Date: Wednesday, March 15
Time: 4–5 p.m.
Location: 400 First Ave., 5th floor, Manhattan
In attendance: Helen Kaufman, assistant superintendent; Cecilia Cortez, UFT HES chapter leader and note taker Donna Kafko, Brooklyn West HES-related services teacher and delegate.
Ms. Cortez asked Ms. Kaufman about the status of HES counselors in Bronx schools. Ms. Kaufman replied that both PS 333 and Truman High School have new HES counselors and that all the students receive HES counseling. She said all the mandates have now been satisfied.
Ms. Cortez asked Ms. Kaufman to clarify the procedure for make-up sessions. Ms. Kaufman said make-up sessions should be done during the school day, if your school and schedule allow it. If this is not possible, sessions can be made up after school, and you can receive per-session pay. You can also invite the student to receive summer services.
If a block of sessions must be made up by someone other than the primary provider, a different provider can make them up using per-session money before or after school. Ms. Kaufman will create a job posting in those instances. Teacher selection will be determined by seniority and familiarity with the population protocols.
Ms. Cortez asked Ms. Kaufman for the HES budget and was given a copy of last year's finalized budget.
Ms. Cortez asked for Smart Boards for self-contained classes that don't have them. Ms. Kaufman stated that Smart Boards cost $7,000. She said the DOE does not have money for Smart Boards. She also said that after spending money on a Smart Board, no money is left for anything else, including books, pens, pencils and curricula. She said our classes are small and $7,000 is a lot of money to spend on one item. Students can sit around a computer, so the decision to buy computers rather than smart boards is easy.
Ms. Kaufman also suggested that perhaps a schedule can be arranged so self-contained classes that don't have Smart Boards can share them by switching rooms when necessary and when the schedule permits. She will speak to the supervisors and encourage them to share their Smart Boards.
ONLINE OCCURRENCE REPORT SYSTEM
The question was raised regarding what to do if you encounter problems filing the report. Ms. Cortez asked Ms. Kaufman to clarify the protocol for lost FM equipment and filing Online Occurrence Report System reports.
The hearing teacher calls the audiologist to obtain the type of FM, serial number and price. The hearing teacher then gives this information to the school secretary so an ORRS report can be filed in the school where the FM was lost.
If the school will not file the report, you should contact your HES supervisor for help. Your supervisor can contact the school and ask them to do it, or she can do it centrally.
Our HES audiologists will take on the hearing teacher's part of the process because they have an average of 120 students in a case load. A police report is filed only if the FM is stolen. In that case, you should go to the police department and file the report. Get a number and give it to your audiologist. Once you give the number to your audiologist, lost equipment will be replaced within a month.
Ms. Cortez asked if it was possible for a provider to use an Uber car once a week as transportation to see her student, a question that was raised last month. Ms. Kaufman answered no. She said the provider must speak with her supervisor to see if the student can be assigned to another provider closer to the school.