On Thursday, March 15, 2018, 8 parents of twice-exceptional (2e) students attended the CCSE meeting at Tweed Courthouse. I was among the 8. Some of us had never met each other face to face
The guest speaker of the meeting was Raymond Orlando, Chief Financial Officer, Division of Finance at the NYC Department of Education. I missed a lot of this talk because I arrived late. However, it was my impression that attendees found learning about SAMs to be very interesting. The chair of the CCSE, Ellen McHugh invited the parents of twice-exceptional group to ask questions to Mr. Orlando.
One parent asked about how at her elementary school, budgeting was given as the reason why ICT services couldn’t be provided at her school. Both the speaker and Christina Foti, Chief Executive Director, Division of Specialized Instruction and Student Support, Special Education Office, NYC DOE, attempted to explain how that should not be correct. Ms. Foti explained further and in an attempt to jot down what she was saying, I took out my
The Tape and Transcription:
Here is the tape: (please remember, this is NOT entire meeting. I just wanted to get this down since my hands
Here is a transcription that is NOT professionally completed. I do not certify this or anything that causes enough trouble to make me have to take this down. I have noted uncertainty with "?" and sometimes I will say why I think the
Here is the little snippet. Again, I don't believe you can submit this as
Christina Foti: In fairness, if we could have a conversation after the meeting
Parent 1: Oh, but like really quickly, to sum up what you said, you said that if students are having trouble, they shouldn’t feel alone, if students are having trouble, where should they call?
Christina Foti: Sure. No parent or student should ever feel alone. If you ever feel alone, you know.. Our hope is that you are able to resolve things at the school level. This is de-escalation.
Parent 1: Right.
Christina Foti: If you cannot resolve things at the school level, then we ask that you certainly reach out to your superintendent.
Parent 1: Reach out to your superintendent- that’s step number 1, after going to the school, correct?
Christina Foti: Yeah, and if you’ve had a conversation with your principal?
Parent 1: Your name is… I’m sorry..
Christina Foti: Christina Foti. And what we do is we get back to every parent within 24 - 48 hours just to say we have it and we are looking into this. We resolve
Noah Gotbaum, CCSE Member: How would you suggest, there is clearly a group of (inaudible because two people are talking at once) there is clearly a desire for a program
Ellen McHugh, CCSE Chair: (Inaudible because two people are talking at once) Are we finished with budget questions ladies and gentlemen?
Parent 2: I have a budget question. Can we also talk about the mirror image of that? We have a child in a GT school that doesn’t have an ICT class and (inaudible) for one reason or another. Now we have him in general
Ellen McHugh: Can I ask you to separate out your question– It’s a budget question?
Christina Foti: I hear your questions. I think our process is about inviting this type of feedback from parents, from the community, we are open to a policy conversation around this very topic that both of you are bringing up and would be happy to do that. I think let’s work with the CCSE to set that up if that’s something that the CCSE agrees to, but we’d be happy to have a larger conversation. If you have specific individual issues and I appreciate the sharing of your
Ellen McHugh: Is there any other specific budget questions?
Parent 1: Yes, specific budget absolutely. If there is a student who, ICT services are usually given to students in grades 6-12 for core classes only, but if a student requires ICT services for non-core classes, is that a budget issue?
Christina Foti: No
Raymond Orlando: Absolutely Not
Christina Foti: If a student requires ICT services for non-core classes and (somewhat inaudible chatter ensued here)..
Parent 1: So it’s not a budget issue.
Christina Foti: It’s not a budget issue.
Ellen McHugh: Any more for budget? One more here.
Parent 3: Who decides when you have enough kids for certain classes so a principal might say we don’t have enough for an ICT class. What does that mean? I feel like there’s a really slippery slope.
Christina Foti: Our hope is that a principal would do that in conjunction with enrollment, then his ___ Field Support Center to see um when we open specialized
Ellen McHugh: Correct me if I’m
Christina Foti: Yes, Yeah.
Ellen McHugh: So it’s up to 40%. It doesn’t have to be 40%.
Christina Foti: And if there are plaguing issues that you have at your school you’d like to us to take into, we would do that in partnership with the school. It would not be… it would only be in the service of exploring what is possible. We would be happy to take that partnership on.
The Problems, Suggestions, and A Good Story:
Soon after those questions were answered, the meeting opened to questions from attendees and that is when a couple of us spoke up. I recorded as much as I could and another parent took over recording when I went up to speak. Here is the video below.
*I'm not including names here, but I will include them if I get permission later on.
Oh yes, there are.
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