Monday, March 10, 2008

Counting All Students!

As a member of the New York City Student Union, I feel that we represent not only the general body of students in the public education system but also those with special needs. When we consider reducing class size and other changes in the classroom we must not forget to incorporate students requiring special needs services. It is difficult to group students with special needs in one category because there are so many different needs. Once program that works with students with disabilities is the Collaborative Team Teaching or CTT. How is a child identified as a CTT student?

When a student enters the New York City Public Education system, identified as having difficulties starting off their education, they are given extra help, and if the difficulty persists, referrals are made for special education services. A psychologist would test the student and if it is determined that a student needs services (ex. Speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, or special classes) they will receive an IEP, which identifies exactly what their special needs may be. After receiving an IEP they would still be programmed for a CTT class which includes a general education teacher and a special educator.

“If a student continues to require more support after trying the services mentioned above, the next step on the continuum of services is called CTT.” This is where there are two full time teachers, a regular education teacher and a special education teacher where children with disabilities are in the same room with students without disabilities.

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