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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Any ideas on how to reduce our paperwork?

Any ideas on how to reduce our paperwork?

Related Tags: Special Education
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There are lots of common threads that run through all special ed programs and tops among them is paperwork. One would think that in this time of increasingly electronic communication paperwork demands would go down, but the opposite seems to have occurred. In NYC we're mired in the dark ages and still write IEPs by hand and make copies for all the teachers involved with each student. This is so time-consuming that I often do not get IEPs for the students I teach until January, sometimes later. The city says we'll be switching to an electronic IEPs in a year or so, but I'll believe it when I see it. What, if anything, is your school doing to reduce the paperwork mountain? If not much, what would you like them to do?

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JMC's picture
JMC
Special Education teacher K-12 specialization LD

Thank you Shirley for taking the time to explain this to me. It does make perfect sense now that you are separating the pull out from the inclusive special educators. That could get extremely confusing on who is on who's caseload etc. Thank you again..

JMC

Mrs. Susan's picture
Mrs. Susan
4th and 5th grade special education resource teacher, Delaware

I too have 27 children however I am directly responsible for 13 of the 27. The rest are farmed out to other teachers who may see the child for RTI or perhaps not at all! I don't like this however, I don't make the rules. I have a son who is now 21 who has Down Syndrome and I would be terribly upset if I found out the case manager for my child doesn't even see my child. The other teachers do consult with me because I have them for reading and or math but it is like doing it myself. We also have 6 week marking periods which makes it pretty darn difficult to show progress on the IEP. Let alone to teach a skill in that short period of time. Any management tips are greatly appreciated!

Kristen Knight's picture
Kristen Knight
Elementary Resource Specialist, K-6th

I have 29 on my caseload with 6 pending assessments... my school loves to have children assessed for SPED. I on the other hand am getting over whelmed!!!

We use an online program for IEPs which allows me to work on them at home...YEAH, for me! LOL The program that we use gives me a count down as to when Tri's, Annuals, and Initials are due (its really nice). So, being late is never an option.

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

Our district is on electronic IEP's, Thank goodness! I can't imagine having to do them all by hand. I do remember the days. I thought it would reduce the paperwork, but it really doesn't I use more paper now than I ever did. With electronics though it is easier to catch errors and make sure all the "i's)are dotted. I still have to track behaviors, and progress monitoring by hand. Since I teach in Self-contained my cap is 12 (feels like 30 some days). I also do most of my IEP's and District Report Cards at home. It takes about 3 hours per student to do progress monitoring and IEP's. There is simply never enough time. When Adaptive PE comes I get about 40 minutes 1X a week. Otherwise getting to work 2 hours early is how I get work done. NO overtime pay, it is gifted time. LOL

Candace Kidder's picture

Everyone in our school system is currently using infinite campus. It is web based and used by all of our general/special ed staff. All of our IEP's, RTI information, attendance, grade reporting and records are put into this system. General Ed teachers can click on their class list and have read only access to their IEP's... No more paper copies... Parents can also access their child's grades, IEP's/progress reports, grades, attendance, and lunch account.... We love it!

Julia Stephenson's picture

In my old school in Monticello, nY They used IEP Direct. Basically saved tons of paper. lol

The papers used in IEP Direct are normally 5-15 pages long. i absolutely know, that is definately not so bad.

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

I am in the process of doing progress notes as we speak. Today I went in at 7AM and worked on 1 students report until 8:45 (that was completing only 1 student.) I have 10 more to go and it is an online system. It makes me crazy because I can't see all the goals on a page. It is a pain, and that doesn't even count the fact that my kids are usually the very last group to be tested and I don't get those results until the day before report cards are to be sent home. Arghh...I also spend the weekends doing IEP's, behavior plan updates, and district required report cards at home.

Beth's picture

Here in San Diego in our district we use a web based program. We can create a goal bank for goals that are frequently used. When I sit down to work on an IEP the current one is still there and I can just tweak it if I need to continue it or just delete a particular goal. This comes in handy for mod/severe because progress can be a little slower. It has made my life easier, but I am buried in paperwork. There is no quick and easy way to do all of the paper work that is expected of us, create great lessons that require much differentiation, etc.... For any other mod/severe teachers out there the Unique Curriculum has made my life much easier. It is an alternative curriculum that provides language arts and math activities and has monthly themes around history and science topics. All materials are supported with pictures. Check it out at www.uniquelearningsystem.com

Penny Wilkinson's picture

Hi!
I'm a new member. Thanks for all of your comments. This is a difficult time for all educators.

Joni Williams's picture

[quote]Everyone in our school system is currently using infinite campus. It is web based and used by all of our general/special ed staff. All of our IEP's, RTI information, attendance, grade reporting and records are put into this system. General Ed teachers can click on their class list and have read only access to their IEP's... No more paper copies... Parents can also access their child's grades, IEP's/progress reports, grades, attendance, and lunch account.... We love it![/quote]

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