February MSHA Update!

I’m Shelby Midboe, an SLP from Missoula, and the 2020 President-Elect. We hope everyone’s year is starting off well, including finding a little work-life balance to help maintain your health and sanity and to also be the best you can be for your clients. The February blog from MSHA provides a little information on the Guidelines for Provision of Speech Language Pathology Services in Montana Public Schools, which was just published by OPI.


Back in 2016, a task force was created to develop Guidelines for Speech-Language Pathology in Montana public schools. There had been a Guide for OT/PT services for years, but Speech-Language Pathology did not have a guide for schools. Group members represented large districts, co-operatives, and small, independent school districts. The “task force” met in person a number of times under the guidance and support of Dale Kimmet at the Office of Public Instruction. After final readings with Jennifer Cline and Mandi Gibbs from OPI this fall, the document was published by OPI in December of 2019. The guide is intended to help SLPs, teachers, administrators and parents understand the role of Speech-Language Pathology in public schools, and is to be used in conjunction with the Montana Special Education Guidance manual that is available from OPI. This document is not intended to be a best practice guide. It presents guidelines, not law, so school speech-language pathologists should consult with their district administration on call OPI if they have questions.


Special thanks to OPI for their support of this project, and to the following task members whose hard work made this idea a reality.

Tiffani Fox-Sunchild, MA CCC-SLP Christina Salazar, MS CCC-SLP

Great Falls Public Schools Billings Public Schools


Shelby Midboe, MS CCC-SLP Amy Smith, MA CCC-SLP

Target Range School District Billings Public Schools


Alison Peterson, MA CCC-SLP Barbara Doughty, MA CCC-SLP

Colstrip Public Schools Great Falls Public Schools


MSHA is hard at work for Montana Audiologists and SLPs. We are preparing for the next conference in Missoula in October, providing input to legislators in the interim session, developing “The MSHA Foundation,” a 501(c)(3) organization, maintaining a connection to the University and working on the SLPA bill, organizing webinars for continuing education, and keeping abreast of state and federal legislation that impacts what we do every day. If you are not a member of MSHA yet, please consider joining. Membership makes a difference!


Best wishes,

Shelby

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