Foundations of School-Based Physical Therapy Course 2023
Foundations of School-Based Physical Therapy is an on-demand course that will provide six sessions and a summary session to highlight foundational information for school-based practice. Nationally recognized speakers will address federal laws, assessment, service provision, and specific student populations. This on-demand course will offer 8 contact hours (0.8 CEUs), upon completion of all sessions and passing each post-test. You can register for individual sessions on the On-Demand Courses page.
- Providing School-Based Physical Therapy Under IDEA & Section 504 - Mary Jane Rapport
- Ecological & Authentic School-based Assessment - Sue Cecere
- Participation-based Student Goals - Kim Wynarczuk
- Physical Therapist's Role in Assistive Technology - Megan Roberts
- Educationally Relevant Physical Therapy - Karen Tartick
- Preparing Youth for Transition to Adulthood - Toni Doty
- Panel Discussion with all 6 speakers plus Tricia Catalino will facilitate
Attendees of the 2023 in-person Innovations in School-based Physical Therapy Course can participate in this on-demand course to earn additional contact hours at a 25% discount. The discount code will be shared with registrants.
This online course is intended for physical therapists who provide or intend to provide related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
By the end of the course, participants will:
- Understand foundational federal laws and regulations for ensuring a free and appropriate public education (FAPE), including provision of required related services for students with disabilities under IDEA and Section 504.
- Apply evidence and data to individualize and make appropriate decisions regarding evaluation, outcome measures, models of service delivery, individualization, advocacy, and evidence-informed interventions.
- Apply knowledge gained to influence and advocate for appropriate services, staffing, physical activity and fitness, collaboration across practice settings, adequate supports and self-determination for students with disabilities.
- Incorporate evidenced-informed evaluation and intervention for students with complex disability.
- Describe the role of school-based physical therapy in provision of assistive technology, individualized transportation services, and to prepare students and their families for adulthood through post-school transition.
Session Descriptions & Speakers
Providing School-Based Physical Therapy under IDEA & Section 504
This session will provide an overview of IDEA and Section 504 as key federal laws that guide service delivery of physical therapy and other supportive services for eligible students with disabilities in public schools. We will discuss the primary requirements for educating all eligible students under IDEA, regardless of the nature or severity of their disability. The similarities and differences between IDEA and Section 504 will be highlighted as related to eligibility, service delivery, and the provision of a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). The session will also address the relationship between the scope of practice under each state’s Physical Therapist Practice Act and requirements of providing physical therapy as a related service under IDEA. Accommodations under Section 504 will be described, and guidance will be offered on developing 504 Plans. This session provides fundamental knowledge for those providing school-based physical therapy services.
Mary Jane Rapport, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA, is a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of APTA and a Professor in the Physical Therapy Program at Hawai’i Pacific University. She was previously a long-time faculty member and Associate Director of the University of Colorado Physical Therapy Program. Dr. Rapport held numerous leadership positions while on faculty at the University of Colorado and taught courses in the DPT curriculum. Additionally, Dr. Rapport teaches in the post-professional Pediatric track at Rocky Mountain University, and she has developed courses for the APTA Learning Center, MedBridge, and the Pediatric Residency Education Consortium. In addition to her academic role, she is a long-time school-based PT, providing services on Prince of Wales Island, AK, and through a teletherapy company. Dr. Rapport has a productive record of presentations and publications related to providing physical therapy to children and youth with disabilities with a secondary line of research in physical therapist education.
Ecological & Authentic School-based Assessment
This presentation will describe an evidence-based assessment strategy for students with disabilities in public schools. The session will identify the advantages of using an ecological approach to identify student strengths and needs to support educationally relevant programming. Participants will use video to discuss this approach and its usefulness in the IEP process, including developing a present level of academic achievement and functional performance, goals, objectives, and supplementary aids and services. Contribution to the physical therapy plan of care and dosing from this approach will be reviewed.
Susan (Sue) Cecere, PT, MHS is a graduate of the University of Delaware physical therapy program and has a Master of Health Science degree from Towson University. She also holds an Administrative Certificate in Educational Leadership from McDaniel College. During her lengthy school-based career, Sue worked both as a service provider and program administrator for two large, culturally diverse LEAs in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. Since retiring from full-time work, she began Sequoia School-based Therapy Solutions, a consulting and professional development company that provides individual support for school-based therapists and professional development for agencies, districts, and continuing education companies. She has served as the co-chair of the Maryland State Steering Committee for Occupational and Physical Therapy School-Based Programs, a Maryland State Department of Education subcommittee. She is a co-author of Occupational and Physical Therapy Early Intervention and School-Based Services in Maryland: A Guide to Practice, a contributing author to Guide to Pediatric Physical Therapy, and several APTA Pediatrics fact sheets. She has lectured for a number of APTA Pediatrics conferences on school-based practice topics. Together with ASHA and AOTA, she co-wrote a joint document on workload. Sue is the former Vice President of APTA Pediatrics and remains active in the School SIG.
Participation-based Student Goals
Supporting students’ meaningful participation in school activities and routines is the pinnacle aim of school-based practice; however, collaborative student goals that focus on student participation are not universally developed in school-based practice. This presentation will discuss findings and recommendations from original research regarding development and use of participation-based student goals. Strategies to promote school cultures that support a participation-focused approach to school-based physical therapy practice will also be described. Participants will receive a GOALS for Student Participation tool and other resources to support the development and use of participation-based student goals.
Kimberly D. Wynarczuk, PT, DPT, PhD, MPH, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy, is an assistant professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at Moravian University in Bethlehem, PA. Dr. Wynarczuk started her physical therapy career as a school-based physical therapist for 11 years and currently serves as the School SIG representative to the APTA Pediatrics Research Committee. She has been a full-time faculty member in graduate-level physical therapy programs since 2011. Dr. Wynarczuk has conducted, published, and presented research on a variety of school-based physical therapy topics, including goal development and the participation of students with disabilities in school trips.
Physical Therapist’s Role in Assistive Technology
This presentation will cover the role of the school-based physical therapist on the educational team as Assistive Technology is considered/provided under IDEA, including legal guidance, decision-making frameworks for assessment and implementation, and documentation.
Megan Roberts PT, DSc, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy, is the Program Director for the Oklahoma Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program and Director of Education and Training for the Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics section of the Pediatrics Department at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC). She is a member of the APTA Specialization Academy of Content Experts. Prior to moving into academia, Dr. Roberts worked as a school-based physical therapist, where she chaired the PT/OT department and developed the assistive technology program for her district. She teaches and mentors current and future service providers and advocates in disability related fields. She provides technical assistance to community organizations, state agencies, and national agencies to improve systems, policies, services, and research related to disability. Her services and leadership target inclusion, participation, and self-direction for individuals with disabilities and their families.
Educationally Relevant Physical Therapy (Wed, August 16, 1-2:15 pm ET)
The scope of physical therapy in the educational setting will be described, as well as the critical role of collaboration and working as members of interprofessional teams, with students, families, and instructional personnel to support students’ access to their educational environment and school day. How school-based physical therapists deliver services in the least restrictive environment through daily school routines and clarity on our role with other stakeholders will be highlighted through interactive discussion and case studies.
Karen Tartick, PT, has provided physical therapy services for over 37 years in a variety of pediatric settings, including early intervention, acute care, NICU, and in the North Carolina and New York school systems. Karen is an APTA Advanced Clinical Instructor and served as mentor for the school-based portion of the pediatric residency program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Duke University Health System. Karen contributed to several fact sheets on behalf of the APTA Pediatrics School SIG. Karen presents nationally on autism, embedding physical therapy interventions in school settings, adaptive equipment for children with complex needs, and the role of school therapists in successfully transitioning from high school.
Preparing Youth for Transition to Adulthood (Wed, August 30, 1-2:15 pm ET)
This session will discuss how school-based physical therapists can support the transition mandates of IDEA 2004. Participants will learn how to leverage practices which predict student success- becoming engaged citizens through work, volunteer work, further education, independent and community living. A data-focused, student-centered approach will explore early planning, potential evaluation, meaningful transition activities, and community-based intervention within the IEP process. PT practitioners have important contributions to help our students lead their transition activities, focus efforts, backchain and address gaps in practical ways.
Toni Doty PT, PhD is a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy who has worked with children for over 30 years, in the NICU, EI, and schools. She received her BS in Physical Therapy from Ohio State University, her post-professional MS in Physical Therapy from the University of Oklahoma, and her PhD in Special Education/Transition Leadership from Kent State University. Dr. Doty is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the DPT program at Walsh University. She was chair of APTA’s Taskforce on the Continuum of Care for People with Lifelong Disabilities, chair and vice chair of the Adolescents and Adults with Differing Abilities SIG of APTA Pediatrics. Dr. Doty’s research includes the impact of testing environment on gross motor performance of children, the role of physical therapists working with secondary students under IDEA, effectiveness of interventions for adults with cerebral palsy, and healthcare transition issues for adults with lifelong disability.
Panel Discussion with all speakers plus Tricia Catalino, PT, DSc, as moderator (Wed, September 6, 1-2:15 pm ET)
Speakers from the four previous sessions will gather for a panel discussion about the foundations of school-based physical therapy practice and how each of their topic areas intersect. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and participate in the discussion. Topics will include law and regulations related to school-based services, assessment, IEP goals, and assistive technology.
Tricia Catalino, PT, DSc, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy, is Program Director and Associate Professor of the Hawai'i Pacific University DPT Program. During her nearly 25 years of clinical practice, Dr. Catalino has served children with disabilities and their families in the early intervention setting and as a clinical evaluator for an FDA drug trial for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Dr. Catalino currently serves on the APTA Pediatrics Board of Directors as the Director of Professional Development and as delegate for APTA Nevada. Dr. Catalino is a graduate of the APTA Education Leadership Institute Fellowship, and the Physical Therapy Coordinator for Nevada LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities). She has served as a presenter at national and international conferences and her work appears in peer-reviewed journals including Pediatric Physical Therapy and Infants & Young Children. Dr. Catalino has authored multiple book chapters and is co-editor of a new pediatric physical therapy textbook.
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