Other General Education Requirements Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
M.G.L. c. 71A and c. 76, s. 5
and other federal and state laws
School Year 2015-2016
MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
Coordinated Program Review CIVIL RIGHTS AND OTHER GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS School District Information Package
TABLE OF CONTENTS
MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
COORDINATED PROGRAM REVIEW SYSTEM
School Year 2015 – 2016
CIVIL RIGHTS AND OTHER GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) within the U.S. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requires the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to conduct regular reviews of recipients of federal education funds. These reviews are intended to ensure against discrimination in education programs on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, or disability, and also, as mandated by state law, on the basis of religion, gender identity or sexual orientation. The process by which the Department carries out this responsibility is known as the Civil Rights and Other General Education Requirements Program Review: certain general education requirements such as requirements for structured learning time, for the implementation of instructional supports, student discipline, physical restraint and for training on the confidentiality of student records are also monitored during this review.
Civil Rights/General Education Program Review Criteria
Civil rights criteria are taken from specific federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination and promoting equal educational opportunity in educational institutions. General education criteria are taken from a variety of other laws and regulations. The specific compliance criteria to be addressed are identified in Selected Civil Rights and Other General Education Program Review Criteria (Document #2). The federal and state law on which the civil rights and other criteria are based is detailed at the beginning of Document #2.
Before the 2007-2008 school year, the Department’s Program Quality Assurance Services unit (PQA) monitored patterns of placement of racial and ethnic groups in 1) special education and related services; 2) particular disability categories; and 3) particular special education educational environments for disproportionality under IDEA 2004, Section 618(d), and 34 CFR 300.646. This monitoring was done as part of PQA’s monitoring under CR 4 (formerly MOA 4), on placement of students. The examination of disproportionality under IDEA 2004 is now coordinated by a new unit of the Department, the Office of Planning, Research, Evaluation and Accountability Reporting.
The Web-based Approach to Civil Rights Monitoring
Starting with the 2011-2012 SY, the Department commenced the web-based approach to comprehensive civil rights monitoring. The web-based monitoring system (WBMS) allows both districts and the Department to submit, review and exchange documents and information through the Department’s security portal. This approach combines familiar elements from the standard CPR procedures in combination with new features that strengthen district/school accountability and oversight for civil rights requirements on a continuous basis.
Criteria: The WBMS Program Review begins with the district/school conducting a self-assessment across an array of civil rights and general education criteria. Program Quality Assurance, through its Desk Review procedures, examines the district/school’s self-assessment submission and determines which criteria will be followed–up on through onsite verification activities. For more details, please see the section on Civil Rights/General Education Program Review Criteria (Document #2) in this School District Information Package for Civil Rights and Other General Education Requirements.
WBMS Methods The review process for civil rights includes the following methods:
Self-Assessment Phase: This is a requirement for all districts/schools participating in WBMS and is completed in the year prior to the onsite review. Districts and schools review their civil rights documents for required elements and then upload the documents into the web-based system. Once completed, this information is submitted to the Department for review. Please refer to Appendix II in this Information Package for a complete listing of document requirements.
Desk Review Phase: A Monitoring Team Chairperson, who is assigned to each district/school, reviews the district/school’s responses to questions regarding the critical elements for appropriate policies, procedures, and practices, as well as actual documents and data submissions by criteria. The outcome of this review, along with three-year trend data from the Problem Resolution System, is used to determine the scope and nature of the Department’s onsite activities.
Onsite Verification Phase: This includes activities selected from the following:
Interviews of administrative, instructional, and support staff consistent with those criteria selected for onsite verification.
Observation of classrooms and other facilities: The onsite team visits a sample of classrooms and other school facilities used in the delivery of programs and services to determine general levels of compliance with program requirements.
Review Process for Other CPR Program Areas Methods for reviewing other program areas during the CPR process include the following:
Review of documentation about the operation of the charter school or district's programs such as English Learner Education (ELE), and Career Vocational Technical Education (CVTE).
Interviews of administrative, instructional, and support staff across all grade levels.
Telephone interviews as requested by other parents or members of the general public.
Review of student records for ELE and CVTE. The Department selects a representative sample of student records for the onsite team to review, using standard Department procedures, to determine whether procedural and programmatic requirements have been implemented.
Parents of students with disabilities and English language learners are sent a survey, in the language of the home, to provide information on their experiences with the district's implementation of Special Education and ELE programs and related procedural requirements, if their student’s record was selected for review for by the onsite team.
Observation of classrooms and other facilities. The onsite team visits a sample of classrooms and other school facilities used in the delivery of programs and services to determine general levels of compliance with program requirements.
Draft Report Preparation and Comment Response At the end of the onsite visit, the team will hold an informal exit meeting to summarize its comments for the superintendent or charter school leader and anyone else he or she chooses. Within approximately 45 business days of the onsite visit, the Monitoring Team Chairperson will forward to the superintendent or charter school leader a Draft Report containing comments from the Program Review. The Draft Report comments for civil rights are provided to the district/school along with comments for special education online through WBMS.
Once the district has had an opportunity to respond, these comments will form the basis for any findings by the Department. The charter school/district will then have 10 business days to review the report for accuracy before the publication of a Final Report with ratings and findings (see below). The Final Report will be issued within approximately 60 business days of the conclusion of the onsite visit and posted on the Department’s website at .
Content of Final Report
Ratings:In the Final Report, the onsite team gives a rating for each compliance criterion it has reviewed; those ratings are “Commendable,” “Implemented,” “Implementation in Progress,” “Partially Implemented,” “Not Implemented,” and “Not Applicable.” “Implementation in Progress,” used for criteria containing new or updated legal requirements, means that the district has implemented any old requirements contained in the criterion and is training staff or beginning to implement the new requirements in such a way that the onsite team anticipates that the new requirements will be implemented by the end of the school year.
Findings: The onsite team includes a narrative statement in the Final Report for each criterion that it rates “Commendable,” “Partially Implemented,” “Not Implemented,” “Implementation in Progress,” or “Not Applicable” explaining the basis for the rating. It may also include findings for other related criteria.
District/School Response to Final Report Where criteria are found “Partially Implemented” or “Not Implemented,” the district or charter school must propose corrective action to bring those areas into compliance with the relevant statutes and regulations. This corrective action plan (CAP) will be due to the Department within 20 business days after the issuance of the Final Report and is subject to the Department’s review and approval. Department staff will offer districts and charter schools technical assistance on the content and requirements for developing an approvable CAP through webinar training sessions offered twice a year, as well as onsite technical assistance meetings with the superintendent and key district personnel scheduled by the Monitoring Team Chairperson subsequent to the release of the Final Report.
Department staff will provide ongoing technical assistance as the school or district is implementing the approved corrective action plan. School districts and charter schools must demonstrate effective resolution of noncompliance identified by the Department as soon as possible but in no case later than one year from the issuance of the Department’s Final Program Review Report.
MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
COORDINATED PROGRAM REVIEW SYSTEM
School Year 2015 – 2016
CIVIL RIGHTS AND OTHER GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
The Monitoring Team Chairperson will contact the district/charter school to set up an Orientation session for the superintendent and key district personnel to review next steps for the preparation and submission of documentation for the other program area of English Learner Education (for those districts not participating in the web-based ELE pilot) and, the selection of student records for English Learner Education and, where applicable Career and Vocational Technical Education (CVTE), and establish timelines for essential activities. This year those districts with CVTE reviews are requested to submit their CVTE documentation at least 2-3 months in advance of their onsite date.
School District Documentation
The documentation that the district must submit as part of their self-assessment is listed by criterion number in Appendix II of this Information Package. The Structured Learning Time Worksheets, which are required as part of this self-assessment, are located in Appendix I and electronically in the WBMS Document Library.
A district may choose to provide additional documentation if it believes that such documentation better demonstrates its efforts. The district has the opportunity to upload and submit additional documentation through WBMS even after the district’s self-assessment had been submitted to the Department. It is not unusual for Department staff to request follow-up information in order to clarify the submitted documentation. In many cases, this follow-up information is the missing piece that is necessary in order for the Department to rate a particular criterion as “Implemented”.
Interviews and Observations
The onsite team will use interviews and observations in addition to documentation to gather information regarding the district's implementation of the requirements included in Document #2 (Civil Rights Program Review Criteria). In consultation with the district’s civil rights coordinator, the local Program Review coordinator is responsible for scheduling interviews and - in connection with CR 22 and CR 23 - observations.
Preparation of Interview Schedules Working with the Department’s Monitoring Team Chairperson, the local Program Review coordinator is responsible for scheduling all interviews for selected personnel across the program areas being reviewed. The local coordinator should work closely with the Department’s Monitoring Team Chairperson to ensure appropriate scheduling.
The Onsite Team Member Interview and Observation Schedule (Document #3) must be returned to the Monitoring Team Chairperson for approval by the Department at least two weeks before the onsite visit. The Department will confirm all interviews to be conducted so that the district can notify all persons selected for interviews. The Monitoring Team Chairperson will provide the local Program Review coordinator with a standard letter and description of the review procedures, which is to be copied and distributed to every person selected for interview. In notifying local staff of the interview schedule, the district should emphasize that interviews are not to evaluate a staff member’s individual performance, but to understand each staff member’s experiences in the implementation of various program requirements. Every effort will be made to conduct the interviews in an efficient manner, recognizing that time is valuable to the district. The district coordinator must give consideration to spaces that allow interviews to be conducted in a confidential manner.
Sample templates for interview schedules and observations as well as a sample press release are also available as a resource in the WBMS Document Library.
Selection Criteria for Staff Interviews The List of Interviewees for SE, CR, and ELE (Document # 4) contains the titles of possible persons to be interviewed in the CR portion of the review. Interviews should be scheduled for those persons in the district most knowledgeable about requirements contained in the documentation the district has provided. The district or the Department may add others to this list who would be able to describe efforts undertaken to implement program requirements. Such persons might include the district's Title IX and Section 504 coordinator(s), homeless education liaison, diversity coordinator, curriculum coordinator, athletic director, teachers, students, student activities director, or METCO director.
Preparation for Observations The Monitoring Team Chairperson will identify the sites to be observed in connection with CR 22 and CR 23 during the Orientation visit so that the local Program Review coordinator may inform principals and pertinent staff of these observations.
Program Coordinator's Checklist
The following checklist will assist the district’s civil rights coordinator in working with the local Program Review coordinator to plan and implement the civil rights portion of the Coordinated Program Review.
Districts and charter schools who receive notification of a scheduled CPR visit for the next school year participate in both the Department’s general introduction and regional training sessions. The first session consists of a detailed orientation webinar regarding the web-based monitoring system (WBMS), which is followed by a mandatory hands-on computer lab training session. Districts and charter schools should designate a key administrator who will be responsible for collecting, reviewing and inputting the civil rights document information for the self-assessment.
Prepare and submit the district’s/charter school’s documentation self-assessment within the required timeline. Department staff are available to provide technical assistance for both regulatory content and WBMS system technical questions.
Work with the local Program Review coordinator to prepare the civil rights portion of the district profile of effective programs and practices. The provision of specific examples of effective programs and practices will be shared with the onsite team. It is recommended that this information be provided at the time of the submission of the self-assessment. It can be submitted through “Additional Documents” in WBMS immediately after the self-assessment submission or can be provided to the Monitoring Team Chairperson at the time of the orientation.
Participate in the local Program Review coordinator’s and Monitoring Team Chairperson’s orientation meeting(s) and inform administrative and teaching staff about the civil rights portion of the Program Review, its purpose, the WBMS procedures, and the manner in which staff will be expected to participate.
Work with the local Program Review coordinator to issue to all persons scheduled for interview and/or classroom observation the Department’s standard notification letter prepared by the Department’s onsite chairperson.
Be available throughout the program review to answer questions, clarify data, and provide needed assistance.
With other district administrators, develop a dissemination plan for making the Final Report available to the public. At a minimum, this plan should address access for members of the school committee/board of trustees, key district administrative staff, parents and other constituent groups.
Participate with the other program directors in the Department’s webinars on developing approvable Corrective Action Plans and Progress Reports.
Immediately after the Final Report is published, the Department’s Monitoring Team Chairperson will arrange with the local district coordinator for an onsite technical assistance visit. The superintendent, local program coordinator and all other program directors for those areas requiring corrective action should participate in this technical assistance visit.
With other district administrators, draft the Corrective Action Plan for the School Committee to be submitted to the Department within 20 business days of receipt of the Final Report.
Work with district staff in implementing recommendations and correcting any noncompliance noted in the Final Report, in accordance with the corrective action approved or ordered by the Department, and ensure the timely correction of noncompliance within one year.
Submit any required progress reports and documentation requested by the Department, demonstrating the ongoing efforts of the district to implement the corrective action approved or ordered by the Department fully, effectively, and in a timely manner.
Carefully monitor and document the full implementation and the effectiveness of the corrective action that has been approved or ordered by the Department.
CIVIL RIGHTS/GENERAL EDUCATION PROGRAM REVIEW CRITERIA -- 2015 – 2016
Citations in the Civil Rights/General Education Program Review Criteria
The Civil Rights and Other General Education Program Review Criteria include abbreviated references to the laws and regulations on which specific criteria are based. These abbreviations denote the following laws and regulations:
(Note: “U.S.C.” refers to the United States Code, available at http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/. “CFR” refers to the Code of Federal
Regulations. “Et seq.” means “and following.”)
Title VI: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Prohibits discrimination, exclusion from participation, and denial of benefits based on race, color or national origin in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance. Title VI is codified at 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.; regulations have been promulgated under it in the Code of Federal Regulations at 34 CFR Part 100 (available at http://www.ed.gov/policy/rights/reg/ocr/edlite-34cfr100.html).
EEOA: the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974
Prohibits the denial of equal educational opportunity in public schools on account of race, color, sex, or national origin. The EEOA is codified at 20 U.S.C. 1701 et. seq.
Title IX: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Prohibits discrimination, exclusion from participation, and denial of benefits based on sex in educational programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. Title IX is codified at 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.; regulations have been promulgated under it at 34 CFR Part 106 (available at http://www.ed.gov/policy/rights/reg/ocr/edlite-34cfr106.html).
Section 504: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Prohibits discrimination, exclusion from participation, and denial of benefits based on disability in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance. Section 504 is codified at 29 U.S.C. 794; regulations have been promulgated under it at 34 CFR Part 104 (available at http://www.ed.gov/policy/rights/reg/ocr/edlite-34cfr104.html).
Title II: Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
Prohibits discrimination, exclusion from participation, and denial of benefits on the basis of disability in public entities. Title II is codified at 42 U.S.C. 12131 et seq; regulations have been promulgated under it at 28 CFR Part 35 (available at http://www.ed.gov/policy/rights/reg/ocr/edlite-28cfr35.html).
IDEA 2004: the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (available at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c108:h.1350.enr:)
Governs special education. Most of IDEA 2004 is codified at 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.; regulations have been promulgated under it at 34 CFR 300 (available at http://www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/finrule/2006-3/081406a.html), effective October 13, 2006.
NCLB: the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
Governs elementary and secondary education. NCLB is available at http://www.ed.gov/legislation/ESEA02/.
Title X, Part C is the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2001: information on this act is available in the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Homeless Education Advisories at http://www.doe.mass.edu/mv/haa
FERPA: the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974
Protects the privacy of student education records and gives parents certain rights with respect to those records. FERPA is codified at 20 U.S.C. § 1232g; regulations have been promulgated under it at 34 CFR Part 99 (available at http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_04/34cfr99_04.html)
(Note: Massachusetts education laws are available at http://www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/statelaws.html; Massachusetts education regulations are available at http://www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/stateregs.html.)
Mass. Const. amend. art. 114: Article CXIV of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution
Prohibits discrimination, exclusion from participation, and denial of benefits on the basis of disability in any program or activity in the Commonwealth.
Establishes the powers and duties of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Section 1G requires the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to set the minimum length for a school day and the minimum number of days in the school year for Massachusetts public schools. Regulations have been promulgated under Section 1G at 603 CMR 27.00.
M.G.L. c. 71:Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 71
Governs public schools. Section 34D requires promulgation by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education of student record regulations. Such regulations have been promulgated at 603 CMR 23.00. Section 34H concerns the provision of information by schools to noncustodial parents. Section 37G provides for the use of reasonable force to protect pupils, school personnel, and other persons from assault by a pupil and requires the promulgation by the Board of regulations regarding the use of physical restraint on students. Such regulations have been promulgated at 603 CMR 46.00 (update effective January 1, 2016). Section 37H relates to codes of conduct and handbooks. Section 38Q ½ requires every school district to adopt and implement a curriculum accommodation plan.
M.G.L. c. 71A: Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 71A
Governs the education of English learners. Regulations have been promulgated under it at 603 CMR 14.00.
M.G.L. c. 71B: Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 71B
Governs the education of children with special needs. Section 6 relates to the assignment of children to special education classes. Regulations have been promulgated under c. 71B at 603 CMR 28.00.
M.G.L. c. 71, s. 37H, as amended by Chapter 92 of the Acts of 2010. M.G.L. c. 71, s. 37O(e)(1) & (2). M.G.L. c. 71, s. 370(e)(1) & (2). M.G.L. c. 71, s. 370(d), as amended. Governs bullying prevention and intervention.
M.G.L. c. 76: Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 76
Governs school attendance. Section 5 prohibits discrimination in all public schools on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation. Regulations have been promulgated under section 5 at 603 CMR 26.00. Section 18 requires notice to students permanently leaving school. 603 CMR 26.00 was further amended by Chapter 199 of the Acts of 2011.
St. 1965, c. 741: Chapter 741 of the Massachusetts Acts of 1965
Established the maximum age for compulsory school attendance as sixteen.
M.G.L. c. 269 sections 17-19: An Act Prohibiting the Practice of Hazing