Program Preference and Special Ed

Special education teacher programs changed in some schools as a result of the DOE's special education reform. Please note that the contractual language covering teacher programs has not changed. Here is a review of the contractual language as it pertains to preference sheets.

High Schools (Article 7A1):

No later than 60 days before the end of the term, program preference sheets should be distributed to all teachers. No later than 10 school days prior to the end of the term teachers should be notified of the following as it relates to special education assignments:

  • The particular special education program designation (e.g. staffing ratio, collaborative team teaching, Special Education Teacher Support Services etc.).
  • The age range of special education classes.

Intermediate and Junior High Schools (Article 7B1):

By May 1, teachers should be given an opportunity to fill out program preference sheets. No later than 10 school days prior to the end of the term teachers should be notified of the following as it relates to special education assignments:

  • The particular special education program designation (e.g. staffing ratio, collaborative team teaching, Special Education Teacher Support Services etc.).
  • The age group of special education classes.

Elementary Schools (Article 7C1):

Early in the spring time should be devoted at a faculty conference to a discussion of the procedures to be used in making assignments for the coming year. Plans, goals and personnel needs for special programs should also be discussed.

At that time, teachers should be given an opportunity to fill out “preference sheets” indicating three preferences in order of priority… in the case of special education teachers, the age range of special education classes and education program designation (e.g. staffing ratio, collaborative team teaching, special education teacher support services, etc.) with the understanding that, where advisable and possible, such preferences will be honored. Teachers should be given an opportunity to discuss their assignment with their principal.

With regard to requests as to age range of special education classes, teachers with the highest seniority in the school should be given preference if qualifications for the positions are the same.

SETSS and CTT Vacancies (Article 7F3):

Except as otherwise provided in this agreement, selection for special teaching assignments, including but not limited to special education teacher support services (VACANCIES), collaborative team teaching and part time special classes or combinations thereof, and for non teaching assignments in special education programs shall be made from among qualified applicants after posting the job description and qualifications for the position. Collaborative team teaching positions shall be posted for both the general education and special education teachers.

IEP Teacher (Article 7F2f):

Special education teachers who served as education evaluators during the 2002-2003 school year (or were on leave or sabbatical during that year) will have a preference for this assignment in each year that it exists, in whatever form that it exists, as more fully set forth in the Memorandum of Agreement between the parties dated October 28, 2003, which is incorporated herein by reference. In the event such education evaluator does not exercise such right, or exercises such right but later gives up this assignment, s/he will have the same rights as any other special education teacher to apply for the assignment.

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