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Davenport School District principals, assistant principals and other school administrators will meet Aug. 10 to review new procedures for suspensions, removals and use of rooms for both general-education and special-education students.

After the meeting, new procedures will be shared with other district personnel, according to a district website update.

After an audit in late January-early February, the Iowa Department of Education found the district special-education program in "systemic non-compliance" with several parts of the federal law that governs education of students with disabilities. The state said the district must reconvene Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings for some special-education students and, if compensatory education services are owed them, provide them at district cost.

The district also must work with a national expert to address a disproportionate number of students of color identified for special-education services, and the disproportionate number of minority special-education students subjected to disciplinary actions.

The district sent letters to 860 families of students for whom there was no evidence that minutes of instruction were reduced from spring 2017 to fall 2017, but possibly there was insufficient prior written notice. The letters, which offered to hold an IEP meeting if requested, were mailed June 28. As of Aug. 1, nine families had requested meetings.

The Special Education Department continues to hold IEP meetings for students who had 45 minutes of special education services in the fall of 2017. Between June 25 and Aug. 1, a total of 415 IEP meetings were held. Of those, 115 have resulted in the need for compensatory education. The remaining 300 indicated no findings of the need for compensatory education.

Additionally, according to the update, "a significant number of anecdotal comments from parents who have attended these meetings have been very positive in nature and have expressed pleasure and support of the special education services" provided by the district. If parent concerns are noted, that information is being collected to share with IEP teams.

The district continues to collaborate with the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency and the Iowa Department of Education to develop procedures for student suspensions, removals and the use of rooms, the update says. The procedures are in the final stages of development, and when completed will be shared with district staff in a meeting Aug. 28.

The AEA, district and the Iowa Department of Education reviewed data related to disproportionality on July 24 in a meeting that focused on which national experts could help address disproportionality.

District and AEA representatives continue to work on developing training around functional behavior assessments and behavior interventions plans.

"We have no additional details to add at this time," district spokeswoman Dawn Saul said in an email response for information. "We will continue to share information as we have it available."

Updates are being posted on the district website under “Special Education Accreditation Updates.”

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