N.N. v. Rochester City School District
On Thursday, February 4, 2021, the Honorable David G. Larimer, United States District Judge for the Western District of New York, executed and filed the Order Granting Final Approval of Settlement and the Consent Decree in N.N. v. Rochester City School District.
The Consent Decree puts into place a series of measurable interim performance benchmarks and final disengagement goals that the District must meet in order to request to be disengaged from the Consent Decree. These benchmarks and goals are meant to ensure that the District provides timely and compliance services for services with disabilities, increases the involvement of parents of students with disabilities in the development of individualized education programs and improves the achievement and graduation rates of students with disabilities.
As part of the Consent Decree, the District will meet a series of yearly performance benchmarks, and final disengagement standards or goals, on 14 different topics which include:
- Increasing the percentage of students with disabilities who achieve proficient-level scores on new York State English Language Arts and Mathematics assessments;
- Increasing the percentage of students with disabilities who graduate in June;
- Decreasing the percentage of students with disabilities subjected to long term suspension;
- Decreasing any racial disparity that exists in long term suspensions of Black and Hispanic students with disabilities compared to white students with disabilities;
- Increasing the percentage of students with disabilities who receive their instruction in general education classrooms;
- Decreasing the percentage of students with disabilities who are transferred to a different school for a necessary classroom or program;
- Increasing the percentage of students who are age 15 and up who have compliant transition plans to prepare them for graduation and beyond;
- Decreasing the percentage of overdue initial, annual, and reevaluation review Committee on Special Education (“CSE”) meetings;
- Decreasing the number of variances needed from New York State, granted because of lack of capacity in classrooms;
- Increasing the percentage of related service providers reporting their services for students with disabilities;
- Increasing the percentage of parents/guardians participating in students’ Annual CSE meetings;
- Increasing the bilingual program offerings for students with disabilities who require Spanish-language instruction;
- Decreasing the number of special education teachers who do not have a New York State special education teaching certification;
- Decreasing any significant discrepancy that exists in classification as a student with a disability of Black and Hispanic students compared to white students;
- Increasing the number of mandatory professional development trainings for special education teachers and administrators; and
- Developing a strategic plan to address the lack of special education teachers in bilingual classrooms who are appropriately certified in New York State and can demonstrate functional bilingual fluency in Spanish.