18 November, 2011 (All day)
What is happening with Special Education in Morgan School District? Federal law 94-142 Idea mandates the practice of special education. Each state dictates how they will adopt and implement educational practices. Then each district utilizes the guidelines to design programs that are mandated for individual schools, classrooms, and students. This can be tricky in both large and small districts because of size and funding, so creativity and intelligence combined makes it work! Synchronizing education between what is happening in the regular education classes, special education classes, related service providers and at home, is as crucial as a balanced diet.
In rural areas, technology and specialists are not as readily available. The state has set up special teams, such as augmentative communication teams, behavior specialist teams, and others. We, as special education teachers in Morgan District, have the opportunity to serve on these teams, thus bringing specialists to our schools to evaluate and implement best practices for students in need. This team approach is a valuable asset when working with difficult cases. Funding is also available through the state and teams to purchase needed materials, technology, and personnel to provide the needed care. The teams and specialists are not limited to a specific age group. Team members consist of specialists in all fields of education including pre-school, k-5, middle school and high school.
Creativity in how schools implement special education services is essential to success. Creating schedules that do not inhibit student learning, but utilize maximum learning experiences is highly sought after. This sounds easy, but when students’ schedules mixed with their needs, regular classroom schedules, favorite elective classes, and time of day learning . . . it can get a little sticky. Compromise and flexibility is a must. Then finally when the correct schedule is achieved . . . students need change and the process starts again!
Morgan School District’s Special Education Teams have experience, intelligence and heart. This is a small district sometimes lacking funding and state of the art materials, but never short of love and caring for each individual student. State Individual Education Plans, also known as IEP’s, do not have a box to check concerning love and care for students, but Morgan School District’s IEP forms do have a box to check for Celebrating Student Successes. This shows the love and concern. Special education teachers and staff in our district have been involved in promoting education as well as experiences that go above and beyond the academic spectrum. Teachers have been at all night graduation parties just so special education students can participate without parents being there (oh my that would be too embarrassing ha ha). Teachers have also been spotted supporting students at sporting events, plays, musical concerts, and other after school opportunities. Teachers’ attendance at these events is entirely due to caring and always putting what is best for the student above all else.