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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How Much Progress is Enough?

“The quality of a school as a learning community can be measured by how effectively it addresses the needs of struggling students” (Wright, 2005).

School psychologists must be cognizant of what is in the child’s best interest and responsive in order to communicate interventions that will benefit or impact a child’s schooling. Every child requires different modalities and is entitled to the right to learn and the right to an education. One can keep educating parents to be informed on how to advocate for their children; however, a collaborative approach is needed to determine the most appropriate level of success. As school psychologists, regardless of the diagnosis, each child should be given an appropriate intervention; no child should be singled out based on his or her disability.

One of the greatest challenges of a school psychologist is time management and how time is delineated among individual cases. Unfortunately, it may not be feasible for school psychologists to be directly involved in every aspect of the process. How, then, is time prioritized for each child and is the Response to Intervention (RTI) approach fair?

The role of a school psychologist is to ensure that students with disabilities receive accommodations and modifications in the general education classroom. We have an obligation to assess and use our clinical expertise in order to make recommendations. Based on one of the ethical guidelines, “School psychologists make decisions based on multiple theoretical perspectives and translate current scientific information to develop effective behavioral, affective, or adaptive goals for all students” (NASP Professional Conduct Manual, 2000, p. 44). However, how are we supposed to be effectively monitoring the progress of each student equally? What is the process and is it enough? What does the law require us to do as professionals versus what can we do?

While the law requires us to follow a procedure, we can only do so much as professionals to make certain each child receives an adequate plan of intervention. Realistically, a school psychologist must manage their time effectively to ensure that students will not be overlooked. The multi-tiered model should be implemented into classroom instruction in order to successfully facilitate and monitor each child’s progress. But in the end, time is of the essence.

This Blog was created by Brittany Silverman and Katie Wiseman


National association of school psychologists professional conduct manual. (2000, July 15). Retrieved from http://www.nasponline.org/standards/professionalcond.pdf

Wright, J. (2005). Five interventions that work. NAESP [National Association of Elementary School Principals] Leadership Compass, 2(4) pp. 1,6.