In School District No. 73 the role of the school psychologist is to provide a variety of psycho-educational services to all elementary and secondary schools throughout the district. School psychologists have background and training in psychology and education, educational interventions, child development, learning, behaviour, motivation, curriculum and instruction, assessment, consultation, and collaboration. 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.
All school psychologists in the District are certified members of the British Columbia Association of School Psychologists (BCASP), which is the regulating body that helps to guide their practice.
In general, School Psychologists work with teachers, parents and students to:
- Identify and address learning and behaviour problems that interfere with school success.
- Design and implement academic interventions.
- Support effective individualized instruction.
- Create positive classroom environments.
- Evaluate eligibility for special education services.
- Increase achievement by assessing barriers to learning and helping plan the instructional strategies to improve learning.
In particular, School Psychologists participate in the following activities:
- Psycho-educational consultation and assessment following Professional Ethics and Best Practices of the BC Association of School Psychologists and the District’s continuum for services and problem-solving:
- Attending School-Based Team meetings where concerns are discussed as a school/parent/district staff team.
- Completing and debriefing of psycho-educational assessment in response to referral questions.
- Collaborating on Individual Education Plan (IEP) as appropriate.
- Consulting with various community agencies/partners (e.g., family physicians, pediatricians, public health nurses, audiologists, optometrists, Interior Health Children’s Assessment Network (IHCAN), Interior Health Autism Assessment Network (IHAAN), Provincial Outreach Program Autism-Related Disorders (POPARD), Provincial Outreach Program Fetal Alcohol Related Disorders (POPFASD), key workers and case workers, Parkview Mental Health Centre and Ministry of Children and Family Development, including Children and Youth with Special Needs and Community Living BC).
- Provision of differential diagnosis and designation into Special Education categories:
- Reviewing assessment and diagnostic documentation from other professionals.
- Participating in the District Designation Committee to determine special education eligibility.
- Carrying out District Special Education file reviews.
- Provision of In-Servicing/Supervision:
- Presenting professional development opportunities to staffs, parents and the community.
- Using and interpreting current formal academic assessment tools.
- Coordinating School District No. 73 School Psychology workshop series.
- Providing supervision for graduate and undergraduate student practica.
- Committee Involvement:
- District Case Conference.
- District Designation Review Committee.
- District Adjudication Committee.
- Provincial Outreach Program Fetal Alcohol Related Disorders (POPFASD).
- Transition planning:
- Kindergarten Planning.
- Elementary to Secondary planning.
- Secondary to Adult Services.
- District Screening into District Resource Programs.
- District Social Responsibility Committee:
- Coaching and supporting school staffs to develop positive and effective behaviour interventions.
How are Psycho-Educational Services Accessed?
Recommendations for formal evaluation and consultation come from a School-Based Team meeting. Referral happens only after the school team has exhausted its resources in terms of assessment and intensive intervention.
Once the School Psychologists have accepted the referral, informed consent information is provided to the parents.
Parents and school staff are usually asked to complete questionnaires to provide additional information to School Psychologists.
School psychologists complete assessment and meet with parents, school staff and student (if appropriate) to present findings and recommendations on a report.
Copies of the report are provided to the parent and placed in the permanent school file.
Copies of the report can be forwarded to outside agencies with written parental permission.