In California push to help students with dyslexia, LA schools take a first step

Courtesy of Gabriella Barbosa

June 25, 2017
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The Los Angeles Unified school board jumped ahead of a new state law last week and instructed the school district to immediately create a plan to train teachers on the leading learning disability in California:, a reading impairment known as dyslexia.

The demand by the board of the second-largest school district in the U.S. was hailed by parent advocates as a signal that districts across the state, and potentially the nation, might finally provide interventions that help students with dyslexia learn to read. Effective interventions are available, but most school districts nationwide do not provide them widely, citing the cost of training, according to advocates for students with disabilities.

“We know what works,” said Pamela Cohen, a teacher in the district and a member of Decoding Dyslexia California, a parent advocacy group that has led state and national efforts to improve services. “It’s time to put the pedal to the metal.” She described her child’s anguish at not being able to learn to read and her own frustration at not being able to get help from teachers or school specialists.

Instead, her son received private tutoring for dyslexia starting in 2nd grade — $90 an hour, twice a week, for four years — because Los Angeles Unified did not provide assistance, she said. Few families can afford to hire an outside specialist. “This is a civil rights issue to me,” Cohen said. “We know that thousands of families in LAUSD cannot and should not have to pay out of their pockets so their children can learn to read.”

Dyslexia is estimated to affect roughly 15 to 20 percent of the U.S. population, according to the International Dyslexia Association — which would mean about 1 million children in California schools. Once known as “word blindness,” dyslexia is a neurological disorder that makes it difficult to “sound out” words by matching letters with sounds. Brain imagery has shown that people with dyslexia process word identification differently. The disability is unrelated to intelligence.

The board gave Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Michelle King 90 days to return with an action plan to provide staff and teacher training on the warning signs of dyslexia, interventions proven by research to be effective and appropriate assessments for identifying dyslexia. School board member Scott Schmerelson, who co-sponsored the resolution with board member Ref Rodriguez, said that increasing early identification and effective intervention will be “life-changing” for students with dyslexia and their families.

Pressure on school districts in California to do more to help students with dyslexia increased with the passage of a 2015 law, Assembly Bill 1369, authored by Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley. The law called for the California Department of Education to release new guidance for dyslexia services before the start of the 2017-18 school year — and the department has urged districts not to wait for the guidance to get started. In a traveling presentation to special education administrators around the state, the department said it is letting them know that both general education and special education departments need to make changes in how reading is taught.

“It needs to be about effective literacy instruction for all students, modified instruction for some and specifically targeted instruction for students with intensive reading needs, such as dyslexia,” the department said in a summary of its presentations to county offices of education.

And school districts are watching a class action lawsuit filed in May that charges the Berkeley Unified School District with not providing adequate diagnoses or interventions for students with dyslexia. Deborah Jacobson of Jacobson Education Law, who filed the lawsuit with the Disability Rights Defense Education Fund and the Goodwin law firm, said, “This is potentially an entire population of children who will struggle needlessly and possibly enter society functionally illiterate, no matter how intelligent, driven and capable they are.”

“I think what happens in L.A. Unified could be a model for other parts of the state and what happens in California could be a model for other states,” said Richard Wagner, associate director of the National Institute of Health’s Florida Center for Reading Research and a member of the California Department of Education’s Dyslexia Work Group, which was created to help form the new program guidelines.

L.A. Unified’s plan is being developed by Beth Kauffman, associate superintendent for the division of special education, and Alison Towery, director of instructional operations. Asked how broadly the training will be spread, Kauffman said, “We certainly are going to train our resource teachers. We are probably going to have do some training of our general education teachers so they at least have awareness of what some of the signs are.”

Warning signs include “reading errors that show no connection to the sounds of the letters on the page – will say ‘puppy’ instead of the written word ‘dog’ on an illustrated page with a dog shown,” according to the Yale Center for Dyslexia Creativity.

Kauffman pointed to the district’s Intensive Diagnostic Education Centers as a resource. Those centers house teachers trained in research-backed dyslexia interventions, most of them stemming from what’s known as the Orton-Gillingham approach, that explicitly teach students to identify and manipulate the sound of a letter or a group of letters, among other techniques.

“We’d like to take the skills they have and see how we can expand those out to our general education classrooms and our special education program,” Kauffman said. Members of Decoding Dyslexia California praised the centers, but said there were far too few of them and that interventions should be happening with students in kindergarten and 1st grade, not in middle school and high school. Center staff teach in 23 classrooms located in 10 elementary schools, 12 middle schools and 1 high school — out of more than 900 schools and 187 public charter schools in the district.

“It really is about the money,” Sherry Rubalcava, who retired after 37 years of work in Los Angeles Unified as a teacher and administrator, said about the lack of training in dyslexia interventions that work.

She tutors a 6th-grade student who is reading at a 2nd-grade level despite spending three years receiving special education services in the district, she said. “They are already offering an intervention, but that intervention is worthless,” she said.

“What they don’t realize is that you spend money to save money,” she said of the district. “They’re spending all this money on worthless interventions. If you gave children the right intervention, you wouldn’t have to do it as long.”

She ticked off other benefits for the district for helping students with dyslexia, including an increase in school reading test scores, a jump in the number of English learners who are able to move out of English learner status, and improvement in behavior and attendance. “When kids can’t read, who wants to be in school?” she asked.

Mara Wiesen, president of the Los Angeles branch of the International Dyslexia Association, said of the teacher training, “I would argue it is ultimately cost effective to do so.”

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  1. Lori 8 hours ago8 hours ago

    Excellent article summarizing the challenges of meeting the needs of our dyslexic students. Early identification appropriate interventions are game changers!

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Region sees spike in IEPs


In most local school districts, the number of students with Individualized Education Plans, or IEPs, has risen over the past decades, outpacing a smaller upward trend statewide.

This school year, 17.4 percent of Massachusetts students have IEPs — a personalized program for children determined to need special education services. The commonwealth’s percentage is consistently among the highest in the nation, though still well below 2016-17 numbers at some local school districts where more than over a fifth of students have IEPs.

In Fitchburg 23.5 percent of students have IEPs, up from 18.1 percent 10 years ago. In Leominster the number is 22 percent, up from 17.4 percent in the 2006-07 school year. Ayer Shirley and North Midddlesex school districts also came in just over the 20 percent mark this year.

The reasons for these increases are complex but relate to specifics of the student population, mental-health needs and differing district approaches, according to local officials and experts.

In some districts, like Leominster, the number of young students with mental-health needs has dramatically increased over the past roughly 15 years, according to Leominster Schools Special Education Director Ned Pratt.

“We’re getting more and more kids younger and younger who have severe mental-health issues,” he said. “I’m finishing my 35th year of education service. I’ve been a special ed director for over 20 years.

I’ve been an educational administrator for over 15. The acuity of needs, the level of sickness for so many of our younger kids in mental health is unbelievable.”

Some students on IEPs require only an in-class tutor, others benefit from a separate classroom environment, and some need to be placed outside of the district in other schools or residential facilities, he said.

The wide range of personalized solutions created through IEPs are reflective of the spectrum of student needs, from severe disabilities to ADHD diagnoses to language and physical disabilities.

“The IEP is really a bridge to allow students to access the general curriculum,” said Anne Howard, a professor of education at Fitchburg State University and board president of Boston nonprofit, Federation for Children with Special Needs.

According to Howard, the increase in student needs seen by Pratt is geographically widespread.

“You look at the number of kids with mental-health diagnoses, you look at the number of kids with autism diagnoses … it’s absolutely increased significantly,” she said.

Pratt has seen the incidents of students in first grade and lower being carried away from school in an ambulance for a mental-health issue increase from “once in a while” to commonplace, he said.

“Now you see it all the time,” he said.

Howard isn’t sure whether these increased numbers are a result of raised awareness, though changes in the environment and, for children with severe disabilities, improving neonatal medicine, could be contributors.

Pratt pegs the shift to concrete changes in behavior, not just awareness, he said. The opioid crisis may be affecting these young children, he contends.

Two other factors have likely driven up the percentage of IEPs in Leominster, he said.

The first is homelessness. Of the 6,047 students in the Leominster district, 288 are homeless, which Pratt said is above average. About 60 percent of these students have IEPs, he said.

The second may be an unexpected by-product of the campaign led by Mayor Dean Mazzarella and his daughter, Stephanie Madrigal, to make Leominster an autism friendly city, which Pratt said is a “great program.”

The effort hit local and national papers, bringing people to the city and school district.

“We had an influx of students coming into our district moving from not just the communities around us,” he said. “We had people from Tennessee. We had one family from Alaska who came to us specifically.”

In Fitchburg, Director of Pupil Services Roann Demanche said more students with IEPs moved into the district, particularly in the past year.

“Our classrooms for students with emotional impairment are full,” she said. 

Long term, Fitchburg has seen more group homes that house children under the custody of the Department of Children Families move into the area, she said.

Though not all children under the custody of the DCF have IEPs, it increases the probability she said.

While the guidelines for determining which students need IEPs and the options available are governed by federal law, how these guidelines are implemented from state to state and district to district vary, according to Howard.

“Massachusetts has had a history of really meeting the needs of students with disabilities in really a more extensive way than many states,” she said.

For example, the state mandates a faster timeline to make a finding than required by nationwide laws. State guidelines also vary from the national for children with autism, according to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Determining if a student needs an IEP is a multistep process, that consults teachers, district special education officials and parents or guardians, Pratt said. In some cases lawyers or advocates representing the parent, school principals and even the student are also involved in the decision-making process following a testing and evaluation period.

If the student is found to need special education, the team of decision-makers must determine what plan is “appropriate” and creates the “least restrictive environment” for the student.

The goal is to address the student’s needs while also keeping the student as involved in the school’s general population as possible, Pratt said.

Though most decisions are made in district without state intervention, the process follows specific nation and statewide guidelines, he said.

According to Howard, school funding, which varies widely from district to district, can have an impact on the programs available to students and how schools may use their resources.

“Some districts have a lot of supports to help that child (struggling in a subject),” she said. “Other districts don’t and when that’s the case, special ed is really the only game in town. So if you want a child to get more services you have to put them on an IEP.”

But this can cut both ways, with wealthier districts sometimes having more students with IEPs, because of greater parent advocacy and greater resources, according to Felicia Farron-Davis, an associate professor of education at Fitchburg State University.

“All I can say is follow the money,” she said.

In both Fitchburg and Leominster, Special Education made up 23.3 percent of the fiscal 2015 budget, according to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The state average was 21.1 percent.

In Leominster, the special education budget totaled $16.8 million. In Fitchburg, it was $13.4 million.

Students on IEPs cost districts more on a per-person basis than students in the general population, Pratt said. How much depends on what type of services the student is receiving.

Students placed in separate classrooms can cost the district an additional 30 percent annually whereas residential placement can cost as much as 20 times a single general education student.

Demanche said the district pays a half-million dollars each for a handful of students in the district because of soaring private school placement prices.

According to Pratt, state funding reimburses some of these costs, but “antiquated” funding equations mean the Leominster district still spends more on these students than those in the general population.

When district budget cuts come, such as proposed cuts in Leominster, these high costs could mean trouble, because IEPs are legal documents, according to Pratt.

“If we don’t do as we promise we do with the parent signature on that, parents can sue us,” he said. “They can sue us in many different forms.”

For students with disabilities, special education is a resource, but not the only one, according to Demanche.

Schools can refer students to outside counseling services, such LUK or Community Health Link, according Demanche. Behavorial Concepts Inc., which opened on Authority Drive last year, also provides services for children with autism.

Students’ needs don’t stop when they leave school, Howard said.

“Kids are only in school six hours a day, and they have needs 24 hours,” she said.

Follow Elizabeth Dobbins on Twitter @DobbinsSentinel.

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Port Huron Schools budget smaller in 2017-18

Port Huron Schools will reduce spending and dip into its fund balance again next year to balance its budget. 

The board approved its preliminary 2017-18 budget Monday night. The budget of almost $87 million includes $2.6 million in reductions from this year and will draw about $817,000 from its fund balance.

The reduced spending reflects falling revenues due to shrinking enrollment and the sunsetting of certain state and federal grants. 

Kate Peternel, executive director of business services, said no programs will be cut although instructional costs will fall by about $1.6 million. The loss of a professional development grant will mean $257,000 less for instructional support. A grant will cover an estimated $876,000 for operations.

The district is using nearly $513,000 of fund balance savings to balance this year’s nearly $89.6 million budget, bringing the savings down to about $6.5 million. Pulling an additional $817,000 from the fund balance next year would reduce it to about $5.6 million.

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The district started pulling from its fund balance when the economy fell. 

“We were lucky to have a large fund balance,” Peternel said. 

While it does its best to only spend what it has, “We are also here to run a school district and teach kids,” Peternel said. 

The amount the state gives the district depends largely on enrollment, which has decreased by 22 percent over the last decade, according to Peternel. While the amount given per student in the district has increased since the 2011-12 fiscal year, it has not been enough to offset the decreased headcount.

This year is no different — the district received about $7,500 per student, about $100 more than the prior year. This number is expected to increase by another $120 for the 2017-18 fiscal year, but enrollment dropped this year by a fall-to-fall count of 182 students and is predicted to drop again in 2017-18 by a fall-to-fall count of 191.

“We staff according to the size of the district,” Peternel said.

While the budget lists a reduction of nine teaching positions and one paraprofessional position in general education and about four teaching positions and four paraprofessional positions in special education, no teachers have been laid off this year. The reduction in positions has been covered by retirements and resignations. 

Growing the fund balance will be difficult, mostly because of factors outside of the district’s control. Increased state funding would help.

“They haven’t kept up with inflation at all in the last couple years,” Peternel said. 

She added that birth rates are down across the country and that many families left Michigan during the recession.

While it is not good to have to pull from the fund balance, historically, the amount spent versus the amount received has created a much bigger gap. During the 2009-10 fiscal year, the district had a deficit of $5.2 million. During the 2012-13 fiscal year, that amount was about $5.7 million, according to the presentation.

However, the district has been in the green a couple of times as well. During the 2013-14 academic year, it received $2.7 million more than it spent. In 2014-2015, it received $400,000 more.

The 2017-18 deficit is fairly consistent with the past three years.

“It’s all in planning out our budget carefully,” Peternel said. 

Contact Grace Turner at (810) 989-6276 or gturner@gannett.com.

PolitiFact: 52% of state spending goes to education

After Dan Patrick cited a statistic to back his contention that Texas state government spends plenty on education, a reader asked us to check the Republican lieutenant governor’s accuracy.

Patrick, in a June newspaper commentary, extolled the state budget signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott, specifying: “Texas spends $60 billion on schools in our two-year budget, including both federal and state funds. Of that, $41 billion is state funding. That is on top of the estimated $28 billion to $30 billion annually paid by local property taxpayers.

“When colleges and universities are added,” Patrick said, “education spending is the biggest item in the state budget — about 52 percent of all state dollars. Health care is second, accounting for most of the remaining dollars. It is disingenuous to suggest that we are, somehow, holding back funding that we could spend on schools.”

Our review of budget documents posted by the Legislative Budget Board led us to find Patrick’s “52 percent” figure solid, but that percentage also proved historic in a low-end way not stated by Patrick.

A chart by the Legislative Budget Board shows that the 2018-19 state budget, which takes effect Sept. 1, puts $55.9 billion in general revenue toward public and higher education out of $106.7 billion of all such revenue — which breaks out to 52.4 percent of such spending. Next highest: Nearly $34 billion budgeted for health and human services accounts for 31 percent of state spending in the budget.

Some context: The chart shows that the nearly $41 billion in public school aid appropriated by the 2017 Legislature trailed $635.6 million, or 1.5 percent, behind what lawmakers budgeted for public schools the previous two years. On the other hand, the new budget increases state spending on higher education by $195.2 million, 1.1 percent, from the 2016-17 budget.

We sought expert opinion. Austin school finance expert Joe Wisnoski, who works for a firm that represents school districts, and Tom Canby of the Texas Association of School Business Officials didn’t quibble with Patrick’s calculation.

Wisnoski added, though, that the 52 percent conclusion “may not be the whole story.” He pointed out that from all funding sources, including federal aid, lawmakers devoted $80 billion to education, which represented 37 percent of the full $217 billion state budget.

Next, we wondered how the 52 percent cited by Patrick for 2018-19 compares with the share of state general revenue devoted to education in previous budgets. To get a fix on that, we checked spending on education from nondedicated general revenue in the previous 10 budgets. Such funds make up the bulk of each budget and are most directly controlled by legislative decisions.

Our finding: In those previous 10 budgets, which encompass 20 years, no Legislature devoted less than 53 percent of general revenue to education. On average, education’s share of state spending through the budgets was 58 percent.

Our ruling:

Patrick, saying it’s disingenuous to suggest lawmakers held back on education aid, said 52 percent of state spending in the 2018-19 state budget was appropriated to public plus higher education.

That’s an accurate percentage. But it’s worth noting that education also accounts for the smallest share of budgeted state spending in at least 20 years, which is as far back as we checked.

With that additional information, we rate the statement Mostly True.


Dan Patrick

Statement: “When colleges and universities are added, education spending is the biggest item in the state budget — about 52 percent of all state dollars.”

$37 Million UTHSC Medical Simulation Facility Changing How Students Learn

While learning on the job is pretty common in most professions, when it comes to health care the stakes are much higher, which is why the University of Tennessee Health Science Center decided to invest in new a $37 million medical simulation facility that will offer students unprecedented access to hands-on training.

Artist’s rendering of the $37 million medical simulation facility under construction now on the University of Tennessee Health Science Center campus. Several disciplines will be simulated, creating a unique learning experience for students. (Submitted)

Scheduled for completion this fall, the three-story, 45,000-square-foot state-of-the-art building will house a quilt-like amalgamation of exam rooms, hospital beds, operating tables, residential settings and even a pharmacy, which will be used by a multidisciplinary group of medial students working together to garner invaluable team-building and hands-on experience.

“We know that the No. 1 reason medical errors occur in this country is because of lack of communication,” said Dr. Chad Epps, executive director of health care simulation at UTHSC. “So one way we can address that is by making sure that our students learn and understand the principles of teamwork and a big part of that is how well you communicate with other members of the team.”

Each of the three floors of the center will have a unique layout and connect to a nearby general education build on UTHSC’s Medical District campus.

The first floor will feature multiple hospital-bed skill stations, and a home environment with a bed, kitchen and bathroom to simulate home visits. Meanwhile, the second floor will simulate more of a hospital setting with regular patient rooms and specialized patients rooms. Lastly, the third floor will have a full-service pharmacy environment and 24 patient exam rooms.

During the simulations, the future doctors, nurses and pharmaceutical technicians will either interact with mannequins, paid actors who are hired to mimic certain ailments and conditions by the university, or a combination of both.

“We had a person who had a pelvic simulator between their legs and had a sheet over it,” Epps said. “The simulation component of that is able to deliver the baby, so you get the benefits of both. You get a real person to interact with, but also simulate a medical condition.”

After the simulations are run, Epps said the students and instructors will often break off into one of the building’s debriefing rooms, where they will be able to review footage of their performance, much like an athlete and coach analyzing game footage.

The building was designed by Sim Health and local architectural firm brg3s.

Lead design architect Jason Jackson with brg3s said this project will help attract medical students on a national level.

“Pharmacy, dental, exams, surgery – all of those things are being simulated simultaneously so it starts to act like an actual hospital,” Jackson said. “You’ll have a lot of these functions happening at the same place at the same time, so there is a diversity to the student’s engagement in the practice.”

From a design standpoint, Jackson said that one of the hardest parts was fitting everything into a limited space without crowding the public spaces.

“At the same time, we were attaching this to the general education building on campus, and that’s where most of the student flow will come from,” Jackson said. “We made all of the levels of the building match the existing levels of the general education building, so that there would not have to be elevators or stairs needed to get from the general education building to the sim building.”

While designing the building, one of the goals was to increase the feel of a campus-like atmosphere, and strengthen the pedestrian experience.

“We wanted to reticulate formally with the architecture, an openness,” he said. “The glass corners, the entries, the way that the building is sided on the street and carves away do all of those things.”

Fundraiser for Law Enforcement Officers

Join the General Education Fund for the Honor Roll on Sunday, June 25th, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. to be held in George Mason High School’s Auxiliary Gym. Guests can come to participate in Jiu Jitsu submission sparring, takedowns sparring and Catch Wrestling. Gift cards worth $175 to Mad Fox Brewery and Ireland’s Four Provinces will be given out to participants with the best skills on the mat. A limited supply of t-shirts for participants are also available on a first come, first serve basis. Attendees will have 3000 square feet of mat space in the high school’s gym that will be available for use.

General Education Fund is a 100 percent all Volunteer non-profit organization. The General Education Fund raises funds to train law enforcement officers (LEOs) in defensive tactics training like Gracie Survival Tactics (G.S.T).

The General Education Fund is holding an Honor Roll to raise funds to send one law enforcement officer to G.S.T. Training. Please donate to help raise funds to have LEOs that want the training but do not have the financial support to get the training.


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In first for Aurora, charter school to run center for special education students

When Rocky Mountain Prep replaces Fletcher Community School in Aurora, the charter school will become the first in the district to operate a center for students with special needs.

As a district-run school, Fletcher for years has operated a regional program for students with autism. After the district decided last year to phase out the low-performing school and replace it with a charter school, conversations began about the fate of the program.

“From the beginning we’ve been really open and consistently stated that we would be excited to take it on if that’s what the district felt was best,” said James Cryan, CEO of Rocky Mountain Prep. He said serving all students including those with special needs fits into the charter’s mission.

Now, district and charter officials have worked out a transition plan that will give the charter school a year to prepare — including hiring a new director to oversee the special needs programs and research best practices — to take over the center by fall of 2019.

“We recognize the good work that’s been happening at that center program,” Cryan said. “It’s a program that’s serving students really well.”

The program at Fletcher this year served 21 students with autism that come from the surrounding neighborhoods. Aurora Public Schools has 17 autism center classrooms spread across the district at district-operated schools.

Aurora officials last year started exploring how charters can share the responsibility of serving students with special needs, but there was no strategy or process behind the work, said Jennifer Gutierrez, director of student services.

“This is our opportunity to do this,” Gutierrez said. “I anticipate that down the road if we have more charters to come aboard that this might be something we would explore.”

She said having the option of putting a program in a charter school could be especially useful in neighborhoods with crowded schools.

“We continue to have space issues,” Gutierrez said. “If we need a targeted clustered program in a certain neighborhood, it can be really hard to find classroom space.”

Rocky Mountain Prep began phasing in its program at Fletcher in the 2016-17 school year by operating the school’s preschool. In the fall, the charter will take over the kindergarten through second grade classrooms, and by the fall of 2019, the charter will run the entire school.

As Rocky Mountain Prep takes over more grades, the school will need to train teachers so they can help integrate students from the autism center when their individual plan calls for them to be in a general population classrooms some or most of the time.

Officials have yet to decide how much the charter school will lean on district services provided to district-run schools operating special needs programs, including teacher training, coaching and consultants.

The charter is also still looking for funding to hire the director that would oversee special services and research best practices for running the program.

That work will also include figuring out if the model of the center program will change or stay the same. Right now, center programs include classes labeled with a level one through three. In level three classrooms students spend a lot of time in general education classrooms while level one classrooms serve the students that need the most individual attention.

Teachers work together across the levels to help move students, if possible, from one level to the next — or, potentially, back to a general education classroom in their neighborhood school.

What will look different at the center program is that it will have the Rocky Mountain Prep model. That includes the uniforms, having students respond to their classmates with hand signals during group instruction and school-wide cheers or meetings instilling the core values that make up the charter’s model.

“We consider all of our students to be our scholars,” Cryan said. “We integrate all students into our model.”

It won’t be the first time the Denver-based elementary charter school network will be running a program for students with special needs.

In one of its Denver schools, Rocky Mountain Prep began operating a center program for students with multi-intensive severe special needs this year after the district asked them to.

In recent years, Denver Public Schools has asked its charter schools to operate special education centers in return for access to district real estate, part of a “collaboration compact.”

Across the country, research has shown charter schools do not educate a proportionate share of special education students. DPS says that within three years, it expects Denver to be the first city in the country to provide equitable access to charter schools for students with significant disabilities.

Cryan said Rocky Mountain Prep has learned general lessons from running the program in Denver that will help plan ahead for operating the program in Aurora, most importantly he said it’s why he asked for a planning year.

“We’ve also learned that having strong and consistent leadership really has an impact,” Cryan said. “And we really want to take time to learn best practices.”

District staff on Tuesday updated the Aurora school board on the overall transition of the school, including pointing to staff surveys that show school teachers and employees were happy with the changes.

District staff said the district plans to use the experience at Fletcher to create a process for any future school turnarounds involving changing a school’s management.