At the Nov. 7 special education Community Advisory Committee meeting, the minutes from the Oct. 3 meeting were distributed.
These included notes regarding the transportation update provided by general counsel Greg Rolen, in response to complaints the district had received about students not being picked up and dropped off on time, being dropped off at the wrong location or not being picked up at all.
Here is what Rolen told the CAC, according to the minutes (which are not posted on the district’s website):
“Transportation Update — Mildred introduced Greg Rolen, General Counsel and Angie Goakey, Transportaton Manager. Greg told the CAC that the two main reasons for the transportation issues this school year were the transition from using Durham buses to using district buses and the unanticipated increase in ridership. Other statistics he talked about included:
- Approximately 850 students being bussed each day, which is an increase of 183 students from the last school year.
- NPS (Non Public School) ridership increased from 64 students last year to 86 students this year.
- NCLB (No Child Left Behind) ridership increased from 139 students last year to 165 students this year.
Greg also noted the following:
- School closures also caused a burden to the system.
- The statistics mentioned did not include field trips or sporting events.
- There are approximately 22,000 drop-offs and pick-ups per week.
- The process to get students routed onto buses takes about 10 days to two weeks.
The floor was opened to questions.”
The minutes don’t give any information about the questons or answers.
Here is what Mildred Browne, assistant superintendent for special education, said in her report to the committee, according to the minutes:
“Mildred reported that…the California Department of Education (CDE) reps were here in September for another phase of the verification review. This review was headed by Bryan Cassin. The CDE reps will return on Oct. 18 and they will continue to return to the district until we are 100 percent compliant. Mildred shared that a major lawsuit in L.A. that was recently approved by the court, requires that SELPAs (Special Education Legal Plan Areas) have the responsibility of providing educational services to students in jail. This ruling has to be added to our Service Plan by Nov. 1; it will be approved at the Oct. 25 board meeting.
Mildred also shared that this school year has been very turbulent. Many new students have moved into the district. A lot of students coming into the district were in NPS previously and a lot of new students have behavioral issues; many of these students are general education students. The special education department will have to go back to the board for additional FTEs. There are many students that still need placement.
Finally, Mildred talked about teachers and vacancies. Currently, there are 10 teacher vacancies. Once their credentials are cleared, there will only be four openings. A handout was provided to the group identifying the various vacancies in the district. Mary-Ann (Tucker) noted that the district sub pool is being used until vacancies are filled.”
At the end of the meeting, Browne reported that June 2012 is the last time special education students will be able to take advantage of the California High School Exit Exam waiver, according to the minutes. “After that date,” the minutes state, “special education students will have to take the alternative form of the exam to demonstrate their proficiency of the subject matter.”
Do you believe the district’s busing issues have been resolved?