Understanding the Multi-disciplinary Staff Roles at Serendipity
We believe that a therapeutic school integrates services into an effective, holistic experience for students. It has worked to our advantage in this goal to employ a multi-disciplinary staff, giving us daily opportunities to plan and coordinate that integration. We share a common mission. We cross train in one another’s areas of expertise, building the therapeutic lens that is essential to nurture our students.
Below is a brief synopsis of each category within our multi-disciplinary program team, organized under our four pillars of service delivery. Everyone of us, consistent with the Re-Education tradition, is a Teacher/Counselor.
Teachers lead classrooms. They plan, deliver, monitor, and adjust instruction congruent with state standards and aligned with each student’s specially designed instruction needs. They steward the experience of community through structure, routine, daily meetings, and celebrations. They collaboratively design, implement, track, and modify individual behavioral plans.
Program Assistants assist teachers with small group instruction, implementation of individualized protocols, student supervision, and data collection.
Instructional Assistants provide individualized support, both on an as-needed basis and to those students identified as eligible for continuous support.
Speech/Language Pathologists deliver services to eligible students and support individual classrooms and the larger culture of the school. They build awareness of the prevalence of language processing challenges and suggest environmental modifications to grow language skills and maximize mutual communication.
Special Education Coordinators navigate special education processes for teachers, students, families, and referring school districts. They oversee the development and implementation of the IEP, support eligibility determinations, collect and report regression data, and communicate to all parties regarding next levels of care.
Assessment Coordinator/Teacher Mentor is a role that supports students and teachers in completing three annual diagnostic assessments in reading and math, as well as coordinating state-wide testing for our school. As a mentor, this seasoned educator coaches newly recruited or newly assigned teachers in applying assessment data to instructional approaches and curriculum priorities.
Clinical Case Managers assess mental health needs and guide treatment efforts. They coach students, families, and classroom teams in understanding and skillfully responding to changing mental health needs of students. They are the primary bridge with families, and they coordinate care with other involved providers. The provide crisis and after-hours support.
An Art Therapist delivers specialized therapy to help students gain awareness and explore creative methods of expression using visual art media. Art therapy is usually delivered individually, although sometimes in dyads. Our art therapist is also available for special classroom projects that promote important themes.
Behavior Intervention Specialists (Interventionists) are counselors on the floor with enhanced training in crisis cycles and de-escalation techniques. They intervene to prevent episodes of behavioral dysregulation and are essential members of planning teams that seek to recognize and avoid triggers for students. They deliver positive time every day, incentivizing new replacement behaviors.
The Transition Coordinator implements IEP goals related to skills of independence, interest and career exploration, and personal goal setting. This person is essential in monitoring graduation requirements and in matching students demonstrating readiness with new challenges that support the application of mastered skills to new settings.
Many staff fill roles on the Transition services team by supervising student work experience or by advising student leadership groups such as Student Council, the Gender Sexuality Alliance, or the student newspaper.
The Growing Minds Garden Team guides the planting, tending, and harvesting of organic produce in the school’s half-acre garden and farm. They teach courses in urban farming and food science. They facilitate a work-experience opportunity for Garden Apprentices and a Senior Project called Farm-to-Community.
The Therapeutic Recreation Instructor delivers physical education through carefully tailored, noncompetitive small group activities. Social skill instruction and practice, along with self-management skills, are integrated into this program.
The Food Services Team produces free meals, cooked from scratch using organic and locally sourced food whenever possible. School means are supplemented by produce from our garden.
Umbrella over all four pillars
Tier I Coaches are experts in the universal interventions delivered to all enrolled students and on which our model is built. Tier I coaches train staff and work with both students and staff to ensure necessary supports, such as a Check-In/Check-Out system, are effectively adapted.
The Tier III Behavior Specialist provides case coordination and leads the teams for those few students receiving Intensive Student Supports. This role administers the school-wide incident report system, managing data reporting as part of the School Improvement process. This specialist also coaches staff members in implementing individualized protocols and interventions with Tier III students, again utilizing data to guide progress monitoring.
The Principal and the Treatment Director co-lead Serendipity’s therapeutic school and supervise service delivery in all pillars. Serendipity’s Program Manager oversees discipline. The Admissions Manager facilitates intake and supports a supportive and thoughtful entrance for each new student.