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musicmeg222 musicmeg222 is offline
 
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New special ed teacher questions
Old 02-19-2019, 06:23 PM
 
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Hi everyone,

I was recently hired as a new special ed teacher (inclusion) for the current school year. I will be taking over a position for a teacher who had to leave mid year. As I'm preparing for orientation, I'm reading several blogs and websites with helpful information. I am also thinking about a few questions that come to mind....

I'm assuming student's IEP's need to include the attendance record for each student. Although I will be going into another teacher's room (inclusion), do I need to keep track of my student's attendance record, or can I obtain that from the general ed teacher?

What other information would I need to obtain for a student's IEP that I wouldn't (or shouldn't) get from a general ed teacher?

Any other helpful tips or information?

I will be starting very soon and want to be as prepared as possible!


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Old 02-19-2019, 06:57 PM
 
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In my district we only include attendance information in IEPs if there's been an issue, like a student misses a significant amount of school, repeated a grade, etc. The attendance system your school/district uses will be able to generate that information for you. (I don't know any teachers who keep physical copies of attendance.)
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Old 02-19-2019, 10:49 PM
 
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Like PDX, my district doesn't keep a physical record in the IEP. When I did inclusion, attendance was on the gen ed teacher as the students were on her roster.


The only time I ever worried about it was when I was gathering info on a new referral or if one of my student's attendance was an issue. For example, last year I had one that missed 30ish days the first semester. It had been an ongoing problem for years and my principal reported the family for it. I kept a copy of her attendance in her sped binder just so I'd have it handy.



Another example, I had one that told me she was moving over Christmas break and she had had over a dozen absences at that point, plus multiple tardies. I had the front office print off an attendance form and included it in her paperwork to be sent to the new school.
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Like the others
Old 02-20-2019, 03:48 AM
 
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I don't mention the attendance in the IEP with much more than a generic sentence unless it has been a problem. "XXX is in good general health and has good (or average or fair) attendance."

The student's IEP file and Cumulative file are separate beasts and are often not even stored in the same place. The Cum File includes the child's school history, grades, schoolwide testing results and reports, attendance, home addresses, discipline records, parent information, etc.

The IEP file will include everything SpEd related: referrals, evals, IEPS, reevals, staffings and all the supporting documentation and test results. In the elementary years, you will often mention the classes the student takes and their "grades" if they are given. In High School, there is a part of the IEP where you can list the classes taken.

There are conditions/rules/laws about co-mingling the two files. Some schools interpret the laws differently. Some schools keep them totally separate, some keep them side by side in the same place, some put the cum file in a certain colored folder to indicate there are more records elsewhere. You need to find out how your school does it and how you access that.

If you are just doing pullout and push in, the homeroom teacher and front office will manage attendance records. You can access it as needed for issues, your records, the IEP meetings.
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We document Inclusion
Old 02-20-2019, 06:49 PM
 
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In our district we are now required to document our inclusion time daily and what accommodations or modifications we made for every student during the time. Some of us use paper copies, but that adds up. Others use a google form on our phones. Honestly it's hard to remember to do the documentation, serve kids at the same time while taking data, and trying to get to the next class on time. Honestly many of us forget to do it.


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Old 02-20-2019, 07:05 PM
 
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There should be an electronic record of the student's attendance. Like the others said, we don't mention this in IEPs unless the absences are significant and it's impacting the student's performance.

In my district, we have to keep a service log. When I first started, you could just have your schedule on a word doc and copy/paste it each day. For example, I'd right 9:00-9:30- 1st grade reading- and then the names of the students I saw in that block. It was a small annoyance but not a huge deal.

Several years ago, my sped director decided we needed to keep service logs for each individual student using our IEP program. Now I have to go into their name, go into the service log, and type/click a bunch of stuff for each student every day. It takes a long time to do and I hate it!

The most annoying part is I KNOW no one ever looks at it. I'm just too much of a rule follower to blow it off and I'm too nervous that one day there will be a lawsuit or something and I don't want to not have the documentation then!
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Old 02-20-2019, 07:45 PM
 
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Thanks for all of the helpful responses everyone. I appreciate the tips!

I am attending orientation next week and will finally start this new position as a 6th grade Ex Ed teacher!

I'm feeling good about things and glad I will get some teaching experience by taking on a position toward the end of the school year. I'm also glad (I think) that it's an inclusion position too. I will be able to work with the general ed teacher for lesson planning. This is an inclusion position at a middle school and I'm not exactly sure of the procedure yet, but I'm assuming I will enter each class period for students and help out those on my caseload. I hope that it goes well enough that I will be asked to renew my contract for next school year.

Do you guys think I will have my own classroom/office area although I will be teaching inclusion? I really hope so! I was thinking that I would need something since I need to store my personal belongings and would need a quiet area for planning, IEP work, or to bring in a student for assessments.

Oh yeah...Assessments. I'm familiar with some of them, but definitely not all. I will have a mentor assisting me as a first year teacher and will have time to meet with my Professional Learning Committee group, so I'm hoping this will help me with assessments. I'm guessing I would need to assess students toward the end of the school year to determine whether or not their IEP goals were met? And then of course, document everything in their IEP.

Any other tips, suggestions, information, or secrets I may need to know about special education teaching, IEPs, rules/regulations, or anything? Let me know!
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Old 02-20-2019, 07:46 PM
 
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We can just look online to see attendance records. It's the same system for all student info and grades.

If you want to keep specific information, I used to use a spreadsheet or grade book for each class. I'd mark who refused to work, who was at the nurse, on an office referral, etc. Their names were down and I'd just use abbreviations like N if at nurse, S sleeping, etc. I'd give the ones present a check or minus for participation.

It was helpful when I had lots of kids with behavior issues on my caseload. I could show lack of progress due to 11 missed times with me for whatever reason.
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