Phase 2 Update - Sept 2018

The following updates were shared by Beth Steenwyk to Special Education Administrators late September 2018.

Phase 1 Updates

June 2018

  • Interviewed a variety of stakeholders
  • Central findings:
      • Meaningful and Respectful Engagement
      • Timely and Effective Communication
      • Oversight, Adequate Staffing and Safety
      • Quality Programing and Instructional Practices
      • Adequate Resources and Specialized Training
      • Collaborative Professional Relationships

Phase 2 Updates - Town Hall Meetings

Town Hall Meeting Questions

During Town Hall meetings, parents and staff were asked the following:

Parents

  • Where does your child attend school?
  • As of July 1, 2019, Kent ISD will be responsible for Center Based Programs for Kent county.  What are your top 2-3 concerns related to the transition of these programs to Kent ISD?
  • As of July 1, 2019-Kent ISD will be responsible for operating Center Based Programs for Kent county.  What are your top 2-3 recommendations related to the transition of these programs to Kent ISD?

Staff

  • Building where you work?
  • As of July 1, 2019, Kent ISD will be responsible for operating Center Based Programs for Kent county. What are your top 2-3 concerns related to the transition of these programs to Kent ISD?
  • As of July 1, 2019, Kent ISD will be responsible for operating Center Based Programs for Kent county. What are your top 2-3 recommendations related to the transition of these programs to Kent ISD?

Town Hall Meeting “Take Aways”

Staff Top 3

  • HR Concerns and many would like to stay with their programs
  • Continuity of Programming and access to resources to do their jobs
  • Transparency and Communication

Parent Top 3

  • Continuity of Programming-location and staffing
  • Safety
  • Engagement and Communication

Phase 2 Updates - Focus Groups

Parent Focus Group Topic Areas

  • Parent Engagement and Effective Communication
  • Appropriate/Adequate Staffing and Safety
  • Qualified Staff and High-Quality Instruction and Services

Staff Focus Group Topic Areas

  • Staff Engagement, Effective Communication and Collaboration
  • Adequate Resources and Specialized Training
  • Supportive Systems for High Quality Instruction

Focus Group Meeting “Take Aways”

  •  
  • Staff are eager to have supports that meet their specific day to day needs
  • Staff are cautious that their needs will really be met
  • Parents are generally optimistic but have very definite opinions about not necessarily feeling like they are partners in the educational process
  • Both Parents and Staff are excited about pending opportunities and are eager to be part of the change process
  •  Administrators are clear that a shared vision for the programs is necessary

Upcoming program visits - October

Center Based Program 

  • Grand Rapids Oral Deaf
  • Home and Community
  • Campus ECSE                       
  • Lincoln Developmental Ctr.
  • Pine Grove
  • Lincoln School
  • KEC Oakleigh
  • KEC Beltline

General Program Visit Protocol

  • Observe Beginning of School Day Routines
  • 60 Minute Dialogue with Building Principal  
  • Program Walk Through and Classroom Observations
  • Observe End of School Day Routines
  • Staff invited to meet with Beth Steenwyk after students have left for the day

Program Visit Team

Paul Dymowski, Suzanna Ruskusky, Kindy Segovia, Alissa Hofstee & Beth Steenwyk

Report Compilation - November & December

  • Synthesis of all Town Hall Meeting and Focus Group Meeting information
  • Individual set of recommendations for each program
  • Comprehensive report related to overall systems needed to support program improvements
  • Recommendations for Phase 3 activities
  • Strategies for implementation will also be included in the context of each component of the report

Phase 3

Anticipated Upcoming Events

  • Birth to 5 County-wide Services Stakeholder Meetings
  • County-wide Secondary Transition Services Stakeholder Meetings
  • County dialogues regarding DHH Services
  • Broad Stakeholder Work Sessions focusing on the County-wide systems that support the improvement processes

Discover/Diagnose/Design/Implementation Work Sessions

Four Critical Cluster Areas to Improve Center Based Programming in Kent County

  1. Shared Vision: Communication, Collaboration & Culture of High Expectations
  2. Efficient & Effective Systems: Partnership Engagement, Safety and Program Access
  3. Effective and High-Quality Services:  Instruction, Intervention & Highly Trained Staff
  4. Continuous Improvement: Program Monitoring and Evaluation

Perspectives Based on Findings

  • There are specific and systematic design flaws for an urban district to operate county-wide programs
  • There is not a well articulated or shared vision regarding Center Based Programs
  • There are fundamental philosophical differences in how the Special Education Community in Kent County think and feel about the concept of Center Based Programming
  • The above has led to feelings of disenfranchisement for personnel and parents AND may contribute to perceived or real programmatic weakness and a confounding, pervasive set of systemic issues that will require commitment to address and overcome
  • The future will require authentic and persistent focus on the things that truly matter to teaching and learning
  • This is a heavy lift and a collective responsibility

“For every increment of performance I demand from you, I have an equal responsibility to provide you with the capacity to meet that expectation” - R. Elmore, 2002