To ensure that it provides mental health services through an IEP to all students who require such services, Long Beach should analyze the number of students to whom it provides these services and determine whether the annual decline can be attributed to its early intervention program. If the decline cannot be attributed to the early intervention program, Long Beach should reassess its process for determining whether students require mental health services through an IEP and make any necessary improvements to that process.
We have thoroughly analyzed our data on mental health services provided over a period of 10 years. While we have seen a decline in the number of students that are referred for mental health services through the IEP process, we maintain a constant rate of service for all students who are provided mental health supports through an IEP. Prior to the abolishment of AB 3632, we served an average of 885 students with mental health services. In the years immediately following the abolishment of AB 3632, we saw a decline in referrals, but have continued to serve an average of 941 students, which reflects an increase. We have continued to refine our referral process for mental health services and we are on track to receive more referrals this year (2016-2017), than we have in each of the last four years. This process has caused us to make some important refinements and to feel confident that we are addressing the mental health needs of students in a manner that has been viewed in the data over the past decade.
The analysis performed by Long Beach provides some assurance that the fluctuation we noted in our report appears to be the result of a temporary increase in the number of students who were provided mental health services during the transition to AB 114. Long Beach also provided assurance that its process was appropriate for identifying students who may require mental health services through an IEP.
Please see the attached document with data that explains an increase in school based mental health/early intervention services as well as an increase in the number of students that we are providing mental health services for on an IEP.
Although it initially indicated that its early intervention program may have played a role to the decline we showed in Figure 3 on page 22 of our report, Long Beach believes another factor may have played a more significant role. Long Beach provided several data to demonstrate that role, including the number of educationally related mental health services assessments it completed and the number of students who were provided mental health services through an IEP. Long Beach used this data from the past five school years to analyze the decline we noted in our report.
The data Long Beach provided show an increase in assessments since the 2013-14 school year, which suggests that Long Beach was delayed in assuming the responsibility to perform these assessment after AB 114. Also, the number of students who were provided mental health services through an IEP has increased since the 2014-15 school year, which suggests that the decline we noted was only temporary and that the number of students receiving these services may be rebounding. However, these patterns may only be temporary. Long Beach should continue to monitor the number of assessments it performs and the number of students whom it provides mental health services through an IEP to more fully demonstrate that the decline we noted was temporary.
The District is awaiting further clarification from CDE regarding how to monitor outcomes. Recent legislation has been proposed by the legislature that would effect this process.
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.