Special Education Gains in the San Diego Region

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August 25, 2011 San Diego charter schools are making huge gains in serving their special education students independent of their districts.

The San Diego Charter School Special Education Consortium/JPA has been up and running now for three years. Their Director, Cindy Atlas, has been doing a fantastic job of assisting charters in preparation for becoming their own LEA for special education. Once charters gain LEA status, she assists them in hiring SpEd staff, sharing itinerant staff between charter schools, providing professional development and all around general support for the members of the JPA. They have helped 16 charter schools take over special education services for their own students and next year will be serving 19 charter schools in SDUSD.

Charter Schools in the county have decided to follow in their footsteps and create a second JPA that would serve charters in the county who are seeking membership to a local SELPA. The JPA is currently being formed and led by; Paul Cartas, director at Rainbow Advanced Institute and newly retired superintendent of Vallecitos School District, Nancy Spencer, director at Bayshore Prep. and Shannon Richardson, director of the newly approved Howard Gardner Charter School. These three wonderful people have stepped up to help make a difference for special education students across the county.

The next planning meeting for the county JPA for Special Ed. will be September 27 from 10:00 a.m. - noon at Bayshore Prep. In San Marcos. All are welcome to join us.

Lisa Berlanga
Regional Director