The DOE requires that students receiving related services must be re-evaluated every three years to assess whether they still need those services. Here are answers to common questions about preparing these "triennial examinations" for students in your caseload. This Q&A is drawn from official Department of Education materials.
Q. When will I receive lists of students who need triennial evaluations?
A. Under procedures that took effect beginning with the 1997-98 school year, the Child Assistance Program (CAP) will provide triennial lists to the speech supervisors in community school districts, high schools and District 75. The School-Based Support Team (SBST) will distribute the lists in early September and will indicate each student and the triennial due date for the school year.
Q. When a progress report is needed, how much advance notice will the SBST give me?
A. The SBST will give written notice of the need for a progress report at least 10 working days in advance of an upcoming review or triennial conference. You should document all requests for progress reports from the SBST in your professional log.
Q. When will I find the time to complete the Speech Progress Report?
A. Speech providers in elementary schools where teachers receive a professional period per week -as indicated in Special Circular 6 of 1996-97, dated April 3, 1997 -are encouraged to select this activity in lieu of any other menu item. Your professional period will be of the same duration as that of any other teacher in the school. Speech providers who do not avail themselves of this option are still required to provide progress reports for students on their caseloads.
If you are in an elementary school where no professional periods are scheduled as indicated in Special Circular 6, you will receive one period per week for writing progress reports.
Speech providers in junior high/intermediate schools may select this activity in lieu of any other professional period assignment or may select another professional period activity from the school menu, provided a minimum of one period per week is designated for progress report writing.
Q. How can I organize my caseload to accommodate the additional time necessary for preparation of progress reports?
A. First organize your schedule including the professional period for the preparation of progress reports, with consideration of all IEP mandates (e.g., group size, frequency, duration, etc.). If stu- dents remain unserved, you should contact your speech supervisor. He or she will complete the Office of Budget Operations and Review's RA-60A form to request additional personnel.
Q. Teachers of speech improvement are often assigned to more than one school. How should I schedule the progress report period when I may have two elementary schools or one intermediate/junior high school and one elementary school?
A. Scheduling the progress report period for a split school program depends upon individual circum- stances. After carefully considering caseload size in each school, you should schedule the progress report period in the school with the largest caseload (primary site). You may complete progress reports for students in the secondary site whenever you have the time, or you can ask the CSE to conduct the evaluation. If you run into problems when addressing split-school scheduling, consult with your supervisor of speech improvement.
Q. What should I do if there are numerous reports that are due at the same time and I can't complete them in the time allowed?
A. If you are responsible for the triennial progress reports for numerous students due in the same Speech Improvement Chapter Resource Guide month and your schedule does not allow for timely completion, you should alert both the SBST and the speech supervisor. The SBST will contact the speech and language evaluator.
Q. Am I required to use the Speech Progress Report form attached to the memo?
A. No. The form is provided as a guide. You may use whatever format you feel most comfortable with, as long as the report includes all of the student's personally identifiable information, a complete description of strengths and weaknesses, an explanation of progress and recommendations for continuation, increase in service, decrease in service or decertification. All progress reports must be legible and neatly presented.
Q. What is required to be attached to the Speech Progress Report?
A. When continuation of services is recommended, you must attach the pages on annual goals of the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) to your Speech Progress Reports. You also should attach the Exam Completion Form. Use code 22 to indicate that a Speech Progress Report was completed. If you have completed a formal assessment, use code 04.
Q. Am I required to conduct formal / standardized testing in preparation for their Speech Progress Reports?
A. You may prepare Speech Progress Reports based upon your knowledge of the students and the progress that has been accomplished through therapy. As speech and language therapy is a dynamic, ongoing process, most likely you will have an accurate picture of the progress of the student and the requirements for new goals and objectives. In addition to informal assessment and observation, you also may engage in formal evaluation procedures, if you believe that such testing is appropriate and necessary.
Q. If I believe that a complete fonnal speech and language assessment is required for a particular student, what should I do?
A. You may conduct the evaluation or inform both the School Based Support Team (SBST) and the speech supervisor of the request for a full evaluation by the CSE speech and language evaluator.
Q. I'm a little shaky about administering a formal assessment. Is training available?
A. Many speech providers have experience with assessment procedures as part of their training to obtain the license of teacher of speech and hearing handicapped. Supervisors of speech improvement, however, are expected to conduct workshops, provide for intervisitations, and use other mechanisms of support to assist any speech providers who require assistance with formal assessments.
Q. Will I be given supplies to allow me to conduct assessments?
A. Community school districts should provide you with at least one assessment tool, such as the CELF3, OWLS and S-CAT. However, some seem reluctant to spend the money. Ask your speech supervisor for the test you want and, if you don't get it, contact the UFT Speech Chapter for assistance. Make your request in writing and keep a copy. One other thing: You should not have to rely on Teacher's Choice to purchase assessment tools; however, you may use Teacher's Choice to supplement the assessment tools if you desire.
Q. Where will I conduct any formal assessments that are needed to prepare the progress reports?
A. Most often, you will utilize the space already allotted for the provision of speech and language therapy. When there is insufficient space or privacy, you should consult with the building principal, special education supervisor or speech supervisor to arrange for alternate space.
Q. If I request that an evaluation be done by the CSE speech and language evaluator, will I also be required to submit an update?
A. Your comments, observations and recommendations are critical to the decision-making process. You should provide an update to the speech and language evaluator.
Q. I'm a monolingual speech provider, Can I write progress reports for limited English proficient (LEP) entitled students whom I am serving on an interim basis?
A. Yes. You should prepare a report noting the LEP student's progress in monolingual English skills, after consulting with bilingual professionals who work with the student to obtain information relating to the student's home language usage. You may not conduct any assessments. All assessments must be conducted by a certified bilingual speech evaluator.
Q. What documentation is necessary for me to recommend decertification from the related service of speech and language therapy?
A. Generally, a progress report will suffice; however, if you anticipate any conflict of opinion (e.g., the parent and/or the SBST disagrees with your recommendation) then you may either administer a complete evaluation or request the CSE to do one.