Speech and Language

  • Speech Language Pathologists help each child find their voice. 

    Guiding Principles 

    1. School-based Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) provide speech-language services in primary, middle, high, and post-high school to support access to curriculum. This includes collaborating with other disciplines, screening, assessing, intervening, and referring for the full range of communication disorders, including those involving language, articulation (speech sounds), fluency (stuttering), voice/resonance, alternative/augmentative communication, and social and functional communication. SLPs are also members of Feeding Teams, which evaluate and plan safe eating protocols.
    2. SLPs focus on what the student requires to progress, participate, and engage in their education, which can include personal, social/emotional, academic, and vocational needs that have an impact on attainment of educational goals.
    3. SLPs work as part of a multidisciplinary team, which may include family/caregivers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, school psychologists, learning specialists, instructional assistants, outside agencies, and others. SLPs work collegially with general education teachers who are primarily responsible for curriculum and instruction. 
    4. SLPs employ a continuum of service delivery models based on the needs of the child, which may include small group support, consultation, team teaching, classroom-based instruction, and resource room support.
    5. SLPs contribute significantly to the literacy achievement of students identified as eligible for special education. Research supports the interrelationship among language processes such as listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
    6. SLPs ensure that all students receive quality, culturally competent services. SLPs provide expertise to help the team distinguish a language disorder from other factors, including cultural and linguistic differences, socioeconomic factors, and lack of adequate prior instruction.
    7. SLPs provide intervention that is appropriate to the age and learning needs of each individual student, employing high-leverage strategies, and is selected through an evidence-based decision-making process.

    Procedural Guidance

    • Speech and language services are documented as either specially designed instruction, related service, or consult, depending on student needs.
    • In all cases, direct ant indirect services should include regular opportunities for the SLP to interact with the student, monitor student progress and collaborate with parents, teachers and other staff.
    • As in all components of special education, there may be individualized plans that differ from the guidance above. These should, however, be the exception and should involve consultation with the Student Services department.

    Evaluation/Child Study -- For articulation only

    • If a teacher has concerns that ONLY involve the articulation of sounds, and there are no other areas of concern for the student, the teacher may refer directly to the Speech Language Pathologist
    • The Speech Language Pathologist will notify the Child Study Team if in agreement to move forward straight to special education evaluation
    Social Communication
    Speech and Language Considerations in the Child Study Process -  this link takes you to the Child Study/Circles of Support page in the School Counseling handbook


    Information for Safe Eating Teams has been moved to its own page on the Special Education Handbook.