Psychological Services

    School Psychologists in SUSD are assigned to schools throughout the district providing support for students who are identified as struggling learners. They have expertise in learning, mental health and behavior. Specifically, they consult with general education teachers and school teams at all tiers when the employed strategies are not meeting the needs of the student. An example of a Tier 1 intervention might be the School Psychologist working with the teacher to try strategies designed to improve the relationship between the teacher and a student. School Psychologists are often working with the student and teams (CARE, Student Study Teams, 504 Teams, and IEP Teams) to help that student meet behavioral, social, emotional, and academic goals. On a school-wide level, School Psychologists are working to strengthen partnerships with families, create safer schools, partner with community services, and improve behavior through positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS). A central part of the work that school psychologists do involves assessment for Special Education services. These assessments look at the barriers students face to meeting academic, social, behavioral, and emotional growth. Once the assessment is done, psychologists analyze the data, write up a psychological report, and make recommendations on how best to support the struggling student. Once a student is identified as having special needs, School Psychologists provide ongoing support to the student and the team throughout their education.

    A School Psychologist can support students in general education before they are referred for a Special Education assessment, during the assessment process, and while the student is receiving Special Education services. The reports will identify learning modalities and strengths that can guide staff on how best to present material to the student and what areas the student will need the most support in. The information gained from the assessment process can inform the team on what types of accommodations would be most appropriate for the student in the general education setting. Daily, School Psychologists work with some of the most trauma-exposed students in SUSD. Through assessment, behavior planning, and counseling, School Psychologists are providing the necessary supports that students need to become healthy, happy members of their school and community.

    School Psychologists provide drop-in counseling when needed at school sites. They also provide individual or small group counseling services. It is the hope for this department to continue to build counseling services for our students as the need is significant. School Psychologists have expertise in building strong relationships with students, staff, parents, and the community. Many have been through training to become leaders in facilitation of Individualized Education Plan meetings. They understand many of the dynamics that can exist in a meeting and different styles of communication that can come from working with a diverse cultural population. Through observation of the meeting dynamics and empathy for all members of the team, School Psychologists have the power to improve relationships between schools and parents. Gaining the support of our parents is critical to achieving positive outcomes for our students.

    Speech and Language Pathology Services

    Speech and Language services are provided by speech and language pathologists (SLP) for students who have speech and language impairments in their primary language that adversely affect educational performance. Credentialed SLP’s have had extensive training in the assessment and treatment of speech and language disorders. SLP’s assess students with suspected communication disabilities and provide appropriate intervention according to special education eligibility requirements. SLP’s assess in the areas of Articulation, voice, fluency, and language. SLP’s offer a variety of service delivery models including direct service either pulling out to the speech room or pushing into the classroom; collaboration with all of the service providers; and consultation with the service providers to add support and education.

    Occupational Therapy Services

    Services provide support and specialized services in gross and fine motor skills, daily living skills and sensory-motor integration for students requiring service to benefit from their educational placement.

    Orientation and Mobility Itinerant Services

    Services provide support and special interventions for students who have varying degrees of visual impairment and can benefit from placement in mainstream settings. Services may include a consultation to parents, general education teachers, and other school personnel.


    Related Services (EC 56363)

    • As used in this part, the term "designated instruction and services" means "related services" as that term is defined in Section 1401(26) of Title 20 of the United States Code and Section 300.34 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
    • The term "related services" means transportation, and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services (including speech-language pathology and audiology services, interpreting services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, including therapeutic recreation, social work services, school nurse services designed to enable an individual with exceptional needs to receive a free appropriate public education as described in the individualized education program of the child, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and mobility services, and medical services, except that such medical services shall be for diagnostic and evaluation purposes only) as may be required to assist an individual with exceptional needs to benefit from special education, and includes the early identification and assessment of disabling conditions in children. ( EC 56363).
    • These services may include, but are not limited to, the following:
      • Language and speech development and remediation. The language and speech development and remediation services may be provided by a speech-language pathology assistant as defined in subdivision (f) of Section 2530.2 of the Business and Professions Code.
      • Audiological services.
      • Orientation and mobility services.
      • Instruction in the home or hospital.
      • Adapted physical education.
      • Physical and occupational therapy.
      • Vision services.
      • Specialized driver training instruction.
      • Counseling and guidance services, including rehabilitation counseling.
      • Psychological services other than the assessment and development of the individualized education program.
      • Parent counseling and training.
      • Health and nursing services, including school nurse services designed to enable an individual with exceptional needs to receive a free appropriate public education as described in the individualized education program.
      • Social worker services.
      • Specially designed vocational education and career development
        (e.g.,) Workability serves mild/moderate and moderate/severe students in high school and the Young Adult Program. Workability I promotes the involvement of students, families, educators, employers and other agencies in the planning and implementing of an array of services that will culminate in a successful student transition to employment, life-long learning, and quality adult life.
      • Recreation services.
      • Specialized services for low-incidence disabilities, such as readers, transcribers, and vision and hearing services.
      • Interpreting services.

    • The terms "designated instruction and services" and "related services" do not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, including cochlear implants, the optimization of the functioning of a medical device, maintenance of that device, or the replacement of that device, pursuant to Section 300.34(b) of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations. In accordance with Section 300.34(b) of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations, nothing in this subdivision shall do any of the following:

      • Limit the right of an individual with exceptional needs with a surgically implanted device, including a cochlear implant, to receive related services or designated instruction and services that are determined by the individualized education program team to be necessary for the individual to receive a free appropriate public education.

      • Limit the responsibility of a local educational agency to appropriately monitor and maintain medical devices that are needed to maintain the health and safety of the individual, including breathing, nutrition, or operation of other bodily functions, while the individual is transported to and from school or is at school.

      • Prevent the routine checking of an external component of a surgically implanted device to make sure it is functioning properly, as required by Section 300.113(b) of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations.


    Itinerant Services

    • Adapted Physical Education: Continuum of services provides programs to students with an identified disability who require developmental or corrective instruction which prevents their participation in the general physical education program, modified general physical education program or specially designed physical education program. Services may include a consultation to parents, general education teachers, and other school personnel.
    • Deaf and Hard of Hearing Itinerant Services: Services provide support and special interventions for students who have varying degrees of hearing loss and can benefit from placement in mainstream settings. Specialized equipment may be provided to maximize student access to the curriculum.
    • Speech/Language - Individual and Small Group Instruction (ISGI): Individual and Small Group Instruction (ISGI) is a program primarily designed for children who are three years of age and require a setting to address their moderate delays in articulation and language. This program is taught by an SLP. Preschoolers in this program attend two days each week for two hours each time. They have an opportunity to participate in an early.
    • Occupational Therapy: Occupational Therapists are health professionals whose purpose in a public school setting is to support a child’s engagement and participation in daily goal-directed activities (“occupations”) which engage the student in meaningful, organized and self-directed actions that create independence, prevent or minimize disability and maintain health. If you have questions about occupational therapy services, please contact your child’s site-based case manager. 
    • Physical Therapy:  PTs are health professionals whose purpose is to correct, facilitate or adapt the student’s functional mobility, accessibility and use of assistive devices for the listed issues within an IEP. If you have questions about physical therapy services, please contact your child’s site-based case manager.
    • Visually Impaired Itinerant Services: The Continuum of services includes specialized programs for students who are blind or have a significant visual impairment and who may require access to instruction in specialized programs such as Braille.
    • Assistive Technology Specialist Itinerant Services: Under general supervision, the Assistive Technology Specialist works directly with students in SUSD to develop, implement, and monitor Assistive Technology Services. The AT Specialist provides evaluation, modeling, and training to staff and parent on the full continuum of communication and technology supports. The AT Specialist functions as a diagnostic team member and provides ongoing technical assistance to students, staff, and parents.
    • Inclusion Specialist Itinerant Services: The Inclusion Specialists support the student with disabilities, primarily students with Autism, by providing consultation services to teachers, administrators and support staff on Evidence-Based Practices. They support the transition to general education by providing general education with practices and knowledge that lead to a smooth transition process.  Inclusion Specialists also support parents by providing training on transition as well as Evidence-Based Practices.