CA Guidance Team Process V1.1
Big Idea: How do we support teachers and parents in providing the individual student support that they need based on the student’s health or behavior or academics or disabilities.
What is the Cathcart Guidance Team?
It is a team of teachers and specialists who meet with teachers and parents who are looking for the best way to support the learning of a Cathcart student. This team will listen, ask clarifying questions and participate in a dialogue to figure out how we can best support a student. We will work together to support and improve support services such as LAP, 504s, Special Education, Health Services, Community Service and more.
There is a Guidance Team form to request a time to meet. We have two Guidance Team Meetings per week and there are about 35 weeks in a school year, so we have the capacity to have about 70 meetings per year.
Who Can Refer a Student to GT?
A Cathcart parent, teacher or specialist can refer a student to Guidance Team. Anyone who cares about a student and would like to initiate a conversation about how to best support a student can fill out the Guidance Team Referral Form. Turn the form in to the Psychologist.
What concerns/issues/opportunities should be referred to Guidance Team?
Learning referrals, new health diagnosis, 504s, retentions, Highly Capable K-3 consideration, Severe discipline/behavior concerns, learning challenges.
A teacher doesn't need to wait for Guidance Team if they want support for Tier 2 interventions for learning, behavior or counseling. They can meet immediately with Guidance Team members for support.
It is especially important for teachers to understand that they can accelerate the support process by fully documenting and sharing all of the accommodations that have been made to support a student. It especially helps to collect student data over a week or two weeks to illustrate what you are observing in your class. Teachers can keep data sheets on specific behaviors, on-task behavior, time on task, etc... Whenever a teacher provides data to support their observation, it makes the Guidance Team process move much quicker. Teachers can also review Student Permanent Record Files in the office to summarize the input of teachers over several year concerning on-task behavior, work completion etc…
Parents Initiating Guidance Teams
There are many reasons that a parent might want to start a Guidance Team process. There could be a new health diagnosis or real concerns about academics or a feeling that a child just isn’t being challenged. As much as possible, we want to encourage parents to start by talking with the classroom teacher. It is so much better for parents and the teachers to already have some common agreements before the Guidance Team meetings. Then the teacher can fill out the Guidance Team paperwork to get the process started.
Before considering SPED testing…
It is important to try a variety of accommodations, teaching strategies, behavior plans and wild ideas before students are provided special services.
Scheduling Guidance Team Meetings
Guidance Team Forms come to the Psychologist. Meetings and invitations will be scheduled using Outlook Calendar. The Psychologist will be responsible for inviting parents and support teachers to this meeting.
Does a teacher need to fill out a Guidance Team Form to get advice…?
Teachers, support staff, and parents can go directly to a specialist for advice, suggestions, support before going to Guidance Team. (nurse, counselor, principal, special education teacher…)
When do we have Guidance Team Meetings?
We will schedule two Guidance Team Meetings each week on Tuesdays 3:30-4 pm and 4-4:30 pm. One Guidance Team Meeting a quarter will be reserved to review school and classroom assessment data and review our Guidance Team Watchlist, the students who we have agreed to follow up on based on earlier Guidance Team Meetings.
Who is on the GT?
Special Education teacher
* Specialists like Speech and OT/PT will be invited on an as needs basis.
How do we document our GT Meetings?
The counselor will take meeting notes based on a Guidance Team template. It will be posted alphabetically on the Cathcart Canvas website.
Typical GT Agenda
2. Meeting Facilitator Explains the Process
3. Whoever Initiates Shares Briefly Why
4. Parent Input
5. Teacher Input
7. Conversation among the group
8. Agree upon next steps
After the Meeting
1. Notetaker posts notes to the Cathcart Canvas Website
2. Update Cathcart Guidance Team Watchlist Spreadsheet
What Happens After The Guidance Team Meeting?
At every Guidance Team Meeting, we will listen to the parents and the teacher, look at all pertinent academic, health and social/emotional/behavior background in order to determine appropriate next action steps. We will aim to make sure that everyone on the Guidance Team, including the parents and the teacher understand what we are doing next.
It is important to know that Guidance Team is not the fast track to get qualified for special education services. We are responsible to assure that all federal and state laws and procedures are followed to assure that students are served in the least restrictive environment. This means students should be learning in their own classrooms if possible. Next, if there is a disability or a learning need then we look to work with the teacher and parents to have accommodations to help the students succeed in their classroom. It is only after researching and trying all reasonable accommodations that we begin to consider testing for special education services.
What Can Happen After the Guidance Team Meeting?
Write a 504 or Health Plan
In-class interventions and supports
Guidance Team Watch List
The Notetaker will keep a spreadsheet summary of students referred that year with follow up notes and we set aside a meeting each quarter to refer to the list. We will reflect upon STAR, Report Cards and SBAs during these quarterly meetings.
Building Leadership Team Oversight of Guidance Team
The Cathcart BLT has teacher representatives for all teachers: K-2, 3-4, 5-6 and specialists. The BLT will regularly meet with the teachers that they represent to discuss how the Guidance Team process is working for teachers. They will also proactively have the PLC Team review their class lists and discuss students who might benefit from the support of the Guidance Team. They will also talk with teachers about professional development that might help students who may be referred to Guidance Team. This Professional Development will be included in our annual School Improvement Plan.