Phone: 610.282.1421 ext. 7558
Degrees and Certifications:
B.A. Psychology, Bucknell Univeristy M. Ed. Human Development, Lehigh University Ed. S. School Psychology, Lehigh Univeristy
Mr. Cotie Strong
Any student is welcome to arrange an appointment to speak with me. My office is located in the back left corner of the high school guidance office. If I'm not in my office, please ask one of the secretaries to set up an appointment. If what you need to talk about is an emergency, make sure to talk to one of the counselors in guidance or a principal in the main office. Students are also welcome to contact me by email if they would like to meet with me or have questions.
In addition to providing evaluations, counseling, and student support at the high school I have been involved with coaching cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track. I've also been involved in forming and co-facilitating the Diversity Club here at the high school. Prior to my work as a school psychologist I attended Bucknell University ('02) where I recieved my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and minor in education. While at Bucknell I competed for the orange and blue as a middle distance runner on the indoor and outdoor track teams. Soon after graduating from college I moved to the Lehigh Valley and began my school psychology degree at Lehigh University. All of these life events lead me to my current position where I've been happy to be a part of Southern Lehigh.
EDUCATIONAL/PSYCHOLOGICAL REFERRAL PROCESS
The school psychologist is the facilitator for the multidisciplinary team process which identifies eligible students for special education services. As part of the multidisciplinary process the school psychologist receives referrals for students suspected of having a disability, as well as students thought to be intellectually gifted. Once a referral is received the school psychologist collects a wide range of information to complete a comprehensive evaluation of the student’s academic, emotional, and social needs. Information may be collected through individual interviews, rating scales, records review, individual testing, classroom observations, and interviews with the student’s parents and teachers. Once the evaluation is completed the evaluation report is shared at the multidisciplinary team, which is a meeting consisting of the student’s parents, teachers, and other individuals who are stakeholders in the student’s life. At the meeting the team discusses whether the student has a disability and if the student is in need of special education services. If both of these criteria are met, the student will be recommended for special education and an individualized education plan (IEP) with be developed.
Referrals may be initiated by school district personnel or parents. Reasons for referral may include the identification of giftedness, learning problems, emotional or behavioral problems, developmental disabilities, speech or language problems or other disabilities that significantly affect a students ability to effectively learn up to their potential.
PROGRAMS FOR EXEPTIONAL STUDENTS
Southern Lehigh High School operates multiple learning support classes as well as an emotional support program to meet the needs of students in need of special education. At the high school there is a continuum of services for special education students that includes co-taught class in the general education classroom, resource room classes, pull out classes, and emotional support services. Each year a special education student’s IEP is reviewed by the IEP team, which consists of the parents, student, a general education teacher, administrator, and counselor. These meetings occur at various times throughout the year depending on the initial date of the student IEP. At these meetings the student’s present levels of academic function, annual goals, transition services, specially designed instruction, and an related services are discussed.
For those intellectually gifted students, the gifted program at the high school is a structured way to provide individualized opportunities in a wide range of academic experiences and instruction. The activities are outlined in a gifted individual education plan (GIEP) which identifies annual goals, objectives and evaluation criteria for each student in the program.
Special education students whose needs can not be met at the high school are programmed at out of district placements. These may include Carbon - Lehigh Intermediate Unit programs or approval private schools. Recommendations for placement in these programs are made by the multidisciplinary team in compliance with state and federal special education regulations.
STUDENT ASSISTANCE/INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT PROGRAM
The Student Assistance Program (SAP) is an intervention program designed to identify students who are experiencing problems in school and refer them for help to appropriate resources within the school and/or community. The school day represents a unique opportunity to observe and monitor student behavior and to identify those students who exhibit "high risk" forms of behavior. Some of these behaviors include sudden change in mood and/or attitude, significant loss or gaining of weight, decline in attendance and/or performance at school, discipline problems at home or school and impaired or changing relationships with family or friends.