LEWISTON — Lewiston’s special education program has made strides in bettering its literacy program, but a lot more work is left to be done to carry the district to the place it ought to be.
That was the general message detailed in a current audit that targeted on modifications following a 2020 report from American Educational Consultants, which famous that Lewiston’s special education program wanted to enhance its literacy program, citing knowledge from the 2018-19 faculty 12 months. The report had additionally inspired the district to provide more coaching for writing and implementing particular person education plans, in addition to bettering communication with households, amongst different gadgets.
Several strengths of energy had been additionally recognized in that 2020 report, together with the workers’s robust dedication to enchancment and their concern for college students. The built-in time for skilled growth and on-time reevaluations had been cited.
A bit of over 1,100 of Lewiston’s more than 5,000 college students and roughly 350 workers members are affiliated with the district’s special education program.
American Educational Consultants beforehand performed an audit on the district’s request in 2011 and 2020. The 2021 audit is a follow-up to the 2020 audit as consultants had been unable to go to the district in individual due to COVID-19 associated journey issues, Special Education Director Kirsten Crafts stated.
Crafts was beforehand an assistant principal at Lewiston High School earlier than getting into the director of education place in early October. In her 17 years with the district, she has taught on the whole and special education school rooms and was a member of a committee for the 2020 audit.
“I’m 100% committed to improving teaching and learning for special education students in the district,” Crafts stated in a dialog Tuesday. “I’m hoping I can take my past experiences that have led me up to here, being a teacher and an administrator in a building to use those experience to improve special ed, and that’s for teachers, ed-techs, and students.”
She stated she goals to construct belief and enhance transparency with households to make the special education program a constructive expertise.
She defined that the district has already taken steps to handle a number of areas recognized for enchancment, significantly literacy, but the report’s findings have bolstered their focus.
“I truly believe that even last year, the district was on that right path,” she stated.
According to the report, within the 2018-19 faculty 12 months, 89% and 94% of scholars with disabilities examined under or effectively under expectations in English language arts and math, respectively, compared to 41% and 53% of scholars districtwide. Consultants instructed that the district create an early literacy motion workforce.
A second theme for enchancment was addressing inconsistencies in pupil IEPs. Consultant’s analyzed 130 of the district’s IEP plans utilizing a rubric and in contrast their findings with 61 IEPs analyzed by Lewiston workers. Both teams had comparable findings.
“Generally, we found that the quality of the IEPs do not reflect the care and hard work of administrators, supervisors, teachers, and educational technicians,” the report reads. “The IEPs can be difficult to read and do not present a flow of information necessary for a depth of understanding critical to parents, teachers and service providers.”
The report added that required data, together with signatures, aims and progress monitoring indicators, had been lacking.
To handle this challenge, Crafts stated assistant director of special education Anna Mathieu will deal with offering skilled coaching for workers to enhance IEP writing and consistency. She added that the special education workforce is contemplating making a strategic multi-year plan to outline the aims of the special education program.
The report additional prompted the district to implement “significant systematic improvements” to this system’s education mannequin, beginning on the whole education school rooms. It inspired workers to create a constant commonplace for special education instruction within the least restrictive atmosphere.
In the 2020 audit, American Education Consultants discovered that the Lewiston faculty district was spending an excessive amount of cash on its special education program. Consultants really helpful that the district scale back the variety of ed-techs and its reliance on outplacement packages and contracted providers to get monetary savings.