Valley Central School District offers a range of support services to help students succeed, including occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, counseling, and social and psychological services.
School psychologists help children and youth succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. They have a wide range of skills that help them address student needs and improve school support systems.
School psychologists offer psychological evaluations and consult with school teachers and principals in regards to the students’ learning, behavior, and environments. They also provide individual and group interventions, as well as counseling.
School psychologists are motivated by working with children and youth, both individually and in groups. Their initial mandate is to provide counseling; conduct educational and personality assessments; and address behavioral problems and learning disabilities.
Their ultimate goals are to improve academic performance and resolve emotional, personal, and social issues. They may also assist with crisis situations and tackle problems such as alcohol and drug abuse.
One of the main duties of a school psychologist is assessment. Assessments are conducted with students suspected of having a disability in order to determine eligibility for special services.
A cognitive battery is administered to obtain a level of intellectual functioning, learning potential, and an understanding of the student’s strengths and weaknesses.
Personality assessments obtain data about a student’s emotional and behavioural functioning. A strong part of the assessment is obtaining the teachers’ and parents’ perspectives; this allows the school psychologist to develop a complete picture of the student, his or her abilities, and how interventions can be developed. By using this process, a multidisciplinary team is developed to establish if a disability is interfering with a student’s ability to learn.
Specialists in this area spend the majority of their time performing tests and assessments and analyzing results. Using a range of psychoeducational tools and considering both medical and institutional factors, they evaluate learning disabilities, mental health issues, and special educational needs; and treat them accordingly. These professionals may further focus their specialty in a particular disorder, such as Autism.
Examples of issues requiring assessment and treatment:
-Spectrum disorders, such as Autism and Asperger Syndrome
-Social and behavioral abnormalities
Student Assistance Counselors
Student Assistance Counselors are available at every level in our district. They work collaboratively with our School Psychologists, Guidance Counselors, Faculty and Administrations to ensure our student learning environment is conducive for growth, learning, self-exploration and identity.
Student assistance programs are designed to help students and their families with problems affecting their personal lives and academic performance. The Student Assistance Counselor’s (SAC) role is to enhance and support students’ success in the school environment. There are a range of school-based prevention and intervention services offered to assist students with personal problems and encourage them to build upon their strengths.
The Student Assistance Counselor (SAC) provides in-school assessment, crisis intervention, counseling and referral services to any student who may be experiencing personal, family, and/or peer difficulties. The goal is to support the students and prevent personal difficulties from interfering with their success in school. In addition, to individual services, groups are offered depending on needs in the school community. The SAC also assists in Parent Education programs.
Meet the VCHS Student Assistance Counselors
School Physical Therapists
Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants are integral members of school-based teams that ensure a free and appropriate education for students with disabilities and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living in many cases.
The emphasis of school-based physical therapy is to help students access the academic environment and participate in educationally related activities as part of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Physical therapists are responsible for evaluating and treating students with disabilities, maintaining daily progress and attendance records, writing progress reports, attending IEP meetings, and recommending adaptive equipment, environmental accommodations, or assistive technology. Physical therapy services are provided primarily through an integrated service model, meaning services are a combination of direct student-therapist contact with consultation and instruction to others involved in the student’s educational program.
School Occupational Therapists
School occupational therapists (and occupational therapy assistants, under the supervision of the occupational therapist) support academic and non-academic outcomes, including social skills, math, reading and writing (i.e., literacy), behavior management, recess, participation in sports, self-help skills, prevocational/vocational participation, transportation, and more. Because of their expertise in activity and environmental analysis, practitioners are particularly skilled in facilitating student access to curricular and extracurricular activities. They focus on the students’ strengths, and can design and implement programming to improve inclusion and accessibility, such as Universal Design for Learning. Additionally, they play a critical role in educating parents, educators, administrators and other staff members. They offer services along a continuum of prevention, promotion, and interventions and serve individual students, groups of students, whole classrooms, and whole school initiatives. They collaborate within the education team to support student success.
English as a New Language (ENL or ESL)
ENL (English as a New Language) or ESL (English as a Second Language ) is a program for students whose native language is not English. English language learners (ELLs) in Valley Central School District speak such diverse languages as Chinese, Korean, Urdu, Albanian, Vietnamese and Spanish. Our program supports the development of the four communication skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students develop oral language and literacy skills in a small-group setting with many opportunities to interact in English. We all smile in the same language!
English as a New Language Help
Parent University has resources to help ENL students
Teacher of the Hearing Impaired
Teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing can recommend assessments appropriate to identifying issues in these vulnerable areas. … Teachers can provide in-service, training, or consultation to school staff and families. They can assist in determining appropriate modifications and accommodations.
Teacher of the Visually Impaired
The role of the Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) is to provide direct and/or consultative special education services specific to vision loss. The TVI provides support to students, teachers, and parents and acts as a liaison with community services. The TVI works with the educational team by advising the team about ways of enhancing the student’s learning by adapting activities and materials to the student’s abilities. Although the TVI is not an academic tutor, they may spend some time ensuring that the student understands concepts introduced in academic courses.
The TVI may help choose appropriate educational materials and may brainstorm with teachers and therapists about effective adaptations. By working together, classroom teachers, therapists, and the TVI can create a classroom environment that encourages independence, academic success, and prepare the student to be the most productive member of society they can be.
When you hear the term speech-language pathologist (SLP), you might think of professionals who help kids with speech difficulties. SLPs work on challenges like stuttering or trouble pronouncing word sounds. But SLPs also work on challenges that are related to language. That includes problems with communication and reading.
Speech therapy is tailored to meet a child’s needs. So, SLPs address specific skills. For example, they might help a child who has trouble with social skills make appropriate conversation. Or help a struggling reader connect letters to sounds.