Caseload Matters Thank you for “What Is a Manageable Caseload Size?” in the August issue. I have been concerned the past few years that using the term “caseload size” seems to have been abandoned in favor of the term “workload” alone. I think most of us working in the schools would agree ... Inbox
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Inbox  |   October 01, 2018
Caseload Matters
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Practice Management / Professional Issues & Training / Inbox
Inbox   |   October 01, 2018
Caseload Matters
The ASHA Leader, October 2018, Vol. 23, 4. doi:10.1044/leader.IN2.23102018.4
The ASHA Leader, October 2018, Vol. 23, 4. doi:10.1044/leader.IN2.23102018.4
Thank you for “What Is a Manageable Caseload Size?” in the August issue. I have been concerned the past few years that using the term “caseload size” seems to have been abandoned in favor of the term “workload” alone. I think most of us working in the schools would agree that the single greatest driver of workload is caseload.
Additionally, educators understand the term “caseload size” since they are used to thinking in terms of “class size.” Teachers get it when I explain that even though I see my students throughout the day—rather than in a single group—I am still responsible for that number of students. They also have a better grasp of the workload realities of a caseload of 40-plus students.
Obviously, our workloads fluctuate each year given differences in types and severity of needs. But having a stated maximum acceptable caseload number, as supported by studies over the past three decades in a 2010 article by Lauren Katz and colleagues, helps us keep those workloads manageable and helps us negotiate time for duties that don’t involve direct student contact.
I understand ASHA’s reluctance to offer official guidance for caseload size, precisely because caseload doesn’t communicate workload. But an ASHA-recommended maximum caseload size for various groups (pre-school, K–5, 6–12, to age 21), along with standard criteria for caseload weighting based on type and severity of needs, would be hugely beneficial for public school clinicians.
Thank you for recognizing that caseload size matters.
Debra Levinson, Elmira, Oregon

Thank you for your thoughtful response. You clearly state the reasons—especially variations in the “types and severity of needs”—why ASHA does not recommend specific caseload criteria for various age/grade groups or weighting by severity and disability category. ASHA is developing new resources to support determination of manageable workload and caseload, and needs members to vet the functionality and applicability of these resources. To review these new tools and resources, e-mail jcoleman@asha.org.

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FROM THIS ISSUE
October 2018
Volume 23, Issue 10