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Ohio Partnership for Excellence in Paraprofessional Preparation
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Content: System Communication

IEPs for students with disabilities sometimes require services that the school district cannot provide by itself. These organizational relationships are crucial to the function of the school and so it is important to understand how they go together.

 

Here is a picture to put the web of relationships into context. 

picture of complex web of relationships

It’s a complicated picture!

Just look at all the different organizations and sub-organizations! And then imagine all the people in those organizations who provide services and talk to one another across organizational boundaries. 

Here is what the picture shows

  1. The school is attached to the school district: it has important relationships with the central office and central office staff. 
  2. The school has working relationships with staff at two offices at the ESC:  psychological services and human resources. (“You” are employed to work at the school through the ESC—an arrangement approved and monitored both by your principal and by central office staff.) 
  3. The central office also has relationships with administrators at both the ESC and the hospital. 
  4. The school has relationships with the hospital’s physical and occupational therapy departments, but not its neurology department (but it might in the future, since neurology is the department that deals with epilepsy and other conditions associated with the central nervous system–such as pediatric migraines and cerebral visual impairment.) 
  5. As a parapro, you may escort students to sessions with visiting psychologists (from the ESC) and physical therapists (from the hospital), but you also may have interactions with staff from the ESC related to your employment. 

So, paraprofessionals might…

Be employees of another organization—like an Educational Service Center

Participate in IEP meetings to consider whether students need services from staff at outside organizations

Escort students to sessions with a variety of staff from several outside organizations

In working across all these organizaitions it is important to recognize we might not know the whole picture or why things are the way they are. Being cautious and structured in our communication can help ensure that boundaries are not crossed, and that everyone feels like they are in the loop on the communication. 

Module: Communication and Collaboration

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