Within our trauma-informed environment, clinical and behavioral support is critical for the personal and academic growth of our students. We believe the root of many behavioral issues students face can be linked to traumatic experiences. Our behavioral and clinical support teams play an important role in fulfilling our mission by helping students identify past trauma and learning new strategies for growth and change. About twenty percent of VDS staff serve in positions that provide our students with clinical or behavioral support. Members of our clinical and behavioral support teams include:
Clinical Therapists - VDS has two licensed clinical therapists on staff to work with students who have acute behavioral and emotional needs. More than fifty percent of our students can receive individual therapy on a weekly basis, as needed. Our therapists also work with community mental health agencies to help families access resources provided within their community.
Student Case Managers - VDS employs three full-time case managers, who serve as the primary liaison between the home, family, and referring districts. Two of the case managers are certified school psychologists and the third is a certified guidance counselor. Our case managers work closely with classroom teachers to help draft and implement IEP's and assist in the development of action plans and safety plans for students who need them. They also provide direct counseling when needed, conduct social clubs and groups, and coordinate services with community mental health agencies.
Behavioralists - Our staff behavioralists work directly with students to identify healthy behaviors and help students apply those behaviors in and out of school. When negative behavior occurs, our behavioralists will try to determine the causes of the behavior and work with the student, teachers, case managers, and family to determine a course of action to prevent further actions from occurring. In keeping with our philosophy, our behavioralists work within our school's positive behavioral support plan to reinforce pro-social student behavior.
Clinical and behavioral staff participate in special education and treatment team meetings and play a vital role in our student's instructional program.