Saturday, September 20, 2008


Welcome All! We all made it through our first full week of school, with only a few power disruptions. How are classes this year? How are your class sizes? Have you come across any interesting, lets call them, "speed bumps" this year.

I have encountered several, but this one annoys me and perplexes me. When talking with our Special Education Department this year, they have chosen to try to rewrite the definitions of modification and accommodation for our students. In my research, according to one source on-line, modification is the act of modifying, or a slight change or alteration in something to change or improve it. Then Accommodation is when something is supplied for convience or to satisfy a need. According to these two definitions, and everything I've been taught, when you alter a test, assignment, or homework that is a modification! When you "supply" anything that assists a student (ie. another textbook, a ruler, calculator, computer, etc...) that is an accommodation. They seem to be confusing the two! I think someone needs to go back to school!!

How does changing the definitions help? Personally, I think we are trying to side step the law, so that funds can be used however they choose! Now, I may be wrong, it would NOT be the first time, but I don't think so. What do you think? What is going on in your building?

Another "Speed Bump" that I encountered was a parent giving a child whatever they wanted! First, they didn't want the child in my room. Then, after half a day in another room, the child cried to come back to my room, and the parent requested it. I wonder who is in charge in the home? Who is looking out for the child, when they allow them to always dictate what they want? Any ideas?

What were your speed bumps? Have you had any yet this year? Remember ACT is hear to help if you need us!

1 comment:

Betty said...

Hi Angie,

Teachers at SVES have expressed similar concerns regarding the new definitions as well as staffing patterns required to shift to full inclusion.

In particular, we now have students requiring "one on one" aides in the regular Ed classroom full time. These same aides are also being tasked with providing services to other IEP students the classroom. These poor aides are struggling with how to safely monitor the one on one students while provided supplemental math or reading lessons to other students.

Several members of our Framingham cohort have expressed similar issues. Therefore, our professor is going to allow a group of us to conduct a research project on the matter. We will explore the current definitions under IDEA regarding accommodations and modifications, as well as inclusionary practices and its affect on staffing patterns.

Should be finished with that within 3 weeks. Will keep you posted.