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End of Year Wrap Up for Teachers

As we come into the last quarter of the school year, teachers with students who have visual impairments must wrap up the year with some considerations in mind.

Six students in cap and gowns jumping in the air.

Teacher who have students with visual impairments must assess and prepare for transitions in a way that not all teachers must consider. Here are questions to ask well before the summer break starts:

  • How did this school year go? Socially, academically, emotionally
  • Does this student qualify for ESY: Extended School Year?
  • Are there ECC (Expanded Core Curriculum) skills to work on over the summer months? Including Orientation and Mobility skills
  • What materials need to be ordered for next year?
  • Are there assessments and paperwork that need to be done before the start of the new school year?
Two little girls working closely together on a book.

How Did the School Year Go

The IEP team should meet in the later half of the school year to discuss any transitions coming up, especially when students are going into a new school like elementary to middle school. The TVI can prepare the staff, parents, and student about what to expect, how there is support in place, and what needs to be ordered.

Exit interviews can be formal with questions and answers via a document, but the end of the school year is a very busy time. Instead, having a 5-minute conversation with staff asking for a “wrap up” of what worked and what we could try to improve on can go a long way.  
Have questions designed for positive outcomes and not just a way for someone to vent to you.  

Build on the positive outcomes with focus on the student’s strengths and needs. This means that if there were strategies put in place that worked, make sure they are built into the success of next year. Allow opportunities for the staff in the new school to talk with the teachers and support staff of the past year. Design that time with a scheduled in-service now so that when the business of the new school year has started, there is carved out time for this already in place.

Extended School Year

Extended School Year (ESY) services are special education and related services that are provided to students with disabilities beyond the 180-day school year. ESY does not mean they will have the same teachers, therapist, staff or even in the same building. The IEP team will determine the needs based on regression of skills gained from the data that has been collected. Please check with your local area since information may be different from state to state. It has been my experience that programs look different from district to district and year to year. Not all students need or qualify and some families opt not to attend ESY.

Seven Things to Know about Extended School Year (ESY) Services from Autism Speaks is a nice resource.

ECC (Expanded Core Curriculum) Skills

The Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) provides a framework for instruction in a specialized set of vision-related skills for students who are blind or visually impaired. While students who are blind or visually impaired are expected to follow the same core curriculum as their sighted peers, there are certain areas in which they need specific instruction because of their vision loss. The summer is an excellent time for families to spend extra time working on some of these areas of ECC.

The nine areas of ECC:

Woman looking at her laptop concerned and biting down on a pencil

End of Year Checklist

What materials need to be ordered for next year? This is an important question to ask during the third quarter of the year and orders should start to take place.

Are there assessments and paperwork that need to be done before the start of the new school year? Before you get to the last few weeks of school make sure all IEPs, ERs, and obligations are up to date and will not be due during the first couple weeks of school.

Here is a one page “Year at a Glance” checklist that includes an end of the year portion by the website: TeachingVisuallyImpaired

  • Order novels and textbooks needed in special format (ex. large print, PDF)
  • Update each student’s working file with the most recent information
  • Ensure that all AT equipment has been returned and placed in the designated inventory
  • If students will borrow school purchased materials over the summer, have the family complete a material loan form
  • Organize office and storage materials
Woman with a big smile infront of a class full of students.

Professional Development and Re-charge

Take a look at any professional development courses that may be helpful. Many can be done online and at free or low cost. If there will be new staff with who need training, provide some helpful links and set some dates to in-service them before the school year ends.

After all the hard work and reflection take time to rest after a school year filled with many ups, downs, challenges, and triumphs. YOU DESERVE IT!

End of Year Wrap Up for Teachers pin

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