The Psychological Servicel Department is a component of Student, Family and Community Services located in the Patrick Teicher Student Services building at NISD's Grissom complex.
We provide both direct and indirect services to the students, families, and staff of the District. First and foremost, professional staff members (psychologists and LSSPs) 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.
Our department is staffed with a director, an LSSP supervisor, a supervising psychologist, and 85 evaluation specialists, primarily Licensed Specialists in School Psychology (LSSPs). The director, with input from the supervisors, 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 District leadership and with the community. The director and supervisors provide clinical supervision to professional staff and may, at times, provide direct psychological services to students, as well as consultation to campus administration and staff.
LSSPs must have a either a master's or doctorate in the field of psychology, and are licensed by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists to provide services in public school settings. Applicants for licensure must meet strict standards for education and supervised experience, as well as required examinations. To keep abreast of knowledge and changes in the fields of psychology, and to comply with state and federal statutes, annual continuing education credits are required to retain an LSSP license. These credits must include three hours in ethics or related topics and three hours in diversity and multicultural issues. Some also hold national certification through the National Association of School Psychologists, for which they must attain additional continuing education credits. LSSPs at Northside are assigned to general education and special campuses throughout the district and maintain offices at their campuses. One LSSP may serve two elementary campuses, and one LSSP is primarily responsible for each of the middle and high schools. In addition, one LSSP is assigned to each of three Preschool Assessment Teams, which are housed at three elementary schools.
Tips & Suggestions
Parents and educators often ask what they can do to help a student improve their skills for school. This is true whether the student has a disability or just a weakness. Over the years, we have collected some easy strategies for helping students be successful. These may be incorporated into a formal Individual Education Plan (IEP) or they can serve as ideas for classroom modifications. Many of these strategies can be used at home to supplement classroom work.
Keep in mind that no two students are the same. Many of these suggestions will not apply to your student because of their age, interests, or skill level. Even so, enough strategies are offered that at least a few may be helpful.
The tips are grouped by broad skill area. When searching for ideas, be sure to access the page for your specific concern, but also for all related concerns. For example, a student who reads poorly may benefit from strategies below on Basic Reading, Reading Comprehension and Concentration.