What is a school psychologist?

  • http://www.nasponline.org/resources/handouts/whatis_print.pdf


     The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) notes,

    "School psychologists help children and youth succeed

    academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. They

    collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals

    to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments

    that strengthen connections between home, school, and the

    community for all students.

    School psychologists are highly trained in both

    psychology and education, completing a minimum of a

    specialist-level degree program (at least 60 graduate

    semester hours) that includes a year-long supervised

    internship. This training emphasizes preparation in mental

    health and educational interventions, child development,

    learning, behavior, motivation, curriculum and instruction,

    assessment, consultation, collaboration, school law, and

    systems. School psychologists must be certified and/or

    licensed by the state in which they work. They also may be

    nationally certified by the National School Psychology

    Certification Board (NSPCB). The National Association of

    School Psychologists sets ethical and training standards for

    practice and service delivery.




    School psychologists work to find the best

    solution for each child and situation. They use

    many different strategies to address individual

    student needs, and to improve classroom and

    school climates and support systems.


    School psychologists work with

    Students and Their Families to:

    • Identify and address learning and

    behavior problems that interfere with

    school success

    • Evaluate eligibility for special education

    services (within a multidisciplinary team)

    • Support students' social, emotional, and

    behavioral health

    • Teach parenting skills and enhance home–

    school collaboration

    • Make referrals and help coordinate

    community support services


    School psychologists work with Teachers to:

    • Identify and resolve academic barriers to learning

    • Design and implement student progress monitoring


    • Design and implement academic and behavioral


    • Support effective individualized instruction

    • Create positive classroom environments

    • Motivate all students to engage in learning


    School psychologists

    Work with Administrators to:

    • Collect and analyze data related to school

    improvement, student outcomes, and accountability


    • Implement school-wide prevention programs that

    help maintain positive school climates conducive to


    • Promote school policies and practices that ensure

    the safety of all students by reducing school

    violence, bullying, and harassment

    • Respond to crises by providing leadership, direct

    services, and coordination with needed community


    • Design, implement, and garner support for

    comprehensive school mental health programming


    School psychologists work with Community

    Providers to:

    • Coordinate the delivery of services to students and

    their families in and outside of school

    • Help students transition to and from school and

    community learning environments, such as

    residential treatment or juvenile justice programs





    All children and adolescents face problems from

    time to time. They may:

    • Feel afraid to go to school

    • Have difficulty organizing their time efficiently

    • Lack effective study skills

    • Fall behind in their schoolwork

    • Lack self-discipline

    • Worry about family matters such as divorce and


    • Feel depressed or anxious

    • Struggle with drugs and/or alcohol

    • Think about suicide

    • Worry about matters related to sexuality

    • Face difficult situations, such as applying to

    college, getting a job, or quitting school

    • Question their aptitudes and abilities


    School psychologists help children, parents,

    teachers, and members of the community

    understand and resolve these concerns. "