- Occupational Therapy (OT)
- Physical Therapy (PT)
- Psychological Services
- Deaf/Hard of Hearing
- Assistive Technology
Speech and language therapy services support and care for students who present with communication difficulties. In collaboration with a student’s school team, BCSD Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) utilize evidence-based practices to address the communication needs of students. Our SLPs embrace the principles of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and tenets of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA; 2004) for the delivery of school-based services. BCSD SLPs “deliver a free and appropriate public education program (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE) for students with communication disabilities in schools.” (ASHA website). Service delivery models are as follows:
- Setting – the location of treatment (e.g., community-based delivered at student’s home school or local daycare/preschool, school, pull-out or within the classroom)
- Dosage – the frequency, intensity, and duration of service
- Frequency (the number of treatment sessions over a set period of time)
- Intensity (the amount of time spent in each treatment session)
- Duration (the length of treatment received)
- Format – the type of session
- One-on-one (i.e., individual)
- In a group, or via consultation with other school staff and/or family/caregiver
- Provider – the person administering the treatment (e.g., SLP, SLPA, support personnel or paraprofessional)
- In keeping with BCSD Special Education Department’s focus, our district’s SLPs strive to empower students, so they may effectively communicate with their peers and adults in the school community.
School-based Occupational Therapists (OT) are licensed and board certified specialists who help students to fully access and be successful in the learning environment by supporting a child’s engagement and participation in their occupation as a student. The areas addressed by an OT in the educational environment can include the following:
- Environmental and/or classroom modifications
- Fine motor skills
- Visual perceptual skills
- Life skills
- Self-help skills
- Sensory Processing
Physical Therapy is a related service that is provided to help a student with a disability to benefit from special education. School physical therapy focuses on a child's ability to move as independently as possible in the school environment. Physical therapy interventions are designed to enable the student to travel throughout the school environment, to participate in classroom activities, to maintain and change positions in the classroom, and to manage stairs, the restroom, and the cafeteria.
What is School-Based Physical Therapy?
- School-based physical therapists (PT) are part of a team of related service providers who support a student’s ability to access his/her educational environment. As specialists in movement, they assist a student’s physical participation in a variety of settings throughout the school day. The primary role of the school PT is to help students access and participate in their educational program within the educational environment.
- School-based physical therapy is different from medical based physical therapy and determining the need for each of these services is different. Medical based physical therapy is typically provided in an outpatient therapy clinic or hospital. These services address quality of movement as well as function. Its primary objective is to maximize the child’s skill level and quality of movement. Medically-based services are typically focused on a student’s physical impairments and clinical deficits.
- Physical therapy is provided at schools only when it is related to educational needs. Intervention and goals in the school setting address the child’s functional needs in accessing all areas of the school curriculum. Physical therapy interventions are designed to enable the student to travel throughout the school environment; participate in classroom activities; maintain and change positions in the classroom; as well as manage stairs, restrooms, and the cafeteria. School-based therapy is not intended to meet all the therapeutic needs of a student; rather, it is intended to ensure that a child can have physical access to his or her education.
BCSD Psychological Services, and its team of over 20 School Psychologists, provide a range of services to support student’s academic achievement and social-emotional well-being. These include supporting the development, training, and implementation of Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS), training and consulting with each school’s intervention team, providing support with conducting suicide and threat assessments, and providing group and individual counseling to students in need. We also work with schools on data analysis, teacher consultation, crisis counseling, and conducting special education evaluations.
School psychologists are highly trained in both psychology and education, completing a minimum of a specialist-level degree program (at least 60 graduate semester hours) that includes a year-long supervised internship. This training emphasizes preparation in mental health and educational interventions, child development, learning, behavior, motivation, curriculum and instruction, assessment, consultation, collaboration, school law, and systems. School psychologists must be certified and/or licensed by the state in which they work. They also may be nationally certified by the National School Psychology Certification Board (NSPCB). The National Association of School Psychologists sets ethical and training standards for practice and service delivery.
What Do School Psychologists Do?
School Psychologists Work With Students to:
- Provide counseling, instruction, and mentoring for those struggling with social, emotional, and behavioral problems
- Increase achievement by assessing barriers to learning and determining the best instructional strategies to improve learning
- Promote wellness and resilience by reinforcing communication and social skills, problem solving, anger management, self-regulation, self-determination, and optimism
- Enhance understanding and acceptance of diverse cultures and backgrounds
School Psychologists Work With Students and Their Families to:
- Identify and address learning and behavior problems that interfere with school success
- Evaluate eligibility for special education services (within a multidisciplinary team)
- Support students’ social, emotional, and behavioral health
- Teach parenting skills and enhance home–school collaboration
- Make referrals and help coordinate community support services
School Psychologists Work With Teachers to:
- Identify and resolve academic barriers to learning
- Design and implement student progress monitoring systems
- Design and implement academic and behavioral interventions
- Support effective individualized instruction
- Create positive classroom environments
- Motivate all students to engage in learning
School Psychologists Work With Administrators to:
- Collect and analyze data related to school improvement, student outcomes, and accountability requirements
- Implement school-wide prevention programs that help maintain positive school climates conducive to learning
- Promote school policies and practices that ensure the safety of all students by reducing school violence, bullying, and harassment
- Respond to crises by providing leadership, direct services, and coordination with needed community services
- Design, implement, and garner support for comprehensive school mental health programming
A crucial role of a school psychologist is conducting psychoeducational evaluations in order to assist in determining a student's eligibility for Special Education Services in the Beaufort County School District. School Psychologists conduct both initial and re-evaluations to determine eligibility utilizing criteria as outlined in the South Carolina Standards for Evaluation and Eligibility Determination.
The Beaufort County School District Deaf and Hard of Hearing team goal is to ensure that the educational needs of children who are deaf or hard of hearing are met and that they become independent learners and achieve their full potential. Currently, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing team consists of 4 Teachers of the Deaf and 6 Educational Interpreters. For additional information regarding the Deaf and Hard of Hearing program, please contact Sarah Bazemore, Special Education Coordinator at 843-592-0125.
The term assistive technology device means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability (P.L. 108-446, Part A, Section 602 (1)(A)).
The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device (P.L. 108-446, Part A, Section 602 (1)(B)).
The Assistive Technology specialist will work with school teams to incorporate devices, software, or equipment used by individuals with disabilities in order to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible.
Contact Jayme Grant or call (843) 322-2343/cell (843) 441-3608