West Linn-Wilsonville School District ranks well in 2011-12 report card

The number of students receiving special education services in Oregon K-12 schools is up slightly from last year, marking the 12th year of consecutive increases. According to the 2012-13 Special Education Child Count, which was released last week by the Oregon Department of Education, special education students currently make up 13.3 percent of the student population.

The number of special education students in K-12 schools is 74,829, up from 74,434 last year. The total number of Oregon children, ages 0-21, in special education programs increased to 85,418, up from 84,683 in 2011-12.

Special education students are supported by federal, state and local resources.

“As the number of students needing these specialized services continues to rise," said state Deputy Superintendent Rob Saxton, "so too does the urgency to ensure we are providing rigorous and appropriate education with the supports and accommodations to help all students achieve their potential.”

Also released last week were the 2011-12 Report Cards for Oregon School District Special Education and Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education programs. These report cards, required under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), provide information regarding how well local special education and early intervention programs are serving students.

According to the West Linn-Wilsonville School District report card, 70.5 percent of students with individualized education programs (IEPs) in the four-year cohort rate graduated with diplomas — above the state target of 67 percent. The district fell short of the state target of 72 percent when it came to IEP students in the five-year cohort rate, with just 63.2 percent graduating with a regular diploma.

Just 1 percent of West Linn-Wilsonville IEP students dropped out in 2010-11, well below the state goal of 3.6 percent or less, and the district also ranked well when it came to post secondary education. In the district, 34.6 percent of the IEP students enrolled in higher education — above the state goal of 26 percent — and 80.8 percent were either enrolled in higher education or "competitively employed."

The Oregon Department of Education is in its eighth year of two statewide initiatives designed to improve student performance: Response to Intervention and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.

RTI is the practice of providing high-quality research based academic instruction to all students and delivering increasingly intensive interventions, which are matched to student need. PBIS is the use of systemic behavior support systems that allow students to focus on instruction and be successful in school.

“Programs like RTI and PBIS can make a significant difference for our students,” Saxton said. “I am pleased to see increasing numbers of districts incorporating these proven programs into their instruction.”

Every Oregon child identified for special education services has at least one of the disabilities defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. A child is eligible for special education and related services if a team of professionals and the parent determines that the child has a disability and needs special education services because of that disability.

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