SPED eliminates referral backlog

Thanks to a team collaborating and working together, Dallas ISD has successfully eliminated a backlog of about 2,000 unprocessed referrals for Special Education services.

Nearly 400 Dallas ISD employees have worked since late May to process the backlog.

As part of the district’s ongoing commitment to educate all students, last spring, Dallas ISD discovered the backlog of about 2,000 unprocessed evaluations and referrals for Special Education services. The program is one of the district’s fastest growing areas.

To process the backlog, the Dallas ISD Special Education team reached out by phone, email and in-person to connect with every family with an unprocessed evaluation or referral. Parents then decided whether to consent or decline a student evaluation for Special Education services. The district has up to 45 days to complete the evaluation after the parent consents but is working to complete evaluations much sooner.

“There is still a lot of work to be done, but it’s amazing how a team with a common vision, goal and deadline can race to the finish line together and pick each other up along the way,” said Gena Koster, assistant superintendent of Special Populations.  “We are committed to not only processing the backlog, but also to revising processes, inputs, and expectations that have led to this problem.”

Dallas ISD has partnered with Stetson & Associates, a nationally recognized firm that supports special education departments across the country, to help redefine the district’s processes and procedures.

Koster added that the district will diligently work to ensure such a backlog never happens again.

“We’ve turned the first corner, but we still have room to grow and improve,” Koster said. “But thanks to a team that is dedicated to helping meet every student’s needs, we are confident that we will ensure all of our students CAN!.”

To learn more about the backlog, visit www.dallasisd.org/spedforward.

You may also like