CSWD comments to SCUSD Board of Education on proposed implementation of COVID-19 relief funds

Advocacy

Without having access to the PowerPoint presentation to see more specifics, it is challenging to devise a comment.

 

The District has been allocated approximately $281 million in additional State and Federal COVID-19 relief funds for the purpose of addressing learning loss and mitigating the spread of Covid. The estimated funding balance is $274M. These funds are restricted to the specific purpose for each award in order to address learning loss and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

 

47% of funding has been earmarked for Learning Initiatives.

 

Access to summer learning Initiatives for students with disabilities is a concern: with regard to summer learning:

 

Communication to families - Communication in SCUSD has not been ideal. Special education communication in particular has been siloed and inadequate. 

 

In the Coalition’s fall parent survey,

  • 38% said they received Insufficient communications from IEP team addressing child’s services 
  • 76% said they received no communication from SCUSD about additional school resources that support their children with a disability

 

High-dosage tutoring was mentioned in summer plans and sounds good in theory but what does high-dosage tutoring look like? What is the methodology? Hopefully it is not the status quo reading and math methods that have not shown to close achievement gapsi in our high needs district.  We are hopeful that the high-dosage tutoring services go beyond typical instruction that is not designed to close achievement gaps, but instead are multisensory and explicitly designed to meet the needs of students who have difficulty with reading, spelling and writing, who are below grade level, and struggling.

 

Compensatory education - is there a planned action strategy? Or will it be reactive based on litigation. 

 

In a fall 2020 the Coalition heard from a group of parents of students with disabilities who attend general ed classes, special day classes, and nonpublic schools about their children’s learning experiences. 

 

  • 71% of students did not receive their special education services in distance learning
  • 91% of parents said special education service delivery was not well suited to their child’s needs
  • 57% of students did not have individualized transition plans although the plans were due
  • 43% said transition plans were not implemented appropriately. 
  • 71% of students lacked adequate support from 1:1 aides.

 

If this is indicative of the larger population of students with disabilities, the district has some work to do to make things right for students. We recommend that SCUSD contract with an independent special education ombudsman to resolve these issues.

 

15% of funding will go towards Social Emotional, Mental Health & Other Support Services

 

Where is the District in its implementation of MTSS? Is the implementation stalled due to collective bargaining disagreements? 

 

Will teachers and staff be prepared to handle all the different varieties of trauma such as anxiety and depression brought on or exacerbated by the pandemic.

 

There does not seem to be a line item for bullying prevention and intervention. This district lacks an adequate appropriate infrastructure to prevent and respond to bullying. We hope there is an intention to build in resources and staffing.

 

Thank you.

 

Signed,

 

Angie Sutherland

Reneé Webster-Hawkins 

Coalition for Students 

with Disabilities

Coalitionswd@gmail.com