Psychological Resources within HCPS
School psychologists assist parents and teachers in analyzing an individual student's behavior for the purpose of developing a behavior intervention plan. They may consult with teachers on classroom management and help them focus on evidenced-based interventions. Some school psychologists have state certification in behavior analysis and serve as consultants to school-based teams, upon request.
The Bilingual Team is comprised of psychologists, social workers, and interpreters/translators who provide services to students (aged three through twenty-one) and their families in Hillsborough County. Services include: specialized psychological evaluations; social developmental histories; consultation; crisis intervention counseling; parent support; translation of documents written in Spanish, and staff development activities. The team also consults with staff members concerning ethnic, cultural, and second language issues.
School psychologists provide consultation regarding a variety of situations within the school district. Consultation is a collaborative, problem-solving process, through which a team defines student problems, develops interventions, and evaluates progress. In addition to consulting with individual teachers, parents, and outside agencies, departmental staff may serve as members of Child Study Teams, Professional Learning Communities, Functional Behavior Analysis/Positive Behavior Intervention Teams, Individual Educational Planning Teams, and Response to Intervention Teams.
Departmental staff assist with the development of educational goals, program design, and program modification for general education students and students with disabilities.
Departmental staff also may participate on a variety of committees such as School Improvement Teams, advisory committees, and committees within the community.
School psychologists provide supportive mental health services to students and families, including short-term and crisis counseling for individuals and groups. Counseling may address issues such as: academic achievement, anger management, anxiety, coping strategies/resiliency, grief, and interpersonal relationships.
District Crisis Response
Specially trained school psychologists collaborate with Student Services personnel (i.e., school social workers, school health) to support schools during times of crisis at district sites. Crises may include: as a death of a student or staff member, a natural disaster, and other traumatic events that impact the school community. Services provided by the Crisis Intervention Team include: individual and group counseling for students, faculty and staff; small and large group presentations; and consultation with administration, families, and community agencies. Services are designed to support, not supplant, services offered by school-based staff members.
School psychologists in Hillsborough County provide supportive services to parents through a variety of activities. These include consultations via parent conferences for academic and/or social and emotional concerns, and crisis counseling. Outreach services provided by staff involve communication with parents via school newsletters, participation in PTA programs, and dissemination of materials provided by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and other educational or mental health organizations.
Prekindergarten psychoeducational evaluations and consultation are available to families with children aged three to five years. The school psychologist consults with the parents, observes the child, reviews pertinent records, and administers individualized tests to gather information about the child's strengths and weaknesses. Diagnostic impressions are shared with families and with those who will assist in formulating appropriate interventions. Recommendations may include addressing the child's eligibility for prekindergarten Exceptional Student Education services as well as suggestions for involvement with community agencies. Psychological Services staff also participate in monthly community screenings of children whose families who are concerned about their development.
School psychologists complete psychoeducational assessments for a variety of purposes, including eligibility determination for special education and related services, evaluation of progress, and the development of appropriate behavioral and/or educational interventions. Evaluations may include assessment of domains including, but not limited to: intellectual, academic, cognitive processing, adaptive, and social/emotional development.
Staff development activities are provided by departmental staff members with the appropriate training, expertise and experience for teachers and other district personnel. School psychologists are available to provide inservice training for such topics as: classroom management, anger management, parent conferencing, team building, communication, reading strategies, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
In addition, staff development activities are provided to psychologists to enhance their professional skills. These activities are conducted after needs assessments have been completed and may include inservice on selected, timely, and pertinent topics. Professionals in the community, consultants, or Psychological Services staff members with expertise in select topics may provide professional development.