Select a personnel category to see their program descriptions.
Elementary Teacher Counsellor
Elementary teacher-counsellors provide a continuum of preventive, developmental, remedial and intervention programs and services. Teacher-counsellor services are designed to support students, their families and educators. These services are intended to facilitate the educational, personal, social, and emotional development of students in schools and in the community.
Elementary teacher-counsellors work with individuals and groups providing prevention, intervention, and post-vention services to facilitate:
- The personal and social development of students by working with them, their families, and the community to foster growth in the student’s self esteem, individual responsibility, decision making skills, social skills, and emotional well-being.
- Maximizing student achievement through participation in the school-based team and ongoing consultation and collaboration with teacher, parents/guardians and other professionals for the benefit of the student.
- Parent/teacher growth through providing in-service and workshops.
Access to Services
Pre-referral to the elementary teacher-counsellor can be made by any concerned individual including parents, teachers and students. School personnel are required to complete an elementary pre-referral form. These forms are available at all schools or through the counsellor. Ongoing personal counselling of students shall be undertaken only after notification and consultation with the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the student followed by the completion of the Student Support Services Referral form.
Youth Care Worker
The elementary youth care worker program is intended to support at risk students in elementary schools who may be experiencing social, emotional, or behavioral difficulties, and where there are factors that hinder their ability to attend school and learn. It is funded through the Ministry for Children and Family Development and administered by the School District.
The youth care worker program provides service to students either individually or in small groups. This may take place within the classroom, out of the class, or in the community involving recreational activities, organized sports, and clubs. In cooperation with the classroom teacher, the elementary teacher-counsellor, school psychologist, the parents and possibly other members of the school-based team, the youth care worker develops and provides opportunities for change with each individual student. The youth care worker assists the student with the development of life skills and fitting into the routines of the regular elementary environment. This requires working with the student, the school, and in some cases the family.
To aid the student in the development or improvement of the following:
- Self confidence and self esteem
- A more positive response to school resulting in better attendance and improved grades
- Communication and social skills from instruction, modeling, and exposure to extra-curricular activities
- Ability to maintain appropriate behavior at school, in the community and at home
Access to Services
The student is referred to the youth care worker through either the elementary teacher-counsellor or the school psychologist responsible for his or her school. Depending on the youth care worker’s current caseload, the screening committee (consisting of the elementary teacher-counsellors, the school psychologist, Vice-Principal Support Services, social worker, and the youth care worker) may be involved in deciding which students are accepted into the child care worker program. Some students may be referred to a waiting list. Before the youth care worker may work with the student, informed consent is required from the parent or legal guardian.
Physiotherapist Occupational Therapist
A physiotherapist and occupational therapist assesses and assists children with their motor development, delays, their mobility and movement abilities, their muscle strength, posture, balance and coordination, their feeding and oral motor skills, perceptual motor and written output abilities. The therapist works with children who have conditions such as cerebral palsy, brain injuries, spina bifida, sports injuries, amputations, respiratory conditions, burns, hemophilia, arthritis, autism, learning and coordination problems. They assist children and their families and school staff and other caregivers so children can obtain their maximum potential in mobility, motor and physical abilities.
- That schools with a student(s) with physical difficulties/disabilities, have an environment that is safe, accessible and as success oriented as possible (i.e. ramps into building, washroom renovations, appropriate desk and chair), appropriate printing/written output implements and options.
- That teachers, support staff and other relevant personnel are capable and comfortable assisting students with physical handicaps and disabilities (i.e. knowledge of special equipment use and needs, how to move, position, toilet child, how to care for their own backs, how to ensure child and caregivers are in safe situations).
- That assessment is provided to identify whether difficulties are present in a child’s gross and fine motor skills, strength, balance and coordination abilities, self care abilities, visual-motor, eye-hand coordination skills.
- That, following assessment/identification of difficulties, teachers are provided with guidance, recommendations and assistance to plan their programs, and to establish goals and create student I.E.P.s.
- That therapists assist and guide teachers regarding appropriate physical education ideas/activities/programs for students with physical, motor, and/or coordination difficulties.
- That therapists assist with obtaining, designing, and/or ordering special equipment needed by children with physical limitations and/or difficulties.
Access to Services
The School District contracts the service.
- A pre-referral consultation with the therapist(s) is required followed by a Support Service Referral form.
- The Student Support Services Office sends a letter to the family physician advising of request for service.
- School staff, parents, public inquiries, phone calls, information requests are welcomed.
- Inservice education, general information (not client specific) regarding motor skills development, back care, gym ideas.
School psychology services are district-based and are designed to support students, school personnel and parents in enhancing academic, adaptive and social skills for students.
The services include:
- Informal and formal assessments of students’ abilities, educational needs, emotional, behavioural and social concerns
- Assistance in the placement and program planning for students with special needs who are transferring into the district or who are failing to meet objectives developed by the school and support staff
- Coordination and communication with community services involved with individual students, e.g. medical, mental health, probation, public health and community support groups
- Assistance in the re-evaluation and program planning for students with special needs transferring from one school program to another
- Intervention, prevention, consultation, research and planning
- In-service training
The services are presently delivered in School District No. 27 by four Student Support Services School Psychologists. Each school psychologist is responsive to particular schools or programs in the district, resulting in each school or special program having one contact person.
- School psychologists assist teachers in identifying and meeting the needs of children with special needs. This is achieved by any or all of the following means: 1) consultation with the student and parent; 2) consultation with those working with a student; 3) consultation with outside agencies and medical resources; 4) systematic observation; 5) file review; 6) formal evaluation; and 7) psychoeducational testing which is summarized in a written report.
- Recommendations addressing learning strengths and weaknesses, behavioural management interventions and social skills training are given to assist in the planning of an appropriate program or placement for the student.
- In-service training to meet the special needs of students is offered or arranged when requested.
Access to Services
Psychological services can be accessed through a referral to Student Support Services from the school-based team following a pre-referral consultation with the school psychologist. Prior to a referral for school psychologist services, the classroom teacher will have attempted alternate strategies, consulted with the parents and colleagues, and requested the involvement of the learning assistance or resource teacher for additional assessment, consultation or pre-referral interventions.
The district has three speech-language pathologist positions; one based in 100 Mile House and two based in Williams Lake. Each speech-language pathologist is responsible for providing services to a number of schools. Emphasis is placed in early identification and intervention.
Students with communication problems are initially seen by the speech-Language pathologist to evaluate the nature and severity of their difficulty. Once relevant background information has been obtained from the parent and teacher, observations of classroom and peer interactions have been made, and both informal and formal (standardized) measures of speech and language behaviours have been completed, the speech-language pathologist endeavors to make a “holistic” evaluation. The speech-language pathologist attempts to determine probable causal factors, considers the apparent impact on academics and social development, and anticipates the long term course of the problem as the child develops. Suggestions are provided to address the specific needs of the student. This information is shared with the teacher and parent(s), and in a collaborative partnership, these parties develop an intervention plan from a wide range of alternatives, including direct therapy, home program, consultation, classroom-based support, or referral to other services.
The aim of the speech-language program is to help students with communication difficulties realize their academic and social potential. Speech-language pathologists endeavor to reach this goal by:
- Collaboratively developing and implementing plans to effectively address the communication problem(s)
- Providing information about communication problems to teachers, parents, and others
Access to Services
A pre-referral checklist is available to guide a teacher’s observations and subsequent discussion of a suspected communication problem with the school-based team and parent(s). The speech-language pathologist generally requires informal observation of the student to confirm the appropriateness of proceeding with referral, prior to its completion. A formal referral is required before the student is place on the speech-language pathologist’s caseload.
Teacher of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
Itinerant services for the hearing impaired are district based services carried out by a trained and qualified teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing. The service is designed to focus on the social, emotional and academic needs of deaf and hard of hearing students from K-12. The program is based on a multi-disciplinary team approach which may include an audiologist, physician, parents and other support personnel.
Students who have been diagnosed with a hearing loss which places them at risk educationally, socially or emotionally are eligible for services. Service delivery may be direct and regular and involve individual instruction for the deaf or hard of hearing student which takes place outside of the regular classroom or service may be more consultative, focusing on the effects of recurrent middle ear infections as they relate to communication, listening and/or learning in the classroom. The amount and type of support depends on the individual student’s needs.
- To assist individual deaf or hard of hearing students with their academic, social and emotional needs.
- To ensure that listening assistive devices, i.e. hearing aids, auditory training equipment, freefield sound systems and other appropriate technology are available and used properly and consistently.
- To maintain close contact with parents and other professionals associated with the deaf or hard of hearing student.
- To create an awareness for classroom teachers, parents and other support persons of the difficulty deaf and hard of hearing students may have in learning and developing.
Access To Services
Parents and teachers may contact Student Support Services to arrange a pre-referral consultation regarding a student with a hearing loss or a student suspected of having a hearing loss. A Student Support Services referral is required before services are provided to students.
Teacher of the Blind & Visually Impaired
Itinerant services for the visually impaired are district based services carried out by a trained and qualified teacher of the visually impaired. This service is designed to focus on the whole student in the areas of social, emotional and academic needs of the visually impaired from K-12. The program is based on a multi-disciplinary team approach which may include an eye specialist (i.e. ophthalmologist, optometrist etc.), parents, community agencies, provincial and national resource personnel, school based personnel, and other support personnel.
Students who have been diagnosed with a visual impairment which places them at risk educationally, socially or emotionally are eligible for services. Service delivery may be direct and regular and involve individual instruction for the visually impaired student which takes place within the regular classroom or outside the classroom environment or service may be on a consultative basis, focusing on the effects of the visual impairment as it relates to communication and learning. The amount and type of support depends on the individual student’s needs.
- To assist visually impaired students with their academic, social and emotional needs.
- To ensure that technological and other resources are available and used properly as well as consistently (i.e. braille, large print, auditory, etc.).
- To maintain close contact with the home, school, community as well as other professionals associated with the visually impaired.
- To create an awareness for classroom teachers, parents and other support persons of the difficulty the visually impaired student may have in learning and developing.
Access to Services
Parents and teachers may contact Student Support Services to arrange a consultation regarding a student who has a visual impairment, as diagnosed and documented by an eye specialist. A Student Support Services referral is then required before services are provided to students.