The Role of School Psychologists and School Adjustment Counselors
All children and youth can face problems from time to time related to learning; social relationships; making difficult decisions; or managing emotions such as feeling depressed, anxious, worried, or isolated. School psychologists and adjustment counselors help students, families, educators, and members of the community understand and resolve both long-term, chronic problems and short-term issues that students may face. They are a highly skilled and ready resource in the effort to ensure that all children and youth thrive in school, at home, and in life.
What Do the School Psychologists Do?
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 behavior, to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. School psychologists partner with families, teachers, school administrators, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community.
School psychologists conduct psychological evaluations as part of initial or re-evaluation for special education eligibility, provide direct support and interventions to students (including individual and group counseling and social skills instruction), consult with teachers, families, and other school-employed mental health professionals (i.e., school counselors, school social workers) to improve support strategies, work with school administrators to improve school-wide practices and policies, and collaborate with community providers to coordinate needed services.
(adapted from nasponline.org)
What Do the School Adjustment Counselors Do?
School Adjustment Counselors help support students who are experiencing emotional distress, social issues, or academic difficulties that are impacting students' healthy functioning during the school day. Students and Families can access the School Adjustment Counselors by stopping by their office, emailing or calling. Students and families can also ask classroom teachers for support in accessing the Counselors.
The School Adjustment Counselors work collaboratively with staff and families to determine the best ways to support students socially and emotionally. Some social emotional issues are best addressed outside of school, while others can be appropriately supported within the school day. School Adjustment Counselors can meet with students on a regular basis, check-in basis, or consult with families and outside providers (therapists, doctors, etc.), depending on the students' needs. School Adjustment Counselors also spend time in classrooms, teaching whole-class preventative social-emotional curriculum. Students who receive Special Education Services may also be eligible to receive Counseling Services through the School Adjustment Counselors as part of their Individualized Education Program.