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reducing SPED minutes
Old 03-28-2015, 02:34 PM
 
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My director recently shared that the state told her that our district has too many SPED minutes per child, especially at the junior high and high school level.

Our current program is set up where the students who qualify for RSP in a content area get a class in their schedule in that content area. For example, if they qualify for math and English, they will have two periods of their schedule in SPED classes, RSP English and RSP math. Many times students also get RSP social studies too. That adds up!

My director is now thinking about other models so we can reduce our SPED minutes. She's brought up push-in, pull-out (as an elective class), and co-teaching. The high school is worried that kids will struggle and might have trouble graduating on time.

What has worked in your district?


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Might be incorrect but
Old 03-28-2015, 09:30 PM
 
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I was told (by sped lawyer) to put ONLY the amout of time each child would be receiving SDI. For instance, I had students for English, but they were getting instruction for a part of the period and working the rest, so I needed to put about 1/3 - 1/2 of a period down for SDI...which cut way down on min. The lawyer also said I could go over the minutes, but could get in trouble for not meeting the minutes, so to error on the lower side. ( if I put 20 min. A day for Lang. Arts SDI and spend 25 a few days it is fine, but if I spend 15 min. I could be in trouble)
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reducing SPED minutes
Old 03-29-2015, 02:24 PM
 
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Huh. I always thought SPED classes were considered SPED classes when you were away from typically developing peers.

If your district's way is legit, then that might be a way to go. Thank you for sharing!
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Might be...
Old 03-29-2015, 02:42 PM
 
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But I always had reg. Ed students in with my sped so they weren't isolated...even tho the class name was different. Maybe that's why?
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reducing SPED minutes
Old 03-29-2015, 07:10 PM
 
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Quote:
But I always had reg. Ed students in with my sped so they weren't isolated
Do you work at the elementary level? I know at the elementaries we have the RSP teacher work simultaneously with RSP kids and general ed kids who need interventions.

It sounds like you work at the secondary level though. If so, how would you determine which gen ed kids are with the SPED kids?


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Old 03-29-2015, 07:29 PM
 
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I teach elementary, but I'm in a tiny district so I'm familiar with all of the HS sped teachers and how they do things. At our HS, if students are considered mild/moderate, they are in co-taught classes and see the sped teacher for "pull out" only during their study hall block. The teachers use this time to reteach concepts as necessary and help with work given in the co-taught classes. If students are moderate/severe, they are in specific sped classes for most of the day- this is typically for kids that are working towards alternate standards. They use sped-specific curriculum in these classes and kids are not working towards grade level/gen ed standards. The teachers have told me that kids must be reading at a 4th grade level or above by the time they are in 9th grade to qualify for the "co-taught" classes rather than the pull-out classes. Personally, I hate co-teaching, so I'm glad I don't have to do it- but I'm glad it works for them! I think one thing that makes it successful is that they have a sped teacher for each core content area (English, Math, Science, SS) who is qualified in sped AND highly qualified in their content area. I think a lot of times co-teaching doesn't work because the sped teacher doesn't have the same content knowledge as the gen ed teacher, which makes the gen ed teacher resent them and not want to listen to any of their ideas, even if those ideas are related to processing rather than content.
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:44 PM
 
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Quote:
they are in co-taught classes and see the sped teacher for "pull out" only during their study hall block
So, if a student has pull-out during their study hall block do they go that a specific teacher who is knowledgeable in that area?

You mentioned that the SPED teacher who co-teaches is highly qualified in a content area but also does the pull-out. What if the teacher is highly qualified in English, for example, and the student is pulled out but needs math help.
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:59 PM
 
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Sorry I don't know how to quote on here (lol), but to your first question: Yes, they would go to that specific teacher. The way they do it is have two blocks of study hall specific to sped students per day- one for 9th-10th grade and one for 11th-12th grade. So all four content area teachers are in both study halls to help as needed- along with paras who can answer basic questions. Then the sped teachers are co-teaching in their content area for 4 periods a day with 1 period off for planning. The student does end up working with multiple sped teachers if they have needs in more than one area- but IMO, this still works better than having them work with 1 teacher who may not be able to help them with certain subjects if the teacher isn't a content expert in that area.

For the second question, do you mean pull-out study hall or the actual pull-out classes? Actual pull-out classes for content areas are taught by different teachers (the moderate-severe teachers) and only offered for reading and math. Very few students qualify for these classes because they have to be at a 4th grade level or below as 9th graders. In this case, it's usually the same teacher for both classes. I only collaborate with the mild/mod. teachers as part of our district job alike meetings, so I'm not as familiar with mod/severe. I'm not 100% sure, but I believe the mod/severe teachers who teach pull out do not have to be highly qualified in a content area because they aren't teaching HS content. I do know that they use the same intervention programs we have access to in elementary (Language! for reading and Math U See for math). There is also the severe/profound program where kids are working on life skills and are in a sped setting all day (this is only about 4-5 kids in the entire school). Again, this would be the same teacher all day and not split up by content, since the students are not working on HS content.
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Old 03-30-2015, 06:20 AM
 
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You answered my questions very well! I have good picture about what it looks like now.

One more thing....sorry! Do the RSP teachers do assessments as well? I noticed that they co-teach four periods, do two study hall periods, and have one planning period. Does someone else do the academic assessments then?
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Our district
Old 03-30-2015, 10:06 AM
 
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We have a very low LRE in our school and have had much success with inclusion and co-teaching. We have one grade level (high school) co-teacher for each Language Arts class and then one teacher for each area of math such as Algebra, Geometry etc. In the co-taught classes we meet the students' needs for reading comprehension and writing process in the general education ELA class and then the math needs are met in the general education math. We are looking to expand our co-teaching to other core areas.

As for the inclusion, I have many paras that I will place in different classes that have accommodation needs. We do have resource classes, but they are not really full as we try hard to place students with their peers. Our pull-out resource classes contain students that have a need for intensive instruction and they are far below their grade level.

Our school and district thought that the students in a co-taught environment would have failure at first. It has been quite the opposite. The students have had tremendous success and I know that our general ed teachers are liking the idea of co-teaching. They can deliver the content and I can differentiate and modify. The work is shared and works really well for us and our students. Our model is now being used across the district at all grade levels as the data was too good to ignore over the past 3 years.

I hope that helps you


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Old 03-30-2015, 03:52 PM
 
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Thank you so much for all of that information! It's nice to hear of situations from you and others where this has been effective.
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Assessments
Old 04-01-2015, 05:53 PM
 
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Sped teachers in my district do the academic assessments (usually just Woodcock Johnson). The psych completes cognitive testing and behavior rating scales. Every school has a "staffing day" one day per week and all sped meetings are held on that day. We test on the staffing day during blocks that we don't have meetings. We also have a sped team meeting every staffing day. We typically write IEPs so that hours can be met within the other four days per week. On staffing day, paras cover the neediest students who simply cannot go a day without services.
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Old 04-01-2015, 07:05 PM
 
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Wow, that is very different than what we have at our site. Our SPED kids attend a typical five day week like every other student. Thank you for enlightening me!
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Old 04-01-2015, 07:20 PM
 
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Sorry if I was unclear, they do attend school 5 days a week, they just don't have the sped teachers in their classes one day per week.
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Old 04-02-2015, 10:15 AM
 
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Oh, that makes more sense! Thank you for clarifying. I should work on my reading comprehension skills!
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Secondary
Old 04-10-2015, 12:21 PM
 
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Unfortunately, I didn't choose, my sped Ed. Director/high school counselor scheduled students in my classes. Some kids were in there because they had a 504, others were failing classes, and many were students there because there wasn't anywhere else to put them. It was a huge disservice for my sped students, and ultimately the reason I left the position.

I basically ignored the reg. Ed. Students and focused on delivering the SDI to my sped kiddos. Sometimes it was a little crazy, but I am now told (being out of the position) how valuable that instruction was by the same students who fought me tooth and nail last year! 😀
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Old 04-10-2015, 02:47 PM
 
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That does sound crazy considering you weren't even consulted with regarding who should be in your class.

Though students did appreciate your efforts, you sound much happier now.
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