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Support Services Overview
The Student Support Services Department (SSSD) is located in the Education Service Center at 1200 N. Chester Ave. This department supports the school sites in handling unusual student issues such as academic and behavior problems, and related special education issues, promotion/retention issues, health issues, homeless/foster care issues, general assessment and evaluation, and school attendance issues. The SSSD coordinates the special education programs, the School Attendance Review Board (SARB), Section 504 assessments, psychological services, speech-language pathology services, nursing services, and general assessment services which include the state testing programs (Standardized Testing and Reporting program, state Physical Fitness test). This department also acts as the district liaison with outside agencies in matters such as mental and physical health.

Independent Educational Evaluation Guidelines

over 2 years ago

If a parent disagrees with the District's assessment of the student, they have the right to request an IEE at public expense. An Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) is an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by SSD. Parents have the right at anytime to obtain an IEE and have its findings considered by an IEP team.

Public expense means that the Standard School District pays for the full cost of the evaluation or evaluation components, up to the limits established by the District, or ensures that the evaluation or evaluation components are otherwise provided at no cost to the parent. Parents may only request one publicly funded evaluation for each evaluation completed by the District. The parents must request the IEE within one calendar year of the date that the results of the school evaluation were shared with parent(s) at the IEP meeting. The District does not have an obligation to reimburse parents for privately obtained evaluations, obtained prior to the date that the District's evaluation is completed and discussed at an IEP meeting. The District is not obligated to reimburse the parent(s) for privately obtained evaluations if the parent(s) disagree with the District's evaluation and independently seek a private evaluation without first notifying the District. To avoid conflict of interest, and in order to ensure the appropriateness of an IEE and its recommendations, the District may, in its discretion, not fund an IEE by an evaluator who provides ongoing service(s) or is sought to provide service(s) to the student for whom the IEE is requested. Likewise, the District may, in its discretion, not fund services through the evaluator whose IEE the District agrees to fund.

If a request for an IEE at public expense is requested, this procedure will be followed:

  1. If the request for an IEE is made at an IEP meeting, the parent will be asked which of the areas of assessment they disagree with and why. The Team Meeting Notes of the IEP will document that there has been a disagreement with the assessment(s), the area(s) of disagreement, the reason(s), and that an IEE at public expense has been requested.

    Note: Parents are not required to explain why they disagree.

  2. If the request for an IEE is made outside of an IEP meeting, the parent will be informed that the request must be in writing and indicate the assessment(s) with which they disagree. It would be helpful in considering the request to know why the parent disagrees with the assessment(s).

  3. Parent will be provided a copy of A Parent's Guide to Special Education Services (Including Procedural Rights and Safeguards).

    1. Parent will be advised that if the District disagrees with their request for an IEE at public expense because it believes that its assessment was appropriate, that the District will initiate a due process hearing to determine if an IEE at public expense is required.

    2. Parent will be advised that if the District or a hearing officer determines that an IEE is required that they will be informed of the criteria (specified above) and procedures for securing the IEE at public expense. The District will not pay for an IEE performed prior to a determination that it is required or for an IEE that is not consistent with District criteria and procedures.

    3. Parent will be advised that if an IEE at public expense is not required, they may obtain an IEE at their own expense and have it considered.

      Note: If the parents intend to obtain an IEE at their own expense, in order for the IEE report to be considered by the district, it must have been conducted by an examiner the district deems qualified. (See list below.)

  4. The request for an IEE at public expense shall be forwarded to the Director of Student Support Services (DSSS) and will include the written request and/or the student's IEP and a copy of the assessment report(s) that the parent disagrees with.

  5. The (DSSS) will review the District assessment with the appropriate discipline to determine if an IEE will be offered at public expense. If the DSSS agrees to provide an IEE at public expense, a referral will be made to an independent assessor who meets the districts criteria (i.e., degrees, licensure, credentialing, etc.). If the parent chooses to use a person not on the list, the person must meet the same criteria for qualified examiners named in this policy. If the District does not agree with the assessor selected by the parent, the District may initiate a due process hearing to have matter adjudicated.

  6. Once the independent assessor has been located, the DSSS will provide the parent and the designated assessor with IEE requirements, and an assessment plan will be developed.

The parent will be encouraged to participate in the development of the assessment plan. Within 15 calendar days of the decision of obtaining an IEE, the parent will be sent the assessment plan for their review and consent.

Note: If the assessment conducted by the District included or permitted an in-class observation of the student, an equivalent opportunity is to be made available to the individual retained by the parent to conduct an independent educational evaluation. If the District assessment in the area of concern was conducted more than one year previous to parent disagreement, the District has a right to conduct another assessment. The District will not cover costs exceeding rates that are reasonable and customary for the community for each identified assessment.

A. QUALIFIED EXAMINERS

Consistent with District policy the following professionals are deemed qualified to conduct IEEs. Examiners with credentials other than those listed below are not qualified unless the parent can demonstrate the appropriateness of using an examiner with other credentials.

Qualifications of Acceptable Assessment Personnel

Credentialed Special Education Teacher (Master's Degree)

Licensed Educational Psychologist, or School Psychologist (Credentialed)

Credentialed Adaptive Behavior Special Education Teacher (Master's Degree)

Certified Assistive Technology Specialist

Licensed/Credentialed Speech/Language Pathologist

Licensed Physical Therapist, or Registered Occupational Therapist

Certificated/Credentialed Audiologist

Licensed Physician (for general health issues only, not for psychological diagnoses)

Licensed Psychiatrist

Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

Social Worker (LCSW)

Licensed Clinical Psychologist from an APA-accredited training program

Functional Vision Certified Teacher of the Visually Impaired (Master's Degree)

B. QUALIFIED & ACCEPTABLE ASSESSMENT METHODS

In the general case, SSD requires that assessment methods used in IEE's must have appropriate construct and criterion validity and reliability, as defined by the general school and educational psychology academic community. This includes but is not limited to assessment methods/tests which are nationally or locally norm-referenced standardized assessments. Direct narrative and anecdotal observational recording and systematic behavioral observation methods are acceptable. Assessment protocol must follow the diagnostic guidelines set forth in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA). Purported diagnostic classifications resulting in an assessment must be under the auspices of IDEIA, not DSM-IV. Â

C. UNACCEPTABLE ASSESSMENT METHODS

Unacceptable assessment methods include any projective method or otherwise highly inferential assessment approach, or approaches resulting in impressions that are not clearly supported by empirically validated construct validity data. Also unacceptable are the “impressions”, or  â€œdiagnoses” from physicians' visits, in the absence of any physician-requested input from that child's school district, such as rating scale data, observations, etc,  Examples of unacceptable assessment methods include the Thematic Apperception Test, House-Tree-Person, Draw-A-Man test, Bender-Gestalt and VMI (when used to infer anything other than child's ability to copy geometric designs), Sentence Completion Test, or any other assessment approach in the projective domain. The District retains the right to determine what is not and what may be acceptable under this domain.

D. CONSIDERING AN IEE

It is important for parents to understand that  Standard School District – not an outside evaluator (even a physician) – retains the right to determine whether or not a child needs and qualifies for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) or under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). Special education law states that school districts must “consider” the evaluation results of outside evaluators in making special education eligibility decisions. Standard School District will comply with both the spirit and letter of the law. In making such considerations, here are some guidelines Standard School District will follow:

1. In the case of an outside mental health evaluation conducted by any of the above-mentioned acceptable evaluators, such as a licensed clinical psychologist, social worker (LCSW), or other mental health agent resulting in a diagnosis of any kind:

a. Standard School District will consider whether or not that evaluator has used assessment methods/procedures that would be considered appropriate under IDEIA and local policy (i.e., use of low-inference, empirically supported assessment methods validated for the purpose for which they are used) and,

b. whether or not any resulting diagnostic classification falls under the umbrella of IDEIA. Children will not be placed in special education on the basis of psychiatric/psychological diagnoses that do not conform to IDEIA assessment or diagnostic standards.

As stated under “C” above, assessment methods not acceptable under either IDEIA (i.e., methods that are not validated for the purpose for which they are used) or local district policy (i.e., the use of non-empirically supported methods, indirect assessment methods such as projective methods “clinical impressions” or other high-inference assessment methods) will be weighted less heavily than  district-approved methods. Likewise, diagnostic classifications that do not fall directly under IDEIA, for example, Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Attachment Disorder, ADHD, etc. will not automatically gain a child entrance to special education programs or Section 504 accommodation programs. However, all evidence will be considered by the school district in its deliberations, as required by law.

2. In the case of an evaluation conducted by a physician (psychiatrist or otherwise) resulting in a psychological diagnosis having no known, directly-measurable, biological cause, Standard School District will request from the physician, via the parent, the evidence on which the diagnosis is based:

a. For example, if a psychiatrist diagnoses a child as ADHD, Standard School District will weigh that diagnosis more heavily if the physician has received input (i.e., rating scale data, systematic observational data) from school personnel (teachers, school psychologist) in making the diagnosis, rather than making that diagnosis on the basis of an office visit and parent interview alone. The fact that a child is given medication for a suspected disorder in the absence of any objective evidence for the disorder will be weighed less heavily in making eligibility determinations.

b. A psychological diagnosis made in the absence of any rating scale data, or any direct behavioral observations in the child's natural environment, or other objective evidence, despite the fact that medication has been prescribed for the purported condition, will be weighed less heavily in making eligibility determinations than if the diagnosis were made in a more objective fashion.

In either case (#'s 1 & 2 above) Standard School District will retain the right to determine eligibility for special education services under IDEIA and under Section 504.

As noted above an IEE report, provided by a parent, must be considered by an IEP team, if it was conducted by a qualified professional. To facilitate careful consideration, parents should be encouraged to provide the report in advance of the meeting so it can be reviewed by District personnel qualified in the area of the evaluation. It is often helpful to have the person(s) conducting the review attend the IEP meeting.

Note: California policy requires that an IEE pertaining to the provision of related services or designated instruction and services must be reviewed by qualified District personnel in the designated area, and that their recommendations must be reviewed and discussed with the parent(s) and appropriate IEP team members prior to the IEP meeting.


School Attendance

over 2 years ago

California compulsory education law requires everyone between the ages of 6 and 18 years of age to attend school. Some students, however, violate compulsory education laws and have a pattern of unexcused absences. Although truancy and excessive absenteeism are not new problems, they cause costly, long-term problems for the students, school, and the community.

In 1974, the Legislature enacted Education Code Section 48320 to enhance the enforcement of compulsory education laws and to divert students with school attendance or behavior problems from the juvenile justice system until all available resources have been exhausted. Education Code Section 48321 provides several organizational structures for School Attendance Review Boards (SARBs) at the local and county level to create a safety net for students with persistent attendance or behavior problems. Although the goal of SARBs is to keep students in school and provide them with a meaningful educational experience, SARBs do have the power, when necessary, to refer truant students and their parents or guardians to court. A truant student is defined as any student who has three (3) unexcused absences, is tardy more than 30 minutes three times, or any combination of three unexcused absences or 30-minute tardies. Standard School District, through the SARB process, will address school attendance problems.

Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process

about 1 year ago

The Standard School District Governing Board recognizes that maintaining an environment that promotes the learning and protects the health, safety, and welfare of all students may require the suspension or expulsion of a student from regular classroom instruction. Except in cases where suspension for a first offense is warranted in accordance with law, suspension shall be imposed only when other means of correction fails to bring about proper conduct. (Education Code 48900.5)


Expulsion is an action taken by the Board for severe or prolonged breaches of discipline by a student. Except for single acts of a grave nature, expulsion is generally used only when there is a history of misconduct, when other forms of discipline, including suspension, have failed to bring about proper conduct, or when the student’s presence causes a continuing danger to other students or staff. (Education Code 48915) In the case of some rule violations, Standard School District has a zero tolerance policy as required by law:


ZERO TOLERANCE:

  1. The Principal or Superintendent must recommend and the Board must order expulsion for:

(a)Possession, selling or furnishing of a firearm
(b) Brandishing a knife at another person
(c) Sale of controlled substance
(d) Committing or attempting to commit sexual assault or sexual battery
(e) Possession of Explosive

  1. Principal or Superintendent must recommend expulsion unless the Principal or Superintendent finds that expulsion is inappropriate due to the particular circumstances


(a)(1) Causing serious physical injury to another person, except in self-defense
(b) Possession of knife or other dangerous object of no reasonable use to the pupil
(c) Unlawful possession of any controlled substance, except for the first offense for the possession of not more than one avoirdupois ounce of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis.
(d) Robbery or extortion
(e) Assault or battery upon any school employee


Common Parent Questions

about 1 year ago

Q. I've heard that achievement test scores in Kern County are not as high as test scores elsewhere - should I be concerned about the quality of education my child is getting in our school district?

A. There are children in every school district who do poorly, and there are children in every school district who do very well academically. What accounts for this? Research has shown that in general, academic successes and failures have less to do with the school district or individual teacher than with a child's motivation to succeed. Except for children who are handicapped or who are lower functioning intellectually, any child can succeed academically, regardless of a child's ethnicity, family income, family situation, etc., if the child will attend school regularly and follow the teacher's directions. Parents are as responsible as teachers for instilling in a child the importance of following teacher directions, completing assigned work, and getting along with other children. A child who comes to class "ready to learn" will be more be successful than a child doesn't follow directions, doesn't complete work, and doesn't interact well with other children. Getting a child "ready to learn" and engaged in the academic process is one of the most important responsibilities a parent has. The bottom line is that, regardless of where a child goes to school, parenting practices make the most difference in whether or not a child succeeds academically.

Q. What should I do if my child is not working up to his/her capability?

A. Request a conference with your child's teacher to pinpoint the nature of the problem. Find out if your child does not understand the work, or if your child understands the work but cannot do the work fluently, or if your child is capable of doing the work, but is simply choosing not to. These are very different problems. If your child doesn't understand the work, the teacher should tell you specifically what your child doesn't understand, and how you can help your child at home acquire the skills. Helping your child understand the material at home will help the teacher at school. If your child can perform the skill, but does not do so fluently, your child may just need practice at home performing the skill. Examples are reading, working math problems, and writing. On the other hand, a child who is capable of doing the work but is choosing not to needs to be handled differently, via a behavior management plan. Any parent who has concerns about his/her child's academic progress may request, via the child's teacher or principal, a Student Assistance Team (SAT) meeting to discuss the issue.


Fog Delays and Other Alerts

21 days ago

BUS DELAYS DURING THE FOGGY SEASON


Mr. Paul Meyers, Superintendent December 2018

It is that time of year again when fog may delay transportation to school. The following questions and answers may help explain about school on foggy days. Standard School District has bus delay on foggy days. 

Bus stop picture
School is open for students even when buses are delayed. In all cases, parents are urged to consider visibility before sending or bringing students to school. Safety is our number one concern.

Q. How will I know if fog conditions have delayed bus transportation?

A. All Bakersfield area schools post closures and delays to: http://alertline.kern.org. Local radio and television stations monitor the Alertline and begin announcing closures and bus delays by 6:00 a.m. Please listen to the radio and television stations in order to curtail unnecessary phone calls to the school offices.

Q. What is a fog "bus delay"?

A. When driving visibility is severely limited due to foggy conditions, a bus delay is called for the safety of those students who may need to wait at a bus stop. Bus delays are posted to the Alertline before 6:00 a.m. Often, the visibility improves before school begins. The district cannot change a fog delay once it has been posted.

When Standard School District announces a fog bus delay, school buses will operate TWO hours later than usual (unless a longer delay is announced on the radio or television).

If visibility conditions do not improve after two hours, parents should use their discretion whether or not to send their child to the bus stop.

If you have students attending North High School, the Kern High School District's delays or closures will also be available on the Alertline.

Q. My child does not ride a bus. What about their starting time?

A. Your child may arrive at school at the usual time or when visibility permits. Classroom instruction will be provided. Each parent is encouraged to consider the visibility conditions surrounding their home. Students are welcome to begin school at the regular time if they walk or if you drive them to school.

Q. Will starting two hours late change my child's dismissal time?

A. No. All classes, K-8, will be dismissed at their regular time.

Where to find fog delay information:

District website under "Parent Information" by selecting "AlertLine" or at http://alertline.kern.org

Television: Channels 17, 23, 29 and All Local Radio Stations

Standard Elementary School - 392-2120

Highland Elementary School - 392-2115

Wingland Elementary School - 392-2125

Standard Middle School - 392-2130

Q. Will my child's grade be affected if he or she does not begin school at the usual time?

A. No! Each child's safety is foremost. If students arrive late because the bus has been delayed, or because the parent determined the visibility surrounding the home was restrictive, there are no consequences for the student. Please send a note with your child explaining a delayed arrival.

Q. What about my child who attends a special education class?

A. All students, regardless if they are in RSP or SDC, follow the same fog delay schedule.

If the Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS) announces a fog delay, the special education classes operated by KCSOS will follow the KCSOS fog delay schedule. If the Standard School District announces a fog delay and KCSOS does not, those students who are transported to a KCSOS special education class by the Standard School District Transportation Department will follow the Standard School District fog delay.

Q. Will there be learning opportunities for my student if he or she arrives at school on time on a day that the buses are delayed?

A. Yes. Each school plans learning opportunities for students. Contact the school principal to learn more.

Q. I need to go to work on time, and my child usually rides the bus. May I bring my child to school at the regular time?

A. Yes. Parents may bring students to school when driving conditions are safe. The breakfast program will be in operation.

Q. I have other questions about fog delays that have not been addressed in the communication. Who should I ask?

A. Your school principal, your student's teacher, or the superintendent (392-2110) may respond to your questions. Schools are open at regular times on days that a fog delay occurs and instruction is provided at the usual starting time for our students. We respect each parent's decision regarding safe travel for students on foggy days.

District Boundaries