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.

  1. School psychological services are planned and delivered based upon systematic assessment.
  2. School psychological services are available to all students.
  3. School psychological services are integrated with other school and community services.
  4. Contractual school psychological services are provided in a manner consistent with the model.
  5. Regular evaluations of the collective delivery of educational, mental and behavioral health, and other students' services are conducted.
  6. A range of services to meet the academic and mental health needs of students is provided.
  7. School systems support consultative and other services by school psychologists.

Principle 2: Climate. The professional climate facilitates effective service delivery that allows school psychologists to advocate for and provide appropriate services.

  1. Cooperative and collaborative relationships among staff members are promoted.
  2. The organizational climate allows school psychologists to advocate in a professional manner.
  3. Work environments maximize job satisfaction of employees.
  4. 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.

  1. Organizations recruit qualified and diverse staff who function in their areas of competency.
  2. The ratio of one school psychologist to the number of students is determined by the staffing needed to provide comprehensive school psychological services. NASP recommends a ratio of 1:500-700.
  3. Organizations provide technological resources for service delivery.
  4. Adequate access to professional support services and appropriate work conditions are provided.

Principle 4: Professional Communication. Policies and practices exist that result in positive, proactive communication among employees at all administrative levels.

  1. The organization provides opportunities for employees to communicate with each other on a regular basis.
  2. Collaborative problem solving is used to plan and deliver school psychological services.
  3. Staff have access to technology necessary to perform their jobs adequately.
  4. Policies relating to student records are consistent with state and federal rules and laws.

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.

  1. Supervisors have valid credentials.
  2. Supervision methods match the developmental level of the school psychologist.
  3. Time is allowed for supervision and mentoring.
  4. A coordinated plan to evaluate school psychological services is implemented.
  5. Practica and internship experiences occur under conditions of appropriate supervision.
  6. School psychology supervisors provide 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.

  1. School psychologists have access to continuing professional development sufficient to remain current in professional practices.
  2. Supervision is provided so that professional skills are continued and maintained over time.
  3. 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.