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Instructional Assistant Handbook 2015-2016

What are Intellectual Disabilities?

Students with intellectual disabilities have significantly limited general intellectual
functioning (typically with an I.Q. below 70) AND deficits in adaptive behavior (selfhelp, safety skills, etc.).
Unique needs for students with Intellectual Disabilities
Students with intellectual disabilities require instruction with repetition and lots of
opportunity for practice. Visual supports and simple language help to
accommodate for deficits in processing. They also require instruction on functional
skills to address adaptive behavior deficits. Some of our students have physical
needs as well.
Our Classroom
Our classroom is centered on high academic and behavior expectations.
Instruction is structured to include the repetition and practice that students with
Intellectual Disabilities require.
Our Students
Our caseload currently includes 9 students in grades 3 through 5. Their needs are
varied, and they require differing levels of support and intervention. Their reading
levels range from kindergarten to second grade. Their math and writing skills
range from kindergarten to first grade.
High Expectations for Students
In our classroom we have high academic and behavioral expectations for our
students. To this end we support our students when things are difficult for them through
reasonable accommodations. We do not eliminate these difficult tasks or do them for our
students. This includes academic tasks as well as self-help tasks such as opening bottles,
tying shoes, etc.
o Lesson Structure
Most lessons in the classroom will be structured in a stations format.
Students will rotate through two to three stations: Teacher, Guided, and
Independent. You will supervise the guided and independent stations. The
guided station will typically feature practice of skills previously taught
through task cards. Students may need your assistance in remembering
o Student Centered Syllabus and Objectives

The student centered syllabus and objectives will be emailed to you no later
than Sunday evening. These documents will outline what students will learn
throughout the week, as well as what activities they will be engaged in.

o Working in the Collaborative Setting

You will be working in the collaborative setting most of the time. You will
responsible for providing accommodations so that our students may access
the curriculum and develop their academic behaviors. Please remember that
you are there for the students and should be working with students a
majority of your time (rather than making copies, etc.). I will provide you
with tools and materials to aid in this process. Please feel free to work with
other students in the classroom as well.
o Student Grouping in the Collaborative Setting
It is expected that students in our program are separated in the collaborative
setting and allowed to work with and interact with their non-disabled peers.
Please advocate for this to occur.
o Discipline
Behaviors must be addressed in a concise and consistent manner. We use a
clip-chart in our classroom, which is used to acknowledge both positive and
negative behaviors. This system must be used for every misbehavior, in
order to reinforce our students academic behavior goals.
o Schedule
You will be largely providing push-in collaborative services in Units
classrooms, while I provide direct instruction in the classroom. Our schedule
is attached. At least one a day a week we will switch places. You will be given
lesson plans to follow in the classroom on these days.
Lunch and Prep Time
o Your lunch period will run from 11:30 to 12:00 with our 4th grade students.
Additionally, you will have from 12:00 to 12:30 for preparing materials for the
class, taking a quick break, etc.
o Emergency Procedures
It is of upmost importance that we stay calm in emergency situations. Our
students draw their response from us, and we need to model a calm and
collected demeanor. We have some students with significant health
concerns. Again we need to respond to these situations as calmly as
possible. You will be provided with specific details regarding procedures for
these health concerns.

o Absences
All absences must be entered into AESOP as early as possible and shared
with me as soon as you know about it. It is often difficult to secure
substitutes for our classroom, and schedules may need to be changed in
order to meet each students required IEP services. For planned absences, it
is helpful to secure a sub early.

o Team Meetings
Occassionally, instructional assistants will be invited to attend
Exceptionalities Team Meetings. If at any time you would like something to
be discussed at the team meeting, please let me know and I will have it
added to our agenda.
o Addressing Concerns
It is my expectation that we have open dialogue about any concerns we may
have. Any concerns must be addressed at an appropriate time within 24
hours of the concern arising. Appropriate times include weekly meetings,
before school, and after school.
o Confidentiality
Matters concerning our students should not be discussed with anyone else in
or out of our school. Please keep FERPA (Family Educational Rights and
Privacy Act) rights in mind at all times. Discussions between teacher and
assistant regarding students and needs should take place privately. When in
doubt, do no discuss anything pertaining to our students.