Copies of the division’s annual performance report and recent IDEA federal grant application are available for review in both districts, according to a press release issued Tuesday by the State Office of Special Education.
The annual performance report is submitted each year to the U.S. Department of Education, along with an updated State Performance Plan. This year’s document included several highlights, such as:
1)the rate of students graduating with individualized education programs (IEPs) that earned regular high school diplomas rose from 19 percent in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2009 to 28.1 percent in FFY 2010.
2)a decrease in the dropout rate, from 4.8 percent to 4.6 percent (the ultimate goal is 3.0 percent)
3)more than half of the territory’s students with disabilities (51.86 percent) are spending 80 percent, or more, of their day in general education classes (there is still work to be done with the 19.47 percent of students with disabilities that are in general education classes less than 40 percent of the day)
4)after several years of trying, the state was able to report that both districts completed all initial evaluations for students referred for special education services within the required 45–day time frame.
The results of State Office’s Post School Survey, which brings in data each year that is used to improve transition services for local students with disabilities, were also included in this year’s report, State Office of Special Education Assistant Director Jill Singer said.
According to the results, the survey showed that 20 percent of students were enrolled in institutions of higher education one year after leaving high school, while 58.3 percent were either enrolled in higher education institutions or competitively employed.
Eighty percent of those participating in the survey said they were enrolled in higher education, competitively employed, or enrolled in a training program one year after leaving high school. These percentages are based on responses from 72 out of 124 students that graduated from high school one year ago. Of the 72 students, 14 said they are not engaged in any activities.
Copies of the performance report are available for public review at the Office of the Commissioner in both districts, both district Curriculum Centers, both State Special Education offices and both District Special Education offices on St. Thomas and St. Croix.
The state office is also submitting for public review the U.S. Virgin Islands’ grant application for federal IDEA Part B funding. A public hearing on the hearing will be conducted in 60 days, and comments on the grant application will be taken.
The 11-page grant application is available for review at the State Special Education offices, the Office of the Commissioner in both districts and in both District Special Education Offices.