I attended the Special Education Task Force meeting yesterday. I am not certified in special education, so there is a lot I do not understand. So much of it is paperwork compliance. Beth Usui said that having accurate IEP's and progress notes helps when she has to defend what is happening for a particular student.
Resource teachers who are backlogged on testing for new referrals or reevaluations can schedule assistance through Beth.
Jordan District is higher on the number of students in settings outside the regular school setting (cluster/support classes, alternative schools) due to the number of group homes and foster care placements within district boundaries. DCFS and DSPD like the programs Jordan has to offer these students, but it does place a greater burden on the special services staff. Beth is encouraging these agencies to place students in programs in the district where their parent/guardian reside, if an appropriate program exists.
Beth talked about using the "Other Health Impairment" classification too much.
Beth said she has addressed in newsletters the need for all special education teachers who are absent to have a substitute in place. There has been a problem at a few schools where pull-out groups are just canceled when the resource teacher is gone. This should not be happening, because then the IEP is not being followed.
There are three pieces to consider if a child needs special education services: classification, that classification is adversely affecting academic performance, and the child needs specialized instruction.
I learned a lot at this meeting!