Florida ESE

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by MissSfromNY, May 26, 2017.

  1. MissSfromNY

    MissSfromNY Rookie

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    May 26, 2017

    Hi all!

    I recently got a job at Autism school in southeastern FL, and I have two questions:

    1) I am wondering what kind of IEP system FL uses. I am currently in NY and we use a web program called "IEP Direct" (changed their name to Frontline, but no one calls it that). I go down there in a week to sign papers and get my finger prints and all that, but I have no experience at all with FL ESE reporting systems and I would like some insight before I head down. They said they have a mentor program to get me acclimated, but you know I figured I'd see what kind of information I could get here first. I tried searching keywords, but I am not getting a whole lot.

    2) Does anyone have a link to, or a picture of, a sample FL IEP? Again, here in NY, IEP Diret IEPs have a very specific look and arrangement of information, and sometimes a specialized school will actually attach goals as a separate file, etc. I am wondering what an IEP looks like for a student in the FL system.

    Thanks for your help!
     
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  3. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Comrade

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    May 26, 2017

    I have worked in two school districts in Southeastern Florida. Each used a different system and each IEP and Progress monitoring looks very different. I'm curious as to which district/school you were hired in as I am also in a school for Autism. Feel free to PM me.
     
  4. MissSfromNY

    MissSfromNY Rookie

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    May 27, 2017

    Interesting... and yes I'm curious where you are! Problem is, I have never been able to initiate a private message with someone. I cannot for the life of me find any kind of "start new message" or any icon that looks like it would start a new message. Not in someone's individual profile or within private messages. Would you mind sending me the message and maybe then I can reply?
     
  5. bros

    bros Phenom

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    May 28, 2017

    In the upper right corner where it says your name, click the envelope button, then "Start a New Conversation" in the lower right part of the box that pops up
     
  6. MissSfromNY

    MissSfromNY Rookie

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    May 28, 2017

    Thanks! But I would hope that if it was that simple I'd have figured it out by now haha. When I click on the envelope, all it shows is "Private Messages", "You Have No Recent Conversations", and "Show All". Even when I actually go into private messages where it's an entire page, nowhere does it give me an option to start a new conversation. I'll just have to contact the help desk. :)
     
  7. MissSfromNY

    MissSfromNY Rookie

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    May 28, 2017

    Turns out there is a post minimum requirement. I've posted a lot in the last two years, I mean how much does a person have to post?! Well, anyway, Lisabobisa if you're interested in where I'll be working you'll have to PM me, I'm sorry!
     
  8. bros

    bros Phenom

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    May 29, 2017

    I'd guess the requirement is 50 posts (You're at 30).
     
  9. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    May 29, 2017

    Every district in Florida has their own IEP system. Some districts use online programs, some are strictly paper. The IEP's all have similar looks and contain the elements you would see in your IEP up north. I would suggest you ask how to access your school's IEP program when you arrive for your visit.
    Good luck and welcome to Florida!
     
    MissSfromNY likes this.
  10. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    May 29, 2017

    MissS, I can help, I think. Tell me who you want to PM and I can set it up then exit the conversation. Yes, you may need many more posts to get the PM option.
     
  11. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Jul 30, 2017

    Just curious - and I'm bopping into a lot of conversations so I hope you - no one minds. I'm an aspiring special ed. teacher. I live in ultra expensive area in CA and will probably relocate the SECOND I get my credential. FLA is one of 3 states I'm considering. Do you like living and working there? I would imagine the coastline at SE Florida is pretty nice. I realize to get more than general info from you I'll need to PM you which I definitely cannot do yet.
     
  12. MissSfromNY

    MissSfromNY Rookie

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    Jul 30, 2017

    Hi there,

    I just moved, got here like two weeks ago. School doesn't start for two more weeks, so I can't speak to what its like to teach here just yet. I am in a specialized charter school for Autism. So far i have been to the school a few times to get my classroom in order (pipedream!) and meet some of my coworkers. So far everyone is pretty nice. Thre are a couple of ice princess types but thats true everywhere. I have a lot of support available, people willing to help or answer questions. I've definitely had to take the initiative though and hit the ground running. I get decent insurance through my school as well. The school building I am in is brand spanking new and looks amazing and clean and high tech. Not every school in FL loks like this, as yo know most schools in our entire country look more like prisons than anything condusvie to creative learning. But I got lucky with mine. A lot of people are not from FL. Several teachers are from NY (like me), some even from LI (like me). It's a small world down here. My boyfriend got a "Go back to NY!" from an unruly driver a week ago, but so far everyone I've met is from somewhere else. People in SE FL are upset with how many oeople are moving here. It is getting more crowded and driving prices up and all that. Its definitely expensive in this area. So just keep in mind that the attitude down here is sort of like.. oh great, another out of towner! :) Even from people who they themselves moved from somwhere else. If theyve been here at least 8 years, they consider themsleves Floridian and you the foriegner. For the most part though, at least in this area, people are from all over! I will still feel better once our other car is registered with FL plates though.

    SPecial Ed here is definitely handled differently than up north. Can't speak for CA. Hiring was super easy. In NY you proactically need to build a school with your bare hands, have 700 awards, pass all sorts of interview "tests" and somehow beat out someone else who may or not have more experience than you. Not here. I can't speak for other schools, but my new school interviewed me in person with questions I was expected to be asked. I never felt like I was being hired willy nilly. I also made the investments of coming down here a couple of times to interiew in person, observe and discuss things with the school principal and asst. principal. There is also a lot of inconvenient paperwork to be done and running around to do, and it will behoove you to be here in person to find out exactly what to expect and where to go. Not to mention that its impossible to get the papers signed that you need if youre not physically here. I have posted back and forth with a few people who dont want, or can't, make it down here to do anything in person (visit, interview, or get to know the areas) and I see that as a huge disadvantage. Not necessarily to getting hired, bc someone in these parts will hire you sight on unseen lol, but more to yourself. There are a lot of rules and little things to do that you must be here in person to do. After I submitted my reciprocity certification and got it, I came down three times. The first time, I met with the principals of two schools. The second time I narrowed it down to one, and revisited the school to observe and meet some people. After that I got a job offer, and soon after that I visited for the last time to do the running around of paperwork, find my townhouse and sign a lease. I also had to take an elementary cert exam, still waiting on the results of that. Whole process from start to finish took about 6 months. I had been planning and researching for about 2 years though. I will also need to take a few credits to get endorsed in Autism, which the state of FL reimburses for. Not sure when the hell I'm doing that, but I imagine it needs to be soon. Certification and exams is a confusing aspect to the transition so be sure to call certifcation offices and ask specific questions and get all the info you need so you can set up the right pathway for yourself. There could very well be a test you need to take. So keep that in mind. But back to being here in person as much as you can manage it, do it. CA is tough bc its as far as you couldnt possibly get in the country ahah. Being from NY it was a quick 2.5 hour flight. Either way, I encourage you to come, even once, to get things done in person. I started out by emailing principals (who had job postings up) and explaining who I was and what I was looking for. I said that I would be in the area at a certain time and would love to meet and talk about the school. They were both very receptive and I was able to schedul both meetings back to back. I put in a lot of effort to get here. Not everyone can or wants to do that.

    The weather here is nice obviously. But its hot as f*. I'm 5 min from the water so I get a decent breeze, but its still insanely hot. It's also the rainy season right now so it's sunny and blazing one second, with monstrous lightning and torential rain the next. We're getting used to different customs and attitudes. I have two freinds who made this move years ago, and they said it took them about two years to fully acclimate, and to fully apprecite the differences. Making freinds seems like it will be hard. I am hoping to connect with some of the women at work.

    Settling in is definetly hard and expensive. Registering cars,getting liscenes, grocery shopping, fulfilling work obligations, setting up a home.. its all a LOT. I am also 4 months pregnant and have that to be worrying about as well with new doctors, getting records transferred, etc .

    So far we are happy here. My fiance is getting homesick, me not so much. I didn't particulaly like anything about where I lived in NY anymore and most of my freinds were no longer real friends. I miss my mom but she is moving down here too. My grandparents live down here and my dad is in Miami 6 months out of the year. I will have a new baby and a new job, I will be too busy to sit around being homesick. My big worry is money. Once checks start rolling in it will be a lot easier to budget and plan and see how our spending habits change, but for now, we are jsut about out of money and it is stressful. Some things ended up being more than we thought. We're adjsutig, but credit cards are saving us right now.

    If there is anything else I can help you with , please let me know. There are a lot of transplants teaching in FL on this website, spread all over FL. Search around, and youll find lots of posts of people asking the same questions you are! Good luck!
     
  13. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Jul 30, 2017

    Thank you for your thorough and thoughtful response. It helps a lot and I will refer to it when time for a change comes. Right now I am studying for the CSET exams here...we must pass 4 to get admitted into school. They are hard - for many, not all. That will determine if I can get into this coming springs new intern/special ed teaching credential program....where students study spring semester, the fall they are put into a classroom as a full on 'intern' teacher but still a real teacher with the full salary. My situation complicated as I don't want the full teaching salary (!!!) as I have a HUD voucher. The salary here (starting supposedly $46,000) will bump me off that program. i want that program as i have a physical disease I am trying hard to get a handle on via new medications....I am hopeful...but I want to hang on to it in case it stays a off and on program into my elder years and I need to fall back on it. I am single....and older - I am 54. I've also wondered if my age will be a deterent in getting hired different places. But I look healthy, and truly believe I will make a good teacher. However I will - only partly - be looking to find GOOD jobs that pay under $40,000 a year. My ideal would be to get a full salaried job but work part-time. But I don't really hear about those.

    My plan is to be credentialed in two years. And then move. Either NC (if my dad still alive), Florida - mainly because I just love the east coast ocean and would like to live close to it although I realize its quite hotter where you are than even in NC summers. And to live somewhere more affordable. Rents here for a 2 bedroom are around $2500 a month, the cheapest possible house $650,000.

    It seems both CA and FLA are both states other people move to. CA has definitely inflated because of people moving here. The lucky ones buy a home and if they move can sell and buy a really nice home almost anywhere else in the country. Me? I'm a renter - a section 8 renter at that but I've been lucky so far....soon there will be no section 8 available because of the rents here.

    I realize there is so much to learn about how special education is handled in every single school, much less state.

    If I were to move there, or any other state, I would do just as you did...and definitely go in person to visit enough...its a huge enough change to warrant that.

    I hope you make good friends too. Another possible misconception I have is I volunteered once this past year in a friends special ed classroom. I am starting to think she has a 'cream of the crop' teaching job (she's been doing it 30 years). All day her assistant pulls kids from different classrooms and then she would teach....or just give instructions and then get stuff done on her computer, and answer questions as needed. It was all very organized, well behaved kids - higher functioning. She was kind and allowed me to sit with each little group and answer questions, only occasionally making suggestions. She said I was a natural - I don't know. But I really enjoyed it. (in past I've had two jobs working one-on-one with seriously learning impaired students). I know she had a lot of work to get all the bases covered for each IEP...her computer screen looked very complex. She is a good people person but said she occasionally gets stressed or stumped how to deal with a parent. She has a supportive principal.

    One thing interesting though in her day is when she ate lunch she ate alone. For some reason she did not make friends with the other teachers...enough to become real friends. She felt like a lone wolf there. That has been the only aspect of special education that has concerned me....I would like to feel I am working 'with' other teachers - some sense of team work or co-working or comraderie....but she has none of that and just gets that outside of her job.

    One question re your needing more certifications for autism...can you do that online? I researched online a bit trying to find a online school (not knowing this internship program would start in the spring) and found a really good program for example for early childhood intervention (an area I'm interested in going into). I would imagine there are many others for autism certifications?

    I also researched Western Governors University....according to posts I read on this forum its an inexpensive school (its online) and def. has special education credential program so maybe they have other specialities within.

    I hope I didn't throw too much at you. I've had a weird life...didn't quite go the way I expected it too and am just now trying to get a formal career down. Health permitting.

    Thanks for your time. Hope you have a great day, and good luck acclimating to Florida...huge change from NY!!! Probably in the winter it will be much nicer contrast.
     
  14. MissSfromNY

    MissSfromNY Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2017

    Oh man I am so sorry I never responded to this! What the heck! If you are still interested in chatting, let me know! Work has begun and wowza is it a change from NY.
     

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