Searching for Third Grade

Leelo has hit the age/grade ceiling in his current K-2 placement, and so will need to move on next year. Seymour and I are visiting classes, and began our quest with the 3 - 5 across the hall from Leelo's current classroom. Here are my notes:

Teacher C seems cut from the same cloth as Leelo's Teacher M: Calm, unflappable, kind, and knowledgeable.

The classroom seems like the logical next-step extension of Teacher M's class. It is arranged in a similar fashion, with the same kinds of stations and visual schedules. However as these are older children the schedules are much more text-based than in Teacher M's class. There appears to be more academic learning going on. It is of course (also like Teacher M's) a behavioral class, and most of the students are autistic.

Teacher C mentioned that her goal is to get the kids' behavior managed, so that they can transition to a less-restrictive environment. To that end, she has two higher-functioning students who will be transferring to less-restrictive classrooms in the immediate future.

Because the students are larger than those in Teacher M's class but have similar behaviors, Teacher C tends to ask for male aides. She says that the staff changes frequently, much like in Teacher M's class (e.g., only three of Teacher M's paras stayed on from last year).

Not all of the students require 1:1 aides. The current ratio is five aides for eight students.

All of the staff are trained in CPI (http://www.crisisprevention.com/program/nci.html) for the managing of violent behavior. If the students act out, Teacher C has them take a cooling-off break in the fenced play yard outside the room. If their behavior was a result of an attempt to escape a demand, they will be returned to task after the cooling off period.

Teacher C's class has weekly field trips and outings. They also attend campus dances. This would definitely give Leelo more social outlets than Teacher M's class.

Overall, Teacher C's class seems like a reasonable fall-back plan if a more appropriate third-grade classroom for Leelo is not identified before the fall.

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1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you are doing a great job at getting all your ducks in a row and seeing all alternatives to see what works best for Leelo. Wish you the best of luck finding the best one.


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