What does a School Psychologist do?


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
  • Implement school-wide positive behavioral supports
  • Identify at risk students and school vulnerabilities
  • Provide crisis prevention and intervention services

Strengthen Family-School Partnerships

  • Help families understand their child's learning and mental health needs
  • Assist in navigating special education processes
  • Connect families with community service providers when necessary
  • Help effectively engage families with teachers and other school staff
  • Enhance staff understanding and responsiveness to diverse cultures and backgrounds
  • Help students transition between school and community learning environments, such as residential treatment or juvenile justice programs

Improve School-Wide Assessment and Accountability Monitor individual student progress in academics and behavior

  • Generate and interpret useful student and school outcome data
  • Collect and analyze data on risk and protective factors related to student outcomes
  • Plan services at the district, building, classroom, and individual levels

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.

Melissa Mascari, 6th grade school psychologist
melissa.mascari@kcs.k12.nc.us

Lindsay Bennett, 5th grade school psychologist
lindsay.bennett@kcs.k12.nc.us