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Kristina:  one if my severe and profound (and extremely distributive) students has “access to an aide” as one of her accommodations. For over half her day (which is shortened)I have no aide in my classroom, but I have her with two other students. My administrator says we don’t have the funding and that I should be able to handle three kids. While I can “handle” them, I am truly unable to teach. Any advice would be welcomed.

  1. I have a similar question on this topic. I work as a Paraprofessional in a state I just moved to. The rules in the last state seemed to be fair for the student. Where I now work it seems like no one knows what laws or rules paras need to follow according to the amount of students with support staff. So my question comes down to how many students with needed support staff can share a para or support staff? We have 12 students in the class and at least 6 need support staff, as well as support staff for students in general education classes. They seem to be laying off Paras because they feel we don,t need them and the teacher is very frustrated but when looking to reference any law or rule about the amount of student to staffing we can’t seem to find any info.

    • Some states set staff to student ratios, but many do not. You need to check the state education agency website.

  2. Kristina –

    First I would suggest that you and her IEP Team try to look at the reasons for her being disruptive. How does she communicate? Can she clearly communicate her wants and needs? If not, consider a speech evaluation (with an AAC/AT component, if necessary). How about behavior? Has a functional behavioral assessment been conducted recently? Is an effective positive behavioral plan in place? If not, consider conducting an FBA.

    It’s possible that, once her communication and behavioral needs are met, she’ll no longer be disruptive. If this is not the case, bring it to her IEP Team. If she’s disrupting other student’s learning time, she’s disrupting her own too. She may need a full-time aide to help keep her on task and engaged. Use the data from speech and behavioral evaluations to show you’ve covered your bases and to prove the need. Consider speaking to the student’s parent beforehand to gain his/her support.

    It will be a lot harder for the administrator to say no if you’ve done your due diligence and the IEP Team proposes it.

    • Tell the parent that Access to an Aide is not meeting the child’s instructional needs and tell the parent specifically what is going on. Offer your support. Review the other students’ IEP’s as well. See if there is any place that lists Access to an Aid in their accommodations and if so; have those parents request that an aide be present maybe between the 3 students you can find some kind of loop hole to give you some immediate assistance. See if you can re-arrange their therapy sessions and other push in services to give you better coordination of teaching time. See if the student can attend one of the specials classes music etc. at a time when you can constructively work with the other 2. And yes meet with other members of the IEP team they may be able 2 come up with a better schedule.

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