Over the past two weeks Nina and Vivian met individually with each special ed teacher to review programming, portfolios and offer support. Sped teachers are using their areas of expertise to meet students IEP needs. Here are a few highlights as to what is going on in the special Ed classroom: Fundations and Wilson Instruction to address phonetic needs, Behavior interventions, co-teaching strategies, Life skills, modifying curriculum, using extended standards in self contained classrooms, collaboration with regular Ed staff. Nina Dorfman has completed the OTES training and will be doing daily walkthroughs to support staff.
Highlights of sped meeting:
- First quarter progress reports and portfolios have been updated and will be reviewed week of December 1, 2012
- Staff is being trained in extended standards and co-teaching practices
- Teachers are using several models of co-teaching
- Resource room Staff will issue CST forms to regular ed teachers
Highlights of our monthly sped meeting:
Special ed teachers are involved in trainings regarding transitions, alternative assessment, and co-
teaching. They also were apprised of other professional development opportunities. Many great things are happening in their classrooms.
The Special Ed. department is in full swing with setting up classes, IAT's and programming. Sped staff participated in a co-teaching training as part of the Sped Ed ratio grant. We are hoping to have exciting collaborative sessions between Special Ed. staff and regular Ed. staff. Nina and I attended an alternative assessment pilot training. Alternative assessment has undergone a complete change and we will be training and coaching staff about the extensions which is what our alternative assessment students will be using that align with the new core standards. Sped staff members also plan to attend trainings on transitions and other pertinent topics that will keep IEP's compliant.
This week the special ed staff met to review our accomplishments and challenges. Some of the accomplishments were:
- Excellent review from our sponsor 100% compliance.
- All sped staff are writing catalac ieps, thanks to training by Vivian and ongoing reviews of ieps by Nina and Lori.
- Staff members felt that the CST meetings were worthwhile and ongoing documentation shows collaboration with regular ed.
- The Sped staff appreciates the support from administration and Nina.
- Sped staff did the introduce the following co-teaching models this year: one teach on drift, one teach one observe and parallel teaching. Next year we will include ongoing co teaching models.
- Sped ed staff is working determining ratios in the middle school.
- Sped staff requested training in certain disciplines to deal with severe behaviors.
- Next year we will have behavior plans in classrooms.
At our special ed meeting on April 3 we reviewed the following: IEP’s, transitions sped ratio grant, and co teaching updates, as well as other concerns. At this point our student to staff ratio is in compliance. We are fortunate to have received round 2 of the special ed ratio grant. Mary Jo, Kristen Day, Charles Hunt Sue Richter will be part of the study. Sped ed staff was reminded to keep on with the CST reports. This is our first year of co- teaching. The models that are being used are parallel teaching and station teaching. As the year progresses staff will expand their repertoire of co teaching models.
Special ed staff will be going to a training tomorrow on transition updates. Our staff always satys one step ahead when it comes to special ed compliance.
Nicki Salfer is presenting a Fundations Workshop for new staff members. Both she and Kristen Day will be coaching staff members.
This week marks the culmination of Alternative Assessment. Sped staff did a wonderful job in accessing and documenting progress of severely cognitive students. Alternative Assessment is standards driven and the application follows the Ohio State Benchmarks. All binders will be submitted to the state by March 1.
Dear Dr. Schmiesing,
It is with great pleasure I write this special education review based on my most recent visit to Virtual Schoolhouse on Jan. 18, 2012. Special education services, at VSH under the direction of Ms. Vivian Garfunkel, was found to be on solid ground in terms of being compliant with IDEA and Ohio’s Operating Standards for Agencies Serving Children with Disabilities.
Virtual Schoolhouse has made positive strides since my previous visit in October 2009. Items of note include; streamlining the psychological/special education department which addresses student referrals and evaluations, organizing the documentation of IAT meetings, revising the school’s special education handbook, plus continuous professional development training for all staff members, and new and improved student portfolios. VSH has reworked its website, making it high tech and parent/user friendly. All the aforementioned areas have been improved while developing an optional form to assist in the identification process of home bound instruction students. This form is utilized readily by medical professionals.
Virtual Schoolhouse shows great parent involvement as evidenced in the file review. The VSH staff does a fine job of turning in student data for student evaluations and the ETR process. Finally, it must be noted in student special ed. files, the measurable goals & objectives are well written.
During the exit interview, there were two areas mentioned that need attention. The first was, as well as VSH staff does in gathering and turning in data on students for ETRs, these data sheets need to be signed by the evaluators. The other area is on the PR01 form (prior written notice), section 5, must list the names of all tests, evaluations, assessments and formal surveys and match the planning form.
Overall, a very positive visit that exhibited the positive results of the diligent efforts of the Virtual Schoolhouse staff. Please commend those involved, especially Ms. Garfunkel for her supervision in the daily operation of delivering special education services to the students of VSH.
Randy L. Meeker
Special Ed. Consultant
ESC of Lake Erie West
SPED teachers are doing a wonderful job making sure IEP’s are in compliance. We will be well prepared for our upcoming visit January 18 from Lucas County.