Psychological Services

Psychological services department being recognized at board of education meetingThe DeKalb County School District (DCSD) provides psychological services to help students succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. School psychologists collaborate with educators, parents and other professionals to help create a safe, healthy, and supportive learning environment for all students. Services are provided in an environment that fosters dignity, acceptance, and respect for individual differences. These services are provided to all students.

The primary role of the school psychologist is to improve students’ educational opportunities. Through direct contact and consultations with parents, teachers, administrators, and students, the school psychologist identifies learning weaknesses, emotional issues, or other problems that may prevent students from making progress in school.

School psychologists recommend ways for the home and the school to meet the students’ needs. They work directly with students in many ways – individual psychological evaluations, individual and/or group counseling, crisis management, and/or social skills training. Training and educational programs on a myriad of subjects are also available for parents and teachers. All referrals for psychological evaluations come through the schools’ Student Support Teams (SST) or through the student’s individualized educational program (IEP) for students receiving special education services. The comprehensive evaluations provide valuable information used for determining the educational needs of students.

As school psychologists, our mission is to provide services to help maximize the academic potential along with the social and emotional well-being of students through the practices of effective consultations, comprehensive evaluations, and the development of prevention and intervention strategies with students, school personnel, and parents.
School psychologists are highly trained in both psychology and education. They must complete a minimum of a post-Master’s degree program that includes a year-long practicum and a year-long internship with emphasized preparation in mental health, child development, school organization, learning style and processes, behavior, motivation, and effective teaching. School psychologists must be certified and/or licensed by the state in which they work. In Georgia, an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in School Psychology is required for certification. Many of our DeKalb County School District school psychologists are nationally certified by the National School Psychology Certification Board.

To continue high professional standards, the DCSD Psychological Services staff maintains membership in many professional organizations including:

National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

The National Association of School Psychologists is a professional organization representing approximately 19,600 members. The NASP mission is to promote educationally and psychologically healthy environments for all children and youth by implementing research-based, effective programs that prevent problems, enhance independence, and promote optimal learning. This is accomplished through state-of-the-art research and training, advocacy, ongoing program evaluation, and caring professional service.  https://www.nasponline.org/

Georgia Association of School Psychologists (GASP)

The Georgia Association of School Psychologists is the state organization of NASP. The GASP mission is to provide school psychologists in Georgia with the highest level of support and professional training so that they can remain effective in a dynamic educational environment.  http://gaspnet.org/