*The RCSD partnerships across the province are being eliminated by the provincial government as of September 1, 2020. As a result, the information on this page will no longer be valid. The website is being maintained for one year to allow partners to continue to access the resources*
Roles and Responsibilities
Parents (or legal guardians) are the legal decision makers for their children and must give consent for services provided for their children. As such, they are an integral part of any discussion around needs and service options. Parents are encouraged to be knowledgeable about and active participants in any service being provided to their child.
- The primary point of contact between school and parent is the teacher.
- If parents have concerns about their child’s functioning in school, they would discuss them with their child’s teacher.
- Parents will typically be invited to planning meetings or case conferences by the school to discuss their child’s educational needs and supports available.
- Teacher and parent discuss needs and challenges, as well as support options available.
More information is available for parents with AB Education resource materials: Role of Parents; My Child’s Learning: A Parent Resource My Child’s Learning
- Parents will receive information from the teacher notifying them if their child is participating in targeted activities at the school.
- For an Individual Partnership, parents or other family members are typically the practice partner for their child to facilitate reinforcement at home.
- As legal guardians, parents have to consent to the details of the individual partnership (i.e. goals, frequency, location, etc.)
The teacher is in the best position to evaluate the learning needs of their students and determine if they require additional supports at school.
- The primary point of contact between school and parents is the teacher.
- Teachers evaluate student need within their classrooms and use the Severity Rating Scale as a guide to help make an initial determination whether the students seems to fall into the mild, moderate or severe category OT Severity Rating Scale SLP Severity Rating Scale
- If mild, the teacher uses available strategies to support student need. Teacher may consult the OT or SLP universal strategies Universal Strategies for OT Universal Strategies for SLP resource for assistance. Teacher may collaborate with the specialty teacher.
- If student need appears to be moderate/severe, teacher collaborates with specialty teacher who may advise universal strategies or may bring the concern forward to the School Core School Team to determine service options.
- In general, teachers implement universal programming supports, collaborate on targeted programs and inform themselves of IP plans.
- Teachers monitor student progress reporting back to the specialty teacher.
- Teachers are responsible to ensure parents are aware of the school based services provided to their child.
- Teachers will send information letters home letting parents know that students will be receiving targeted supports. Therapists are available to assist teachers with letters on request (See Sample Parent Letters for Targeted Services ) Sample Parent Letter for Targeted Supports and Services
- Material preparation for targeted services is negotiated between the teacher and therapist (Example: review the materials list and decide together which materials are available or could be provided by the school or AHS – discuss substituting for materials that are not easily available)
- For individual partnerships, school staff would contact parents to discuss and agree on a referral, to ensure the parent:
- is aware of the school-based needs/concerns,
- agrees with the referral, and
- is informed of the need for a practice partner with their child.
- School staff complete the referral form and ensure it is forwarded to Coordinated Intake in a timely manner.
Note: Parents should not be directed to contact Coordinated Intake directly to make referrals.
Part of the role of the Specialty Teacher is to act as a liaison between rehabilitation staff and school staff. Specialty Teachers are responsible to:
- inform school staff of the process for Rehabilitation Services including services provided, roles and responsibilities of school staff and School Core Team. Typically it is the role of the specialty teacher to provide an overview of any changes to the CA RCSD processes.
- gather school and student needs from classroom teachers and begin to prioritize needs before Core School Team meetings.
- collaboratively develop the agenda with Core Rehabilitation Therapists (See Sample School Core Team Meeting section). School Core Teams for Rehabilitation Services
- ensure that there is a chair identified and that minutes are taken, checked for accuracy and distributed among School Core Team members. (See School Core Team Meeting Minutes and customizable Template for School Core Team Meeting Minutes) Sample School Core Team Meeting Minutes School Core Team Meeting Notes Form
- arrange for School Core Team minutes to be stored at the school.
- communicate School Core Team decisions back to teachers and other school staff (if those individuals do not attend the meeting.)
- work collaboratively with therapists to provide strategies, resources and tools to classroom teachers.
- maintain a record of which students receive targeted supports and the # of sessions that the targeted group is run- typically included in the School Core Team minutes.
- ensure the referral forms for individualized service are complete and clearly identify services requested (i.e. OT, SLP, assessment for PUF eligibility, Low Incidence services).
- function as school contact for Coordinated Intake Social Workers (i.e. will receive a “Report Back Letter” or “Unable to Contact Parent Letter”).
- contact their school division RCSD Leadership team representative with school based questions and concerns regarding the RCSD model.
- For universal supports, the specialty teacher consults with therapists, gathers and provides resources to classroom teacher.
Speech Language Pathologists and Occupational Therapists provide supports and strategies to meet identified student needs.
- Therapists, in some cases working with Therapy Assistants, will provide a variety of intervention services (primarily in classrooms).
- These activities will be coordinated and implemented in partnership with teachers.
- Therapists participate in Core School Team meetings at their assigned schools, and collaborate with school staff regarding service delivery, programming and discharge.
- Therapists participate in discussions regarding classroom and student needs and concerns and,
- together with school staff, decide on appropriate services to meet identified needs.
- Therapists may observe classrooms to learn about curriculum and different classroom dynamics in order to provide more informed consultation.
- Therapists provide targeted supports as a result of needs identified with the Core School Team.
- Material preparation for targeted activities is negotiated between the teacher and therapist (Example: review the materials list and decide together which materials are available or could be provided by the school or AHS – discuss substituting for materials that are not easily available)
- Therapists may deliver targeted programs alongside teachers, SLPA’s, and/or teaching assistants until they are comfortable providing them without support.
- Upon request, Therapists provide consultation and materials for universal supports.
- Upon request, therapists may model presentation of small parts of universal programs for teachers.
- When an Individual Partnership is the most appropriate service option, therapists provide functional assessment, primarily through classroom observations and information gathered from families and teachers.
- One of the goals of therapists will be to learn from teachers and families about the unique needs of the child and the classroom.
- Therapists work with the identified practice partner, usually the parent, to enable them to provide more frequent intervention practice.
- The therapist (SLP or OT) is responsible for supervising assistants working in all capacities (targeted or IP)
- This includes setting goals, observing sessions, and ensuring that the service remains appropriate to the student(s).
- SLPs have supervisory responsibility for SLP Assistants and EAs working in the capacity of an SLP Assistant, and are required to follow their ACSLPA College’s policy regarding “Guidelines for Supportive Personnel”.
- Adding another service provider: If, upon additional Core school team reviews, another discipline is necessary, the current therapist will inform Coordinated Intake via a Database Update form to add that discipline and ensure that all current appropriate information is included with the form. (i.e. audiogram, recent assessment and/or relevant consult notes, vision information etc.)
CCMC services are available regionally at the request of the core school team in elementary schools and by direct referral wherever there is not a core school team (for ex. in middle and high schools) CCM Consulting services
- are directed typically towards, children and youth with complex communication or mobility needs.
- may become part of the child’s team to provide consultative support as needed.
- may build capacity for core service providers, school staff, and parents through knowledge transfer.
SLP Assistants (both those employed by Alberta Health Services, and EAs employed by school divisions assigned to the role of SLPA) carry out duties assigned by therapists (SLPs). These could include universal, targeted, or Individual Partnership services. SLP Assistants
- follow and implement supervising therapist’s targeted group plan, under the supervision of the Supervising Therapist,
- prepare materials for targeted group; assists/plans activities for the group and collaborating/coaching partner,
- collaborate/coach and support practice partner by demonstrating and explaining activities and strategies used for practice. Provides strategies to practice partner so they can carry on practice outside of sessions with the SLPA. May provide suggestions for successful home (for example, frequency, length of practice sessions, time of day),
- provide regular update to school staff on student progress,
- provide regular updates to parents about sessions, when parents are not the primary practice partner,
- may request the Supervising Therapist attend additional sessions for supervision/support.
Social Workers on the Children’s Rehabilitation Services, Coordinated Intake team are employed by Alberta Health Services. Each school division has an assigned Social Worker from this team. The Social Workers receive referrals and ensure that each one is responded to with a timely first contact attempt. The intake process collects the information that sets the therapists/consultants and school team up for successful intervention with the child/youth and family. Coordinated Intake is directly involved with referrals for the following services shared among the CA RCSD partners: OT, PT, SLP as well as Nurse Coordinators, Vision Consultant, Hearing Consultant and Educational Audiology.
Within Coordinated Intake, the Social Worker connects with Parents/Guardians to discuss the referral received, gathers input regarding the family’s specific concerns and perceptions, connects the family with needed supports and identifies possible barriers to service. Once complete, the Social Worker will forward the intake package to the appropriate service provider.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF INTAKE? The Social Workers are available to respond more promptly to new referrals as they are at their desks rather than out and about in schools. The Social Workers can answer initial questions, clarify needs and typically will ask questions that others on the team will not have asked. Examples of information gathering could include:
- Clarifying guardianship and consent issues. Caregivers and family units present in varying ways and our teams need to know who is able to make decisions for a child, who will be able to partner with us and how we can best get in contact with the people we will need to.
- Gathering the family’s unique perspective as to how the needs identified by the school are impacting the child, both at school and in other environments.
- Discussion of any barriers that might impact a families’ ability to access services. Social Workers can discuss possible options and alternatives and provide the team with a heads up regarding these identified needs. This can include information about language barriers.
- Discussion of any concerns a parent may have for their child that have not yet been identified by the school. This may lead to out of school supports or connection with other agencies through referrals made by Social Work.
- Coordination of service for children who have multiple needs and multiple service providers with the goal of reducing confusion for the family and the team.
- Discussion of items the family identifies as relevant to them regarding culture, language or identity.
- Identification of any relevant medical history which might impact service.
- An opportunity to confirm demographic information including child’s legal name, best contact times and phone number for the parent.
Finally the Social Worker discusses the need and purpose of information sharing between the therapy team and the school to best meet the child’s needs. The Social Worker ensures that the family is comfortable with that information sharing plan. This initial step prepares the parent for the team approach that will be utilized by Children’s Rehabilitation Services and the school. This step is different than the initial consent given by the parent for the referral or for specific treatment.
WHAT DO WE GAIN?
- Increased Support: Parents, schools and therapists are well supported and provided with accurate information, connection to other services and barrier identification.
- Reduced Paperwork: In the past, parents and schools alike have had to complete lengthy referral forms, which can present as a barrier to service in itself. This step eliminates the large paper packages and allows for a more in depth conversation with parents prior to service.
- Freed up Time for Direct Therapist Consultation and Treatment: Completing the initial intake with a family is an important step that at times requires multiple contact attempts and clarification of complex situations. Having a Social Worker involved adds a level of skill and background training that is unique to their role. The therapists’ skills are best used working with the children/youth (and the adults who support them) rather than gathering information and coordinating service with parents.
- Reduced Initial Contact Waiting Time for Parents: The Coordinated Intake process has actually reduced the time that a parent waits for an initial contact, as the Social Workers are more readily available to respond to calls and answer initial questions.
- Increased Equity: The Coordinated Intake process works toward increased equity across the region.
Each school division has assigned staff member(s) to support schools and teaching staff in their school division.
The role of the school division service coordinator is to:
- provide support and direction to school staff regarding the RCSD model,
- act as the liaison between the CA RCSD Leadership and school staff,
- connect with the AHS Area Lead as appropriate, and
- attend core school team meetings as needed.
Children’s Rehabilitation Services has assigned an Area Lead to support the rehabilitation staff providing services in each school division
The role of the Area Lead is to:
- provide support and direction to AHS therapists regarding the RCSD model,
- meet regularly with AHS therapists to discuss and support RCSD model needs/challenges/successes,
- act as liaison between the AHS Children’s Rehabilitation Services Manager and therapists,
- connect with the School Division Service Coordinator as appropriate,
- attend Core School Team meetings as needed.
The services are delivered by the partners.
Services may vary according to staffing structure in a school or community.
*This website is a record of a constantly evolving partnership. It is as accurate as possible at any given time and will be regularly updated to reflect changing processes and information. However, be advised that there may possibly be a lag updating the website with the most current information and processes.