Frustrated about lack of information

Discussion in 'General Education' started by daisycakes, Sep 8, 2014.

  1. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    Sep 8, 2014

    As a "specials" teacher, I get absolutely no information about my students. I know some students have IEPs, but no one has identified them for me. It is also a bilingual school, so some ELLs have very low English skills since they can get away with speaking Spanish.

    My biggest concern is I can ask a 2nd grader, "What is your name?" and they stare blankly at me. I watched an ELD teacher assess one of my students and she got similar results. "What is your name" was met with a stare. "Who is your teacher?" just got a point in the direction of his classroom. Even worse, I don't know who is an ELL and who is not. Today, a student was not understanding what we doing, even though I explained it about 10 times and we had practiced as a class. Every other child knew what was going on. I then asked his partner to translate to him in Spanish. She replied, "but he doesn't even speak Spanish!" meaning he is just that low that he can't comprehend the most basic instructions.

    I am frustrated and don't know what to do, other than go to all 28 of my teachers and ask them individually. I had to do this to coordinate drop-off/pick-up and it was extremely time consuming since we obviously do not have a common prep/lunch. The school counselor is out due to family emergency and has been gone for over a week. I obviously can't ask anyone to email me sensitive information.

    What would you do? Should I insist on seeing their IEPs from the front office? Should I wait until the counselor returns? Should I go to all teachers individually after school? Ideas/suggestions appreciated!
     
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  3. Luv2TeachInTX

    Luv2TeachInTX Comrade

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    It's the SPED teacher's responsibility to make sure all teachers who serve students with IEPs receive those IEPs. Even though you shouldn't have to, ask your SPED teacher/team leader for them. There are accommodations you should be aware of as one of their teachers.
     
  4. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    There are no SPED teachers at my school. There is a para who is part-time.
     
  5. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    How is that? Who manages kids' IEPs?
     
  6. Luv2TeachInTX

    Luv2TeachInTX Comrade

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    ?? Then who case manages your students with IEPs? How bizarre. I would ask that person, whoever they are.
     
  7. daisycakes

    daisycakes Companion

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    I think the counselor? I have no idea.
     
  8. bros

    bros Phenom

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    It's not the sped teacher's responsibility - it's whoever their case manager is. In districts around me, they are usually people with LDT-C certs. There's one present at the PreK-K school, then none at any of the other schools until the HS. They just send out an email to teachers who have the student with the relevant pages of the IEP, and the teachers can always go down to the central special services office to read the full file of the student.
     
  9. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    In 99% of the cases I've seen, the SPED teacher is also the case manager.
     
  10. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    But bros did offer a good explanation as to why in the OP's school there may not be a SPED teacher who holds the IEPs.

    Now, how there can be special education students with no special education teacher is beyond me since paras have to be under the direct supervision of special education teachers to give any type of instruction and if all students need is accommodations they should just have 504s.
     
  11. bros

    bros Phenom

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    It probably varies by region of the country, but I know in NJ, districts will have IEP case managers with LDT-C certifications, who also do educational evaluations (WJ-III, etc.)
     
  12. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    In Texas, it is the SPED teacher who is the case manager and has the responsibility to make sure that all teachers know who has an IEP and what their accommodations are. Also, it takes more than just a certification to do educational evaluations here. That has be done by either a diagnostician or LSSP.
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I would imagine that many general ed teachers aren't familiar with the ins and outs of special ed. I think that most of us assume that the special ed teacher is the one who handles the paperwork and IEPs. I further think that most of us use the term "special ed teacher" as a catch-all phrase for anyone involved in delivering instruction for or assessing the needs of special ed students.
     
  14. bros

    bros Phenom

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    a LDT-C requires a master's program to obtain.
     
  15. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    What exactly is a LDT-C?
     
  16. bros

    bros Phenom

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  17. kcjo13

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    What exactly is the difference in a "Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant", and a Special Education Teacher, other than semantics?
     
  18. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Sep 11, 2014

    A LDTC doesn't teach.

    All they do is evaluate, write IEPs, and be the case manager for students (The district that I live in has ~3000 students, with something like 400-500 students on IEPs, and they have 3 LDT-C's and five school social workers (four of whom function as counselors, the remaining one functions as a case manager for the early childhood school)
     
  19. TeacherNY

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    That kind of job could be regional since any school I've taught in (2 high schools, 2 middle schools, 2 private schools) have not had anyone like that.

    For the OP...could you send a mass email to all the teachers asking them to write you a short cheat sheet about any students that might need special accommodations in your class? I think it would be too time consuming to try to talk to each one individually. Could you ask other special area teachers how they handle it?
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I wouldn't expect to receive great feedback by doing this. Maybe it's just the group of people that I work with, but I'm reasonably certain that most teachers at my school would probably ignore such a request, not out of malicious intent (probably) but due to time constraints and whatnot.

    The OP should be getting copies of the IEPs. Ask for them, in writing.
     
  21. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    bros~it sounds like the LDCT is similar to what I am; however, I don't write the IEPs. I evaluate and run their IEP meetings, but it's the SPED teachers that write and implement their IEPs and makes sure that their accommodations/modifications are being used.
     
  22. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Yeah, it's bizarre that the OP isn't getting copies of the IEPs - or at least what the district I attended did. They would send the accommodations page & related services page
     
  23. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Agreed. It's possible, I suppose, that the person in charge of handing out IEPs is behind and hasn't gotten to them yet. I have only received one IEP so far this year, even though I'm certain that I have more students with IEPs. I assume that I'll receive them in the next week or so. Hopefully the OP will receive them soon, but I'd still advise the OP to specifically ask for them (in writing).
     
  24. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    I teach in a private school in NJ- we have our director of student services (kind of like a guidance counselor) who holds the IEP's for our students, makes sure that every teacher that teaches a specific student with one reads the child's evaluation before Sept 15th, and write a summary page of accommodations for the child that is given to the teacher (parents have to sign off on it). If we have a question about what we told the parents we would do, we go to her.

    We also have an educator (who use to teach there but no longer teaches) who has a LDT-C certification and can do educational evaluations like the WJ-III. If the families choose to use someone else to do an evaluation, she will help read through it and make sense of it for us and she's a wonderful resource for us teachers too- she will come in and observe our classes (to see the students and commend strategies that teachers are using- she's never said anything negative about my teaching in class) and she will help find us resources for strategies or to better understand a diagnosis if we ask her. She's an amazing resource to me and has really helped me to feel more confident with knowing how to help a child who is struggling.
     
  25. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Yeah, asking for it in writing is the key thing, so the OP doesn't get blamed for something out of their control.

    I wonder why more areas don't have LDT-Cs - I suppose budgetary reasons?
     
  26. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    bros~I don't know. I would assume that they would get teacher pay. Here, we get a bit more than what teachers do.
     
  27. willow129

    willow129 Comrade

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    I have only read the OP so I apologize if I'm repeating anything but I'm fairly certain it is illegal for you not to have had IEPs. They also have information about health issues which can even be life threatening like allergies that you need to know about.

    I would go to your principal. It is really important that higher ups know that you are having to fight for this information and they need to figure out an efficient way to get it to you.

    (I'm a specialist teacher too! Good luck!!)
     
  28. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    This whole thread just scares me. :( So there are students with IEP's in special education who aren't being serviced by a special education teacher? I just don't even know what to say. How is that even legal?
     
  29. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Here they earn around what teachers do, then near the end, their salary goes above what teachers earn at the top of the scale by a few thousand.

    I had an IEP and I never had a legitimate goal written for adaptive PE anytime in middle school or high school - they'd just print out 10 pages of random goals from some premade sheet and they'd never be addressed, mostly because they never tested me to get a baseline or to figure out my capabilities.
     
  30. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    LDTCs in my area of the state are on teacher contract..they may be getting longevity at top of scale which is typical at and beyond specified number of contracted years of service...highly doubtful they are getting a 'bonus' in their position unless taking on other responsibilities
     

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