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Social Emotional

Thank you for stopping by to see resources provided by the Care and Support Team (CAST) for students and families. The purpose of the team is to address the emotional and behavioral needs of OSD students and families.

CAST Team at OSD

The following people are on the CAST team:

  • Tabitha Belhorn, Parent Mentor 
  • Chris Johnson, Social Worker
  • Jessica Kales, Behavioral Healthcare Provider
  • Megan Kirby, Guidance Counselor
  • Rachel Martin, School Psychologist
  • Libby Swanson, Teacher and Behavioral Specialist

The OSD CAST Team works with OSD students and families. There are instances where the OSD CAST Team might need to work collaboratively with the CAST Team at the Ohio State School for the Blind (OSSB) to provide the best support possible, or vice versa. Meet the OSSB CAST team.


The CAST will focus on supporting students and families with the following services: 

  • Academic Support: manage schedules, materials, and routines, organize study times, practice ways to self-advocate, practice how to communicate with teachers
  • Social-Emotional Support: stress reduction and management, recognizing and managing emotions, behavior management, decision making, awareness of others, developing friendships and relationship, dealing with conflict, making good decisions
  • Academic & Career Planning: scheduling, four-year planning for college and career exploration, researching employers, training programs, military, and colleges, etc.
  • Parent to Parent Support: listen and gather feedback, provide information, connect families to resources, be a bridge between parents and school staff

Service Hours & Support

We are accessible through regular office hours and after hours by appointment. Please reach out to us via email, phone, text, or videophone for any help, questions, or concerns. See the chart below for more information. 

We want to share important information regarding communications, student safety, and CAST supports during distance learning and the COVID 19 pandemic. First, important notes and reminders regarding phone calls and appointments:

  • You may receive a phone call from a "No Caller ID" or "Unknown Number.” This might be a counselor calling you, please answer. 
  • Many school staff will use a video-phone with an interpreter to contact you. This is not an automated message. Please wait for the interpreter to introduce themselves at the beginning of the call before speaking. 
  • Previously scheduled appointments are still on! You will be contacted directly by the person you were scheduled to meet with.

OSD Counseling & Support Services

At the Ohio School for the Deaf, our guidance counselor, social worker, and other CAST members meet with students one-on-one, in small groups, and/or in the classroom to provide social-emotional education and support services. We also collaborate with outside agencies to provide additional mental health services beyond what OSD counseling services offers. 

OSD strives to provide the best support possible to our students that may need additional mental health services. If your student is currently working with our counseling team and you would like more information about the mental health agencies we work with please contact your student’s counselor.

The Ohio School for the Deaf does not contract or employ the outside agencies that partners with our counseling team. OSD collaboratively partners with the outside agencies to be able to provide additional behavioral & mental health services for our students and their families.

Student Safety and Confidentiality

As always, we will do our best to maintain confidentiality-- any phone calls or email will be done privately on our end of the communication. We encourage you to do the same. Mandated reporting rules still apply, and we may need to share safety information that you share with us.

  • The Ohio School for the Deaf does NOT provide emergency/crisis services. If a student is expressing intent to harm themselves or others call 911. 
  • If you have a student safety concern: 
    • First, tell a parent/guardian who is with you. 
    • Next, choose from the following possible supports:
      • Call 911 if the threat is urgent and immediate 


      • Call your local Police non-emergency number for a wellness check. 
        • The police can visit the home of the student to see if they are okay and follow up accordingly.
  • If your concern happens during regular school hours and is NOT urgent and/or life-threatening. Choose from the following possible supports:
    • Contact someone from the support team listed below.
    • Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support Click Here
    • Call 211 to gain community support
    • Samaritans Hotline (call or text) (877) 870-4673

Resources & Contact Information

We know this time could be difficult for families, particularly if they are worried about health and safety as well. Here are some additional guidelines for discussing COVID19:

If you need anything, please reach out to the CAST for assistance. We miss you and are here to help, even from a distance! 


CAST Individual Contact Information

Name & Position

Contact Information

Office Hours

Tabitha Belhorn, 
Parent Mentor


8:00 am to 12:00 pm

*Additional times available by appointment

Chris Johnson,
School Social Worker


7:30 am to 3:30 pm

*Additional times available by appointment

Jessica Kales, 
Behavioral Healthcare Provider


7:30am to 3:30pm

*Additional times available by appointment

Megan Kirby,
Guidance Counselor



Rachel Martin, 
School Psychologist



Libby Swanson,
Behavioral Specialist



*Additional times available by appointment