The ASSIST team will replace last year's Voluntary Partnership Assistance Team model, or VPAT, which was put in place two years ago.
The ASSIST model is more collegial than the VPAT model, Musgrove said. The VPAT team directed district administrators to look at issues, while the new model will help implement changes.
"We have analyzed ourselves to death," he said. "Now it's time to do it. This is the next step in the evolution of trying to get to the bottom of our achievement gap."
The lagging scores of students with disabilities is one of the last challenges facing Clark County in the NCLB program, which requires that a set percentage of students score proficient or higher on state-level testing in reading and math.
Each district must meet target goals for its students as a whole, as well as in racial and special needs subgroups. Performance requirements are mandated to increase gradually until the 2013-2014 school year, when 100 percent of students are expected to perform at a proficient level.
The district met 14 of 16 federally-mandated targets in 2008, missing the mark in the test scores of students with disabilities in reading and math.
In 2007, the district met 13 of 16 targets. The math scores of African-American students improved enough from 2007 to meet that target.
Musgrove said working with special needs students in regular education classrooms - among their peers - will be a priority for Clark County. Education and training for teachers about that process will also be crucial, he said.
The Board of Education approved the addition of two instructional specialists Tuesday, one each at Clark and Conkwright Middle schools, to aid in that regard.
Board member Minnie Spangler commended principals Pam Whitesides and Luke Wright for requesting the position, and she urged other principals to follow suit.
"This is our community's responsibility," she said.
So far the team has worked with George Rogers Clark High School on the rigor of exams, and Isaacs has surveyed teachers at Shearer Elementary about their school and what changes are needed.
Improving school climate will also be on Clark County's priority list, Musgrove said.
Musgrove said administrators met with Deputy Education Commissioner Elaine Farris this summer to review the work that had already been done with the VPAT. Based on that discussion, Department of Education staff members were chosen for the team.
"This team was specifically designed for the needs of Clark County," Musgrove said. "We have been blessed to receive the four-person team that we have been given. They are the exact prescription to move us beyond where we've been for the last two years."
Assistant Superintendent Pat Rosenthal also presented results Tuesday from elementary school testing done in August and September, which administrators hope will predict the results of CATS testing next spring.
Across the district, 76.1 percent of third-graders scored proficient or higher in reading, and 79.2 percent in math; 74.1 percent of fourth-graders scored proficient or higher in reading, and 64.1 percent in math; and 76.2 percent of fifth-graders scored proficient or higher in reading, and 77.6 percent in math.
Tier 3 districts are also required to notify parents of the test results and revise the district improvement plan.
A preliminary copy of the plan is posted on the Clark County Public Schools Web site, and it will come before the Board of Education for review next month.
The Board of Education will meet again Dec. 16 in regular session, and has tentatively scheduled a special meeting Dec. 1 for the yearly superintendent evaluation and a disciplinary hearing.
Contact Katheran Wasson at email@example.com.