Success Story: Obtaining Funding for More Work Hours
Dyann Cooper, SLP
Hamilton County Schools, Cincinnati, Ohio
What did you do?
While scheduling my caseload for the year, I realized that the 3 days per week that I was assigned to work would not meet the requirements of my position. I was concerned that the students on my caseload would not receive the type or amount of services that they required to make progress. I approached my supervisor, and together we developed a proposal based on ASHA's caseload/workload model.
We were able to negotiate funding for an additional day of paid work per week.
What were the challenges you faced?
At first, it was time-consuming to gather the facts and analyze my work commitments using ASHA's model. We found the workload activity clusters useful as we evaluated the needs of my students. We began by looking at the time required to complete evaluations and observations and the need to carve out time to collaborate and consult with my students' teachers. We also looked at the specific needs of each of the students on my caseload, including the amount of treatment indicated on their IEPs. Once we were able to complete the analysis, it became clear that I would be unable to do my job in the 3 days that I was assigned. We decided to meet with the assistant principal, who agreed with our conclusion and supported us during further negotiations with the administration.
What was the outcome of your effort?
Once my supervisor and I were able to analyze my caseload/workload requirements, we were able to determine that an additional work day was needed. Together with the assistant principal, we approached our special education director. Ultimately, the district approved an additional work day per week, allowing me to meet the communication needs of the students I serve. A commitment was also made to ensure that all of the obligations of my contract were met.