Hello and Welcome Back from the Speech Teachers at MS217!!

We are:
Karen Rogovin
Lev Fridman
Sakeenah Williams
Anna O'Connor

Here at your service and always available for consultation!

We are in the process of forming our caseloads and will soon be visiting your rooms with tentative schedules.

We look forward to a great year of cooperation and success!

-The Speech Team


We followed norm-setting procedures to establish the atmosphere in which our team will function. Due to the unusual nature of our team (group of speech providers rather than classroom teachers) we had to consider the exact mechanics of our role in the school as well as our collaborative potential. We established our norms as well as our goals for interaction; sharing working strategies as well as ones that failed, discussing problematic cases as well as our successes. [all were present]


This meeting doubled as a meeting with a parent (of Carlos Peralta 892) of a student whose behavior and attendance have been faulty of late.


This meeting served as a detailed discussion of our roles in the school system as well as working conditions and past situations where related services have been marginalized. Optimal service delivery was the prime goal of discussion.


In keeping with the school-wide collaborative inquiry process, we have each chosen the five neediest students on our caseloads to monitor and discuss throughout the year. Williams - M. Caceres, C.Peralta, C. Barahona, S.Pasha, C.Garcia-Mendoza. Fridman - R.Bryant, L.Rivera, H.Huerta, C.Nabarete, J.Hernandez. Rogovin - H. Aviles, C. Ortega, R. Ramsaroop, S. Saringee, S. Dhaniram. O'Connor - C.Cortez, M.Bobadilla, D. Pineda, J. Hernandez, E. Hernandez.

Meeting focused on one needy student on our list (M. Caceres 893), case etiology and working strategies (immediate and consistent reinforcement with no latency, slow movement and implementation, consistency between staff), possible meeting with SBST personnel, reward strategies and criteria, scaffolding discussed.
Meeting focused on several of identified students (all ELLS, Special ED), discussed poor behavior and variable teachability due to emotional, psychological and academic considerations. Structure and routine discussed as powerful motivators for children that may otherwise lack these factors in home-life and certain classroom situations. Noted disruptive and defiant behaviors as cries for help and to be dealt with accordingly. Followup on C. Peralta and success of positive reinforcement plan as established by S.Williams with note of absences (or lack thereof) as well as behavior outside of session with other staff. Discussed strategies for minimizing time lost due to paperwork redundancies.
Meeting focused on points established by visiting lecturer and subsequent discussions in IEP goal-writing PD in-school on election day. As specificity and salience of language for parent-friendly documents were deemed important we found ourselves needing to establish certain alternative terminology for making our professional lexicon more accessible. Difficulties of sacrificing terms of art for salience discussed but concluded that writing could be accomplished in parallel (regular language then explanation in parentheses) or using circumlocution as long as specificity not reduced. Discussed basic premises of general terminology such as Expressive and Receptive language and certain finer points perhaps unexamined since graduate school.
Meeting canceled as parent teacher conferences on this date
No school
Meeting focused on service recommendation and difficulty of complying with mandates within scheduling constraints. Updates on several challenging cases per provider, discussed recent strategies used.
Meeting continued focus on student from previous meeting (C.Ortega), difficulties with decoding and persistent difficulty with phonemic awareness, minimal improvement has been made since the beginning of year (initial assessment and class sample), persisting difficulties with attention, answering questions, following directions, visually tracking. Challenges of treating child with multiple deficits that interfere with academics.
Meeting focused on C.Cortez, reduced vocabulary, reduced comprehension skills, writing skills, treatment of vocabulary and graphic organizers with strategies for using context clues, underlining etc having effect. All agreed on importance of said strategies and reported effectiveness in treating many cases.
Discussed A. Huerta, obstinacy, word retrieval issues, expressive language flatness, rudeness and condescending tone. Receptive language however, emerging improvement and relative strength. Difficulties of dealing with attitude problems versus actual language problems noted.
No school
Meeting update on M.Caceres, still exhibiting bizarre and erratic behaviors, inappropriate comments, impulsive and violent acts, session related behavior intervention schedule begun will continue to monitor progress. Three providers have had this student by this point and discussed his development in and out of the session environment and the challenges of treating him.
Discussed D. Pineda and persistent absence issues (also noted with J. Hernandez, H. Huerta, R. Ramsaroop, C. Peralta, M. Kaba, S. Dhaniram, C.Nabarete, E.Hernandez, J. Aviles, T. Moreau, A. Sohail, S. Sookall, R. Pizarro, V.Ramrup) consensus to attempt developing speech contracts outlying needed attendance and rewards/consequences, extrinsic and intrinsic motivations, will monitor.
Discussed questioning techniques and need to increase rigor and their connection to increasing comprehension and improving student achievement in and out of the session environment. Importance of student led discussions, questioning skills, peer-peer interactions, student accountability. Due to noted lack of accountable peer-talk in sessions for all providers. Will monitor progress.
Discussed four corner vocabulary visualization strategy as discussed in professional development seminar in-school on 12/6. All providers have used these strategies in session and have noted efficacy because words are broken down into simplest forms and imperative to think outside of the box and make inferences, also targets writing, and effective across the curriculum.
Discussed use and efficacy of thinking maps, all providers have experimented with and utilized in session, seen as effective method for visualizing ideas and breaking down complex content and information. Group discussion how these maps will be used to create and cultivate expressive language skills and for students to use maps independently, also to effect quality of oral presentations and writing activities. Use of Venn diagrams for many compare and contrast task as well as the double-bubble map as a new alternative.
All day speech professional development seminar.
Meeting deferred to assist new team member (contract employee to temporarily cover K. Rogovin) with daily routines, policies, procedures, scheduling, introduction to faculty. Introduced her to several students from covered caseload introduced to IEP procedures.
No school
Discussed Depth of Knowledge as introduced in in-school lunch and learn and professional development seminar, importance of using high level DOK to encourage higher level thought and functioning, connection to rigor and its importance in new assessment methods, danielson framework, how to explain the levels to the children (using the "two speech teachers" analogy) and to determine whether or not they understand.
Discussed M.Bobadilla, issues with comprehension, written expression skills, treatment has included compare and contrast tasks with essay writing, using venn diagrams as organizer. Also focusing on reading comprehension; predicting, inferences, main idea, assisting to prepare for exams. Coordinating these activities with listening skills and listening comprehension.
Members participated in/observed parent/student meeting conducted by Nuts N' Bolts group as many children in caseload affected.
All day speech professional development seminar.
Discussed H. Huerta and J.Hernandez; both 8th graders noted issues by other staff, extreme attendance issues. Problems of selective mutism with H. Huerta, discussed constant effort at parent outreach and intervention failing due to student's lack of motivation and unwillingness to work. J. Hernandez disciplinary issues noted, school-wide cutting of classes and poor behavior. Discussed provider's conviction to terminate speech services as H. Huerta is unwilling to participate and has demonstrate the potential to perform at grade level but chooses not to do so.
Updates on several challenging cases as well as recent issues with SESIS procedures and workarounds, administrative and documentation issues, different strategies for time management and increased productivity.
No school
Observations from testing: more writing practice needed for students specifically including details, would be helped by increased organizer use. Noted lack of detail and connections, when comparing and contrasting children were not using their own voice. Straight quotations without explanations noted as well as a general difficulty in the contrasting portion. Noted many questions asking for application and point of view such as "author's purpose." Testing reaffirms the gap between our students' knowledge and level of competitive performance and the expectations of the state.
Plans for student data analysis during future meetings, we will compare grades and session data, make note of changes in performance & approach, also discussed strategies for dealing with student frustration and behaviors during extensive testing periods.
Discussed agenda for post-exam sessions, need for additional assessment. Discussed the problem of selective muteism (particular cases in mind, names withheld for confidentiality) and discriminating between the choice to not perform versus actual deficits. Discussed different techniques of reading comprehension assessment as well as documenting change, different practices. Discussed SESIS encounter attendance sessions notes, using percentages vs. prompt levels or anecdotal notes.
Discussed transition readiness, children being blatantly unready for High School and the removal of modified promotional criteria, ethics thereof. Discussed how to accommodate children in the next school year and what special education reform will mean for group sizes, delivery models, scheduling. Discussed the technique and difficulties of reporting goal progress via SESIS.