What Does a School Psychologist Do?

School psychologists work to find the best solution for each student and situation; they use different strategies to address student needs and to improve school and district-wide support systems.

School psychologists work with students individually and in groups. They also talk to teachers and parents about effective teaching and learning strategies as well as offering techniques to manage behavior at home and in the classroom. School psychologists work with students with disabilities or with special talents, they screen for mental health disorders, and help to prevent and manage crises.

In addition, most school psychologists provide the following services.

Consultation

  • Collaborate with teachers, parents, and administrators to find effective solutions to learning and behavior problems.
  • Help others understand child development and how it affects learning and behavior.
  • Strengthen working relationships between teachers, parents, and service providers in the community.

Evaluation

  • Evaluate eligibility for special education services.
  • Assess academic skills and aptitude for learning.
  • Determine social-emotional development and screen for mental health related issues.
  • Evaluate learning environments.

Intervention

  • May provide psychological counseling to help resolve interpersonal or family problems that interfere with school performance.
  • Work directly with children and their families to help resolve school related problems.
  • May provide training in social skills and anger management.
  • Help families and schools manage crises such as death, illness, or community trauma.

Prevention

  • Design programs for children at risk of failing at school.
  • Promote tolerance, understanding, and appreciation of diversity within the school community.
  • Develop programs to make schools safer and more effective learning environments.
  • Collaborate with school staff and community agencies to provide services directed at improving psychological and physical health.
  • Develop partnerships with parents and teachers to promote healthy school environments.

Research and Planning

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of academic and behavior management programs.
  • Identify and implement programs and strategies to improve schools.
  • Use evidence-based research to develop and/or recommend effective interventions.

 

Information from the National Association of School Psychologists