"Let's practice our handwriting," said Occupational Therapist Jeanine Dearman to a small group of Bush Elementary School students.
"Now, watch me. I'll write the letters of the alphabet in upper case letters and then you will do it."
Mrs. Dearman models writing A through Z and then each student tries.
"Remember how to place the letters on the lines. Lowercase letters have three positions- small, tall and descending. All of our capital letters start at the same spot."
Mrs. Dearman worked with the group on fine motor skills, strength training and handwriting skills. Students, both regular and special education, are chosen to work with an occupational therapist based on teacher referrals, the Bush Child Study Team and a screening process. She is also the occupational therapist for Rogers and Lincoln Schools. Mrs. Dearman is just one special support team member at Bush Elementary School students.
There is no "typical" day in the life of Bush school nurse Sharon Gollnick. From treating ill children to dispensing medications to performing hearing, vision and dental screening to keeping track of students' vaccination requirements to behavior and mental issues, a school nurse is there to provide a thorough evaluation and tender loving care when your child is ill or hurt. School nurses are often the first to hear about a health issue in a child and work tirelessly to solve the problem by working with parents, teachers, family physicians, outside agencies such social and family services and the child. Their job coordinates all of the different pieces to make sure everyone is on the same page to do what is best for the child.
Joann Sholl, Bush School's physical therapist, helps her students stay safe by primarily working on gross motor skills such as balance, coordination, good posture and general strength. Mrs. Sholl also works with both general and special education students who are referred by teachers, the Bush Child Study team and screened. Each therapy session is individualized based on the student's particular needs.
"Many times the students need help in their gross motor skills, which can affect their academic skills, and just as importantly, their safety," said Mrs. Sholl, who also works at Rogers, Lincoln and Jamestown High School. "We help them develop, and improve, these skills at a young age."
Tracy Nelson, Bush School's speech pathologist, works with speech, language, auditory processing, and literacy skills both with general education and special education students at Bush and Washington Middle School. Speech can include: articulation, fluency, voice, and swallowing. Language skills such as putting words together to make meaningful sentences or vocabulary. They work with social skills such as the ability for a child to have conversations with others, Auditory Processing, which is how information is received, stored, organized and retrieved, and teach literacy skills involving linking sounds to print for decoding words, attaching meaning to the printed word, and knowing what they say, read and write involving the five components of literacy.