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Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Teaching Well: The Intake

When we welcome new students to our schools, do we use a positive intake process or is this an area of teaching life we can better.

Now I'm one who doesn't believe that teaching and medicine are exactly the same, and I have a lot of problems with the "medical model" of rounds as they are applied to education as I believe educational rounds are not sufficient when it comes to truly understanding what's happening and what can happen in a classroom.

However, I'm wondering if the medical model for intake is a good idea for education. Can we use a better method of meeting and greeting new students, a method that ensures that those children are starting school with a quality program that matches their needs and interests.

I think there's room for improvement via a better intake approach in all schools. This is an area I'll be thinking about in the days ahead as I plan for next year's start. Please share your thoughts in this regard.

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Intake Update - The Intake Survey
Whether conducted in person, online or via paper, the intake survey is important as it sets the stage for good conversation and teaching/learning goals and efforts with family members and students. Yesterday I was thinking about the kinds of questions that will help us to know students well and teach them better in conjunction with their parents and family members' efforts. These are some questions I'm thinking about including in our updated start-of-the-year survey. We find that a paper survey actually works better than an online survey.

  • Student full name
  • Student preferred first name
  • Student address(es). If more than one address, please note the schedule of where this child typically lives on each day of the week.
  • Student's typical transportation to and from school each day (complete chart)
  • Who are the family members that are most in charge of this child's upbringing?
  • Family Member One Full Name
  • Family Member One Preferred First Name
  • Name that the child calls this family member
  • Family Member One Contact Information: Text/Phone, Email, Address, Other (Please number in order of preferred contact method from 1 (best) onward.
  • Best time to reach the family member via the preferred contact information above.
  • Same questions above for Family Member Two
  • Are there other family members that play an important role in this child's development and daily care. If so, please list those family members' names and relationship to the child. 
  • Describe this child's strengths, talents and interests
  • Describe this child's challenges
  • Describe your current and long term goals for this child related to his/her academic, social/emotional and physical development
  • In the past, what examples can you provide of this child's school success and interest
  • What examples can you provide of challenges this child has faced in school
  • Describe ways that you and your family can contribute to school life this year (list general/specific areas for volunteers, other help)
  • Please sign below to give your child permission to attend the field trips planned and respond to information related to payment for those field trips (tripships, payment method. . . .)
I'll likely continue to add to this list. While we don't want to overwhelm family members, we do want to be able to get in touch with them and plan well with them for their child's year of school.

Let me know what questions you would add to or modify in this list. Thank you.