Trouble with Reg. Ed. Teachers

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by rookieABC123, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. rookieABC123

    rookieABC123 Comrade

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    Sep 13, 2012

    I have two emotionally disturbed students that are currently mainstreamed. They need modifictions and adaptations to make sufficient progress in reg. ed. room. The problem is the reg. ed. teacher complains that he/she can't modify the assignment/task for one student because that it's not fair to other students that have to do all the work.
    For example, shortening assignments or scribing for the student if they begin to shut down. I have a math teacher that gives his kids 6 pages of math worksheets per day. This is definitely too much for these students then they get overwhelmed and angry and will end up doing NOTHING. I can't have them come to my room for everything because they will lose too much time academically and so will I with my other students that I'm trying to teach.
    I'm sure there are other special ed. teachers that deal with this so tell me how do you deal with this problem??
    Thank you!
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Do your students have IEPs or 504s?
     
  4. rookieABC123

    rookieABC123 Comrade

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    They have IEPS. I think the teachers think they we are babying them and they need to just do the work like any other student. I certainly don't want to be an enabler either. I don't want the students taking advantage of it either. Most of my students hate to write and this will cause a lot of meltdowns.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    What are the specific accommodations and modifications given on these students' IEPs?
     
  6. Mellz Bellz

    Mellz Bellz Comrade

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    Bottom line is if it's in their IEP's it MUST get done. Sometimes I offer to modify the tests for the teachers because they do get busy. If they think allowing their Special Ed students accommodations is unfair to the other students that is truly sad. I think it's even more unfair to expect Sp Ed kids to do the same work and then have them hold back everyone else because they get frustrated or can't complete a task independently.

    Perhaps your reg Ed teachers need some inservicing on basic Sp Ed laws.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    But if it's not in the IEPs, then the special ed teachers can't demand it. We don't know what's in the IEPs and what's not.
     
  8. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Yes, this. Several of my students with IEPs struggle with reading and longer assignments, but. Ly me out of the 7 has the specific shorten assignments accommodation. The others only have extra time.

    What am I supposed to do then?
     
  9. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I think this really depends on the philosophy of the school too...in my last school, we weren't supposed to modify at all. I tried to do some for my kids (I used to teach sped) but it was really frowned on because they always said we needed to have high expectations for everyone. I think this is just another product of the focus on standardized testing... a very common argument is "well, they'll be tested on grade level material, so how can I not have them doing the same work/same amount of work when they'll have to do it on the test?"

    Also, speaking as a former sped teacher, I think it should be the sped teacher's responsibility to modify assignments for their students. I would have never thought to ask teachers to do this for themselves when I taught sped...modifying is specific to sped and something that a trained professional should do. Gen ed teachers don't typically have training on how to modify and don't know what it should look like. Not to mention they are already responsible for differentiating for everyone else in the class and all of those extra responsibilities...the sped teachers need to take the responsibility for providing sped services. If you want the students to do a modified assignment, I would suggest that you modify it and give it to the teacher for the student to use.
     
  10. rookieABC123

    rookieABC123 Comrade

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    Yes it is in their IEPS to have extended time and modified assignments and tests.
    I understand that I should be the one modifying the assignment which I will do for major projects and tests.
    Let me give you an example of what happened yesterday. I have a student who is ED who hates to write and hates reading class in general. The students were supposed to write the difinitions of their reading vocab. words in their journals. He refused. He starts to disrupt the class and then I get a phone call from the teachers. I go down bring him to my room and give him a simpler vocabulary worksheet that goes along with the story. He's still learning the concept but in a different way. I can see how this could cause problems with the other students in his class. They would think it is unfair that he only had to a worksheet and they had to write them out so I'm sure the reg. ed. teacher wouldn't make this an option anyway. Not only that but that teacher is probably p***** off at me for giving him something else.
    This is the mentality of my school. I'm not sure how to fix it.
     
  11. rookieABC123

    rookieABC123 Comrade

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    I completely agree with you....I think that is part of the problem. They think that if the child can be in their classroom then they should be able to do all the work. I'm not saying to dumb down the work but I know when my students shut down you won't get ANY work out of them.
     
  12. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Is there a special ed director you could talk to? It seems like you doing what you can to help them but if it's their classes then they should at least be doing something about the modifications and not complaning about them.
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Is it standard procedure to modify assignments because students "hate" doing them? Is that how things work when it comes to setting up IEPs?
     
  14. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    When a child is classified as ED, sometimes. It depends on the child. I have a child who gets shortened/modified assignments because of ED. She gets so frustrated doing longer assignments, or writing extended answers, that she often shuts down and won't do anything. In extreme cases, she exhibits self-harming behaviors. I do what I can to help her and build her confidence.
     
  15. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    The trick may lie in having the accommodation planned in advance and conveyed to the student before that frustration hits. Perhaps you and the GenEd teacher can work out a uniform way to cut down in-class assignments that the student will already know when the task starts.

    It's so much easier to handle differentiation the way I work. My students don't see what I adjust for their classmates. It must be so frustrating.
     
  16. McParadigm

    McParadigm Companion

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    I've heard of them being modified for that reason for BD kids, but I couldn't tell you to what degree.
     
  17. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    I can't imagine not following an IEP ... that's the law, and it's my job to follow it. Students who need it are always given extra time, and I do work with the special ed teacher to modify work where necessary. That being said, the teaching is a partnership between me and the special ed teacher. I try to let her know what I am doing ahead of time so that she can prep her kids. I do modify assignments where I can, and I encourage her to let me know if she sees the need for additional modification. However, when it comes to taking notes, I cannot scribe for a student. I do have copies of my notes that I make available to all students. I think that where regular ed teachers get frustrated is when they have to independently make modifications that can disrupt the flow of the class. They need help to see how this is possible!
     
  18. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    This seems to happen when teachers don't differentiate in the classroom. Students think that everyone has to do the same work.

    I've done an exercise where I have someone who is sitting close to the door count their steps to the door. Then repeat with someone sitting farther away. We talk about how they both got to the door, it just took one more steps.

    As a gen ed teacher of the sped teacher offered to help me to accommodate, modifiy, differentiate for kids, I'd be all over it!
     
  19. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    What kind of modifications are you talking about? The most common modifications I see for testing or assignments are double or time and a half, questions and directions read aloud. You don't really need to be a trained professional to figure that out. You do need to have the mindset that these modifications need to be followed because they're on the IEP and that the students deserve this. (Which is seems the gen. ed. teacher doesn't have.) But it seems like that's what the OP's students need.
     
  20. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Extra time on tests and the questions and directions being read aloud are accommodations, not modifications.
     
  21. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    Unfortunately, most regular ed teachers just don't get it. I once had one tell me that I was "enabling" a child who was going blind by teaching him BRAILE. Yep, she was a jerk. But, you'll have that. If it is in their plans, they have to do it. You have done your part in telling them. Ultimately, the blame lies with them.
     
  22. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    That's kind of rude and presumptuous, don't you think? I think we're all trying to do the best we can with what we have. From the perspective of a regular ed teacher, I can tell you that it often feels like I'm being pushed to focus on my kids with special needs to the point of ignoring the needs of the other 40-50 kids in the class. What exactly am I supposed to do? What if the IEP says that I have to read all practice and test questions aloud to the student, but I have no aide and 40 other students to monitor/supervise during practice work and test-taking? Focusing 100% of my attention on one student does nothing for the rest of the students. I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place, not that I'm an incompetent or dismissive teacher. I don't appreciate the generalizations that you're making.
     
  23. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    So, let me ask you...how would reading the questions to everyone affect your class negatively?

    I no longer have any classroom contact with regular ed teachers. I taught for a few long years in resource and inclusion, and I found what I said to be true. I now teach in a self-contained setting. Each child I have in class is on a different level. We find a way to teach each child. I have one assistant.

    BTW....how many kids do you have in a class? You are ignoring 50 kids by reading to one?
     
  24. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    On tests, you cant expect a class to all be on the same question. Some students have accommodations that specify quiet. Some students without accommodations want quiet while testing.

    What about two students who need questions read who are at a different pace?

    What about students who have questions about the material or need clarification?

    What about the fact that in large classes, we are required by admin to continually circulate during tests because of prevalent cheating?

    I am surprised that you don't find general Ed teachers to be helpful. All year, I work with case managers and kids to come up with the best solutions. I think that this is case for most of us. There always is a case manager that thinks our best is not enough; we can't do everything.

    Reading everything is generally beyond our resources. We can certainly find ways to work around that, but it takes a lot of planning and cooperation between us, the student, and the case manager.

    (I have classes of 32, with an average of 4-5 kids with IEPs. Usually they just need extra time or preferential seating, but when you have 32 kids, half ELL, it is challenging to ensure that all students are having their needs met.)
     
  25. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    This is basically exactly what I was going to say. It's unrealistic to expect everyone in the class to take a test or work on practice activities at the same pace.

    As for the sizes of my classes, this year my classes are at 36 each. That number is much smaller than the past few years because I moved to a new classroom with a maximum occupancy of 36 per the fire marshal. During the last two years, my smallest class was 40. My largest was 52. Most of my classes were in the 44-48 range.

    Although I don't teach a self-contained class, my students are at all different levels as well. Instead of 5, 10, or 15 students with a wide range of abilities, I have had 36-52 with a wide range of abilities. In every class I have high-achieving GATE students, limited- and non-proficient English students, students who read and write on a 1st grade level (in high school), and a variety of IEPs and 504s. I do the best I can, and I also have to find a way to reach each one. I'm not trying to hurt anyone. I can't be expected to provide intensive, focused, all-consuming interventions with one student when there are many others who also need my attention and feedback. Not only is cheating a factor, but there's also the fact that I teach in an inner-city school with gangs, violence, and drugs. I really do have to keep my eyes on things all the time in order to prevent situations from arising and to help de-escalate situations that do arise.

    When I see things like what's in this thread, where assignments are modified because students "hate" doing them, I find myself wondering if we are really helping kids or if we are, in fact, enabling or hindering them. We create manufactured, unrealistic, artificial settings where Somebody Else is responsible for ensuring that students stay on track. Where's the sense of personal responsibility and accountability on the part of the student? Why aren't we setting goals that allow and require the student to develop coping skills? Why aren't we helping students find ways to be successful without Someone Else's intervention? In the real world, which they will be entering all too soon, they will have to find a way to be successful. They're probably not going to have Someone Else lighten their load or run interference for them. What do you think will happen when they have to write a shift report for the next guy coming on at work? "I hate writing shift reports! Writing makes me so angry! I'm not going to do it! If you make me do it, I'll lash out!" How are we helping anyone if we're sending the message that that sort of thing is okay?
     
  26. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    Anyway, I said MOST, not all! It is old thinking to believe that each child will learn in the same way, and at the same rate. It is up to you and your school to determine how you are going to reach these kids. There should be an inclusion/resource teacher who can help out with these kids. I always had my kids pulled out for read aloud. Of course, I was the one who had to do it with the child during my planning period. I would have the teachers place tests in my box and then I would pull the kids in and read them the test. Unfortunately, that meant that the kid had to sit there during the test with the other kids and pretend that he/she was doing something. I had planning during their electives, so I didn't feel quite as bad for pulling them out. (Sorry elective teachers.)

    I also found that regular ed teachers did not understand what a true modification is. Giving a kid 2 problems instead of 10 is not a modification. The child does not understand the material. TASK ANALYSIS needs to be used. Think...what is the smallest part of this problem that the child does not understand. Focus on that, and then move on from there.

    Does your school have a system in place for any of this?
     
  27. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Wow.
     
  28. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    See....here's the thing.....a TEAM decided that this was what is necessary for this child to learn in a general education environment. The plan was not pulled out of thin air somewhere. An LEA (usually a principal) was in the meeting. The LEA would have spoken up if the modification was something that was totally unrealistic. A regular ed teacher also needed to be in the meeting. If you are the regular ed teacher, then you need to voice your concern.

    Yes, IEP's can and should be changed when necessary. However, the interventions/modifications/accommodations need to be implemented regularly and correctly before we say they don't work, correct?
     
  29. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I know how IEPs are created, thanks. You are missing my point. And that is basically sort of my whole point in the first place.
     
  30. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    I see your point. I don't think you see mine.
     
  31. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    I know that we must follow the IEP and make accommodations for our SPED population. However, sitting on the other side of that desk as a regular Ed teacher... When I am in class trying my best to reach all my learners, I have to consider my Sped kids, my GT kids, my 504 kids, my struggling students, my average learners etc. . It becomes overwhelming the amount of adjustments I am supposed to make in a day. Here is something that I do to take some of the pressure off myself... I send my plans and every assignment that will be assessed to our SPED team each week. I then ask her to look over assignments and decide what modifications need to be made and she makes the modifications. She has my plans at least a week in advance - usually two weeks.

    In the meantime, your teachers need to understand that they are seriously breaking the law when they do not follow IEPs. This should be discussed with your P.

    I think as a reg. Ed teacher the thing that bothers me the most is that we are inflating these students grades and often times they are given statewide tests with no accommodations like we have given them during the school year... so we are setting the kids up to fail. Then parents cannot understand why they do so poorly because they are coming home with decent grades... But not on grade level. Yes, we make a blanket statement that the grades are based on their individual needs and their IEP goals, but parents don"t understand that their child is seriously behind the rest of the student population.

    It is a tough situation for all. Don't kid yourself. We all struggle. Bottom line .... We have to make it work because the law is the law.

    Good luck!
     
  32. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    SCTeacher~One of the good things about this new STAAR test is the fact that for a student to be modified, the school has to have documentation that modifications are being made. So instead of teachers just putting students on modified curriculum to pass them along, now the student actually has to be getting that modified curriculum.
     
  33. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    By law, any accommodation that is used in class also has to be used on the standardized tests. Actually, the way it is worded is that any accommodation the child gets on the test has to be regularly used in class.
     
  34. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Our IEPs have a testing accommodation/modifications section and a separate classroom setting accommodation/modifications section. They are not mutually inclusive. Testing Acomms and Mods DO NOT have to be regularly used in class as far as I understand.

    Can you post that part of the law on here? I'm curious how it reads. Either you're wrong or my SPED teachers are not following the law.
    Thanks
     
  35. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    . Interesting... Nope. That is not happening everywhere... We are told to modify, modify, modify and then we are told....
    Diag:Well the student can get a small group testing environment, but we cannot read the test to them...
    Me: Ummmm... But you have me read the directions on all tests and help them with all unknown words.
    Diag: Oh well, it says AS NEEDED so ...
    Me: Duh, it's needed.
    Diag:Well, he/she does not qualify.
    Me:What????
     
  36. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    This depends on what kind of accommodation you're talking about (in my state, at least). Any accommodation the student gets on the test, they must also get in class. However, there are accommodations/modifications they can get in class that don't apply to the state test, because only certain accommodations are allowed for state testing. For example, test read aloud and extra time are both permissible state test accommodations. If a student gets these on the state test, they must also get them in class. However, if a student gets something like shortened assignments, that's not something that's possible to do on the test, so of course that would only be an in-class accommodation. That's why there is a different section for classroom accommodations and testing accommodations. In my state, there is no modified state test (other than the alternate assessment for students with profound disabilities, but I assume that's not what we're talking about here), so obviously any modifications are in-class only. We have to document that a student has actually been using an accommodation for three months or more in order for them to get it on the state test. However, in my home state, this wasn't true- I remember in my student teaching they added "scribe" at the last minute to a bunch of the IEPs for testing hoping it would help bump up the sped scores. It's certainly not best practice, but there was no law to stop them. So your state might be different.


    ETA: I do read tests aloud in class for several of my students, and I haven't had too much of a problem. Yes, it is "one more thing," but it's doable. In my state, we can give regular ed kids accommodations if we prove they've been getting them all year, so I'm documenting for 6-7 kids that they get the test read aloud. I have them sit at the small group table and go one question at a time. I tell them that they shouldn't work ahead of me even if they're done with the question, because then me reading the questions won't help them any. I wait until I see everyone has answered to read the next question. This is the same set up they'll get for the state test, so I want them used to having to wait for me to read the next thing (we don't have enough people to do 1:1 testing, so kids with "test read aloud" will all be in the same room for testing). When kids are writing short answers, I get up from the table and walk around to check on the other students. Of course a pull out setting for read alouds would be best, but we just don't have the staff to do it, and of course I'm reading quietly and not in a booming voice that will distract the other kids. This actually isn't one of the sped scenarios I find irritating at all. What really gets me is the 897347 forms of documentation I must have for my severe behavior iep student. I could fill up an entire planning period just filling out her documentation daily!
     
  37. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    . I am down with that... Give the student what they have received all year. But is anyone giving this kid a first grade test when they are reading on a level 6? Nope, they are getting a 3 rd grade STAAR with modifications not reading levels...
     
  38. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    This is specific to my state. I have not found it in federal law yet, but I'm pretty sure it it there as well.

    http://education.ohio.gov/GD/Templa...RelationID=301&ContentID=43712&Content=113172 Rules Book page 40

    General Information on Accommodations, continued
    OAC 3301-13- 03(H)(1-4) specifies these four criteria for allowable accommodations:
    The accommodation must be specified in a student with disabilities’ IEP and be provided to the student in the classroom for classroom- and district-wide tests. In addition, the accommodation must be documented in writing on the testing page of the IEP or 504 Plan BEFORE the student takes a test.
     The accommodation cannot change the content or structure of the test. For example, the test administrator may not convert open-ended questions to multiple-choice questions.
     The accommodation cannot change what type of knowledge or skill that a test is intended to measure. For example, the test administrator is not permitted to read the passages from a reading test, because this would change the test from a measure of reading skills to a measure of listening skills. The use of assistive technologies (e.g., an acceptable calculator on a mathematics test or an acceptable word processor on a writing test) may be allowed if it does not change what a test is intended to measure. Such allowable accommodations may be appropriate to support student participation in a statewide test.
     The accommodation cannot change or enhance the student’s response as to what type of knowledge or skill is intended to be assessed. For example, a scribe may record ONLY the actual response provided by a student. If such an accommodation is provided in the classroom, then the IEP team may determine that the accommodation should be provided to the student at the time of testing. School staff should use caution, however, when providing these types of accommodations, because the potential exists to exceed the criteria for allowable accommodations, i.e., the scribe could enhance a student’s response and invalidate the assumption made from the test result. The two most common allowable methods for scribing to accommodate the participation of a student with a disability in the area of writing are word processing and dictation. Specific guidelines for these two methods of scribing can be found on page 64.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  39. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Yes, there is a lot of inconsistency.

    I think what you are missing here ecteach is that gen Ed and sped are supposed to work together as a team. It sounds like you are putting it all on the general Ed teachers. I don't know any teachers who do not work closely with the sped teachers. I need their input for any modifications--in most cases they are better able to do that than I am.

    They may get some accommodations on the state test, but not modifications. From what I've observed, the sped students in my class (the ones who work with the team teacher) rarely pass. They simply don't have the basic skills needed, no matter how hard they work. We can scaffold them in class and they can succeed in controlled conditions, but not the state test. This makes me so angry. Is it any wonder these hard working students are continually frustrated?!
     
  40. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Sep 16, 2012

    Well said!
     
  41. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 16, 2012

    Accommodations are different than modifications. Most students get accommodations. A student can be read to on the test, just not the Reading test. As long as a student qualifies as SPED, then they can get these accommodations on the state test as long as they are receiving them in the classroom and you can document that as well.
     

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