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TxSpot | School-Based Therapy > Blog > Posts > New School Year, New Faces
August 16
New School Year, New Faces

 

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Denice Tucker, OTR
Manager, School-based Therapy Services, HCDE
 
 Whether you are new to schools or returning to the same district, here are suggestions to help you establish yourself as part of the team. Establishing positive relationships will be rewarded throughout the school year. 
 
·         Always wear your nametag.
 
·         Introduce yourself to the following people:
 
A.     the Principal
B.     the Asst. Principal
C.     the Diagnostician
D.     the ARD chairperson/ Special Ed Coordinator
E.      the School Secretary
F.      the person in charge of the copy machine
G.     the Speech therapist
H.     the Adapted P.E. teacher (if there is one)
I.       the school Nurse
J.       the school Counselor
K.      the teachers who provide instruction to students you will be seeing
L.      the facilities personnel
M.    the cafeteria workers.
 
Note:  Make it your business to remember names.  Write them down and review before entering the school the next time. Also it is wise to get email addresses of those you interact with frequently.
 
·       Sign in and out at every school so anyone who needs you will know you are there (for their benefit and yours).
 
·        Learn the daily routines of your assigned students, and work together with the teacher(s) to determine when IEP goals should be addressed. If there are several issues represented in the goals, collaborate with the student and teachers on how to prioritize. Ask when problems occur and in what contexts, and then plan to be there at that time and in that place. As you work through priorities and issues with the student and the campus team, be ready to change the day and time you come. Although consistency of day and time is nice, meeting student needs is more important – flexibility is crucial. 
 
·      The IEP is your guide, and all issues in the IEP requiring support from your service must be addressed.
 
·       Keep the teachers, campus and students informed about when you will make your next visit.  This can be handled in a variety of methods depending on the preference of the teacher (e.g. email, text, phone call).
 
·       Make it your business to check the ARD calendar every time you are on the campus (check with the Diagnostician, the tracking teacher, the clerical person – whoever maintains the calendar for scheduled ARDs). This will help ensure you are not caught unprepared for an ARD.
 
·      Make frequent contact with school personnel to nurture and maintain positive working relationships.  Your interest will be returned!