Support Services

Assistive Technology

NDSEC provides a wide range of assistive technology supports and services for students and families. Click here for more information.

Related Services

NDSEC employs professional staff to support the needs of its students. 


School Psychologists have specialized training in both psychology and education. They use their training and skills to team with educators, parents, and other mental health professionals to ensure that every child learns in a safe, healthy, and supportive environment. School psychologists understand school systems, effective teaching, and successful learning through specialized assessment of individual student needs. Psychologists provide support to students and faculty throughout the educational process. Today's children face more challenges than ever before. School psychologists can provide solutions for tomorrow's problems through thoughtful and positive actions today.

Social Workers

School Social Workers are a vital part of the educational team, working together with educational administrators, teachers, counselors, psychologists, nurses, speech and language pathologists, and other staff. Their unique graduate level training in social work enables them to understand and interpret the student's response to school, home, and community environments. School social workers identify social and developmental factors that influence a student's opportunity to benefit from the general instructional program within the school.

Speech-Language Pathologists

Speech-Language Pathologists are professionals educated in the study of human communication development. Through evaluation of the speech, language, cognitive-communication, and swallowing skills of students, the speech-language pathologist determines what communication or associated problems exist and the best way to treat them. Speech-language pathologists collaborate with members of the trans-disciplinary team to support increased communicative competencies of students in school, home, and community settings.

Occupational Therapists

Occupational Therapists are trained and licensed health care professionals who can make a complete evaluation of the impact of the disease on the activities of an individual at school and in work situations. The therapist also considers the individual's interests and recreational activities when completing their assessment in order to facilitate an improvement in the student's participation across all life domains.

Physical Therapists

Physical Therapists are trained to assess the motor development of children. They have the expertise to determine the appropriate treatment for physical limitations or functional impairments. They may choose exercise, improvement of underlying sensory processing problems, use of therapeutic modalities, or development of compensatory strategies. Their goals may include improving a child's functional skills and preventing or limiting the effects of a disability in a variety of developmental areas.

Physical therapists collaborate with members of the trans-disciplinary team to support    increased movement competencies of students in school, home, and community settings.

Vocational Coordinators

Vocational Coordinators are certified special educators with specialized state approval to teach vocational education. They use their training and skills to team with students, educators, and parents to identify a student's interests and abilities, engage students in career education and career development activities, and develop individual education plans. The vocational coordinator assists in organizing sets of activities for a student, designed within an outcome- oriented process, which promotes movement form school to post-school activities, including vocational training, integrated employment, or continuing education.

School Nurses

School Nurses strengthen and facilitate the educational process by improving and protecting the health status of children and by identification and assistance in the removal of health-related barriers to learning. The major focus of school health services is the prevention of illness and disability, and the early detection and correction of health problems. The school nurse is especially prepared and uniquely qualified in preventive health, health assessment, and referral procedures.

Intervention Strategies Team

IST members provide support to educators, students, and families across member districts and NDSEC programs. Primary responsibilities include supporting problem-solving teams through staff development and providing recommendations to support the academic, social, emotional, sensory, and behavioral needs of individual student referrals. IST provides consultative support and direct service support, as needed (e.g., FBAs/BIPs, data collection, report writing, coaching, etc.). IST also offers member districts a wide range of professional development opportunities. 

Collaborative Consultation Model

  • Supporting staff and family needs
  • Identification of strength-based interventions
  • Structured follow-up (2/4/6 weeks)
  • Written documentation of "supportive intervention"

Supporting General and Special Education

  • Referral criteria includes the student being "at-risk" of more restrictive placement
  • Designed to support students needs across all educational settings
  • Evaluated in part by the number of maintained placements and student academic performance
  • Individual and group intervention development
  • Direct support to NDSEC classrooms for students with behavioral needs 

Building Team Focus

  • Develop and strengthen building teams via individual referral process
  • Consultative support in development of individualized interventions
  • Staff development programs developed from team request of need

Staff Development

  • NDSEC staff training programs
  • Member district staff training programs
  • Parent and community education programs

Intervention Strategies Team Staff 

Assistant Director: Todd Putnam

Consultants: Nicole Wren and Karrie Drent

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