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Continuous Improvement & Monitoring System - CIMS

 

The Continuous Improvement & Monitoring System (CIMS) broadens the state’s monitoring emphasis from mainly a compliance orientation to a focus on improving educational results for students with disabilities. This design effort was facilitated by the work of a stakeholder group established by the Office of Special Education and Early Intervention Services (OSE/EIS) in fall, 2003. The group’s members represented Intermediate School District (ISD) administrators and monitors, parents, school administrators, OSE/EIS Quality Assurance and Early On staff, and others. The result of that work moves required monitoring from a cyclical closedended system into one of continuous improvement.

The Continuous Improvement & Monitoring System (CIMS) will be used by local educational agencies (LEA), public school academies (PSA), state schools (e.g. the Michigan Schools for the Deaf and Blind), state agencies (e.g. Department of Human Services, Department of Community Health, and Department of Corrections), and Early On (Early Intervention) service areas.

The goal of the CIMS is to assist districts and agencies to better understand the operation and effectiveness of programs for students with disabilities and develop plans for targeted use of their resources.

The CIMS supports service providers in assessing and improving service design and delivery and ultimately, performance and outcomes for infants, toddlers and students with disabilities and their families. At a time when high stakes testing is emphasized for ALL students, use of these tools enables the system to align resources to those components within the system which are proven to be effective in improving performance of children with disabilities as measured by state assessments and individual goals.

The Service Provider Self-Review (SPSR) process addresses how well the Service Provider (Local School Agencies, Public School Academies, Early On Service Areas and ISD run programs) meets the needs of infants, toddlers, and students with disabilities and their families and establishes a baseline for measurement of progress. In addition, the SPSR reflects how well the Service Provider meets federal and state requirements and provides a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) or Early Intervention Services (EIS) in Natural Environments (NE) for infants, toddlers, and students with disabilities. The SPSR promotes collaborative efforts among stakeholders and provides an opportunity for ongoing comprehensive planning and data-based decision making. Effective schools and services are supported by research that continuously addresses education for ALL students. Based on this knowledge, the results of a Service Provider Self-Review provide understanding of both general and special education expectations, articulation and implementation of improvement strategies. Alignment of ongoing Service Provider initiatives is necessary to assist in integration of efforts that impact outcomes and performance for all children.

The Verification Review is a comprehensive process that ensures the validity and reliability of the SPSR implementation within a Service Provider Agency. The MDE conducts a review of SPSR implementation by examination of SPSRededating decisions, corrective action plans, improvement plans and evidence of change.

Focused Monitoring is a process that “purposefully selects priority areas to examine for compliance and results, while not specifically examining other areas, to maximize resources, emphasize important variables, and increase the probability of improved results” (National Center for Special Education Monitoring and Accountability). Using annually identified priorities, the MDE ranks, identifies and selects Service Provider Agencies that will be targeted for focused monitoring.
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