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Flexible Scheduling 101. May 3, 2012 “Special Education is a service, not a place.”. Imagine the possibilities…. . LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT

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flexible scheduling 101

Flexible Scheduling101

May 3, 2012

“Special Education is a service, not a place.”


Imagine the possibilities….


“to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities are educated with children who are not disabled, and special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular education environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability of a child is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.” - IDEA

reform guiding principles
Reform Guiding Principles
  • The majority of students with IEPs will attend their home zoned school
  • IEP goals will be written with the students strengths in mind as well as the deficits
  • Schools will have curricular, instructional and scheduling flexibility to meet the diverse needs of students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment
the need for flexible programming reports on nyc schools
The Need for Flexible Programming: Reports on NYC Schools

Access to the General Education Curriculum & Student Achievement : “In the coming years, consistent with the principles of Children First, the Department should increase its focus on long-term outcomes for students with disabilities and empower schools, parents, and DOE staff to collaborate in building successful instructional models and strengthening the culture of inclusion for students with disabilities.” (From the Harries Report, 2009)


What is Flexible Programming?

  • Students are scheduled according to their strengths, needs, preferences, and interests, maximizing time spent with their non-disabled peers.
  • Teachers’ and related service providers’ schedules promote flexibility and collaboration.
  • School resources are utilized in creative and innovative ways.
  • School wide structures facilitate and promote flexibility.
truth or myth
Truth or Myth?

A self-contained special education teacher can not teach SETSS.

Schools are not allowed to amend IEPs to reflect the needs of individual students.

ICT classes must be provided full time.

Students may not receive both SETSS and ICT services because this would be “double dipping”.

If a student is 3 years or more below grade level in reading they must be put in a self contained class.

A self-contained class can serve students that span 3 grades.

general information about flexible programming demystifying the myths
General Information about Flexible Programming: Demystifying the myths


In most instances, a special education teacher does not have to teach exclusively (100% of the time) within only one program model. In other words, there is no such thing as a “self-contained teacher” or a “SETSS teacher.”

Flexible teacher programming allows for greater utilization of human resources, increased collaboration resulting in improved integration of professional learning, inquiry and support.


In most instances, a student with a disability does not have to receive services exclusively (100% of the time) in one setting.

Based on individual strengths and needs, students may receive IEP recommendations for more than one setting with other students with and without disabilities in adherence to the prescribed teacher-student ratio on the IEP.

the continuum of services
The Continuum of Services

Related Services provided as a support throughout the Continuum

scenarios small group work
Scenarios- Small Group Work

Scenario 1: Elementary School A – Three entering kindergarten students have a program recommendation of 12:1 on their IEP and there is currently no self-contained kindergarten class in the school.

Scenario 2: Middle School B – A new student enrolls as an “over the counter” 6th grader who has an IEP that recommends full time ICT. There isn’t an available seat in the 6th grade ICT class.

scenarios small group work1
Scenarios- Small Group Work

Things to keep in mind:

You will need to make certain assumptions in each case. If time permits, think through the same scenario but with different assumptions.

Students who are ELLs are entitled to bilingual assessments. Unfortunately, many monolingual English assessments are inappropriately given leading to an over identification of students as having a disability who do not.

The SED and the Office of Labor Relations has approved and encouraged the flexible use of special educators to serve students with a variety of program recommendations (e.g. SETSS and part-time ICT)

guiding questions
Guiding Questions

What would your first steps be? What is the most important information to collect?

•What structures would need to already be in place in the school in order to promote successful flexible scheduling? How can you help if these structures are not in place?

•Make any assumptions that you need to make regarding your scenario, and then brainstorm possible “solutions”. Does your solution provide the student(s) with access to the general education curriculum in their least restrictive environment?


possible solutions
Possible Solutions

Putting the puzzle together

next steps
Next Steps

Based on your role in your school, how can you help to move the reform forward?