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What do School Psychologists do?

 

Counseling
The school psychologist provides supportive mental health services to students including short-term and crisis counseling for individuals and groups. Counseling may address issues such as: grief, divorce, interpersonal relationships, low self-esteem, developing coping strategies to deal with anxiety or depression, improvement of social skills, empathy training, helping students become more self-aware, helping students develop organizational skills, and teaching anger management skills.

 

Psycho-Educational Assessment
The school psychologist performs psycho-educational assessments in order to evaluate a child's range of abilities to assist parents, teachers, and other professionals in developing a better understanding of the child’s educational needs. Assessments are completed for a variety of purposes including eligibility determination for special education and related services, evaluation of academic progress, and the development of appropriate behavioral and/or educational interventions. Evaluations may include the assessment of numerous domains including but not limited to: intellectual ability, academic skills, visual-motor skills, behavior, daily living skills, and social/emotional development.

 

Consultation
The school psychologist consults with individual teachers, parents, and outside agencies regarding issues that arise with students. Consultation is a collaborative, problem-solving process, through which a school psychologist meets with an individual to define the problem, collaborates with the individual to develop a list of strategies and interventions to use to help a student be successful in school, then monitors the student’s progress as interventions are implemented.  The school psychologist also consults with school staff members as part of the Student Assistance Team (SAT), 504 Team, and Planning and Placement Team (PPT).

 

Behavior Assessment and Intervention
The school psychologist assists teachers and parents in analyzing an individual student's behavior for the purpose of developing an individualized behavior intervention plan to help students be successful in school. The school psychologist can also consult with teachers on classroom behavior management techniques.

 

Crisis Intervention
The school psychologist provides short-term assistance to students involved in such crises as a death of a student, family, or staff member; serious illness of a student, family, or staff member; suspected neglect or abuse of a student; suicide or risk assessment; coping with natural disasters; and any other traumatic events that impact students or the school community.