Reports presented at the Tehachapi Unified School District board meeting indicate the district has a ways to go on two fronts — complying with special education requirements and addressing academic performance standards, suspensions and chronic absenteeism.
The issues were brought up in presentations to the board during their Dec. 11 meeting.
The student services director for the district, Dennis Ferrell, delivered a second follow-up response to the state’s 211-page Critical Incident Review from 2016-2017. It found some special education services were not in compliance with state regulations. The first review was in 2017.
“It sought to examine some noncompliance items that were identified the first follow-up,” Ferrell said.
During the initial visit, the California Department of Education tested 138 items; on the second visit, 46 items were reviewed, Ferrell said.
Of those 46 items, 18 were found to be out of compliance, Ferrell added. Twenty student records were reviewed.
“You would think after the first and second number and the third, we would do much better than this,” school board member Joe Wallek said.
Items found to be out of compliance included parental consent to an assessment plan, student reviews, hearing and vision screenings, documented Individualized Education Plan annual academic goals, according to materials handed out at the meeting.
Ferrell added that a third follow-up review is expected to happen.
County schools report
Heather Richter, a management analyst for the Kern County Superintendent of Schools, announced that the district is in the red in meeting academic performance standards and dealing with suspensions and chronic absenteeism.
For example, chronic absenteeism has increased significantly.
The Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office offers help in meeting California School Dashboard responsibilities. The dashboard is an online tool that shows school reports on how the district is meeting local and state performance ratings.
“They have the option of working with us and have option of doing the work alone, but they have to do something and have an action plan,” Richter said.
The district is eligible to receive assistance from the California Department of Education and will decide the plan of action at a future board meeting.
Board election results
Final results from the Kern County Elections Division for the TUSD board show that Nancy Weinstein won the seat to succeed incumbent Mary Faye Graham, who did not seek re-election, while Rick Scott replaced incumbent Carrie Austin.