Saturday, October 9, 2010

CSE Meetings: Not Just an Excuse for a Third Cup of Coffee

So my last entry was all about feeling hopeless and useless at my job, but this entry is not… hooray!

This week, we had our first day of Committee on Special Education (CSE) meetings of the school year. Two of the meetings were for initial referrals for special education that were sent in over the summer and two of them were three-year reevaluations. CSE meetings are a forum to get input from the school psychologist, social worker, educational evaluator, teacher, parent, and sometimes the student, about how a student is doing academically. If things are not working in the special education program a student is in, changes can be made to better suit the child’s needs. Ultimately, it is the CSE’s job to ensure that a student’s educational needs are being met so the student can be successful (no pressure).

The day before our CSE meetings, the social worker, the CSE chair/educational evaluator, and I sat down to discuss the cases we were meeting on. We got to bring all our evaluations and data to the table and get a whole picture of each student. It’s like fitting puzzle pieces together in anticipation of the final product. The social worker discussed developmental milestones and family life, the chair/educational evaluator talked about strengths and weaknesses in reading, written language, and math, and as the psychologist, I brought learning styles and cognitive skills to the table. It helped us all get on the “same page” about where the students were coming from and where they are going.

After our discussion, I felt great… totally comfortable and empowered with my career choice. I knew my stuff and did my best to explain it to those who are not psychologist-savvy so that they understand our students, too (and as Boyfriend can attest after many a rambling conversation about MR, ED, LD, VCI, PRI, and FSIQ, this is not always easy to do). I realized not only can I “talk the talk,” I can “walk the walk” as a school psychologist. I’m finally feeling like I can swim rather than sink in my district, which, you know, is a pretty good thing.

Of course, we spent Friday afternoon planning out and scheduling our next three days of CSE meetings, which made me realize the uber amounts of work I have to do before then. But, that can wait til Monday.

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