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AEA 267 Team Representatives provide vital support for area students

May 1, 2013
Inside Education — Jody Albertson , Times-Republican

Area Education Agency 267 employs more than 100 people in the role of "team representative." A team representative at AEA 267 has advanced training as a school social worker, a school psychologist, or a special education consultant. A team representative is assigned to every K-12 school in AEA 267. Their services are intended to support students with disabilities.

Team representatives have many different roles and responsibilities. They work with students and families to address learning and behavior problems that interfere with school success. They conduct evaluations and reevaluations of students to determine whether the student is eligible for special education services and what services and supports the student needs to make progress. They also assist students and families in accessing other community services that support them outside of school. Team representatives spend time working as a member of a team to develop and implement an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for students with disabilities. As students with IEPs prepare to transition to life after high school, a team representative supports them by helping to identify the skills they will need and helping to access community services.

In order to support students with disabilities, team representatives often work with teachers. They help special education teachers plan for and provide instruction that meets students' needs. They help general education teachers make appropriate accommodations and modifications for students. Team representatives are knowledgeable about data and how data can be used to monitor a student's progress and make decisions about whether instruction has been effective. They are also knowledgeable about assistive technology devices that can be used to help students with disabilities access information, demonstrate what they know, and participate in general education. In consultation with other AEA specialists, such as speech-language pathologists, audiologists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists, team representatives help design programs and services that support students with IEPs.

Team representatives also work with school districts to ensure that school systems meet the needs of children with disabilities. They help districts use data to improve the school system, to improve student outcomes, and to remain compliant with legal requirements of special education. They also provide information about other AEA initiatives that could help the district.

There is no routine day for a team representative! Their time is filled with activities to support students, families, teachers, and school districts so that children with disabilities can achieve.

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Jody Albertson is a School Psychologist with Area Education Agency 267. She is based out of the AEA 267 Clear Lake Office and can be reached at 800-392-6640 ext. 2278. Area Education Agency 267 serves over 65,000 students. In addition, over 5,000 educators rely on AEA 267 for services in special education, school technology, media and instructional/curriculum support. The agency's service area reaches 18 counties and nearly 9,000 square miles.

 
 

 

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