Teacher's Desk: We Don't Just Teach

Thank goodness for B12, or I might’ve collapsed last Friday. My principal and I both discovered that the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing; the state and local bureaucracies have no clue what it’s like to work a school building or classroom, so deadlines are mounted on top of each other. At a small charter school, there just aren’t enough hands and minds to go around sometimes! The Colorado Department of Education asked my principals to provide them with specific accountability material for an audit by October 1st. Between September 24 and October 8, my principals were busy checking and double checking attendance records, so that we may be paid by the school district for the students we have enrolled. With many students out sick and many students in and out (not regular attendees) it is a chore to determine who qualifies and who does not. Fortunately, the state acquiesced and allowed us to provide the audit data by November 1st instead.

At the same time, Denver Public Schools requires that all Individual Education Plans due before December 1st be locked in the program by November 1st (actually they changed it to November 6). We are on vacation the week of October 26, so the special education team was busy writing reports and holding meetings. It is a phenomenon in organization to get these meetings scheduled because many of our students have not had meetings held in two or more years and much of their previous records are not adaptable, so new testing is needed.

Just as I was about to see the light at the end of the tunnel, Friday, October 23, right before our break, the Department of Student Services for Denver Public Schools sent me an email requesting that I change the wording from a spring 2009 IEP in one section that I had written, and the wording for a section from the winter of 2009 that was written by someone else at the student’s previous school, because the Colorado Department of Education was performing an audit, randomly pulled these two IEPs, and would be examining them October 29 when Denver Public Schools, as well as, my school were out on Fall break.

It was either squeeze it in on Friday’s to-do list or do it on my birthday, on my vacation. It was completed on Friday, October 23rd! Like I said before, thank goodness for my B12 every morning! Kathleen Kullback is a licensed special educator with an MA in Educational Leadership at Colorado High School Charter and is a former candidate for the State Board of Education.