By January, consultants could be conducting audits of programs for special education, gifted and talented students, and English-language learners, according to Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk.
Those are three areas, Caulk said, that to his knowledge have never had intensive audits.
"We're looking at programming, professional development, staffing" and whether those areas are getting enough support from Central Office, he said.
Parents and others have complained that the district is failing to help all three groups properly.
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Joseph Boggs, a Fayette County high school student with hearing and vision impairments, told school board members at an Oct. 26 meeting, "I am not being challenged."
He said the district's failure to meet his needs left him "feeling helpless and alone."
A consultant also will be hired to conduct a diagnostic review of 10 domains in the district, including equity and finances, Caulk said.
And the Kentucky Department of Education will audit career and technical education without charging a fee.
Earlier, the school board set aside $600,000 to hire the consultants for the other audits. Caulk, who started his job in August, requested that as part of his entry plan. Panels of district staff and community members are meeting to choose potential consultants, which the school board will be asked to approve Nov. 23.
Caulk said he wanted to get recommendations for improvements from the consultants by March after they collect data and conduct interviews.
In terms of English-language learners, Caulk said, "we want to make sure that language isn't a barrier to students reaching proficient and distinguished" status in the state's school accountability system.
For disabled students, Caulk said, he wanted to make sure that district staff was complying with students' individual education plans and that students are making progress.
Joseph and his mother, June Boggs, say Joseph is not. "He has been denied so much," June Boggs said.
Joseph told the Herald-Leader that "the reason I feel left behind is because I cannot read Braille well in the 10th grade. ... I cannot do Braille math at all in the 10th grade. I am worried about not enough time to learn everything before I lose my eyes and ears."
June Boggs said some teachers put great effort into helping Joseph, but systemic problems persist.
She said she was being prevented from directly communicating with Joseph's teachers, a decision she thinks is unreasonable.
"I have never threatened, cursed, screamed at anyone," she said. "It is terrifying to imagine where Joseph will be at functionally and academically if things don't change in a hurry."
At the meeting, school board chairman John Price said he would ask Caulk to address Boggs' concerns.
Additionally, district spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall said in an email Friday that "we cannot discuss specifics related to any individual student, but I can assure you in the case that you are inquiring about, our staff has met more than seven times in the past six months with the family and worked with sincerity and commitment to meet the needs of the student."
"We do have expectations that parents will interface with our teachers and staff in a civil manner, just as we expect our employees to provide excellent customer service," Deffendall said. "When necessary, we will take action to protect the rights of our employees to be treated with respect."
After Boggs spoke to board members, board member Doug Barnett raised a separate issue with special education that he said required the attention of the school board.
A special education task force has met since October 2014 with the charge of looking at best practices, achievement data and other analysis, Barnett said.
But he said the task force had provided "zero recommendations."
"There's a lot of frustration among members of the task force," Barnett said.