The SLP End-of-Year Checklist: COVID-19 Edition

May 27, 2020 BY Kira Wright, CCC-SLP

The end of the school year brings with it a host of important tasks that need to be done to ensure that things are ready for the Fall. While this school year is ending unlike any we’ve ever known and no one knows what this Fall may bring, many of these end-of-year tasks still need to be done! 

Especially at a time when we’re working from home, without all the usual end-of-year rituals and reminders, we thought a checklist might help us stay on track. Below is our typical End-of-Year Checklist, along with some additional considerations for this era of school closures. 

✅ Write up progress notes, file, and send as directed by your district 

  • Consider including a summary of information that otherwise might be in therapy logs:
    • how many online sessions the students attended (6 of 7 possible sessions)
    • how services were provided (streaming video sessions were offered, activities were posted on the class website, packets were sent home weekly, etc.)
    • how students accessed instruction (asynchronous, synchronous, via home computer, via district iPad, etc.) 
  • State the facts without judgment ( e.g. “___ does not have reliable wifi at home. One week she connected with the SLP on Zoom from her grandma’s house. ___’s parents work during the day and communicated that they were unable to pick up packets from school. Packets were mailed home the last 3 weeks of school.”)
  • If you are sending home information, practice materials, resources, or games for summer, mention it in your progress notes as an extra reminder.

✅Finish up paperwork/reports/IEPs, file, and send

  • If your caseload is like mine, there are some things that I wanted to do (dismissing, changing service time, adjusting placement or goals) that just did not happen this spring. Make a list of these things for yourself – or for whoever picks up your caseload in the fall. 

✅Gather your personal treatment materials

  • Does your district have a specific day or time that classrooms and offices will be open to you? If you are no longer geographically close to your building or if you cannot go in for other reasons, think about sending a pre-addressed, postage-paid box and asking someone to ship your therapy materials. Otherwise, maybe someone could set them aside in a safe place for you? Yet another reason to make sure you have your name on materials that belong to you personally!

✅Make sure all student-identifying information is deleted from any non-district accounts and devices  

  • This is especially important when you’ve been working from home. Make sure that everything that needs to be recorded, sent back to school, or filed with the district has been. Then, clear your home workspace of datasheets, schedules, and reports. Sign out of any accounts you may have accessed from your home computer and delete any remaining voicemails or messages on your personal devices. 

✅ Make sure your treatment space is clean and organized.  Wipe everything down, put things away, and, if your district is okay with it, recycle, donate, or throw out old materials that have been gathering dust

  • Woohoo! Working from home and seeing kids on video means you probably don’t have to disinfect your workspace, label your furniture, or pack up your office. Depending on how you left things in March and what janitorial staff has done since that time, you might have some straightening up to do if you are allowed in the building.

✅ Type up a quick note about the caseload, any testing or IEPs that will need to be done, etc. Leave it in the front of the file cabinet and label it “Fall 2020 Information.” 

  • This year, it is more important than ever that you leave very clear records of what was done for each student on your caseload during the school closure. There may be more of a range than usual on your caseload of how services were accessed. Your records could be in the form of therapy logs, contact logs, or a more detailed version of your progress notes. It is important to note both what was offered and what was actually provided, along with any correspondence, messages, or conversations. If you don’t have access to your building, print a copy and mail it to the school building, Attn: SLP, and it will be there for you or your successor when the building opens back up. 

✅Email your supervisor and/or principal to let them know that you’ve left things in order and where things stand as the year ends.

  • There is a good chance that this summer will be more turbulent than most as districts sort out what school will look like in the Fall. Make sure that you’ve shared all the information you have with your administrator so that they’re aware of issues that will need to be considered as decisions are made. Since you’re already typing up a quick note for your future self or the next SLP (above), you can simply share the same information with your administrator. Easy peasy!

It may seem that our work is never done and dealing with the uncertainty this year makes everything more challenging. If you’ve checked off all the items on this End-of-Year Checklist, though, you’ll feel more confident about shutting down your computer for the summer and taking a well-deserved break.