By Meghan McCaffrey CONTRIBUTING WRITER
---- — A team of administrators and faculty members at Cherry Valley-Springfield Central School recently completed their Local Assistance Plan for meeting the needs of their special education students.
Based on the testing data from the 2011-2012 school year, Cherry Valley-Springfield was identified as a school where the students in the special education program were not meeting Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).
“We were identified as a district in need but we were the lowest level of intervention needed,” said Lauren Crisman, the principal of the elementary grades at CV-S.
At the lowest level of intervention, CV-S needed to come up with a Local Assistance Plan. In order to make that plan, the district put together a committee that surveyed students, faculty and some parents in order to assess where they were meeting the needs of the students and where they could improve.
Since being identified, the district has done several things to meet the needs of students receiving special education services, Crisman said.
“Since this data was released, we realigned the grade levels,” Crisman continued.
Now kindergarten through fifth grade is in one grouping of special education services and sixth grade through 12th is in another.
“We also have the Common Core curriculum that is more coherent,” Crisman said. “We didn’t have that four years ago.”
Crisman also said they have better assessment of all students, including those who utilize the special education services.
“We have data driven meetings biweekly at the elementary level,” Crisman said.
There are six tenets of effective schools as classified by New York State for the self-review process those are; district leadership and capacity, school leader practices and decisions, curriculum development and support, teacher practices and support, student social and emotional developmental health and family and community engagement.
In reference to the third tenet, curriculum development and support, Crisman said in the Board of Education meeting on Nov. 21 that CV-S could work on developing more interim assessments but that the Common Core curriculum is helpful in assessing students. She also said that the fourth tenet, teacher practices and support, were a “highly effective area” for CV-S.
“Our teachers are very effective at meeting academic needs,” Crisman said. “This was a real strength for us.”
Tenet five, student social and emotional developmental health and family, is an area that CV-S could improve upon, Crisman said.
Crisman said that the “kids need to be involved and engaged in the process of team meetings in developing a plan.”
“There’s a whole social and emotional component that we could use more resources for,” Crisman continued.
Later Crisman requested that the Board consider hiring another special educator. She said she was unsure at this time if it would be a full or part-time position but it would be temporary from early next year to June of 2014.
The Board will vote on whether or not to approve a new hire in January 2014. The Local Assistance Plan is available to view on the Cherry Valley-Springfield website at www.cvscs.org under the offices tab.