In the Special Education FAQ, the DOE identifies collaboration time as a “required component” of a successful ICT program. Since the general education teacher and special education teacher share accountability for the planning, delivery of instruction and assessment for all students, they need to collaboratively plan, prepare and facilitate lessons, activities and projects. As stated in the FAQ, “co-teachers must be provided regular common planning time during the work day (i.e., time dedicated for Professional Development; time dedicated for Other Professional Work; professional activity assignments; and prep periods)."
While co-teachers must have “regular” common planning time, there are no hard and fast rules about the frequency of co-planning time. The amount of time will vary based on a number of factors including the needs of the students, the experience of the co-teachers with the curriculum, the preparation required for the class, and the amount of time the co-teachers have been working together.