About the Theme
During the week of November 6–10, 2023, schools nationwide will celebrate National School Psychology Week (NSPW) to highlight the critical work school psychologists do to help students thrive. This is a time to recognize and show appreciation for school psychologists, who support students' learning and mental and behavioral health, promote positive and inclusive school climates, serve on school safety and crisis teams, and collaborate with families, teachers, and administrators to improve student outcomes.
Let's Grow Together
The 2023 National School Psychology Week theme, "Let's Grow Together," is inspired by the importance of both personal and shared strengths in our growth as individuals and school communities in every season of life. The theme recognizes four aspects of growth that are fundamental to effective learning environments and to school psychologists' role in supporting student well-being and learning.
1Individuals grow in their way, often in their own time, a process influenced by engagement and interaction with their surroundings. School staff and caregivers are responsible for nurturing each student by supporting their unique needs and strengths to ensure their healthy growth. This includes understanding how the child's context–family, peers, and community factors–shape their ability to learn and grow. School psychologists are critical to helping others understand what supports and strategies, as well as changes in contexts, will best help each student.
2Engagement and interaction with others–being part of a vibrant community–supports our growth. While we can grow alone, we often benefit from the support of others and will grow and flourish when helping one another. Students and staff can cultivate a nurturing school environment by highlighting how one's strengths can work with others to support the growth of those around them. This includes creating welcoming, inclusive schools; helping to build students' social-emotional skills; and ensuring that every student is connected to a trusted adult. School psychologists can help students and staff identify ways to strengthen these connections and see themselves as both being a benefit to and benefiting from the broader school community.
3Diversity is a powerful ingredient in our growth. In fact, the way in which we cultivate our communities can be inspired by nature. Whether in an open prairie, forest, garden, or agricultural field, diversity fuels growth. Species can survive individually, but when planted together, each contributes to the growth of the others. They truly thrive together. This is true for people and school communities as well. Diversity in our schools is critical to how students see themselves and the world, learn respect for differing perspectives, and find commonalities–actual common ground–in different experiences. School psychologists have a responsibility to reinforce inclusive schools in which every student feels seen and valued. We really can grow–and grow closer–together when we try to understand our differences through the lens of respect.
4Every season contributes to a continuum of growth. There are seasons in which growth is rapid and robust. For students, this often includes learning new skills, mastering content, overcoming a challenge, or achieving a goal. There are seasons for building the capacity for growth. School psychologists can be champions in this process, which can include evaluating needs, advocating to improve the ratio to improve service delivery, or overall systems change to support students better. Even seasons of rest are important for a balanced and healthy lifestyle and to create growth. For adults and students, this can include professional development, the need for self-care or self-reflection, and time devoted to recharging rather than doing.
Resources and messaging can be adapted to students and adults in different age groups. NASP provides a series of resources and suggested activities to help communicate with school staff, students, and parents about the importance of school psychologists and how various factors contribute to thriving students and school communities. From sample newsletters and proclamations to interactive classroom activities, there are multiple ways to Grow Together!
Be sure to share what you're growing using #SchoolPsychWeek.