Reports To: Coordinator of School Psychology
The school psychologist promotes the student's sense of self, treats or assists in treating any psychological or mental health problems, and evaluates students' needs, abilities, and skills.
School Psychologists employed by Topeka Public Schools are mental health professionals licensed by the Kansas Department of Education. School Psychology services involve direct and indirect work with all students, with a focus on those students who have exceptionalities and/or are at-risk.
School Psychologists work with parents, teachers, and other school professionals to ensure students have access to a free and appropriate education, and to meet students' academic, emotional, and behavioral needs by:
- Applying knowledge and skills when working with students with exceptionalities and their families, individually or in groups, for the purpose of promoting positive educational experiences.
- Participating in comprehensive evaluations to identify and assess factors that may affect a student's ability to learn.
- Identifying home, school, and community factors in the life of an exceptional student that may impact his/her education.
- Collaborating with family, school, and community agencies to enable a student to receive maximum benefit from his/her educational program.
- Certification by the Kansas State Department of Education in School Psychology required.
- Experience in direct services to children, adolescents, and families in school settings preferred.
- ESOL preferred
Physical/Emotional Requirements: The incumbent may be required to use thefollowing skills and abilitiesduring any part of the working day.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit, talk, and hear. The employee is frequently required to stand and reach with hands and arms. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. The employee is required to interact with staff and to meet demands from several people.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
- Interviews student's family members to discuss their student's developmental and educational adjustment
- Identifies resources to support the student and family
- Works with parents to facilitate support of their student's school adjustment
- Serves as a liaison between home and school
- Assists parents and other adult caregivers with the development and implementation of behavior change programs
- Facilitates decision-making and collaboration, and fosters a commitment to quality, effective services for all children and families
- Possesses positive interpersonal skills
- Presents and disseminates information to diverse audiences
- Facilitates team meetings
- Uses effective conflict-resolution strategies
- Collaborates with school personnel, parents, and the community in the aftermath of crises
- Routinely accesses community and district resources to address behavioral, learning, mental, and physical difficulties
- Must complete all Special Education paperwork including IEPs and Medicaid billing.
Collection and Analysis of Information/Data
- Systematically collects information to identify strengths and needs of students and uses the information to make decisions regarding educational programming
- Collects data on individual students, families, educational and health programs, classroom environments, andother areas
- Uses data to design, implement, and evaluate effective direct and indirect intervention services
- Supports Student Improvement Team with interventions, progress monitoring, and data analysis
Evaluation, Assessment and Research
- Evaluates the components of environments that facilitate or impede learning or behavioral changes and identifies how environmental factors and students' characteristics interact to affect academics and social/behavioral outcomes
- Administers, scores, and interprets individual tests of cognition, achievement, and social or emotional development
- Helps staff develop appropriate cognitive and academic goals for children
- Incorporates knowledge of diversity when assessing, designing, and implementing academic and social/behavioral needs in order to determine appropriate interventions
- Assists staff in identifying what is needed for students to succeed and which instructional or other modifications are required to address student difficulties
- Knowledgeable of various psychological and educational assessment methods
- Knowledgeable of methods that link assessment results with intervention
- Identifies and recognizes behaviors that are precursors to academic, behavioral, and serious personal difficulties
- Knowledgeable of current research and effective data-driven decision-making and problem-solving processes
Developing and Assisting with Student and Classroom Interventions
- Incorporates appropriate strategies when developing intervention programs that facilitate successful transitions of children from one environment to another environment
- Provides consultation, behavior assessments, behavior interventions, and counseling services
- Develops methodologies, such as conflict resolution and social problem-solving/decision-making approaches, that assist teachers and families in teaching pro-social behavior
- Assists children in developing behaviors that support effective learning
- Assists schools with crisis intervention
- Provides psychological first aid to students and staff
Policies, Practices and Procedures
- Assists staff in designing, implementing, and evaluating policies and practices in areas such as discipline, problem-solving, instructional support, staff training, program evaluation, transition plans, grading, retention, and home-school partnerships
- Assists in the development of policies and procedures to promote safe and violence-free schools
- Maintains up-to-date records
- Follows due process guidelines in all decisions affecting students
- Maintains confidential records of evaluations and assessments
- Performs other tasks and assumes other responsibilities as the superintendent or designee may assign
- Reads, analyzes, and interprets general educational reports, professional journals, technical procedures, and regulations
- Communicates clearly and concisely both in oral and written form
Terms of Employment:
9 months; salary and work year to be determined by the Board of Education.
Performance of this position will be evaluated in accordance with provisions of the Board policy on evaluation of certified employees.