Student Services at JR
Pupil Services Team
The Pupil Services Team (PST) is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary team that has the function to share ideas and perspectives regarding the academic, physical, social, and emotional needs/concerns of students who receive or are being considered for special education services.
The PST includes membership consisting of the following positions:
- Student Services Teacher (PST chairperson)
- School Psychologist
- Learning Specialist
- Speech Language Pathologist
- General Education
- School Administrator or other service providers as needed
Students may be referred to PST by any staff member or a parent. The team meets with staff members involved with the student and concerns are discussed. A plan of action is devised with active involvement of parents.
Instructional Leadership Team (ILT)
The ILT consists of the building principal, a support services representative, PTSA teacher representative, a representative from each grade level, the special areas, special services team, the representative to the ILC (Instructional Leadership Council) and several parent representatives. Its purpose is to formulate policies, study instructional matters, improve communications among staff members and with the school community, initiate committees as needed review reports and make recommendations. The ILT meets regularly. The agenda is posted one week before the meeting and minutes are provided soon after the meeting.
After several years without a formal AT program, the Pittsford Board of Education put forth a new initiative called Project Challenge. The goal of this initiative is to address differences in children's readiness levels, interests, and learning styles and provide all children with learning experiences which will be appropriately challenging.
The program is now in its second year. The Instructional Challenge staff consists of five part-time elementary school coordinators and one full-time middle school coordinator. The Instructional Challenge teacher in each building is responsible for the training of staff and works with grade levels and individual teachers planning differentiated units, activities, or projects. For some projects, the PC teacher may be involved only at the planning stages and for others may go into classrooms to work with the whole class or with small groups. PC teachers also work in conjunction with teachers who are pre-testing children, to provide appropriate alternatives for children who test-out of a unit. In addition, the PC teachers provide ideas and resources for teachers working on their own projects, as well as consultations about individual children or particular differentiation strategies.
Some of the strategies currently being used in the district are:
- readiness-leveled assignments
- flexible groups based on readiness, interests, or learning styles
- compacting and learning contracts
- mentors and learning buddies
- differentiated learning centers
- independent study
Speech and Language
Speech-language services are provided to children whose difficulties with language, listening, speech articulation, fluency or voice impairs their ability to communicate effectively. The speech-language pathologist works in partnership with parents, teachers, and aides in developing goals, techniques and strategies for promoting effective listening and speaking skills for each speech-language student. Speech-language instruction is generally provided within a small group setting. Diagnostic evaluations are administered to determine a child's eligibility for speech-language services.
Each elementary school has a New York State certified school nurse teacher on staff. The nurse oversees the physical well being of students and staff. They also teach the health curriculum and are a member of the Pupil Services Team (PST).
The State Education Department mandates physical examinations at the following grades levels:
- Kindergarten or the first year a student enters the school system
- First Grade
- Third Grade
- Seventh Grade
- Tenth Grade
Since the child's personal physician has better facilities, more time and knows the child's medical history, s/he is the preferred professional to perform the physicals. Each spring, prior to the child's entrance into these grades, parents should receive by mail the necessary form for the child's physician to complete.
All children have their hearing and vision tested each year. If the screening reveals the possibility of a problem, the parents are informed and a professional evaluation is recommended. If a parent has a concern about the child's vision or hearing, the parent should contact the school nurse-teacher.
Each child is also checked for scoliosis on entrance to school and each year from third grade on.
Dispensing of Medication
The school nurse-teacher, as a New York State registered nurse, is not legally permitted to administer any medications including aspirin and cough medicine, without a written request from the child's parent. Prescriptions must be in the original container
Reading Resource teachers provide small group instruction for students who have been identified with specific learning disabilities and others who are below grade level in reading, writing, and/or organizational skills. Each child's resource program is coordinated with classroom instruction. As members of the Pupil Services Team (PST), resource teachers participate in ongoing diagnosis and provide consultation to classroom teachers. The primary goal is to aid each child in reaching his or her learning potential.
Math Lab provides opportunities for students in grades 2-5 to receive remedial math support within small groups and in the classroom, in addition to the programs to enhance math learning. Open Math Lab, at lunch/recreation time, offers the students fun and challenging games and activities such as Math Jeopardy, Math Scavenger Hunt, Math Magic, etc.. Students are also encouraged to try the Weekly Math Challenge Problems posted on the Math Lab door and available by selecting the site below.
The school counselor is a New York State certified professional. The role of the school counselor includes counseling, consulting, coordinating and classroom teaching. The counselor provides support to students, their families and staff members.
Individual short term counseling and group counseling/learning experiences are offered to students. Topics include expressing feelings, social skills, problem solving, and conflict resolution. Often, children are asked to be a part of a group to serve as role models. Sometimes children meet with the counselor one or two times to resolve a specific disagreement or conflict. Other groups focus on a specific topic such as separation and divorce.
Classroom visits consist of activities, stories, and discussion about conflict resolution. This includes handling and expressing feelings, making choices, listening, and finding a win-win solution. A problem solving method is also taught using the Problem Solving Model.
The counselor also consults with parents and offers support and information about a variety of topics. When needed, she can provide information regarding professional resources outside of the school setting.
The counselor also serves as an active member and facilitator of the Pupil Services Team, and consults with staff regarding academic, social and/or emotional concerns about a child. She is available to offer support, encouragement, and information to children and their parents.
While parents cannot formally prepare students for standardized tests, it is recommended that students get a good night's sleep the night before the tests and come to school on time. The tests generally require number two pencils, so it is a good practice to make sure the student is prepared with several of these.
Problem Solving Model
The Problem Solving Model was designed to give students a consistent working model for solving problems in a positive manner. It is posted in each classroom and is used whenever interpersonal conflicts arise at Jefferson Road School.