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HPS has Solid SPED Audit

By Ken McLemore, Hope Public Schools, 07/28/20 10:42 AM


HOPE – The Hope Public Schools is making progress in its continuing development of the district’s special education programs, the HPS Board learned July 20.

The board met in a “socially distanced” session livestreamed on Facebook.

HPS Assistant Superintendent for Special Services Josclyn Wiley told the board her department has been given a compliance finding from the audit by the Arkansas Department of Education.

“We spent some time in the community and the schools to show we say what we mean and we mean what we say,” she said. “And, we achieved compliance with our fiscal audit.”

Wiley said the review of special education services and practices offered an opportunity to streamline Medicaid billing procedures, saving the district about $50,000 annually. She said the audit allowed her department to find other savings resulting in a total of some $82,000 in resources that were freed.

“In my tenure as superintendent, this is the cleanest audit we have had,” HPS Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart told the board. “All the things she said there are a credit to her and her staff.”

Wiley said the district serves some 1,400 students who have a variety of special services needs. She said those services have been strengthened through updated professional development for staff and teachers, adherence to IDEA standards, communication with parents, and close collaboration with the Arkansas Department of Education.

Also, Monday, the board:

–Approved an English Language Learner curriculum purchase from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt at a cost of $21,538.10.

–Adopted a Community Eligibility Program letter for submission to the USDA renewing the district’s participation in the federal free and reduced meals program.

–Decided to maintain current use of the Arkansas School Boards Association model policy regarding hiring and transfers, tabled from last month.

–Rejected three “school choice” transfer applications tabled from the May meeting.

–Accepted a revised personnel recommendation after an executive session.

–Adopted a statement of assurances regarding the administration of ADE programs.