In order to best facilitate the education of students, the special services staff and general education staff must work seamlessly together. To that end, please explore the resources below regarding what to expect, board policies, and classroom accommodations and modifications.
My Student Has an IEP....Now What?
At the beginning of the school year, the student's case manager will contact you with information regarding the Individual Education Program already being implemented for your new student. At that time, you should review the accommodations (change how the student demonstrates their knowledge, such as providing assignments of reduced length or allowing for questions to be read aloud to the student) and modifications (change to the curriculum the student is expected to know, such as allowing for mastery of addition/subtraction before expecting the student to multiply) listed at the end of the document to be sure you understand and can implement what has been decided will benefit the student. When you sign off that you've received these from the case manager, you are accepting legal responsibility to provide the agreed upon accommodations, modifications, and supports listed in the IEP. You should also take careful note of the goals addressed by the IEP and the student's Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance. The IEP is not meant to replace the general education curriculum, but to target specific skill areas in order that the student may better access the general education curriculum. The focus of the services received by the student will be articulated in the goals, which are generated based on identified areas of deficit during evaluation and the determination of the IEP team.
If the student was referred for evaluation by the district or a parent during the school year, a very specific timeline is triggered. You can learn more about that here. You can expect a Review of Existing Data (RED) Meeting to follow the initial evaluation. During that meeting, both parents and teachers may share their concerns in each of the possible 13 areas a student can qualify for special services in under IDEA. That meeting will also determine the data needed to proceed with the process, such as an Intelligence Quotient, measure of academic achievement, or screening for language/speech/motor concerns. When that data has been gathered, the team will reconvene and discuss the results at an Eligibility Determination meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to find the student eligible or ineligible for services under IDEA. If the student is determined to be eligible, an initial Individual Education Program will be generated at the student's first IEP meeting.
The IEP can be changed any time the team determines it to be necessary, but no less than annually.
School Board Policies
As educators, we often receives questions from parents about how and why things are done the way they are in Concordia R-2. You can find the entire board policies listed on the website here. The policies that are often referenced regarding the education of students have been compiled into a concise document for your review here.
Below, please explore some articles that may help you as you address the needs of your students. This list is not meant to represent an all-inclusive list, but to serve as a catalyst for further exploration and professional development.
Recommended Resources in the Professional Library
Providing Academic Support in the Classroom:
Principles for Helping Struggling Readers and Writers
Strategies for Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division
Newsela - provides adaptive reads for ELA, Science, Math, Social Studies, and Elementary Classrooms
"Strategies for Students With Scattered Minds"
"Dyslexia in the General Education Classroom"
Notes from: Failing in Creativity: The Problem of Policy and Practice in Australia and the United States
Resources and Help from Elemy - an innovative, tech-forward provider of in-home and online applied behavior analysis to help children on the autism spectrum meet their unique needs.
Working with Special Education Staff
"What I've Learned from Special Education Teachers"
Notes from: Paraprofessional Support: Tips for Enhanced Collaboration
Podcast: The Inclusive Class Podcast
"Speed Bump, Not a Road Block" - ideas for discussion of disability in the classroom
Behavioral Support in the Classroom
PBIS Effective Classroom Practices
Suggested PBIS Classroom Interventions
"17 Ways to Help Students with ADHD Concentrate"
PBS Learning Media has several valuable professional development webinars available in a variety of subjects, including a series focused on social emotional learning called "Cultivating Good Neighbor Skills."
Several of the resources above and many more can be located at Edutopia.org. There are many resources that provide helpful information regarding education and learning differences. This listing is not all-inclusive and is intended only to assist parents and patrons of the Concordia R-2 School District understand the education and services available within special services. The endorsement of agencies or resources, or lack thereof, is neither implicitly or explicitly implied.