Ms. Rogers said that she and Laurie Manos attended the Curriculum talk given by Mr. Naso and that it was excellent. Ms. Dobrow suggested that the next presentation on curriculum could be televised to bring this information to a wider audience. Mr. Naso said that he is looking to create a package for the fall with grade specific and subject specific templates. By next year he plans to put together exemplars of student work to go with the templates.
Ms. Watts clarified the letter dated March 29, 2005 received from the Coordinated Program Review Follow-up Chairperson. Specifically, she said that there are no outstanding areas of non-compliance from the 2001 report. The one area of non-compliance referred to in the letter was criteria 18A. When the 2001 report was issued, there was only one criteria 18. 18A and 18B were added in response to changes in the regulations. In the Mid-cycle Review just completed the District was found to be out of compliance with criteria 18A regarding listing the type of staff who would provide services required under IEPs. All teachers have now been trained in this and Ms. Watts will send a report out to the Department of Education explaining the corrective actions taken. Other than this, the District was found to be in compliance with all other areas of Special Education and in English Learner Education and Civil Rights.
Ms. Watts said that Department of Education officials said in informal talks that they were very impressed with the articulation of goals and the measurable indications of progress toward goals in the IEPs.
The Committee discussed the fact that the District now has four separate data sources: the Mid-Cycle Review, the report of the independent consultant, the PAC survey of parents, and the parent feedback within District and that these data sources indicate a strong Special Education program. Mr. Brandmeyer said that it is unusual to go through a mid-cycle review and to be in full compliance. They discussed the integrated education model, the challenges of identifying and recordkeeping at Hanscom because of frequent transfers, the need to report on Special Education program at the May 19 Boston meeting, the need to communicate with parents regarding the eligibility criteria and accessing Special Education, and parent perceptions regarding the 5th grade co-taught classroom and the planned 6th grade co-taught classroom. Ms. Dobrow and Ms. Manos will work together on an article for the Lincoln Journal to report about this year’s assessments of the Special Education program. Ms. Watts will be forming a committee of parents, teachers, and administrators to synthesize the four sets of data regarding Special Education and to collaborate in evaluating the model and develop a program improvement plan.
Mr. Naso reported on English Language Education (ELE). He said that there are 18 criteria in this area but only 2 were addressed in the report. The laws are new and the regulations are still evolving. The District is in compliance and heading in the right direction. Among other things, the State wants to know that the District has a well articulated process to identify students in need of this service, that the District is conducting yearly (sometimes twice yearly) evaluations of English language learners, and that the District is communicating with parents about the program and about their rights and their children’s rights. ELE instruction is provided through a combination of in class instruction and pull out instruction. The State is still creating and redesigning training for teachers in sheltered English instruction. Anita Sepp is the ELE teacher in the District. She works in all three schools and helped to put together the material for the evaluation. Five District teachers have been trained in Level 2 sheltered English instruction this year. There are 19 students in ELE spread through various grades. Twelve different languages are spoken at home in the District with 9 to 10 languages represented among the 19 ELE students. Parents receive a notice stating in multiple languages that if they need information about the Lincoln Schools in another language to contact the office of the Assistant Superintendent. Ms. Watts maintains a list of translators who are familiar with Special Education procedures. Translators are needed for IEP meetings as well as for IEPs, progress reports, report cards, and other documents.
Mr. Brandmeyer reported on the Civil Rights aspect of the Mid-cycle Review in which the District was found to be compliant. The district provides annual awareness training for staff.
Ms. Dobrow asked members to email her with their availability for a School Committee mentoring workshop in May. She also asked members to send her their ideas for discussion in Boston.
Ms. Manos brought up the School Committee coffee scheduled for May 11. The Committee discussed the desirability of having this meeting be a discussion of School Committee goals. The Committee discussed whether a School Committee coffee should discuss School Committee goals before the School Committee has agreed on them, whether this runs the risk of becoming a defacto School Committee meeting, low attendance at School Committee coffees, the many opportunities for public comment at Lincoln School Committee meetings, and that under current procedure School Committee goals will be discussed at three meetings and agreed to at the third meeting. The Committee determined to draft a letter to be posted on the web site regarding the upcoming School Committee goals discussions. The Committee considered postponing the School Committee coffee until later in May and canceling the one scheduled for June. They considered framing the topic more broadly as an opportunity for informal conversation and open ended discussion with School Committee members rather than a discussion of School Committee goals.
Sara Rolley, School Committee Recording Secretary