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.
Where Do School Psychologists Work:
The majority of school psychologists work in schools. However, they can practice in a variety of settings, including:
- Public and private schools
- School-based health and mental health centers
- Community-based day-treatment or residential clinics and hospitals
- Juvenile justice centers
- Private practices
What Do School Psychologists do?
- School psychologist work to find the best solution for each child and situation. They use different strategies to address individual student needs, and to improve classroom and school climates and support systems.
Working with Students To:
- Provide counseling, instruction, and mentoring for those struggling with social, emotional, and behavioral problems.
- Increase achievement by assessing barriers to learning and determining the best instructional strategies to improve learning.
- Promote wellness and resilience by reinforcing communication and social skills, problem solving, anger management, self-regulation, self-determination, and optimism.
- Enhance understanding and acceptance of diverse cultures and backgrounds.
Works 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.
Works With Teachers To:
- Identify and resolve academic barriers to learning.
- Design and implement student progress monitoring systems.
- Design and implement academic and behavioral interventions.
- Support effective individualized instruction.
- Create positive classroom environments.
- Motivate all students to engage in learning.
Works With Administrators To:
- Collect and analyze data related to school improvement, student outcomes, and accountability requirements.
- Implement school-wide prevention programs that help maintain positive school climate conducive to learning.
- 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 services.
- Design, implement, and garner support for comprehensive school mental health programming.
How School Psychologists Make a Difference In Schools:
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 death
- Feel depressed or anxious
- Experiment with drugs and alcohol
- Think about suicide
- Worry about their sexuality
- Face difficult situations, such as applying to college, getting a job, or quitting school
- Question their aptitudes and abilities