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Countywide Plans Letter

Letter Head: Jack O'Connell, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, California Department of Education

November 1, 2011

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

COUNTYWIDE PLANS FOR PROVISION OF EDUCATIONAL SERVICES TO EXPELLED STUDENTS

The California Education Code (EC) Section 48926 initially required county superintendents, in conjunction with superintendents of the school districts within the county, to develop a plan for providing educational services to all expelled pupils in that county. The plan was to be adopted by the governing board of each school district within the county and by the county board of education, and submitted to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) in 1997. The EC Section 48926 also requires that each county superintendent of schools, in conjunction with district superintendents in the county, submit a triennial update to that plan to the SSPI.

The next triennial updates are due no later than June 30, 2012.

The EC Section 48926 provides specifically that:

The plan shall enumerate existing educational alternatives for expelled pupils, identify gaps in educational services to expelled pupils, and strategies for filling those service gaps. The plan shall also identify alternative placements for pupils who are expelled and placed in district community day school programs, but who fail to meet the terms and conditions of their rehabilitation plan or who pose a danger to other district pupils, as determined by the governing board.

The State School Attendance Review Board (SARB) provides statewide policy coordination to divert students with serious attendance and behavior problems from the juvenile justice system, and to reduce the number of dropouts in the state public education system. In 2009, the State SARB strongly recommended that plans address progress being made in providing educational placement options and services to high-risk youth, and plan for the future.

After consultation with the Student Programs and Services Steering Committee (SPSSC) of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, it was recommended, that starting in 2012, with the support of the SPSSC, the plans also address behavioral intervention approaches used to minimize the number of suspensions and expulsions, including a focus on how such practices relate to the disproportionate number of minority students being suspended or expelled.

The plans should address the following components:

  1. For each of the gaps in educational services to expelled pupils identified in the 2009 plan, discuss the implementation of strategies outlined for filling those service gaps.
    • Were the strategies successful? If not, what were the obstacles?
    • What additional strategies were implemented? Were they successful?
  2. Enumerate the educational services currently available and outline strategies for improvement during the next three years.
    • What are the current educational alternatives for expelled pupils?
    • Identify gaps in educational services to expelled pupils.
    • Outline strategies for filling those service gaps.
    • What are your best practices, at the site and district levels, of behavioral intervention approaches and options used to minimize the number of suspensions leading to expulsions, of expulsions being ordered, and to support students returning from expulsions?
    • In particular, how do those best practices relate to any disproportionate representation of minority students in such interventions?
  3. Specifically identify alternative placements for pupils who are expelled and placed in district community day school programs, but fail to meet the terms and conditions of their rehabilitation plan or pose a danger to other district pupils, as determined by the governing board.
  4. The countywide plans require a regional perspective. Discuss the articulation and coordination between school districts and with the county offices of education in providing educational placements for expelled pupils.

Please submit both a hard copy and an electronic version of the 2012 countywide plan no later than June 30, 2012. Submit the hard copy of the plan to:

Dan Sackheim, Education Programs Consultant
Educational Options, Student Support, and American Indian Education Office
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Suite 6408
Sacramento, CA 95814-5901

To submit the electronic version of the plan, post the plan onto your county’s Web site. Then provide the Web address to Cynthia Crowl, Staff Services Analyst, Educational Options, Student Support, and American Indian Education Office, by e–mail at ccrowl@cde.ca.gov. The California Department of Education (CDE) will establish an outside link on the Countywide Plans for Expelled Students Web page to each of the county plans. The CDE Countywide Plans for Expelled Students Web page can be viewed at http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/eo/ex/. Please contact Cynthia Crowl at 916-319-0466 if you have any questions regarding the electronic version of the countywide plans.

Please maintain the links to both the 2009 and 2012 countywide plans on your county’s Web site. The purpose of the availability of both plans posted on the CDE Countywide Plans for Expelled Students Web page is to show each county’s progress in providing educational services to all expelled pupils.

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact Dan Sackheim, Education Programs Consultant, Educational Options, Student Support, and American Indian Education Office, by phone at 916-445-5595 or by e-mail at dsackhei@cde.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

William J. Ellerbee, Jr., Deputy Superintendent
Student Support and Special Services Branch

WE:ds
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