{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "My district is looking for suggestions on ways to modify our special ed program. Ours is making life hard for our general ed classrooms. Does your district have a model you would suggest?", "post_id": "5e0b7ed764f439002a9b5dc8", "reply_count": 7, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "5c751b9f2f6b98001bc666f8", "bowl_name": "Teachers" }

My district is looking for suggestions on ways to modify our special ed program. Ours is making life hard for our general ed classrooms. Does your district have a model you would suggest?

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Special ed students need to be in classes that are tested subjects with a special ed teacher, not just an assistant. I'm responsible for the learning of these kids and if they fail state tests, it reflects poorly on me. I find that many of my special ed kids are overly dependent on their sp ed assistants and are very enabled. On top of that, often sp ed kids are placed in certain teachers rooms l, while gifted kids are placed in others. Then comparisons are made when test results come out.

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Special Ed done right, requires money. Most districts won’t spend the cash. Inclusion doesn’t work, when your class is over a certain threshold of sped kids. It’s impossible to meet the needs of your students. God forbid if you have gifted and talented in the mix too.

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The majority of district human and capital resources seem to be directed at gifted and sp ed students. Average kids need more attention.

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I like when there is a dedicated special ed class and students come and go for certain subjects. I am inclusion and I do not enjoy it. Students are pulled out and I have a hard time getting work done with them. It was much more fluid when the students pushed in.

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https://www.ecs.org/50-state-comparison-k-12-special-education-funding/ How is funding allocated in your district? I wasn’t sure I should jump in on this one. It’s a soapbox issue for me. If the allocation model is not currently supporting the needs then having the board vote on a new allocation model would be prudent for the upcoming school year. In many districts special and general education funds are separate entities (makes things difficult at times). As for service delivery models no one fits all. Special education is not a place, but a service. Inclusion teachers may have certain students they are there to support in the general education classroom, but they can support all students when opportunities present themselves. The general education teacher is responsible for the learning of all of the students. Perhaps looking at the type of teaching model (e.g., co- teaching) happening in the classroom and whether it is maximizing the learning potential of all of the students might be another path to go down. Are accommodations and modifications being implemented with consistency, including behavior plans and interventions? I personally am not a fan of pull-out services unless it is specified in the student’s IEP. They miss out on instruction. Another issue that I saw mentioned in one or two replies is in reference to personal assistants. They are not teachers and are not in charge. Personal assistants are there to help facilitate/support the student in participating in the lesson/classroom. They should be knowledgeable about the types of modifications and interventions that work for the student. Learned helplessness is a hot topic here. It is a problem. Most of my students have significant cognitive disabilities(SCD) and while we are in need of more teaching assistants somehow we are making it work. Most states have adopted Alternate Standards for students with SCD and are state tested on these standards which are based on the general education standards. Students who do not have a SCD should be in a general education classroom. Students with SCDs do not deserve to be stuck in the same classroom all day where one teacher is responsible for teaching all subject and life domain areas. The students miss out on a lot in social, behavioral and subject content experiences when this happens. How are we to intervene and correct behavior if they never have a chance to experience it? Our students have four different classes. One is an elective class with their general ed peers. I am the math teacher this year. The students go to Biology/Science, Reading/ English with different teachers. Of course we teach more than our subject area because it’s necessary. We could use another teacher unit and two more teacher assistants. We have 32 students at our high-school with SCD. The Science standards have expanded quite a lot. I was the self-contained teacher for more than a few years and this model for students with SCD needs some tweaking, but it has been the most beneficial model yet. While it is still a self-contained model, the majority of students are growing academically and in life areas because of exposure, and teachers, and admin. who are passionate about what they do. Even our general education teachers make time to include our students in lessons that match up with what we are doing. I actually have time to tutor outside of class time. I use to stay after school most days until dark and the parking lots were empty. I now leave at a reasonable time. While some believe in full inclusion for all no matter the disability, our state and many others have adopted standards students with SCD must accomplish along with state testing in order to get the new Alternate diploma, forcing us further into creating separate classes to meet these requirements( more expenditures on teacher units). If full inclusion is the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) for a particular student with a disability then so be it, but it will not be the LRE for all students with disabilities. I told you this is my soap box and now I’ve gotten off the main topic. 🥴

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And we are in the middle of a budget crisis. Our last superintendent spent all of our money and left us with 1% reserve. So we are brainstorming what is the best for our special ed structure without spending more...

What percentage of your student population is special needs? How many interventionist do you have in each building?

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