Friday, January 26, 2007

Special Education Taskforce

This is the continuation of my earlier posts here and here.

B. Instructional Support: Resources and Materials

1. Professional Development

- When will there be training for all Special Education teachers (on aligning the Standards with IEP goals) similar to the training hat occured in the beginning of the school year for all new teachers?
- How can we get training provided by the system on Inclusion and Differentiated Instruction?

2. Materials and Supplies
- Are you aware that some classrooms are still without appropriate instructional materials and textbooks for Special Education children? (What immediate action can take place to rectify this situation?)
- Has the system made provisions for getting Related Service Providers the appropriate and necessary assistive materials and resources for executing therapy and treatment? (What immediate action can take place to rectify this situation?

C. Least Restrictive Environment: Inclusionary Model

1. System-wide Definition of Inclusion

- How does the system define Inclusion? Can this information be provided in writing to all teachers, related service providers, and administrators with the reasons for supporting this philosophy?
- Why does there seem to be a push towards having every child placed in an Inclusionary setting? Does the system believe that Inclusion is appropriate for every child?

2. Implications for Academic Injury and Physical Injury

- Where do the unique needs of a student factor in when decisions are made for Inclusionary placement? (What are the legal implications? Our answer is academic injury - due to lack of training for every teacher and administrator and inadequacy in the compulsary staffing for Special Education students e.g. Dedicated Aides, Teacher-Student ratio, and Related Service Provider-Case Load ratio.
- Under the new plan (MEP) to develop more Inclusion settings for the DCPS students attending schools outside of DC) and to do so in schools designed for general education populations, how is the system going to address facility issues, specifically accessibility and mobility deficits which exists in most of our buildings? (Are there implications for physical injury?)

It seems to me that the system is pushing for the Inclusion model for special education. We are hoping that they can give us sufficient response to our concerns before implementing this.

Inclusion without resources, without support, without teacher preparation time, without commitment, without a vision statement, without restructuring, without staff development, won't work. -- Mara Sapon-Shevin

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