Black River Falls School District working to close special education gap

La Crosse Tribune: The Black River Falls School District was recently notified by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) that, based on state testing, their special education students were lagging behind the average Wisconsin test scores for special education students.

The district has been working to correct this issue ever since they got a warning last year from DPI.

“The state is changing how they measure special education students. Their literacy is becoming a far heavier weight than it used to be. The previous year we were told that while the new requirements were not firmly in place, they let us know that if all data continued in the way it was going that we were not on track to be making adequate progress. So we kind of had a year warning, and then this year that warning came to fruition,” Severson said.

Dr. Tammy Kielbasa was hired in July as the new director of pupil services and has been working to bring together what has been previously done and make it stronger.

“What they spent time doing last year and this year is that they are really working with the curriculum to make sure that we have a rigorous curriculum not only for our regular education students, but that our curriculum for special education students is just as rigorous as the other students,” Kielbasa said adding that they are also working on providing more professional development and additional resources to make sure the teachers have options to teach all of the students.

Read the complete article on special education improvement efforts in Black River Falls.

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