Step 5: Assess Existing Policies That Guide School Psychologists in Your Building or District

In many districts, specific policies determine the practice of school psychologists. These might be articulated in job descriptions, school board policies, formal evaluation tools, or public information sources such as district websites, brochures, or annual reports. In order to change a person's role, it is important to know the district's expectation for school psychologists. Official policies can help advocates or can act as barriers to action. The key is to take the time to see what policies exist and to consider how these policies can be used, adapted, or expanded to promote the change that you seek.

I. Current Building or District Policy

  • What is your stated job description as articulated in:
    • your contract
    • personnel handbook
    • school board policy
    • personnel evaluation
    • other
  • Do these documents align with each other?
  • What roles, services, and skills are examined as part of your personnel evaluation process?
  • To what extent do the written policies of your district align with what is expected of you in your personnel evaluation process?
  • Does your school district policy reference the NASP standards or NASP Practice Model in any way? If so, what specific language makes the connection to these standards?
  • Does your district have any caseload or workload guidelines or state policies for ratios of school psychologists to students?
  • Does your school building or district have a description of the role and services of school psychologists in their communication materials (e.g., website, brochure)?

II. State Policy

    Does your state have a formal policy (statute or regulation) recommending a student to school psychologist ratio? YES or NO
    • If yes, what is the ratio?
    • How does this ratio compare to the new standards (500-700 students for every school psychologist practicing a broad based role) in the model?
    • If there is an explicit policy, where in statute is this policy?
  • Does your state have a formal policy (statute or regulation) explicitly defining the role of the school psychologist and/or the scope of services? YES or NO
    • If yes, where is this policy and what does it say?
  • Does your state have a formal policy (statute or regulation) that explicitly addresses the personnel evaluation of school psychologists? YES or NO
    • If yes, where is this policy and what does it say?