STATE REPORT AND FINDINGS: NEWBERG
[Notes: These findings are public record, and are available upon request from the state. These are paraphrases They are close to the original language, but are not exact copies of the original wording. I have omitted some parts. The names of the complainants are also public record, but I have chosen not to place them online. Following each message, I have added a brief comment of my own--this is MY OWN COMMENT, not a legal opinion. My own interpolations are all within square brackets--everything else is a paraphrase of the document.]
A parent appealed alleging that the Newberg district was not in compliance with OAR 581-022 1320 Rights of Parents of TAG students and OAR 581-022-1330 Programs and Services for TAG students.
Re [OAR 581-022-]1320 The parent alleged that parents were not informed of the programs and services available at the time a child is identified. This allegation was not accepted because that issue had not previously been made the subject of a formal complaint to the district. The process for a standards appeal requires a previous complaint to the school district before it can be appealed.
Re 1330 The parent complained
(1) that the district did not have a written plan for TAG services and
(2) That the district was not providing instruction that addressed assessed levels and accelerated rates of learning.
In response to (1) the District submitted its written TAG plan, and that part of the appeal was not upheld.
In response to (2) The District noted that it had conducted an audit of its TAG services using TAG specialists from outside the district in the spring of 1997. The audit noted that the District needed to do a better job of delivering rate and level services. A letter from the Superintendent noted that the district was beginning to implement its TAG plan. An investigation by the Department of Education found that 21% of identified students had no record of programs or services being provided at their individual rate of level of learning. Newberg has assigned classroom teachers primary responsibility for TAG instruction. Each teacher with a TAG student in his/her class is responsible for plans and services. The state found that "To provide instructional programs and services at a talented and gifted student's assessed level and rate of learning, it is essential that all teachers be proficient in assessment strategies and teaching strategies to provide differentiated curriculum options to the TAG students in their classes. The specific method or methods of meeting the TAG students' educational needs will vary from student to students. Thus, knowledge of one strategy may not be sufficient."
Findings Newberg was required
(a) to provide in-service training for all staff related to the district's responsibilities for TAG students by March 30, 1998
(b) to provide in-service training to all staff regarding instruction in assessed levels and rates of learning, classroom/curriculur strategies, and District placement options; and
(c) to submit documentation that all staff had been in-serviced by May 1, 1998, and
(d) to submit evidence that all identified TAG students have current assessments of their individual rate and level of learning and instructional plans for all applicable subject areas that address their individual rates and levels of learning by June 1, 1998.
The Department of Education will verify this evidence.
Signed February, 1998
[Note from Margaret--It is important for parents to understand that the State will only investigate matters that have previously been the subject of a formal complaint within the district. Also, that the State will only investigate the issues that have been the subject of a specific complaint to the state. In this case, the State did not look, for example, at whether parents had been notified of their rights to appeal, because that was not included in the complaint.]