Thursday, June 18, 2015

Message from the Special Education Services Executive Director

                                                                                             Wyeth Jessee

                                                                                            Executive Director of Special Education Services

Dear Families and Friends of Special Education Services in Seattle Public Schools,

We have made a tremendous amount of progress that isn't completely visible to people outside SPS Special Education. We are reworking our internal systems, including the creation of a three year professional development plan for school leaders and special education staff, publication of an internal special education procedural guide, articulated roles and responsibilities, proactive recruitment of highly qualified staff, and enhanced capacity for school and family engagement. These are a few examples of this year's work that will help us get to what all of us seek: learning environments where every child can thrive.

Over the last year, Seattle Public Schools has been working on the Revised Comprehensive Corrective Action Plan (RC-CAP). The RC-CAP was developed in partnership with OSPI (the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction) to bring the District's special education into compliance with state standards. During the last school year, the District has completed 39 of 40 of the required activities. With the development stage of the RC-CAP complete, the District is entering a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with OSPI to establish specific indicators for measuring the District's compliance.

Beginning in the fall of 2015-16, we will support our school sites through a process of ensuring that services are delivered in accordance with district, state, and federal expectations. OSPI will work with us in a verification process which includes on-site activities to assess: 
  • Central Office Evidence Standards, primarily related to data quality and reporting, knowledge of roles, responsibilities, and procedures, and presence of internal controls
  • Regional Service Delivery Standards, including file reviews, staff interviews, classroom observations, and parent focus groups in each region in the district
School visits to verify that special ed. services are meeting standards will occur one region at a time over the course of the coming year.

Seattle Public Schools is eager to enter in to this next phase to continue improving SPS' performance, and we appreciate your participation, input, and support!

We hope you and your family have a wonderful summer break and look forward to seeing you in September!

Wyeth Jessee
Executive Director of Special Education Services

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