Curricular Implications for Students Essay
Essay Topic: Education
Paper type: Essay
Words: 1993, Paragraphs: 19, Pages: 8
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Efficient administrators must make certain their schools are in compliance with district, state, and federal educational guidelines. These statutes include identifying and delivering specified instructional lessons for students who qualify for services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the students who qualify for ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). Academic leaders who ensure compliance among these regulations and educate themselves on the appropriate instructional practices, will properly assist their teachers and students in finding academic success.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was originated to ban intolerance and expel obstacles against any person who has a disability but who does not qualify for Special Education Services in an academic setting. The objective of Section 504 is to provide access to federally funded programs for students who qualify for this regulation. Educational organizations are required by law to offer an equivalent and equitable education to students who have a disability and who need modifications and accommodations in order to be successful in any educational program or service.
When providing services and curriculum under Section 504, administrators at my case study school must ensure their teachers are supplying students with the correct accommodations and modifications. Accommodations permit the students to obtain the same course of study as a general education student without making changes to their coursework. Students who qualify for Section 504 at my case study school receive additional time to complete assignments, changes in the presentation and delivery of the subject matter, provided with a setting that is comfortable for the student to complete his/her work within, and an environment that will help students access the same information as their general education peers.
There are numerous vital administrative implications under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. My case study school administrators educate and involve themselves in the process of identifying, assessing, and providing the right accommodations and modifications for students who qualify for Section 504. When principals take the time to help write 504 Plans, they know exactly what the qualifying student needs in order to be successful in an academic setting. Additionally, the administrators I work with must continually be aware of their students’ academic statuses, continually provide students with proper assistance, and offer their teachers the correct professional development opportunities to keep up with current research-based teaching methods and strategies.
Jane Doe, my case study school administrator, has educated herself on the purpose of Section 504. She follows all guidelines and educates her teachers, staff, stakeholders, and students on the importance of protecting students with impairments from discrimination that may be related to their specific and individual disabilities. Ms. Doe also knows that the evaluation and placement procedures for students who may qualify for a 504 Plan requires that the students’ specific information must be obtained from a variety of reliable sources and that all prior, current, and post data must be documented and considered during the entire evaluation and decision making process.
In addition, my case study administrator knows it is of equal importance to consistently inform parents about the Section 504 process. Parents need to be effectively educated on this entire process and learn how they can assist their child at home. The administrative team at my case study school consistently involve themselves in the 504 Plan process by sending home the required notices to parents regarding identification, evaluation, and/or placement in addition to notification of the periodic reevaluations of students with 504 plans. Although Section 504 does not specify any timelines for initial placement, the earlier the detection, evaluation, and eligibility, the earlier interventions can be put into place for the success of the student who has been given a 504 Plan.
Students at my case study school who have 504 Plan accommodations and modifications remain with their peers in a basic education classroom throughout the day and are provided with equal and equitable access to their coursework. Their teachers are certified in the area of educating students with 504 plans and provide students with the accommodations and modifications they need to find success in their classes.
My case study school principal takes an active role in the identification, evaluation, and planning of all 504 implications. She assists in the decision making process and communicates openly and effectively with the parents and other family members in the 504 educational planning for each particular student in my case study school. She also informs all stakeholders of 504 eligibility rates and gives them the strategies that will be implemented to help these students succeed in their school, community and life.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal mandate that regulates how educational agencies supply children with disabilities early intervention services, special education classes, and additional assistance that is equitable to a general education student who does not have a disability. The services under the IDEA law are offered to children from birth to age 21. Students who qualify for services under the IDEA Act are taught with standards based approaches that include evidence of performance goals and indicators within their Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
My case study school uses a curricular approach, also known as standards based education when planning the educational future for the students who qualify for IDEA. This type of standards based education, has four essential parts to assist students in achieving academic success. First, guidelines are made for what students should know and be able to do at various grade levels in my case study school (grades 9-12). Next, the curriculum for each particular student is then designed. This curriculum is based on the initial guidelines of standards based education and the grade level of each particular student. Depending on the chosen curricula for each student, teachers must then devise personalized and differientiated course work and effective instructional strategies that will assist in the students’ academic success. These strategies must be appropriate for each individual student. Finally, students are evaluated at different junctures in their school career to determine how well my case study school is assisting students to meet the set standards. Standard based education is the best fit for the students at my case study school. “By setting high standards, individualizing the curriculum and instruction, and holding teachers accountable for how well their students are meeting the standards will help educational quality rise for all our students”. (Jane Doe, January 25, 2010).
Parents of the students who fall under the IDEA provisions, must receive written notice that pertains to the identification, evaluation, and placement of their child in any special education program. The administrative team at my case study school ensures this mandate is followed. They specifically write and send home these notices to parents and attend the meetings that pertain to special education classes. My case study administrator feels it is important to develop relationships with these parents so they are educated and comfortable with their child’s IEP (Individualized Educational Plan). In addition, she has developed a “Family Education Night” specifically for parents of students who fall under the IDEA provisions. By developing family educational programs and other support programs for parents of students with disabilities, she is educating and engaging the families so they can share the decision making process for students with exceptional learning needs. My case study administrator also provides ongoing communication and collaborates with them as well as other administrators in similar instructional settings to improve the special education services at her school.
My case study administrator ensures her teachers are using effective instructional strategies for the success of her students who are placed in her school through the IDEA mandates. In order for her to supply these students with a Free, Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), Ms. Doe and her administrative team work with all special education teachers to assist in the specially designed instruction that will meet the distinctive needs of students with disabilities. Ms. Doe also gives her teachers and herself the opportunity to attend numerous professional development offerings. It is at these meetings that her and her school’s teachers learn about the important research-based instructional strategies and programs that will have the most profound affect on the students who are protected by the IDEA rules and regulations. My case study administrator wants her teachers to learn the most effective and specially designed instruction for the benefit of their students. “All students at my school will be given the fullest educational opportunity where they will learn how to overcome their disability and find success in school and life”. (Jane Doe, January 27, 2011).
In addition to the mandates and guidelines for students with disabilities, there are also regulations and laws that must be followed for our English Language Learner (ELL) education. Administrators must ensure their academic institutions are providing ELLs with programs that utilize scientifically researched based materials and strategies. They must also ensure the teachers who are instructing ELL students are ESOL certified or endorsed.
Choosing the appropriate programs, lessons, and strategies for ELL students is important to their success in acquiring English language skills while also becoming successful learners. In order for my case study school to be in compliance with state and federal mandates, the administrative team ensures their ELL students are given equal access to all curricular realms at the school, modifications are made in all subject areas within the classroom, and the ELL students are given appropriate resources to assist in the acquisition of the English language.
In the U.S. Supreme Court Case, Lau vs. Nichols of 1974, it states that all ELL students should have equal access to the same programs as basic education students. My case study school is in compliance with this mandate. They comply by testing ELL students in their native language to see if the student qualifies for our school district’s Gifted Program or the Advanced Placement (AP) classes. This programmatic access allows the ELL population the chance to accelerate their learning even though they may not be proficient speakers, readers or writers of the English language. “Even though a student may not be able to speak the English language, that student may still be eligible for Gifted and or Advanced Placement (AP) Programs”. (Jane Doe, January 27, 2011).
While access to all academic programs in school is a mandate for all ELL students, the teachers of these programs must also make academically appropriate modifications for the ELL students in order for them to achieve academic success. Under the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court Case, Castaneda vs. Pickard of 1981, school districts are required to follow specific guidelines in programs serving ELL students. One specific guideline within my case study school’s ELL Program is that all work assigned to ELL students must be modified to the level and understanding of that particular ELL student.
This same court case mandates that ELL programs must be given adequate resources and personnel. My case study school complies by this ruling by the hiring and training of a bilingual ESOL instructional assistant to work with the ELL students in their native language. This person attends classes with ELL students to help translate the lesson or activity the teacher is delivering to the student in their native language. This ESOL instructional Assistant is a resource the students in the ESOL program need to utilize for their success in academics and in their success of the English language acquisition.
My case study administrator also provides the ELL students with the appropriate resources and textbooks for their learning. All ELL students are given a textbook in English and a textbook in their native language. This allows them to have a side by side resource to learn from. It also allows them to be able to translate the information more efficiently and effectively. In addition, my case study administrator sends the teachers of ELL students to appropriate professional development trainings so they can learn the newest and most influential researched-based activities for our ELL students to learn from.