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Coronavirus Update

Q&A from Aug. 4 Speech Chapter Meeting

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Caseload and delivery of service:

Caseloads will be determined by the number of providers that have medical accommodations and the number of students that opted for 100% remote teletherapy. Once the numbers are known, if you are the only therapist in the school, that will be your caseload. In schools with multiple therapists, therapists should work together to determine equitable caseloads.

  • Members with medical accommodations will provide services to students in their school that request full teletherapy services.  
  • Members providing in person services will be expected to provide a student’s full mandate to the greatest extent possible. You may see students from different cohorts. It is recommended to see students from the same class that are in different cohorts to decrease cross contamination.
  • Students with a lower frequency will most likely be able to have all services in person. Students with a higher frequency may have services in person and via teletherapy. If you have schedule all of your in-person sessions and still have open sessions, you may be assigned teletherapy only students.

Can you pick up students from different classes?  

  • The DOE and UFT are discussing this issue.

Can we mix students that are in person and remote for a therapy session?  

  • The DOE and UFT are discussing this issue.

If I receive a medical accommodation can I come in person part time?  

  • No, if you receive a medical accommodation you will be 100% remote.

Why are we not fighting to do 100% teletherapy remotely?  

  • The UFT is fighting to open schools safely, which will most likely be a hybrid model but are planning for all scenarios.

Are we expect to do remote teletherapy services while in the school building?  

  • The DOE and UFT are discussing this issue.

What if we want to work full remote from home and the principal is on board? Would there ever be a scenario that all speech teachers stay fully remote to reduce staff and numbers in the building?

  • Central DOE expects related services to be delivered in person as much as possible. Principals are being directed to make sure there is space in the building for related services.

Can we group students when we provide teletherapy?  

  • Yes, you may group students with parental consent when providing teletherapy.

What cohorts/models are being discussed?

  • Cohorts are being discussed within each school. Please contact your administration/chapter leader in the building for this information.

Are we expected to replicate the school day?

  • Further information will be forth coming as discussions are finalized.

If you are 100% remote and there aren’t enough students in your building who are 100% remote do you have to take students from another building?  

  • Whether you will be assigned a few students from a neighboring school is still under discussion.

Will we be allowed to work shortage as a prep?  

  • This is currently being discussed.

Medical accommodations:

Will there be added accommodations for a mother with infants and small children or living with family members with compromised immune systems?  

  • As Mr. Mulgrew stated in the Town Hall, UFT is awaiting a response from the DOE.  

If I have a medical accommodation will I be able to stay in my district with my school/speech supervisor?  

  • Yes, but being assigned a few students from a neighboring school is still under discussion.

Space issues:

How do we make sure we have space in our school?

  • You must have a conversation with your school administration and building chapter leader to discuss the space you need to provide in person services based on the social distancing guidelines. Topics to discuss about the space:
    1. Separate location based on social distancing guidelines for students whose IEPs stating separate location.
    2. Space must have wifi capabilities to provide teletherapy and the ability to make phone calls for parent engagement.
    3. If students IEP indicates push-in services, the classroom must have space as per guidelines for an additional adult.
  • If or when you start school, if you do not have the appropriate space immediately contact your chapter leader and speech supervisor.

How much is enough space?  How many students can be allowed in our room?

  • A recommendation of 6 feet per person was used to determine room occupancy.  Your administration and chapter leader completed a walk through to determine how many students are allowed in each space. Contact them regarding your assigned space.

What if a principal says there is simply not enough space for pull out therapy?  

  • Inform your chapter leader in the building, your speech supervisor and speech chapter leader immediately. Principals cannot mandate push in services if the IEP indicates separate location.  

Is the hallway a safe space?

  • No and it is not confidential.

Safety

You must have a conversation with your school administration and building chapter leader to discuss safety based on the answers below.

Will DOE be providing PPE?

  • Yes, Central DOE will be providing the PPE to the school. You must inform your principal of the specific PPE based on your job responsibilities.  If you feel you are not initially provided with the appropriate PPE and then on a needed  basis contact your chapter leader and your supervisor immediately.

What if I can’t limit classes/grades (bilingual therapist, HS/MS)?

  • THE DOE must provide you with the appropriate PPE and cleaning supplies.

How often do we need to change PPE?

  • It will be dependent on your student population and your job responsibilities.

Can we wear scrubs?  

  • The DOE does not have a dress code policy as per our contract.

Are we allowed to take our own temperature checks of the students when picking up students?

  • No, at this time temperatures may be taken prior to entry at the school, although this is not finalized.

When will COVID testing occurs? For staff and students?

  • Final testing protocols have not been finalized.

Compliance:

How should we handle pressure from our Speech Supervisor to change IEP mandates?  

  • If this is happening please contact the Speech Chapter Leader immediately.

What if I am having trouble speaking with my principal?  

  • Please contact your chapter leader in your building to help arrange a meeting with your principal.

Will we still need to complete RLPs in the fall?

  • At this time, we will only complete or revise RLPs when a student is receiving remote services.

When is the allotted SESIS time if we are not doing extended days on Monday and Tuesday?

  • You must schedule SESIS time over the five days when the students are not in school.

Miscellaneous:

Any guidance on the distribution and collection of paper materials?  

  • Currently, no guidance has been communicated about this issue.

What will observations look like?

  • The DOE and UFT are discussing this issue.

As a parent will I have the same days at school as my student?

  • You are expected to be in person 5 days a week.

Will parents continue to have the opportunity to opt out of remote learning?

  • Yes, but only on a quarterly basis.

When will schools open?

  • The DOE has not released the school calendar as of the date of this writing.

What is happening with CSET?

  • You will continue to provide therapy 2 days a week in person (unless granted a medical accommodation), and 3 days for evaluations. Location for evaluations is still being discussed.

If a specific class has COVID and we service students in the class are we expected to quarantine?

  • DOE states that is a confirmed case in a school, all students and teachers in that class are assumed close contacts and will be instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days since their last exposure to that case.
Related Topics: Chapter News, Coronavirus