Statement Regarding CCISD Special Education Services

Statement Regarding CCISD Special Education Services
Posted on 05/16/2018

The Clear Creek Independent School District is proud to serve the diverse educational needs of 42,000 students, which include approximately 4,000 children with special needs. The District’s special services department from the paraprofessionals and teachers in the classroom to the diagnosticians and special education administrators take great care of students. They work tirelessly and many times, in very difficult situations involving children with extreme behavior needs. It is unfortunate to have their heartfelt work and the District’s commitment to its core mission questioned so publicly by a group known as Parents for Special Education Reform in CCISD, a group that has recently met with the superintendent in a collaborative setting.

The Clear Creek Independent School District will hire an independent consultant to conduct a thorough review of the special education department and district systems to ensure every child reaches his or her highest potential. The District will also create a parent advisory group to meet with CCISD administrators, including the superintendent, on a regular basis.

In reference to some of the concerns brought forward by this group of parents, the Clear Creek Independent School District denies allegations of cover-up, abuse, and gag orders. Specifically;

1. If there is ever a concern that an employee may have subjected a student to physical abuse or harassment of any kind, the school district takes the following steps:
a. The employee in question is immediately placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
b. The school district complies with its legal and moral responsibility to report evidence or claims of physical abuse to appropriate outside authorities, and does so within 24 hours of receiving a claim.
c. Evidence is collected, interviews are conducted, and parents are informed of the investigative process. The school district has never destroyed evidence/video related to an investigation.
d. If the investigation results in a finding of abuse, the employee in question is terminated. The employee is also reported to the State Board for Educator Certification and/or the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

The Clear Creek Independent School District does not discipline students based on their disability. The school district is in compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) which requires a right to Manifestation Determination Review (MDR) hearing before a student who is eligible for special education services can be expelled or suspended for more than ten days. The MDR must be held to determine if the punishable behavior is related to the child’s disability. If it were determined to be a factor, the discipline outlined in the Student Code of Conduct would not be administered. Instead, an Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) meeting would be convened to reevaluate the services. Parents are fully involved in the MDR process.

The Clear Creek Independent School District does not place ‘gag-orders’ on parents and does not require confidentiality clauses in legal settlements involving parents and students. By law, the school district is required to maintain strict confidentiality regarding student matters under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

All CCISD employees who serve special education students are annually trained on how to best handle students who exhibit disruptive and assaultive behaviors. The training does involve how to keep a child safe from harming himself or others with crisis prevention techniques or the use of time-out rooms. These procedures are agreed upon during the ARD meeting with parents and in the event the procedure is necessary in the school day, parents are notified. The District also trains employees on positive behavior intervention and supports to address the root cause of negative behaviors to attempt to de-escalate them.
5. Parents are highly encouraged, in both special education and general education, to meet with their child’s teacher. The school district believes this is where the best decisions for individual students are made. In classrooms where a paraprofessional is supporting the teacher, both should be present in a parent/teacher conference.

It is our shared commitment to continue to work with parents to improve our services to all students in the Clear Creek Independent School District

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