Presenter: Terri Allen, Ph.D.
School psychologists are a valuable resource, with unique expertise to be tapped at multiple tiers of student support. However, although school psychologists possess the training and skills to provide a wide array of supports, often their expertise in assessment and intervention is reserved primarily for the most intense tier of support, referral for potential special education classification.
This workshop is designed to provide practical tips for integrating the provision of tier one (universal) and tier two (individual and/or small group) supports and services with the school psychologist’s activities with regard to referral and evaluation services. Such initiatives should not be an “add-on” to responsibilities but rather a shifting of time and resources to a broader service delivery model given that schools that provide opportunities for school psychologists to sit “at the table” in pre-referral RTI initiatives typically see a reduction in referrals and an overall decrease in classification rates (see www.IDEAdata.org).
Although a successful RTI team is a collaborative effort, school psychologists bring unique expertise in a number of areas, including the understanding of the links between cognitive processes and achievement as well as the link between mental health and behavior and learning. Further, as experts in understanding how the brain works, school psychologists can provide important information to school teams in exploring the conditions and environments that optimize learning. Additionally, as an expert in assessment and data-based decision making, the school psychologist’s consultation skills can be a key to finding the optimal match between presenting concerns and an evidenced-based interventions. Finally, integration of assessment data within RTI leads to more focused hypothesis testing if the student does need to be referred, leading to a more efficient and useful comprehensive evaluation.
● Attendees will learn how to apply the problem solving model in integrating all tiers of the RTI process, specifically the use of RTI data to inform hypothesis testing if the need for a comprehensive assessment is warranted.
● Attendees will learn how to apply knowledge of cognitive processing and achievement in order to tailor effective interventions.
● Attendees will learn how to apply knowledge of brain functioning, competencies in behavioral assessment and consultation, and the link between mental health and learning to the assessment and intervention process at multi-tiers of student support.