St. Michael School support staff include a school counselor, academic assistant, nurse, reading specialist, school psychologist, and a speech and language pathologist. Their services are available based on the individualized needs of students.
The Academic Assistant is available to work with students who require additional strategies to assist with their learning. She works with students to clarify new concepts, practice new processes and skills learned in class, and can provide assistance with homework and test taking. The academic Assistant also helps students with research and editing on large projects. She is a resource for teachers in implementing alternative instructional methods. Students work with her individually, in small groups, and in the classroom. Students do not need to be identified with a learning disability to receive help from the Academic Assistant.
The counselor provides a comprehensive counseling and guidance program for the students. She works with individual and small groups of students as needed, is a member of the Intervention Team, provides referrals to outside agencies and specialists as needed, and is a member of the Crisis Team. The counselor consults and collaborates with parents, teachers and staff members as well as working directly with students. The overall goal of the counseling program is to assist the children through the development of personal, social, and educational plans so that they can be successful students, and self motivated, life-long learners.
The school nurse provides health and safety and intervenes with actual and potential health problems. The nurse will perform annual vision and hearing screenings on children in grades K, 1, 3, 5, and 7, as well as all new students. Screenings can also be done upon parental or teacher request. Postural screenings are done on students in Grades 6 and 8. The nurse’s office is open during school hours; parents may contact the school nurse directly between 10 AM and 2 PM with any questions about their child’s health or to report any changes in a student’s health history. Click for information of heath related issues.
The Reading Specialist assesses students in grades K-4 in order to establish proper reading level placement. Based on these assessments, she assists teachers in selecting students who are in need of additional support in reading. The Reading Specialists provides intensive individual and small group instruction for the identified students. This instruction includes: letter/sound recognition, phonics skills, fluency strategies, and comprehension strategies for both fiction and nonfiction texts.
Additionally, the Reading Specialist works in the classrooms alongside the regular classroom teacher to support, supplement, and extend classroom teaching. The Reading Specialist helps teachers diagnose reading strengths and weaknesses, and matches those skills with appropriate techniques and materials. The two work collaboratively to implement a quality reading program that is research-based and meets the needs of diverse populations of students. By acting as a resource to the regular classroom teacher, the Reading Specialist is able to assist in organizing their reading program, selecting materials, suggesting teaching techniques, and relating their instructional program to the needs of all students. She is also a resource for parents.
The Reading Specialist serves as a member of the Intervention Assistance Team.
The School Psychologist job varies depending on the needs of the students and teachers. The psychologist is also a member of the Intervention Assistance Team and her purpose is to problem-solve and collaborate with parents and teachers in order to meet the individual needs of students. The psychologist also provides ongoing classroom observations to help teachers provide interventions that will enable students to maximize their learning. If an assessment is needed, the psychologist works individually with students to help identify their strengths and weaknesses and provide appropriate services.
The Speech/Language Pathologist provides services for students in all grade levels in the areas of articulation, fluency, and expressive and receptive language. Students must qualify through an individual speech language assessment and implementation of a service plan. Students are seen in an individual or small-group setting to address their identified speech language needs. The speech pathologist also screens all kindergarten students at the beginning of each school year. For those students who do not qualify for direct speech services, the speech pathologist can provide parents with strategies for sound production and home articulation packets.