Sped question

Discussion in 'General Education' started by teacherintexas, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Recently, we were told not to give sped students work at their ability level (well below grade level) and could only give accommodated on grade level work.

    I have several students reading on preprimer level. I don’t see how I am going to get growth from them by just giving accommodated grade level work.

    This doesn’t seem right to me. I am hoping all of us just misunderstood. Thoughts?
     
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  3. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Could they be engaging in working on the standard with a far simpler text? For example, if it's working towards understanding sequencing in text, doing so with something very simple or perhaps auditory? (I'm just brainstorming...not saying this is the best idea!)
     
  4. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    What grade do you teach? Are these children self-contained and expected to be that way until they leave school?

    I can see both sides of the story. I'm in high school. And a HUGE problem that we see is that sped students through middle school are often given different work from their peers but that just can't happen in high school. In high school you don't get passed along because you grew or because you tried really hard. You have to have meet the standards. You can have some accommodations, but modifications like you mentioned would not be found in all general ed classrooms. And I agree with that. If a high school diploma is to mean something, it must ensure that students have met a basic minimum standard.
     
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  5. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Here is my take, but who knows what your administration meant.

    If a special education student is in a regular education classroom, they should, with accommodations, be capable of doing the work. They don't need a specially modified curriculum to access the standards.

    If they are so far behind the standards and curriculum are above them, the regular classroom is really not their LRE. A student who is in a regular education 4th grade classroom still learning to add single digit numbers or reading at a pre-primer level and has hours of special education instruction listed on their IEP for those areas cannot possibly be receiving special education services if the instruction in the classroom is far beyond their current capability. While there may be a special education teacher in the general education classroom, unless these students are pulled aside getting completely different instruction, they really aren't getting special education services in that classroom. A warm body only constitutes procedural compliance which is usually what districts focus on because lawsuits about procedural compliance are a lot easier for parents to win.

    OP, you don't specified who told you to do this, but if it was your special education director or your administrator as opposed to the district, it is possible they are trying to use a back-door method to stop the crazy practice because what you will have are students not making progress which will then require that funds be provided to allow students to actually have proper LRE rather than this shove everyone, no matter how far behind, into a general education classroom.
     
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  6. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    At our school, we can give students work below their grade level, but we can only take a grade on assignments that are within 1 grade level of the child's level. So for English I, I can give them 4th grade level material to explain a concept, but I cannot take a grade on any of that work. But if I give them an 8th grade sheet to assess, I can take a grade on that because it is within one grade level. The exception to this is AR. They are expected to read within their ZPD and take tests on that material. This is the policy for standard or career diploma students.
     
  7. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    At the elementary level, we don't put a grade in if they receive SPED services in that area. Is this true in secondary only if they have a certain amount of SPED services? Or does it vary by region/district/school?
     
  8. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    In my experience it varies. At my school, they can only be given a grade on grade-level or near grade-level material. So, students that are diploma track (regular or career) get grades on grade-level content. Students that are not diploma path do work at their own level in special classes much of the day, and go to regular classes for electives like art, music, etc. They work on life skills, mostly, and basic reading.
     
  9. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I think it depends on the district. We have had severely disabled students get invitations to National Honor Society because they have 4.0 GPAs. These are children that cannot recognize their own names all of the time and they are receiving an A in their resource room.
     
  10. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    In my state, the only students who are allowed to have modifications on their IEP are students with severe cognitive disabilities who are working toward the "extended evidence outcomes" rather than the regular state standards- students who won't earn an actual diploma in HS. For several years, there was also a lot of pressure to write IEP goals to the grade level target even if that was years above the student's level. Now they've somewhat backed off on that part and it just has to be "standards based." My state's stance is that students without cognitive disabilities can and should be performing at grade level, including passing state tests. Don't get me started on how much that doesn't make sense.

    On a practical level, our students do get differentiated work and work at their level in small groups, both with the gen ed teacher in the classroom and with me in pull outs. We have a school wide intervention block where all students are receiving very targeted skill based instruction (i.e. a group focused on silent e, a group focused on digraphs, etc.) The most impacted kids have at least another 30 minute pull out group with me, and then their classroom teacher also sees them in a small group where they work at their level.

    Legally though, they do have to be present in the classroom for whole group/tier 1 instruction, and this work isn't supposed to be modified. They have to take all of the regular classroom tests, and the report card they receive from the classroom teacher is based entirely on regular grade level standards. Students get an IEP goal progress report from me, but their IEP goal progress/how they're doing at their level doesn't factor into their regular grades at all. My school is also one of the very few still doing pull outs, and this is heavily frowned upon. I'm always worried about how long we'll be able to keep that up before someone just absolutely insists that I will push in instead. It's "heavily suggested" to me every year and I simply ignore it.
     
  11. FourSquare

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    Sep 12, 2018

    I'm in a unique position this year in which, of my 3 classes, I am the gen ed teacher for 2 and the sped teacher for 1. This is after years in pull out special ed. I can promise you that I modify nothing for students in inclusion. This doesn't mean I don't provide supplementary small group instruction at their level, but they are expected to do the work everyone else does. For example, this week we are reading and annotating a short story. My kids with IEPs received a color coded annotations sheet with sentence stems, a guided reading strip to help them stay focused and not skip lines, and an audio recording of the story being read aloud that they could use as they read. The text and requirements were the same.
     
  12. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    We just have aides doing inclusion. Our aides are great but it’s not the same as getting help from a certified teacher. I hope they are working toward getting these students in their proper placement. By the second day of school while still doing very simple work, it was evident these babies were not in the best placement for them.

    Thanks for all the responses. It’s crazy how it’s so different everywhere. There’s someone’s dissertation topic.
     
  13. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Sep 13, 2018

    The other note I would like to make is how we define "classroom" and "LRE". We typically see these as a physical location rather than a service. It is possible to have a modified curriculum while physically being in the same classroom, but it is a challenge that requires additional teachers, additional space, and may not be appropriate for a student who needs to be distraction free while getting and applying instruction because the instruction can't stop the instruction for the other students without hindering their progress.
     
  14. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    My general thought is a lot more basic, which is just that there should really be no blanket statement given regarding how "all students in SPED" should receive services, at least in the manner you're describing. The idea that no SPED student, under any circumstance, should have a modified curriculum doesn't make sense to me, and to somewhat disagree with a2z (though I largely agree), it's possible that a gen ed classroom is still the LRE if modifications can be made appropriately in the gen ed classroom.

    More broadly, best practice from a differentiation perspective would be to meet students where they are and provide challenging material within a student's instructional level, regardless of where that is. So, the idea that work shouldn't be individualized for a student's skill level, regardless of SPED status, is not best practice in the first place.
     
  15. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I agree with the overall idea that, if a curriculum can be modified in such a way that the student benefits without taking away from the other students, LRE can be in the classroom LRE can also be in the classroom if dedicated staff is allocated to ensure that the student is getting the necessary modifications and instruction needed. I may not have explained myself well. I do think in some cases it is possible. But I think it is very rare that a student really gets what he or she needs when they are that far behind. The classroom may be very modified as a whole in order for the grades to look like progress. I see this in HS classes where they have half special education students and half general education students. The actual curriculum would never really pass if someone took the time to look at what was done and how students were really being assessed. On paper it looks great, grades look wonderful, but the education is horrendous. The scaffolding and support given to the student to get those grades actually makes the grades meaningless. It turns into a highly modified curriculum under the guise of it being general education because the general education students are getting the same minus accommodations.

    I would like to see some examples of modified curriculum which would work in a general education classroom on a full-time basis.

    An aside, I also think that many pull-out services do a disservice to the students as well when students with too diverse of skill sets or needs are put into one LRE. It just moves the issue from one place to another.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
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  16. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I have a student who gets minor modifications, such as a word bank or reduced answer choices. Sometimes, I give my students with dyslexia multiple choice or matching when others get fill in the blank. Students get choices of projects. I still feel that the course has integrity, even with those modifications.
     
  17. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I see those changes as accommodations rather than modifications for the most part. I'm not a huge fan of word banks except for a very few students and in very select cases. Recall is a necessary skill in life. Although some disabilities prevent it. But that is for a different thread.
     
  18. Backroads

    Backroads Fanatic

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    From what I have heard from those in the SPED programs, it's all well and good to have a strategy of how to reach SPED students but quite another to make those strategies "look good" in regards to state standards or goals or whatever have you.
     
  19. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    It should all go by their IEP. A pre primer student should not get grade level work if it's multiple years ahead of where they're at... But their IEP should say that. I've had principals say what yours has said, and was very frustrated as well. Follow your principal's directions so you don't get in trouble, but also know that an IEP is a legally binding document. You have to do what it says. Your principal can't disagree with that! If a student who is that low does not have an IEP that includes alternative assignments at the student's level, talk with the SPED team about getting that into the IEP.
     
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  20. EdEd

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    Fully agreed a2z. Well put.
     

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