Staffing Plan

CALVERT COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

 SPECIAL EDUCATION STAFFING PLAN

School Year 2017-2018

 Introduction

            The intent of the staffing plan is to provide guidance to the Superintendent and to the Board of Education in determining the number of special education teachers and related services providers needed annually to implement the Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for students with disabilities.  The focus of the plan is on professional staff and instructional assistants who are responsible for the delivery of special education instruction at the school level.  It does not include the professional and support staff assigned to the central office Special Education Department or the Infants and Toddlers Program.

            Calvert County Public Schools uses a hybrid census staffing model to determine its special education staffing.  The hybrid census model is based on total student population in a school and is directed towards providing the appropriate services and supports to meet the needs of students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment.  Although it permits building administrators the flexibility to use special education staff to appropriately implement students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), the hybrid census model does not have a built-in incentive for schools to over-identify students for special education services and can be used effectively as a long-range planning tool.

Requirements

“A public agency shall develop a staffing plan consistent with the procedures provided by the Department, to ensure that personnel and other resources are available to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to each student with a disability in the least restrictive environment. (COMAR 13A.05.02.13D)

 A public agency shall submit a staffing plan consistent with the procedures provided by the Department to ensure that personnel and other resources are available to provide FAPE to each student with a disability in the least restrictive environment as determined by an IEP team.

  1. The local board shall approve the staffing plan.”

 

Calvert County Public Schools Current Staffing Plan

            One special education teacher is assigned for every 175 students in elementary, middle and high schools; although the number of students with IEPs may also be considered.  This student count is based on the total school enrollment and not “full time equivalent” counts. Each school is assigned at least one special education instructional assistant; often more.  The need for additional staff would be based on the unique student characteristics and existing staffing patterns.

 Requirements Beyond Direct Service

The continuum of services at each building ranges from consultation services to general education teachers, to co-teaching, to separate classes for students who require a more restrictive environment. In assignment of staff, consideration is given to additional tasks required of special education teachers and the time needed to complete these tasks. The following tasks are unique to special education and consume time beyond that which is allotted for  planning:                                                                              

  • writing IEPs using the Maryland Statewide IEP
  • preparing for, attending, and presenting information at IEP meetings
  • billing for Medicaid case management and health related services
  • evaluating students for determination of a disability
  • reevaluating students at least on a triennial basis
  • scoring assessments and writing assessment reports
  • consulting and planning with general education staff
  • travel time for itinerant staff
  • conducting the daily preparation of multiple lesson plans to meet the needs of diverse learners
  • informal reading, written language and math assessments
  • completing quarterly progress reports in addition to report cards.

 

 

 Service Providers Needed to Provide a FAPE in the LRE

            The Special Education Department will include the following providers responsible for the delivery of special education services at the school level at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year using local and restricted funding. The related services staffing is determined and assigned based on caseloads by building and time allotted to complete the tasks unique to special education as stated above.
 
Providers


# of Staff

Special Education Teachers

162.87

Instructional Assistants

158.10

Speech-Language Pathologists

22.00

Audiologists

2.00

Regional Program Psychologists

5.00

Teacher of the Visually Impaired

1.60

Teachers of the Hearing Impaired

1.60

Adapted Physical Education Teacher

1.00

Physical Therapists

2.00

Physical Therapists Assistants

1.00

Occupational Therapists

7.00

Social Worker

1.00

Sign Language Interpreters

2.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REGIONAL PROGRAMS

STAFFING RECOMMENDATIONS

2017-2018 School Year

 

Co-Taught Pre-Kindergarten

1 teacher per 8-10 students

Co-Taught Kindergarten

1 teacher per 8-10 students

Early Childhood Intensive Structured Learning Environment (ISLE)

1 teacher / 1-2 assistants* per 4-6 students

Special Pre-Kindergarten

1 teacher / 1 assistant* per 10 students

Special Kindergarten

1 teacher / 1 assistant* per 10 students

Elementary Functional Skills Programs

1 teacher / 1 assistant* per 5-7 students

Elementary Behavior Development Programs (BDP)

1 teacher / 1 assistant* per 6-8 students

Elementary Structured Learning Environment (SLE)

1 teacher / 2 assistants* per 6-8 students

Elementary Intensive Structured Learning Environment (ISLE)

1 teacher / 2 assistants* per 6-8 students

Middle School Intensive Structured Learning Environment (ISLE)

1 teacher / 2 assistants* per 6-8 students

Middle School Functional Skills Programs

1 teacher / 1 assistant* per 8-10 students

Middle School Behavior Development Programs (BDP)

1 teacher / 1 assistant* per 8-10 students

High School Functional Skills Programs

1 teacher / 1 assistant* per 10-12 students

High School Behavior Development Programs (BDP)

1 teacher / 1 assistant per 10-12 students

High School Intensive Structured Learning Environment (ISLE)

1 teacher / 2 assistants per 10-12 students

Learning for Independence (LFI)

1 teacher / 1 assistants per 4-6 students

Calvert Country Functional Skills Programs

1 teacher / 1 assistants per 4-6 students

Calvert Country Behavior Development (BDP)

1 teacher / 1 assistant per 4-6 students

*Additional instructional assistants may be needed when the nature and intensity of a child’s disability warrants increased staff to provide a safe learning environment. 

These recommendations reflect an average teacher-to-student ratio.  Staff may be increased or decreased based upon the needs of the students in the class.

 

Current Vacancies

The following are current vacancies, as of 4-24-17, by category in Special Education:

Position

Number of Vacancies

Means of providing FAPE is provided as a result of the vacancy

Speech Language Pathologists (SLP)

5.0

Services are provided by contractual SLPs in most cases either by on-site SLPs or by teletherapists.

Regional Program Psychologists

 

2.0

Services are provided by contractual psychologists and existing psychologists on staff.

  Evaluation of Staffing Plan

The Special Education Department administrative staff will be responsible for evaluating the staffing plan through: 

 

  • The review of special education teachers’ and related services providers’ schedules, as necessary, to ensure that staff-to-student ratios are adequate and that sufficient time is included to meet the needs of students as prescribed by IEPs.
  • Meetings between the Director of Special Education and principals to discuss staffing as needed to plan for the current and following school year.
  • Meetings with special education administrative staff as needed to assess adequacy of staffing.
  • Ongoing communication with the Human Resources Department to address vacancies and potential candidates.

 

The staffing plan will also be monitored by:

  • The number of Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) complaints filed related to staffing.
  • The number of requests for mediation/ due process hearings directly related to staffing.
  • Results of meetings with principals and other special education staff regarding the adequacy of staffing.

  Public Review

The Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC) provides public comment on the staffing plan each year. The SECAC is made up of representatives from community agencies and support groups, parents, and general and special education teachers and administrators. The group meets on a regular basis to discuss issues and concerns regarding special education in CCPS.     

The Special Education Staffing Plan was reviewed and discussed with the SECAC on April 25, 2017.  Feedback from the Committee will be added to the plan in the public comment section.

  The plan was presented to the CCPS Board of Education on May 11, 2017.  The plan was posted on the CCPS Website for public review for four weeks.  The plan was approved by the Board of Education on June 8, 2017.


Public Comment

June 5, 2017

Board of Education

Calvert County Public Schools

1305 Dares Beach Rd.

Prince Frederick, MD, 20678

Members of Board of Education:

The Calvert County Special Education Citizens’ Advisory Council (SECAC) supports the Department of Special Education’s recommended Special Education Staffing Plan for the 2017-18 school year.  Mrs. Harris explained that CCPS uses a hybrid census model to provide the appropriate services and supports to meet the diverse needs of students with disabilities in the Least Restrictive Environment.  This hybrid model allows building administrators the necessary flexibility to use Special Education staff to appropriately implement the students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).

The staffing ratio is one Special Education teacher for every 175 students (1:175) in elementary, middle and high schools.  Additionally, each school is assigned at least ONE special education instructional assistant (IA).  It is important to consider the need of each school for additional staff based on unique student characteristics and existing staffing patterns.  Addressing the achievement gap between general and special education students cannot be done without this flexibility and adequate staffing.  Tasks that are necessary for these educators are unique to each student and as such extra time is needed to accomplish those.  Examples are writing IEPs, preparing for, attending and presenting information for time intensive meetings, evaluating students, scoring and writing assessment reports, consulting with regular education staff, and daily preparation of multiple lesson plans to meet the needs of many diverse learners in one classroom.

SECAC is also in support of the recommended staff to student ratios for regional programs in CCPS. In compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), CCPS is legally obligated to provide a free and appropriate education to students with disabilities. A reduction in staffing will make it difficult to provide the necessary services indicated on IEPs. 

According to the Calvert County Annual Data on SPP/APR Part B Indicators Notice of Performance Report for July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016 many indicators are below state targets. Items 5A (Students Aged 6-21 LRE: is > or = 80% of the day), 6A and 6B (Aged 3-5 LRE Reg Early Childhood setting & Separate School or Class) relate to educating students with IEPs in the least restrictive environment, specifically in general education settings. It is imperative for appropriate resources and supports to be provided to increase opportunities for our children with disabilities to be serviced in general education settings.  Although baseline data on the PARCC assessment was not evaluated on this performance report, Calvert County Public Schools students with disabilities fall below the state target. It is critical to maintain the current level of staff or increase staff to expand opportunities to educate students in the least restrictive environment. It is important to enable the Director of Special Education to increase staff as needed to fulfill legally required services.                                                 

SECAC is also concerned about the shortage of speech language pathologists (SLPs) in Calvert County Public Schools. SECAC is hopeful that CCPS puts intensive efforts in place to ensure that highly qualified and experienced SLPs are recruited, hired and retained. This is crucial to the communication needs of CCPS students who require speech and language services.

As parents, educators and resource providers, we support this staffing plan and ask the Calvert County Board of Education (BOE) to make certain proper staffing is allocated to ensure our county can continue to provide services that address our children’s needs and that comply with statewide goals and IDEA regulations.  Failure to do so, will be unacceptable and a disservice to our children with special needs.  Our county has a long history of superb education.  We hope the BOE allots its resources to best continue this historical trend.

Respectfully,

 Shelley Miller, Calvert SECAC Chairperson

Calvert County Special Education Citizens’ Advisory Committee

 

 

Definitions

 

(Note:  Since different terms are sometimes understood differently, these definitions are provided as clarification regarding the terms throughout this plan. There is no intent that these definitions must be accepted as standardized, but are simply to assist understanding the recommendations of this report.)

Caseload – the number of students assigned to a teacher, clinician, or therapist, as well as the other work tasks for which the individual is responsible.

COMAR- Code of Maryland Regulations. Title 13 of COMAR includes all regulations adopted by State Board of Education for the provision of public education to students in the state of Maryland.  Within Title 13A, the following chapters are specifically applicable to students with disabilities:

  • COMAR 13A.05.01 Provision of a Free Appropriate Education
  • COMAR 13A.05.02 Administration of Services for Students with Disabilities
  • COMAR 13A.08.03 Discipline of Students with Disabilities
  • COMAR 13A.08.04 Student Behavioral Interventions

Consultation – services provided by someone who give professional advice and/or assistance to the classroom teacher.

Continuum of services – a progression of special education services ranging from least to most restrictive.

Department- the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE)

FAPE (free appropriate public education) – special education and related services that (a) have been provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge; (b) meet the state and federal requirements; (c) include an appropriate preschool, elementary or secondary school education, and (d) are provided in conformity with the individualized education program (IEP) as required under Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA).

Individualized Education Program (IEP) – a written description of the special education and related services provided for a student with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised in accordance with IDEA.                

Instructional Delivery – the method for delivering special education services, and includes:

                Direct services – those services provided to the student

Indirect services – those services provided to general education teachers, parents, instructional assistants and others on behalf of the student.

LRE (Least Restrictive Environment) – an educational environment which best meets the needs of a student requiring special education and related services as set forth in the student’s IEP and which to the maximum extent appropriate to the student’s needs, ensures that the student will be educated with non-disabled peers.  LRE is individually determined for each child.  LRE requires the school system to maintain a full continuum of placement options to meet the needs of each child.

Related Services – transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as may be required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education (including speech-language pathology and audiology, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, therapeutic recreation, social work services, counseling services, orientation and mobility services, and medical services for diagnostic and evaluation purposes only).  The early identification and assessment of disabling conditions in children is also included.

Special Education – specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including (a) instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings; and (b) instruction in physical education.

Supplementary Aids and Services – aids, services, and other supports that are provided in general education classes or to other education-related settings to enable children with disabilities to be educated with non-disabled children to the maximum extent appropriate in accordance with section 612(a)(5) of IDEA.


Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2017 West Corporation. All rights reserved.