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Case Study

Sayreville Public Schools

Sayreville Public Schools Hero Image

District Background

Sayreville Public Schools, a district in New Jersey, is dedicated to educating students and preparing them for success in the 21st century. Recognizing that today’s students are tomorrow’s graduates who will live in diverse communities and compete with a global workforce, the district is focused on long-term goals.

The Challenge

Before Frontline, constant changes in demographic data required paying clerical staff to manually enter data into IEP, 504, RTI and Medicaid records. The district didn’t have an effective way to manage RTI data and Medicaid was not being tracked in a useful manner.

The staff spent a lot of time sifting through paper folders looking at mountains of data and using spreadsheets to try to capture it. They also needed to synchronize with other districts in the area and find a better way to share or transfer student records without having to reenter documents.

The Solution

A Better View for All

Using all three management programs, IEP, 504 and RTI, in the same system helps the district elevate support for learners of all ability levels, while also managing compliance. And it keeps staff on the same page in terms of the supports any given student is receiving.

One of the most useful features in FrontlineSpecial Education Management software is the dashboard. Users can see at a glance if a student’s services are up to date — from initial evaluations to annual and triannual reviews. The system also helps child study team members record data in the appropriate places while they complete IEPs electronically. It prevents errors in data collection and data entry that have plagued other districts. The reports are much cleaner and easier to produce. Letters, forms, parent communication and even the creation of IEPs is far easier with Frontline Education.

Compliance Made Simple

It’s clear that Frontline has people on staff who are very knowledgeable about serving students with special needs. They understand the regulations and what the differences are between states. The software is designed to make sure districts are compliant even when regulations change. In fact, Frontline is so far upfront, they sometimes update compliance even before the notices arrive from the Department of Education.

“In my previous district, we would do a data snapshot and have up to 2,000 errors in our data. That was based on two things; not having good software and because it wasn’t very good software, poor data entry.”

Dr. Rick Labbe
– Superintendent, Sayreville Public Schools

Frontline’s 504 software is much like its IEP system in that the workflow is easy to follow but also useful in terms of making sure that school counselors complete 504 plans within legal guidelines. Because the rules are built-in, it gives Sayreville the ability to make sure they are writing really good 504 plans.

Frontline’s RTI Program Management software has helped Sayreville create a better, more organized and powerful RTI program. There’s a great deal of organizational work required for any administrator of RTI services to implement them with fidelity. Sayreville needed the software to manage that and lift the burden off the person coordinating those services.

“Frontline IEP & Special Ed & Interventions is a far better product than anything on the market.”

Dr. Rick Labbe
– Superintendent, Sayreville Public Schools

The Results

Children learn at their own pace. There is no one-size-fits-all instructional plan for students. The only way to promote success is by taking a response to intervention approach for kids who are struggling and efficiently identifying those who need special education services.

Tools track and monitor student progress for RTI

When he arrived in Sayreville and realized they weren’t using any type of RTI software, Dr. Labbe soon implemented Frontline’s RTI Program Management. The RTI system has a progress matrix which makes it easy to see if the child’s responding to interventions based on where their assessments scores are plotted.

Sayreville uses a universal screening tool to test students’ academic levels and identify if they should begin receiving interventions at tiers one, two, or three. Frontline’s system helps teachers make decisions to place kids in the right tiers.

In Sayreville, every child receives tier one differentiated instruction in the classroom daily. If a student needs additional support, the child gets tier one and tier two. If the child still needs more, they get tiers one, two and three.

Everyone involved in the RTI process — teachers on the RTI team, the school counselors coordinating it and principals overseeing it — appreciates the benefits of Frontline’s RTI software. After they mastered new skills for tracking student progress, classroom teachers were won over by the mass data collection feature of the software. The fact that a teacher can upload progress monitoring assessment data for 30 kids in a couple minutes is fantastic. Same thing with narrative progress reports.

Coordination and collaboration

When it comes to coordination of services, you couldn’t ask for a better product. Everyone involved has access to the student portfolios. Both tier two and three interventionists upload their assessment scores or narrative data directly into the system. They can immediately find out how well that child is performing in the classroom and how they’re responding to what each service provider is doing. Parents love the fact they can just glance at a chart and know if their child is progressing and responding to interventions.

Sayreville staff find it useful to represent data on charts in its raw format and also in a narrative format where teachers contextualize the data with comments. Teachers appreciate being able to use their dashboards to see any data they need on their students.

To keep everyone involved with a student’s progress in the loop without having to spend time gathering information, Frontline provides bulk packages. A written notice with the summary of services each student receives, a progress report, and their RTI status are bundled together for easy access.

Using Frontline Special Education Management helps student-support teams coordinate services provided by different professionals working with a student. It also promotes collaboration between general education and special education teachers, an important component of an effective RTI model.

Data informs decisions

If a child is not responding to interventions, the RTI team will ask the director of special services for a child study team evaluation. The director can access the student’s records in Frontline’s RTI program to review the child’s history and see all the interventions a student has received over time. Without the software, that would be a very labor intensive, paper-driven process.

Sometimes a parent requests an evaluation. The process for the child study team is the same. Looking at the child’s current and past interventions helps in making an objective determination whether or not to evaluate. If the team determines that a child is eligible for services, the evaluation results help them determine the child’s current levels of academic achievement and functional performance. The data is invaluable to the special services department in developing individualized education plans.

Based on their needs, a 504 plan may provide sufficient support for a student who isn’t eligible for special education services. Or if a student progresses to the point where they no longer require special services, using Frontline streamlines and simplifies the process of transitioning them from an IEP to a 504 plan and vice versa. Since they started using Frontline for RTI management, Sayreville staff have noticed significant decreases in the number of students referred or classified. That is definitely related to how easy it is to streamline 504 plans through Frontline.

“The key to response to intervention is the prescription and implementation of tiered intervention services. Frontline RTI is very effective in helping us coordinate services and monitoring of student progress using data, whether it’s raw, concrete or narrative.”

Dr. Rick Labbe
– Superintendent, Sayreville Public Schools

RTI Management saves time and effort

The document repository in Frontline serves as a virtual file cabinet with folders for every student. Teachers and child study team members can access electronic folders without having to go down to an actual room, open a file cabinet, and search for paper records.

Many students attend Sayreville schools all the way from pre-school through high school. One of the great features of Frontline is that system users can easily search records going back for several years.

That is a major benefit as Sayreville starts to implement RTI at the high school level. If a tenth grader is struggling academically, the child study team can easily see how that student progressed in RTI over the past four years. And they do it with the click of a button, which is amazing.

Accurate, data-based and legal

Sayreville school counselors rely on Frontline to help them write quality 504 plans for students and make sure they are following legal guidelines. Part of the proof is the fact they haven’t had a due process litigation case since they started using Frontline Special Education Management.

School counselors and child study team members know how to use the software to document and prepare effective IEPs and 504 plans. Classroom teachers know what they need to do to address the diverse needs of students based on those plans. Students are the ones who truly benefit in the long run.

“I believe [Frontline’s] software has allowed us not only to promote the success of our students with special needs but also kept us out of litigation.”

Dr. Rick Labbe
– Superintendent, Sayreville Public Schools

Quality products come with superior support

When users in any Sayreville department have questions or concerns, Frontline representatives from the help desk or Client Success team are quick to address them. If they want modifications to a particular form or report or offer specific recommendations, Frontline experts work on customizing those tools. There is a strong sense of trust because not only does Frontline provide a quality product, they take good care of their clients.

“Sayreville uses a number of Frontline products: Absence Management, Frontline Central, Recruiting & Hiring, and the three special education products. The staff appreciates the fact they’re all on one platform with a single sign-on. That is definitely a plus.”

Dr. Rick Labbe
– Superintendent, Sayreville Public Schools