Guidance and Counseling
One full-time and one part-time guidance counselor are assigned to Nixon. The guidance counselors serve the normal, developmental social adjustment needs of the student population and families and typically work with classes, small groups and individual students on a short-term basis. Typical issues include adjustment to a new school, friendships, conflict resolution, self-esteem, maintaining appropriate school behavior and dealing with loss and the like. The guidance counselors are available to help with referrals for students and families who may need more intensive services.
General Education Support Staff
General education support staff work to enhance student learning. This staff includes:
•Reading Specialist – provides direct services to students and consultation to staff around all aspects of literacy instruction
•Reading Tutor – works with students who need support and direct instruction with reading (i.e. decoding).
•Pre K/K Teaching Assistants - Work with students to support academic learning.
Instructional Support Team
IST refers to a meeting with a classroom teacher and other staff (i.e. guidance counselor, reading specialist, special educator, speech therapist, psychologist, occupational therapist, administrator) to discuss any issues or concerns (usually academic or adjustment) pertaining to a student in that classroom. The primary goal of the IST is to make recommendations for modifications and instructional strategies that may help the student be successful. It is a practice at Nixon to inform parents when their child is referred to the IST and to inform parents of the nature of the discussion. The IST will also make referrals for a special education evaluation when necessary.
Special Educators test students who are referred for evaluation, write Individual Educational Plans (IEPs), provide special education services and conduct annual reviews. To the extent possible, special education services are provided within classrooms.
Special education staff tutor small groups or individuals in the Learning Center as well. Parents always have the right to agree or disagree with any recommendation arising from a special education evaluation and must agree in writing (on the IEP) to any services that are provided. When working in classrooms, special educators have contact with all students and may informally include general education students in their small group work.
Speech and Language
Speech and language therapists provide a variety of services pertaining to students’ communication skills. These services range from teaching listening skills to an entire class to providing speech and language therapy to small groups or individuals (as part of an IEP). Speech and language therapists participate on the IST Process and in special education evaluations.
The school psychologist consults with classroom teachers (either informally or as a member of the IST) and administers a variety of psycho-educational tests for special education evaluations.