Policies & Notices

Notice of Nondiscrimination

In accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the D.C. Human Rights Act of 1977, applicants for admission and employment, students, parents, employees, sources of referral of applicants for admission and employment, and all unions or professional organizations holding collective bargaining or professional agreements with Briya Public Charter School are hereby notified that Briya Public Charter School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, or disability in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities.

Students, parents, and/or guardians having inquiries concerning Briya Public Charter School’s compliance with Section 504, ADA, Title VI, Title IX, and/or the Age Act as they apply to Briya Public Charter School students, or who wish to file a complaint regarding such compliance should contact: Stephanie Mintz, Director of Student Services, 2333 Ontario Road NW Washington, DC 20009, 202-797-7337, or Lena Johnson, Special Education Coordinator, 2333 Ontario Road NW Washington, DC 20009, 202-797-7337, who have been designated by Briya Public Charter School to coordinate its efforts to comply with the regulations implementing Section 504, ADA, Title VI, Title IX, and the Age Act as they relate to students. For inquiries or to file a complaint regarding Briya Public Charter School’s compliance with ADA, Section 504, Title VI, Title IX, an/or the Age Act as they relate to Briya Public Charter School employees, contact Christie McKay at info@briya.org or 2333 Ontario Road NW Washington, DC 20009, 202-797-7337. For further information on notice of non-discrimination, visit http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/OCR/contactus.cfm for the address and phone number of the office that serves your area, or call 1-800-421-3481.

Child Find Policy

INTRODUCTION

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Briya Public Charter School (Briya) is responsible for conducting continuous efforts intended to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities between the ages of three and twenty-two years of age enrolled in Briya. This policy establishes procedures for fulfilling Child Find responsibilities at Briya. Staff is expected to know and act in accordance with the requirements and procedures established by this policy. Briya trains staff on an annual basis to ensure staff understand and execute Child Find responsibilities.

POINTS OF CONTACT

Parents are encouraged to speak with any Briya staff if they have concerns about their child. Parents and other stakeholders should contact one of the following Briya staff to discuss Child Find, the referral process, and the availability of special education programming at Briya:

Lena Johnson
Inclusion Coordinator
2333 Ontario Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009
(P) 202-420-7200
ljohnson@briya.org

Lisa Luceno
Director of Early Childhood Education
2333 Ontario Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009
(P) 202-232-7777
(F) 202-797-8470
lluceno@briya.org

TARGET POPULATIONS

This policy and Briya Child Find efforts apply to students between the ages of three and twenty-two years of age enrolled in Briya.

OUTREACH EFFORTS

To ensure the local and school communities are aware of the availability of special education and related services for eligible children with disabilities and the methods for requesting such services, Briya provides public notice through a variety of methods:

  • Briya provides information to parents and the school community at school events such as registration, orientation, and parent-teacher conferences.
  • Briya publishes information and relevant dates in calendars and on its website at www.briya.org.
  • Briya staff provides information to parents during parent-teacher conferences.
  • Brochures regarding special education services are available for parents and the public at each site (see Appendix A).

COORDINATION WITH DISTRICT AGENCIES AND COMMUNITY PARTNERS

To ensure coordination with appropriate District agencies and community partners to facilitate the identification, location, and evaluation of children with disabilities enrolled in Briya, Briya maintains contacts with the following District agencies and community partners:

  • District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Early Stages program
  • Mary’s Center medical clinic
  • Mary’s Center home visiting program
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • Mary’s Center behavioral health services department
  • Mary’s Center family support workers
  • Strong Start/Early Intervention

As a community school program, Briya helps connect families with resources as needed in the DC community such as insurance, mental health services, economic assistance, and more.

PARENT ENGAGEMENT

Parents may obtain information about the availability of special education and related services through registration, orientation, the student handbook, this policy, information posted on our website at www.briya.org, or by contacting Lena Johnson. Briya also maintains written materials for parents, which can be found in the office at each site. Briya staff provides information to parents upon request and at parent-teacher conferences.

MULTI-TIER SYSTEM OF SUPPORTS (MTSS)

Through MTSS, a multi-tiered system of intervention supports that focus on social-emotional and language skills, Briya delivers a differentiated hierarchy of support that matches the students’ needs and helps struggling students before they reach the point of significant educational deficits. Every tenth week, MTSS meetings are held to examine student data for targeted areas, celebrate progress, and make instructional plans for data-driven interventions moving forward. If the data shows a student’s lack of progress consistently, despite intensive interventions, they are referred to the Inclusion Coordinator. Briya’s MTSS efforts must not delay the initial evaluation of a student who may be a child with a disability in need of special education and related services.

SCREENINGS

Briya implements a universal screening process to determine if a child should be referred for an evaluation, the result of which is provided to the child’s parent. Screenings utilize assessments and tools that are generally applied across the entire Pre-K student population.

Briya, in collaboration with the parent, screens every child in our program with the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) according to the child’s age range. Any children scoring in the black range may be referred to the Inclusion Coordinator for evaluations. Any child scoring in the grey range receives additional teacher support in those areas while they are in school, additional monitoring, and the family is contacted and given strategies to try in the home. The ASQ forms one part of the package of assessment tools and systems used to determine if a child is in need of additional educational services. In addition to ASQ, Briya uses Teaching Strategies GOLD (class and individual profile reports) as a curriculum-based assessment and observational tool. Observations are conducted in a variety of settings. Results are used to inform concerns for a student’s developmental age for a given area of development.The Learning Accomplishment Profile (LAP-3) assessment may be used if there is a concern in a particular area of development. All three tools help determine the student’s placement in MTSS groups.

TABLE OF ASSESSMENTS USED FOR SCREENINGS

Assessment
Type

Assessment
Name
Description of Skills
Measured
Scoring Definitions
Developmental
and socialemotional
screener
Ages and Stages
Questionnaire
(ASQ)
• Communication
• Gross motor
• Fine motor
• Problem solving
• Personal/Social
Students who score in the black
show that they are below ageexpectations
in a developmental
area.
Curriculum and
observationbased
criterionreferenced
assessment for
children from
birth through
kindergarten
Teaching
Strategies
(GOLD)
• Social-emotional
• Physical
• Language
• Cognitive
• Literacy
• Mathematics
• Science and Technology
• The Arts
Indicators and examples enable
tool administrators to rate
children’s knowledge, skills, and
behaviors on a 10-point scale of
“Not Yet” to level 9. The
progressions use colored bands to
show widely held expectations for
various ages (birth–1 year, 1–2
years, and 2–3 years) and
preschool 3, Pre-K 4, and
kindergarten.
Criterionreferenced
assessment
Learning
Accomplishment
Profile (LAP-3)
 Gross Motor
 Fine Motor
 Pre-Writing
 Cognitive
 Language
 Self-Help
 Personal/Social
Assessment and observation
summary forms are provided to
summarize the progress of
individual children at the
beginning, middle, and end of the
program year. Each form contains
space to indicate skills the child
has achieved, emerging skills, and
strategies for supporting skill
development at home.

REFERRAL/EVALUATION PROCESSES

A referral is documentation provided by the child’s parent, or other referral source, which clearly states why it is thought that the child may have a disability. Briya ensures that a child is evaluated in all areas of concern. Briya is required to complete an initial evaluation and determine if a child is a child with a disability eligible for special education and related services under IDEA within 90 days of receipt of a referral. The 90-day requirement does not apply if any of the following occur:

  • The parent fails or refuses to respond to a request for consent for the evaluation.
  • The parent of the child repeatedly fails or refuses to produce the child for the evaluation.
  • The child enrolls in another LEA prior to the determination of eligibility.

If a parent or community member would like to request an initial evaluation to determine if a child is in need of special education and related services, please contact Lena Johnson, Inclusion Coordinator, 2333 Ontario Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009, 202-420-7200, ljohnson@briya.org. Briya staff will accept an oral or written referral for initial evaluation. Upon receiving an oral referral, Briya staff can assist any outside referral source in documenting the referral in writing, and must document the date of the referral within three business days of receipt. Briya provides a referral form to assist parents and other parties in documenting a referral. This form is included with this policy as Appendix B.

Briya accepts referrals for initial evaluation from the following persons:

  • a student’s parent
  • the student, provided that educational rights have transferred to the student
  • employee of Briya who has knowledge of the student
  • pediatricians or other medical professionals, including physicians, hospitals, and other health providers
  • child development facilities
  • district agencies and programs, including IDEA Part C programs
  • community and civic organizations
  • advocacy organizations

Briya maintains regular contact with community-based referral sources and works to collaborate with community-based service providers to provide information on the availability of special education and related services and the means through which parents or organizations may submit a referral. After Briya has received a referral, Briya will make reasonable efforts to obtain parental consent for an initial evaluation, which includes attempting to contact the parent at least three times on three different dates using at least two modalities. Briya shall conduct an analysis of existing data on the student to determine if additional assessments are necessary. Existing data that may be considered may include, but is not limited to, teacher observations, classroom assessments, schoolwide screenings and assessments, parent reports,

health records, or data from other interventions. Briya will provide the parent of a child suspected of having a disability with information about the nature of any additional assessment required. Evaluations are conducted by qualified, trained professionals as specified by the producer of the formal assessment tool. If reevaluations are necessary, the same procedures are followed (see Appendix C).

TRANSITION FROM PART C

Under IDEA, Briya must ensure a smooth and effective transition for children transitioning from Part C early intervention services to Part B special education and related services. In furtherance of this responsibility, Briya:

  • identifies incoming children that were served by Strong Start DC Early Intervention Program (DC EIP) prior to enrollment at Briya and participates in transition activities as appropriate at the request of DC EIP.
  • regularly coordinates with DCPS Early Stages to ensure a smooth transition for students served by District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Early Stages prior to enrollment at Briya.

When a child is transitioning from Part C to Part B services, Briya participates in transition planning conferences as appropriate and ensures each child with a disability has an IEP developed and implemented by the child’s third birthday.

PARENT PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS AND RIGHTS

Parents’ legal rights during the Child Find process are defined by IDEA and District of Columbia law. In the event of a disagreement, parents may pursue dispute resolution and due process rights, including mediation, due process complaints, or state complaints. Parents can learn more about their rights under IDEA by referring to the Part B Procedural Safeguards located on OSSE’s website, https://osse.dc.gov/publication/rights-parents-students-disabilities-idea-part-b-notice-procedural-safeguards or by contacting Lena Johnson to obtain a copy of their procedural safeguards.

DATA REPORTING

In accordance with District of Columbia law, Briya counts and reports the number of children with disabilities receiving special education and related services annually on October 5 or the date set for the annual pupil count required by D.C. Official Code § 38-2906.

APPENDICES

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

National School Lunch Policy

Briya participates in the National School Lunch Program and is committed to nutrition education as a part of preparing children and families for learning. We provide lunch at all of our campuses on a non-pricing basis, free to all prekindergarten students participating in our programs.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW  Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

2)  Fax: (202) 690-7442; or

3) Email: program.intake@usda.gov

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Also, the District of Columbia Human Rights Act, approved December 13, 1977 (DC Law 2-38; DC Official Code §2-1402.11(2006), as amended) states the following:

Pertinent section of DC Code § 2-1402.11:  It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice to do any of the following acts, wholly or partially for a discriminatory reason based upon the actual or perceived: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, genetic information, disability, matriculation, or political affiliation of any individual. To file a complaint alleging discrimination on one of these bases, please contact the District of Columbia’s Office of Human Rights at (202) 727-4559 or ohr@dc.gov

Wellness Policy

The U.S. Congress established a requirement in the Child Nutrition and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Reauthorization Act of 2004, that all school districts with a federally funded school meal program draft a local school wellness policy. Section 204 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (the Act) added Section 9A to the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA) (42 U.S.C. 1758b), Local School Wellness Policy Implementation.  The provisions set forth in Section 204 expand upon the previous local wellness policy requirement from the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004.

The law requires that the policy must, at a minimum, (1) include goals for nutrition education, nutrition promotion, physical activity, and other school-based activities that promote student wellness; (2) establish nutrition guidelines for all foods available on each school campus during the school day with the objectives of promoting student health and reducing childhood obesity; (3) provide assurance that those guidelines for reimbursable school meals shall not be less restrictive than regulations and guidance applicable to school meals issued by the Secretary of Agriculture; (4) establish a plan for measuring the implementation of the local wellness policy, including designation of one or more persons with operational responsibility for ensuring that the schools meet the wellness policy; (5) involve parents, students, teachers of physical education, school health professionals, and representatives of the school food authority, school board, school administrators, and the public, in the development of the school wellness policy; and (6) inform and update the public (including parents, students, and others in the community) about the content and implementation of the local wellness policy, including the extent to which schools are in compliance with the local wellness policy, the extent to which the local wellness policy compares to model local wellness policies, and to describe the progress made in attaining goals of the local wellness policy.

Briya Public Charter School (Briya PCS) recognizes that nutrition education, food served in school, and physical activity each affect student wellness. We also recognize the important connection between a healthy diet and a student’s ability to learn effectively and achieve high standards in school.  Therefore, we will use the above requirements as a baseline and expand the policy to cover additional student wellness areas.

Section 1: Ensuring Quality Nutrition Education, Health Education and Physical Education

Briya PCS aims to provide age-appropriate and culturally sensitive instruction in nutrition, health and physical education that helps students develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills to enjoy healthy eating habits and a physically active lifestyle.

Health and Nutrition Education

Briya PCS will work to develop a health and nutrition education program that:

  • is a comprehensive and designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health;
  • is part of not only life skills classes, but also includes education in family health;
  • includes enjoyable, culturally-relevant activities; and
  • promotes fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, healthy food preparation methods, and health-enhancing nutrition practices. 

Physical Activity

Briya PCS acknowledges the positive benefits of physical activity for student health and academic achievement and promotes the goal of 60 minutes of physical activity per day.  Also, recognizing that physical education is a crucial and integral part of a student’s education, the school will provide opportunities to ensure that students engage in healthful vigorous physical activity to promote and develop the student’s physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being. Besides promoting high levels of personal achievement and a positive self-image, physical education activities should teach students how to cooperate in the achievement of common goals.

The components of the school’s physical education program shall include a variety of kinesthetic activities, within the limits of the school’s infrastructure and location.  Suitably adapted physical activity will be provided for students with physical disabilities that may restrict excessive physical exertion.  Additionally, the school prohibits withholding or requiring physical activity as punishment.

Section 2: Establishing Nutritional Guidelines for All Foods Served and Sold on Campus During the School Day.

A component of the educational mission of Briya PCS is teaching students to establish and maintain life-long healthy eating habits. This mission shall be accomplished, in part, through selling and serving healthful food in the school.  Briya PCS will ensure that all foods available on campus are consistent with federal and Healthy Schools Act guidelines.

Section 3:  Goals for Increasing the Environmental Sustainability of the school

Briya PCS will seek to increase the environmental sustainability of the school by contracting with foodservice vendors that use and serve locally grown, locally processed and unprocessed foods.  Additionally, the school will seek to establish a recycling program to increase environmental sustainability.

Section 4: Establishing a Plan for Measuring the Impact and Implementation of the Local Wellness Policy

Briya PCS shall develop a steering committee, including students and staff for the development, implementation, and monitoring of the wellness policy; and this committee shall also be responsible for the annual evaluation of the policy, and tri-annual update.

Section 6: Community Involvement

Briya PCS will seek involvement from the school and surrounding community in the development and implementation of the local wellness policy.  Representatives will include students, teachers and school health professionals, as well as, representatives of the school administration and community.  Additionally, we will disseminate the wellness policy to students through posting it in the school’s office and on the school’s website.