Palo Alto, CA: School board to discuss proposal for $2.4M for SPED/mental health personnel

May 22, 2018, Palo Alto (CA) Online: District staff request $2.4M for special ed reform— School board to discuss special education, social-emotional learning Tuesday night The school board will discuss Tuesday a staff request to allocate $2.4 million to improve the district's special-education services and address areas in which the department is out of compliance. District staff are asking for more specialists, psychologists and site-based special education coordinators and to expand services and programs that serve students with special needs. … However, the survey indicates some gaps within the system. Less than half of the parent respondents said they always receive a report with their children's progress on the goals written into their individualized education plan at each progress report period. There appears to be inconsistency in how schools handle special-education needs: only 44 percent of staff respondents agreed that there are common practices across sites. Only half of staff agreed that the district has a clear vision on special education, compared to 68 percent of parents. Half of staff said the district allocates resources properly to support that vision. Staff also indicated they need more training to support students with disabilities. In other business Tuesday, the board will hear an update on the implementation of new social-emotional learning curriculum. The district is aiming to expand new programs at the high schools and introduce curriculum at the middle and elementary schools next year. Board members will also discuss a committee's recommendation to make computer science a core subject in the district, including adding it as a high school graduation requirement and creating a K-12 computer science department. The committee argues that computer science is an "essential component of a broad and comprehensive education