School psychologists are uniquely qualified members of school teams that support students' ability to learn and teachers' ability to teach. They apply expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior, to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, 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.
All children and youth 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 the various 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.
Heather Nelson, School Psychologist/ Director of Counseling Services
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. They help schools successfully:
Improve Academic Achievement
Promote student motivation and engagement
Conduct psychological and academic assessments
Individualize instruction and interventions
Manage student and classroom behavior
Monitor student progress
Collect and interpret student and classroom data
Reduce inappropriate referrals to special education.
Promote Positive Behavior and Mental Health
Improve students communication and social skills
Assess student emotional and behavioral needs
Provide individual and group counseling
Promote problem solving, anger management and conflict resolution
Reinforce positive coping skills and resilience
Promote positive peer relationships and social problem solving
Make referrals to and help coordinate community services provided in schools
Support Diverse Learners
Assess diverse learning needs
Provide culturally responsive services to students and families from diverse backgrounds
Plan appropriate Individualized Education Programs for students with disabilities
Modify and adapt curricula and instruction
Adjust classroom facilities and routines to improve student engagement and learning
Monitor and effectively communicate with parents about student progress
Create Safe, Positive School Climates
Prevent bullying and other forms of violence
Support social-emotional learning
Assess school climate and improve school connectedness
Implement and promote positive discipline and restorative justice