FIELD STUDY SPECIAL EDUCATION/ESL

RELATED SERVICES/Special Education Interview

Importance of Related Services

A Special Education Teacher works in Collaboration with Related Services Providers.

These Related Services are very important to the child's development, academic performance and support for their families. (Woodruff et al 1999) Although educators are concerned with improving educational functioning for all children, student with emotional and behavioral disabilities have continued struggle in school. As a group, they fail more courses, miss more school, receive lower grades, are retained and drop out at higher rates than any other disability group (US Department of Education 1998).

Related Services Description

The Services provided by the school and the District are:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Musical Therapy Services
  • Special Education Counseling
  • School Health Related Services
  • Audiological Services
  • Assistive Technology Team
  • Dysphagia Team
  • Parent Training Services
  • In Home Training Services
  • Psychological Services


Instructional Services:

  • Adapted Physical Education
  • Auditory Services
  • Vision Services

Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy services may be used to work directly with the student, in consultation with the family or teaching staff or to assist in making program modifications and supports for school personnel that will be provided for the student including equipment modifications and specific training to the staff. (PISD Department of Special Education Services)

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapist Evaluate and provide treatment for students focusing on development of fine motor control, functional skills ( I. e. ,eating, dressing), and sensory issues. (PISD Department of Special Education Services)

Musical Therapy Services

This team provides consultative and direct music therapy services to students who must have this service in order t demonstrate progress in their IEP.

(PISD Department of Special Education Services)

Special Education Counseling

This team provides a continuum of counseling services to students not demonstrating progress on their IEP. (PISD Department of Special Education Services)

School Health Related Services

The school nurse provides assistance to students who become ill or injured at school and works with students with chronic disabilities to enable them to function in the school setting. (PISD Department of Special Education Services)

Audiological Services

The audiologist serves students with hearing impairments by performing hearing tests and other assessments. Theaudiologist also provides technical support for students in Special Education who use assistive listening technology.

(PISD Department of Special Education Services)

Assistive Technology Team

This team evaluates the needs of students in the areas of:

  • Adapted access to computers
  • Alternative to handwriting
  • Augmenting or providing alternative forms of communication
  • Specialized software/equipment for specific academic needs
  • Assistive listening devices
  • Equipment software for the visually impaired.

(PISD Department of Special Education Services)

Dysphagia

This team provides screening who exhibit swallowing disorders or who may be at-risk for aspiration. (PISD Department of Special Education Services)

Parent Training Services

Parent/Family Training provides skills necessary for the child to succeed in the home/community settings and facilitates parental carryover of in-home training.

(PISD Department of Special Education Services)

In Home Training Services

A trainer works with the child on specific behavioral, communication or social goals, in their home or in the community, with the parents present to observe.

(PISD Department of Special Education Services)

Psychological Services

The Psychological Team is comprised of a group of individuals who specialize in the evaluation of all students with emotional and behavioral needs. Included on this team are Licensed Specialists in School Psychology and Educational Diagnosticians.

(PISD Department of Special Education Services)

Adapted Physical Education

A teacher of Adapted Physical Education provides direct and consultative service to students with disabilities whose needs preclude integration into the regular physical education classes. Also they may provide supportive services to regular physical education teachers and classroom teachers who have students with disabilities.

(PISD Department of Special Education Services)

HOW ARE THE RELATED SERVICES PROVIDED AT THE SCHOOL?

Once the Evaluation request is completed, it is sent to the campus diagnostician for distribution to Instructional Related Services Team Leader to determine eligibility.

To be eligible for a Related Service, a student must first be evaluated or assessed by the Related Service Team. A Notice of Consent of Assessment must be signed by the parent.

If the referral is the result of an ARD Committee recommendation, then a timeline for completion of the assessment must be established. As a general rule, 40 school days or 60 calendar days is given for completion of the additional assessment. However, some teams may need additional time, so it is important to contact a team member to discuss a reasonable timeline.

The ARD committee reviews the Evaluation Report and determines if the child is eligible for special education services, IEP and placement.


If the school district does not have a provider for a particular service, they must request evaluations and services from outside agencies.


SERVICE COORDINATION TEAMS

When schools identify students for Special Education and develop plans to meet the needs of these students, a multidisciplinary team is formed. This team develops and monitors an Individualized Education Program (IEP), ideally in collaboration with student's parents or caregivers. (Anderson 2000).


LINKING SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITY AGENCIES

System-of-care approaches create mechanisms for connecting schools and community and social service agencies and are designed to facilitate collaboration among parents, teachers and other service providers so that services for students with multisystem needs can be coordinated (Woodruff et al 1999).


FACTS:

* Once a child is deemed eligible for special education services, a team that includes the child's parents and representatives of the public education system is charged with developing an individualized education program that outlines academic goals and incorporates all the services and supports necessary to meet the child's unique needs. (Laudan Aron and Pamela Loprest).

* Success in school provides the foundation for a productive future for children and adolescents. (Rossenblat and Rossenblat 1999).


* System-of-care approaches facilitate cross-systems collaboration, resource sharing and working with students and families from a strengths perspective. (Anderson, J., Matthews Brent).

COLLABORATION WITH OTHER EDUCATORS/ ESL Interview

Collaboration

The ESL teacher works in collaboration with other educators. It is very important to maintain strong communication with other teachers, Literacy specialist, Math specialist and the Intervention team. A fast and efficient way to communicate is by email which also can be used as a formal way to maintain information. Meetings are also a good way to provide support or address issues that need to be discussed immediately.


Caron and McLaughlin (2002) found a common theme in inclusive schools with positive students outcomes. There was a culture of shared responsibility by all teachers for the instruction of all students. Teachers were able to effectively implement instruction for a wide variety of students. (Magiera, K., Lawrence-Brown, D., Bloomquist, K., Foster. C., Figueroa, A.,Glatz, K., et al).


Part of this collaboration is to have an active participation in "Kid Talk" at grade level meetings. Kid Talk is when teachers get together and discuss the students situation, evaluate the academic progress and test scores and how long the students have been in the country, especially if an ELL student is involved.


In some cases a student is failing due to the Language barriers, rather than a learning disability. This is most common with students who are new to the district, and there is not very much information about the previous instruction or background. In this case, an instructional plan is designed according to the students needs. At this time, the ESL teacher provides advice about the strategies to help the student. Sometimes this advice is very helpful, not only for that particular student, but also for other students who are not necessarily ELL.


Another situation that the ESL teacher faces is when a student who has been receiving ESL Instruction for one to three years does not improve academically, especially in reading comprehension. There is a chance that student might need a different type of intervention, or may need to be referred to CMIT (Campus Monitoring and Intervention Team), to be evaluated for a possible learning disability. Another way the ESL teacher collaborates with other educators is by participating in CMIT meetings. The CMIT meetings include the student's teacher, the school principal or principal assistant , counselor, literacy specialist, SPED teacher and ESL teacher if the student is ELL.


As you consider whether a student may have special education needs, it is important to remember to give ELL students time to adjust to their new surroundings and language, and to have an opportunity to demonstrate their learning over time. This may take up a year, accounting for cultural adjustment, a silent receptive period, and the development of literacy skills in a second language.

After a year, the teacher (S) will have had more experience with the student and will have had multiple opportunities to observe his/her work. It can be tricky to determine if an ELL student is struggling with language barriers or if he/she has special needs because many of the behaviors displayed are the same. For example, if a teacher has a student who refuses to answer questions, makes inappropriate comments, has poor recall, comprehension and vocabulary, and struggles when sequencing ideas, the teacher might be concerned that the child needs special education support. (Reading Rockets K. Robertson).

Challenges

One of the Challenges an ESL teacher faces is during the pull-out time, because three times a week for 45 minutes per session, the student may miss some regular class instruction, such as math, reading or writing. This situation also concerns the classroom teacher, who may be giving the same instruction at a later time for those students. In this case both teachers work as a team to solve the problem by managing a schedule that is convenient for everyone. The ESL instruction is delivered at writing time of the regular class. Writing is also included in the ESL instruction lesson plan as well as listening, speaking and reading. That way the students are receiving the same skills and learning as his/her peers in the class.


Another challenge is coordinating the training and support for educators to maintain proper records, files and documentation for ELL students. And also to make sure to comply with the law. These requirements can be time consuming, and teachers need to be aware of the importance of the law. This is why it's very important to have good professional communication with other educators.


English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are not an intervention, but collaborating with the ESL teacher on planned intervention is helpful. (Reading Rockets K. Robertson).

FACTS:

* Reading comprehension is more difficult for ELLs than for native speakers for various reasons, the three most important are:

  • ELL are more likely than native speakers to lack the background knowledge necessary for understanding text.
  • The language level of the text to be read, compared with ELLs' language proficiency, is a major factor in how much they will understand of the text.
  • Reading comprehension instruction for ELLs needs to be modified to address their needs. (Suzanne Irujo)

* Research can tell us which kinds of practices are effective in general, but ultimately only individual teachers can determine what is most effective for them and the particular group of the students they are teaching at the moment.

(Suzanne Irujo).

Peer-reviewed articles

Title: We care...for students with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities and their families.

Authors: Anderson, Jeffrey A., Matthews, Brent.


Title: Disability and the Education System

Author: Aron L Loprest P.


Title: On the Road to more Collaborative Teaching: One School Experience.

Authors: Kathleen Magiera, Diana Lawrence-Brown, Kristie Bloomquist, Connie Foster, Andrea Figueroa, Kirstin Glatz, Denise Heppeler, Pamela Rodriguez.


Title: Reading Rockets

Author: K. Robertson


Title: What Does Research Tell Us About Teaching Reading to English Language Learners?

Author: Suzanne Irujo.