Our school is made up of many different types of students. The diverse culture of the school provides for some challenges in educating the various students. Our school has 65% F. A. R. M. S. rate, 5% of the school are ELL students and 52% of the school being special education students either 504 or IEP. The administration of the school needs to make sure that the faculty and staff of the school is prepared and trained properly to deal with such a diverse group of students. Special Education
The principal of South High has a great grasp on the special education department and the curriculum of the school. He understands how the two pieces fit and work together. He also understands what it takes to make sure that the special education students are obtaining the best education that they possibly can obtain. Our principal wants all teachers to be able to read and understand an I. E. P. or a 504 plan. This might mean that a professional development is set up for teachers to be trained in reading the documents correctly so every student can be given their accommodations.
He also wants the special educations that are on the certification track to be in the least restrictive environment, but wants those students to be in regular classes as well. Special education students need to be in general education classes, not just the life skills classes. By placing these students in the least restrictive environment, these students will be able to grasp the content that is being taught to them within that class. This allows the students to garner other social skills and develop friendships with students outside of the special education department.
I believe that placing special education students in the least restrictive environment, whenever possible, will help those students with their academic success. I believe this to be true for all special education students, from the students on the certificate path to the students with ADHD and all in between. Those students that need modifications need to be allowed to use them. These modifications were developed to allow the student to learn and concentrate on the classroom material. The modifications need to be clear and precise to the student and the way they learn.
No student should have a generic explanation of the modification, but a clear explanation of why the modification is needed. I also believe that special education teachers need to be pulling the students they are in charge of so they can communicate with them and check up with their teachers to make sure the accommodations are successful. South High has a basic approach to the special education department and how they handle their special education students. They review the I. E. P. ‘s and 504’s of the students every year and make the necessary adjustments.
The case managers hand out the snapshots of the I. E. P. ‘s and 504s to all of the educators so they may know what accommodations their students will need. The special educators pull their case students into the resource every 2 weeks to talk to the students about their classes and give them whatever support might be appropriate at that time. The life skills students are kept together for 4/6 periods during the day. The other 2 periods are electives that the students will be able to strive during.
The special education department of South High is designed to help the students succeed in the classroom and to help the educators to teach these students in different ways. After examining the special education department of the school, I have come to the conclusion that it works really well. The only change that I would make is to have the case workers meet with their students more often. At the moment, the case workers meet with their students every 2 weeks, I would change that to every week.
More communication and face time with their case workers, kids would develop a stronger bond with their caseworkers and develop a level of trust that could help them in the future. Plus, meeting more often would allow the case work to give extra support when needed and modify the IEP or 504 to be better suit the student and their learning experience. English Language-Learning Students The principal at South High has an understanding of how the ELL curriculum is aligned with in the school. The students are immersed into language learning by being placed directly into the classroom.
These ELL students have the ability to use translation devices and they also have the resource room (with the ELL teacher) at their disposal. If the students are working on an assignment and need extra help, then they may go to the resource room and work on the assignment there. The ELL students are also pulled occasionally in a rotation to discuss any problems that they might have in their classes, or to discuss any confusion that might be occurring. I believe that ELL should be immersed into the regular classroom.
These students will be allowed to use pocket translators and other devices to help them understand the material. The ELL educator and the general Ed teacher need to come up with strategies that will help the ELL student to succeed in the classroom. The classroom teachers that are serving the ELL students should have text rich classrooms. These teachers should have posters and words all over their classrooms. The hallways of the school should have posters and text through the hallways. The ELL students should have access to their resource teachers during the day.
If the student is taking a test/quiz or writing a paper, these students should be allowed to use the resource for support. South High shares some of the same view points as I do when it comes to ELL learners. The school immerses the ELL students into the classroom and allows the students to use pocket translators during class to help in understanding the content. The teachers of the ELL students are not required to fill their rooms with text rich poster and bulletin boards. The educators are not required to help these students in any greater capacity than allowing their accommodations.
The ELL students are permitted to use the resource room for taking tests and quizzes, writing papers and other work that they might need help in completing. The ELL students also take the P. A. R. C. C. exam and H. S. A. tests with the ELL educators. The school gives the students a nice foundation of help with the ELL students, but they could be doing more. I believe that the school should require more text in the classrooms, and on bulletin boards through the school. Not only would this help those ELL students, but it would also help other students with their vocabulary, word recognition and Lexile ability.
This ability would help strengthen the Language arts of the school. Student Diversity The principal at South High is in charge of a very diverse population within the school. The F. A. R. M. S. rate of the school is at 65%, with 20% of the schools population has a household income over one hundred thousand dollars annually. Our students come from all walks of life, and it is the job of the principal to make sure that our faculty and staff is prepared to handle the students they will be teaching. Our principal schedules professional developments on diversity, ethics, adaptive and handicapped students.
He wants to make sure that we are equipped to handle any situation that might occur. I believe that though every student is different, they are still entitled to a fair and equal education. Teachers need to be trained in educating students from all walks of life. It is the responsibility of the principal and administrative team to make sure that all teachers are trained in equity and diversity. It is my responsibility to make sure that all teachers are up to date on the new laws and regulations that pertain to their subject area and area of the building.
For example, updating physical education teachers in the new regulations that pertain to transgendered students and the locker room that they will be allowed to use during class and training these teachers to handle this new regulation. Educators need to understand the rights that the students have in the classroom, and the educator needs to know their own rights. South High safeguards student diversity by training all educators in diversity and equity. It is important that all staff and faculty members are trained in diversity equity.
Our school not only has a diverse student population but also a diverse faculty and staff. Our staff can relate to the student population and the community population outside of the school. Having a faculty that can better relate to the students and community makes communication and education more efficient. One way that we could improve ourselves is to provide more training on specific issues. For examples, providing professional developments on poverty or transgenderism would be more beneficial to the teachers than a generic training on diversity.
Conclusion The principal must understand how some very complex issues effects the overall culture of the school. The principal must understand how the special education curriculum aligns with the county curriculum. He/she must understand how the English-Language learner fits in to the scope of the curriculum. The principal must also understand the social issues that are affecting the school. He/she must train the staff in order to have a highly functional education center that will produce students that will be ready to take on the world after high school.