Who are School Psychologists?
A school psychologist is a professional with specialized training in psychology and education. They apply expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior, to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. School Psychologists partner with families, teachers, school administrators, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community.
What do School Psychologists do?
School psychologists provide direct support and interventions to students, consult with teachers, families, and other school-employed mental health professionals (i.e., school counselors, school social workers) to improve support strategies, work with school administrators to improve school-wide practices and policies, and collaborate with community providers to coordinate needed services.
School Psychologists work to find the best solution for each student and situation and use different strategies to address student needs and to improve school and district-wide support systems. They help schools successfully:
Improve Academic Achievement
· Conduct psychological and academic assessments
· Evaluate eligibility for special education services (within a multidisciplinary team)
· Plan appropriate Individualized Education Programs for students with disabilities
· Promote student motivation and engagement
· Manage student and classroom behavior
Promote Positive Behavior and Mental Health
· Assess student emotional and behavioral needs
· Provide counseling support and mentoring
· Promote positive peer relationships and social problem-solving
· Make referrals to and help coordinate community services provided in schools
Create Safe, Positive School Climates
· Implement school-wide positive behavioral intervention supports
· Promote school policies and practices that ensure the safety of all students by reducing school violence, bullying, and harassment
· Provide crisis prevention and intervention services
Strengthen Family–School Partnerships
· Help families understand their child’s learning and mental health needs
· Assist in navigating special education processes
· Monitor and effectively communicate with parents about student progress
· Connect families with community service providers when necessary
Why Do Children and Adolescents Need School Psychologists?
All children and youth can face problems from time to time related to learning; social relationships; making difficult decisions; or managing emotions such as feeling depressed, anxious, worried, or isolated. School psychologists help students, families, educators, and members of the community understand and resolve both long-term, chronic problems and short-term issues that students may face. They focus on ensuring that all children and youth thrive in school, at home, and in life.