Special Education Program Review
Message from the Superintendent:
Thank you for reading our webpage about our Special Education Program Review. I am excited to be shepherding this work in our District. I anticipate that the outcomes of this work will help us improve and grow as a system. I will aim to be as transparent as possible throughout this process; this page will be updated as dates for activities are set and surveys are initiated. I hope you will check back frequently and engage in this work moving forward.
5/30/2023: Attached is the Final Report from the American Institues for Research (AIR).
4/25/2023: Attached are the Powerpoint slides from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) presentation to the board last Tuesday.
4/19/2023: American Institutes for Research (AIR) staff shared the results of the special education review with the school board at a study session, via Zoom webinar. You may view a recording of the webinar below:
4/12/2023: American Institutes for Research (AIR) staff will be sharing the results of the special education review with the Board in a study session on 4/18 at 4:30 p.m. This will be presented to the Board in a webinar and, like all study sessions, this meeting is open to the public. The link to join the webinar is here and is also available on the district calendar. Like many of you, I am anxiously awaiting this presentation and our next steps in this work. The full written report will not be complete at the time of the presentation but I will share that with all of you once it is available
03/09/2023: Rebecca continues to meet with AIR regularly. At their 3/9 meeting, AIR staff working on our project indicated that they have completed all of the research portions of the project, including interviews, and are now moving forward with writing the report. They are on schedule to present their findings to the board at a study session on April 18th at 5:00pm.
02/13/2023: AIR has now completed additional individual interviews and have completed their data collection. They are now working to analyze the data points and prepare for the upcoming Board study session.
01/27/2023: The AIR Staff Survey is now closed, they received 1,358 responses. Thank you so much to all who took the time to participate and contribute their insights. Receiving so many responses contributes to the validity of this survey. AIR will now focus on drawing conclusions from the data they have collected.
01/17/2023: The Communications Department sent the email below to all staff today as a reminder to please complete the Special Education Program Review Staff Survey. This survey will remain open until 01/23 at 9pm PST.
"This is a reminder to please complete the Edmonds Special Education Program Review Staff Survey if you’ve yet. Thank you to the more than 700 people who have taken time to provide their input so far. The survey closes at 9 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. It will take approximately 15-20 minutes. CLICK HERE TO TAKE SURVEY
This survey provides an opportunity for all ESD staff to express their views related to the climate and culture in ESD. The survey's questions were designed specifically for ESD based on topics that arose in interviews and focus groups AIR facilitated in December 2022. The survey’s results will be analyzed and reported alongside analyses of several other data sources, including the interviews and focus groups with district- and school-level staff. You can learn more about the Special Education Program Review AIR is conducting and receive regular updates related to the work here.
Your responses to survey questions will remain confidential. All data are aggregated to the district level; therefore, no schools or individual respondents will be identified in the analysis or the report."
01/12/2023: The Special Education Program Review Survey was sent out on Monday, 1/9 from our Communications Department to all staff. This survey will remain open until 01/23 at 9pm. Below is the email that was sent out:
All Edmonds School District staff are encouraged to take the Special Education Program Review Survey. It will take approximately 15-20 minutes. >>CLICK HERE TO TAKE SURVEY<<
This survey provides an opportunity for all ESD staff to express their views related to the climate and culture in ESD. The survey's questions were designed specifically for ESD based on topics that arose in interviews and focus groups AIR facilitated in December 2022.
The survey’s results will be analyzed and reported alongside analyses of several other data sources, including the interviews and focus groups with district- and school-level staff. You can learn more about the Special Education Program Review AIR is conducting and receive regular updates related to the work by visiting our website.
Your responses to survey questions will remain confidential
All data are aggregated to the district level; therefore, no schools or individual respondents will be identified in the analysis or the report.
01/06/2023: The all staff survey from AIR has been finalized and is being formatted. We anticipate that a link to the survey will be sent to staff early next week from the Communications Department. Once the survey is available, we will post updates on this page containing the survey deadlines.
12/16/2022: As of today, AIR has completed five focus groups and two interviews. There are two additional focus groups scheduled in January along with additional interviews.
A survey, written with what they have learned so far about our district in mind, will be sent out by mid-January. The survey link will be sent by the district's communications department but the survey itself will be managed by AIR and the district will not know which individuals completed the survey. All staff will have the opportunity to complete the survey. Once it is sent out, staff will have approximately ten days to complete the survey which will be designed to be completed in about 15 minutes, though may take longer depending on what the survey participant writes in the open ended response opportunities.
12/8/2022: The message below was sent to those who registered for SpEd Teacher & Certificated Staff focus groups hosted earlier this week but were not selected. The message provides additional details on the focus group selection process and includes sign up links for additional focus groups in the new year.
Additional Focus Group Options Now Available
If you’re receiving this email, it means you registered but were not selected for the SpEd Teachers & Certified Staff focus group hosted earlier this week (or you were eligible for inclusion based on the role you selected during registration). During the signup process for the original focus group and in the email inquiries we’ve been responding to, it was noted additional focus groups would be added in the new year based on the number of signups we received.
Our team is pleased to announce additional focus group times to hear from more individuals and ensure the inclusion of as many diverse perspectives as possible. Signup links and additional information about the groups can be found below.
These new focus group options will be role-specific. SpEd teachers will have their own group, as will certified support staff (rather than being combined into one). Please make sure you register for the correct group relevant to your role.
Those selected for previous focus groups will not be considered for these new options. You may forward these signup links to any interested colleagues who did not register previously, but we want to ensure additional opportunities are provided to the many individuals who registered previously and did not get selected.
About the Focus Groups & Special Education Program Review
We apologize for any confusion that may have arisen around the selection and notification process earlier this week. To clarify, I want to highlight a few points:
- Registration for a focus group is not a confirmation of selection. It is only an indicator of interest and availability.
- You will receive a registration confirmation with a calendar hold upon registration, but you will be personally notified of selection. Now, you will also be notified even if you were not selected as part of the randomly identified sample. Expect to receive notification 1-2 days before the focus group is scheduled.
- Seats for the focus groups are limited to 12 so all participants will have the opportunity to substantively contribute and feel comfortable speaking to their experiences in the presence of a small, non-intimidating group.
- An automated program selecting registrants at random, validating employment, and taking into account diversity of roles, schools, and school levels among the final sample has been and will continue to be used to determine the composition of each focus group and get the best representation across ESD.
- Our team at AIR is not affiliated with ESD. Information shared with us in focus groups or surveys will be de-identified and kept confidential.
- Our team is getting a better understanding of the climate and culture in ESD and are here to listen in earnest and provide recommendations to ESD based on the feedback we receive.
- Our work will culminate in a presentation and written report delivered to ESD leadership in Spring 2023.
- A survey will be sent in January that all interested staff, regardless of participation in the focus groups, will have the opportunity to complete.
- Check back regularly at the district’s page dedicated to our review for updates related to our work and how you can get involved.
New Focus Group Signup Links
Focus Group Date/Time
Special Education Teachers
January 9, 2023; 4:00 – 5:15 pm Pacific
Certified Support Staff
School Psychologists, Speech/Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and other certificated support staff roles
January 11, 2023; 4:00 – 5:15 pm Pacific
12/5/2022: Due to high interest in participation in the focus groups, additional focus groups are being added by AIR and, if you have signed up for a focus group, they will reach out to you directly regarding the other opportunities once those are scheduled. It is still possible that even with the additional focus groups being added, there may not be enough capacity for 100% of interested people to participate in a focus group or there may be schedule conflicts for those who wish to participate. Everyone will still have an opportunity to participate in the survey in January even if they are not focus group participants.
11/16/2022: Focus group dates have been set and sign ups are now open. Due to limited seats and high interest, signup for the focus group is only an indicator of interest and availability - please reserve this time to participate. You will be notified if you have been selected to participate. If signups exceed capacity, additional focus groups will be added. All groups will be conducted virtually. AIR is handling the scheduling for these sessions directly, please use the links below to sign up.
|Focus Groups||Roles Included||Focus Group
|Building- Level Administrators||Principals, Vice Principals||Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022;
4 pm – 5:15 pm PST
|District Administrators & Central Office Staff||Directors, Coordinators, Supervisors, and/or other admin roles||Thursday, December 1, 2022;
10 am – 11:15 am PST
|Special Education Teachers, General Education Teachers, Certificated Support Staff||Teachers, School Psychologists, Speech/Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and other certificated support staff roles||Monday, December 5, 2022;
4 pm – 5:15 pm PST
|Special Education Teachers, General Education Teachers, Certificated Support Staff||Teachers, School Psychologists, Speech/Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and other certificated support staff roles||Tuesday, December 6, 2022;
4 pm – 5:15 pm PST
|Non-Certificated Support Staff||Paraprofessionals, transportation, and other non-certificated support staff||Wednesday, December 7, 2022;
4:30 pm – 5:45 pm PST
10/25/2022: The superintendent had a productive meeting today with AIR as they continue to plan the study for us. They are working on developing a schedule of activities to occur primarily in November and December with attention given to holidays and breaks. More information will be shared soon.
10/18/2022: AIR is working to develop protocols tailored to our specific district needs and questions. We have been working to share the extant materials they have requested with them. At this time we would ask that you not reach out to them directly to request an opportunity to participate and instead wait for opportunities to be shared via district communication channels and this webpage.
The district is working with the American Institutes for Research to evaluate our special education practices that impact climate, staffing, and communication.
The review aims to identify strengths and needs for district leadership to better understand and improve our current system.
About American Institutes for Research (AIR)
Founded in 1946, AIR is one of the largest not-for-profit behavioral and social science research and evaluation organizations in the world. For more than 25 years, they have provided special education services to schools, districts, states, and the federal government, including conducting comprehensive, mixed methods evaluations of special education programs at the district and school levels.
Description of Review
AIR will present findings and develop a report including a clear description of strengths, needs and challenges. Also included will be a comprehensive list of suggestions to leverage current strengths and address needs and challenges as well as recommendations for developing a comprehensive special education staff communication plan.
- September - October 2022:
Planning and protocol development
- October - December 2022
- January - February 2023
Data analysis and final report
- March 2023
Presentation of findings
For a complete list of proposed extensive data collection and document review, please see the full proposal linked below.
The project will include:
- Virtual interviews and focus groups
- Staff survey
AIR Special Education Program Review
More information on how to participate in these activities will be provided once the calendar of activities has been established. Please do not contact AIR directly.