The Start of a New Academic Year
The summer months of therapy and sessions always seem to be over before you know it. It is crucial to take time prior to the start of the new academic year to get everything set for your students. Not all children receive services over the summer, so it is important to spend time planning for all of the kids who you will be working with once you go back to school in August and September.
Begin by assessing all students who you work with during the summer months. Look at their IEPs and see what progress they have made with their skills and goals. If there are any formal evaluations that need to be done, schedule them with enough time to prepare paperwork that must be submitted. In addition to this, it is also a good time to shift your attention to what larger goals may be needed in the more formal academic year. Share information with parents so they know what shift may happen in the weeks ahead. Use the information you learned from the individual kids to work on sessions that will work best for them.
Pull out files for the year ahead. If you know the students you will be working with, it will be easier to begin planning for the first weeks of sessions. While you may not have a set schedule, these meetings should be flexible to work no matter when you fit them in. Getting organized now will help with those hectic first weeks of school. Get a file folder ready, and keep information on each child and the areas of focus based on their IEP needs. This will also make it easier to form group sessions for those with similar needs.
Pay special attention to those students who may have multilingual needs. What preparations need to take place for those children? Have resources ahead of time which will make it easier to communicate with families. Which ways are best for the individual families and is there a better way to make sure that they are comfortable with what is being sent to them?
Back to school sales are taking place during the summer. Check out what supplies you may need to use during the year. This is the best time to get plastic supply boxes, crayons, markers, pencils, erasers, index cards, and more. Check online specials with retailers and be on the lookout for back to school bargains in special areas of stores. Also, check clearance racks in the seasonal area. There are often goodies that you can use for sessions in the months ahead. Pinwheels, kites, flower pots, and other things may be used in a variety of ways. The game section is another area to look at. Stores put many games and toys on clearance this time of year to get ready for their new inventory. The more organized you are now, the better it will be during the school year. Keep track of purchases so you are able to locate them when you need them for sessions with students.
As you’re planning for back to school, why not plan your next career move? Check out our most recent school-based opportunities right here!