Administration is threating me when they don't see students receive mandated services

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by vivaladiva, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. vivaladiva

    vivaladiva New Member

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    Jan 10, 2017

    I am a 1st year guidance counselor to 11th graders at a large high school in NYC. The majority of students refuse to go to scheduled counseling. I do document when the students refuse to come and I document efforts to get them to come, which are always futile. They are at the age they want to fit in and don't want special attention called upon them. But the administration at my school is threatening me when they do not see students receiving these services. The AP walks by to see if the student is receiving these services and if she doesn't see the students in counseling I am written up for not providing services or at most threatened to lose my job. I cannot force these students to come. The most I can do is to beg the student while in the classroom. But if they still refuse to come I will not waste an entire period disrupting the class on a student who isn't going to come anyway. I would rather give my time and attention to other students who want to see me. Other guidance counselors have the same problem. Then you are threatened when the student doesn't meet or make progress their IEP goals. If a student really doesn't want to be in counseling to the point they refused to come all year, they are not going to get anything out of it.
     
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  3. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Jan 10, 2017

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
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  4. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jan 10, 2017

    That's a rough situation! Is there a way, with enough documentation, to tell the student they either comply with their IEP and attend counseling or they will be exited from services / accommodations? That might be a step you can discuss with your administration. Refusing services should have consequences for the student.
     
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  5. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Jan 10, 2017

    I agree with the above.

    From what I am aware of, 11th grade is often when kids might be in the middle of their transition strategies for post-high school. Which to me would make IEP goals and meetings extremely important. If the kid honestly feels he no longer needs such n such accomodations, he needs to speak up.

    While realizing 11th graders aren't necessarily thinking long-term, if they go to college, they aren't going to have official documented IEPs. What's their plan for when they miss the accomodations and help?
     
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  6. Secondary Teach

    Secondary Teach Companion

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    Jan 11, 2017

    Unfortunately, with any job you have goals to meet and I do not know why you would mention such a statement about your job being "threatened" for not meeting them. A teacher's job would be "threatened" as well for not meeting goals. You are a first year counselor, and just like a first year teacher you may need to toughen up. This is why schools usually prefer their counselors to be experienced teachers first. You should consult with your colleagues, teachers, parents (if possible), and/or research strategies online for how to motivate your students during counseling sessions to entice them to come in. Or, consider counseling in a different school- public, charter, or private with different student demographics.
    :)
     
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  7. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Jan 11, 2017

    I'm taking a stab in the dark, since I have never had a similar role, but is there a way to establish relationships with these students outside of your counseling office first? You said you are brand new - could it be that you don't have the rapport yet with these students where they trust you?

    This year our division hired guidance counselors for all the schools, which means we have 6 brand new counselors. I have observed these counselors work really hard at getting to know ALL the students through recess/lunch hour clubs, classroom visits to work with the entire class and just being present in the school. We had a tragedy happen in one school over the Christmas break and the counselor has been a key person in supporting the students at that school because he has invested so much time in developing relationships.
     
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  8. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Jan 11, 2017

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  9. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo Comrade

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    Jan 11, 2017

    Ummmm

    Why are you giving the students a choice not to go.

    Say, your choice is go or two weeks in school suspension.

    Every single time they don't go.

    After 4 or 5 examples are made. They will go.

    Just my 2 Cents
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 11, 2017

    There's a lot wrong with this.

    First, as teachers/counselors we rarely have the power to suspend students. I'm certainly not allowed to do that in my district. Second, two weeks? Seriously? That seems excessive. The student will be missing out on tons of instructional time. Is that really the best option?

    I agree with others that it might be time to call an IEP meeting and ask that these goals be adjusted. If the student is non-compliant with your requests and if you have sufficient documentation of that, then it's time to make some changes.
     
  11. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jan 11, 2017

    This seems very antagonistic. That doesn't usually solve problems. Building rapport might get you more cooperation.
    The old adage still applies...you catch more bees with honey...
     
  12. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo Comrade

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    Jan 11, 2017

    That was a exaggeration on my part, they usually only do that for 1 or 2 days.
    (When it gets into the week or more the students were really in trouble)

    Anyway , there has to be some consequence if the student chooses no.

    Think about it this way.

    Those students who say no or don't show up are standing between you and your pay check.
     
  13. GTcub

    GTcub Rookie

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    Jan 11, 2017

    You can't force students to go to a related service if they don't want to.
     
  14. GTcub

    GTcub Rookie

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    Jan 11, 2017

    I used to work in a high school and yes it was pretty common for students after 10 or 11 grade to stop using mandated services for the reasons OP mentioned, or because they do not feel the services are helping. The counselors were told in these cases to remove the student from the caseload. If the student wishes to resume services, the student was added back to the caseload but they had to promise they will attend.
     
  15. Mr Magoo

    Mr Magoo Comrade

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    Jan 11, 2017

    I suppose you could bribe the students then.

    Set up a giant video game screen and let them play Xbox all day if they will agree to go.

    If it is a choice on getting a paycheck or not getting a paycheck.

    Something has to be figured out.
     
  16. vivaladiva

    vivaladiva New Member

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    Jan 11, 2017

    Good point. I do work hard to establish good relationships with my students. This issue is not just with me though. Every other 10-12 grade counselor has been here more than I have, and they have the same issue.
     
  17. GTcub

    GTcub Rookie

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    Jan 11, 2017

    Are the students involved in their IEPs? Do they decide what they will be working on in counseling? Perhaps they would be more willing to comply if they were involved in the process.
     
  18. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Feb 1, 2017

    It's a tough job counseling 11th graders (really any high schooler!); however, that time is in their IEP and MUST be met by law. I agree with others that stated that an IEP meeting needs to be called involving the parent, teacher, student, administrator, and yourself to discuss the issues. If any of these 11th graders are 18, then they have the right to sign a refusal for services. If they do, then that's that. If they are under 18, then there has been a meeting called to either reduce time, change their goals into something more manageable, coming up with strategies to get them into their sessions, or possibly look at evaluating them for dismissal.
     

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