Spinoff: Schools without a special ed program

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Caesar753, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,559
    Likes Received:
    2,654

    Jun 18, 2014

    It was brought up in another thread that private schools are not generally required to accept students with special needs.

    Would you support a policy in a public school district where certain schools in the district have special ed programs but other schools do not?

    What sort of impact might that have on students, including general ed students?

    Would you send your own child to a school without a special needs program if your child was general ed? Why or why not?
     
  2.  
  3. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    2,489
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 18, 2014

    Interesting.

    We have partial services at my school. It is a public collge prep magnet school. We have push-in services. We do not have self-contained classrooms. We do not have Autism classrooms. We do not have VE classrooms. We do have a full-inclusion gifted program - one of only two available in my district at the MS level.

    Parents who have children with IEPs are informed when the kids get called up what services are available at our school. Generally, the child needs to be able to function in a grade-level classroom with minimum assistance from an ESE teacher. Parents have the option to either decline their seat (children are usually put on our wait list at birth) and enroll at a school that does meet their child's needs OR they can keep their seat but then have to sign away the aspects of the IEP that we don't provide (I've never heard of anyone actually doing the second option).

    When I was a kid, all ESE students attended one elementary school. All gifted students attended another elementary school. Every other school was gen-ed.

    In general, I'm ok with certain schools offering certain programs - but I'd never want to go back to having only one school for every child on an IEP.

    Not sure of impact, honestly.

    If I had a kid, I'd want to send them to a school that best fit their needs. If it's where I currently work, that's great. If they wanted to attend a different school because of different programs available there (vet, oceanography, culinary, whatevs), then I'd try to get them assigned there, regardless of whether there were SPED services there (assuming my hypothetical kid is gen-ed, anyway).
     
  4. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,224
    Likes Received:
    147

    Jun 18, 2014

    We are a very small school with a very lean staff. Our sped teachers are often scheduled to be in 3-4 classes at once. It would be beneficial to have more sped kids and thus more sped teachers. Approximately thirty percent of our 10th graders are on an IEP or 504. I have about 25% of them in one section (along with regular ed kids). I have a sped teacher with me 90% of the time. Meanwhile, the other kids on her caseload (the 5% and her other students-about 15 more at least) aren't receiving any help that period 90% of the time. Scheduling is a nightmare. You can't have all those kids in English and then her others in Geometry.

    We don't do any resource room right now either. I'd love to see us be able to offer that. Maybe the answer is a school that focuses on resource room and one like ours that does gen ed only.

    I would love it if we had a couple schools that had great sped programs. We are simply spread too thin. I have no good answer. There's only so much we can do for our kids reading on 1st and 2nd grade levels in a regular high school English class.
     
  5. bros

    bros Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,105
    Likes Received:
    68

    Jun 19, 2014

    Some districts have certain schools that only have certain programs - I know in the district I live in, they specifically send kids with reading based LDs to a specific elementary school because a resource teacher there is trained in Wilson - and has trained a few of the grade level teachers in Wilson techniques.
     
  6. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,644
    Likes Received:
    108

    Jun 19, 2014

    Both of the private schools that I've taught at have had students with special needs- we just have the "ability" to limit what types of students we admit into our classrooms though. While we don't have students who have very difficulty to meet special needs, we do have students who can difficulties with math, reading/writing, speech, etc who need to have accommodations- students get an evaluation through a doctor to determine their needs and what strategies should be used.

    We also assist with sever food allergies and health issues, like diabetes. We assist with students who have physical disabilities too- one of my students this year had a really bad concussion and she was wheelchair bound for a few months (we have no elevator in my school building).

    We also have special programs- which tend to be used inside the classroom (so not necessarily pull out)- to enrich the curriculum for those who are "gifted and talented".
     
  7. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,949
    Likes Received:
    17

    Jun 19, 2014

    Yes, I would support it. No, I would not send my kids there if they were not special needs especially if these schools have over 50% of their students with special needs.
     
  8. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,330
    Likes Received:
    572

    Jun 19, 2014

    Our district has such schools like this to some degree. Our early colleges are not required to provide certain accommodations. Typical separate setting, extended time for testing needs can be met. But not much more beyond that. Including AIG programs.

    I would absolutely send my general ed students to a school without a sped program. I don't need a school to teach my children empathy and to expose them to people of different abilities.

    My youngest child would actually be a much better student now if she didn't spend her second and third grade years sitting next to sped students. Because of her temperament she was always seated next to really slow learners and had to play helper to them. She fell behind herself as a result. The snowball effect took place and now she's convinced that she "can't do math." Two of my own students would be better off if they didn't have to be in the same classroom as some sped students. One of those would have his own front teeth since they were knocked out by a BEH student that lost control.

    I would think it would be MUCH cheaper for the district to have specialties at certain schools. Severely disabled students (like 20 year olds that have the capabilities of infants) could get better attention if they aren't in the same room as a higher-functioning child with Down's. At my school, for instance, the county had to provide very expensive and specific equipment for one student. It was used once or twice a week. Another student, across the district, used the same thing three or four times a week. Because the schools were so far apart they couldn't share the equipment. But if the students were in the same school, they could. The attention they would get from their teachers would be better too, I imagine.

    Special education covers such a wide range issues that I can't imagine there being some services offered at each school.
     
  9. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Jun 19, 2014

    In the district I work out now, life skills students are housed on one campus only. PPCD is housed on another campus. So you do have some elementary schools and a junior high that do not have students with severe disabilities. My daughter's school housed the behavior unit this year so all the students who needed that service came to her elementary school. I don't think that's ideal, and the behavior unit does not always stay at the same elementary school for more than a couple of years.
     
  10. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,018
    Likes Received:
    153

    Jun 19, 2014

    We only have two elementaries in our district. Our school ,has the PCD and the PPCD for our district. In fact the other school doesn't even have a special ed teacher on their campus. They have to share the high schools. We have three on our campus. The two I mentioned and one spec ed resource teacher.
     
  11. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,022
    Likes Received:
    883

    Jun 19, 2014

    My district is so small that we have "center based programs." Every school has mild/mod, but then the others are only at one school because there are such a small number of students that it doesn't make sense to have a program at each school. We have 4 elementary schools and mine is the only one that doesn't have a center based program. One has the behavior unit, one has the developmental/life skills unit, and one has the functional academics unit. I know our school pscyh feels really passionately that functional academics should be in every school. We sent two students on my caseload over to that program this year and she thought it was horrible that we had to essentially kick them out of their home school with the friends they'd grown up with in order to get their needs met. I see where she's coming from, but from a financial standpoint I still think it makes the most sense the way that we do it. Our budget is already stretched so thin- I had 50 kids on my caseload this year. I don't know they'd possibly have a functional academics teacher in each building as well. I would disagree with a school that didn't even have mild/mod. services, because those disabilities are so common, and those students can spend a lot of time in gen ed. There really isn't any excuse to not provide services for them. Having all students with learning disabilities in one building would be ridiculous.

    On the other hand, a very large nearby district is saying that they're building an elementary school that will house all students with behavior disorders and students with autism that exhibit behavior problems as part of their autism. Well behaved children with autism will be allowed to attend their home school. No other students would attend this school. They are claiming that since "alternative high schools" are okay, so is "alternative elementary school." I am very interested to see this unfold. I can't imagine who in their right mind would want to teach there, be the principal, the secretary, etc.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,559
    Likes Received:
    2,654

    Jun 19, 2014

    I didn't realize that so many school districts already had policies like this in place. My own district is very large with several hundred schools. There are a handful of specialized schools for students with severe special needs, but I really don't know what it takes to get into one since most (all?) of those special needs are addressed at regular neighborhood schools anyway.

    When I posed the question I guess I was wondering less about the logistics of how such a policy would be implemented and more about how students would be affected.
     
  13. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,330
    Likes Received:
    572

    Jun 19, 2014

    I think it depends upon the disabilities. For the most part, I think ALL students would benefit from separation (severe disabilities).

    We have some wonderful students at my school that would miss out on being volunteers in the severely disabled classrooms if those students were placed elsewhere. That would be the only drawback, really. Fifteen kids out of 2000 that would miss out on those interactions. To the best of my knowledge, those 15 kids volunteer in the special needs rooms on Sundays at their churches too though.

    There are approximately 10 classrooms in the same hallway as this special needs room. At least once a day some, if not all, of those classrooms are disrupted due to the behavior of some of those students. Students that freak out because the bells rang. Students that freak out because they see other students walking down the hall and they want to as well. Some students scream for over an hour, making it impossible for the classes next door to concentrate.

    These same students that have to decompress for over an hour because some hooligan pulled the fire alarm. They get distracted when the nearby class empties at class change. Some get violent when a student walks by their room and it isn't class change. Some are deeply troubled when other students get too loud in the cafeteria or run past them as they are heading to the field for exercise.

    Then we have the behaviorally/emotionally disabled children that are placed in general ed classrooms because they do not have actual learning disabilities. These students are often violent (two former ones are awaiting trial for murder, one is in prison for rape and another is on the run for attempted murder). They bully and intimidate students but heaven forbid someone give them back a taste of their own medicine. Then that's a serious charge there buddy - it is against the law to harass someone who is disabled. So the kids that are too weak become victims. Those that are strong enough to stick up for themselves fear legalities for doing so.

    Maybe these problems could be solved by other means other than separation, I don't know. But I do know that separation would help.
     
  14. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,841
    Likes Received:
    321

    Jun 19, 2014

    I am a Special Education teacher and I hands down believe separate settings can be valuable. However, I don't believe in separate schools based only on labels...IE: The Austism Program...The ED/BD Program....LRE should entirely be a case by case basis. Inclusion should always be the goal, but it is not always appropriate or warranted.
     
  15. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    4,326
    Likes Received:
    768

    Jun 19, 2014

    I work at a very small private PK-8 school. We have one class per grade level, and less that 150 students. We actually have a full time special ed resource teacher, but that is because we decided this was important to us.

    We are limited in what we offer, but we try to offer as much as we can. We make sure parents are aware that we only have what we have. Legally, we don't have to provide anything, but if we aren't able to fufil an IEP, we wouldn't accept that student. If we are able to meet the terms of the IEP, we do.
     
  16. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,330
    Likes Received:
    572

    Jun 20, 2014

    Rain,

    What happens if you accept a student that turns out to need more than you can give? Are they dismissed from the school or do they go without?
     
  17. geoteacher

    geoteacher Devotee

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,023
    Likes Received:
    233

    Jun 20, 2014

    Quite honestly, I don't think that most parents of regular ed students think about where the special ed population is housed. I know that when I was considering where to enroll my eldest in kindergarten, it just didn't cross my mind. While I do understand that, because of staffing it might be easier to house groups of students with disabilities in certain buildings, that is not the way my district does things. We service students in the building that matches their grade or age.
     
  18. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    4,326
    Likes Received:
    768

    Jun 20, 2014

    We let the parents know that we aren't able to provide what they need, and the decision is left to the parents.
     
  19. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,644
    Likes Received:
    108

    Jun 20, 2014

    I, for the most part agree, since I've been a student with other students who had special needs that just honestly kind of ruined my learning because of it and because I think it helps teachers to be able to help students with whatever needs each child actually has when there can be separate settings- whether it's a talented group, "average", or with special needs. (I don't think they need to be separate for everything though)

    I think it might be easier for a district to have special schools though- can you imagine the costs to set up a learning environment for each type of need/interest, the hiring of trained faculty for each need, etc? My high school district made each high school have some kind of "talent" at their school- my hs had agriculture studies & a childcare facility (which I took part in knowing I wanted to be a teacher), another had a dance curriculum available, another had a professional cooking curriculum available and we'd be bussed/you could drive to the different schools for half a day if we wanted to participate (you could only participate in 1 unfortunately). There's no way the district could have afforded to have all of those at every school, among the other programs they have.
     
  20. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,186
    Likes Received:
    89

    Jun 20, 2014

    My county has only 2 self-contained elementary and middle school classes. The students are bused to that school if they are out of district. This is SO much better than the county I came from where each elementary and middle school had a self-contained class. One year I had 2 students. It was an easy year, but the whole year I had to worry about losing my job. My position did get cut at the end of that year. Both of those students moved up to the high school, and there were none coming from elementary. Guess what....they have that position back now, and there are 3 kids in the class. A friend of mine teaches it. I would much rather have 10-12 kids in a class and job security. It makes more sense to me to have limited schools that offer the services that are needed for the high needs population.
     
  21. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,844
    Likes Received:
    1,336

    Jun 20, 2014

    I attended a small district with five elementary schools. Mine was the only one with a special education program for moderate to severe disabilities.

    My EX attended a private school. No services, but he did get small classes and extra help he needed.
     
  22. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,449
    Likes Received:
    1,460

    Jun 20, 2014

    In my district, all sites have a program for mild/moderate special ed students. Most sites have a program for moderate/severe students, too. However, if a site doesn't have a program for moderate/severe students and there's a student at that particular school who needs those accommodations, they will attend the closest school that has the appropriate services. Additionally, all sites have a resource specialist for kids who have a learning disability that doesn't need to be addressed in a full-day special education classroom setting. The RSP teacher offers pull-out and push-in services.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. mortezahosseini
Total: 479 (members: 1, guests: 449, robots: 29)
test