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School Psychology

What are school psychologists trained to do?

  • Collaborate with teachers, parents, and other stakeholders to develop observable, measurable outcomes as well as plan for the steps of implementation to get there
  • Design appropriate instructional strategies to address the individual needs of the students
  • Identify academic and social-emotional evidence-based interventions that are specific to the identified deficit, and intensively monitor progress and student achievement
  • Measure student performance using methods that are sensitive to small increments of growth
  • Work with administrators to ensure appropriate interventions are applied with fidelity, which has been found to significantly decrease the failing rate and special education identification rate at local schools
  • Participate as a core member of each of the school-based multidisciplinary teams responsible for RTI, 504, and special education
  • Complete psychological assessments required for most special education eligibility determinations.

School Priority Areas Supported by School Psychologists

  • Designing appropriate intervention models for students
  • Progress monitoring
  • Conducting extensive classroom observations, clinical interviews, and record reviews
  • Completing comprehensive psychological evaluations
  • Participating in MDT, IEP, SST, 504, and manifestation meetings

How do school psychologists support the day-to-day operations?

  • Improving academic achievement
  • Promoting positive behavior and mental health
  • Supporting diverse learners
  • Creating safe, positive school climates
  • Strengthening family-school partnerships
  • Improving school-wide assessment and accountability
  • Supporting the Response to Intervention (RTI) process

The Role of the School Psychologist: Preventive Work

School psychologists are involved in preventive work with all students, staff, and families that promotes success and early intervention for all students: School Psychologists are responsible for conducting needs assessments to identify potential concerns and deficits. They will utilize curriculum-based measures and other measures of student progress to identify students in need of intervention and provide various means of assessment to specify the area of weakness. The School Psychologist is responsible for designing and developing evidence-based models that best fit the needs of the students based on the data collected. School Psychologists are also trained in progress monitoring the data over intervals of time to determine the effectiveness of the interventions implemented, adjusting interventions as needed.

The Role of the School Psychologist: Special Education

School Psychologists are responsible for selecting, administering, scoring and interpreting psychological evaluations for students that are referred for Special Education. They are also responsible for analyzing evaluation data, student records, and information pertinent to student learning, and formulating conclusions relating to the reason for referral and qualification of suspected disability. The school psychologists are responsible for utilizing the collected data to write family friendly reports utilizing the DCPS psychology format. School Psychologists are responsible for completing assessments related to IEP, 504, SA, HOD, IEE and Data Evaluation Reports.

The Role of the School Psychologist: Multidisciplinary Teams

School Psychologists are core members of the RTI/SST, Analysis of Data, MDT/IEP, 504 and Manifestation meetings: They are expected to provide critical information to each of the meetings and assist in providing necessary data to meet the requirements. Additionally, in order to maintain appropriate certification and clinical standards School Psychologists are required to attend monthly Staff Meetings, Case Conferences, OSI mandated trainings, and Psychology Professional Developments.