Phase 1 Report Addendum

Transfer of Center-Based Programs Requires Additional Considerations

On Monday, Aug. 6 the Grand Rapids Board of Education voted to transfer operation of the center-based special education programs to Kent ISD. As a result, there are additional considerations to be made in relation to the ongoing program review process.

Addition of Town Hall Meetings

Due to the significant changes that are required for an effective transition of the operation of the center-based special education programs by July 2019 the addition of a series of “Town Hall” sessions for parents and staff will be completed on August 29th and September 5th, 2018. These sessions will serve the purpose of surfacing stakeholder concerns and recommendations for consideration during the transition of the programs.

The addition of the “Town Hall” sessions will slightly delay the planning and execution of a series of focus groups based on critical topic areas and the program observations previously discussed in the body of the Phase 1 report. The information gathered during the “Town Hall” sessions will need to be analyzed, synthesized, categorized and shared with pertinent Kent ISD personnel to support and inform their ongoing efforts to design and implement an effective and efficient transition of center-based program operation.

Potential Timeline Adjustments

It is anticipated that the Focus Group sessions and the center-based program visits and observations will be conducted yet this fall, with completion by the end of the calendar year with a Phase 2 report completed 4-6 weeks later. This schedule does not however account for scheduling difficulties and may need to be adjusted as events unfold.

The work sessions discussed previously in this report as a component of Phase 2 would by necessity begin during the early months of 2019. This will effectively delay Phase 3, being the implementation phase, of the project until the mid-summer/fall of 2019. It is anticipated that during Phase 3 the convergence of the components of Phase 2, one component being at the systems/operational level (Kent ISD) and the other being at the service delivery level (Center Program) will occur and a large scale implementation plan will be designed and rolled out to insure that the necessary and sufficient supports are in place at a systems level to support program level improvements and ongoing delivery of high quality instruction, supports and services.

Again, as events unfold the timelines may be somewhat fluid but will not impact the overall outcome of the program review process. It is however, critically important that every step taken during this review process serve not only the purpose of delivering the intended outcomes but also now serve to support and inform the transition and ultimately the operation of the center-based programs in the future. We encourage stakeholders to continue to avail themselves of the information posted on the Kent ISD center program review website.