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Haley23 Haley23 is offline
 
Joined: Jul 2012
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Haley23
 
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,261
Senior Member
Looking for advice re: service delivery
Old 01-31-2019, 05:56 PM
 
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I know I've posted before that my school does everything in intervention blocks. Each grade level has a set time and kids are split into groups with me, an intervention teacher, or a gen ed teacher. We've done this in reading for years and have just very recently started doing it in math.

My P originally said that I wouldn't be involved in the math intervention blocks. Unfortunately since I'm in all of the reading ones, there is no other way to do my schedule but to see my kids at the same time as these math blocks, so of course I'm getting sucked in. I'm wondering how much I want to fight this.

Pros:
-The kids aren't missing any gen ed content for their services. I've always thought that for a kid with a true disability, this wasn't as important anyway...but I know the gen ed teachers feel differently. No stigma about being "pulled out" as everyone is leaving, or concerns about missing anything "fun" that might be happening in gen ed at that time. I also don't have to deal with teachers trying to get kids out of pull outs for that day (can they finish this activity/test, we're doing something really important, etc.) Parents also tend to like the idea of this.

-My state follows the ESSA rule that allows interventionists to meet IEP minutes. So instead of just having every kid with an IEP in my group, regardless of their level, we're able to put kids into more homogeneous needs-based groups.

-Groups are a little more even- back before we did this sometimes I'd end up with like 8 kids because they all had IEPs while the title 1 teachers had 3 kids.

-Being part of the intervention block feels a bit more collaborative, although it bugs me that NO ONE EVER acknowledges all of the help I'm giving with this (vs. just seeing "my" kids).


Cons:
-I have to take gen ed kids into my groups. The flip side of making them more even is that if I happen to have a grade level with smaller numbers, my kids aren't getting the benefit of the really small group. For example, my 3rd grade reading group has 2 kids with IEPs and 5 gen ed kids.

-Along the same lines, I get a lot of pressure to "keep the group moving" and this often feels like I'm doing more of what the gen ed kids need than my identified kids.

-Every six weeks, my kids miss two days of services because I have to go to data teams for these intervention blocks. If we add in a math data team, this will be even more time missed.

-This is the big one that I've complained about a lot. When we do services like this, it means there is absolutely NO difference as far as academic services for kids who have IEPs vs. kids who don't. We go through the whole MTSS process and prove the interventions aren't working (which is how they qualify for the IEP In the first place), and then we give them the IEP which is essentially documentation of the interventions we already tried. There is no "triple dip." Getting kids to make at least one year's growth is part of our evals. There is no exception made for kids who have IEPs- yet if they were making the one year's growth, they wouldn't qualify for the IEP in the first place.


Pro and Con- I'm basically being used as an interventionist. The thing is, I like being an interventionist and truthfully would rather be doing that than teaching sped anyway. I love teaching my small groups and I like the fact that I sometimes get to work with gen ed kids who make tons of progress really quickly with intervention (makes me feel better about myself as a teacher!) I'm afraid if I make a fuss and get out of these intervention blocks, my P will want me to push in sometimes instead. I HATE pushing in. On the other hand, I don't want my kids to not get what they need because I'm enjoying being an interventionist.

If you've made it this far, what do you think? My P agrees with me that the fact that the IEP doesn't provide a "triple dip" is a problem. That's why she told me not to be in the math intervention block in the first place. OTOH, it's not like this is her biggest priority. I think I'd have her support, but if I want things to change I'm going to have to make a BIG fuss. Trying to decide if it's worth it or not.


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WalkDontRun WalkDontRun is offline
 
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WalkDontRun
 
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Old 02-04-2019, 01:36 PM
 
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I think overall the pros might outweigh the cons. True, your students aren't getting anything different than many of the other students who don't have IEP's but on the other hand we know that often our groups are bigger and with a wider range of skills than many tier 2 groups. Ticks me off when I see an intervention group with 3 students whose skills are similar, then I'm faced with my 9 5th graders whose literacy skills range from 1st grade to early 4th grade level. How is that providing more individualized and intensive intervention? We muddle through somehow, but half the time they are with me they are working independently simply because their range of skills is too vast to bridge in one group. Still teachers fight to get students qualied for an IEP knowing that often they will be getting less support. There is something very wrong with the system!

Is there anyway for you to give your math kids some additional time each week to work on some of the many foundational skills they have yet to master?
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Haley23 Haley23 is offline
 
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Haley23
 
Joined: Jul 2012
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Old 02-04-2019, 05:58 PM
 
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You make a good point- this is the only year (of the 6 I've been at the school) where getting an IEP didn't mean actually getting worse interventions (i.e. less time, bigger group, less homogeneous group).

In my ideal world my kids would get these intervention blocks AND another group with me, a true "triple dip." This is what my P envisions too- we just don't really have the resources to make it happen. If I'm not involved in the intervention blocks, that makes the lower groups much larger, and my "triple dip" groups wouldn't be ideal either. I guess I'd rather they get one intervention block that's really good vs. two so-so ones.

Unfortunately I don't have any extra time in the week. The intervention blocks are daily and take up the vast majority of my schedule. I'm running one extra reading group in the 30 minutes that's left unscheduled after all of the intervention blocks are taken out. I'm also seeing 6 of my students in after school tutoring- it's paid of course, but kind of ridiculous that I have to sign them up for tutoring for them to actually get services! It's reading- I've thought about trying to do math in the mornings as there are also before school sessions and the money is good, but not sure I'm ready for that long of a day with students.
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