The Psychological Services Department is part of the Exceptional Student Education Department. Palm Beach County Psychological Services provided consultations, interventions, crisis assistance, behavior management, assessments, diagnoses, progress monitoring, and counseling for students enrolled in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. There were 86 school psychologists and 8 interns employed in the District in the 2011-2012 school year.
In addition, The School District of Palm Beach County implemented a multi-tiered problem solving model called Response to Intervention (RtI) to address all concerns in the classroom, both academic and behavioral. This included high quality, research based instruction and behavioral support in general education, universal screening of academics and behavior to identify at risk students who needed close monitoring and additional interventions, research-based interventions matched to student needs that provides increasing intensity of assistance, continuous monitoring of student progress to assure the goals are being met, and documentation and follow-up to assure the interventions are followed accurately and consistently.
Consultation services were also provided for teachers, parents, and administrators to assist them in the development and adjustment of programs to meet the needs of all students. In addition, the school psychologist administers comprehensive evaluations of intellectual ability personal/emotional/behavioral adjustment, academic achievement, and learning styles of referred students. The school psychologist functions as a member of the total educational staff, providing services to all schools, usually on an itinerant basis.
The Multicultural School Psychology Team of The School District of Palm Beach County was comprised of 12 bilingual school psychologists. There were 8 Spanish-speaking and 4 Creole-speaking school psychologists who served the entire county's bilingual/bicultural student population and their families. Additionally, several members of the team worked specifically with pre-kindergarten students and their families, referred for testing through Child Find.
Their evaluations address the needs of this diverse student body through the use of cultural and language sensitive services, which attempts to minimize bias. A majority of the students serviced speak Spanish and Creole and benefited from testing through the department as they were able to communicate in English or their home language during testing; and they identified culturally with the practitioner, which built rapport and promoted an optimal test atmosphere. The remaining speakers of other languages also benefited from the services as they have a great deal of experience working with diverse students, are culturally aware/sensitive, and are highly skilled in the use of non-verbal test instruments.
Additionally, the duties included collaborating with school-based staff to assess the English language proficiency of these students, which facilitated appropriate implementation of interventions. The team also provided counseling services to students and staff as needed, which promoted mental health ensuring a positive academic experience for all.
- default_titleCollaborated with staff and parents to find effective solutions to learning and behavior problems.
- default_titleHelped others understand child development and how it affected learning and behavior.
- default_titleStrengthened working relationships between teachers, parents, and service providers in the community.
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- default_titleEvaluated eligibility for special services.
- default_titleAssessed academic skills and aptitude for learning.
- default_titleDetermined social-emotional development and mental health status.
- default_titleEvaluated learning environments.
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- default_titleProvided psychological counseling to help resolve conflicts that interfere with school performance.
- default_titleProvided training in social skills and anger management.
- default_titleHelped families and schools manage crises such as death, illness, or community trauma.
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- default_titlePromoted tolerance, understanding, and appreciation of diversity within the school community.
- default_titleDeveloped programs to make schools safer and more effective learning environments.
- default_titleCollaborated with school staff and community agencies to provide services directed at improving psychological and physical health.
- default_titleDeveloped partnerships with parents and teachers to promote healthy school environments.
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- default_titleEvaluated the effectiveness of academic and behavior management programs.
- default_titleIdentified and implemented programs and strategies to improve schools.
- default_titleUsed evidence-based research to develop and/or recommend effective interventions.
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