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unstaffed 1:1 students
Old 12-19-2018, 04:14 PM
 
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I work in a self contained setting. Some of our students are 1:1 , which means that it is their IEP, the district allocates higher funding, and it is my responsibility to ensure that they are 1:1 at all times. All of my students (not just the 1:1) are aggressive, self-injure, need full assistance in bathroom, during lunches and for working on life skills.
Like many of us, I do not actually get 1:1 staff. Some of the 1:1 students end up 1:3 staffed during large parts of the day. We have had almost daily staff injuries, and I have not been taking lunches or prep, because it is not safe. I have asked admin to either let me know if I should take prep and lunch even though I don't believe staffing to be safe or to find an extra staff or pay my prep. I get a lot of: I will get back to you, but no one is getting back to me. So my choice is to take prep and lunch and be blamed if someone get's hurt because I left staff and students in an unsafe situation, or to not take lunch or prep and be told that that is my choice and no-one told me not to take it.
I know, this is not unique. What do you do?


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Old 12-20-2018, 05:31 PM
 
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Yikes. That's not a good situation. My first thought is, do you work in a district with a union?

Second, are you taking data? I mean good, measurable data that can be tracked over time? Can you pull out the spreadsheets do prove what's happening? And if you are, what are you doing with that data? Because if it was me and injuries were happening on a daily basis, I'd be emailing that data to my sped boss and principal every week asking for more support, and I'd be cc'ing my union rep.
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Oh, my!
Old 12-20-2018, 08:06 PM
 
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I feel for you! I would like to say that I stood up and demanded more help BUT...
There is no easy answer here.

In my first district, I worked elem k-5 and often gave up lunches or conference time. We also modified the schedules so I ate with students in the same room or I ate standing up some days...

In my district now, my SpEd director works so hard to ensure we always have our conference and lunches intact and child-free. I've even volunteered to give up that time to make things easier for her, my para, or the students...she declines.

Right now, my para is considered a whole class para (well, at least 1:3) and we manage. I can't complain here though as I haven't asked for another para...
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Deep thoughts
Old 12-21-2018, 05:55 AM
 
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Now is the time for deep reflection.
Refresh your resume and research job opportunities with your credentials and experience.
Safety is non negotiable, take care of yourself.
I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 01-26-2019, 02:58 PM
 
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I'm in a similar situation - we have one teacher and three paras in our classroom. One of the paras and the teacher are reliable, the other two paras are not. The four students in the confined classroom are all behavior issue kids and are supposed to have two people with them at all times. We're presently dealing with very bad behaviors with one of them (staff injuries, student injuries, etc.) and nobody seems willing to do anything because they are afraid of the parents and always invoke IDEA. Paras are hard to hire and retain in my district because they only pay them $20K a year.


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