• Occupational and Physical Therapy Services

    Cartoon Drawing of three children playing outside

    The Occupational and Physical Therapy Department of Missoula County Public schools offers a school-based delivery model of services to eligible students as described in the Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504. School-based occupational therapy and physical therapy services are not intended to take the place of private therapy. Medical diagnoses or medical issues that do not interfere with a student’s ability to access or participate in his or her educational program are not the focus of school-based therapy services. The focus and scope of school-based occupational therapy and physical therapy is to evaluate and address the student’s ability to function within the educational environment and the performance of those tasks and activities required of him or her to access the curriculum.

    OT and PT resources during COVID-19 remote learning 

    We want to support you and your child in their gross and fine motor needs as best we can.  See the links are the right side of this page for activities that you can do with your child at home to develop fine and gross motor skills.  Scroll down this page to find contact information for our therapists.  

    Our Physical Therapists want to remind you that movement can be a great way to decrease stress and offer a much needed “brain break” from school work at certain times. It can also be a way to engage siblings with one another and burn some energy so kids are more ready to learn.  Keep it simple: take a walk outside, play a game of catch or pass a ball back and forth with your feet. You can also offer games of tag, “race” each other on the sidewalk or play a game of Simon Says. The idea is to just keep your kids moving in whatever ways are natural and work for your family. 

    Occupational therapy is also ready to share any resources for handwriting, sensory strategies and/or fine motor activities to keep children engaged, facilitate learning and maintain/build on their current skills. If there are barriers to completing certain school tasks/activities, your child’s Occupational Therapist might be able to offer support.

     

     

  • Occupational Therapists


    Theresa McGeary  

    Theresa McGeary, Occupational Therapist

     tkmcgeary@mcpsmt.org Hawthorne Elementary, Big Sky High School, Assistive Technology Specialist website

     

    Lorie Lochridge, OT

    Lorie Lochridge, Occupational Therapist

    lllochridge@mcps.k12.mt.us Lewis and Clark Elementary, Chief Charlo Elementary,  CS Porter Middle School, Sentinel High School, Hellgate High School

     

    Laura Liedtka

    Laura Liedtka, Occupational Therapist 

    lsliedtka@mcps.k12.mt.us Jefferson Preschool, Website

     

    Michele Chalmers

    Michele Chalmers, Occupational Therapist 

    mchalmers@mcps.k12.mt.us Lowell Elementary School, Rattlesnake Elementary School, Paxson Elementary School, Washington Middle School website

     

    Cindy Swidler

    Cindy Swidler, Occupational Therapist

    cswidler@mcps.k12.mt.us  Russell Elementary School, Franklin Elementary School, Jeanette Rankin Elementary School, Meadow Hill Middle School, Seeley Swan High School, Private Schools

     

     

  • Physical Therapists

    Carissa Benjamin, Physical Therapist

    Carissa Benjamin, Physical Therapist 

    cbenjamin@mcpsmt.org Lewis and Clark, Paxson, Lowell, Russell, Rattlesnake, Washington Middle, Hellgate High

    Stephanie Gaertig, PT

    Stephanie Gaertig, Physical Therapist

    sagaertig@mcpsmt.org Hawthorne, Franklin, Chief Charlo, Jeanette Rankin, Meadow Hill, CS Porter, Sentinel, Big Sky

    Robin Bonner

    Robin Bonner, Physical Therapist

    rgbonner@mcps.k12.mt.us  Jefferson Preschool, Website