Report 2015-112 Recommendation 5 Responses

Report 2015-112: Student Mental Health Services: Some Students' Services Were Affected by a New State Law, and the State Needs to Analyze Student Outcomes and Track Service Costs (Release Date: January 2016)

Recommendation #5 To: Mt. Diablo Unified School District

To better communicate with parents and future IEP teams about reasons for any changes to student services, including changes to mental health services and student placements, Mt. Diablo should develop a process to ensure that IEP teams record these reasons in student IEP documents.

1-Year Agency Response

In order to address the concerns raised by the auditors the district provided additional guidance to the case managers regarding the documentation of changes to mental health services and student placements. An email was sent on December 13th to all staff with this guidance.

The district also continued the process already established of auditing five files monthly of IEPs to determine that changes to service were appropriately documented. Files that were incomplete were directed back to the case manager for correction and amendments were made.

The IEP evidence submitted through the encrypted system demonstrates that the IEP documentation process has been changed to ensure IEP teams explicitly state the reasons for changes and recommended services on IEPs. The evidence also shows that IEPs found to be deficient in this area will be amended to ensure compliance.

The district will continue to participate in this process to ensure reasons for service and placement changes are documented in IEPs and those changes are explicitly related to descriptions of student's behavior or academic needs.

  • Completion Date: December 2016
  • Response Date: January 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented

6-Month Agency Response

Staff has been provided with professional development in March 2016 which indicates that all services should be documented fully, especially when changes to services are included in an IEP.

The District reviews files monthly to review if changes in service are documented correctly. Please find attached the five files for April, May and June to reflect that service was discussed and documented as part of the IEP development.

  • Completion Date: April 2016
  • Response Date: July 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented

Mt. Diablo provided evidence that it reviews a selection of five student files every month to determine whether or if the reason for a change to services or placement was recorded in the student's IEP document. However, when we reviewed the same IEP documents that Mt. Diablo did, we discovered that Mt. Diablo incorrectly concluded that IEP teams had documented the reasons for service or placement changes. Therefore, this recommendation remains partially implemented until Mt. Diablo can demonstrate that it is verifying that reasons are documented in an appropriate manner.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

60-Day Agency Response

Staff has been provided with professional development on March 11, 2016 which indicates that all services should be documented clearly and the reasons for those changes should be explicitly spelled out or a reference to the report where the reason for the changes can be documents.

A Teacher Tip will be provided and checks of up to five records per month will be conducted to ensure staff implements the directive.

  • Estimated Completion Date: June 2016
  • Response Date: March 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented

All Recommendations in 2015-112

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.