Monday, May 07, 2007

SBO VOTE


I recently received the following email from new teacher to our school, I think its important to voice our concerns and thoughts before a whole school meeting. Lets avoid what has happened in the past and be clear on our options when we vote.

One thing the letter did not mention but that is also up for an SBO vote is SLC meetings. I think we would be remiss if we did not weigh in on this either.

Walter,
Would you be able to post something to start discussion about Friday's SBO vote? I'd like to hear opinions from all about the items we will be voting on. I'd like to learn more about the issues- for example the Special education Transition/IEP coordinator. What would the job responsibilities be? Is it wise to have three separate contact people that plan with outside sources. How will this position affect the CTT model?
Perhaps there is an opinion that I've not taken into consideration. I want to make an informed decision.
.
.
After looking through the DOE website I found what the role of a SETSS provider is supposed to be. Fortunately, in Montessori our providers have done an amazing job at keeping up with all their roles and responsibilities. Do we need to dedicate more time to specific, tasks? Is per-session available? I know as a history teacher I could use some help writing lesson plans.

25 comments:

d. o'neill said...

Hopefully Mike Lieber will read this post and send out a list or post on his blog everything we are voting on and what each comp-time position entails.
I am an experienced teacher and do not know all that we are voting on or the changes that people are looking for. Since the vote is on Friday it is important that the discussion be ahead of time so that we make an informed vote.

W Brown said...

I hope so in the mean time if anyone else has a clear understnding it would be great if they could explain..... I will keep an eye open on the union website

Anonymous said...

I don't think the SBO vote is about SETSS providers.

W Brown said...

But...I was under the impression that an IEP coordinator comptime position would only be duplicating the responsibility of what SETSS providers already accomplish.

On a side note... I don't want to give the impression that SETSS providers are not doing thier job...in fact they are doing an excellent job... WHY insult these hard professionals?

Anonymous said...

From http://schools.nyc.gov/NR/rdonlyres/B85DB6F6-0664-44A1-A6FE-DA6092A290DC/4774/PreliminaryFY2006SchoolBudgetAllocationFormulae.pdf

Special Education (IEP) Teacher Allocation
Schools are required to ensure proper participation of special education teachers at IEP meetings for students initially referred for special education evaluations conducted at the school and for requested and triennial re-evaluations. To ensure sufficient teacher participation at IEP meetings, in addition to direct instruction to Special Education “at risk” students, an additional special education teacher allocation is provided to selected schools based on a review of three years of initial assessment caseload data at each school.

Anonymous said...

What other comp time positions will we be voting on?

W Brown said...

Another way we could ensure sufficient teacher participation we be to better use our SLC time.

Yet another reason to keep this valuable time afforded to us by our school's philisophical design.

On our team we often use the time to participate in IEP meetings under the title of our "studnet talk" sessions.

Is our "case load" data been offically assessed at warranting less student teacher contact time? I know on our small grade level team we haven't been feeling the effects....are others?

I think the SETSS providers are best to speak to this issue.

I hope they comment on this blog and share their thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Hello all:

Lafergola here. I think this is an important issue. First, the question about the IEP Coordinator is a valid one. I have a bit of an understanding of the position, so I will offer it up. Hopefully, others can either add or subtract in order to give us a more accurate picture. My understanding is that the IEP Coordinator works solely with the IEPs. This means the person handles all of the meetings that take place around IEPs. This individual ensures that the IEP is accurate and up to date. This person also works with the SETSS providers and Gen. Ed. teachers to ensure that the student is receiving all of the services that are on the IEP. I believe that this position is being created because of possible deficiencies that may have surfaced during our
Special Education Review.

Now, with regard to the rest of the meeting. Most of us have done this at least once or twice. I am going to assume (and hopefully not make an ASS of myself) that we will review current Comp. Time positions and decide whether or not to keep them. We will aslo reevaluate the time allocations for existing positions, and determine allocations for new positions.

The next issue is definitely going to be the issue of our professional period. As most of you know we have had to vote as a chapter on changing our professional periods to our SLC periods. Currently, SLCs are our professional period. The Union has a specific menu that we can chose our professional period from - if we elect not to do this (SLC) we must vote. In order for the vote to hold 50% of the chapter must vote to affirm the change.

I hope that this is helpful.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of one person to just look at IEP's. This deserves to be followed to its logical conclusion.

I have a problem with a student not paying attention in class, but I do not have to worry. The Non Paying Attention Liasion can handle all meetings and issues that I foward to him/her.

Luckily, when my lesson bombs, I can rely on my trusty Lesson Plan Guru to handle all meetings, paperwork, and contacts that go along with such trivialities.

Fortunately, none of those people have to be in a classroom to actually see the kids or myself. Since they do not need to focus on whether the process is working and they can really bang out the paperwork.

So as you can see I will be voting YES for the IEP position.

Woolsey

Anonymous said...

wow!

Non-Paying Attention Liason

LOL!

Ms. Mayo said...

Although I did get a chuckle out of Woolsey's email (and look forward to someone applying for a comp time position of grading papers for me), I like the idea of the SETSS provider and the SLC team handling the students' IEPs. It seems like making IEPs a comp time job adds another layer and further removes the IEPs from actual practice. Wasn't that one of the issues that surfaced from the Special Education Review-- that IEPs were separate from the student and what actually happens in the classroom? Wouldn't an IEP Coordinator just make that situation worse?

Aren't there other ways to address deficiencies that may have surfaced during our Special Education Review?

Lori

W Brown said...

Were there deficiencies? Is this why we are creating this position? How could IEPs be out of compliance when the team of teachers meets together three hours a week? I think we should look how we spend our SLC time not remove teacher student contact time.

d. o'neill said...

Actually I think there were deficiencies found during the review that was connected to the proper filing and completion of IEPs. If my understanding fo the position is correct the IEP coordinator would not be removed from the scene but rather would be working with all SETSS providers to ensure that the IEP, which is an important document, reflects everything in relation to the needs of the student, is filed and then the mandated goals are carried out. I do not think it is suppose to be an "easy" job.
I am going to talk to our SETSS teachers and find out if this position is welcomed by them and find out if it is valid.

As for changing any comp time position I believe we need 55% vote as a chapter to make the change.

Kathy...so are we to discuss the positions and then take a vote the very same day? Is there a meeting? I am confused. Are the only changes the chapter is putting forward about increasing programmers time and the SLC? That is all I see on the UFT blog.
Mike...we need to hear from you.

Anonymous said...

Not for nothing, IEPs are mandated by federal law.

Mary Ann Conner said...

There are many complicated issues and questions here. As a SETTS provider, I can assure you that the DOE definition of the job is really designed for a special education teacher in a D75 setting. We actually have SETTS positions and CTT positions. Students receiving SETTS are actually considered general education students with special education services, including push in assistance from their speical education teacher. CTT kids are actually considered to requrire more intensive intervention, including at least three classes in which there is a special education teacher co-teaching the class. They may also receive SETSS.
Yes, the review did identify problems, particularly with the IEP files that accompany our ninth graders. As many know, the paperwork involved in keeping up the IEPs which drive our system is complex and laborious. We really do need someone to make certain that files are complete, to agressively track down missing files, and to coordinate meetings to correct incomplete or badly written plans. We appreciate the kind words, but do not feel insulted by having this position proposed. (I am speaking for myself here - it's the royal "we".)
I do have an issue with the transition piece of this tacked on to the IEP teacher piece. Having all three communities arrange for vocational/career speakers, college trips, VESID services, etc. seems like a lot of duplication with many opportunities for confusion. I think that we all really need a little more information before a SBO vote - sorry that this is so wordy.

Anonymous said...

Apparently there is a lot of misunderstandings as to the role an IEP Teacher plays in a school. Please understand that this person, who is officially known as a Compliance Coordinator, does not write the IEP's for other teachers, among other things. This is one of many misconceptions that is being perpetuated on this blog. May we suggest ending this conversation here and picking it up in person on Friday at our meeting. With all due respect we're concerned that further discussion without accurate information will fuel unsubstantiated opinions.
Thanks, Gina V., Demi B., Mimi D., Lorna M.

Anonymous said...

Apparently there is a lot of misunderstandings as to the role an IEP Teacher plays in a school. Please understand that this person, who is officially known as a Compliance Coordinator, does not write the IEP's for other teachers, among other things. This is one of many misconceptions that is being perpetuated on this blog. May we suggest ending this conversation here and picking it up in person on Friday at our meeting. With all due respect we're concerned that further discussion without accurate information will fuel unsubstantiated opinions.
Thanks, Gina V., Demi B., Mimi D., Lorna M.

Anonymous said...

After reading all of these blogs, I feel that there is, unfortunately, a lack of communication/information/understanding concerning what the Special Educator's role is. I feel that it would be very helpful if, at the very least, all staff members had a clear understanding of what our role is. How many of you out there in Gen. Ed. know what a SETSS Provider does and is responsible for. How many of you are aware of what CTT is all about and how advantageous it could be if presented in a uniform and direct manner to all staff members? If there are questions, which there obviously are, then please, please, please ask the questions of the people who who know how to explain it the best.In light of the fact that we just had a Special Education Quality Review, I feel that it is of utmost importance that the entire staff increases its understanding and awareness of Special Education, particularly how QHST would like for it to be. In Nigel's Concept Paper it clearly states that this is an inclusive school. Are we all on the same page about this? Do we understand what this means. Do we respect what it implies? If so, it would be very helpful if all of us were on the same page about what the Special Educator's role is.

Ms. Mayo said...

Gina V., Demi B., Mimi D., Lorna M.,

You make a valid point about the misconceptions. Maybe you can help clear up some of these misunderstandings before Friday. We tend to go into these SBO vote meetings without enough information. So we spend a lot of time clarifying, and many people have to leave before we even get to the vote.

I know I'm confused. Does the work of a Compliance Coordinator need to be done by a Special Education teacher, or is it more clerical?

Lori

d. o'neill said...

The discussion should take place on Friday and then the vote should not be until Tuesday so that we have what we are voting on in writing. This is only way to clarify and make sure we are all on the same page. The IEP coordinator is not the only comp time position in question or are comp time positions the only issue we are voting on. If a vote is taken on Friday it could be considered invalid since we are not clear on what we are voting for.
I really wouild like to hear from Mike and hopefully he will be in tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

In response to Lori, I would personally feel a lot more comfortable discussing this in person. I for one have a difficult time communicating such sensitive topics by writing about them here. I'm thankful for those of you who have spoken up and realize that this is a deeper discussion than it may at first appear and I hope we can discuss it in a healthy manner on Friday. I'd be happy to speak about it with anyone interested sooner. Please realize that many of the special educators were unaware that this position was going to be part of the SBO vote on Friday and I would have rather heard about it sooner myself. Postponing the vote until we all feel properly informed may not be a bad idea. Thanks for listening.
Gina V.

Mary Ann Conner said...

I agree. We do need to have a conversation before we vote and people need to know more about why the position has been proposed. Given the scant information provided prior to the SBO vote, Woolsey's sarcasm is not surprising - I'm sure that others may harbor the same resentments and misconceptions.

Anonymous said...

I still want to apply for the Non Paying Attention Liasion position.

On a serious note, can we get a clear job description of the Compliance Coordinator? It seems as if this new position includes a lot of paperwork, planning and many hours of work outside of the classroom.... no wait, I think that position is called "teacher." Now I'm totally confused.

Ms. Mayo said...

I think we need to clarify why people are skeptical of comp time positions. It's not about trying to make sure that people aren't getting out of doing work, or that everyone is equal in terms of the amount of work they do. It's about trying to keep as many teachers in the classroom as possible in order to keep class size down, and best serve the students. That's why, if it can be done, it's sometimes better to think in terms of per session rather than comp time positions, creative ways to use SLC meeting time, etc.

That said, if a comp time position is the best way to solve a problem, I think most of us will be open minded before we make any decisions.

Lori

Anonymous said...

As a CTT teacher, I absolutely feel this model is not working. It could work, in theory, but not the way things are set up now. Being forced to stand up in front of a class and embarrass yourself teaching content you don't know just to put on a show that you're standing in front of the room is stupid, frankly, and benefiting no one- not the students, not the CTT teacher, and not the general ed teacher who will have to reteach the lesson the next day, anyway. Steamrolling your CTT teacher into doing what the general ed teacher wants, whether it be either extreme- ignoring them and not planing with them, or handing them a lesson that you wrote and wondering why they can't posibly teach it is not exaclty what 'relationship' building is all about. If you have never taught special ed, please do not read theory and a manuel and then feel you are an expert and able to give advice and instruction to CTT teachers. Go teach a CTT class. Then you might have even a fraction of an insight as to what you're talking about.