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Special Education » Topical Issues in Special Education

Topical Issues in Special Education

TOPICAL ISSUES IN SPECIAL EDUCATION WEB BANNER

What is a School Psychologist?

School psychologists help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. They collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community for all students.

School psychologists are highly trained in both psychology and education. This training emphasizes preparation in mental health and educational interventions, child development, learning, behavior, motivation, curriculum and instruction, assessment, consultation, collaboration, school law, and systems.

What do School Psychologists do?
School Psychologists Work With Students to:
  • Provide counseling, instruction, and mentoring for those struggling with social, emotional, and behavioral problems
  • Increase achievement by assessing barriers to learning and determining the best instructional strategies to improve learning
  • Promote wellness and resilience by reinforcing communication and social skills, problem solving, anger management, self-regulation, self-determination, and optimism
  • Enhance understanding and acceptance of diverse cultures and backgrounds

School Psychologists Work With Students and Their Families to:
  • Identify and address learning and behavior problems that interfere with school success
  • Evaluate eligibility for special education services (within a multidisciplinary team)
  • Support students' social, emotional, and behavioral health
  • Teach parenting skills and enhance home–school collaboration
  • Make referrals and help coordinate community support services

School Psychologists Work With Teachers to:
  • Identify and resolve academic barriers to learning
  • Design and implement student progress monitoring systems
  • Design and implement academic and behavioral interventions
  • Support effective individualized instruction
  • Create positive classroom environments
  • Motivate all students to engage in learning

School Psychologists Work With Administrators to:
  • Collect and analyze data related to school improvement, student outcomes, and accountability requirements
  • Implement school-wide prevention programs that help maintain positive school climates conducive to learning
  • Promote school policies and practices that ensure the safety of all students by reducing school violence, bullying, and harassment
  • Respond to crises by providing leadership, direct services, and coordination with needed community services
  • Design, implement, and garner support for comprehensive school mental health programming

School Psychologists Work With Community Providers to:
  • Coordinate the delivery of services to students and their families in and outside of school
  • Help students transition to and from school and community learning environments, such as residential treatment or juvenile justice programs

Troy School District employs seven school psychologists, each assigned to multiple buildings. The bullet points above describe a variety of job duties school psychologists can engage in; however, the actual job duties of a school psychologist can vary by district. The TSD school psychologists are members of building SAT meetings where they help analyze and interpret data and suggest intervention strategies for the general education classroom. They are also heavily involved in evaluating students for special education programming and services. Feel free to contact your building school psychologist with questions!

Resources:

The above information was taken from the National Association of School Psychologists website: http://www.nasponline.org/about_sp/whatis.aspx

Documents:
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