CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The state Board of Education approved recommendations made by the West Virginia Advisory Council for the Education of Exceptional Children to aid those students with special needs.
The council, a statewide committee mandated by federal and state law, makes yearly recommendations to the West Virginia Department of Education to address unmet need of children with exceptionalities. Areas addressed include assessment, discipline, out-of-state placements, professional development, graduation requirements and other support.
Among the recommendations in the council’s recently released annual report is the suggestion that alternative assessment to WESTEST2 be made available to some students. Such a move would cost $2 million. Instead, the state board approved the Office of Special Programs and Office of Assessment and Accountability suggestion to provide additional guidance to counties to increase participation in the current Alternate Performance Task Assessment (APTA). The Office of Special Programs has developed a checklist that has been shared with 150 teachers of special needs students.
The board also agreed to establish guidance on the definition and limitations on the use of seclusion and restraint in schools as a discipline measure. Other recommendations included working to reduce the number of students placed in out-of-state facilities, increasing Response to Intervention (RtI) professional development for teachers and principals.
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