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FCPS Earns Top Special Education Rating

Fauquier County Public Schools earned the top rating from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) for improving outcomes for students with disabilities and for compliance with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  The school division received a total performance grade of 95 percent based on 2017-2018 data —the best rating the school division has ever received for serving students with disabilities. 

VDOE bases school division performance on certain results and compliance indicators, including:

  • Indicator 1: Graduation
  • Indicator 3: Participation and Performance in Statewide Assessment
  • Indicator 4B: Significant Discrepancy in the Rate of Suspension by Race
  • Indicator 9: Disproportionate Representation in Special Education
  • Indicator 10: Disproportionate Representation in Specific Disability Categories
  • Indicator 11: Initial Evaluation Timeline
  • Indicator 12: Early Childhood Transition
  • Indicator 13: Secondary Transition
  • General Supervision: Correction of Non-compliance
  • Accurate and timely data submissions related to IDEA Part B
  • Audit findings with regard to the use of IDEA Part B Funds

FCPS received the maximum possible points on 13 of the 15 indicators, earning a "Meets Requirements" designation, the highest overall rating on the IDEA report card. Fauquier fell just short of the maximum possible points on two indicators – Indicator 11 (Initial Evaluation Timeline and Indicator 3C (Performance in Statewide Assessment Mathematics).

Frank Finn, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services and Special Education, is most proud of the division’s performance on Indicator 4B (Significant Discrepancy in the Rate of Suspension by Race).

 “We’ve been intentional.  By using the data tools and the PBIS framework, we have been proactive in addressing student behavior, and the results show,” Finn said.

The school division is also proud of its progress on Indicator 1 (Percentage of Students with Disabilities Graduating with a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma).  Fauquier scored 68.63%, well above the state target of 56% or higher. In addition, Fauquier’s on-time graduation rate is 95% for students with disabilities. 

Randy Corpening, FCPS Director of Special Education, agrees that results like this require intentionality and commitment to improving outcomes for children with disabilities.

“We’ve been examining our practices to include a more inclusive instructional model, and it is starting to bear fruit,” said Corpening. 

As reported in a July 2019 news release from the VDOE, Virginia also earned the U.S. Department of Education’s top special education rating.  Virginia’s overall score of 95.83 percent was the second-highest of the 60 state, territorial and federal school systems evaluated.

“A key measure of the quality of a state’s public schools is found in the supports and services provided for students with disabilities and in outcomes for these students,” Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said.  “I congratulate Virginia’s special educators – including teachers, administrators and support services professionals – for their commitment to equity for students with disabilities and the passion they show every day for helping every student achieve his or her fullest potential.”

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires each state to report on state-level data and individual school division-level data publicly and to indicate whether the state and the divisions met state targets. School divisions are required to submit information and data for reporting, monitoring and compliance purposes.