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MONTREAL, APRIL 27, 2009-  The   English Montreal School Board (EMSB) Student Services Department has announced that it will be  offering Occupational Therapy (O.T.) Services for the 2009-2010 school year, as well as partial services for the balance of the current school year.

Claudia De Luca, who worked as an O.T.  at the EMSB as part of a contractual arrangement with Jewish Family Services for approximately three years, has officially commenced working as an O.T. on a 70 percent basis. This will be increased to 100 percent  beginning in August. “We are most delighted to have Claudia back with us and are currently in the process of trying to find two additional full-time O.T.’s to complete our complement of three full-time O.T.’s for the 2009-2010 school year,” said  Director of Student Services Lew Lewis,

School-based O.T.’s improve a student’s overall functioning within the school environment by removing barriers, adapting school tasks, educating school staff about special considerations required for students with special needs, and by helping students develop skills which will increase their independence in the school environment. The O.T.’s main domains include fine-motor skills, gross-motor skills, activities of daily living (e.g. dressing and self-care) mobility and accessibility within the school environment.  The O.T. works closely with teachers to assist the student in achieving his individualized education goals as well as to promote the highest level of function possible for that student.

“We are planning to offer O.T. services, both direct, through  individual/group interventions, evaluation and indirect, to all coded and non-coded students in all elementary schools as well as the Board’s special education schools  such as John Grant, Paul VI, and St. Raphael Centre,” said Mr. Lewis.   “At the secondary level, services will primarily be of an indirect nature  such as consultations, in-service sessions, training of school personnel.”

For the balance of the current school year, the EMSB is taking the time to establish an O.T. service such as ordering of materials, assessment tools, etc.  as well as formulating service delivery plans for the 2009-2010 school year.  “Claudia will be visiting some schools over the next few weeks to meet principals as well as to try to ascertain the needs of the school population with respect to O.T. services,” said Mr. Lewis.  “Those schools with a high number of special needs students and/or self-contained special education classes will be contacted first.  As well, Claudia will be planning visits to St. Raphael Centre, John Grant, and Paul VI to introduce herself to the staff, and become better acquainted with the needs of the students in those schools with a view to determining how best to provide services within these settings.

 “Our main goal is obviously to service the needs of the students, our school-based personnel and parents so that we can all work collaboratively and constructively in effectively meeting the O.T. needs of our student population.   


Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213