Resource Teams and Learning Centers at EIS are setting up a learning environment to assist students and teachers by providing the programming, tools, resources and assistance needed to reach desired learning goals and overall academic success.
Range of Placement Options
After assessing a student’s strengths and areas of need the resource team, along with parents decide on what kind of intervention will be needed. There are a variety of options and environments for students of different ability. Here at EIS there a few options.
i. Regular Classroom with Indirect Support:
- Help in the classroom by teacher or assistant in an “indirect” manner.
- Straight forward adjustments to the classroom environment (seating, more visuals, individual direction, etc.)
- Specialized equipment
ii. Resource Assistance:
- Direct support with an educational assistant “co-teaching”
- Assist in student’s socializing
- Ensure student doesn’t miss curriculum content or topics presented to whole class
- Remedial support for language or skills development
iii. Regular Class with Withdrawal:
- Student will be integrated with a classroom with occasional “pull-outs”
- Student remains a member of the regular class but a part of the program is delivered by the resource team on a formally scheduled basis.
In other school systems internationally, there are sometimes other options and environments set up for students with greater need requiring more intensive intervention.
Who Is On The Team?
Usually a team has a relatively permanent core of people, e.g., the principal, classroom teachers, and the special education teacher. Other teachers, professionals, and parents may be added depending on individual cases. The group works as a team, but each member usually has a particular role.
- needed for scheduling and making personnel and resources available
- responsible for meeting legal requirements.
The Special Education Teacher:
- assigned the responsibility for scheduling, chairing and maintaining the records for the team
- skills and training in assessment
- access to a multitude of program and modification ideas and additional recources
- direct role in the implementation or arranging of implementation of strategies
- can describe or model techniques for a classroom teacher
- arranges for support personnel
- works with students directly
The Classroom Teacher:
- attend meetings about students who are being discussed
- help generate solutions for students in difficulty and provide support for implementing these solutions
- provide information about curriculum/standard expectations in particular grades
- be aware of combinations of students/students social skills
- collect assessment data, observations (academic and behavior) and/or samples of work from student being discussed
- MOST IMPORTANTLY- the person who will carry out instructional plans generated by the team and communicate with the resource team about what can realistically be carried out in their classroom.
The Educational Assistants: (Master of Many Tasks!)
- active teaching of identified students under the guidelines established by the Special Education and Classroom Teachers and the IP or IEP
- assisting in the development IPs or IEPs
- assisting the classroom teacher by helping students with their learning activities
- assisting with providing appropriate activities as described in a student’s IP or IEP
- monitoring and recording student achievement
- supervision of repeated practice
- one-on-one reinforcement or expanding a concept
- help manage classroom conduct
- modify educational materials
- ongoing communication with students and teachers
What Does a Resource Team Do?
Resource teams can play an integral part in the school. We meet with staff on a regular scheduled basis, we meet with referred students, or students who are at risk of being so. The team can also help the classroom teacher with ideas for students who are having mild difficultly in the classroom environment.
How to Have a Student Referred and the Identification Process
Many students have already been identified or are in the process of being identified and tested by the time they reach middle school. Usually, they have been through some sort of identification process and an IP or an IEP has been written. This is a document that has been constructed to assist a student after gaining insight into a subject’s intelligence, strengths, needs, health and behavior. It is a working document that can change as needed and helps predict as much as reasonably possible, success in school. If you are concerned about a student’s educational performance, or behavior and would like to have them referred, the process usually looks something like this:
I. Gathering the Information: collecting evidence about student performance
- Check student files from previous grades
- Previous report cards
- Ask questions or for insight from key persons such as parents, principals and teachers
- Review assessments and tests
- Ask recourse teacher to perform test
- Record classroom observations
- Gather student work samples
II. Setting the Direction: setting up a meeting with resource team
The resource team including classroom teachers and resource assistants will meet and make a “picture” of the student’s strengths and needs.
- An IP may be produced and then implemented for a student
- Further investigation and testing may be required
III. Developing an IEP: if further investigation is needed, the team will continue with developing an IEP listing specific accommodations or modifications in a student’s educational programming.
- List a student’s strengths and needs
- Establish learning and or behavioral goals (targets) and what is expected of the student (what the students will do), based on subject standards and/or curriculum
- Choose strategies and resources needed
- Monitor results and continue to review and change goals as student grows
IV. Implementing the IP or IEP
- The classroom teacher, Special Education teacher and any educational assistant working with the student will use practical application of the IP or IEP, and continue to communicate student needs and progress.
V. Reviewing and Updating:
- After assessment period, continue to review IP or IEP and ensure it still reflects student’s needs, that it is still effective, and that there is evidence of student progress.