How to Start Your Year as a Success!

Are you already back in school?  Are you figuring out your caseload and throwing sticky notes around in an effort to create a therapy schedule? If so, I will be joining you soon.  I go back to work next week.  I am very excited about my new caseload and returning to work.  How do you prepare? Here are my simple steps to start the year off as a success!


Step 1:  Make a List
Once I have my caseload(s), I grab the IEP info needed to start thinking about groups and schedules.  I use my Caseload Lists to separate students by therapy needs including frequency and duration, targeted goals, and grade.  This provides me with a way to visualize who might best be grouped by similarities (when possible).  From this information, I begin to schedule.
Step 2:  Schedule Out IEP’s & Evaluations
I hate to admit but once the school year starts it is total chaos trying to keep track of all the MDT (Multidisciplinary Team), IEP (Individualized Education Plan), and other meetings that come our way.  This is why I schedule them out for the year.  We all know that we get more students when we least expect it.  As students transfer and I meet new friends to work with, I automatically put their information in the IEP Calendar.  If it is necessary (3-year re-evaluation due, or student with an out of state IEP), I also put their information into my Evaluation Calendar. 

STEP 3: Set Up Individual Data Sheets
Now, I can prep the individual data sheets.  Wooh!  By this time, I am usually exhausted or at least feel like my brain is slowly melting. At least with my forms, it doesn’t take me as long as it used to take. I typically print the pages out so that I have my cover page on front, a copy of the data form on back followed by another page of back-to-back data form.  Doing it like that provides me with more than enough data collection opportunities for the entire school year. I have also done this a few different ways.  I have taken the individual forms and put them in one (or more if I had several schools) binder and I have also just clipped them together and each day taken out the ones I needed and placed them on a clipboard.  At the end of the year, it is easy enough to slip them into the student’s individual work files to keep the hard copy of data for backup. 

Step 4: Prepare Extra File Folders
This is the easiest of them all to do!  I simply print! However, I do make up several different file folders.  I make one for RTI documentation, Evaluation documentation, and for Contact Logs.  

Step 5: Treat Myself!
At this point, I look at my documentation files and smile.  Yes, I smile. Sometimes, I have even given myself a little pat on the back for a job well done.  However, I ALWAYS treat myself once all of this is completed.  My personal favorite options for treating myself typically include a caffeinated treat from a coffee shop and a trip to either a book store or a bath and body shop.  I love caffeine, books (thought I typically end up with stories for the kids and not me.  Hmmmm……), and spa bath supplies.  Let’s be honest, we deserve it after all this.  So hopefully you will take Step 5 seriously and treat yourself too!

Other blog posts that you may find helpful for beginning of the school year include (they also include freebies):
http://bit.ly/Forms4Success
Get your free EXCLUSIVE copy of my FORMS FOR A SUCCESSFUL SCHOOL YEAR.

What kind of caseload do you have? Do you treat yourself once setting up for the school year is done?

1 comment

  1. Great ideas! Thanks for the free help- it is always needed at the start of a new school year! I may have some ice cream to treat myself in the near future!

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