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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 9, 2007
contact: Jeannine Stehlin

Wizdom Education helps State of Delaware Learn What Happens in Educational and Employment Lives of Special Education Students After they Leave the Delaware School Systems

First time ever historic data collection is part of nationwide effort to improve education for students with disabilities

May 9, 2007, Naperville, IllinoisWizdom Education, a special education planning and management company, announces that the company is helping the state of Delaware learn what happens in the educational and employment lives of Special Education students after they’ve left the school systems. This historical event marks the beginning of a nationwide effort. The findings will be used to help improve the overall education process for students with disabilities who have had Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) while in high school.

An IEP is a detailed plan that is developed to help make decisions about a special education student’s educational placement. IEPs define a student’s academic, social and/or life skill goals, as well as accommodations for achieving those goals, and a plan for meeting those goals. A federally mandated requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004), IEPs are put together by a team which includes a special education teacher, a regular education teacher, therapists, a school district representative, the student, and the student’s parents.

Recognizing Wizdom’s expertise in post secondary transition and the contributions in transition technology Wizdom has made since 1999, the State of Delaware commissioned Wizdom to conduct data collection of half of the former students with IEPs who left the school year in the year 2005-2006.

Two State Performance Plan indicators focus on the effectiveness of transition plans specifically and special education services in general. Wizdom is addressing Indicator 14 , which will help all states identify the “Percent of youth who had IEPs, are no longer in secondary school, and who have been competitively employed, enrolled in some type of post-secondary school, or both, within one year of leaving high school.”

To support this need, Wizdom staff completed or is completing the following:

  • Created the Indicator 14 Survey Protocol – the survey questions, choices, and script, for use by Wizdom and State of Delaware phone interviewers.

  • Created an electronic survey system for use by Wizdom phone interviewers.

  • Designed and developed an activity-based interviewer training session that relies on the training program to cause the interviewers to interact with strategic content related to the interview.

  • Trained the State of Delaware transition specialist in the use of the training program and related “interviewer aids” for subsequent training of Delaware school district interviewers.

  • Completing up to three calls with one half (approximately 600) former students, State of Delaware, school year 2005-2006 (anticipated end date, 15 May).

  • Providing an Access database with the stored data, including comments, back to the State of Delaware first for mailing purposes, and second for data analysis (anticipated final delivery date, 30 June).

Prior to this point in time, some states have voluntarily surveyed former students to see if goals set in their IEPs have been met. Beginning in 2006, all state educational agencies are surveying former students, or guiding their districts to do so. This survey effort is in response to the monitoring requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that was reauthorized in 2004. The 2004 reauthorization orders that “each State shall have a place in a performance plan that evaluates that State’s efforts to implement the requirements.” The requirements also establish “measurable and rigorous targets for the performance indicators established under the priority areas described.”

About Wizdom Education
Wizdom Education is a Division of Wizdom Systems, a Naperville, Illinois based company that has been providing government and corporate clients with business process reengineering, instructional design, and special education software and services since 1986. Wizdom’s host of special education products and services include:

  • Wizdom TransPlanner! - helps students with disabilities, their case managers, and their parents do effective transition planning, and bridge the gap that often exists between schools and community service providers. Developed with funding from the U.S. Department of Education

  • MyTransPlanner! - Personal online home version for web-based transition plans

  • LiveIEP! - an easy-to-use IEP program that puts the power of the web into the hands of special education case managers, and lets case managers and other school staff do work without depending upon network availability.

  • EducationLive! – a web service that allows school and community service providers to self maintain and broadcast their specific services to the public and to their school and community customers automatically.

 

 

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phone: (630) 357-3000 fax:(630) 357-3059

 
Email Robin Davies: robind@wizdom.com