Speech-language therapy is provided by a licensed speech-language pathologist (SLP) to address the needs of students with communication disabilities, such as impairments in language, speech, and voice. Typically, the SLP will screen, identify, assess, and diagnose disorder of language, articulation, fluency, voice, and oral-pharyngeal function.
Special Education Teachers
A GPS teacher will provide your school with a dedicated, skilled professional who will assimilate into your current staff, working with your team toward your educational goals. Our special education teachers administer standardized ability and achievement tests and interpret results to determine students’ strengths and weaknesses. They modify the general education curriculum for IEP students based on a variety of instructional techniques and technologies.
Special education teachers employ strategies and techniques during instruction to improve the development of sensory, perceptual, and motor skills, language, cognition, and memory.
Special Education Coordinator
GPS special education coordinators provide special education leadership that creates implements, maintains, and enhances achievement for students with disabilities. Additionally, they assist in the development of positive relationships between parents and students with disabilities by helping parents better understand their children’s unique needs and provide support where needed.
A GPS special education coordinator will provide your school with the leadership necessary to ensure your special education program is compliant. They will:
- Develop, plan, coordinate, and conduct in-service and professional development activities.
- Interpret special education mandates, to formulate policies and procedures for the district and implement procedural safeguards.
- Evaluate special education programs to ensure student educational objectives are being met.
- Support administrators, special education, and general education staff.
- Utilize multiple sources of data to assess special education teacher effectiveness.
GPS school social workers promote school policies and practices that ensure safety of all students by reducing school violence, bullying, and harassment and responding to crises by providing leadership, direct services, and coordination with community agencies. They also promote wellness and resilience by reinforcing communication, self-determination, and optimism to students, families, and school personnel.
Key ways in which a school social worker makes a difference:
- Confer to discuss student needs and develop plans to facilitate student learning and behavioral adjustment.
- Consult regarding classroom management and organizational structure.
- Act as liaison between school and agencies to facilitate services.
- Conduct ongoing evaluation to determine effectiveness of intervention and behavior plans.
GPS school psychologists help children succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. Our psychologists collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments.
Key ways in which a school psychologist makes a difference:
- Identify and assess the learning and environmental factors of individuals and groups to facilitate adjustment.
- Use psychological and psych-educational data about a student in developing appropriate interventions and programs.
- Conduct assessments that align with professional standards.
- Explain laws, policies, and regulations related to services and programs for students, parents, teachers, and administrators.
- Meet and collaborate with all interested parties to develop individual education plans designed to promote students’ educational, physical, and social development.
Testing and evaluation services are provided by many GPS in-school staff, including psychologists, speech pathologists, and social workers.
After a referral is initiated and a parental consent obtained, a GPS school psychologist will consult and work cooperatively with school administrators, special education directors, general and special education teachers, and parents in evaluating a student.
GPS aligns with and uses the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) theory when evaluating students. CHC is a model of cognitive abilities that is an empirically based, valid and measurable construct of the analysis of learning abilities.
The psycho-educational testing may include, but is not limited to the following tools and tests:
- Developmental History
- Cognitive Development
- Emotional Social Development
- Perceptual Development
- Language Development
- Sensory Motor Development
- Clinical Assessments
- Classroom Observations
The social work evaluation may include the following tests:
- Developmental History
- Emotional Social Development
- Direct Observations
- Standardized Instruments
- Focus Groups
Speech Language Evaluation
The purpose of a speech and language evaluation is to measure the student’s communication skills. Tests given by the GPS speech-language pathologist allows the therapist to precisely target weaknesses for intervention in the following areas:
- Receptive Vocabulary
- Understanding of Grammar and Syntax
- Understanding of Directions and Information
- Auditory Skills
- Expressive Vocabulary
- Expressive use of Grammar and Syntax
- Word Retrieval
- Articulation Voice Quality
- Fluency or Smooth Flow of Speech
- Social use of Language for Interactive Communication
Once the evaluation is complete and the findings have been reported per federal and state guidelines, the information and recommendations are shared with the parents through an IEP/MET meeting, if the student is eligible, an IEP is created for the student. The IEP is a legal document that includes the student’s present levels of educational performance, a list of measurable goals and objectives, and related services, such as curriculum modifications and supplementary aids. Also included is an explanation of how often the student will participate in the general education population, when the services and modifications will begin, and the location of those services.
Educational growth is multi-faceted and evaluation should reflect physical, social and intellectual progress. State-mandated tests are used to determine each child’s development and to measure the success of the school program in meeting its academic and behavioral goals. GPS partners with school staff in the areas of standardized testing, quantitative and qualitative measures/reporting and School Improvement Plan development. Using data collected through these assessments, data-driven decision-making is utilized on an individual, classroom and school-wide basis.
Program Development and Evaluation
GPS will conduct a needs analysis at your school to determine which services will compliment your existing program or develop an entirely new program that complies with all current government regulations. We will also assist with the processes and policies required to implement the program and compile them for you in a custom policy manual. Once your program is developed, our staff will facilitate the entire process from the initial referral through the delivery of services.
Projects have included:
- Board Development Programming
- Tutoring and Re-Teaching Programs
- Curriculum Programs
- Courses/Training Modules for K-12 Students and Staff
- Multi-Tier System of Supports (RTI) Programs
- Child Study Teams (CST or IST)
- Special Education Programs/Departments
- Teacher Evaluation Systems
- Positive Restorative Culture Programming
- Effective School Finance
- Educational Technology Integration
- Assessment Systems and Data Driven Decision Making
GPS offers training in effective, research-based best practices in the areas of:
- The High Performing School Solution
- Restorative Practices
- Effective Instruction
- Visionary Leadership- Building/District Leader and Board
- Positive Culture Building through Restorative Practices
- Curriculum Implementation and Evaluation
- School/District Improvement
- Neuroscience in Education
- Human Resources in Schools
- Community and Family Engagement
- Special Education Systems, Procedures and Best Practices
- Multi-Tier System of Supports (RTI)
- Classroom Management
- Teacher/Leader Evaluation
- Data Driven Decision Making
- School Finance and Grants Management
GPS provides services, support and programming in all areas of school compliance including:
- ISD, State, Federal and Authorizer Reporting
- Budget and Finance
- Special Education
- Academic Assessment
- Annual School Reporting
- School/District Improvement Plan Creation and Submission
- Pupil Accounting
- Advanc-ED Reporting
GPS has successfully supported and facilitated school turnaround in historically low performing schools/districts. Utilizing a system of supports included in the GPS High Performing School Solution, GPS Specialists build the capacity and infrastructure necessary for schools to survive and then thrive. The GPS High Performing School Solution Key Indicators are:
- Visionary Leadership
- Aligned and Rigorous Curriculum
- Effective Instruction
- Culture of Achievement
- Educational Community Engagement
- Special Education
Data Analysis & Reporting
Schools must be able to structure, monitor and analyze data to in order to ensure and report on program effectiveness. GPS Solutions works with the administration and staff to ensure that pertinent data is being collected and that metrics are being proactively monitored for completion and performance. Working with the school administration to determine enrollment goals, GPS Solutions further ensures that the enrollment targets are aligned with the projected budget and appropriate staffing levels.
GPS Specialists work within existing curricular frameworks or create courses and core content from scratch. We ensure all curriculum frameworks are guaranteed, viable, aligned to standards, and meet levels of rigor necessary for students to meet 21st century learning outcomes. Tailor-made curricula have included:
- Entrepreneurship Focused K-8 Curriculum
- Montessori Curriculum
- Project Based Learning Approach
- Career Pathway Curriculum 9-12
- Inquiry Based Curriculum K-12
- Understanding by Design inspired Curriculum K-12
- Cross-Curricular Theme-Based Curriculum K-12
- Educational Technology Integrated Curriculum K-12
- University Coursework Master of Arts in Teaching with Focus on Urban Education
Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS)
The Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS) process is a multi-tiered approach to providing services to struggling learners. The MTSS can be used for making decisions about general, compensatory, and special education, creating a well-integrated and seamless system of instruction and intervention guided by outcome data. The MTSS calls for early identification of learning and behavioral needs, close collaboration among classroom teachers and special education personnel and parents, and a systematic commitment to locating and employing the necessary resources to ensure students make progress in the general education curriculum.
Our in-school tutoring program is a research-based, supplemental program designed to improve math and reading skills, build confidence and ensure academic success, enhance classroom performance, and increase scores on standardized tests. Math and reading are taught using direct, explicit instruction through scaffolding. Lessons incorporate teacher modeling, guided practice, and independent work. Lessons use real world examples so students can make connections, and assessments are administered to show student mastery. GPS tutors help students establish goals for improvement, and maintain high expectations for success. We use a proprietary, tested system that uses a prescriptive program to address each student’s individual gaps in learning. On a quarterly basis, we provide progress reporting, statistical information and pre-interim- post testing to evaluate the progress of each student while in the program.