Guidance services are an integral part of our school program. Torrington has six full time guidance counselors at the high school and three counselors at the middle school. Guidance services are designed to provide opportunities for all students to achieve their maximum growth intellectually, socially, and emotionally, through self-understanding and the development of life skills. The guidance staff plans a counseling program to deal appropriately with the needs of each student in terms of academic planning, personal development, and college and vocational planning. Group guidance programs provide students with developmentally appropriate strategies to enhance study and time-management skills, conflict resolution, and decision-making.
II. Nursing Services
Full time nurses are assigned to each school. Our nurses serve as health counselors for students, parents, and staff, as well as serve as liaisons with physicians and health agencies. Nurses administer first aid and perform vision, hearing, and scoliosis screenings. They ensure that physical exams are on record for all students, as well as monitor medications and immunizations.
III. School Psychologists
School psychologists conduct intellectual, educational, behavioral, and social/emotional assessments to help parents, teachers, and counselors make decisions about students. These may also include observations of learning styles and behavioral characteristics, as well as functional behavioral assessments and intervention plans. School psychologists participate in Student Assistance Team meetings, consult with parents and teachers to assist with learning and behavioral concerns, and work directly with students to provide direction, problem-solving techniques, or behavioral assistance.
IV. School Social Workers
School social workers provide professional casework services which link students and their families to school and community agencies. Social workers foster and facilitate communication between home and school by assessing social, developmental, or economic needs which might interfere with learning. Their roles also include truancy intervention and prevention, home visits to assist parents in finding community solutions to problems, participation in the school Student Assistance Team, and consultation with parents and staff to provide insight about a child's behavior and special needs.
V. Speech/Language Services
Speech/language specialists provide diagnostic testing to help determine the extent and origin of communication problems that may be interfering with academic achievement. Services are provided to students with moderate to severe communication disorders including articulation, fluency, hearing and language deficits. The district also employs a full-time teacher who works specifically with deaf and hearing impaired students.
VI. Physical and Occupational Therapists
District staff also provide physical and occupational therapy services to students who, as a result of certain physical limitations, may experience adverse effects on their educational performance. Unlike hospital or clinic-based services, school-based services are specifically directed towards assisting students to function more successfully in the educational setting. Eligibility for these services is assessed and reviewed by the Planning and Placement Team.
VII. Response to Intervention Teams (RTI)
In each school, a team of staff members, known as the Response to Intervention Team (RTI), meets regularly to plan for any student whose performance and/or behavior is a cause for concern. Upon referral by a staff member or parent, the team discusses all aspects of the problem and may recommend further evaluation, classroom intervention, parent contact, teacher consultation, or other strategies. The Scientific Research-based Intervention (SRBI) also known as the RTI team meets to monitor student progress based upon intervention strategies in a three tiered approach. If the RTI believes the student might require special education services, it will refer the student to either the Planning and Placement Team or to the Section 504 Committee.