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Belinda Trombley Department of Educational Leadership EDLD 673 Leadership of Special Programs Practicum Reflection Sheet July 23,

2012 1. Focus of practicum reflection: Summer Extended School Year 2012. I shadowed the Assistant Director and followed her through various aspects of running our ESY program K-12. 2. Identify two to four primary competencies from your area of study and/or special programming issues addressed in this experience and why this exhibit is representative of those selected. One primary competency was to demonstrate an understanding and recognition of the significance of diversity, and respond to the needs of diverse learners. I demonstrated this competency by my ability to personally involve myself in the programming of students with diverse needs. I worked on speech goals with most students by engaging them in the hallways and classrooms, asking them about their day, waiting for a response by speech device or EA dialog regarding the student speaking directly to the student. Another competency was judgment and problem analysis. On two occasions I problem solved the confusion families had in programming. Parents arrived at Robbinsdale Middle School, when in fact programming for their child was in another location. I was ready to assist the parents by calling the other buildings and giving accurate directions to get students to the correct locations. I also met this competency while assisting with bussing. When a bus showed up a time that was too late, or did not have adequate air conditioning for or students with significant health needs I called transportation and rearranged bussing to accommodate the needs of those students Another competency was facilitating teamwork. I coordinated when groups would be using various facilities in the building through the use of a sign up sheet. I also demonstrated the understanding of state, federal, and case law governing general education, special education and community education by informing a parent that showed up expecting summer school for her child that had received extended school year services in the past by checking the students IEP to see if he was supposed to have ESY services. He did not have ESY. I then called summer school programming. He was not registered for summer school either. I called my director and told her of his past ESY services, and that the parent appeared confused. I explained the ESY process, and explained the difference of summer school and ESY. I showed her the IEP with the documentation supporting his progress on his IEP and that he no longer required ESY. I then gave the parent phone numbers to Summer School should she like to further investigate summer school.


3. Describe your experience (the who, what, when, where of the practicum): I ran the Extended School Year Program as an ESY coordinator under the supervision of my assistant director of Special Services, Michelle Bethke-Kaliher. I ran the secondary portion at Robbinsdale Middle School, Mon- Fri, with the exception of Thursday for 3 weeks from 8:00 until bussing was finished at 12:45- 1:15 depending on bussing issues. I also helped at the primary K-5 level 3 for 3 days to have an understanding of that level.

4. Identify two to three key learnings you gathered from your practicum experience that have enhanced your leadership competency or your awareness of special programming issues: A key learning I had was during bussing. I had no idea how bussing has such an impact on our students. I have been working with various populations, but really started to notice the importance of the correct bus. Sometimes the air conditioning doesnt work; sometimes a student needs a shortened route, and other times busses just dont show up. I am always baffled when a bus just doesnt show up. And of course all of this frustrates parents, so there is some calming of parents and additional phone calls resolving issues. One bus can create a problem for many families. Another key learning I had was how demanding teachers can be, and their expectation from the principal. I found that people do not look into things for themselves. If they can ask someone else without doing it for him or herself, they will. I was amazed at the number of complaints at how busses arrived, location of their classroom, temperature of their classroom, and sometimes their inability to problem solve. I really see problem solving as a future strength of mine, as I have an ability to get things done. An example of this was my ability to put a changing table in a bathroom where others could not figure out how to get it in there. I flipped it up on its end and shoved it in there, problem solved. Extended School Year is a way to provide FAPE to students, but also the language barrier impacts students families understanding of their childs educational programming. Many families do not understand the differences in educational programming. I am now cognoscente of this and will help parents understand the types of programming and ask clarifying questions so that I know how to give them additional tools to help their child. 5. In this section you will need to connect the key learnings identified above to topics covered in the course (class discussions, readings, textbooks, articles, team project, etc) and find two pieces of research, articles or evidence of best practices and compare and contrast this literature with your key learning. A. Construct one paragraph and compare and contrast course content with your practicum experience. I believe that my practicum experience directly compares to the books description of FAPE, Free and Appropriate Public Education. The ESY, Extended School Year program, provides a way for students to benefit from educational program services. Many of the students need to continue programming for consistency of programming. When they have been out of school for

too long of a duration, they are unable to learn because they take a very long time to acclimate back into school and miss too many learning opportunities when they return to school in the fall. Some students regress in areas, and the time it takes to recoup those skills takes a longer amount of time than when they are gone. For instance, if a student misses 3 months and the time it takes for them to recoup their skills takes 3 months; they have really missed 6 months of programming. They have regressed 3 months in the summer, they take time to get back where they were, which is 3 months, so the student would be back where they left off in June, the following November. The student does not make adequate programming without ESY services. B. Construct two to three paragraphs identifying at least two pieces of research, articles or evidence of best practices and compare and contrast this literature with course content and your key learning. According to IDEA Section 1400(c)(5) education is best when children with disabilities are held to high expectations ensuring their access to the general education curriculum in the regular classroom, to the maximum extent possible, in order to meet developmental goals and, to the maximum extent possible, the challenging expectations that have been established for all children Compare this to our course key learning, providing FAPE, a free and appropriate education, is also the law. I believe we, as educators must always keep this in the foreground at IEP meetings. Yes, we are looking at meeting individual goals, but providing a way for students to meet these goals in the least restrictive environment, hopefully the regular education program, is a must. In the real world, students with disabilities work with many different people, and people without disabilities are often the key to future success. I believe it just as important for the general education population to work amongst our special education population. In fact, I wish we did not segregate our special education populations into Center-based programs. I believe it would be best for certain specialists to go in and work in specific classrooms on an as needed basis as an intervention. Although I believe this could happen and should happen more often, I have also run into cases where a student truly is such a disruption that they impede the learning of others, and need to be in a separate classroom or school. Another key learning is the importance of language acquisition. A piece of research states cultural and language barriers should be a focus in early childhood. This same statement resonates in Special Education, and ELL populations Behind these disparities in school-

related performance lie dramatic differences in childrens early experiences and access to good programs and schools. Often there is also a mismatch between the school culture and childrens cultural backgrounds. A prime difference in childrens early experience is in their exposure to language, which is fundamental in literacy development and indeed in all areas of thinking and learning. On average, children growing up in low- income families have dramatically less rich experience with language in their homes than do middle-class children: They hear far fewer words and are engaged in fewer extended conversations. By 36 months of age, substantial socioeconomic disparities already exist in vocabulary knowledge, to name one area. (Developmentally Appropriate Practice in
Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8. A position statement of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Adopted 2009).


5. How did this experience improve your current understanding of educational leadership and special programming issues? I have had a pretty strong background in Special Education, but this experience has improved my current understandings because I had to work with a larger population of students day to day. I notice that after the practicum, I began to widen my perspective and have wanted to broaden my interest in working with individual students and advocating for all students using best practice for all students. I am beginning to understand that we need to really individualize through accommodations and modifications for everyone, working daily to help students achieve their best. We need to be interested in the learning and attainment of knowledge for each student. As a leader, the principal can really ensure that best practice is happening in each classroom. We can expect teachers to provide quality teaching, because we cannot accept mediocre teaching. There is no time to waste. Just this summer, I ran into a student that I worked with, and he shared with me that his teacher in high school had them watch a lot of movies. After talking to him, he said he liked watching the movies, but that he learned more from his program with us in the middle school. This angered me, and I thought, We dont have time to let this student watch movies all the time. What were they thinking keeping this teacher on our payroll? Why wasnt something done sooner? I then told my former student that, You cant afford to accept this in the future. You missed too much. The next time a teacher is going to show you a movie, challenge them and ask them what you are going to learn from this? He said he would, which surprised me and made me think that we were having a real and important conversation regarding him advocating for himself in the future. I wanted him to demand an education. Just because youre in a different setting doesnt mean you dont get an education.


Practicum Reflection Rubric

Element Q1. Focus 4 Title identifies personal meaning and captures the intent of the project. No writing errors. Short and to the point. Q2. Identify Identifies three or Issues and more competencies Competencies or topic related issues and makes a clear and concise connection between these and the practicum experience. Well constructed and no writing errors. Q3. Describe the Practicum Clear descriptive statement of the practicum experience that is concisely state with no writing errors. Identifies three or more key learning that are clearly related to course content. No writing errors and writing is concise. 3 Uses the title of the exhibit provided by instructor. No errors. 2 No title. Description is too long, Spelling error. 1 Unclear focus. Writing errors.

Indentifies two or more competencies and makes a clear and concise connection between each one and the practicum experience. Well constructed content with one or no errors.

Q4. Key Learnings

Q5 A Connection to Course Content

Stated topic provides a clear connection to course content. No writing errors.

Q5B Two or three Connection to sources cited using Literature appropriate citation format. Link

Identifies three or more competencies but does not connect or expand upon how they are addressed in the practicum experience. Multiple writing errors. Clear descriptive The nature and statement of the context of the practicum practicum experience that is experience is somewhat longer unclearly than necessary. No defined. writing errors. Writing errors. Indentifies two key Key learnings learning that are are somewhat clear and related to clear and course content. No loosely related writing errors. to course content. Identifies only two key learning. Writing errors. States a topic and Topic connects to course identified but content. Clearly connection to written and no more course is than one error. unclear. Multiple writing errors. There are two or Two or more more sources cited sources are using appropriate cited with a citation. The link poorly

Identifies two competencies but does no connect them to the practicum experience.

Unclear content. Poorly constructed sentences. Multiple writing errors. Unclear content. Poorly constructed sentences. Multiple writing errors. Identifies only one key learning and not related to course content. Multiple writing errors. Confusion over topic considered or connection to course. Fewer than two sources are identified and not explanation of

between literature and topic is clearly stated. In the reflection the writer makes a strong connection to the practicum. Practicum experience is compared to best practice. No writing errors. Q6 Application to Leadership Evidence that the writer has a set of professional values and beliefs and makes a clear connection between their beliefs and educational leadership. No writing errors.

between literature and the topic is clearly stated. The reflection connects to the practicum experience.

Evidence that the writer is in the process of clarifying a set of professional values and beliefs. The statement makes a clear connection between beliefs and leadership. No writing errors.

developed explanation of how the literature applies to the practicum experience. The link between literature and topic is not clear or evident. Little evidence of clarity of the writers believes or how they are associated with the topic of educational leadership. Writing errors.

how they literature applies to the topic or the practicum experience. There are writing errors.

Poorly developed content. Multiple writing errors. Does not address the topic of educational leadership.