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District Special Education Peer Selection Process

  • 1.  District Special Education Peer Selection Process

    Posted 09-29-2017 10:15 AM
    How do you identify peers with quality skills to serve as models and supports for children with special needs in your district/program?

    I am an Early Childhood Special Education teacher and just recently started in a new district. In both districts I have had some ratio of children with special needs and those that are typically developing to serve as peer models. The system for selecting those peers for the classroom has not been super effective - often times resulting in peers that need more individual support than the children with special needs.

    My priority with this process is selecting peers with age-appropriate behaviors, although there is also a need for the peers to have good language skills (as nearly all of our kiddos in special education have speech/language delays) and reasoning/academic skills. In the past, if a child passes a community screening without any red flags, they are selected as a peer. A quick 20 minute observation has proved to be ineffective in screening these children for appropriate behaviors (as you could probably guess). I should add that I am currently in a small community with few options for quality early childhood experiences.

    I am optimistic that somebody, somewhere, has a system that works.


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    Chelsea Schulte
    KSAEYC
    ECSE Teacher
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  • 2.  RE: District Special Education Peer Selection Process

    Posted 09-30-2017 11:25 AM
    Hi Chelsea,

    I wish I could help you by providing a good way to choose peer models for the classroom. Our students with special educational needs push into established preschool classrooms. Each of our preschool classes has students with diverse cultural and educational needs. When making placement decisions, we tend to look at the combination of teachers and students who will be in the classroom. We don't formally screen typically developing students, but we do observe our students in the general education setting before making final placement decisions.

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    LuAnna Bellairs Salemi
    EdD Candidate
    Special Education
    Walden University
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