School Social Worker and Behavior Specialist
MDS has two School Social Workers and a Behavior Specialist on staff available to help students Pre-K to 12th grades, families, and staff. The School Social Worker and Behavior Specialist serves as the link between home, school, and community. As members of the education team, they promote and support students' academic and social success by providing specialized services that may include, but are not limited to:
- Working with students individually, in small groups, and in the classroom
- Teach students skills for problem solving and decision making.
- Supporting students with improving self-esteem, social skills, and self control.
- Provide students ideas to be used as coping skills for challenges either at home or in school
- Teach students to advocate for themselves
- Work with students to improve school concerns (attendance, grades, discipline, etc.)
- Advocate for student's needs
- Serve as a link between home and school
- Provide families resources, information, and referral to community services/agencies
- Collaboration and consultation with community agencies, organizations, and other professionals.
- Offer classroom management strategies and support to teachers
- Provide Functional Behavioral Assessments and behavioral consultation as requested
- Involvement in school wide Character Counts! program
- Identify students in crisis and respond to the situation
Students can request to see the School Social worker at any time. School staff and parents/guardians can also ask the School Social Worker to see a student who may need someone to talk with or needs additional support. The School Social Worker and/or Behavior Specialists are also available to consult and talk with families and school staff about various topics and/or needs.
Licensed School Psychologist
MDS has a full-time school psychologist that provides services to our Pre-K through 12th grade population. Our school psychologist serves as part of a cohesive team in helping students succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. The school psychologist collaborates with educators, parents, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home and school. The school psychologist works to identify best solutions for each student/situation by using different strategies that address individual student needs as well as improve school-wide support systems. In addition, the school psychologist provides the following services: consultation (collaborative effort in finding effective solutions to learning/behavior concerns), evaluation (assessments of various areas, as part of 3-year IEP re-evaluations), intervention (presentations of applicable training), prevention (implementation of school-wide programs, such as Character Counts!), research & planning (evaluations of academic/behavioral strategies)
At MDS the Occupational Therapist (OT) helps students develop skills in order to achieve their highest level of success and independence within the classroom. The OT works directly with students one on one in the fun OT/PT room, in their classroom, or as part of a Yoga Calm or Sensory Group. There are several areas in which a student might benefit from occupational therapy:
- Motor Control & Coordination: fine motor and eye-hand coordination
- Sensory Processing & Modulation: regulating the senses to be at an optimal level for attention and learning
- Self-Help Skills: completing dressing & clothing fasteners for school-related dressing, eating, and oral motor skills
- Social Participation Skills: interacting appropriately and safely with peers, and demonstrating appropriate behaviors in the classroom
Physical TherapistPhysical Therapy services are provided at MDS for children who qualify due to having difficulty with gross motor development including walking, running, balance, and difficulty in learning new motor tasks. The Physical Therapist is involved when lack of these skills impacts student's ability to function safely in the school environment. The Phsycial Therapist will see the students both in/out of the classroom.