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pinacolada 10-18-2020 01:22 PM

Student rights
**I asked this on the busy board but I thought it may be a good idea to post it here too.

Hello. I was a regular ed teacher for about 10 years. I resigned in 2016 after my son was diagnosed with Autism. Right now, he is in a Mild/Moderate SDC TK-K class (SDC is the term used in CA for a full day SPED class). The class has 2 aides and then the SPED teacher.

We started school on August 13 and his teacher still isn't assigning any work based on IEP goals. She also isn't providing small group instruction either.

This is the daily schedule:
1st 30 min zoom session: calendar, weather, go over rule of the week, a song about letter sounds, and if time permits a read aloud.

Then she assigns 3-4 independent work activities which the parents help their child complete and upload onto Google Classroom.

During the last zoom session, she divides the class into groups of 3 (so they are split between the teacher and aides), and the students just go over their COMPLETED work (kind of like a show and tell of what they did).

My questions/concerns are:

Isn't she required by law to provide small group instruction?

Isn't she required by law to provide activities based on IEP goals?

Another concern is that she doesn't really teach. She just assigns these whole class assignments and the parents basically teach them.

For example, this week she assigned a number booklet which has the student write the number using the numeral form, word form, tallies, tens frame, dot pattern, and 2 number sentences.

None of the parents (except for me) knew what a number sentence is and how to teach it. This is just an example of how she never teaches.

I've a little unsure of what to expect since I've been out of the teaching scene. What are my child's rights? Are they different during COVID? I've spoken with the teacher and the principal. Nothing has changed.

Youthcantknow 10-18-2020 03:27 PM

Some thoughts
I saw your original post and hesitated to answer but since you're asking again:

First, it sounds like your child is in a special ed. class full time. Providing small group instruction isn't required by law because the class itself is already small.

Second, your child is still quite young. Kindergarten via Zoom is challenging, and when those children have special needs it's unbelievably difficult teaching them. Please have some sympathy for the position she's in. I agree that she should be doing more direct instruction but there could be things going on that you're not aware of, including directions from her administration or supervisor.

Regarding IEP goals, she may be teaching prerequisite skills. Or she may be teaching skills that other students in the class have as IEP goals. Your child might just happen to have goals that correspond to work later in the year compared to others in the class. She may also be counting on getting back into in-person teaching to cover many of the IEP goals. IEP goals are for the whole school year.

I'm answering as a special education teacher whose own children, now grown, had IEPs. I know how stressful it is to raise a child with special needs but I can tell you that teaching special ed via Zoom is hard! Please do what you can for your child but keep in mind that teachers that are 100% virtual know that every student, from the highest to the lowest, is getting a different education than they normally would. I know that you're genuinely concerned, and maybe she should be doing things differently, I don't know. But in my school we know that we're going to have a whole lot of catching up to do when the world finally returns to normal.

Peace430 11-24-2020 07:40 PM

The best thing you can do is keep communication open.
As a current special education teacher my charter school provided no training to me in how to use zoom or how to teach using a computer. We had zilch for technology before COVID. My classroom was via 1990's most days. I hate teaching virtually. I'm trying to teach a lot of those skills mentioned to much older students. One flips me the bird, swears and proceeds to watch TV and parental units do not care. I had way more control in a classroom with staff so maybe that teacher is experiencing the same thing. I'm about ready to let brainpop and starfall teach for me with this particular student.
I had another student where the family made the difficult decision to homeschool themselves so that could be a last resort option. COVID seems to have changed all the rules.

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