Psychological Services

Welcome to the home page for the Psychological Services Department.  The Psychological Services Department is a component of NISD’s Student, Family and Community Services and is located in the Patrick Teicher Student Services building at the Grissom complex, 5651 Grissom Road.

The Psychological Services Department is staffed with a Director, two Supervising Psychologists, and 73 specialists, primarily Licensed Specialists in School Psychology (LSSP’s).  The Director, with input from the Supervising Psychologists, is responsible for various administrative and personnel duties, such as developing departmental policies and procedures, preparing an annual budget, recruiting and hiring employees, and serving as a liaison with NISD leadership and with the community.  The Director and Supervising Psychologists provide clinical supervision to professional staff and may, at times, provide direct psychological services to students.

Licensed Specialists in School Psychology have an earned doctorate or a masters degree in the field of psychology.  LSSP’s are licensed by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists to provide services in public school settings.  Licensure applicants must meet strict standards for education and supervised experience and pass required examinations at a mandated level.  To retain their license, LSSP’s must keep abreast of knowledge and changes in the fields of psychology, special education law, and state and federal statutes by obtaining continuing education credits annually.  These credits must include 3 hours of training in ethics or related topics.  Some LSSP’s also hold national certification (NCSP) through the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).  LSSP’s are assigned to campuses throughout the district and maintain an office at the campus.  Typically, at the elementary level, one LSSP serves two campuses; at the secondary level, one LSSP is primarily responsible for one middle or high school.  However, LSSP’s may be given other assignments by the Director, as needed.  

WHAT WE DO

The Psychological Services Department provides both direct and indirect services to the students, families, and staff of NISD.  First and foremost, professional staff members (psychologists and LSSP’s) are advocates for children.  They work with students, parents, and educators to resolve a variety of educational problems.  Their expertise in both psychology and education makes them uniquely qualified for this task.  They rarely work independently but function as a member of a team of professionals devoted to improving the quality of education for individual students.

The primary duty of the LSSP is to take a leadership role in the evaluation of students to determine if there may be a disability as defined by federal and state law.  The LSSP conducts a Full and Individual Evaluation (FIE) and prepares a written report of the findings, along with recommendations to be considered by the Special Education Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) committee. 

Direct services to the student may also include counseling and crisis intervention.  When counseling is provided, it is always with the consent of the parent/guardian and with the intent of helping the student achieve educational goals.

Indirect services provided by LSSP’s may include consultation with teachers and school staff regarding individual students or groups of students.  Consultation may focus on such topics as classroom management and academic or behavioral interventions.

The LSSP also participates in the NISD general education Consultative Help for Individual Learning Decisions (CHILD) process, a response to intervention (RtI) process which is designed to develop and provide interventions in the classroom for students who may be struggling academically or behaviorally.   The CHILD/RtI process is a three-tiered process involving individual teachers (Tier 1), the grade-level or department-level team (Tier 2), and counseling and administrative staff, teachers, and academic specialists (Tier 3).  The LSSP typically becomes involved at Tier 3 and assists the committee in problem-solving and decision-making regarding additional services needed by the student.  If the student continues to have difficulty, in spite of interventions, referral may be made to a community agency or to the LSSP for evaluation.