Module 3

 
 

What is an Inclusion and Intervention Plan or IIP?

An IIP is a plan developed and implemented by a collaborative TEAM.  It is a compilation of student outcomes that have the highest priority for the student during the year.  IIPs includes:

  • student background information
  • student strengths, learning styles and needs
  • current levels of performance
  • prioritized goals areas
  • instructional support and strategies
  • team members who will implement the IIP
  • plans for student progress reporting
  • plans for transitions
  • signatures of team members
  • supporting documentation such as assessments, reports, behavior plans etc.

The classroom teacher’s input into a student’s IIP is vital.  Classroom teachers should ensure that classroom activities support the student in achieving their IIP goals and can enlist in the support of the EA to address IIP goals.  Student Support Teachers can write wonderful goals regarding reading, writing, math, following directions, etc. but they mean absolutely nothing if they’re not directly connected to the student’s grade-level or individualized curriculum.  With input and knowledge from the classroom teacher, teams can create a plan that addresses the needs of student and connects to the classroom.  EAs are an important part of the student’s team, however, they should not be asked to attend a student meeting in place of a teacher.

The Student Support Teacher (SST) and CT must ensure EAs are aware of the IIP goals for the students they support and their specific role in supporting achievement/steps of the goals.  An example may include prompting and tracking student progress toward a goal on a data collection form.  TEAMs must work together toward supporting goal achievement and goals should be met at the level of independence stated in the program plan.  If a specific level of independence is not explicitly stated, EAs should assume that the goal should be met independently by the student.

—An IIP is required for students who:

  • are working on learning outcomes that differ from those in provincial curricula for their grade level
  • require continuing interventions and individualized supports beyond the Adaptive Dimension
  • have been identified as requiring intensive supports
  • —all students identified with intensive needs require an IIP
  • please note that every student who requires an IIP will not meet criteria for intensive supports
—All IIPs are housed on the GSSD TPM network.  Please take a moment to review a few IIPs of students you will be working with.  These can be accessed at the following link by your SST or administrator – TPM Website

Before proceeding to the next section please take a moment to discuss Module 3:  Question 1, and record your conversation highlights in the Workbook.

 

Characteristics of Effective TEAMs

Collaborative teams organize themselves to regularly plan, instruct and evaluate programming for students.  In the school environment, teams may include students, parents, family members, teachers, administrators, professional service providers such as speech/language pathologists, occupational therapists, school counsellors, and psychologists, and outside agency personnel.

1.  Communicating for clarity

  • All team members must be willing to share information, ideas, and points of view.  This requires skills in giving information, asking questions, and receiving information.
  • Consider how the information on programming planning and instructional support will be communicated among your team.

2.  Cooperation

  • Cooperation means to work together toward a common goal.
  • Effective teams know what needs to be done and who will do it.
  • Effective teams work together and look for ways to support and compliment others.

3.  Coordination

  • As a team works together, they organize their contributions to maximize the effectiveness of each others’ work.
  • Effective teams share responsibilities and follow through on tasks to the best of their abilities.

4.  Collaboration

  • Essentially collaboration is a sharing of the labour.
  • Effective teams are committed to achieving goals.
  • Effective teams work together to problem solve and reduce barriers to achieving success.
  • Individuals on effective teams feel that their unique strengths are valued, appreciated and utilized, and that their weaknesses are supported.

5.  Consistency

  • Team members work diligently to implement plans and programs as directed in a consistent manner.
  • Efforts are made to reduce duplication of services.

6.  Caring & Commitment

  • —All team members care and feel commitment, not only to the students that they have the privilege of working with, but to other individuals on the school team.

7.  Confronting Problems, Compromising & Consensus Decision Making

  • —All members of effective teams recognize that problem identification and problem solving are fundamental responsibilities.
  • When miscommunications or differences of opinion occur, ensure both adults have the opportunity to share their perspective. If roles become unclear or issues arise, revert to GSSD’s AP on EA Roles and Responsibilities and focus the  conversation on your mutual goals of student learning and independence.
  • To keep the working relationship effective, maintain communication and be approachable whether you are the EA, classroom teacher or another TEAM member.
  • Settle any issues or miscommunications away from students.
  • Try to understand things from another perspective and don’t take things too personally.
  • Immediately and effectively addressing issues will have positive effects for the classroom as a whole. If left unchecked, problematic behaviors will not only affect the students and achievement, but will also strain the adult working relationship, making the classroom atmosphere less pleasant and productive. Concerns and problems rarely resolve themselves. Differences, misunderstandings, conflict and hurt feelings sometimes occur when people work so closely together, so approach issues carefully and work to resolve them through communication and commitment to shared goals.
  • As a TEAM, discuss your typical style of dealing with conflict and mutually discuss how you plan to resolve conflicts. Document this plan in the Orientation Workbook Module 3:  Question 2.
  • If you run into conflict, an excellent resource is the 5 Step Conflict Resolution process for resolving conflict.  Please click on the link to review this process.

 

Primary Roles and Responsibilities of Classroom Teachers Working with EAs

  • Assess student entry level performance in all domains of functioning and use this information in planning for the student – this includes adapting instructional materials to meet students’ needs
  • —Implement program plans (IIPs) to achieve student specific goals
  • ——Evaluate and report student progress
  • —Communicate progress with parents/caregivers and involve them in their child’s education
  • —Liaise with GSSD professional service providers (SLP, OT, Psychologist & School Counsellor) and outside agencies to support the goal achievement of students
  • —Coordinate and manage the information provided by other professionals
  • EAs should provide support to students in the least restrictive environment which is often the classroom setting, therefore day to day direction and instruction of the EA should be given by the classroom teacher (CT).  Classroom teachers need to document accommodations they would like EAs to carry out in either a Record of Adaptations (ROA) or an Inclusion and Intervention Plan (IIP).  EAs shouldn’t be implementing accommodations that aren’t documented or directed.
  • An EA can be an important piece in addressing the various needs of students, however, student needs should be met first and foremost through collaborative team planning.  All students in a class are the classroom teacher’s responsibility first, regardless of their level of need. The CT is the instructional leader for all students in the classroom.  The EA is there to provide hands-on support and assistance from the direction of the classroom teacher and SST.
  • CTs should view the EA assigned to them as support for their classroom rather than individually for a specific student.  This needs to be communicated to all students so there is no stigma attached to receiving support or help from the EA.  Teachers should explain to the class that the EA is there to help everyone and the EA and the teacher will be working as a team to support the learning of all students in the classroom.
  • An EA’s specific classroom duties will depend upon the needs of the students in the classroom, the nature of the classroom environment, and the instructional materials and activities.
  • CTs working with an EA need to provide basic information regarding classroom operations such as the outcomes being addressed, classroom expectations and rules, discipline plan, and accommodations required by students. Providing this information in writing is preferable as it allows the EA to refer to it when needed.
  • CTs should discuss expectations such as being on time for class, the classroom discipline plan, student priorities, and tasks that the EA can carry out.
  • Provide ‘on the job’ training for your EA by modeling the skills or support you want them to provide to students. Offer feedback and insight on the EA’s task performance and suggest ways to expand and improve skills.  Find a time or place away from students to provide suggestions and feedback.
  • CTs may script out the types of directions, instructions, and prompts they would like used with a student. Most EAs will appreciate this type of clarity especially when this team is just beginning to work together.
  • Rather than say, “Help the students”, teachers should give specific directions such as “Listen to Paul read his story, and discuss it with him as he reads to ensure he is understanding the text”, or “Discuss these vocabulary words with Maria prior to her reading the story aloud to you.” The more specific daily directions are, the more effective EAs can become. CTs should work closely with EAs so they can see how to prompt and support students to learn skills like writing homework in their agenda rather than doing it for them.  Model for the EA how to scaffold support to help students learn a new skill (I do, we do, you do with the removal of verbal and visual prompts as the student becomes more independent with the skill).
  • Build an effective working relationship with EAs by being positive and specific, listening to their suggestions, and working together to provide students with an excellent model of collaboration and team work.  CTs can communicate effectively by complimenting the efforts of their EA and being specific about what they are doing well.
  • Make it a priority to revisit conversations around fostering student independence as it’s important to be mindful of the harmful effects of hovering too close to the student which can result in learned dependence.
  • CTs should be open to suggestions and ideas from the EA, and listen attentively and respectfully to explanations or suggestions.
  • CTs should find opportunities to work with ALL students including those with more intensive needs, to get an understanding of their levels of abilities and progress toward goals.  The EA can supervise the rest of the class as CTs work individually or in small groups with students.
  • CTs should work with their TEAM to find meaningful ways of including all students in the classroom.   If students require a high level of care, carefully consider which classes to take them out of for personal care/physiotherapy and which classes naturally lend to meaningful inclusion and make these a priority for inclusion.  Provide students opportunities to support their peers through buddy reading, recording messages on communication devices of students who aren’t verbal,  taking turns playing simple games or activities to support a peer’s learning at his/her level etc.  As well, plan for successful inclusion at lunch and recess.
  • When children are taken out of the classroom, it should be for the purpose of specific targeted interventions rather than working with an EA in isolation for an undefined period of time.

 
Collaborative TEAMing

The most central element to successful programming for students with an intellectual or multiple disability is collaborative team work. It is a catalyst for inclusion, teacher empowerment and developing individualized instruction. The collaborative process provides the opportunity to merge unique skills, foster positive interdependence, develop creative problem solving and enhance accountability for individual responsibilities…… Creating Opportunities

 —At this time, as a TEAM please take a moment to independently complete the Role Perception Activity.  —Following independent completion of the worksheet, score your results by completing the Role Perception Score Sheet together.
—To end, complete the Inventory of Paraprofessional Skills and Teacher Needs and discuss the results together.
  •  Support TEAM members by identifying what each is doing well.
  • Classroom teachers and SSTs should communicate often over the EA’s role in the classroom and whether the assignment of an EA is supporting student growth in goal areas and independence.
  • The SST and principal can help with any communication problems that arise by clarifying roles and responsibilities, answering questions about working with students, and providing support regarding the accommodations or modifications required for certain students.
  • Although it’s the principal’s responsibility to complete formal evaluations of EAs, observations and feedback from classroom teachers are important to include since they work so closely with EAs.
  • Informal feedback between the EA and CT should be ongoing.  The classroom teacher should constantly monitor the performance of the EAs support in their classroom. Written feedback on an evaluation should never be a surprise;  it should first be shared informally allowing the EA awareness of the area of need and time to work on specific skills.
  • Documentation of ongoing informal feedback is helpful as it makes conversations easier for both and provides something concrete to focus on and from which to work. For example, if the CT teacher notes a situation where a student requires support and the EA has not recognized the need, the classroom teacher should provide direction to make them aware.

Consider the following questions together:

What are our common/mutual goals?

How will our personalities work together? How are we similar/different?

What are our pet peeves or things that annoy us?

How will we resolve any misunderstandings or differences of opinion?

 
Documentation

  • CTs and EAs should set up an efficient way of documentation as anecdotal records without a specific purpose can become very time consuming and the EA may not be clear on how much to write.
  • Keep documentation to what needs to be recorded such as checking off a daily physiotherapy plan as exercise are completed, checks for fluids given at certain times of day, changes etc.  Rather than recording this daily, set up a quick  check list of daily duties for efficiency.  Always consider ways to work smarter not harder!  When documenting daily activities for non-verbal students or incidents regarding behavior, be careful how things are worded.  Describe things as observed and refrain from judgement statements such as ‘he was really stubborn today’.  Instead record what the student did or did not do from an observer’s perspective to keep it objective.
  • SSTs should support CTs and EAs in creating charts to document progress towards goals and it’s appropriate to request EAs collect data regarding progress.

As a TEAM, discuss what type of communication system you would like to utilize in the classroom.  Please record your discussion in the Workbook –  Module 3:  Question 3.

  • How will you document progress?
  • How often will you meet to discuss students? When in the schedule will this occur?
  • How will you document behaviours and other spontaneous incidents?
  • To support the documentation of spontaneous incidents, a sample form is included here.
  • Discuss as a team where you will keep your documentation.