On February 15-17, 2006, the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE)participated in the U.S. Department of Educationís standards and assessment peer review process under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). As a result of the peer review process, specific conditions were placed on Arkansasí fiscal year 2006 Title I, Part A grant award. The ADE had to submit a plan and detailed timeline for how remaining issues will be addressed. To comply with 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 200, specifically Section 200.6 (a)(2)(iii)(A)(2), Arkansas must provide evidence to show that parents of students with significant cognitive disabilities who are assessed through the Alternate Portfolio Assessment system are informed that the childís achievement will be based on alternate achievement standards.
To address this requirement, Arkansas committed in the plan to the U.S. Department of Education to send a Commissionerís Memorandum to all school districts requiring that the districts obtain a signed parent/guardian notification form (copy attached) from the parent/guardian of any student whose Individualized Education Program (IEP) calls for the studentís achievement to be assessed through the Alternate Portfolio Assessment system during the 2006-2007 school year. The signed parent/guardian notification form must be placed in the studentís special education due process file maintained by the district and become a part of the studentís due process documentation. It is intended that a separate parent/guardian notification form will be used for this purpose only for the 2006-2007 school year. Thereafter, beginning with IEPs developed for the 2007-2008 school year, it is proposed that the provision of this notice will be verified through a parent/guardian signature on each affected studentís IEP.
Districts are not required to conduct a separate programming conference or an IEP meeting in order to inform the parent/guardian when a studentís achievement will be based on alternate achievement standards. The studentís teacher or other qualified school personnel may meet with the parent/guardian, provide the explanation and obtain the signature verifying that the parent/guardian received the required information. Districts need to complete this process for all affected students with disabilities no later than September 30, 2006.
For additional information or any questions concerning this activity, please contact Tom Hicks at 501-682-4221 or via e-mail at email@example.com.