What is a school Psychologist?
A school psychologist is a behavioral specialist who is committed to the application
of professional expertise to help parents, teachers, and schools work together for
the benefit of the student.
School psychology focuses on the psychological and educational development of individuals
in the school environment. The psychologist enhances the educational process by
evaluating the abilities and potentialities of students as well as addressing the
emotional and social factors that influence learning.
MSDE - Psychological Services Branch
Who makes use of psychological services?
Teachers may notice that a child is not learning as well as expected,
is often in trouble, does not get along well with classmates, or appears to be withdrawing.
What types of services are available?
Parents may have concerns about their children's social, emotional,
or educational needs.
Students may have academic, personal, or relationship types of
concerns which they would like to discuss in confidence
How are these services obtained?
- Providing information to school regarding students' abilities,
strengths, weaknesses, and personality functioning is the most frequently used service.
The school then utilizes this information to develop appropriate educational programs
- Consulting focuses on assisting others in dealing more effectively
with children in terms of their mental health, behavior, and education.
- Intervening directlywith teachers, families, parents, or students,
the psychologist provides specific services, such as counseling, and recommends
techniques or programs which may enhance educational, emotional, social and vocational
- Recommending resourcesin the community is often appropriate when
the indicated services exceed those the school can provide. These might include
family and/or individual counseling, pediatric/neurological evaluations, diagnostic
and advisory evaluations, psychiatric evaluations, protective services, or drug/alcohol
Referrals for psychological services originate in the local school Pupil Services
Team Conference which is held on a regular basis. After a review of the case, the
team may recommend that one or more specialists be assigned for further evaluation,
study, or review. Before a child is seen by the psychologist, signed parent permission
The psychologist is also available for consultation on classroom, staff, school,
and system wide concerns. School personnel with these types of concerns may directly
contact the area psychologist.
When might psychological services be needed?
Poor School Performance
- Failing grades
- Poor work habits and study skills
- Difficulty finishing work
- Aggressive behavior
- Frequent discipline problems
- Withdrawing behavior