Looking for ideas of staff coverage options in self-contained classroom

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Carolynw4, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. Carolynw4

    Carolynw4 New Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    Likes Received:

    Feb 23, 2021

    I’ve taught 11 years in a resource room setting but this year do to covid I was needed in a self-contained classroom and moved to that a week before school started with very little direction. In fact it feels like we are almost not part of the sped world.

    I have the students with the highest medical needs. I have 4 students (2 that are totally dependent on staff to be changed, lifted in and out of chairs/beds, changed, need 2 people to lift in and out and bathroom, etc.). Other 2 students are not as medically fragile but still need a lot of assistance (much more independent though.

    I have myself as the teacher and 3 paras. Until the new year we had 4 paras and they finally got a new one but that one is being used elsewhere for sped, not for my life skills classroom. We have 1 para that is gone a lot and for a good reason. But when we are down to myself and 2 paras it really makes it hard to take kids to the bathroom and lift in and out because they have given one para 1.5 hours of outside duty (all at lunch time/changing time). This para also takes the two other students to outside classes. And then it’s myself and one other para and we struggle to find coverage because someone needs to stay with my students and 2 need to go change a student but there’s only 2 adults. Subs for paras are rarely if ever found.

    I was asked to make a plan for what to do if one para is gone, 2 paras gone, 3 paras (all) are gone by tomorrow at 3! I thought our meeting would be brainstorming options as I’m new to this school but it was far from that.

    We asked if we were legally required to have 2 adults in the classroom at all times but didn’t get an answer really on that.

    So my fellow special education teachers.... has anyone been in this situation and can you help me brainstorm some ideas that I can put into place for when 1, 2, or 3 (all) of my paras are gone? The 4th one is there but I was told we could involve her but she is going to be covering general Ed kids (I’m thinking students with iep’s in gen Ed classes) because we are short everywhere.
  3. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Apr 29, 2008
    Likes Received:

    Feb 24, 2021

    Yes, definitely look into cloning yourself. That's the only option I can see! This sounds like a really difficult situation and I've had similar issues with no help from admin. Hope you can figure something out.
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    May 19, 2007
    Likes Received:

    Feb 26, 2021

    That's my sentiment. I guess if they (in)conveniently take all your paras I would have to tell them "My resignation will be on your desk in the morning."
    RainStorm likes this.

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