GFW is part of the River Bend Education District for Special Education services. This allows us to receive top notch Special Education programming with collaboration with our dedicated local staff.
Director: Doug Hazen
There are a number of important roles in supporting students who receive special education services.
Learn more about the important roles in Special Education that provide a number of services for students who require them. Learn more about some of these roles below.
- Occupational Therapists
- Physical/Health Disabilities Consultant
- Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)
- Early Childhood Special Education Birth to Two (ECSE B-2)
- DHH Services
- School Psychologists
Occupational Therapists work with identified students birth to age 21. They support children up to age 3 and families in their homes with the activities needed to complete the routines of their day. Once children are in their school settings, OT works with them to fulfill their role as students by supporting academic achievement and promoting positive behaviors necessary for learning. School OTs support academic and nonacademic outcomes, including assistive technology, social skills, math, reading and writing, behavior management, managing materials at school, recess, self-help skills, prevocational/vocational skills and more. Because of their expertise in activity and environmental analysis, OTs are particularly helpful in facilitating student access to curricular and extracurricular activities. They focus on student’s strengths and can design and implement programming to improve inclusion and accessibility. In addition, they support teachers and staff with training to support students or help create healthy school climates that are conducive to learning for all.
Physical/Health Disabilities Consultant
The physical/health disabilities consultant supports special education teams of students qualifying under Physical Impairment (PI), Other Health Disabilities (OHD), and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The consultant may be involved with observations and assessments, consulting with staff about educational strategies, curriculum modification and accommodations, transition planning, distributing resources, and assisting with evacuation planning and training. The physical/health disabilities consultant is also available to assist teams with the consideration of Assistive Technology (AT), train staff and students, and to distribute materials from the assistive technology library.
Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)
SLPs serve the birth-three population by evaluating and treating children with identified needs in the area of communication in their homes or childcare settings. Services for young children are family-guided and routines based. SLPs provide coaching to parents and caregivers to ensure the child’s expressive and receptive communication needs are being addressed throughout their daily routines. SLPs staff also provide services to children at River Bend’s Imprints, RISE, and Raptor programs. SLPs in school settings assess, diagnose, and treat disorders related to speech, language, cognitive-communication, social-communication, voice, and fluency. SLPs work with students who can’t produce sounds clearly, students who stutter, those with voice disorders such as inappropriate pitch or harsh voice, those with problems understanding and appropriately using language and those with cognitive communication difficulties.
Early Childhood Special Education Birth to Two (ECSE B-2)
The ECSE B-2 Teachers and related service providers offer services to children that qualify for, or demonstrate a need for Minnesota Department of Education’s Part C early intervention programming. Through the adoption of FGRBI (Family Guided Routines Based Intervention) and Caregiver Coaching the early intervention staff uses evidence-based practices and procedures that are effective, efficient, and capacity building for both parents and multidisciplinary team members. ECSE B-2 services are provided for a child and family in their natural environment, which is most often the family’s home. Early Intervention provides learning strategies for facilitating caregiver’s interactions with their child that promotes participation and learning opportunities within their everyday routines. Typically, related service providers that assist with the birth to 2 early intervention programming include: Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, a Physical Therapist, a Teacher for the Visually Impaired, and/or a Teacher for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. ECSE services are free, as are developmental screenings, or comprehensive evaluations to determine if a child is in need of programming.
Itinerant teachers provide services to students in schools and homes throughout the district. The itinerant teachers support students’ full inclusion in their district school.
Infants, toddlers, and preschool age children who are Deaf or have hearing loss access services in natural settings including home, childcare or preschool.
Teachers of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing serve students from birth through 21 years old in a variety of settings in member districts.
Teachers are part of the educational team and are responsible for evaluation as well as identifying programming for students with hearing loss. They provide unique information on the impact of hearing loss on language, communication, academics, and functional skill development. They also provide direct support in the areas of: auditory, communication, language, vocabulary, reading skill development, and compensatory skill development.
DHH staff also provide many indirect services including in-services, consultation, access and adaptations. Teachers work closely with support personnel including audiologists and interpreters/transliterates/transcribers.
School Psychologists provide support and interventions to students; consult with teachers, families, and other school-employed mental health professionals (i.e., school counselors, school social workers) to improve support strategies; work with school administrators to improve school-wide practices and policies; and collaborate with community providers to coordinate needed services. School psychologists support a student’s ability to learn and a teacher’s ability to teach. They apply knowledge in mental health, learning, and behavior to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. School psychologists’ partner with families, teachers, school administrators, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community.