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State Review of School District Seeking Resident Views

Topics includes the implementation of civil rights and special ed in schools.

Want to express your opinion to state officials on how the Belmont School Department is implementing programs regarding civil rights, special education and English Learner Education in the town's schools?

That opportunity is coming next month as the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will be conducting a Coordinated Program Review of the Belmont School District.

DESE staff will visit Belmont from Jan. 14 to 18, 2013 as part of a periodic review of the district to satisfy federal and state requirements of specific education programs and services in schools throughout the Commonwealth.

The Department is reviewing several programs – this visit will include civil rights, special education and English Learner Education – during the visit. 

After reviewing school district procedures for these programs, a second DESE team will make an onsite visit, during which it will review individual student records, interview administrators, teachers, and paraprofessional staff, survey parents and observe instructional spaces.

After the onsite visit, it will prepare a report for the superintendent and the Belmont School Committee, detailing its findings for each program.

Using a scale ranging from “commendable” to “not implemented,” the report will rate the implementation of each requirement reviewed by the DESE. Where requirements are found not implemented or only partially, the district must propose to the Department corrective actions to bring those areas into compliance with federal and state statutes and regulations.

Districts and schools are encouraged to incorporate the corrective action into their district and school improvement and professional development plans. The school district will be provided with technical assistance from the Department in developing a corrective action plan.

Both the Department’s report and the corrective action plan are public information and will be available to the public upon request. Program Review Final Reports are also available on the Department’s website 

Residents may request to be interviewed by telephone by a member of the Department's visiting team by calling the superintendent's office at 617-993-5410, no later than Jan. 2, 2013, to leave their name and phone number.

A member of the visiting team will contact each person seeking an interview within two weeks after the completion of the onsite visit.

If an individual is not comfortable communicating in English or requires some other accommodation, the Department will make arrangements to communicate appropriately with the individual. 

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