Sunday, May 20, 2012

COACH3: Choosing Outcomes & Accommodations for Children: A Guide to Educatoinal Planning for Students with Disabilities

Planning for the 2012-13 school year is in full swing as we are looking to move all of the students that I have on my caseload to their age appropriate schools this fall.  I will continue to oversee their programs at each of the three schools.  There is still a lot in the air around what things will look like exactly (we have ideas but because they are new we will need to be flexible and responsive to situations and students).

One of the shifts we are trying to make is for the starting point to be what the individualized goals are for these students and then to build their individual programs, including where each aspect of those programs will be delivered, based on that.  This is really the way it should be done but somehow we have gotten caught up in putting them in to a program based on a diagnosis or perception and then building a program that ensures they fit in to the program as it exists.  It was never intentional. I think we just sometimes get stuck in things because they seem to be more efficient.  But really we should be looking for efficient and effective and sometimes that means sacrificing a little bit of the efficient.

Here is where the COACH3 model comes in.  Where are starting with planning individual programs for next year is to work through the COACH3 (Giangreco, Coloninger & Iverson) with parents so that we can discover what the learning priorities they have for their children are. It will be interesting to know if they match with what I think they are.  It will also be helpful as we continue to plan for what their programs will look like next year in their new settings. 

The family interview and figuring out what the priority learning outcomes in that meeting is just the first part of the process.  The next thing we do is look at supplemental outcomes based on what other team members feel is important and then look at the general supports that will be in place.  This information is then used to create annual goals, short term objectives and a program-at-a-glance.  Ultimately all of this is used to create the student's IEP.

I'm excited to try the model as I looked long and hard at both this one and "The Beyond Access Model".  In the end I decided on this because it is a little bit more laid out and right now we kind of need that.  As we continue to move forward we will continue to evaluate what the best tool to plan for programming for these students is.

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