first week of new site

3 Feb

I’m all moved into my new apt in St. Louis and it was my first week at my new externship site. I don’t have internet and I don’t have computer access at school, so expect to hear from me on weekends!

I’ve been deliberating on what to say in this post. I had a really great week at Special School District, it is an interesting facility and a very different experience than what I imagine many of my classmates are doing. Some background:

Special School District STL is rather unique. There are five schools that are solely dedicated to the education of students with special needs. They aren’t state schools, they are a part of St. Louis County Public Schools. SSD-STL also serves 22 other “partner” school districts (265 schools total). They do everything from EC to tech schools.

I say it is unique because I think it is unusual to find exclusive schools, where there are zero regular education classrooms. Every student in the five special education schools has an IEP. Most of my classmates are in a regular education school and are providing services to students with IEPs, RTIs, 504s – what have you. But those students are involved in the reg ed process.

I’d have to say that because of this, I would strongly recommend all SLP students to take advantage of every experience they can get. My experience now is SO COMPLETELY different than my Early Childhood setting. And those two settings are going to be COMPLETELY different than the experiences of my classmates. Here are some ways JUST my two sites have been different:

Service Delivery Pull Out except for once a week lang group Almost solely push in, with some pull out
Supervisor Female Male
Case Load Verbal, core vocab, literacy, increasing MLU, intelligibility Non-verbal, picture exchange, AAC
Resources Supervisor had personal supply of materials All SLPs have a community materials closet
Experiences w paraprofessionals Mostly positive Mixed interactions
Collaboration Strong collab w teachers, paras, behavior tech, OT Strong collab with teachers, paras, OT, ABA
Hours of TX a day Saw approx 4-6 hours 2 hours/day
Interaction Lunch everyday with teachers, paras Lunch in office
Set Up Supervisor had her own room w table and materials Supervisor shares large office space w other SLPs, OTs, PTs, ABA, guidance
Outside duties Bus duty on Weds, collaboration, some IEP write ups, meetings Assist w buses, collab, IEP write ups, data team, meetings, AAC consult/planning

Right now, I don’t have a strong opinion of one being better than the other. Each has pros and cons and I’ve learned a TON at both sites. WHICH IS WHHHHHY it is SO important that you get as much hands on experience as possible. I’ll keep you updated on my SSD adventures and insights!



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