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Julie Harris, Richmond R-XVI School District Special Education Director, presented the school board with her annual report on the performance of the Special Education Department at last month’s board meeting.
“Any successes realized were a direct result of students, parents and teachers all working toward similar goals,” said Harris.
Results of the current Adequate Yearly Progress Report and the Special Education Profile Report were given.
The department received a $15,000 grant last year in order to increase student achievement by IEP students at the Sunrise Elementary building and teachers are receiving instruction.
“This grant brought $15,000 to this building for the purpose of purchasing materials and training teachers on how to best use the teaching techniques,” Harris explained.
Elaborating on the scores just being reviewed by the district, Harris reported a jump of 20.8 percent was gained in the testing of district IEP students in the area of communication arts.
“This is a significant increase that placed the district second when comparing them to 16 neighboring district’s IEP scores,” said Harris.
Harris explained the score is reflective of testing given to all students. Therefore, many districts find achievement on such an assessment very difficult.
The IEP students also demonstrated achievement in the area of math. Harris said an approximate 26 percent increase has been realized in the past five years of testing in math. This score is 8.2 percent above average when comparing our district to neighboring district’s scores. She pointed again to a graph showing her department’s math MAP scores for IEP students is “picture perfect” in terms of growth.
“This is exactly what the state and all patrons want to see in terms of growing successes,” Harris said.
For the past two years, letters have been received from the U.S. Dept. of Education focusing on many different aspects of Special Education in the Richmond School District.
“To date, the district has received the highest ranking possible,” said Harris. “This means all aspects of the Special Education Department are run in compliance with state and federal laws and that students are being successful in school and as graduates.”
Harris again reminded the board that these targets are very difficult to hit, and that each year the goals become progressively more difficult.