Official reports actually aren’t in the regular expectations of paraeduators. From time to time though, because one is asked to write an academic report about a student, especially if a paraeducator is working in a small pull out group. So this can be nail biting for most. Some highlights to make this easier.
- Officially, the only real report occurs in the IEP meeting. While your report may be used to help the case manager make informed observations and report to the IEP team, it is not the end all or be all of the real report.
- Unless you’ve written hundreds, you’re going to write at least one draft before you hand it to the case manager. It’s okay to go out of order of skills or concerns but make sure you group them in your final draft.
- Be objective and direct. Use the student name, avoid pronouns.
- Anecdotal data, or the data that tells a story, is to be used conservatively. This isn’t a time for a story. Phrases such as, “Observed student calling peers by name or asking their name to get to know peers on playground on many occasions.” is a much better and succinct way of documenting specific progress or positives you see with the student.
- To start: list all the positives you see with the student and their academic progress. Sometimes this list can be short, but the idea is to be as positive as possible. Sure the student rolls their eyes at you when you ask them to do something, but then they do it.
- Look at things that may be on the horizon. You may not know the exact state standard, but what would be the next skill? Can they write a complete sentence? Have they written a paragraph? Can they write more than one paragraph? Can they use evidence to support their idea? Math: can they connect fractions, percents, and decimals? Can they follow a formula? Can they identify 5 elements on the Periodic Table? Are they looking information up before asking for help?
- Take a moment before you do your final draft. Realize how much your student has grown. But also realize that sometimes, even with best laid plans: students take a step back. What will it mean for that student to take those steps forward with scaffolds and what it would look like for a student to not grow at all. But do not let those things keep you from describing those next steps.
- Realize your words are going to be a tiny part of what the IEP team will consider and discuss about the student. Sometimes they will opt to stay with where the student is in their progress because other things are more important to the entire team.
The request does not always come around very often. But it is nice to know how to do an academic report.
It is official:
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Just in case you missed it…
ParaEducate will be at Cal-TASH March 2 and 3. Find us and many other education resources and exchange ideas and find out what is on the horizon for self-advocates and special education.
Do you have any comments about this week’s blog? Do you have a question for us? Would you like to be a guest blogger? Would you like to have an opportunity to pilot some materials at your campus? Find ParaEducate online here, here, here, here, and on our website. Paraeducate is a company interested in providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published weekly during the academic school year on Thursdays, unless a holiday. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.