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LISD Celebrates World Physical Therapy Day

LISD PT's work with students across the district to help them thrive in their educational environments.

We are proud to celebrate our LISD physical therapists on World Physical Therapy Day! This small-but-mighty team (Janet Fowler, Marybeth Kozar, Sara Pellegreen, Cathy Ruelas, Robin Satterla and Whitney Smith) works with students across the district to help them thrive in their educational environments.

“Physical therapy makes students feel like they’re a part of their educational environment instead of sitting on the sidelines,” explained Janet Fowler. “They’re able to participate with their peers and be just as involved and gain as much as they can out of their education.” LISD physical therapists like Janet meet this goal by offering what’re known as direct services to students and consult services to staff. 


Direct services might include drills that strengthen different muscle groups, improve balance or build stamina. “Mobility is a human feature. We are born to move,” explained Cathy Ruelas. “So for our kids who have difficulties with that, physical therapists can help them be more mobile and be able to participate and function in their everyday life.” 


One way physical therapists provide direct services is through Motor Labs. Motor Labs are a series of activities for students that facilitate the development and practice of motor skills. “A motor lab is in a developmental sequence,” explained Marybeth Kozar. “We start out with easy motor skills, and as each week goes by the skills will get harder...It’s [designed] to give the kids gross motor skills, interaction, coordination and balance.” 


When providing consult services to our staff, physical therapists partner with teachers and paraprofessionals to strengthen a student’s experience in the classroom. “In schools, a lot of [our work] is educating staff on the mobility that students can have and realizing their potential,” said Robin Satterla. This might mean training staff on how to use adaptive equipment or assistive technology, problem solving on seating accommodations or facilitating seamless transfers to-and-from different environments. “We work with the teachers on the setup and skills, but they do the every single day's work,” said Sara Pellegreen. “It makes the world of a difference, because they’re the ones that carry on the skills.” 



Both consult and direct services might take place in the classroom, motor room, gym, playground, hallway, cafeteria or anywhere else a student needs assistance. The goal is for physical therapists to meet the students where they’re at, limiting the amount of time they have to be out of their classroom. “I want them to feel like they can do everything else that their peers can do,” said Janet.

We are so grateful for the important work of LISD’s physical therapists and all the work they do for our students and staff. Happy World Physical Therapy Day from LISD!

From the beginning, Lewisville Independent School District has committed to ensuring all students are confident, equipped with the knowledge and skills to thrive and adapt for their future. Follow Lewisville ISD on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see more student experiences throughout the school year or visit Best Schools in Texas for more information about joining the LISD family.