By: Carmen Willings
Updated February 5, 2017
An important component of program management involves caseload analysis in order to determine the need for changes in staffing based on current students and projection for growth with population changes. An analysis can be a snapshot of a typical week or a month. It should factor in direct service time as well as consultation, material production and travel.
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While it is common for a teacher’s workload to be considered by the number of students they teach, this does not apply to Teachers of the Visually Impaired as their caseload crosses all subject areas, all grade levels, and students with multiple disabilities.
Caseload Factors to Considerate
The unique accessibility and learning needs of students makes an assessment of a caseload based only on the number of students not an appropriate measure of time needed to perform the job. Blindness and low vision has a tremendous impact on every aspect of a student’s learning and each student has unique and diverse needs. Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments must teach students in all areas related to the Expanded Core Curriculum that are appropriate for that student. This includes the need for specialized instruction in concept development, compensatory access, sensory efficiency, instruction in assistive technology, activities of daily living, social development, recreation and leisure, career education and self determination. In addition, they must collaborate with teachers and therapists to adapt the materials, environment and the curriculum.
The Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) having adequate time to:
Conducting a periodic caseload analysis can provide administrators with an understanding of the TVI's time and consider the need for expanding the program. As districts grow, or otherwise change, the service needs change. The data from the caseload analysis will reflect what changes are needed and thus provide quality control. Some of the tools for caseload analysis can be detailed and daunting to say the least. They will yield valuable information, but if you need a simple and quick tool to balance caseloads, I have found the TSBVI Staffing Patterns (adapted from the IOWA rules for SpEd) to be a helpful tool. If you are looking for a more detailed analysis, consider the following:
Caseload Analysis Tools
Quality Programs for the Visually Impaired (QPVI) forms and guidelines can be used by both Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI's) and Orientation & Mobility (O&M) Specialists
The APSEA Guidelines for Determining Caseload Size for TVI's provides guidelines and suggestions for administrators when assigning students to an itinerant teacher.
Supervisors should consider:
The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired also has a resource page on Caseload Analysis Guidelines as part of the Administrators Toolkit. The page includes assumptions, why it is important to conduct a caseload analysis and what should be taken into consideration.
Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people." -Ephesians 6:7