For my Social Justice Event, I attended an Educational Evaluation Team Meeting at the Margret Robertson Elementary School; which is the same school that I volunteer in for my service learning. The Evaluation Team Meeting was on a 6 year old male kindergarten student. For purposes of this post, I will refer to him as RM. In attendance at the meeting was the mother of RM, the classroom teacher, the Speech and Language Pathologist, Guidance Counselor, a School Psychologist, Building Principal, the Educational Evaluation tester, an Occupational Therapist, a Student Teacher, and myself. RM did not attend preschool and entered kindergarten with an IEP for social/emotional support for a Separation Anxiety Disorder and an IEP for speech and language, Developmental Delay, and he also takes medication for ADHD. RM was referred to the Response to Intervention Team (RTI) on October 28, 2014 for discussion about his limited academic progress. It was decided at this point by the RTI team, that RM was eligible for RTI Services in literacy and mathematics. At the time of this evaluation meeting, RM had made some academic progress in both literacy and mathematics, but continued to demonstrate significant delays in reaching academic benchmark. It was the feeling of the classroom teacher, his mother, and other service providers, that a referral for further evaluation was needed, thus the purpose of this meeting was to review the evaluation results. After lengthily discussion of all tests, the following conclusions were made; RM is now eligible for Occupational Therapy due to low average test scores (RM scored 80, average is 110). It was agree upon by all teachers present that RM had memory issues, the psychological testing/ memory tests confirmed this. The speech and language evaluation showed overall moderate receptive and expressive delays, RM scored 76 (ave. 85-115). He was in the 22 percentile for speech production. The Educational Evaluation showed developmental delays also. The meeting concluded with RM being eligible for the following services; IEP for mathematics and language arts, IEP for occupational therapy, and continued speech and language IEP services. The team decided on a transition plan for RM to transition to a kindergarten inclusion classroom for the remainder of the school year. He will integrate with his current mainstream classroom for limited amounts of time, in order to preserve gains made in his emotional/social wellbeing and to minimalize any regression with his separation anxiety disorder. This plan will begin immediately upon parent approval.
With what I have heard from attending this meeting, reminded me a lot about “Citizenship in School: Reconceptualizing Down Syndrome” by Christopher Kliewer and the movie we watched in class, Going To School: Ir a la Escuela. RM doesn’t have the same disabilities like the students in the movie had or have Down Syndrome like the students who are talked about in the reading. But what they do have in common is that they both could be put in classrooms away from mainstream students but they aren’t. Instead they are put into the same classrooms as mainstream students. The students in both the reading and the movie are put in them to be looked at and treated equally to the other students. In both cases with RM and the students from the reading and movie, they want to learn the same things even if they need extra help. Being in classrooms with just students with disabilities or just students who have IEPs wouldn’t be fair or right.
Another reading I can tie this event to is “Safe Spaces” by August. I would connect it to this reading because RM considers the classroom that he is in a safe space. It’s a place that has a teacher who makes him feel confortable and classmates who make him feel welcomed and because of this, it helps his Separation Anxiety Disorder. He were to be made to change class this far in the school year, RM would feel “safe”. He wouldn’t feel comfortable like he does in his classroom (Safe Space). It would affect his disorder and probably not help him while he’s trying to learn.