These are extraordinary circumstances. We are in a profession in which we are leaders in schools, instrumental in responding to crises, and skilled at collaborating with others to respond to the emerging needs of children and families in schools. In the present moment, this will require ﬂexibility, creativity, communication, and a certain tolerance for uncertainty. The board of the Kansas Association of School Psychologists has drafted this document to oﬀer some guidance as to what our role could look like and is continuing to gather more information and resources to offer more guidance in response to the ways in which COVID-19 may impact your work, with K-12 settings now closing for the remainder of the year, and how you might continue with school-based practices that will let you fulfill your role despite these trying times.
First and foremost, schools are making difficult decisions about what services will be provided with these extended school closures. Please follow all guidelines set out by your school or district in response to COVID-19 to ensure your own health and safety and that of students, families, and other employees in the school and district.
Secondly, schools must continue to provide essential services to children and families even in the event of a closure. Be in close contact with your administration to help shape what services may and will be provided. There are ways you might still participate in such services even while at home, including:
Additionally, even if conducted outside of physical school locations, school psychological work may also include:
- Examination of school/district data to evaluate outcomes of services within a multi-tiered system;
- Completing other written evaluation/eligibility paperwork needed to provide essential services;
- Linking of global assessment data to the development of proposed group interventions;
- Assisting the school/district in improving accountability measures;
- Assisting the school/district in reviewing and using data for accountability purposes (i.e.,discipline, instructional support/ESY service, school improvement plans; program evaluation
- Helping your school/district with the delivery, implementation, and evaluation of e-Learning modules that may occur as a result of temporary suspension of face-to-face instruction.
- Providing tele-health services.
- Report writing / paperwork completion;
- Providing tele-health services.
- Conducting phone/telecommunication interviews/consults with families, educators, or providers about students;
- Researching topical issues that have direct impact to the district/agency and plan for reporting this information by the year end;
- Related to the above, undertaking research on best practices in order to structure intervention;
- Creation of proposed service delivery plans within a multi-tiered system of support;
- Preparing future presentations for future professional development aligned with professional development/district plans;
- Participating in online professional trainings;
- Reading relevant documents, articles, or books, or other approved professional development
- Engaging in online consultation with other school faculty
- The development of school materials or resources, such as a resource map, social skills curriculum, a handbook or brochure for parents, or summary of supportive services.
We realize that this is not an exhaustive list of opportunities to continue to develop your skills and provide services to your building during a closure. But we hope it provides some food for thought as you discuss these matters within your districts. It is an important time for us to continue to advocate for our position and the role we can play during this time. It is clear that students with disabilities, students who have the least resources, and students who already experience discrimination will be the most impacted by school closures and changes in services. Please pay particular attention to the ways in which your schools and supervisors attempt to reach out to and support the children and families with the greatest need and the creative solutions they put into practice. We also encourage you to discuss the ways in which inequalities intersect with the school’s ability to care for students in a time of crisis.
Throughout this time, your health, self-care, and well-being are of critical importance! Take care of yourself, and each other.
The KASP Executive Board