You may be wondering… what exactly is an itinerant teacher… and what do they do? If you are an itinerant teacher, instead of providing services to students in a traditional classroom setting, you travel to where the students are…from building to building… and district to district… providing your specialized services to eligible students.
Itinerant teachers at BLaST work with students who have a specific disability, and are in need of specially designed instruction.The ages of our students may range from 3 to 21. Our staff may be assigned to work in any of the 19 school districts in Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, and Tioga Counties, as well as within the early intervention program . Any one of our 19 school districts may contract with us for itinerant services. Our specialized staff include:teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing, an educational interpreters, an educational audiologist, teachers of the visually impaired, an orientation and mobility specialist, emotional support teachers, school social workers, and teachers of the gifted. We also are available to provide remedial math and reading support to our 35 non-public schools within our four county region. In addition to our itinerant teaching staff, we currently employ 10 school psychologists. Our psychologists work within contracted school districts, early intervention, non public schools, and contracted cyber schools. Please feel free to visit their page to learn more about their services, as well as listing of useful resources.
Services we provide:
The service of BLaST IU 17’s Educational Audiologist is available to all 19 school districts within the BLaST IU 17 region.
Services available include:
- Participate with hearing screening programs for school districts
- Provide community awareness about hearing
- Conduct in-service workshops for teachers
- Provide management for hearing aids, Cochlear Implants and other devices
- Monitor classroom noise and acoustics/ make suggestions for improving the listening environment
- Handle maintenance of student hearing aids, earmolds, tubing, ear hooks, batteries, care and cleaning, troubleshooting problems
- Consult on FM system recommendations, ordering, acquisition, programming, implementing, orientation for student and teacher
- Provide monthly consultation or as needed to students for FM monitoring and follow-up
- Consultation with managing audiologists, parents and agencies regarding students hearing health
- Take impressions, make earmolds and teach earmold care to staff members and students
- Keep parents informed of current changes and new devices available
- Handle warranties, returns, repairs, exchanges and summer service contracts
- Discuss audiograms and/or reports with parents
- Record and receive annual hearing information for possible FM system changes and student records
- Meet with sales representatives from hearing aid and FM providers so as to provide up to date recommendations for current devices
- Provide in-service training on hearing impairments and their implications in the school setting
- Participate with current Continuing Education Requirements for up to date information and changes
Orientation and Mobility and Teachers of the Visually Impaired
Orientation and Mobility
Orientation and Mobility training assists the visually impaired student to develop an understanding of his/her own body and position in space. Students learn to gather and use information about the environment, community resources and transportation systems. Orientation and Mobility includes instruction in safe travel skills and may include the use of low vision aids, or in some cases, a long white cane or electronic aid.
Teachers of the Visually Impaired
Teachers of the visually impaired provide educational support services to those whose impairment, documented by an eye care specialist, adversely effects his/her academic performance. Supportive and supplemental services include, but are not limited to: a functional vision evaluation, consultation, preparation of adapted materials, Braille reading and writing, keyboarding, handwriting, large print and optical aids, study skills and activities of daily living.
The Emotional Support staff provides a variety of services to those identified students whose behavior interferes with their academic achievement in the regular classroom setting. Program services to students may include: anger management, coping skills, problem solving skills, stress management, social skill development, as well as academic support. Delivery of service may be done with an individual student or in small groups. Additionally, the staff also consults with teachers and district administration on providing strategies for students at risk and acts in the role of liaison with families and community agencies.
Act 89 remedial support in the areas of reading, math, and study skills are available to those students who attend non-public schools and whose skills fall below grade level expectancy. Though formal testing is not required to qualify for Act 89 service, a team will prioritize students to be seen by reviewing records, such as: achievement testing, informal assessments, past performance, grades, parent concerns and teacher recommendations.
Equitable Participation supports are Special Education supports provided to non-public students. Students receive instruction from the Equitable Participation Teacher in their areas of need, along with specially-designed instruction in the regular classroom.
What is a School Social Workers?
- School social work is a specialized area of practice within the broad field of the social work profession.
- School social workers bring unique knowledge and skills to the school system.
- School Social Workers are trained mental health professionals who can assist with mental health concerns, behavioral concerns, positive behavioral support, academic and classroom support, consultation with teachers, parents and administrators as well as provide individual and group counseling/therapy.
- School Social Workers are the link between the home, school and community in providing direct as well as indirect services to students, families and school personnel to promote and support students’ academic and social success.
WHO are School Social Workers?
- School Social Workers are trained mental health professionals with a degree in social work who provide services related to a person’s social, emotional and life adjustment to school and/or society.
WHAT are some of the specific services that School Social Workers provide?
- Participating in special education assessment meetings as well as individual Educational Planning Meetings.
- Working with those problems in a child’s living situation that affect the child’s adjustment in school.
- Counseling (group, individual and/or family)
- Assisting in developing positive behavioral intervention strategies.
SERVICES TO STUDENTS:
- Providing crisis intervention.
- Developing intervention strategies to increase academic success.
- Assisting with conflict resolution and anger management.
- Helping the child develop appropriate social interaction skills.
- Assisting the child in understanding and accepting self and others.
SERVICES TO PARENT/FAMILIES:
- Working with parents to facilitate their support in their children’s school adjustment.
- Alleviating family stress to enable the child to function more effectively in school and community.
- Assisting parents to access programs available to students with special needs.
- Assisting parents in accessing and utilizing school and community resources.
SERVICES TO SCHOOL PERSONNEL:
- Assessing students with mental health concerns.
- Assisting teachers with behavior management.
- Providing direct support to staff.
The Gifted Program service delivery models include pullout programs, whole class instruction, and independent study projects. Students seen in this program have met the eligibility requirements and have outstanding intellectual and/or creative ability. It is the philosophy of the Gifted Program staff to help these students reach their personal potential and become well-rounded, successful, life long learners.
It is the philosophy of the BLaST Intermediate Unit 17 Hearing Support Program that all deaf and hard of hearing children be given the opportunity and environment in which they can develop communication skills to maximize their potential. The Hearing Support Program supports the idea that each child should be taught in his/her preferred mode of communication.
The deaf and hard of hearing program is designed to provide services for all deaf and hard of hearing students aged 3 years to high school graduation as defined by Chapter 14. Based on these regulations, a hearing loss is defined as a loss that interferes with the development of the communication process and results in failure to achieve educational potential.
For more information or questions, contact the appropriate Program Supervisor: