My Roles at River Dell Regional School District
What is a Learning Disability Teacher-Consultant?
A Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant (LDT-C) imparts knowledge to students living with disabilities. As the LDT-C for the district, I also act as an expert in regard to the appropriate techniques and strategy applicable in dealing with persons with special needs.
I make recommendations on how to improve systems of education to meet the needs of student with disabilities. Teaching students how to cope with learning disabilities helps them manage it for the rest of their lives. Focus is centered upon the student and his/her education background as opposed to how well he/she fares in assessments. My role comprises the analysis of the student’s physiological, learning and psychological learning performances.
I accomplish this through the assessment of the student’s capabilities against overall achievement. I conduct extensive interviews with the student and assess these against their school transcripts. The result is used to make recommendations for the appropriate education plans of the student. This may differ from one student’s need to the next. I may utilize these findings in the implementation of special education law in my role as a consultant.
The advantages of entrusting a student with disabilities under the supervision of an LDT-C is advantageous in many ways. Firstly, the LDT-C is especially trained to deal with children living with disabilities. Second, the LDT-C has further knowledge of the same through experience gained through practice. Thirdly, the LDT-C knows specialized instruction and strategies which will enable a student with disabilities to achieve his/her greatest potential. Lastly, this enables the LDT-C to make recommendations which help to make education plans for the student.
What is a Reading Specialist?
A reading specialist, is an educator who is professionally trained in teaching literacy skills. I work with students to assess their reading styles and offer instructions for improvement. Although the students are in secondary school environment I work to assist students in developing fundamental reading comprehension skills. Traditional teachers may not have the advanced knowledge that is typically required for effectively coaching students with reading difficulties. As a reading specialist I have been trained to recognize students' reading strengths and weaknesses. I then apply my knowledge of different learning styles to customize individual lesson plans to ensure students are understanding the meaning and context of what they read in addition to simply recognizing the letters and sounds. I offer the students of River Dell:
- Individualized and small group focus: teach reading and writing to struggling readers both individually and in small groups.
- Balanced literacy focus: Integration of rigorous, evidence-based phonics training with authentic literacy-encompassing word recognition, reading comprehension, fluency, vocabulary development, spelling, and expressive writing.
- Assessment and intervention focus: Utilize a battery of classroom-based and standardized assessment measures to identify strengths and weaknesses of individual students and groups and then to develop an intervention plan based on the assessment findings.
- Preparation to diagnose dyslexia: Administer a battery of standardized tests and formulate a diagnosis. I am trained in Orton Gillingham, Wilson Reading System, and PAF.
- Psychology focus: Understanding of typically developing and delayed literacy development from the vantage point of cognitive processes and their relation to race, ethnicity, language proficiency, and socio-economic status.
- Research focus: Emphasis on evidence-based (scientifically based) intervention strategies for struggling readers
What is a Case Manager?
As a Case Manager it is my job to:
- Support the student to meet his/her IEP goals and graduation requirements
- Oversee IEP assessments, development with the IEP team, and implementation by staff
- Communicate and collaborate with general education staff including teachers, counselors and administration, outside agencies, and families regarding a students needs
- Communicate with parents regarding the IEP and the student’s progress by phone, email or meetings.
- Provide input and assist students with course scheduling
- Advocate for special education students and their families by serving as the liaison between teachers, the school, and the community.
- Educational Counseling if a student is having a difficult time in his/ her classes or subect area.