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Notes on Special Education

General
each teacher in the special education (sped) department is assigned a load of cases that they are
responsible for for the year; sped teachers must prepare the IEPs of every student in their
caseload
sped spends the first couple of weeks in the school year preparing folders for every regular
education teacher to inform those teachers of who their IEP students are while counselors do
the same with 504 plans.
IEPs should be treated with confidentiality
each IEP requires hours of preparation, which includes research on the current IEP, data
accountability on whether the goals of IEP are being met, and any changes or modifications that
need to be made to IEP based on student performance and data

Before
the case manager always sends a form before an IEP; the form typically requests information
about
o The childs grade
o Appropriate behavior toward adults
o Appropriate behavior toward peers
o Engagement in class
o Student skills, such as organization, writing homework down
o Behavior patterns (e.g. the frequency of homework completion) are emphasized
these meetings are often a good opportunity to make a positive impression on parents and it is
a good idea to bring additional information about the student other than their grade
o Such information can include behavior in class, progression or regression over a time
period, and most importantly, any identified correlations between behavior and student
data
During
IEP meetings at JBHS always involve the Assistant Principal of Guidance along with the students
teachers
It is always best to have 2 tips for student improvement ready to go before you get to the IEP
After
parent support for IEPs is important and more proactive than with regular education; however,
in some situations it can also be over-proactive
o Sped parents have been known to email every teacher on a daily basis to ask about
items that may or may not be in the IEP
if there is a problem with the way the parent is handling a situation, the regular education,
special education, and counselor get together with the parent to agree on a reasonable course
of action
o for example, a parent who over-communicates can be provided with the proper
protocol for communication with teacher, directed to a single point person, and
reminded of the reasonable response time

Roaming
many sped teachers in the school spend part of the day roaming in collab classrooms and the
other part of the time teaching as the lead teacher
At JBHS, classes with too many ELs, IEPs, and 504s are turned into collab classes with
instructional aides hired to work daily
some SPED teachers can roam for a few periods to visit SP students, but most of the roaming is
done by instructional aides who, in constrast to sped teachers, tend to make observations rather
than recommendations

Instructional Aides
Each assigned instructional aide will come to certain periods of a regular classroom for an entire year
Instructional aides can
Read tests to students
Work with students to the side away from the main lesson
Provide other EL-specific support strategies
Supervise students working away from the direct supervision of the main teacher
At JBHS, instructional aides are also hired for the special education teachers to work in their
classrooms
While SPED teachers focus on IEP students, instructional aides have a broader range of function
-according to science teachers, collab classes with instructional aides are a mixed bag
Some instructional aides are competent and positively contribute to the classroom
Some instructional aides lack the proper social skills for working with children
Some instructional aides lack the academic skills to contribute in the classroom
Some instructional aides are not interested in doing a good job
Suggestions from science teachers are that, if you get an ineffective instructional aide, you should use
them to make copies so they are not disrupting the learning environment