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Phase I: Getting Started

Featured Tools and Resources

  • Print Friendly Version of Page  PDF | DOC 
  • Stakeholder Group and Leadership Team Identification Form (DOC for PC)
  • Stakeholder Group and Leadership Team Identification Form (DOC for Mac)
  • SPP-TAP TA Facilitator Bios (PDF)
  • Additional Resources

Description of Phase One: Getting Started
The first phase of the Program Improvement Process involves forming a leadership team, convening a stakeholder group, engaging in technical assistance, choosing a facilitator for guidance through the improvement process and gathering relevant data for analysis.

Activity One: Identify and Convene Leadership Team and Stakeholder Group
This activity involves forming an initial leadership team that assumes responsibility for the Significant Disproportionality Coordinated Early Intervening Services (SD-CEIS) Program Improvement Process. The team should include the local educational agency (LEA) superintendent or a designee empowered to make decisions and to report directly to and from the superintendent. Effective leadership teams typically have three to five members representing both special and general education.

An initial task of the leadership team is to convene a diverse stakeholder group. The stakeholder group may be either an existing or newly formed group, but it is important that it involve stakeholders that are representative of the LEA and include district staff and community members. Generally, the group should include: parents; directors of curriculum, special education, and assessment; a principal; and appropriate grade-level general and special education teachers. Including representatives from the community agencies, such as mental health and probation, is highly recommended. The group will develop an understanding of disproportionality and the conditions that resulted in the LEA’s identification as significantly disproportionate, and will contribute to the Program Improvement Process efforts.

Activity Two: Contact the State Performance Plan Technical Assistance Project at the Napa County Office of Education
The California Department of Education (CDE) contracts with the State Performance Plan Technical Assistance Project (SPP-TAP) at the Napa County Office of Education (NCOE) to provide in-depth technical assistance and support to LEAs throughout the significant disproportionality activities. The SPP-TAP technical assistance consists of training, coaching, information dissemination and referrals of best practices.

For assistance with the Program Improvement Process, the CDE recommends that LEAs identified as significantly disproportionate contact Jen DeShazer, SPP-TAP Technical Assistance Systems Coordinator, by phone at 707-332-1915 or by e-mail at for details. More information can be found on the SPP‑TAP Web site at

Activity Three: Choose a Facilitator
Activity three involves selection of a facilitator to lead the leadership team and stakeholder group through the Program Improvement Process. LEAs may choose their own facilitator or engage a facilitator from the SPP-TAP at NCOE. The SPP-TAP has selected a cadre of technical assistance (TA) facilitators who are experts in a variety of educational areas to assist LEAs with planning, accessing high quality technical assistance resources, and assessing progress to address issues of disproportionality. A list of the competitively selected TA facilitators is provided in the Phase One: Featured Tools and Resources section.

Activity Four: Gather Relevant Data
Using a well-defined set of data is the key to successfully analyzing the data for improving practices and informed decision-making. The data analysis tool in Phase Two will help in identifying useful data points. Conducting data gathering activities that identify data sources and data gaps during Phase One will prepare LEAs for the self-assessment process in Phase Two.
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