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Hearing Education Services Consultation Committee Meeting Minutes: Oct. 2015

Date: Wednesday, Oct. 28

Time: 4–5 p.m.
Location: 400 First Avenue, 5th floor, Manhattan

In attendance: Helen Kaufman, Assistant Superintendent; Cecilia Cortez, UFT HES Chapter Leader; Donna Kafko, Brooklyn West HES related services provider and delegate; and Noel Lehrer, Brooklyn East HES related services provider and delegate.



Ms. Cortez asked for clarification about how to appropriately make SESIS entries when a provider has difficulty serving a student due to problems such as parking.

Ms. Kaufman responded that if someone cannot provide full service because they cannot find parking, they can write in their SESIS entry that the session was cut short due to parking problems.

Ms. Kaufman says it shows a lack of professionalism to write "canceled due to lack of parking." 

Ms. Kaufman said that the related service provider should first strategize with his or her supervisor. This may involve changing the schedule or changing the student with whom the provider works. If parking is a consistent problem, Ms. Kaufman said you may ask your supervisor for more travel time.   


Ms. Cortez asked if we could consolidate monthly forms into a single form to reduce the amount of paperwork providers must fill out. There is a new form currently used in Queens that asks providers to repeat information previously submitted. It will be sent to Ms. Kaufman. We only need one monthly form to which more columns may be added. All the information can fit on a single form.

Ms. Kaufman said she will ask supervisors what information is needed so that a new form can be designed.


Ms. Cortez asked if a "related service authorization" service could be delivered during the day.

Ms. Kaufman stated that retired teachers are allowed to serve students using RSAs during the school day. However, if you have been retired for less than a year, you will need a waiver go into schools to do RSAs during the school day. That is required per the DOE's conflict of interest policy.

Ms. Kaufman will also give teachers per session pay to work after school with children who can't  be served during the day. RSAs are served and administrated by the DOE. 


Ms. Cortez asked for clarification regarding informal and formal observations.

Ms. Kaufman said HES supervisors can come any time they choose to observe and support the HES teachers. 

Ms. Cortez said that the UFT contract calls for tenured personnel to have a minimum of one formal observation. Teachers without tenure are observed a minimum of three times in a formal capacity. We continue to fall under Article 8J of the old evaluation system for teachers, according to the contract's "Teaching for the 21st Century" language. Our evaluation system uses S or U ratings for for observations and year-end ratings.

Ms. Cortez stated that teachers are confused about HES supervisory observations. The quandry: When an HES supervisor comes in for an observation, should he or she do a write up? And if so, does it count as a formal observation? Ms. Kaufman said she would assume that these write-ups are informal. This situation has arisen with new supervising staff. If they don't sign anything, then it's informal and the goal is probably to help teachers. 

Ms. Kaufman stated that if teachers are asked to sign observation forms, then it is a formal observation.

Ms. Cortez stated that the contract says you must have a pre-observation, an observation, and a post-observation if you are formally observed.

Ms. Kaufman will ask the supervisor to clarify the purpose of these visits. Procedures must be followed during a formal observation.


Past audiology issues were discussed.

Ms. Cortez asked for clarification regarding procedures for lost equipment.

Ms. Kaufman stated that if equipment is lost, you have to file a report on the Online Occurrence Reporting System (OORS). This is done in the school. If an FM apparatus is stolen, a police report must be filed. Either the HES teacher or the audiologist must do these reports at the police department. You should also inform your HES supervisor and go to the police station to fill out a police report.

No new meeting date was set.

Related Topics: Chapter News