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Meeting Minute Summary April/May 2014

Advisory Commission on Special Education April 30 and May 1 Meeting Summary.

The meeting was called to order and the following Operation and Planning items were addressed:

To postpone the GOAL award to 2014–15 to allow time for revisions to the program.

To elect Gina Plate as Chair, and Barbara Schulman as Vice Chair, of the Advisory Commission on Special Education (ACSE) for 2014–15.

Item 1–California Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)

Carrie Roberts, Administrator, Professional Learning Division, California Department of Education (CDE); and Dona Meinders, Project Director, WestEd, Center for Prevention and Early Intervention, reviewed the new CDE MTSS module on the Brokers of Expertise Web site designed to support districts working to align systems of support for the success of all students, and the role of MTSS in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Matt Navo, Superintendent of Sanger Unified School District, provided insight on the role of MTSS in Sanger. Public comment was held on this item.

Item 2–Legislative Report

This item was addressed in Item 5, Legislative and Policy Committees.

Item 3–Legislative Members and Liaison Reports

Carl Cohn, Member, State Board of Education (SBE), and SBE Liaison to the ACSE, provided a brief update on the upcoming SBE meeting, noting that updates on the National Center and State Collaborative and the Smarter Balanced assessment consortiums will be presented.

Commissioners also provided brief updates on their activities as Liaisons on behalf of the ACSE.

Item 4–Public Comment

The floor was opened to the public to provide comments to the ACSE.

Item 5–Legislative and Policy Committees.

It was noted that Somer Harding is the Chair of the Legislative Committee, and Nancy Portillo is the Chair of the Policy Committee, and each Commissioner was appointed to serve on one of the Committees. Specific charges will be discussed during upcoming work group sessions. After these sessions, the Chairs reported to the Commission on the work conducted. Discussion was held regarding Special Education funding, and it was moved, seconded, and passed:

To authorize the Chair of ACSE to prepare a letter in support of full funding for Special Education Services, either as part of the local control funding formula (LCFF) or from anticipated state reserves, with distribution to the SBE and other stakeholders.

Item 6–National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) Community of Practice (CoP): Supporting California Teachers and Instructing Students with Disabilities in the Common Core State Standards

Kristen Brown, Ph.D., Education Research and Policy Consultant, Special Education Division (SED), CDE, reported that resource documents on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), specific to parents, students, teachers, and administrators are now available, and are also being translated into Spanish. She also noted that the CCSS Individualized Education Program (IEP) symposium is now available on the CDE Web site.

Jodi Fortney, Special Day Class Teacher, Tulare County Office of Education, shared her experiences and those of her students in successfully implementing the NCSC CCSS pilot program. She also noted that California has been selected to make a presentation to the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs on the success of the NCSC pilot.

Item 7–State Director of Special Schools Report

On behalf of Director Scott Kerby, the scholar athletes and coaches of the California School for the Deaf – Fremont were presented. These students were recognized by the ACSE for winning the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Men’s Basketball Championship, and for their continued academic success.

Item 8–State Director of Special Education Report

Fred Balcom, Director, SED, CDE, updated the ACSE on the work of the Division, including development of the State Systemic Improvement Plan, verification reviews, AB 114 and Behavior Intervention Program (BIP) workgroups, and the upcoming Improving Special Education Services (ISES) meeting in June. He also reported on the work of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) at the national level to support special education.

Item 9–ACSE Annual Report in the Special EDge

Mary Grady, Writer and Editor of the Special Edge, reviewed with Commissioners topics for articles for the ACSE Annual Report and preparation responsibilities. Articles are due by May 23, 2014.

Item 10–ACSE Core Content Committee Work

The Core Content Committees convened. Members of the public were invited to participate in the meeting of their choice.

Item 11–Content Committee Reports

Committee Chairs reported on the results of the meetings of the Transition, Common Core, and Quality Supports and Services Committees.

Item 12–Statewide Assessment Update

Deborah Sigman; Deputy Superintendent; District, School, and Innovation Branch; CDE, updated the ACSE on the assessment programs for students, which included both the Smarter Balanced assessment and the National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities. Discussion was held regarding the status of the NCSC pilot and next steps required for California’s participation, including the possibility of an alternate assessment other than NCSC. The ACSE members reiterated support for the NCSC as it is aligned to the CCSS and includes professional development and curriculum components, and encouraged CDE and the SBE to participate in Phase II of the NCSC pilot. The ACSE also requested that Ms. Sigman provide routine updates to the ACSE whenever such reports are being presented to the SBE.

Item 13–Public Comment

The floor was opened to the public to provide comments to the ACSE.

Item 14–Agenda Building for the August 2014 Meeting

Commissioners were asked to contact the Chair with any recommendations for the agenda for the August 2014 meeting.

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Questions: Venetia Davis | vdavis@cde.ca.gov | 916-323-9773 
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