Frequently Asked Questions



Who are School Psychologists?

School psychologists are qualified to provide a broad range of skills to address student needs and to improve school support systems. Their skills enable them to offer comprehensive psychological evaluations, as well as consult with school personnel in relation to students' learning, behavior, and environments. They provide individual, group, and organizational interventions, including counseling. School psychologists work with children individually and in groups. Additionally, they provide trainings to teachers regarding various learning and mental health topics.  Their training allows them to look at the efficacy and effectiveness of academic programs, classroom agendas, and treatment interventions, and their expertise in research and planning provides a strong base in the development of interventions.

What type of training do School Psychologists receive?

School psychologists are highly trained in both clinical psychology and educational psychology. They must be certified and/or licensed by the state in which they work, following completion of a master's degree, post-master's training, and site-based internship. They also may be nationally certified by the National School Psychology Certification Board (NSPCB) or the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The majority of school psychologists work in public schools, however, other settings of practice include private school systems, clinics and hospitals, private practice, and universities. School psychologists are trained to serve all age groups from infancy through college, although they primarily serve school-aged children.

How do I know if my child's school has a school psychologist?

A school psychologist is assigned to every school in Newport News, though most psychologists have 2-3 schools.  To locate your child's school psychologist, please call their school or refer to our Staff Directory.

What does a psychoeducational evaluation for my child look like?

School psychologists assess students suspected of having a disability as part of the process in determining eligibility for special education services. A school psychologist administers a cognitive battery to obtain a level of intellectual functioning and academic potential. This battery also provides a better understanding of the student's processing strengths and weaknesses. Social-emotional assessments are used to obtain data about a student's emotional and behavioral functioning. A strong aspect of assessment is the collaborative process in which the school psychologist obtains the teachers' and parents' perspectives. This allows the school psychologist to develop a comprehensive picture of the student, his or her functioning, and how interventions can be developed. Through this process, a multidisciplinary team is developed to determine if a disability is interfering with a student's ability to learn.

Do school psychologists only work within special education?

No. School psychologists in Newport News serve students in general and special education through working with teachers and staff on creating positive behavioral models, offering professional development to parents and teachers, and providing counseling and crisis intervention. Interventions may be developed for students in the general or special education population who may be experiencing challenges in academic, behavioral, and/or social-emotional functioning.

I believe my preschool-age child is having difficulties. Is a school psychologist available to address their needs?

In Newport News, several school psychologists serve at the Program for Educating Exceptional Preschoolers (PEEP) sites. These psychologists are highly trained in child development and can conduct early intervention evaluations and provide consultation to parents. If you have concerns about your preschool child's development, social interaction, emotional adjustment, and/or behavior, please refer to our Staff Directory to contact a PEEP psychologist. If you have any further questions, you can also refer to the NNPS Child Find policy.

Adapted from School Psychologist Files "What is a School Psychologist?" http://www.schoolpsychologistfiles.com/whoAreSchoolPsychologists.htm