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Caseload size

Caseload size

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I am very interested in advocating for special education working conditions. Caseload size seems to be the biggest factor, and seems to vary a great deal from state to state. What is a reasonable workload and caseload size?? I have talked to people in some states who have caseloads of 12-15 students with mild disabilities, while others have 40, 50 or more. I have several questions I would like people to respond to: 1) Does your state or district have caseload limitations? 2) What is the average caseload for your district for resource? for Lifeskills?

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Jan Brady's picture

Caseload refers to the students that you are responsible for in dealing with IEP's and students needs. I teach high school and have a case load of 17 students, but work with over 40 students with special needs.
Some teachers don't even work with their caseload except for getting the IEP completed, not calls home, no checking on students progress, or needs. The rest of us must take up the slack for them to assist the students.

Cheri Maupin's picture
Cheri Maupin
Resource Teacher, Community Based Education, High School from Ogallala, Ne

I can't imagine doing IEPs and not knowing at less something about the students.

Kellie's picture

I teach spec ed in Wisconsin at an elementary level. I have taught all age groups in the past. We do not have class size mandates or IEP list mandates. In high school self contained EBD I have had up to 15 in a classroom with a caseload of IEP's over 20 as some were in the reg. ed. classes with support and I only monitored them. Currently I have 17 on my caseload and share a room with another teacher. My afternoons are hectic with 16 students coming and going for reading, writing, spelling, social skills and resource. There is not much time for "individual" education. With all the budget cuts there is no para support so when an EBD student has a crisis situation, the rest of my students have desk work and are monitored by my partner. It's to the point I'm ready to leave teaching as I don't feel what I am able to do in the classroom is effective due to the lack of support/funding for our program.

R Rose's picture

In my district (NY State) we have a caseload size of 12 for Self-contained classes, which can, with a variance, go to 15. In resource, it is 25, 5 periods a day with 5 kids per period. The problem we have is in inclusive settings. Elementary and High school have a cap of 12, yet in 7th and 8th grade, our inclusion teachers have up to 25. Our new superintendant is trying to take care of that, but with our budget problems, we don't know if it will go through.

LPS's picture
Cross Categorical/self-contained - Teacher

Our District averages 12-16 students in SC classrooms and 25-30 for Resources. SLPs can have 40-60 students, OTs may have 60, Adaptive PE has 70-80 students. I have 3 TAs for my 12 1=floater that goes with mainstream students. 2 are with me most of the time with the 3rd one helping when she isn't needed with the mainstreamed kiddos. I have students ranging for High functioning Autism/SLD/ED to nonverbal MR students. There are days that we have great engagement and other days that are spent on maintaining our own sanity. We try to repeat those days of engagement. So often, the day is reflective of what happens at home. Since they are not able to express themselves it comes out in their behaviors. When this happens it feels like 30 kids. When it comes to the paperwork I have to do 3 sets of reports. 1 for District Report Cards grade level standards, 1 for progress notes on IEP goals, and then Behavior Plan updates. And of course the Annual IEPs, and conferences that are not IEP meetings. far SPED has not cut the Para's. I could not do what I do with kids withou my Para's. I think that if districts want to retain HQ SPED teachers they will provide the supports, otherwise they will have big lawsuits.

Judy Self's picture

All elementary special education teachers can have 15 on their caseload, secondary teachers (middle and high) can have 20, That is strictly enforced.

Judy Self's picture

Kentucky allowa 15 for elementary teachers as caseload and 20 for secondary teachers and speech can have 65. These are strictly enforced.

Gail Pfaff's picture

At first I thought well everyone in this thread would have at least as many students on their caseloads as our district in Oregon. At my school we have an average of 40 to 60 on our caseloads. This is fact. Not to mention that we have to test the students, that require reevaluation or initial assessments, ourselves. Plus teach 6 classes a day or more in some cases with 24 students in several classes. I believe I will be looking for another job soon.

TX SpEd Teacher's picture
TX SpEd Teacher
6-8 grade resource and co-teach math

Houston, TX area: Class size guidelines: Life skills and Behavior units: up to 10 kids with a teacher and para...more kids and either another para or creat another class. Resource: up to 12 kids with appropriate para support (whatever that means - I usually average around 10 and have NEVER had any support). Caseload (monitor kids and prepare ARD/IEPs): life skills and behavior monitor their own kids; SLPs monitor the speech only kids; all others are divided among the remaining teachers. Depending on the # of teachers and/or # of kids we have any given year, I have had a caseload of anywhere from 10 to 25.

JB's picture
Intervention Specialist

Wow- after reading some of the comments related to enormous caseloads, I'm wondering how some of you even have time to touch base with even half of your kids to actually teach them something. I cannot imagine the time it takes to keep up on just the paperwork! My heart goes out to each of you. Hopefully there will be a solution soon.

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