4/18 - ACTION REQUIRED: Participation in Special Education Review

San Diego Unified strives for continuous improvement in our services, processes, and programming for all students. At this time, our district is looking specifically at services for students with disabilities. Currently, our district provides services to more than 14,830 students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Looking toward the future, San Diego Unified wants to close the achievement gap and see our students with disabilities flourish. To that end, San Diego Unified in collaboration with the San Diego Education Association (SDEA) has contracted with WestEd, a non-profit research, development, and service agency, to provide a comprehensive analysis including the identification of areas of effectiveness and needed improvement for our special education programs and services. WestEd was selected because of their broad range of experience and expertise in special education. This study is a direct outcome of the most recent contract negotiations, Article 29.7.4 (Collective Bargaining Agreement).

The findings and recommendations from WestEd’s analysis will be based upon the consideration of multiple data points including non-evaluative classroom observations and IEP reviews, interviews, surveys, organizational charts, financial and program data. Teachers, administrators, paraeducators, parent/family members, students and community partners will be selected to participate in 1:1 interviews and/or focus groups.

This analysis will include a comparison of San Diego Unified’s use of resources to improve outcomes for students with disabilities compared to school districts with similar characteristics nationwide.

At the completion of their analysis, WestEd will provide a report to our district. Any recommendations from the study shall be considered to improve overall Special Education service delivery, and recommendations within the scope of bargaining shall be referred to the Association and the District for future negotiations.  The report, to be completed by early summer, will include recommendations to enhance the district’s special education processes, services, programs, to improve outcomes for students with disabilities.

In the near future, you may be asked to participate in an online survey, join a focus group, be interviewed, or provided an opportunity for a classroom visit. You are encouraged, if asked, to be a part of this very important process.  The greater the participation, the more we will learn from multiple stakeholders experiences and perspectives. If you have any questions, contact the Special Education Division at 619-725-7650.

Thank you for your anticipated participation in our district contracted study with WestEd.