student services 2Student Services provides support to students and their schools to assist with appropriate educational assessment, intervention, and programming.  The Student Services team consists of social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, educational psychologists, and speech language pathologists.

The vision and beliefs of Student Services supports this definition and demonstrates our commitment to assisting schools as they provide an environment within which all students can develop educationally and flourish personally and socially.  We are committed to maximizing the potential of students and empowering them to become valued, contributing participants in the classroom, school and community, and as citizens within our society.

“Inclusion is a way of thinking and acting that allows every individual to feel accepted, valued and safe.  An inclusive community consciously evolves to meet the changing needs of its members.  Through recognition and support, an inclusive community provides meaningful involvement and equal access to the benefits of citizenship.  In Manitoba, we embrace inclusion as a means of enhancing the well-being of every member of the community.  By working together, we strengthen our capacity to provide the foundation for a richer future for all of us.” (ME, 2006).

  • Staff
  • Professional Services
  • VTRA Notice

Assistant Superintendent of Student Services
Rod Kehler

Occupational Therapists
Jaelyn Froese, Annie Guzman, Kellie Heintz, Kyla Hildebrandt, Raelene Sarmiento, Camilla Thorne-Tjomsland

Carrie Shynkaryk

Program Support Teachers
Lorie Lenchyshyn, Kathy Wiens

Reading Clinician
Allison Penner-Aitken

Divisional Literacy Support Teacher
Barb Galessiere

Divisional Numeracy Support Teacher
Laura Masterson

Mental Health Nurse
Kayla Williams

Allison Bate, Kristen Kebernik, Stephen Schluter, Sherri Smart

Social Workers
Chantal Catellier, Shauna Doerksen, Vicki Fehr, Heather Hildebrand, Laurie Kraynyk, Curtis Kulpa, Jessica Parisien, Lisa Savoie

Speech/Language Pathologists
Jamie Desjarlais, Nicole Dopheide, Stephanie Friesen, Elizabeth Grauer, Jaylyn Loewen, Stacey Marcoux, Anna Wilgosh

School Liaison Teachers
Stephen Fedus

Educational Assistants
Trish Broesky (Literacy), Val Fontaine (Literacy, Bev Funk (SLP/OT), Elaine Penner (Literacy), and Gillian Wiewel (Literacy)

Youth Support Worker
Troy Friesen

HSD Student Services
360 Fourth Street
Steinbach, Manitoba R5G 0V1
Phone 204-326-9829 Fax 204-326-6477

Administrative Assistant – Sally Usher
Secretary – Christie Trim
Office Assistant – Justine Charette
Custodian – Sharlon Bellares

HSD Student Services is comprised of a team of educational professionals committed to supporting students and schools in improving educational outcomes. Services are provided by social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, educational psychologists, and speech language pathologists.

Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapists work with children and youth to ensure that a student can participate fully in school activities: from paying attention and behaving appropriately in class, to school accessibility and using everyday tools and equipment.

Below is a list of services OT may provide. Please consult your school OT for more information on how OT can best support your staff and students.

  • Provide training to students and school staff (professional development, lifts and transfers, tool use,
    social skills, technology, specific groups, or programming).
  • Provide resources (tools, visuals, assistive devices, worksheets, handouts, or programs).
  • Liaise with outside agencies (Jordan’s Principle, SSCY, Southern Health, DHSU, Manitoba Possible, and CDS).
  • Assist with student specific equipment (maintenance, adaptations, training, loans, and funding).
  • Work directly with students (1:1, groups, class-wide programing)
  • Consult with teachers and EAs and provide general strategies or offer appropriate supports
  • Complete assessments (sensory, fine motor, gross motor, printing, visual perception, functional skills)
  • OTs collaborate (with teachers, administration, support staff, other clinicians, and other OTs)

Reading Clinicians

A reading clinician (RC) is an experienced classroom teacher with graduate level studies in language and literacy. Clinicians assess students who struggle in reading to determine causes or reading disabilities. In collaboration with classroom teachers, resource teachers, and literacy teachers, the RC will assist in educational planning and provide recommendations and intervention to students who struggle with reading, comprehension, phonemic awareness, writing, and spelling. The RC will also provide on-going consultative services to monitor progress of students, adjusting learning outcomes, and the development of Individual Education Plans.


School psychologists help children and youth succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. They collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments for all students that strengthen connections between home and school. School psychologists are certified by Manitoba Education to practice psychology in the schools. They work as itinerant members of the school resource staff, and function in a manner consistent with the normal procedures in each school.

Role of the School Psychologist:

  • Complete assessments (cognitive, intellectual disability – specific learning disorder, adaptive, behavioural, emotional, and social)
  • Diagnose some childhood and adolescent mental disorders & learning disorders
  • Provide written psychological reports for teachers and parents
  • Provide materials to a school such as social stories, modified learning materials
  • Provide small groups (social skills, emotional support, self-regulation, life skills – e.g.
    social thinking, and Lego therapy)
  • Provide Individual Interventions (e.g., CBT, executive functioning support)
  • Provide intervention support and monitoring of success (help with implementation,
    monitoring success)
  • Offer consultation to school teams (goal setting, classroom observation, intervention
    monitoring, behaviour planning, communication with doctors or outside agencies etc.)
  • Attend student specific planning (SSP) meetings to assist with goal development
  • Provide whole-class education
  • Offer or organize PD (for staff, EAs, or parents – individually for specific students or in groups)
  • Conduct PATHs
  • Behavioural planning – assist with ideas and written plans.
  • Liaise with outside services (private clinicians, doctors, and provincial organizations)
  • Are part of the Autism Spectrum Diagnostic Service (ASDS) team
  • Are part of the Mobile Crisis Team
  • Are part of the VTRA Team to conduct risk assessments
  • Review, develop, and implement divisional policies pertaining to appropriate educational

Social Work

School social work is a specialized area of practice within the broad field of the social work profession.  Social work is a practice-based profession concerned with meeting the basic needs of individuals, families, groups, communities, and society as a whole to enhance their individual and collective well-being. School social workers (SSW) bring unique knowledge and skills to the school system and the student services clinical team. The school social worker facilitates the educational and individual potential of students by providing services that promote school success and overall social emotional wellbeing.

School social workers develop relationships with students and families to facilitate the desired changes identified by the student, family, and school. Social workers are guided by the social work code of ethics, developed through the Manitoba College of Social Workers, to ensure ethical and effective services to the families we support. School social work is a voluntary relationship with students and families.

School social workers assist students by providing counselling during crisis situations and other issues such as grief, death, family issues, anxiety management, and other matters affecting school performance. The SSW coordinates services between the school division and other agencies such as Children’s Special Services and Child-Family Services. The SSW organizes intake meetings for students in the care of Child & Family Services. They act as a liaison between parents and school, as well as provide mediation for disputes between home and school. The specialist also takes a lead role in promoting indigenous awareness in schools.

These services include, but are not limited to:

  • Consultation with school administrators, teachers, school support staff and
  • Individual counselling and support to students
  • Parenting education and support provided to parents/guardians
  • Group counselling for students
  • Parent and school staff education; professional development presentations
  • Home-school collaboration and advocacy
  • External student referral  and collaboration with community agencies
  • Divisional program, resources and policy development
  • Conduct Violence Threat Risk Assessments (VTRA) and other student safety
  • Active participation in divisional task forces and committees
  • Voting membership on Southeast Child Abuse Committee
  • Liaison with other school division professionals and community agencies
  • Complete suicide assessment and mental health intervention
  • Support students with complex emotional and mental health needs such as substance use and addictions, eating disorders, and self-harming behaviour

Speech Language Pathologists

(S-LPs) work in collaboration with school personnel, parents/guardians, other clinical disciplines and outside agencies to support students who have communication difficulties. Speech-Language Pathology services support academic success, social and emotional well-being of students, and promote inclusive learning environments. Speech-language pathologists assist students with:

  • Speech sound production
  • Language (listening, speaking, vocabulary, grammar, critical thinking/problem solving)
  • Hearing
  • Stuttering
  • Voice (vocal quality, pitch, volume, and resonance)
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (strategies and assistive technology to support non-speaking and/or minimally-verbal students)
  • Social Skills
  • Literacy Skills

How We Help: prevention, screening & assessment, identification, intervention, collaboration, teaming with teachers around classroom-based strategies and programming, modeling, training/professional development, and adaptations. Speak to your school S-LP to learn more about school-based speech-language pathology services.

Programming Support Teachers
Programming support teachers help schools with the development of a comprehensive continuum of behavioural interventions to improve student functioning in the inclusive classroom environment, such as positive behaviour intervention strategies for students with complex needs, students with disabilities and behavioural challenges.

Accessing Services
To access the services of any Student Services professional, a written referral from any of the schools in the division must be forwarded to the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services after a formal referral meeting. These referrals can be initiated by concerned teachers, principals, parents, or mature students, although they are coordinated and prioritized at the school level by resource teachers and guidance counsellors.

Referral Process

Once a student concern is identified that goes beyond the normal supports provided by the school, a meeting is initiated by the school. This meeting typically includes the classroom teacher, resource teacher, the appropriate Student Services personnel, and the parents.  Guidance counsellors or school principals may also initiate referrals in this manner.  Common concerns are discussed and a plan is developed. This may involve additional members from the Student Services team if necessary.

This assistance plan begins only after the parents of the student agree with the process, and provide written consent. After working with the student, a report of the results will be discussed with the parents. The type and severity of the problem determine the length of time the plan continues.