After watching this past week’s episode of NBC's Parenthood one question came to mind: to mainstream or not to mainstream?
For those that are unaware of what mainstream is...
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act //IDEA\\ mandated that all Americans with disabilities has the right to a free public education. One practice aimed at providing a positive educational experience for special education students is mainstreaming, in which students with disabilities are placed in the general education classroom for part of the school day. The aim of mainstreaming is to give students with disabilities the opportunity to gain appropriate socialization skills and access to the same education as general education students. Mainstreaming also allows students with disabilities to learn in the least restrictive environment.//LRE\\
Mainstreaming has become a regular practice at many schools. Special education students can be mainstreamed into a general education classroom for part of the school day -- for example, spending Language Arts class in the general education classroom, but spending the math class in the special education classroom. Mainstreaming is customizable and often relies on the judgment of the general classroom teacher and the special education teacher, both of whom will keep in constant communication to clearly evaluate a student's progress. When used correctly, mainstreaming allows the special education student to take full advantage of all resources available to them.
Max's mom, Kristina, is worried about mainstreaming Max. During the episode she listed all of her many concerns:
fitting into a new environment
explaining Max to others
holding him back
Gabby, Max's behavior specialist, said she wished there was a guarantee in knowing that Max would be successful in a mainstreamed classroom.
I feel the same way I wish there was a button that I could press to see how a student is going to handle being placed out of ESE. Unfortunately, there is no button or guarantee that a student will be successful in a general education classroom.
In order for students to be placed out of an ESE class an IEP/staffing has to be held with a team//which may include\\ parents, teachers, specialist, administration, and a student. During an IEP the team discusses the student’s performance in school and what action needs to be done to further their success. During an IEP meeting the topic of placement/mainstreaming arises.
There have been many students this year that have been mainstreamed in one class or another. A majority of the students are successful and few are having difficulty. I can think of two perhaps three students that might not make it and could eventually make their way back to my classroom.
I wish there was a button that I could press that would allow me to view if a student was going to be successful or not in the general education classroom!