Support Services

Our Philosophy

  • We believe that every child represents a unique constellation of qualities including learning profile efficiencies, temperamental characteristics and affinities.
  • We endorse a model of service delivery based on the spirit of health-enhancement (not repair), striving to help every student to reach his or her full potential.
  • Our goal is to establish an environment that reinforces help-seeking as being a positive behavior, fostering student self-awareness and self-advocacy.
  • We recognize that the continuity of care we can provide over the years coupled with our school size enables the framework for our work to happen in a meaningful way.
  • We embrace diversity of all types in our school community, confident that it creates a richly-textured, growth-promoting learning and social environment.
The Support Services department is comprised of School Psychologists, Learning Specialists, a Speech and Language Pathologist and a School Nurse.

  • School Psychologists provide individual assessment, individual counseling, parent guidance, crisis intervention and referral services. They also provide educational presentations to faculty, parents and students about a variety of learning and mental health-oriented topics and assist in creating and refining curriculum, school procedures and school policies. 
  • Learning Specialists provide Supplemental Instructional Support - small-group tutorial instruction designed to address specific academic skill difficulties in literacy and/ormath areas and/or to provide coaching in the area of Executive Functions (e.g. planning, organization, and attention issues).
  • The Speech and Language Pathologist screens students for articulation and language function and conducts hearing screenings. (Speech and Language therapy is available on a private fee basis).
  • The School Clinic Nurse provides support for emergent medical situations, administers basic first aid, distributes medicine at School and maintains student health records.

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  • Meet The Support Services Team

    Katherine B. Howard, M. A., NCSP, LPC
    Licensed School Psychologist and Licensed Professional Counselor, Director of Support Services

    Katherine B. Howard has been a school psychologist for more than 30 years in both public and private schools. She has provided training to schools across the country as well as a large number of educational associations and organizations, including the Ohio Association of Independent Schools (OAIS) and the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS).
     
    For the past 21 years, Howard has served as the Director of Support Services and School Psychologist at Old Trail School. She also currently serves as Co-Chair on the school’s Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice Committee. Prior to her time at Old Trail, she was the Director of Child Study Center at Hawken School in Lyndhurst for 11 years and School Psychologist at Mentor Exempted Village Schools. Additionally, Howard has taught semester-long courses at Cleveland State University (Psychological Assessment) and John Carroll University (Child Development). 
     
    Howard is a licensed clinical psychologist and maintains a private practice outside of Old Trail School. She holds a master’s degree in clinical/community psychology from Cleveland State University and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Social Work from Ohio University.

    Lauren Keller, Ed.S., NCSP, BCBA
    School Psychologist

    Lauren Keller has been a school psychologist for the past nine years, having previously worked in public school and center-based programs. She also brings six years of experience as a classroom behavior therapist at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism and spent more than a year as an assistant in an integrated preschool/early intervention setting for a grant program.
     
    While working in the public school setting, Keller became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and an Education Specialist degree from Kent State University.

    Jeffrey Kramer, MA
    Mathematics Specialist
     
    Jeffrey Kramer has taught mathematics for more than eight years, including the previous three years instructing grade 6 students at KIPP Columbus in Columbus, Ohio. He has also taught at Life Skills, which also in Columbus, and at Advanced Math & Science Academy in Malborough, Mass.
     
    Kramer holds a Master’s of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Connecticut and a Bachelor of Science in mathematics instruction from the same institution.
     
    Christy Solis, M.ED
    Literacy Specialist
     
    Christy Solis has been a member of the Old Trail community as both a parent and educator for more than 12 years. During that time, she has served as a substitute teacher and the Auxiliary and After-School Program Coordinator, and OTS Summer Camp Director. She also held the position of Preschool Teacher at Fairlawn Lutheran School for three years.
     
    She holds a Master’s of Education in Reading Specialization and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Kent State University.
     
    Nicole Owensby
    School Clinic Nurse

    Professional Experiences: Over 11 years as an LPN and 4 years as a School Health Nurse

    Education: Akron School of Practical Nursing

    Carrie Ravine, M.S., CCC-SLP
    Speech and Language Pathologist

    Professional Experiences: Over 9 years working as an SLP in private practice and school settings.

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  • Assessment

    One-on-one testing by a licensed school psychologist that is designed to help the student gain an understanding of his/her learning profile and how to engage in behaviors that support and maximize learning.
  • Conflict Resolution

    Aid students in participating in problem-solving that both resolves immediate interpersonal concerns and provides a template for peaceful, effective management of social conflict.
  • Counseling

    Support for students experiencing challenges in areas that impact their school experience.
  • Crisis Intervention

    During times of unexpected events of a traumatic nature, we provide direct support, assist in the development of a response plan and can refer families to other, outside resources.
  • Health Services

    Includes medical support for emergent situations, assistance with minor physical complaints, basic first aid and maintenance of physical health records for students. Distributes medication and speaks with students about health-related topics (i.e., the importance of handwashing.)
  • Instructional Support

    Small group instruction with a qualified teacher designed to remediate specific academic skill deficits in the areas of literacy and math. Small-group, skill-based coaching for students who require extra support to develop executive functions.
  • Liaison and Referral

    Direct parents and students to community-based resources to facilitate their access to appropriate practitioners and agencies.
  • Parent Education & Guidance

    Develop and present a variety of sessions on topics related to child development and school adjustment (i.e. homework, memory functions, literacy skills, time management, social skills, discipline, etc.) Provide support for parents seeking information on common parenting challenges.
  • Speech and Language Assessment & Therapy

    Screening by a licensed speech and language pathologist to determine speech and language skill development. Individual intervention to improve articulation, receptive and/or expressive language skills. (On a private fee basis, but provided on-site).
  • Student Education

    Develop and lead presentations to students on a variety of topics on an as-needed basis and also as part of the health education curriculum. For example, in the younger grades, the school psychologist may lead group sessions on friendship and conflict resolution strategies. In the older grades, the topics may include day-long retreats on motivation, on appreciating and respecting diversity, or on self-image and self-marketing. 
  • Teacher Consultation

    Support teachers in the provision of differentiated instruction and in the management of socio-behavioral issues with their students. Attend grade-level team meetings to assist with creative, collaborative problem-solving about ways to support students.
Old Trail School is an independent day school (toddler through grade eight) located in the heart of Cuyahoga Valley National Park.