A school psychologist is a professionally-trained psychologist who specializes in services for pre-school and school-age children, adolescents, their teachers and families. They work with all school personnel to help make education a positive and rewarding experience for students and to assist them in achieving their potential as productive members of society.
School psychologists bring a unique perspective to education in research and planning. They assist in evaluating the effectiveness of academic programs, as well as the effectiveness of classroom or school-wide behavior/learning approaches.
Here are 5 things you should know about mental health and students:
• Good mental health is essential to success in school and life. • Schools are a natural place to meet children's mental health needs. • Children who receive mental health support are happier and do better in school. • School-based mental health services provided by trained professionals are a wise investment. • School psychologists and school therapists can provide a continuum of mental health services that support students' wellness and academic achievement.
Help identify issues that may impact learning, and are primarily responsible for assisting schools in identifying educational disabilities such as autism, specific learning disabilities, intellectual disability, or emotional disability, as mandated by state and federal law.
Administer tests of cognitive abilities, social-emotional functioning, adaptive functioning, memory, executive functioning, and others.
Assist school personnel in developing effective academic interventions and behavioral strategies for students
Are trained in counseling and crisis interventions and may offer brief counseling or lead topic-specific counseling groups
Perform student threat assessments as requested by school principals.
Core Services School psychologists tailor their services to the particular needs of each child and each situation. They use many different approaches, but must provide these core services:
giving effective alternatives to teachers, parents and administrators about problems in learning and behavior
helping others understand child development and how it influences learning and behavior
strengthening working relationships between educators, parents, and community members and groups
memory and learning skills
personality and emotional development
learning environment and school climate
eligibility for special education
adaptive and maladaptive behavior
working collaboratively with children and families
helping to solve conflicts and problems in learning and adjustment
providing short-term psychological counseling for children and families
providing social skills training, behavior management, and other intervention strategies
helping families and schools deal with crises, such as separation and loss
identifying potential learning difficulties
designing programs for children at risk for failure
providing parents and teachers with the skills to help manage difficult circumstances
helping foster tolerance, understanding, and appreciation of diversity in the school community
developing school-wide initiatives to make schools safer and more effective
promoting positive school climates for all children to succeed
teaching and learning strategies
classroom management techniques
working with students who have disabilities or exceptional talent
Research and Planning
to evaluate the effectiveness of academic programs, behavior management systems, and other services
to generate new knowledge about learning and behavior
to contribute to planning and evaluating school-wide reform and restructuring