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Information about make-up services and location of services for speech teachers

This information concerns make-up services, an issue that all providers have been struggling with this year, and location of services, which is a bigger issue in District 75 but also affects many district providers.

We brought your concerns to the DOE officials, who were responsive to the issues at hand. We worked hard to get the DOE to understand we needed to get clear, concise information to you. The email I am sharing was prepared by Suzanne Sanchez, senior director of therapy services in the Special Education Office, and shared with non-District 75 supervisors in March 2017. 

As a result of state compliance monitoring in certain schools and districts, many of you have been told that you are required to make up any sessions that were missed for reasons other than student absences. It is important that sessions be made up whenever possible. However, the DOE understands and agrees that the provision of make-ups cannot violate your contractual rights and that the scheduling of the make-up must be instructionally appropriate for the student. Specifically:

  • Under the contract, speech providers are not required to provide more than eight sessions per day and, in middle and high schools, no more than five 45-minute sessions per day;
  • Make-ups should be provided only as your schedule allows; and
  • Provision of the make-up session must be instructionally appropriate for the student and in compliance with the IEP.

If you are pressured to provide an extra session, work before or after school, or provide services in a manner that is instructionally inappropriate or inconsistent with the student’s IEP, or you simply cannot provide make-ups for missed sessions, reach out to your supervisor. 

The location where services will be provided must be stated specifically enough so that the recommendations are clear, e.g. English class, gymnasium, separate therapy room, cafeteria, playground, etc.  Statements like “total school environment;” “natural learning environment;” and “provider discretion” do not provide sufficient detail and thus do not meet the standard.  Location of service recommendations should:

  • Support attainment of IEP goals in the least restrictive environment that is appropriate, i.e., the English class may be an appropriate location for occupational therapy focusing on writing activities; and
  • Focus on providing support while building independence.

The NYSED Guide to Quality IEP Development and Implementation provides additional information and guidance on this and other service recommendation requirements. Please let us know if there are other questions related to these or other practice issues. 

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