve that problem in time for Open Enrollment? That the Superintendent cannot rouse himself to direct Tolley, Jessee, and the capacity planners to fix the LRE situation for our K students while whinging around about imaginary problems with the EEU just about says it all about the apathy towards the rights of students with disabilities in this District. The treatment of the premier research institution in the region says it all too.

I agree, big leadership void in SPS.

Appalled

Anonymous said...

About the education acronym "EEU"

(1) It is not listed on this blog's "not complete list" of acronyms

(2) the blog's link to the district's list. Doesn't work.

(3) A search of the District's website showed:

Partial List of Acronyms and Terms Used in
Seattle Public Schools (SPS)

EAP Employee Assistance Program

EALR Essential Academic Learning Requirement

ECE Early Childhood Education

EDM Every Day Math

EGP Easy Grade Pro (online)

ELL

EOC

ESD

ESIS Electronic School Information System

ESL

BUT NO listing for "EEU"

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

It's not an education acronym. It's an acronym for a program at the Haring Center. It stands for Experimental Education Unit.

"In 1964, what would later become the Experimental Education Unit, then the Haring Center, began as the Pilot School, a small, school for children with neurological injuries. This school was originally funded by a gift to the UW from a parent of a child with disabilities who could not find appropriate services for his daughter in the community. The focus of the Pilot School’s work was on education, rehabilitation, and family advocacy. The program was staffed by University of Washington faculty and was originally directed by Charles Strother, a faculty member from the UW Department of Psychology. Strother was the individual responsible for recruiting Norris Haring to the UW from the University of Kansas. In 1965, the Pilot School program became affiliated with the UW’s University Affiliated Program, funded by the Kennedy Administration. This program was originally called Child Development and Mental Retardation Center (CDMRC) and the name of our program was changed at that time to Experimental Education. In 2007 the CDMRC was renamed the Center on Human Development and Disability (CHDD). In 1969, the program moved to its current location on south campus and was named the Experimental Education Unit (EEU). The EEU’s first director was Dr. Norris Haring and the first principal was Harold Kunzelmann. From the early days of the EEU, two practices were critical to all work carried out by researchers, teachers, and staff: Applied Research and Education Using Data-Based Decision Making.

Teachers and staff at the EEU were committed to using effective teaching practices and researching their use to teach new skills in practical settings. Many common instructional strategies, including those based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, that are widely used in the field of special education, and many of the behavioral strategies used in practice today were first implemented and studied at the EEU."
TS

Anonymous said...

Wyeth Jessee is trying to keep the egg off of his face - by trying to "resolve" the problem of his own invention. Supplantation of funds was never an issue at the EEU - and it has never been an issue that Wyeth Jessee has ever, EVER cared about before anywhere else. What about BHS? BHS still uses SPED certified teachers to teach gen ed classes - oh and, bill it all (or nearly all) to Wyeth Jessee over in sped. In that case, Jessee always pays for all those general ed kids with his special ed budget - and he never cares. When we will Jessee be presenting to the board on that? Because that is actually stealing.

Parent

Eliza said...

My son attended EEU kindergarten as a typically-developing peer, with an SPS id number because of transportation. Gen Ed dollars attached to his number did not go to EEU, but to the district. Hmmm. And Wyeth Jessee is making it sound like special education dollars are paying the gen ed AND special ed portions for the sped kindergarteners, but they're not. EEU pays the gen ed portion. Sped would pay the same amount for those kids in any other district placement. I asked him if SPS gen ed dollars went to each kid as well if that would make it ok, and his answer was that the EEU is private services. (Public school contract at a public university = private services? Huh?) We are not getting any kind of reasonable, consistent answer. LizaSfT

Anonymous said...

TS,

Thanks for the detailed explanation of EEU. Much appreciated.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

I'm probably just confused, but paying for kids in the EEU with school funds sounds like what was ruled unconstitutional in the Bryan case. http://courts.mrsc.org/mc/courts/zwashreports/051WashReport/051WashReport0498.htm

That case had a normal school (school for training teachers) which wanted to teach public school students. The ruling said that wasn't allowed because the teachers would not be "subject to and under the control of the qualified voters of the
school district". And also said "all experiments in education must be indulged, if at all, at the expense of the general fund".

Maybe that is why Jessee said that the EEU was private service?

LisaG

Anonymous said...

I was under the impression that Seattle Schools currently, CONTRACTS with some PRIVATE entities/schools to provide special education services including mental health services, when it has been determined that the district is unable to adequately meet a particular student's needs within our schools. Maybe CHILD school (Renton) or Hamlin Robinson? How about our programs at Ryther? When I lived in Massachusetts, this was actually much more common.

Currently there are no kindergarten age programs in SPS that provide the same level of inclusion and support that the EEU kindergarten provides. This has been true ever since the Blended Kindergarten Programs were established and then dismantled. I suspect, that is the actual dilemma for the Sped department: Only SOME kids receive this level of support, and not all who need it. So, if they dumped it, maybe they thought that no one would notice. Ha. Seriously?

If this is true, how does the District pay for those programs ? Sped dollars? Gen ed dollars? Commingling.....? I am sure they could figure out how to maintain the EEU K , if they really wanted to.

Curious

Anonymous said...

Wrong LisaG. SPS can and does contract to many agencies for special education. So do all school districts. Some of the known local agencies are CHILD, Yellowwood Academy, Hamlin Robinson, NW Soil, and many more. The fact is, since we've beefed up our sped central staff, we've also had to expand the use of private agencies for sped service. More administrators means less service. SPS spends many millions on outside agencies for sped.

The problem with the EEU -it's simply the highest quality offering. When my kid graduated, the most depressing thing was the sped central staffers who came put to the EEU and told us to get used to lower service levels, and lower qualities. "Party is over folks, public school isn't going to be like the EEU." they promised.... and they were right!

Speddie

Anonymous said...

I think the school board does not understand the legal issues here. They don't understand that SPS is breaking the law in not providing options transparently and proactively for kinders whose LRE is General Education, that not making this information available prior to Open Enrollment is a gross mistreatment of Special Needs families, and that particularly for those who have the EEU in the sights for 2016 to suddenly have NO OPTION is wrong. I mean, I think the School Board gets it that the EEU is a Good Thing, but I don't think they get the systemtic thing. ? That SPS is screwing up in meeting its legal obligations to kinders whose LRE is General Education. Is Noel Treat on board yet? He's got to get going on this. Agree that Nyland is sleep walking through this.

Another speddie

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm.Playing devil's advocate here. Why isn't the region's linked school with an ACCESS program an adequate LRE option to be in compliance with the law? Not sure if those have been made available to families or not, but if so, then the district doesn't really need EEU, other than as a model for best practices.... which, of course, they absolutely don't want to be responsible for providing.

I think anybody who thinks they can win on a compliance claim, will have a very heavy lift.

Speddie

Anonymous said...

Speddie is referring to places in SPS where kids who should be in general education as their least restrictive environment are served, in theory, by a model called "access." Yes, you can look on the SPS website to find out where "access" is being operated in principle. In practice, though, to say that the inclusive practices for "access" vary wildly from school to school and how well or poorly the building administrator is on top of this, is putting it mildly. There is no quality assurance and the buy in of the building's teachers and administration cannot be counted on. Which means no predictability for families. So the LRE option while in theory may be available for some kinders whose LRE is general education, just like it is at Stevens which is now the poster child for District AND site-level dysfunction, in practice it is not available. Let's just all look at the debacle, two years running, at Stevens - an "access" school where OSPI has uselessly intervened now twice. Nobody can bring leadership to bear on Stevens. The "access" option is hitting all kinds of opposition from staff and administration. There like other places (let's start naming them!), "access" is a hit or miss option at best for SPS kinders. I don't blame families for confronting this. Even OSPI has confronted it and lost to the house of mirrors that is SPS on a good day.

reader

Anonymous said...

So, reader's observation is the same as mine. The district DOES in fact offer adequate services, in an appropriate LRE, it just implements them poorly and unpredictably. That is a different argument than Another Speddie is making.... which is: no range of appropriate services and therefore a legal requirement to meet the needs of certain individuals that require it.

It will be darn near impossible to make a court find that the whole of sps special ed is so poor quality that the district must keep EEU open, even though that is true. It is better to take another tack.

Speddie

Anonymous said...

Yes, the EEU is a great program. BUT, it is not a General Education program/setting because greater than 50% of students have IEPS. It is essentially a special education setting that includes students without disabilities; therefore, on could argue that it is more restrictive than programs where students participate in a general education setting during all/portion of their day....Legally speaking the EEU provides a service to students that is more restrictive then resource, access, and some "self-contained" programs...

There are very legitimate arguments for keeping the EEU program (such as what this program contributes back to our community as a whole by training educators); let's make sure that we present the "facts"-- this goes for those on either side of the fence.

Facts First

Anonymous said...

Agreed. I am surprised that this is the only argument being made, considering the EEU is by definition more restrictive a setting than any/most access models AND definitely more restrictive than resource/SM1. It is a special education classroom with b/c more than 50% of students have an IEP. For the 10 Resource students they get (according to the contract), this setting is too restrictive.

Why isn't there a bigger push being made as a teacher prep facility that helps support transformative practices aligned with SPS vision? Why not stress the partnership between the UW and SPS? Why not call on teachers who have benefitted from this program/research?

FF

Anonymous said...

Is EEU more restrictive than ACCESS though? It seems that by being "reverse inclusion" they really aren't comparable to other programs.

I also don't get why there isn't a legal option? Can we file complaints with OSPI or another agency?

What is happening at Stevens? The staff there are opposed to ACCESS?

-QA Parent

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm. Just depends on restrictivity and how you count it. Restrictions are the things you are "restricted FROM, because you are disabled." They are the things that do not happen to students without disabilities. You can argue the level of restrictivty of the EEU both ways.

Special ed in a "resource room" in SPS is nearly always in well, stuck in a resource room. Doesn't that sound "restrictive"? It is restrictive. Students are restricted to a room outside of general education for "pullout" special ed services. So, the special education service of most resource rooms rivals the environment of any self-contained program. ACCESS students have the same features - they often receive special education in a pullout setting. "Resource room" and ACCESS students both have a less restrictive setting when it comes to plain old general education. In most cases, their classrooms have fewer students with disabilities as a percentage than EEU.

Some resource rooms and ACCESS programs - do little or no "pullout". They do pushout. In that case, those programs are arguably less restrictive than EEU.

On the other hand, resource room students are not restricted from their neighborhood peers, or from general ed for most of the day. For those environments -EEU is more restrictive. (EEU students are restricted from neighborhood peers because they are disabled, and they spend their entire day in a disproportionately disabled environment)

ACCESS students, like EEU students, are restricted from their neighborhood school - but, ACCESS students at least attend a school in their middle school region (or so we have been led to believe). A middle school service area assignment is less restrictive than EEU because students will eventually be placed in the same middle school as those in the ACCESS program.

However - if you view the EEU as an alternative school placement - then, the general education makeup of the classroom is really something that parents have chosen (like alternative schools). In that case, EEU is NOT more restrictive because of its lack of proximity to neighborhoods. It is an all-city draw.

Bottom line - You can't really say it is "less" restrictive, definitively. It is obviously way less restrictive than self-contained programs. For others - it's not clear. You can always say it is better. You can point to a virtual 100% satisfaction rate with special education families. You can point to collaboration with true data collection. (Isn't that a theme in the district?) You can point to racial equality. It is the only place that really trains teachers and supports students as they age. And that is all totally worth it. This bad press - is nothing but a black eye for Wyeth Jessee and his entourage of greedy career climbers - who offer nothing in return.

Speddie

Anonymous said...

You can argue least restrictive, more restrictive, but really what the EEU K provides in a unique way, is a truly INCLUSIVE setting for ALL kids. A place to belong. One classroom with age-level peers.

If that is confusing, look at how the Access program often works: kids with special needs sit in the back of a general education kindergarten, using a computer or doing something different/perhaps unrelated to the rest of the class. Teachers aides come in sometimes to help. Kids leave for periods of the day to work in smaller less distracting rooms or work in the hallway. At lunch the kids with IEPs have special lunch social groups....maybe. When kids in Access have "meltdowns...." big meetings are held to figure out what to do. Kids often go home on separate busses. Gen ed teachers often feel/are unsupported and it shows. It really is not the same. The EEU also enrolls a proportion of students who would otherwise receive services in a SPS multi-grade segregated setting, aka self contained. Sometimes without much curriculum at all. Most certainly less restrictive for them.

Is the EEU perfect? Nah, but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Really. Can't understand how this decision was made. There is a difference between the programs/services and families should have a choice, like everyone else.

Casey

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day, what the EEU provides that cannot in most cases be found in SPS Ks is peace of mind. The knowledge that your kid isn't going to be stigmatized or pathologized or criminalized or isolated on account of neurological difference. That somebody in the mix is going to "get it." Peace of mind. Why should that be a tall order for SPS? Well, for some reason it is. That is the SPS pathology. And now we see the T&L and SPED Dept squandering the good will of the premier applied research institution in the region, the institution that demonstrates how good practices for inclusively educating our differently abled children also creates peace of mind for their parents.

I wish Nyland would get a handle on this debacle. If not him, the School Board?

LookingforLeadership

mirmac1 said...

One could argue that every Continuum School (of which there are 8) should have a well-resourced inclusive K with 10 typical peers and 10 student with disabilities. These K kids could rise into an established Access program with a Focus or Distinct or... (heck, let's just call them SM3 or 4) classroom, if needed. The problem arises when the next batch of K risers come along the next year. Few schools will be able to absorb 10 SpEd students per year in its programs without adding a program or Access on a near annual basis. Many of these K risers will have to transition to another school with perhaps fewer services. A PreK riser will become a K riser etc. These are a lot of transitions and pose a problem needing resolution.

The Special Education Task Force should rework the feeder pattern so that the kinders will be able to sustain their gains made in a quality inclusive K. The more services provided at the earliest benefit children the most.

Lynn said...

I would guess that the problem special education administrators have with the EEU is that the district doesn't control the assignment process. Any other student who receives district-funded K-12 education from an outside entity must be placed there by the district. The student has to have attended a public school and the district has to determine that they cannot meet the child's needs. There is also the issue of equity - there are a limited number of seats in the EEU and the district is not able to decide which children are placed in them.

The real issue for the district isn't the EEU, it's the Academy for Precision Learning. APL was created to provide a continuation of the EEU's services to K-12 students. If the EEU receives district special education funds for kindergarteners who (in theory) could be served by the district, it would follow that the Academy for Precision Learning should also receive special education funds for serving district students. There is at least one family in due process over funding for APL.

I am not agreeing with the district - just trying to figure out their point of view. If I had a child who needed the services provided by the EEU and APL, I would much prefer to place them there than to take my chances with SPS. Ultimately the district should provide this kind of program so that it's available to every student who would benefit.

Eliza said...

At the EEU, every child participates fully. In terms of LRE, the children are not restricted by their abilities - every single child is included in every activity, with support as necessary to help him/her succeed in being part of it. If there is a behavior issue, it's dealt with by supporting the child in place, and keeping everyone safe, not in an isolating, punitive way. Children learn empathy and celebrate with their friends as they see a child with challenges work through difficult moments.

To some points mentioned above, the EEU is the best possible training for our special education teachers. At the first SpEd PTSA meeting of the year, Wyeth Jessee was asked about some empty positions around the district. His response was that our area's higher education institutions weren't producing enough high-quality candidates, and that if only there were enough candidates to meet his high standards, he would be able to fill those spots. What a line. The EEU produces a crop of the best, every year, but until SPS is a place people actually want to work in, those amazing educators will stay at the EEU (for LESS PAY than they could make elsewhere) or go to other districts. It's a testament to the strength of SPS Special Education teachers that they can do what they do in spite of all the crap they deal with every day.

To support LookingforLeadership's point, being a parent at the EEU is also a drastically different experience than being a parent in SPS. When your child receives a diagnosis, there's a wide range of emotions and response. It's scary and uncertain. At the EEU, there is unfailing support, and you know that if you have any questions or concerns, staff there will do all they can to help you, and be an advocate WITH YOU for meeting the needs of your child. Walking in the door everyday, there's a sense of relief knowing that, and complete trust. At the most recent SpEd PTA meeting, parents were patronized, condescended to, and dismissed. The anxiety level in the room was very high. SPS SpEd seems to want to make it as difficult as possible for families to access the services their children are entitled to, or even to just get simple answers to questions, when the department SHOULD be their greatest ally and advocate. It's appalling.

It makes me believe that the only reason Jessee wants to eliminate the EEU is because the EEU proves that his job is being done better elsewhere, and is a challenge the I-know-best image he works so hard at projecting.

Anonymous said...

Mirmac is incorrect about "batches" incoming to flood access programs from K onwards. There are no such numbers of students with disabilities to anticipate as many as 10 new kinders/year matriculating through a single school's access program. That is not a scenario to worry about. The worry is to extend access to kinders and to do it in a quality way.

Numbers

Anonymous said...

Eliza, I think that what is happening with Jessee and Clancy is that they are getting into a power struggle with families now. I was at the SPED PTSA meeting too and I agree that the treatment of families was exceptionally patronizing.

Reader

LizaSfT said...

I meant to sign that LizaSfT - I think there are other Liza's and Eliza's that comment here, so just to be transparent. I was horrified by that meeting.

Anonymous said...

Numbers,
here is how it would work if the district replicated the EEU blended Kindergarten: 10 students with IEPS would attend K along with 10 typical peers, whom I would assume are assigned to their neighborhood school. The typical kids would continue at the school through 5th grade, like their neighbors. But what happens to the 10 student with IEPs? They move up to first grade as well, no? then second. So each grade level would eventually have 10 students with IEPs (plus, of course, Resource Room level students at the school) How would that be staffed: 5 full time sped teachers and 15 IA's, for ACCESS level services? Hope that explains the "batches."

So, it might be more challenging then you think, and have other ramifications/capacity, etc. Can we figure it out? sure, problems are solvable, but it's not so simple.

Casey

Anonymous said...

Casey, no. You are assuming that those 10 children would matriculate out to the SAME school. THey may be from all over Seattle. There would be one here, one there, and so no access program would ever be "flooded."

numbers

Lynn said...

The idea is that once children have entered a public school, they should be allowed to continue there - as our general education students do.

mirmac1 said...

Numbers, an EEU type K in a Continuum school will in fact have 10 Sped risers into 1st grade. Check your numbers. Isn't that what some of this is about? Expanding the quality of this program so more can benefit?

mirmac1 said...

Yes exactly Lynn.

LizaSfT said...

The district does control the assignment process. EEU and SPS used look at all IEPs together and determine which students the EEU was most appropriate for, as they did with placements in other programs.

A few years ago, the placement changed to a lottery system like open enrollment, a change that the district made.

Anonymous said...

I think this is apples and oranges. Nobody is talking about literally replicating the 10:10 ratio of the EEU in SPS kindergartens. They're talking about quality ACCESS programs that include and support kinders and their families in the context of a K-5 roll up.

Ref

Anonymous said...

Lynn. You don't know what you're talking about. SPS contracts with MANY outside providers for special education. Students in these other schools like Hamlin Robinson or Yellowwood Academy may or may not have students with disabilities. They certainly have students from other districts. No problem there. It's a contract. You get what you contract for.

SPS ALREADY has a payment plan with APL. It does so with a "reimbursement" plan. No contract, harder to track. Nontransparecy is their second speciaty. Lying is first. APL was founded by EEU parents, but by no means is the destination for most EEU grads. But it does pay.

Speddie

mirmac1 said...

The non-public agencies/schools that are approved under WAC 392-172-4090 are listed here:

http://www.k12.wa.us/SpecialEd/NonpublicAgency.aspx

APL is not on there. APL must be getting funds via proportionate share for parent-selected private schools. IDEA allows this. This IDEA provision is not ideal, because the district need not provide transportation and IDEA due process protections do not apply.

Anonymous said...

EEU isn't on the list of agencies either, maybe the UW is considered public? It certainly isn't a "public school" for school age students. That's probably Wyeth's 18th excuse for not funding EEU - it's really "private". Hogwash. In the case of APL, the district has to file the request to OSPI for it to become a Nonpublic agency, and so far they haven't. If they did - that would open the floodgate. Nobody is saying that the students can't be educated elsewhere (the requirement for the WAC), they're saying the district chooses to use this method of educating students and is certainly free to contract pieces out. Again in the case of APL - the district is doing "reimbursement" for students who have fought back with legal means. Meaning, they aren't creating a contract, they are simply reimbursing parents for services they receive and pay for at APL as part of a settlement.

The best thing I could imagine - insurance companies of families at APL who cover the tuition - suing the school district over the costs of educating students with autism (at a minimum). Now, that would be a fair fight. Premera vs SPS. Insurance companies are now required to cover students with autism for the ABA. So, APL collects insurance from companies like Premera. But those insurance companies should turn around a sue the school district - who really is ultimately responsible for dumping the students into their schools which are mostly daycare centers.

Speddie

Anonymous said...

Numbers - you are wrong. The EEU model can not be replicated in SPS without shipping students out after kindergarten, and that creates a lot of problems. SPS had blended K's at a number of schools in the past - and this was ALWAYS a problem. What do you do with students when they're done with kindergarten? First of all, no neighborhood school has the 10 students with significant disabilities to put in a blended K. It's unlikely that there are even 10 in a middle school service area that also choose or require that method of delivery. So - this model would never be an "assignment" area school for either general or special education. It is possible that an alternative school could be a "continuum" school and host a blended K, blended 1, blended 2, etc. But there are problems here too. If somehow an alt school was in a "continuum" school - then all the 10 kindergarteners would indeed rise to the next level. That would mean 60 students with significant disabilities, identified in kindergarten, would be in 1 elementary school. Add to that, another 30 resource room students, and another 3 students identified with a significant disability after kindergarten - and you get around 100 students with disabilities at a single school. That is not a viable model. That would be around 30% disability at most alt schools.

What is more possible - blended classrooms in secondary schools - where the numbers are much larger. A number of schools have employed a co-teaching, blended model. Whitman, Eckstein, BHS are examples of this. Also possible is a blended multi-age arrangement. In this case, the students with disabilities are clustered into the blended classrooms. This happens at Salmon Bay and Montlake. That clustering sometimes is problematic.

Speddie