Friday, May 4, 2007

Why ESE Teachers Need a Planning Period AND an ESE Clinical Period

Why Secondary ESE Teachers Need a “Clinical” Period and a Planning Period
(revised on 3/3/07)

With both district and administrative support at my school, we were able to implement a “clinical” period for most ESE teachers for nearly 10 years. Many other high schools throughout the county followed suit. In planning for this school year, 2006-07, we realized that it would be impossible to provide services for our students without ESE teachers teaching 5 out of 7 periods. Our duty period became “ESE Duty”, and these teachers were not assigned homerooms. This plan has not been successful as what we are asked to do for ESE students outside of the classroom while maintaining mandatory compliance and documentation is overwhelming for the little time afforded to these tasks. These tasks are clearly 20% of time.

Below is the typical/average ESE paperwork load and case management activities for VE teachers co-teaching and perhaps having 1-2 resource/special diploma classes. This is why a “Clinical Period” is needed.

1. The average IEP from arranging a date to photocopying and filing = 7 hours x 22 case load =154 hours per year (about 1/5th require an additional review) =184 hours per year.

2. Three year re-evaluations, testing for FCAT Waivers, and alternate assessments = 8 students x 3 hours each = 24 hours per year.

3. Conducting FBAs/PBIPs, IEP reviews for every student at the 10th day of suspension = (lucky if you have the average of) 2 students x 12 hours = 24 hours per year.

4. Students on McKay meetings for a re-evaluations/other = 1student x 4 hours = 4 hours per year.

5. Meeting with students on consultative status = 5 students x 9 months (not meeting in May) x 15 min. average. = 11.25 hours per year.
6. Phone calls to parents for case management = 22 case load x 10 months x average 10 min. a month (some none, more, or less) = 36.67 hours per year.

7. Consulting with teachers for students on caseload/monthly progress reports = 22 students x 9 months (not May) x 5 minutes each = 16.5 hours per year.

8. Report Card inserts = 22 caseload x 4 times per year X 5 min. each = 7.3 hours.

9. “Gretrude Graduate” (informing parents that services end upon graduation) and Summary of Performance forms (must meet with student) = 5 students x 25 minutes = 2 hours.

10. Recommendations for the following year programming 17 caseload (less the grads) x 10 minutes = 3 hours.

11. Reviewing the IEPs at the beginning of the year, and communicating accommodations and information to gen. ed. teachers at the beginning of the year and again when the IEP is reviewed = 10 hours.

This is 322.72 hours per year of ESE additional requirements to a teacher’s work day!

There's time spent “counseling” a student or providing additional help for an academic problem, not included.

Another issue is the enormous number of updates to procedures and policies. We live in a rapidly changing world and it takes a great deal of time to read the continually changing "new rule" or "procedure". With the many legal issues involved with ESE students, this is another time consuming part of the job. An annual file folder of updates has been 2 inches thick for years.

The self-contained programs spend their time of lower caseloads doing far more data collection, on-going alternate assessment, parent contact, agency contact, etc. They also must review/revise the IEP to address Extended School Year. They also have a classroom aide or attendant.

A “Planning Period” is needed for planning. In an ideal world, a VE teacher would have 3 preps and co-teaching with no more than 2 people. That's far more than a solid hour per day for planning and grading. Teachers must also plan for differentiated instruction. They must plan and provide accommodations. This must also include modified content, materials, and assessment for special diploma students who are served in a regular education classes.

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