The School Psychologist's Survival Guide
J-B Ed: Survival Guides, Band 174 1. Aufl.
A practical and accessible guide for helping school psychologists meet their everyday challenges In this newest addition to the Jossey-Bass "Survival Guide" series, popular blogger Rebecca Branstetter offers help for school psychologists who must often travel to multiple school sites, deal with students with severe disabilities, meet with concerned parents, and manage school crises. The book is filled with practical advice, proven strategies, and useful tools, complete with reproducible forms, letters, and checklists for busy professionals. Filled with the tools, strategies, and ideas for school psychologists who must deal with the myriad challenges of working with a diverse group of students, often in multiple locations Another book in the popular Jossey-Bass "Survival Guide" Series Rebecca Branstetter is an experienced school psychologist and popular blogger ("Notes from the School Psychologist": studentsgrow.blogspot.com) This vital resource offers a down-to-earth guide for both novice and seasoned school psychologists.
Exhibits, Forms, and Figures xv Acknowledgments xix About the Author xxi Preface xxiii Introduction xxv 1 WEARING MANY HATS: THE ROLES OF THE SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST 1 Assessment 2 Consultation 3 Prevention and Intervention 4 Counseling 5 Pulling It All Together 6 Key Points 6 Discussion Questions 7 2 FINDING WHERE YOU BELONG: LOGISTICS AND BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS IN YOUR SCHOOLS 9 Getting Situated at a New School Site 11 Building Relationships with Key Staff Members 12 The School Secretary: Your New Best Friend 12 The Principal: Captain of the Ship 12 Counselors and Other Support Staff 14 Special Educators 14 General Education Teachers 17 The Custodian 17 Beginning-of-School Logistics 17 What to Do in the First Few Days and Weeks of School 18 Managing Multiple Sites 18 Finding a Work Space at Your School Site 22 Getting Needed Materials 23 Other Considerations in the First Few Weeks 23 Once You Are Settled In: Introducing Yourself 24 Introducing Yourself to Staff 25 Introducing Yourself to Families and Students 27 Pulling It All Together 28 Key Points 28 Discussion Questions 29 3 HELP! I’M DROWNING IN PAPERWORK! HOW TO TAME THE BUREAUCRACY MONSTER 31 Managing Your Assessment Caseload 32 Completing Your Assessments Within Timelines 34 Check Your Assessment Caseloads for Accuracy 35 Make Your Yearly Assessment Calendar 35 Documenting and Tracking Interventions, Counseling, and Crisis Counseling 39 Documenting Interventions 39 Documenting Counseling and Crisis Counseling 39 Documenting Child Protective Services Calls and Reports 40 What’s Next? Time Management Tips for Balancing Assessment Caseloads with Other Roles 40 Scheduling Your Week 41 Scheduling Your Day 43 What to Do When You Are Drowning in a Sea of Assessments 44 Pulling It All Together 45 Key Points 46 Discussion Questions 47 4 INTERVENTION AND PREVENTION 49 How to Be Preventive When You Have No Time 50 Being Effective on Leadership and Prereferral Intervention Teams 50 Schoolwide Support Teams 51 Student-Focused Support Teams 53 Developing and Supporting Academic Interventions 56 Developing and Supporting Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Interventions 57 Developing Your Own Prevention Activities and Programs 59 Common Pitfalls and What to Do About Them 60 When Special Education Intervention Is the Only Game in Town 60 When Your School Is Sending You Inappropriate Referrals 61 Pulling It All Together 62 Key Points 62 Discussion Questions 64 5 RESPONSE TO INTERVENTION (RTI): CHANGING YOUR ROLE FROM SPECIAL EDUCATION GATEKEEPER TO KEYMASTER OF INTERVENTIONS 65 School Psychologists’ Roles in RtI 66 Academic RtI: Data-Based Decision Making 68 Tier 1 Interventions 68 Developing Individual Intervention Plans and Data-Tracking Tools 69 Behavioral RtI: Data-Based Decision Making 73 Universal Screening 73 Assessment and Intervention Audits 74 Monitoring Tier 1 Effectiveness 74 Tiers 2 and 3: Gathering Baseline Data and Using Progress Monitoring Tools 74 How to Track Individual Student Progress with Your RtI Team 75 Navigating Your Role Change 76 Pulling It All Together 76 Key Points 77 Discussion Questions 78 6 SPECIAL EDUCATION ASSESSMENT 79 The Assessment Process: From Parental Consent to Report Writing 80 Determining Timelines and Informing All Involved Parties of the Assessment 80 Reviewing the History and Gathering Environmental Data 83 Conducting a Developmental History with Parents or Guardians 89 Deciding If You Need to Do a Full Social-Emotional-Behavioral Evaluation 92 Selecting Appropriate Testing Instruments 98 Selecting Your Testing Tools 99 Beginning Your Testing with the Student 100 Writing Quality Reports 101 A Note About Other Types of Evaluations 102 Pulling It All Together 103 Key Points 103 Discussion Questions 104 7 THE INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PLAN (IEP): FRIEND OR FOE? 105 Before the IEP Meeting 106 Learning About Your Role and Presentation Style in IEP Meetings 106 Building Consensus on Your IEP Team 106 When to Share Results with Parents Before the IEP Meeting 108 Collaborating with Outside Team Members in the IEP 109 During the IEP Meeting 110 Laying the Groundwork for Presenting Results 110 Other Helpful Tips When Presenting at an IEP Meeting 117 After the IEP Meeting 118 Pulling It All Together 119 Key Points 119 Discussion Questions 121 8 DO YOU HAVE A MINUTE? HOW TO BE AN EFFECTIVE CONSULTANT 123 Where Theory Meets Real Life 124 Behavioral Consultation 124 Social-Emotional and Crisis Consultation 128 Academic Consultation 130 Consultation During the IEP-Writing Process 131 Dealing with Negative Nancy and Naysayer Ned: Working with “Involuntary” Consultees 133 The Uncomfortable Teachers’ Lounge Consultation 134 Pulling It All Together 134 Key Points 135 Discussion Questions 136 9 INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING 137 Counseling Roles 138 Types of School-Based Individual Counseling 139 Psychodynamic (“Insight-Oriented”) Therapy 139 Play and Art Therapy 140 Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) 142 Solution-Focused Brief Therapy 143 Beginning Counseling 145 During Counseling: Documentation and Sticky Situations 149 Documentation 149 When You Need to Call Child Protective Services (CPS) 151 When a Child Is a Danger to Himself or Others 152 Sticky Confidentiality Issues 152 Terminating Counseling 153 Pulling It All Together 154 Key Points 154 Discussion Questions 155 10 GROUP COUNSELING 157 Starting a Group: Factors to Consider 157 Conduct a Needs Assessment at Your School 158 Deciding What Type of Group to Run 158 Deciding Who Is in Your Group 159 Choosing a Cofacilitator 167 Deciding on When and Where to Hold Your Group 167 Deciding on the Level of Structure in the Group 168 What to Do When Things Get Messy 172 A Student Wants to Drop Out of Group 172 Group Members “Gang Up” on Another Group Member or Members 172 The Group Is Out of Control 173 A Student Leaves the Group Without Permission 173 A Group Member Does Not Participate 174 Pulling It All Together 174 Key Points 175 Discussion Questions 176 11 THE DREADED LATE-NIGHT PHONE CALL: HOW TO DEAL WITH A CRISIS AT YOUR SCHOOL 177 Preparation for a Crisis 178 Types of Crises 179 Individual Student Crises: Danger to Self and Danger to Others 179 Schoolwide Crises: Determining the Ripple Effect and Implementing Psychological First Aid 185 Pulling It All Together 195 Key Points 196 Discussion Questions 196 12 PUT ON YOUR OXYGEN MASK BEFORE HELPING OTHERS: HOW TO MANAGE THE STRESS OF THE JOB 197 Practicing Self-Care 198 Moments of Zen 198 Flocking 199 Maintaining Healthy Work-Life Boundaries 200 Your Role and Saying No 200 Know When to Say When 202 Pulling It All Together 202 Key Points 203 Discussion Questions 203 Bibliography and Resources 205 Index 207
REBECCA BRANSTETTER, Ph.D. is a school psychologist who has worked with public K–12 schools throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. She also works with children through her private practice, Grow Assessment and Counseling Services. Branstetter is the author of the popular blog "Notes from the School Psychologist" (www.studentsgrow.blogspot.com).
The School Psychologist's SURVIVAL GUIDE From veteran school psychologist and popular blogger Rebecca Branstetter, The School Psychologist's Survival Guide offers both new and seasoned school psychologists a practical, go-to handbook with ready-to-use strategies and time-saving reproducible materials they can use every day. Written in an accessible style, the book explains how to bridge the gap between best practices according to research and the realities of working in a school district bureaucracy with limited resources. The School Psychologist's Survival Guide provides hands-on help in navigating the day-to-day challenges of working in a school district, managing large case loads, dealing with legal and ethical challenges on the job, crisis management, and more. The author offers advice on: Getting situated at a new school and building relationships with key staff members Managing your assessment caseload and completing your assessments within timelines How to effectively communicate sensitive information to parents, teachers, and students Developing and supporting academic, social, emotional, and behavioral interventions Dealing with both individual student and school-wide crises Learning your roles in Response to Intervention (RTI) Practicing self care by understanding the stress response The book also helps experienced professionals fine-tune their skills with the latest ideas and theories, such as bilingual assessment, cognitive behavioral therapy, social skills groups, and much more. Simply put, The School Psychologist's Survival Guide takes on the top challenges that are present in the day-to-day roles of today's school psychologist and provides real-world solutions. "One of the most relatable and thorough resources for newly-graduated and veteran school psychologists working in the public school setting. Dr. Branstetter combines practical, realistic, and achievable recommendations with a personal and engaging writing style." —Tara Egan, D.Ed., school psychologist and popular humor blogger, Charlotte, North Carolina
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