In the currently available Annual Performance Report (APR) of district 2012-13 data, Connecticut reported that 7.3 percent of all students with disabilities (Indicator 5C) have been placed out of district. Some districts are below the state target in the APR, which is currently set at 6 percent but many districts out place students with disabilities at twice the rate of the state target. 34 CFR Section 300.114 requires that “separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.” Each district’s data regarding Indicator 5C is available on the local education agency APR, which can be found at: http://sdeportal.ct.gov/Cedar/WEB/ResearchandReports/AnnualPerformanceReport.aspx.
In response to the rising rate of statewide out-of-district placements, the Connecticut State Department of Education in collaboration with the State Education Resource Center (SERC) is offering districts an opportunity to examine practices to best support students in the least restrictive environment (LRE). The following training sessions are currently being offered through SERC as statewide professional learning opportunities:
- Aligning IEPs to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities K-Grade 12;
- Progress for Students with Moderate to Severe Disabilities: Accessing and Aligning with the CCSS;
- Prevention and Intervention for Students in Need of Tier II and Tier III Behavioral Support Strategies; and
- Supporting Students’ Behavioral and Mental Health Needs.
Details of the professional development learning opportunities may be viewed at http://ctserc.org/catalog.
Districts interested in specific in-district technical assistance related to Indicator 5C, may contact Bill Bannish, SERC educational consultant, at 860-632-1485 ext. 360 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
District administrators interested in participating in a stakeholder group that works on issues related to education in the LRE, please contact Rhonda Kempton at email@example.com.
In addition, please continue to check the Bureau Bulletin for updates and additions to professional learning opportunities.