LEICESTER, Mass. — For the past year, the Leicester Public School District has been busy preparing for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's (DESE) upcoming coordinated program review, a visit that will ensure district-wide programs are in line with the state's regulations.
During the week of March 4, the DESE will visit Leicester's schools to review the district's Special Education, English Language Learning and Title I programs.
"We started preparing for the audit last spring, and, especially in Special Education, we've gone over all of our documents and requirements that are necessary to make sure we're in compliance with state and federal regulations," said Suzanee Morneau, Leicester's Special Education director.
As part of the review, Morneau said, the DESE will conduct interviews with staff and administration, and touring the schools and observing instructional spaces.
"Parents will be notified via surveys as well, so they'll get their feedback as well," said Morneau.
The review will also include the district's McKinney Vento program, which Morneau said ensures homeless families in Leicester get the assistance they need.
Morneau is the homeless liaison for the district, and said families in this situation can reach out to her for information so that the district can support them.
"We want to make sure parents and families know that if they are displaced for a reason that they can come to us for support," said Morneau.
After the on-site visit, the DESE will prepare a report for the superintendent and school committee with detailed findings for each program.
Using a scale of ratings ranging from “Commendable” to “Not Implemented,” the report will rate the implementation of each requirement reviewed by the department.
Should the state find requirements not implemented or only partially implemented, the district would then have to propose corrective action to bring those areas into compliance with statutes and regulations.
Both the department’s report and the corrective action plan will be available to the public upon request, and are also available on the department’s website