Model School District Board Accountability and Inclusion Resolution for Disability and Special Education

How can your school district board be more accountable and engaged on disability and special education issues?

Below is our model resolution for a DSEDAC – a Disability and Special Education District Advisory Committee.

We’re working to make this a reality in our local community. You can sign, or check out, our petition for the San Mateo Foster City School District. If you are interested in doing the same in your school district, we’re be happy to help.

If you have something in place already, great. You may want to check out some of the terms we’ve included to help make the committee more effective.

… and, of course, if you have any suggestions as to how we can improve this resolution based on your experience, let us know!

Email me at: steve@snkids.org

Thank you!


RESOLUTION OF THE ABC SCHOOL DISTRICT
IN SUPPORT THE INCLUSIVE EDUCATIONAL PRACTICES
AND THE FORMATION OF A
DISABILITY & SPECIAL EDUCATION DISTRICT ADVISORY COMMITTEE (“DSEDAC”)

WHEREAS, the ABC School District is responsible for educating over ____ students from [X] through [Y] grade, approximately fifteen percent (15%) [adjust %, as appropriate] or _#_ of whom are students with disabilities or other special needs, which entitle them to have Individual Education Plans (IEPs) or 504 Accommodation Plans in place pursuant to federal and state laws, legal rulings, and evidence-based best practices to guide their educational experience and ensure that they are receiving a free and appropriate education; and

WHEREAS, the ABC School District hereby acknowledges that disability is part of the human condition and diversity that binds us together as a community; and

WHEREAS, the ABC School District hereby recognizes that disabilities affect approximately twenty percent of our population – including children and adults; and

WHEREAS, it is a primary goal of the ABC School District to create school environments that are inclusive of all students no matter their ability level, type of disability or diagnosis, or their other unique characteristics, and

WHEREAS, the ABC School District is focused on the academic and social success of all students and believes that students with disabilities should have the opportunity to participate in the general education setting to the maximum extent possible, and

WHEREAS, the ABC School District hereby acknowledges that all students are, first and foremost, general education students who may, due to a disability or other need, require additional supports and services in order to access their education; and

WHEREAS, in the past two years of state reported standardized testing results, students with disabilities are consistently the lowest or one of the lowest performing demographic groups; and

WHEREAS, the ABC School District hereby acknowledges that all students should the opportunity to participate with same-aged typical peers to the maximum extent that they are able; and

WHEREAS, the ABC School District hereby acknowledges that evidence-based practices have shown that all students, both those with disabilities and without, can perform as well or better in inclusive school environments; and

WHEREAS, the ABC School District hereby acknowledges that research has shown that students with disabilities in inclusive environments average fifty percent (50%) more minutes of academic instruction per day; and

WHEREAS, the ABC School District hereby acknowledges that programs, including extracurricular activities and interventions, must allow all students an opportunity to participate, regardless of the educational, social or emotional supports and services they may receive or need in order to access such programs; and

WHEREAS, the ABC School District hereby acknowledges the importance of school staff making every effort to use language that describes the person first, without reference to a disability (“people first language”), when referring to students, families, employees, and programs for individuals who have additional needs; and

WHEREAS, the ABC School District hereby acknowledges that inclusive practices are not a separate component of education, but rather, a core value that shall be present at all schools and in all District programs; and

WHEREAS, the ABC School District hereby acknowledges the importance of holding high expectations for the growth and development of all students and honoring the legal requirement that students shall be served in the least restrictive environment; and

WHEREAS, the ABC School District hereby acknowledges the importance of holding high expectations for staff, including employees who serve students with special needs, and is committed to providing the necessary supports to help staff rise to those high expectations; and


WHEREAS, the ABC School District hereby acknowledges that the diversity of students on its school campuses benefit everyone and add to the experience of each other student; and

            WHEREAS, California Education Code (Part 30, Chapter 2, Article 7, 56190) requires each Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) in the State of California to establish a Community Advisory Committee for Special Education (CAC) to serve in an advisory capacity to the Board of Education and Special Education administration on the implementation of the Local Plan, describes how services are to be provided to students with disabilities and special needs; and

            WHEREAS, CACs ideally meeting monthly in open meetings during the school year, which any parent of a student in the district, staff or community member may attend and participate in; and

WHEREAS, CAC membership is comprised of parents with students who receive special education services, parents with students in general education, district staff from both special and general education, community agency representatives and any community member who is interested in special education, appointed by the Board of Trustees from each District (in the case of a multi-District SELPA, such as the San Mateo County SELPA); and

WHEREAS, Districts within a multi-District SELPA are encouraged to form their own District Advisory Committees (DAC’s) to serve in a similar fashion as the SELPA CAC and to advise the District’s Board of Trustees on various matters related to and affecting students with disabilities and special needs in the District, to review and give feedback on District and Board policies, programs and actions, and to provide advice and assistance to other District committees, task forces and councils on matters related to students with disabilities and special needs, and to facilitate and provide input during the LCAP process (referred to as a Disabilities and Special Education District Advisory Committee, a “DSEDAC”); and

WHEREAS, Districts must provide an inclusive workplace that is welcoming to teachers, staff, and administrators, reflecting their essential roles in the local community and any supports needed for their own disabilities or special needs; and

WHEREAS, a DSEDAC would ideally be comprised of parents with students who receive special education services, parents with students in general education, district staff from both special and general education, employees with disabilities, community agency representatives and any community member who is interested in special education, with a dedicated representative from each school’s School Site Council (SSC) as well as a representative from each school’s English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC), and would meet at least eight (8) times per school year.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED,that the ABC School District is committed to employing inclusive practices in line with IDEA’s Lease Restrictive Environment directive; and

RESOLVED FURTHER, that the ABC School District is committed to embracing a cohesive and active Child Find strategy to ensure early intervention for students suspected of having a disability or special need, which would require additional supports or accommodations to access their education; and

RESOLVED FURTHER, that the ABC School District is committed to ensure that each child in the District experiences a safe, welcoming and respectful school campus environment; and

RESOLVED FURTHER, that the ABC School District is committed to holding high expectations for success and ambitious educational goals for all students in their IEPs and in the general education curriculum; and

RESOLVED FURTHER, that the ABC School District is committed to ensuring that all students, including students with disabilities, have access to their grade level general education curriculum, and that they receive grade level report cards consistent with their current grade level curriculum; and

RESOLVED FURTHER, that the ABC School District hereby agrees to form a standing Disabilities & Special Education District Advisory Committee (DSEDAC) to advise the District’s Board of Trustees on the potential disability and special education impacts of all matters coming before them, to advise on all matters related to and affecting students and employees with disabilities and special needs in the District, to review and give feedback on District and Board policies, programs and actions, and to provide advice and assistance to other District standing committees, task forces and councils on matters related to students with disabilities and special needs of students and employees, and to facilitate and provide documented input during the annual LCAP process; and

RESOLVED FURTHER, the DSEDAC shall be comprised of parents with students who receive special education services, parents with students in general education, disabled parents, district staff from both special and general education, community agency representatives and any community member who is interested in special education, disabled employee representatives, with a dedicated representative from each school’s School Site Council (SSC) as well as a representative from each school’s English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC) and shall meet at least eight (8) times per school year.

RESOLVED FURTHER, the DSEDAC shall provide (at a minimum) one (1) Independent Annual Report to the District’s Board of Trustees on the state of the special education program, supports for employees with disabilities employed by the District, and all other matters relevant to the inclusion, education, and success of students with disabilities and disabled employees.

RESOLVED FURTHER,that with these inclusive education practices in mind, and with the formation of the aforementioned DSEDAC by no later than December 31, 2019, now be it resolved, that the ABC School District hereby confirms on this _____ day of ______, 2019, its respect for all students, each student’s right to have a free and appropriate education provide in the least restrictive environment possible, and hereby models professionalism, respect, empathy and high expectations for every student in every setting.

AYES:             _______________________________

                        _______________________________

                        _______________________________

                        _______________________________

                        _______________________________

NOES:             _______________________________

                        _______________________________

                        _______________________________

ABSENT:         _______________________________

                        _______________________________

Attest:

___________________________________
Secretary to the Board

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