The day-to-day role of a School Psychologist differs dramatically from district to district and person to person, but some commonalities exist:
One of the most important (and growing)roles of the School Psychologist is that of consultant to teachers and parents. In this role, the School Psychologist works individually or in collaborative teams to help address the learning and behavioral needs of students. The School Psychologist brings a new set of eyes to the problem as well as training and background knowledge. Using consultation strategies and techniques, the School Psychologist helps other staff members gain insight and skill so as to work more effectively with their students.
School Psychologists are responsible for providing data-based psychological assessment for children. Assessment for School Psychologists takes many forms, including individual, standardized assessment of intellectual functioning, personality and behavior, academic achievement, sensory-motor development, and adaptive functioning.
School Psychologists are skilled in providing a variety of therapy/counseling services to all ages of children and youth, in both individual and small group formats. Teachers and parents will often refer students for concerns such as attention problems, aggression, mild depression, anxiety, social skills difficulties, and numerous other concerns, particularly as they are exhibited in the school setting.
An important and growing role for School Psychologists is that of program evaluation. School Psychologists help administrators and teachers assess the effectiveness and usefulness of in-school efforts such as drug and alcohol prevention programs, school violence prevention programs, protective behaviors programs, academic improvement programs, and many others.
Teachers, parents, administrators, and community members have ongoing needs to be informed about the latest research, insights, and skills for working with children. School Psychologists are skilled at providing education and skill development workshops in areas of their own expertise.
As you can see, the role of the School Psychologist is quite varied, and the above only scratches the surface!