Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Case Managing 504 Plans

One of the first memories I have from my first days of a School Psych was searching for  504 plans.  You see, my school didn't have an electronic list anywhere, and the former psych left no indication of a list of students with 504's.  As case manager of 504 plans in my building, this posed a significant problem.   So, I did what any dedicated newbie would:  I searched the file drawers for the correct folders, and went from there.

Because of this, I was determined to be set up for my second year in the easiest way possible, so, part of my end of year routine involves prepping all my plans for the next year.

I created a cover sheet my first year that I have been using ever since.  I usually copy it in a bright color so that it's easy for teachers to locate, and clip it to a copy of the plan.  I've seen teachers pull it out at meetings, so I assume it's working pretty well.  I also make a copy of every students accommodation pages for the specials teachers.  At the beginning Of the year, I am good to go!

Here is the Cover Sheet I use:  (download it from google docs here)

I also send a letter out to all parents of my 504's at the beginning of the year, using this template:

And here is the letter I send to special area teachers, who get copies of multiple plans:

As I do with all meetings, I schedule all meetings at the beginning of the year, and mark all dates off on  my SPED organization chart.  I get the above going in June, so it's one less thing to do at the start of the year.  What do you all use to help case manage?

Friday, May 6, 2016

School Psychologist: Getting started with Assessments

Oh Spring.  What a dichotomy for School Psychologists.  The weather is warm, you can break out bright colors and iced coffee, but at the same time, you are scrambling, trying to beat the federal timeline on the most popular time of the year for special education referrals.  While that  will probably never change, I have developed a system over the years, for organizing and keeping track of my evaluations.

I've finally developed a system that is pretty smooth, and allows me to balance multiple evals with once without going nuts.  Here is my system:

1.  Create a cover sheet for your folder you'll keep everything in.  This is what I use, and it's been super efficient for me for the past 3 years.  It has everything I need on it, including:

  • Assessments I am doing
  • PPT dates, due dates
  • A way of tracking what assessments & observations I've done, and when I send them out/return them.

I staple that sheet to the front of your folder, write the student's name and due date on the tab, and staple a copy of the consent for testing form to the back inside, just in case there are any questions.

2.  The same day I create this, I send out a copy of all forms I need other people to fill out (developmental history, rating scales, etc.), and write those down on my form.  Another way I have made this really easy is having pre-written letters that I can quickly fill in.  Then, I stick those in an envelope and send them home/put them in teachers mailboxes.

One more tip:  Write "To:" and "From:" on the outside of your envelope.  Chances are, the parents will just cross out those words and switch them, and the chances of your envelope going back to the classroom teacher or random other person, are slim.

  3.  Also the same day, I get a copy of the protocols I need and put them in the students folder.  This saves last minute scrambling of me using the last protocol!

4.  Once things come in, or I finish them, I write those dates down on the cover sheet.

5.  If you don't already, as I mentioned in this post, you NEED a report template.  It will make your life  6 million times easier.  For mine, I try to go through and update things once a year to add any new assessments I have learned.

What's your secret to Spring eval season success?

Here are my go-to forms:

Testing planning form on TpT (Cover sheet)
Observation form on TpT
A student interview (I use this as an informal ice breaker for students)
A template letter for parent rating scales
A template letter for teacher rating scales