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Field Placement Paper

My field placement has been in the Islip Public School District in the middle school. I work with students of the ages of 11-14. Within the school, the support staff consists of a social worker, guidance counselors, and a psychologist. Students can get support from their teachers, assistant principal, and principal as well. Islip Middle School provides a comfortable and accepting environment for all the students and does not tolerate any form of bullying or harassment. The Islip Public School District’s mission statement is “The Islip Schools in partnership with the community will empower all students to achieve excellence. (Islip School District)

The Islip School District is strongly focused on the success of its students. Services that are provided to help students succeed included social work services, special education services, reading services, speech services, as well as extra help for certain classes. These students are often seen individually to enhance their skills in certain areas. Success isn’t limited to academics. The Islip School District also has many extracurricular activities to enhance motor skills and social skills by providing sport teams and various clubs.

Clubs are very helpful with students that have difficulty socializing with others. The game club is one of the clubs I often suggest to students as students come together to play an array of board games together. The teachers in the Islip School District are determined to see all their students succeed. The Islip Public School District is a non-for-profit organization. As in all public schools, Islip Schools are funded through the state. The Department of Education has a budget for all school districts and covers the pay of principals, staff, textbooks, and other school material that is provided to the children. NYC Department of Education, 2016)

There is a school budget vote within all the public schools. Islip hosts budget workshops as well as a budget public hearing for the community to have a say on what the budget should fund. (Islip School District) According to Start Class (2017), the Islip School District spends about $23,577 per students. In Suffolk County, the average federal spending per students is $24,836. A student becomes a mandated student once they are processed through the Committee on Special Education (CSE).

Before they become mandated, they have to go through a pre-referral process, which includes the Instruction Support Team (IST) team of the school. The IST team may consist of the administrator, teachers, social worker, psychologist, guidance counselor, special education teachers, school nurse, and other related service providers. IST team meetings are to conclude what strategies should be used in classrooms, if there should be further investigations, recommendations for behavioral interventions, a section 504 referral, CSE referral, or pre-referral support.

If a student is referred to CSE an individualized education program (IEP) will be created to create a plan that specializes the services to be provided to help meet educational needs. Some of the students that are referred to the social worker are there to enhance appropriate social skills and help them implement strategies to lessen their anxiety. I also help these students find strategies to improve their academics. If the social worker feels the student has completed services and no longer needs help, they can terminate that student services.

Towards the end of the school year, beginning in March, CSE meetings begin to discuss the student’s achievements with staff and the student’s parents. These are their annual reviews. At these meetings, the service provider informs the parents how the student has been throughout the year, if progress has been made, and they come to agreement if the student should continue services for the following school year. Community The Islip Public Schools District serves students in grades kindergarten to 12th grade.

Majority of the community members are white, and there are individuals who are black, Asian, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, Native American, and biracial. 51% of the community members are males. (Start Class, 2017) About 25% percent of students in the Islip community are eligible for reduced or free lunch. 3% of students in Islip are considered to have limited English proficiency. 17% have a learning disability. (Start Class, 2017) The Town of Islip is strongly involved in helping their community members through many services and programs.

The Town of Islip Community Development Agency (1976) provides affordable housing programs for first time homeowners and housing rehabilitation program to assist homeowners to renovate their homes with low interest loans. (Town of Islip, 2017) The YES (Youth Enrichment Services) program is a free afterschool program for students in middle school. (Town of Islip, Youth Bureau, 2017) This program is available for students until 5:30 p. m. Some of my students attend this program and enjoy it as they get their homework completed and do activities such as arts and science.

Around the area, many other agencies are available for members to attend, such as the YMCA and Youth and Family Counseling Program. The Booster club helps organize sports and promote physical activity to young community members. (Islip School District) By hosting fundraising events, the Booster club supports athletic programs and presents awards and trophies to the winning teams and offers scholarships to those who show excellence. As school members represent and shape a community, the community as well impacts the schools.

The Community Council provides a forum where district members and community members meet and share information and ideas that can positively impact the community. (Islip School District) Community members can check the school website as there is a district newsletter posted every few months to keep them connected. IDEA Task Force Coalition is an organization of members from the Islip School District and local community members working together to minimize high risk behaviors. (Islip School District) As there has been a major heroin epidemic on Long Island, drug awareness has been a major topic in the community.

The district holds game nights for the students and provided information about drugs. There were pamphlets available for parents and students to learn additional information. My supervisor and I have also gone into 8th grade health classes and taught lessons on the effects of drugs on the body. My supervisor has also had the community members and students come together to support another school. After the devastation that was left after Hurricane Sandy, fundraisers and donations helped collect funds to purchase gift cards and school supplies for the Island Park’s Lincoln Orens Middle School.

As the Islip community has a great part in supporting their own community, members also helped support another in a time of need. (Islip School District, 2013) Islip is near ocean beaches, has a lake, and historic village and architectural features. In the earlier years, Islip settlers made a living by raising grain and beef. With Islip’s proximity to the water, fishing was a way of life. The population of Islip increased between 1950 and 1970, 71,000 to 278,000. (Town of Islip, Islip History, 2017) Today Islip has more than 300,000 members.

Islip has changed from a farming economy, however fishing is still a popular pastime for its community members. The social worker is a big part of the middle school and the community. Whenever something happens with a student, she is informed and gives advice on how to handle certain situations. When working with the students, my supervisor is very passionate in helping them achieve their goals. My supervisor is a big advocate on anti-bullying and anti-drugs and makes sure students and the community members are informed with current data.

Throughout my time interning at the Islip Middle School I have learned a lot that will help me with my future practice. I have learned how much a community shapes each other as a whole and individually. The students within the Islip School District have a community within their own schools. How they interact with their peers and teachers helps shape the overall district. How the school addresses such issues and promotes respect and equality help shape the individuals within the whole Islip community. The Islip community plays a role in helping these individuals succeed in and out of school.

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