Workgroup 3—Delivery Systems
Final meeting minutes
8/6/2007

Group Leader: Rebecca Cort
Attendees: Michael Grossfeld and Mary Curtis (via video conference); Susan Constantino, Donna Noyes, Mark Jasinski, Robert Frawley, Lisa Timoney, and Sandy Rybaltowski (in Albany)

Observers: Pam Madeiras (Greenburg Traurig), Tom Connelly (Agencies for Children’s Therapies Services), and Jessica Morelli (NYSAC) in Albany; Barbara Greene (TheraCare) and Trudy Font-Padron (Bilinguals Inc.) by video conference 

Guest Speakers:  Cindy Gallagher (SED, Director of Early Education and Reading Initiatives), Janet Price and Sue Washburn (Early Development Center, Inc.)

Facilitator: Donna Meixner  
             

Recorders: Tina Goodwin Segal and Denise Corbett

Meeting Start Up:
Donna Meixner opened the meeting by asking everyone to provide a brief introduction, followed by a brief overview of the agenda for this work group meeting. The minutes from the July 10th work group meeting were then reviewed and accepted.

Statement of Purpose for the Task Force
The co-chairs of the task force developed a Statement of Purpose and Principles to help focus the Task Force as they move forward in their deliberations toward making recommendations that will appear in the final report. All of the work groups were asked to review the proposed document and recommend edits/revisions before adoption of a final document at the August 23rd full task force meeting. The following excerpt contains the main points of the document:

“It is the purpose of the Task Force on Preschool Special Education to recognize New York’s strengths and challenges and offer recommendations to policy makers for an improved service system that advances the following principles:

At this meeting a question was raised about the language of the fourth bullet. The members of Work Group 3 would recommend that the word “reward” be changed to “support” so that the fourth bullet would read “…and rates must support quality and encourage efficiency”. This revision will be presented at the next Full Task Force meeting on August 23rd.

Report on First Regional Roundtable Session
The first roundtable session was held in NYC on Friday, August 3rd. Sally McKay hosted the meeting with Becky Cort and Michael Grossfeld serving as facilitators during the small group discussions. There were between 80-100 people at the meeting, approximately 40-45% were providers, 15% were parents/families, 15-20% were county and school district (SD) representatives (small numbers from SD), and a significant number (~20%) were others (e.g., from ECDC, Head Start, EI & Day Care organizations, etc). Recorders were assigned for each of the small group discussions and there will be a full report prepared for the task force. Additionally, a summary of each session’s proceedings will be posted on the website. Becky and Michael offered their preliminary impressions from the small discussion groups that they facilitated.  

Becky Cort facilitated the discussion with the “others” small group. There were several positive perspectives offered, however, most of the discussion was focused on concerns/issues in preschool special education.

Issues discussed during Michael Grossfeld’s session with providers included:

In summary, results from the first session would suggest that there may be a total of 400-500 people who attend the roundtable sessions. The compiled information from all of the sessions should bring useful information to the task force. For future roundtable sessions, Becky suggested having the statement of purpose and principles as a focusing guideline during the initial presentation at each session around the state.

General Education Learning Standards for Preschoolers—Cindy Gallagher
Cindy began by clarifying definitions.  Performance/Learning Standards are typically student based versus Program Standards which are more about the monitoring of programs such as class size, staffing ratios, certification requirements, etc. The conversation at this meeting is about the former.

The Regents 2006 policy was adopted and put preschool performance standards in place within the context of the K-12 general standards by discipline (i.e., ELA, Math, Social Studies, etc.). Preschoolers were included in the Pre-K through Grade 1 standards.

Under legislation passed by the current administration, preschool performance standards will be developed to stand as a separate document from the school age standards. As part of that process, standards in the social-emotional domain (which do not currently exist) will also be developed.

SED has scheduled a meeting this month (August 2007) to begin drafting performance standards for preschoolers.  SED staff were successful in bringing together a panel of experts including Lynn Kagan, Head Start personnel, Daycare providers, key VESID staff, etc. One of the challenges will be to include essential 21st century elements that were not previously addressed, e.g., technology, multiculturalism, etc.  These preschool performance standards are due to be developed by December, 2007. There will then be a need (required by Article 7) to track/monitor progress.

The group discussed the differences between tracking/monitoring program progress and assessing a child’s progress. Systems that do the latter need a screening assessment, an outcome assessment, and an instrument that is more useful for measuring progress along the way. Whatever gets developed needs to have testing accommodations embedded so that it serves all preschoolers (with and without disabilities).

Becky Cort will recommend one or two names from the special education field who serve the low incidence, severely involved population of preschoolers, to be a part of both the standards and assessment development teams.

In closing, Cindy identified a host of stakeholders who would have to be involved in extensive training/PD once SED has consensus on standards and an assessment process. These included: ECDC, SETRC, RSSC, Child Care Coordinating Council, and Institutions of Higher Education with preschool/special education teacher programs.
Cindy offered to send Becky a couple of articles/studies as resources for the work group.

States Survey Findings—Janet Price and Sue Washburn
Janet Price and Sue Washburn connected via telephone conference to present preliminary findings from the follow-up to the States Survey. They have contacted 4 of the 5 states (FL, GA, OH, PA) and are waiting for some additional information from these states. They plan to reach CA by the end of this week. A draft report comparing the responses from all 5 states should be available for the Delivery Systems Work Group meeting next week. Findings that were available, thus far, were reviewed. The interview protocol was constructed to address specific sections that are relevant to Work Group 3. Highlights from that discussion are presented in the table below.. 

Interview Section

Highlights

Funding and Services

  • PA services recently restructured so all services (0-3 & 3-21) are under one roof
  • One service plan form
  • One tracking system
  • Office of Child Development and Early Learning Liaison is the accountability link
  • Medicaid comparisons were difficult to make across states 

0-5 Seamless Transition

  • PA is addressing needs in new system
  • OH sees this as an ongoing issue and provides resources to this end. Among these resources are Transition Coordinators to 8 large school districts (need to check to see if these are funded as employees of state or SD)
  • OH is also moving to align their providers between EI and preschool
  • In FL there is no overlap between EI and preschool providers—Public schools are in charge of preschool providers

3-21 Seamless Transition

  • FL & GA both report that their system for 3 & 4 year olds is very similar to their system for school age
  • In OH, eligibility and payment differ
  • In MA there are specific placement regulations—Sue Washburn will try to locate this document for WG3

Standards and Oversight Systems

  • OH is “leading the pack”—well-established system for PD, monitoring and oversight
  • PA is in early stages of developing a common system including common tools for data collection—“PA Keys to Quality Program”

Progress Tracking and Professional Development

  • OH has the most opportunities; they have a yearly PD plan, provide training at no cost, have a session that explains the state system for providers
  • PA is going to a web-based system July 2007, all new preschool initiatives are technology-based, school districts enter data
  • PA using Ounce of Prevention Tool & Creative Curriculum Assessment Tool

Continuum of Services and Criteria for Recommendations

  • In most comparison states, very small % receive 12 month preschool services
  • In GA, half of the school systems have family educators, these services include monthly meetings and home visits

Innovations in Service Delivery

  • All states moving to technology based
  • GA’s new database is innovative and they have a parent mentoring program
  • GA looking to reduce “pull out” services

Additional products were requested by Work Group 3, these will be sent to Becky who will then forward them on to the work group. Janet and Sue will be available again next week at 1:30 to discuss updated findings from the 5 states. If anyone has additional questions they should email Janet/Sue as soon as possible.

State Performance Plan and Outcome Measures – Sandy Rybaltowski
Sandy presented the most current information about IDEA re-authorization and the NYS State Performance Plan for 2005-2011. She presented data from the 2005-06 annual performance report (APR submitted in February 2007) that addresses Indicator 7 (Preschool Outcomes) and she discussed the plan for data collection that is currently in place. The data from 2006-07 will include exit data for the first time. After that data has been analyzed targets can be set for future years of the State Performance Plan. At this meeting, handouts were provided that present the Performance Plan and the Outcomes Measures process. These materials are available on the VESID website.

Report Outline/Drafting
Copies of the report outline prepared for the last Work Group 3 meeting were circulated and the group was reminded of the charge for the next Full Task Force meeting (August 23rd)  i.e., to come with preliminary recommendations from the Delivery Systems Work Group to be reviewed and discussed by all task force members. The outline for this section of the final report is as follows:

Delivery Systems / Lessons from Other States

  • Issues and Questions
  • Relevant Facts
  • Recommendations*
    • Legislative
    • Regulatory
    • Policy or Practice Change
  • Issues Requiring Further Study/Analysis

* With each recommendation include pros and cons, identify potential impact – who and how, identify challenges/obstacles and ways to overcome them, note instances in which recommendation is contingent on other changes.

The homework for the group was to draft recommendations based on the sections of the States Survey follow-up protocol. There are seven sections with multiple areas/questions in each section. A fourth area needs to be added to the first section titled Funding and Services. The area “State Aid Formula” should be addressed in this section. This will allow the group to address the role of the county versus the school district in funding preschool special education services.

Becky noted that the final version of the state comparison report will probably appear as an appendix to the final report. It was recommended that the other states have the opportunity to review the information that will be reported for their state. Becky will ask Janet and Sue to add this step in preparing their final report. 

Action Items (reviewed) and Next Meeting

What….

Who….

By When…

What are the medical reimbursements for EI?

Donna Noyes

Next meeting

Distribute updated State Survey Follow-Up Chart

Becky Cort

Next meeting

Send State Survey chart back to states for validation

Becky will follow up with Sue and Janet

Before Final Report

MA eligibility standards

Sue and Janet

ASAP

Check Florida K-3 – 29% figure – page 13 of state survey findings

Becky

ASAP

Check Florida assessment tool – What’s “BDI”? (pg. 14)

Sue and Janet

ASAP

Get copy of Disability Services Manual from Ohio

Sue and Janet

ASAP

Technical Assistance paper from Florida

Sue and Janet

ASAP

Email articles

Cindy Gallagher

ASAP

Add field based person to Cindy’s group

Becky Cort

ASAP

Forward PA Powerpoint presentation

Sue and Janet

ASAP

Follow-up with Ohio on the Transition Coordinator – What is the source of the funds?  Who is the actual employer?

Sue and Janet

ASAP

Draft Recommendations based on survey chart sections

Everyone

Next meeting

Report out to Taskforce on this meeting

Mark Jasinski

8/23

Agenda Items for the August 13 Delivery Work Group Meeting

1. Understanding Transportation Costs (approximately 45 minutes)

2. Developing Recommendations (approximately 2 hours)