Mason Public Schools’ Special Education Department, in cooperation with the Ingham Intermediate School District and neighboring districts, provides a full continuum of programs, ranging from teacher-consultant support services to center-based classrooms. Students' programs and services are based on their needs once they have been found eligible for Special Education services. Eligibility for Special Education services is determined through a referral and evaluation process. Mason Public Schools is committed to high expectations for all our students and ensuring their access and progress within the general education curriculum to the maximum extent possible.
Public Reporting: Special Education Disproportionally
Mason Public Schools has been found out of compliance on the State Performance Plan Indicator # 9—Significant Disproportionally Identification of Children with Disabilities by ethnicity. Over the last two years, Mason Schools has identified a disproportionate number of Native Americans with disabilities in comparison to the total population of Native Americans in our schools. Consequently, we are required to spend 15% of our federal IDEA (Special Education) dollars towards Coordinated Early Intervening Services. Mason has developed a program to increase Kindergarten success at Alaiedon Elementary. Alaiedon was chosen as it was identified by the State as a focus school. Two paraprofessionals have been hired part time to provide literacy interventions to students identified as at risk based upon AIMSWEB benchmarks and their Teacher information. Thirteen students have been identified and are receiving a 20 minute intervention daily. One of these students is a Native American. These 13 students will be tracked over two years to monitor their need for special education services.
Special Education services at Mason Public Schools were also focus monitored by the MI Dept. of Education to ensure that we are utilizing appropriate procedures in our identification of special education students. Our identification processes utilizing multi-tiered systems of support and a pattern of strengths and weaknesses were found to be in compliance. Special Education was found out of compliance in the IEP process in three areas: annual goals must be measurable, the form recommending eligibility must be signed by two professionals, and when a parent is requesting an evaluation they must be required to put that request in writing. These IEP issues are being corrected through staff professional development and the development of a procedure manual to address the IEP requirements.
Mason Public Schools Process for Determination of a Specific Learning Disability
The use of a severe discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability may not be used solely to determine specific learning disability eligibility.
Mason Public Schools has not yet fully implemented Response to Intervention practices. Until that time, the evaluation team will use assessment results to determine whether a child exhibits an academic pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance, achievement, or both, relative to age, state-approved grade-level standards, or intellectual development. Data from standardized ability and achievement instruments may be incorporated with other assessment data to demonstrate the pattern of strengths and weaknesses.
Ingham ISD Special Education Parent Advisory Committee
The Ingham ISD Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) has a quarterly newsletter for parents of students with disabilities.