What Do School Psychologists Do?
School psychologists use many different approaches, to provide the following core services: Consultation, Assessment, Prevention, Intervention, Education, Research and Planning, and Health Care Provision. They tailor their services to the particular needs of each child and each situation.
- Consultation - When consulting school psychologists help problem solve in order to provide healthy and effective alternatives to teachers, parents, and administrators about problems in learning and behavior, help others understand child development and how it affects learning and behavior, and strengthen working relationships between educators, parents and community services.
- Assessment - Assessment activities vary and can include a wide variety of data-based tools at an individual, group, and systems level to evaluate academic skills and monitor progress; assess learning aptitudes, personality, and emotional development; evaluate the development of social skills; examine effective learning environments and school climate; and act as members of multi-disciplinary teams determining eligibility for special education.
- Prevention - Prevention activities help families and schools to identify potential learning difficulties, design programs for children at risk of failure, provide parents and teachers with the skills to cope with disruptive behavior, help foster tolerance, understanding, and appreciation of diversity in the school community, and develop school-wide initiatives to make schools safer and more effective.
- Intervention - Intervention approaches include direct contact with children, families and school staff to help solve conflicts and problems in learning and adjustment, provide psychological counseling for children and families, provide social skills training, behavior management, and other strategies, and help families and schools deal with crises, such as separation and loss.
- Education - School psychologists educate families and staff through workshops and staff training activities that include but are not limited to the following topics:
- effective problem solving and conflict resolution
- teaching and learning strategies
- social skills development
- mental wellness and behavioral health
- behavior management techniques
- working with diverse populations
- substance abuse
- crisis management
- Research - School psychologists actively seek information about the results of their efforts and how they benefit students. They evaluate the effectiveness of academic programs, behavior management systems, and other services so as to generate new knowledge about learning and behavior.
- Health Care Provision - School psychologists focus on Health Care Provision through collaboration with school and community-based personnel. They advocate for a comprehensive model of school-linked health services that provide access to community supports and emphasize psychosocial wellness and health-related issues. They foster partnerships with parents and teachers to create healthy safe and supportive school environments.
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