Jan 13, 2024

2023-24 - Occupational Therapist - Special Education - Pool of 2

  • TrulyHired
  • Lacey, WA, USA
School Support

Job Description

Postion begins 2023-24 School Year



Classification: Certificated Location: Assigned School(s)

Reports to: Administrator Responsible for Special Services FLSA Status: Exempt

Bargaining Unit: NTEA

This is a standard position description to be used for certificated teaching positions with similar duties, responsibilities, classification and compensation. Teachers assigned to the position description may or may not be assigned all of the duties identified herein.

This job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and employee and is subject to change by the employer as the needs of the employer and requirements of the job change.

Part I: Position Summary:

Occupational therapists lead the process in development, implementation, and coordination of the occupational therapy program. Screening, evaluation, educational program and transition planning, therapeutic intervention, and exit planning is provided for students identified with or suspected of having disabilities that interfere with their ability to perform daily life activities or participate in necessary or desired occupations.

Primary responsibility shall include student safety and appropriate collaboration and attention to each student's readiness to learn including needed guidance, discipline, and welfare. Employee may work in a variety of elementary and/or secondary educational, individual or team settings. Employee may rotate among several schools.

The District represents a diverse community with a population of more than 50% of students with diverse backgrounds. We seek an individual who has successful experience in working with culturally diverse families and communities. The selected candidate must demonstrate a commitment to strengthening community engagement and communication with the District's diverse populations.

Part II: Supervision and Controls over the Work:

The employee works with a high level of independence and professional discretion under the general supervision of a designated school administrator. The employee's work is governed, controlled, and evaluated by acceptable professional practice, school and district policies and regulations, provisions of Washington Administrative Code and Revised Code of Washington, direction of the supervisor, and performance standards and expectations as set forth in the collective bargaining agreement.

Professional judgment and clinical knowledge are used to develop individualized programming based on occupational performance deficits in the areas of personal care, student role, interaction skills, process skills, play, community integration/work, and graphic communication. Occupational therapist is expected to independently review outcomes and modify intervention programs.

Clinical reasoning and professional judgment are essential to ensuring the safety of students and protecting liability of the school system and the therapist. Errors may result in serious harm to students. Direct supervision may be exercised over support personnel, such as occupational therapy assistants and clerical staff.

Part III: Major Duties and Responsibilities listed may include, but are not limited to the following:
Identification, evaluation and planning:
  • Collaborates with other disciplines to ensure team understanding of student occupational performance strengths and needs, through evaluation, educational program planning, and service delivery.
  • Evaluates the student's ability and formulates the student's occupational profile through a variety of functional, behavioral, and standardized assessments, skilled observation, checklists, histories, and interviews.
  • Synthesizes evaluation results into a comprehensive written report which reflects strengths and barriers to student participation in the educational environment; directs program development; and guides evidence-based intervention.
  • Develops occupationally based intervention plans based on student needs and evaluation results.
  • Participates in multidisciplinary meetings to review evaluation results, integrate findings with other disciplines, offer recommendations, and develop individual education plans and intervention plans to achieve IEP goals.
  • Coordinates with the IEP team for the purpose of determining appropriate treatments, etc. to meet the needs of specific students and attends IEP Team Meetings.
Service delivery:
  • Provides targeted, evidence-based therapeutic intervention to facilitate student participation and occupational performance within the school environment.
  • Consults with the school-based team to achieve student outcomes.
  • Adapts and modifies the environment including assistive technology and training instructional staff to meet individual needs and to help students function as independently as possible.
  • Educates student, educational personnel, and family to facilitate skills in areas of occupation as well as health maintenance and safety.
  • Monitors and reassess the effects of occupational therapy intervention and the need to continue, modify, or discontinue intervention.
  • Documents occupational therapy services to ensure accountability of service provision and to meet standards for reimbursement of services as appropriate.
Program administration and management:
  • Prioritizes and schedules work tasks independently.
  • Manages inventory of therapeutic equipment and assessments, and project needs for budget planning.
  • Maintains clinical and administrative records in accordance with professional standards, state guidelines, and school system policy.
  • Provides legal and ethical supervision of occupational therapy assistant assuming responsibility for the students served by assistant.
  • Supervises therapy support personnel.
  • Adheres to federal and state legislation, regulation, and policies that affect occupational therapy practice.
  • Reviews occupational therapy services for quality improvement and makes changes as needed to ensure quality of services.
  • Teaches, monitors, and collaborates with educational personnel, community agencies, parents, and students to increase understanding of the student's occupational performance.
  • Provides continuing education and in-services for educational personnel, parents, and community based service providers.
  • Provides fieldwork education and supervision for occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant students.
In performing the above duties, works collaboratively in a professional learning community with other teachers, support staff, and others as appropriate, in addressing the needs of students, developing effective practices, and developing and implementing best practices. Actively participates in faculty and grade level or department meetings, assist building efforts to plan, budget, implement, and evaluate the school's program and to do related work as required. In carrying out these responsibilities, follows school policy and procedures, standard practices, and approved curriculum, and will actively and positively support the school vision. Is constantly observant of the needs and challenges of students and promptly engages an administrator or appropriate educational staff associates when the there is reason to suspect or reasonably believe that a student is at risk or in danger due to such issues as bullying, sexual harassment/misconduct, depression or suicide ideation, or academic failure. The teacher serves as a positive role model for students and practices the behaviors that are expected of students. Assists in the supervision of students at school activities and events. Remains vigilant of students throughout the school day and the school location, taking the initiative to engage students when students are acting inappropriately or in inappropriate locations for the time of day. Establishes a professional growth plan and annually review the plan and progress with the Administrator. Required to follow Board policies and stay abreast of updates and changes. Performs other duties as assigned.
Part IV: Minimum Qualifications:
Incumbents must have successful experience in working with culturally diverse families and communities, or have otherwise demonstrated a commitment to strengthening engagement of a diverse community and skill in communicating with a diverse population. Valid Washington State Educational Staff Associate (ESA) School Occupational Therapist certificate. Bachelor's degree in occupational therapy from an accredited college or university. Ability to understand procedures and function in a school system with regard to the special part health services play in the overall education of the student. Knowledge and appreciation of the influence of disabilities, socio-cultural and socioeconomic factors on student's ability to participate in occupations. Ability to work cooperatively with students and their parents, district staff, and community members who are culturally, racially, and linguistically diverse. Ability to effectively communicate with parents, students, and staff verbally and in writing. Commitment to collaboration and teaming and effectiveness in working within a professional learning community. Evidence of continuous professional learning and a commitment to participate in professional growth opportunities and self reflection on professional practice.
Part V: Desired Qualifications:
Initial certification by the National Board for Occupational Therapy. Experience working with, or knowledge, of Limited English Proficient students. Bilingual skills. Successful experience teaching in a diverse student environment. Successful experience in a team teaching environment.
Part VI: Physical and Environmental Requirements of the Position:

The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit, lift, carry, move about, hear and speak and be visually vigilant of classroom behavior and learning activities.

The employee must regularly lift and carry items weighing up to 50 pounds or more and occasionally lift, restrain, or move up to 100 pounds - most typically when required to intervene in student safety issues.

Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate, or consistent with the subject being taught, but can be abnormally loud on occasion.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee may occasionally work in outside weather conditions and be exposed to wet and/or humid conditions, temperature fluctuations, fumes or airborne particles, toxic or caustic chemicals commonly used in instruction and/or cleaning. It may be expected that the individual could be exposed to blood or other potentially infectious materials during the course of their duties. The employee may be exposed to infectious disease as carried by students.

The occupational therapist may be exposed to aggressive student behaviors to include biting, hitting, kicking, and throwing of objects. May be required to wear and utilize safety equipment designed to minimize the risk of injury to the employee and to the student.

The employee may be required to travel on school owned or leased vehicles while supervising and assisting students.


Insurance Benefits

Employees who are anticipated to work 630 hours during the school year (September 1 through August 31) are eligible for medical, dental, vision, long term disability and basic life insurance benefits.

North Thurston Public Schools benefits are administered by the Washington State Healthcare Authority under the School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB). Click on the link https://www.hca.wa.gov/employee-retiree-benefits/school-employees for information on available benefit options.

Retirement and Deferred Compensation

Eligible employees are required to be a member of the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems Plan. . For eligibility information, check on the link to the Department of Retirement Systems' web site.

Employees also have the ability to participate in tax deferred 403(b) and 457 Deferred Compensation Plans (DCP). These are supplemental retirement savings programs that allows you control over the amount of pre-tax salary dollars you defer as well as the flexibility to choose between multiple investment options.

Clink on the link https://www.drs.wa.gov/plan/dcp/ for information on 457 plan (DCP) with the Department of Retirement Systems.

To enroll in an eligible 403(b) plan, employees must consult with their own financial planner that is an approved vendor.

Equal Opportunity Employer

North Thurston School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following employees have been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination: Civil Rights Coordinator and Title IX Officer: [email protected], 360-412-4453; Section 504 Coordinator at 360-412-4465, [email protected] Address for both: 305 College St. NE. Lacey, WA 98516.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Effective June 11, 1992, pursuant to Public Law 92544 all new employees must complete a satisfactory fingerprint and sexual misconduct background check. All employment is considered temporary until receipt of satisfactory check. Proof that the fingerprinting process has begun must be supplied to Human Resources prior to the first day of employment.

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