The Burlington Public School District is scheduled to participate in the Coordinated Program Review (CPR) conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The Burlington Public Schools are one of the 70 school districts scheduled for the 2008-2009 school year. There will be periodic updates to this summary as more information is received from DESE.
The purpose of the CPR is to ensure that schools districts across the state are in compliance with mandated state and federal policies and procedures. The consequence of non-compliance is the potential withholding of state and federal funds. These comprehensive reviews occur every six years with a three year intermediate report.
The onsite portion of the CPR is scheduled for the week of January 12, 2009. All documentation must be provided to the DESE at least 8 weeks prior to the onsite visit. All information regarding the audit is due in the Central Office by November 1, 2008 in order to review information and provide it in a timely manner to DESE. During the onsite visit, the Team will conduct interviews, observations and record reviews. The goal of the CPR is to work in partnership with the District to develop a final report that is helpful for ongoing program development and improvement. The following programs will be reviewed:
- Civil Rights and other General Requirements: Civil Rights criteria are taken from specific federal and state law prohibiting discrimination and promoting equal educational opportunity in educational institutions. Specific examples included in the review are structured learning time, student handbooks and codes of conduct, and access to a full range of educational programs. Cindy Marchand, Assistant Superintendent, will be responsible for this portion of the audit.
- Special Education: DESE has selected key compliance criteria that reflect those elements that research has shown to be most essential in providing programs of high quality for students with special needs. Specific examples included in the review are transition services, frequency of the re-evaluation, screening and suspension procedures. Julie Woodland, the Evaluation Administrator, and Cath Estep, Director of Pupil Services, will be responsible for this portion of the audit.
- English Learner Education Program: The CPR relies on the District’s English Language Education (ELE) policies and procedures. The information required encompasses the ELE programs and personnel. Specific examples included in the review are translations in a language understood in the home, qualified teachers, required professional development for teachers who have ELE students in their classroom and access to educational programs and extra curricular activities. Cath Estep, Director of Pupil Services, will be responsible for this portion of the audit.
- Title I: Title I aims to ensure that all children have a fair, equal and significant opportunity to obtain high-quality education. This review encompasses fiscal procedures, parent communications, program design, data collection and equal education access. Cath Estep, Director of Pupil Services, will be responsible for this portion of the audit.
As with any audit, we will use the findings to ensure that we are fulfilling our state and federal mandates. One purpose for my blogging about the six year comprehensive audit is to recognize that it requires a significant amount of staff time to complete. The final report and findings will be available on the district web-site.