What is a School Psychologist?
School Psychologists are members of school teams that support students' abilities to learn and teachers' abilities to teach. With their expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior, School Psychologists provide support for children and young adults in succeeding academically, socially, and emotionally. Furthermore, they collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals to create a safe, healthy, and supportive learning environment for all students that strengthen connections between the home, school, and community. (NASP)
School psychologists have knowledge and skills in the areas of:
- Data collection & analysis
- Progress monitoring
- School-wide practices to promote learning
- Resilience & risk factors
- Consultation & collaboration
- Academic/learning interventions
- Mental health interventions
- Behavioral interventions
- Instructional support
- Prevention & intervention services
- Child find services
- Special education services
- Crisis preparedness, response, and recovery
- Family-school-community collaboration
- Diversity in development and learning
- Research & program evaluation
- Professional ethics, school law, & systems
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. They help schools successfully: improve academic achievement; promote positive behavior and mental health; support diverse learners; create safe, positive school climates; strengthen family-school partnerships, and improve school-wide assessment and accountability.
Why Do Children 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 are a highly skilled and ready resource in the effort to ensure that all children and youth thrive in school, at home, and in life.
Source: National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)