Content Editor


Aug 18
Tips for GETTING ORGANIZED at the start of the school year | School-Based Therapy

​(Updated Article)

by Denice Tucker, OTR & Amy Collins, MOT, OTR

      Manager, School-Based Therapy Services, HCDEAre you ready graphic.jpg

  • Print a map of the district from the district website to locate schools.                                               
  • Print a school calendar and make note of grading periods.                                          
  • Collect your student "folders" so you have needed information about each of your students, including previous progress notes and evaluations. These may be digital folders. Or if your district still uses paper (“soft") folders, collect them and find out where they are securely stored.                                                                                          
  • Review ARD/IEP information (confirm that a current evaluation and goals and objectives are in place, review accommodations/modifications, look for other valuable information such as a Behavior Improvement Plan, Individualized Transition Plan, or Autism Supplement.                                                                               
  • Review ARDed service (time, frequency, duration) and check to make  sure service time in your records matches that on the service page in the IEP. 
  • If you are a PT, check to make sure the medical referrals for your students are current.                                                                                                                                   
  • Meet principalsoffice staff, diagnosticians, and ARD chairperson at your schools and provide them with your contact information.                                                           
  • Meet/e-mail teachers and find out their schedules; find out when the student is doing he activity that the IEP goal is addressing; give them your contact information.                                                                                                                            
  • Organize a personal system to manage documentation, such as a notebook with   student attendance, progress notes, and data on IEP objectives or create electronic folders on your computer to organize by campus, student, and school year.                                                                                                                                        
  • Locate resources and test materials in your district.                                                        
  • Observe your assigned students in the classroom.                                                           
  • Think through intervention strategies and decide how to serve students in context by embedding strategies; write an intervention plan. If needed, write a plan for your OTA or PTA.                                                                                                     
  • Pick up referrals that pertain to your schools and know the process to proceed. 
  • Identify district procedures for securing parent consent.                                                 
  • Ask about the flow of documentation in your district.                                                      
  • Determine how and where to obtain needed equipment.                                            
  • Find places to work (office space for working on documentation, responding to e-mails, etc.)