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Quitman School District, a public school district of Mississippi, serves around 1,600 students across their 5 schools, 284 of which have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). The district has made great strides toward increasing their visibility and compliance with their special education processes to ensure that these students are receiving a free, appropriate, public education. Through the years, Quitman School District has actively pursued compliance efforts with their IEP process by using two different special education management systems, one being Euna K-12 Admin, powered by SpedTrack.
Special Education Director, Adam Boyette, has played an integral role in this effort. Adam has been with the district for the last 13 years serving in various roles, including as special education teacher, and has spent the last 6 years serving in his current administrative role. He is well versed and experienced in the special education industry, having gained experience through both his teaching and administrative careers and has driven compliance by getting students the special education services they need.
A lot of people weren’t completing certain parts of the IEP at the time because of the user interface on the other product.
Previous to using Euna K-12 Admin, Quitman School District used a disjointed special education management system that caused frustration for administrators and teachers alike, due to its decentralized nature and confusing layout. Although Adam was not the Special Education Director during the use of their former solution, he recalls experiences that he and other fellow teachers had.
On Quitman’s previous special education management platform, they found that a lot of their information was decentralized due to the complicated user interface of the product. Users faced a tedious process of trying to access the information they needed, having to sift through documentation in various places to access simple pieces of information, such as reevaluation dates. Often, this led to IEPs being incomplete, an issue that most districts work hard to combat due to the potential repercussions of this compliance failure.
Another problem Quitman School District faced was the location and sharing of student information. Adam stated that Quitman would receive a student report from another district but would also have to request evaluation reports and other pieces of vital information separately. The process of sharing student information between districts was disjointed and locating student data in general was very difficult.
After experiencing these difficulties involved with their former special education management system, Quitman School District sought Euna K-12 Admin as their new software solution to alleviate the stress of looming compliance issues. Their goal was to find a solution that could organize their data in a concise way, helping teachers complete their IEPs faster and more accurately.
One of the challenges that was resolved when Quitman adopted Euna K-12 Admin was the user interface of the product, which finally allowed them to have centralized data management and storage. Adam stated that the tab-based layout of the product has made it much easier to use for their staff. Before, they would have to sift through multiple pages to find all that information, but with this product, everything is right there in one centralized location.
The lack of organization in their previous system was detrimental to the IEP process because teachers were unknowingly submitting incomplete IEPs, a mistake that can leave students without all the information they need. With Euna K-12 Admin, the assurance of a fully complete IEP was achieved, helping with district compliance requirements.
Another time-saving feature that Quitman used frequently was the copy-to-new function for IEPs. As Adam stated, some parts of the IEP don’t change much year to year, such as accommodations. The copy-to-new function made some of the monotonous parts of writing an IEP easier—a game changer for special educators who spend hours on paperwork to keep up with district compliance efforts.
The final tool Adam discussed was the student IEP Progress Monitoring tool. In Mississippi, school districts must remain compliant with the Rate of Increase, which states that it is the district’s responsibility to monitor student goal progress. As an administrator, Adam used the student IEP Progress Monitoring tool to gain insight into whether students were appropriately progressing on their IEP goals, as well as to see if teachers have been effectively working toward these goals.
Quitman School District has scored an average of 95% compliance in their district over the last three Special Education Performance Determination Reports, stemming from the use of Euna K-12 Admin’s IEP management platform, a solution that made compliance straightforward for all users. As a Special Education Director, Adam can quickly identify any errors within the IEP before attending IEP meetings, allowing for fast correction. This functionality is essential to ensure nothing falls between the cracks on students’ IEPs, such as an incomplete section or a non-compliant section that is not up to state standards.
Increasing IEP compliance does not mean that more time must be spent creating IEPs, though. In fact, special educators have noticed a decrease in time spent creating IEP documents, since educators can quickly input information from previous years’ IEP with the copy-to-new function.
Districts like Quitman have staff that strive to help their students gain a free, appropriate education to the maximum extent possible. Euna K-12 Admin was created to help hardworking staff like theirs streamline the monotonous areas of special education. Ultimately, allowing special educators to get back to what’s important—serving the students.
It’s easier for us as an office to notice when kids are on or off track.