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October 7, 2019

State rates Fauquier highly for special education work

Fauquier County Public Schools earned the Virginia Department of Education’s top rating for improving outcomes for students with disabilities and for compliance with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

The school system received a total performance grade of 95 percent based on 2017-2018 data — the best rating Fauquier ever has received for serving students with disabilities.

VDOE bases school division performance on results and compliance indicators, including graduation and participation and performance in statewide assessment.

Fauquier schools this fall have 1,954 special education students among a 11,148 total students. The school system employs 150 special education teachers, 120 paraprofessionals and 50 service providers, including therapists, psychologists, diagnosticians, social workers and administrators.

The county special education budget totals $22.1 million.

Fauquier schools received the maximum possible points on 13 of the 15 indicators, earning a “Meets Requirements” designation, the highest overall rating on the IDEA report card. Fauquier fell just short of the maximum possible points on two indicators, initial evaluation timeline and performance in statewide assessment mathematics.

Assistant Superintendent for Student Services and Special Education Frank Finn is most proud of the systems performance on Indicator 4B, “Significant Discrepancy in the Rate of Suspension by Race.”

“We’ve been intentional,” Mr. Finn said. “By using the data tools and the PBIS framework, we have been proactive in addressing student behavior, and the results show.”

Fauquier Special Education Director Randy Corpening said: “We’ve been examining our practices to include a more inclusive instructional model, and it is starting to bear fruit.”

Virginia also earned the U.S. Department of Education’s top special education rating. Virginia’s overall score of 95.83 percent was the second-highest of the 60 state, territorial and federal school systems evaluated.

“A key measure of the quality of a state’s public schools is found in the supports and services provided for students with disabilities and in outcomes for these students,” Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said. “I congratulate Virginia’s special educators – including teachers, administrators and support services professionals – for their commitment to equity for students with disabilities and the passion they show every day for helping every student achieve his or her fullest potential.”

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires each state to report on state-level data and individual school system-level data publicly and to indicate whether the state and the divisions met state targets. School systems are required to submit information and data for reporting, monitoring and compliance purposes.

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