Investigative report on High Road Schools of Connecticut calls for fixes to systemic failings

The 57-paged report calls for a series of changes to current practices, including an increase to local and state oversight.

Angelica Toruno and Robyn Karashik

Mar 13, 2024, 12:23 AM

Updated 40 days ago

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The findings of a two-year investigation into state-approved special education schools in Connecticut was released on Tuesday.
The 57-paged report calls for a series of changes to current practices, including an increase to local and state oversight. This comes after the Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate and Disability Rights Connecticut found several serious systemic failings at eight state special education programs.
Some said it was troubling to see some of the findings.
The investigation into the Department of Education and High Road Schools revealed widespread student disengagement and chronic absenteeism. It also showed "gross deficiencies” in the number of certified teachers and staff.
“High rate of use of uncredentialed, non-certified staff and teaching students with disabilities,” said Tom Cosker, an advocate with Disability Rights Connecticut.
According to the report, in the Fairfield County Program, which is located in Norwalk, High Road did not conduct a DCF or employee background check for about half of the staff.
“It’s of course always troubling…these are some of our most vulnerable students in Connecticut,” said Cosker.
The report also noted that many of the students at the High Road Schools were “grossly underserved both in terms of educational planning and service delivery.”
“A lack of unindividualized programing for students with disabilities, lack of behavioral plans and behavioral strategies that are individualized for the students,” said Cosker.
High Road Schools of Connecticut released a statement in response:
“The final report simply does not accurately reflect the academic and behavioral supports at our schools, which follow state and federal regulations and guidelines. Our programs are based on serving the academic and behavioral needs of our students, making the absence of clinical services referenced throughout the report misleading.”
High Road Schools of Connecticut’s Full Statement:
OCA DRCT Investigative Report On High Road Schools:


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