Supporting Students with Disabilities
(As Natomas Unified moves toward becoming its own Special Education Local Planning Area (SELPA), we want the community to know about progress we’ve made in recent years to enhance services and supports to students with disabilities. This communication focuses on staffing increases.)
NUSD Staff, Parents and Guardians:
In recent years, we’ve created a Special Education support system that provides enhanced assistance, offers wider-ranging programs, and serves 99.7% of all of our students in NUSD schools. Only 43 of our 1,637 students with disabilities are served by county regional programs and facilities.
By creating our own SELPA, the future looks even brighter. Federal and state funds to support students with disabilities are allocated through a SELPA, so school districts must either belong to a multi-district SELPA, where funding is not distributed equitably, or form its own. By leaving Sacramento County’s SELPA next year, we can continue placing a high priority on Special Education services while having more funding to do so.
Here’s how we’ve increased staffing since 2014 to serve students with disabilities, consistent with our Core Belief that, “Every Student Can Learn and Succeed”:
· Special Education teacher staffing has risen by 7.89 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions, or 11%
· Instructional Aides have risen by 51% — from 84 to 127, up 43 FTE
· A full-time Psychologist and full-time Health Aide have been assigned to every school
· Speech and Language Pathologists have increased by 42% the past four years, or 5 FTE
· Assistants for Speech and Language Pathologists have risen by 1.38 FTE
· Sign Language Interpreters are up 1.5 FTE
· Bus Drivers and Bus Aides have risen by 4.94 FTE, a 27% increase
Staff expertise to operate our own SELPA already is in place with Assistant Superintendents Josh Harris and Tom Anderson, both former SELPA leaders. Harris, a licensed attorney who will lead Natomas Unified’s SELPA, was hired from his position as leader of Sacramento County’s SELPA and has prior experience as Yuba County’s SELPA administrator. Anderson is a former director of Stockton Unified School District’s SELPA. Both Harris and Anderson have extensive experience as Special Education teachers and administrators.
We’re proud of the services we provide and look forward to continued improvement through creation of our own SELPA next year.
Coming Next Week:
1) Students with Disabilities Improve Academic Performance
2) Students with Disabilities – Learning Environment