School District Working with Office of Civil Rights

BY DI STAFF | SEPTEMBER 25, 2013 5:00 AM

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In efforts to address racial disproportionality, one local school district has entered into agreements with the U.S. Department of Education. 

The Iowa City School District has entered into a voluntary agreement with the Office for Civil Rights regarding the number of African American students identified and/or placed in special-education programs, a Tuesday press release from the district said.

The original report data were based on information from the 2009-10 school academic year.

“The Iowa City Community School District appreciates the opportunity to work with the Office of Civil Rights and access its expertise to improve programs and services to our students and their families,” Director of Equity Ross Wilburn said in the release.   

Under the contract, the district must employ an outside expert to review procedures and implement universal screening assessments, while providing professional development to teaching staff regarding disproportionality.

In addition, intervention teams are outlined to be put into place at the building level, and completion of a review of all current special-education records for all students with individualized education programs is also mandated.

Developing a process for the maintenance and analysis of data on an annual basis should also be pursued, the release said.

The release said the district has made great strides in the past three years addressing the compliance issues, and many of the requirements have been or are in the process of being implemented district-wide.

As a result of this work, the district was not cited for disproportionality in the 2012-13 school year.

The release said the district is committed to and will continue to work to provide all students high quality educational programs.

— by Quentin Misiag

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