Confession time! Every year, my most dreaded task is scheduling. There are so many moving pieces in our line of work that make scheduling a challenging task. In this blog post, I share tried and true tips and sample schedules for my middle school moderate/intensive special day class.
Background about My Class
I teach a middle school moderate/intensive special day class. I have nine students and three support staff in my program. My students’ academic levels range from Pre-K to 2nd grade. Inclusion is a big focus for my school and it is also a big goal for my program. The current school schedule due to COVID-19 is 9am to 2:10pm.
Considerations when Making Schedules for My Middle School Moderate/Intensive Special Day Class
The first thing I look at when creating student schedules is their IEP goals. This is very important because it allows you to group students together based on their needs. Grouping students allow you to provide all service minutes as stated in your students’ IEPs. I would also suggest that you start creating your schedules early. This way, service providers can fill in their availability based on your schedule.
As mentioned, there are many moving pieces in our line of work, with service providers’ schedules being a major one. It would make things so much easier for everyone if you give your counterparts a schedule to work off of. At the end of the day, as the case manager, you are responsible for making sure and facilitating you and all service providers provide all the legally mandated services to your students.
It is important to remember that all instructional planning and pedagogical decision-making should be performed by the teacher of record. Instruction and support implemented by paraprofessionals should only be supplemental to instruction from the teacher of record. In order words, you are responsible for providing instruction to your students, while paraprofessionals can support you by reviewing pre-taught skills.
Let’s consolidate these tips and tricks with some sample schedules.
Full In-person Learning or Full Distance Learning Sample Schedule
Hybrid Learning Sample Schedule
As you can see, in all schedules the teacher of record meets with each student at least once a day. When the teacher of record is not providing direct services to the student, they are either being included in general education classes or reviewing skills with a paraprofessional.
What is your most dreaded task of the school year? I hope this blog post serves as a launching pad for you to get started if it were scheduling. What are your tried and true scheduling tips and tricks? Share with the community in the comments below!