NASP Practice Model Organizational Principles
The NASP Practice Model is framed on six organizational principles that reflect and link to the broader organizational principles of effective schools. Each principle includes standards that describe necessary organizational practices that will support effective school psychological services. These standards are summarized below. Strategies for promoting these principles are described in detail in Section III.
Principle 1: Organization of Service Delivery. Services are coordinated and delivered in a comprehensive and seamless continuum that considers the needs of consumers and utilizes an evidence-based program evaluation model.
- School psychological services are planned and delivered based upon systematic assessment.
- School psychological services are available to all students.
- School psychological services are integrated with other school and community services.
- Contractual school psychological services are provided in a manner consistent with the model.
- Regular evaluations of the collective delivery of educational, mental and behavioral health, and other students' services are conducted.
- A range of services to meet the academic and mental health needs of students is provided.
- School systems support consultative and other services by school psychologists.
- School systems ensure that school psychologists are evaluated with methods and metrics that reflect their unique training and practice.
Principle 2: Climate. The professional climate facilitates effective service delivery that allows school psychologists to advocate for and provide appropriate services.
- Cooperative and collaborative relationships among staff members are promoted.
- The organizational climate allows school psychologists to advocate in a professional manner.
- Work environments maximize job satisfaction of employees.
- Organizations promote and advocate for balance between professional and personal lives of employees.
Principle 3: Physical, Personnel, and Fiscal Support Systems. Physical, personnel, and fiscal systems support appropriately trained and adequate numbers of school psychologists, and provide adequate financial and physical resources to practice effectively.
- Organizations recruit qualified and diverse staff who function in their areas of competency.
- The ratio of school psychologists to students is a critical aspect of providing high-quality, comprehensive services and should not exceed one school psychologist for every 500 students. In some situations, the school psychologist to student ratio may need to be lower.
- Organizations provide technological resources for service delivery.
- School systems provide school psychologists with access to appropriate professional work materials, sufficient office and work space, adequate technology and clerical support, and general working conditions that enhance the delivery of effective services and ensure confidentiality.
Principle 4: Professional Communication. Policies and practices exist that result in positive, proactive communication among employees at all administrative levels.
- The organization provides opportunities for employees to communicate with each other on a regular basis.
- Collaborative problem solving is used to plan and deliver school psychological services.
- Staff have access to technology necessary to perform their jobs adequately and to maintain confidential communication.
- The school system’s policy on student records is consistent with state and federal laws and regulations and ensures the protection of the confidentiality of students and their families.
Principle 5: Supervision and Mentoring. All personnel have levels and types of supervision and/or mentoring adequate to ensure the provision of effective and accountable services.
- Supervisors have valid credentials and they have a minimum of 3 years of experience as practicing school psychologists.
- Supervision methods should match the experience, competencies, and needs of the school psychologist.
- Time is allowed for supervision and mentoring in peer consultation.
- A coordinated plan to evaluate school psychological services is implemented.
- Practica and internship experiences occur under conditions of appropriate supervision.
- School psychology supervisors provide and engage in professional leadership.
Principle 6: Professional Development and Recognition Systems. Individual school psychologists and school systems create professional development plans annually that are both adequate for and relevant to the service delivery priorities of the school system.
- School psychologists have access to continuing professional development sufficient to remain current in professional practices.
- The school system provides the opportunity for school psychologists to create, pursue, and receive feedback regarding the personal plans for professional development that guide their acquisition of new knowledge, skills, and abilities
- The organization provides levels of recognition that reflect professional growth.
The domains of practice and organizational principles provide the framework for examining your own practice context and allow you to gauge the distance between where you are now and where you want to be. In subsequent sections of the guide, you will learn strategies for more formally assessing your own and your district's needs, and for beginning to make changes to align your work more closely with the model.