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School Psychology Services

What is a School Psychologist? 
School Psychologists have specialized training in both psychology and education. They use their training and skills to team with educators, students, parents, administrators, and other professionals to ensure that every child learns in a safe, healthy, and supportive environment. School Psychologists understand school systems, effective teaching, and successful learning. They can provide solutions for tomorrow’s problems through thoughtful and positive actions today.

What training does a School Psychologist have?
The training requirements to become a School Psychologist are a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours, including a year-long internship. This training emphasizes preparation in educational interventions, child development, learning, behavior, motivation, curriculum, instruction, 
behavioral and academic assessment, consultation, collaboration, school law, and school systems.
To work as a School Psychologist, one must be certified by the state in which services are being provided. School Psychologists may also be nationally certified by the National School Psychology Certification Board.

What do School Psychologists do?


  • Give healthy and effective alternatives to teachers, parents, and administrators about problems in learning and behavior.
  • Help others understand child development and how it affects learning and behavior.
  • Strengthen working relationships between educators, parents, and community services.
  • Cooperate with mental health clinics, physicians, courts, and other agencies capable of assisting schools with the problems of individual children.


  • Use a wide variety of techniques at an individual, group, and systems level to evaluate:
    • Academic skills
    • Learning aptitudes
    • Social-emotional development
    • Social skills
    • Adaptive skills
    • Functional behavioral skills
    • Learning environments and school climate
    • Eligibility for special education


  • Work directly with children and families.
  • Help solve conflicts and problems in learning and adjustment.
  • Support social skills training, behavior management, and other strategies.
  • Help families and schools deal with crises, such as separation and loss.


  • Identify potential learning difficulties.
  • Work with teachers, specialists, and others to design programs for children at risk for failure.
  • Instruct parents and teachers in behavior management principles for helping children and youth with disruptive behavior.
  • Help foster tolerance, understanding and appreciation of diversity in the school community.
  • Help develop school wide initiatives to make schools safer and more effective.


  • Offer in-service training to teachers and community members on topics of interest based on school and/or community need, such as Attention Deficit Disorders, crisis intervention procedures, and behavior management/parenting support.
  • Hold membership on a number of school based support teams such as Student Support Teams, Student Assistance Program Teams, and Special Education Individualized Education Program Teams.

What should I do if I have concerns about my child?
Students are referred to the School Psychologist by the Student Support Team. The Student Support Team process is a step-by-step approach to identifying problems with learning or behavior and finding the resources to help the student be successful in school.

  • Using the Teacher Contribution Form, teachers record learning and/or behavior problems and list strategies that are currently being used to address the problem(s).
  • Teachers and/or guidance counselors meet with an administrator to determine whether additional strategies should be attempted or whether the SST referral should continue.
  • If the SST referral is continued, assessment is done to identify the level of the problem.
  • An SST meeting is scheduled, where parents, teachers, school psychologists, administrators and other professionals meet to create an Action Plan, which contains academic/behavioral goals, interventions, and progress monitoring methods.
  • The intervention is implemented. Weekly progress monitoring is done for a specified period of time.
  • The SST meets again to review progress, establish the effect of the intervention, and determine whether the student is a candidate for multidisciplinary evaluation.
  • If multidisciplinary evaluation is recommended, the student is referred to the School Psychologist and other multidisciplinary team members for a comprehensive evaluation.
  • The School Psychologist, as part of the Multidisciplinary Team determines whether the student is eligible for special education services.

Resources: Adams County | York County