School Psychologist

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Approved: December 18, 2017
Position: School Psychologist
Reports to: Director of Student Services

Policy:

The Board of Trustees of Prairie Rose School Division provides school psychologists to provide services to students within the educational setting and to work collaboratively and consultatively with school administration and staff to help all students succeed.

Statement of School Psychology Principles and Values:

PRSD school psychologists must accept and abide by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) Code of Ethics as a guide for professional practice and will conduct themselves in accordance with the duties, obligations and responsibilities described therein.

School Psychology is a specialized area of practice within the field of Psychology. School Psychologists have the clinical skills and knowledge base to help students in Manitoba schools succeed academically, behaviourally, socially and emotionally.

Psychologists who are hired by school divisions and who work within the schools of Manitoba are professionals certified by Manitoba Education and Training. They respect both the ethics, standards, and guidelines set forth by the Canadian Association of School Psychologists and those set forth by Manitoba Education and Training’s Professional Certification Unit, which includes those of the Manitoba Teachers Society.

Position Summary:

School psychologists are uniquely qualified members of school teams that support students’ ability to learn and teachers’ ability to teach.  They apply expertise in mental health, learning and behaviour to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviourally, and emotionally.

School Psychologists collaborate with students, parents/guardians, families, the In-School Support Team (ISST) and the School Support Team to create safe, healthy and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school and the community.

Responsibilities:

Student-Focused Direct Interventions involve psychological assessment and/or intervention with an individual student.  This may include:

  • Completing specialized psychological assessments of children with special needs, interpreting assessment findings, and communicating any diagnoses to the student, parents/guardians, the ISST and the School Support Team.
  • Linking assessment results to treatment recommendations that will inform student specific programming within the student’s IEP.
  • Delivering, monitoring and/or evaluating the effectiveness of the recommended interventions.
  • Using evidence-based psychological interventions to help the student and others better understand the nature of a problem or personal issue, how best to solve or manage it, as well as how to prevent future problems.
  • Providing direct assessment services as requested within the divisional Violence Threat Risk Assessment procedure.
  • Providing direct treatment services for children in crises as required.

Student-Focused Indirect Interventions occurs when the school psychologist works with the Core Team, ISST and/or School Support Team in planning interventions for individual students. This may include:

  • Providing consultation to the team to determine the most appropriate educational plan, which could include adapted, modified and/or individualized student specific outcomes.
  • Facilitating and coordinating ongoing treatment through referral services and the involvement of community resources.
  • Providing ongoing consultation with the team in order to adjust interventions based on student progress.

School and Division-Wide Interventions help systems improve their abilities to meet student and staff needs. This may include:

  • Collaborating with systems to support inclusion of exceptional students.
  • Providing training or professional development based on current research regarding mental health, learning and behaviour.
  • Advising on evidence based prevention and intervention programs.
  • Participating in planning and implementing system-wide screening and assessment programs.
  • Coordinating debriefing and defusing of students and staff following a tragic event, and providing ongoing monitoring of students and staff to ensure that healing occurs and that appropriate referrals are made.

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Commitment to success for all students
  • Ability to conduct and report on relevant psycho-educational, social/emotional and behavioral assessments
  • Proactive approach to addressing issues with sensitivity and sophistication
  • Ability to manage confidential and sensitive information with professional discretion
  • Thorough knowledge of academic, learning, behaviour, and mental-health interventions
  • Capacity to implement school-wide psychological practices to promote learning
  • Capacity to nurture strong and trusting relationships with students, staff and families
  • Ability to remain calm under pressure, and demonstrates crisis preparedness, response, and recovery
  • Demonstrates empathy, excellent listening skills and the capacity to disarm difficult situations
  • Capacity to build strong and lasting relationships with internal and external stakeholders

Education and Experience:

  • Hold a School Clinician’s permanent or provisional certificate as defined in M.R. 515/88, or equivalent.
  • A Master’s Degree in school psychology.