DARIEN, Conn. – Independent investigator Sue Gamm will present her findings on Darien Public School’s special education system next week.
Gamm, who was hired in the spring to look into allegations that the district’s procedures and policies were inconsistent with state law, in the wake of formal complaints filed with the Connecticut State Board of Education. The Board of Education has received word that Gamm has finished her report, which she will present at a special meeting on Nov. 4 at Darien High School starting at 7 p.m.
The meeting will cover Gamm’s executive summary of the report. The complete report is not expected to be ready for public release by Monday’s session.
“The complete report will be delivered to the Darien Board of Education within a few weeks after the presentation,” the school board said in statement this week. “The Board will promptly share the full report with the school community.”
Acting Schools Superintendent Timothy Canty also issued a notice Thursday reminding parents of the third-party facilitators to help guide meetings between families and staff determining a child's Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).
Unlike “mediators,” who would come in after a process has begun to settle a dispute, these facilitators work “proactively to avoid reaching an impasse or whenever the parents and school district agree that a facilitator could assist the team in working more effectively and efficiently,” according to the district.
“IEP Facilitation is a purely voluntary process for parents,” Canty said in his statement. “The school district will honor and process each request for IEP Facilitation.”
The district is required to pay the cost of the facilitator’s services if parents request to have one at meetings. Six specialists are certified by the state to ensure the facilitator’s impartiality in the process.