School Psychology Awareness Supports Teaching & Learning

November’s School Psychology Awareness Week (Nov. 12-16) is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the work school psychologists do in our schools and ways we can increase their effectiveness.  

What Is A School Psychologist (LSSP)?

“School psychologists are uniquely qualified members of school teams that support students’ ability to learn and teachers’ ability to teach.” (NASP 2017; Who Are School Psychologists?). This link also provides important information related to LSSP training and coursework. In Texas, a school psychologist is called a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP); however, they would be called School Psychologist in other states. Information about school psychology careers is available from the National Association of School Psychology. NASP recommends a multi-domain model of school psychology services in schools.

Unfortunately, there are current national and statewide staffing shortages of school psychologists. Ways to address these shortages are being studied to increase availability of vital psychological services to schools. (NASP 2017; Shortages in School Psychology). Active recruitment and retaining current LSSPs are recommended to address local shortages.

How Can My School Best Use Our LSSP Services?

There are ways your school can optimize your LSSP’s access and ability to support a multitude of teaching and learning challenges.  

Work Space & Supports:

  • Secured office space with privacy allowing for confidential sessions, diagnostic/prescriptive analyses, and communicating sensitive information through oral and written means.
  • Locked storage area for sensitive student records and costly, secure evaluation instruments.
  • Access to District telecommunications, designated campus equipment, and site-based resources/materials for required activities, including confidential processes.

Strategic Scheduling:

  • Assure effective delivery of specialized LSSP resources while he/she is on campus through collaborative, strategic scheduling which prioritizes high yield activities with minimal involvement in non-essential duties not requiring licensed skills
  • Utilize a campus-based, student crisis process which incorporates LSSP’s consultation for prevention, coaching of responders, and postvention debriefing; minimizing LSSP’s  routine involvement as a direct behavioral interventionist also allows them to maintain efficient work progress and clinical effectiveness during subsequent student assessment interactions and mental health supports
  • Collaboratively schedule dedicated time daily for LSSP’s completion of complex, mandated documentation and reporting on students’ behalf that concurrently  will withstand subsequent legal and professional scrutiny.

Supporting Critical Communication & Licensure Requirements

  • Streamlined communication systems for LSSP with Campus Staff and Leadership, LSSP peer consultation, and supervision from Lead LSSP/Coordinator so as to ensure timely, delivery of LSSP’s specialized services.
  • Campus awareness of TSBEP mandated ethical & professional standards required of LSSPs related to consent restrictions, legal compliance, student advocacy, and data-based, ethical decision-making.
  • Access to continued professional development across all critical practice domains, including annual training addressing ethical and culturally responsive services.

Where Can I Learn More About LSSP Services For My School?

In addition to information shared here, your campus LSSP can provide recommendations to optimize their effective and efficient support of your students’ learning and social emotional differences.  At any time, you are welcome to contact Klein’s Lead LSSP (Emily Brooks, LSSP) and the Coordinator of Appraisal & Psychological Services (Sally Fernandez, LSSP, NCSP) about school psychological services on your campus.

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