Comprehensive Role of the School Psychologist
School psychologists are uniquely qualified members of school teams who can provide direct educational, behavioral, and mental health services for children and youth, as well as work with families, school administrators, educators, and other professionals to create supportive learning and social environments for all students. NASP is dedicated to advancing policy and practice that ensures every child has access to the comprehensive academic, behavioral, social-emotional, and mental health services they need to be successful in school, at home, and throughout life.
Increased access to school psychological services must be an integral component in any education reform effort and NASP remains committed to advocating for the involvement of school psychologists in the development, delivery, and evaluation of these services. Current priorities include ensuring school psychologists are:
- involved in comprehensive schools safety efforts, including crisis prevention and response;
- considered experts in effective efforts to improve school climate, promote positive behavior and reduce disciplinary issues;
- involved in efforts to promote social-emotional competence, reduce bullying and harassment, and create supportive learning environments;
- considered providers of mental and behavioral health services;
- consulted in the development, implementation and evaluation of multitiered systems of support to address the academic, behavioral, social-emotional, and mental health needs of students;
- able to practice within a broader role by improving staffing ratios and lowering caseloads; and
- seen as essential to meeting the needs of students in the general and special education settings.
Although the role of the individual school psychologist will vary based on a variety of factors, including staffing ratios and the unique needs the schools they serve, it is critical that the comprehensive role of the school psychologsit is acknowledged by policymakers, and advanced in policy and practice.
The NASP Practice Model Implementation Guide is designed to help school psychologists and other school decision-makers align school psychological services with the comprehensive role defined by the NASP Practice Model.