School Psychology Awareness Week

2013 School Psychology Awareness Week 

We're All In! Teams Work!

November 11-15, 2013


Focus: Helping students and colleagues recognize, employ and enhance team-related skills.

The theme for 2013 School Psychology Awareness Week is We’re All In! Teams Work! Our goal is to expand the idea of a team to its broadest conceptualization, maintain a strengths-based focus, and provide the ability to adapt messaging and activities to students and adults, different age groups, and varying contexts. The program involves a series of resources and suggested activities to help school staff, students and parents identify and employ the skills that are critical, not just to successful teams, but to success in school and life.

School Psychology Awareness Week 2013

Newtown Public Schools employ 13 school psychologists (the contact information and schools are listed below). In the United States there are over 26,000 School Psychologists who positively impact the lives of children on a daily basis. The United States Senate and United States Congress passed a resolution honoring school psychologists and recognizing the 2nd week of November as National School Psychology week. The information below explain what School Psychologists and some other useful information!

Feel free to contact you child's School Psychologist if you have any questions.

School Psychologists:

Tom Brant, Newtown High School; 203-426-7651
Jennifer Hoag, Newtown High School; 203-426-7651
Karla Vazquez, Newtown High School/Newtown PreSchool; 203-426-7651
Robert Rousseau, Newtown Middle School; 203-426-7642
Taylor Carroll-Marino, Newtown Middle School/MiddleGate; 203-426-7624/203-426-7896
Emily Titrud, Reed Intermediate School; 203-270-4892
Catherine Napoletano, Reed Intermediate School; 203-270-4892
Joan Ross, Head O'Meadow School; 203-426-7670
Heather Lucian, Middle Gate School; 203-426-7896
Marice Turner, Sandy Hook School; 203-426-7657
Sarah Kearney, Sandy Hook School; 203-426-7657
Geoff Millenson, Hawley School; 203-426-7666
Heather Peck, Hawley School; 203-426-7666

Dimitri Thornton (School Psychology Intern; Fairfield University, Newtown High School)

What is a School Psychologist?


School psychologists help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. They collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community for all students.

School psychologists are highly trained in both psychology and education, completing a minimum of a specialist-level degree program (at least 60 graduate semester hours) that includes a year-long supervised internship. This training emphasizes preparation in mental health and educational interventions, child development, learning, behavior, motivation, curriculum and instruction, assessment, consultation, collaboration, school law, and systems. School psychologists must be certified and/or licensed by the state in which they work. They also may be nationally certified by the National School Psychology Certification Board (NSPCB). The National Association of School Psychologists sets ethical and training standards for practice and service delivery.

What do School Psychologists do?

School Psychologists Work With Students to:

  • Provide counseling, instruction, and mentoring for those struggling with social, emotional, and behavioral problems
  • Increase achievement by assessing barriers to learning and determining the best instructional strategies to improve learning
  • Promote wellness and resilience by reinforcing communication and social skills, problem solving, anger management, self-regulation, self-determination, and optimism
  • Enhance understanding and acceptance of diverse cultures and backgrounds

School Psychologists Work With Students and Their Families to:

  • Identify and address learning and behavior problems that interfere with school success
  • Evaluate eligibility for special education services (within a multidisciplinary team)
  • Support students' social, emotional, and behavioral health
  • Teach parenting skills and enhance home–school collaboration
  • Make referrals and help coordinate community support services

School Psychologists Work With Teachers to:

  • Identify and resolve academic barriers to learning
  • Design and implement student progress monitoring systems
  • Design and implement academic and behavioral interventions
  • Support effective individualized instruction
  • Create positive classroom environments
  • Motivate all students to engage in learning

School Psychologists Work With Administrators to:

  • Collect and analyze data related to school improvement, student outcomes, and accountability requirements
  • Implement school-wide prevention programs that help maintain positive school climates conducive to learning
  • Promote school policies and practices that ensure the safety of all students by reducing school violence, bullying, and harassment
  • Respond to crises by providing leadership, direct services, and coordination with needed community services
  • Design, implement, and garner support for comprehensive school mental health programming

School Psychologists Work With Community Providers to:

  • Coordinate the delivery of services to students and their families in and outside of school
  • Help students transition to and from school and community learning environments, such as residential treatment or juvenile justice programs

Where School Psychologists Work

The majority of school psychologists work in schools. However, they can practice in a variety of settings including:

  • Public and private schools
  • Universities
  • School-based health and mental health centers
  • Community-based day-treatment or residential clinics and hospitals
  • Juvenile justice centers
  • Private practice

How do School Psychologists make a difference in schools?

All children and adolescents face problems from time to time. They may:

  • Feel afraid to go to school
  • Have difficulty organizing their time efficiently
  • Lack effective study skills
  • Fall behind in their school work
  • Lack self-discipline
  • Worry about family matters such as divorce and death
  • Feel depressed or anxious
  • Experiment with drugs and alcohol
  • Think about suicide
  • Worry about their sexuality
  • Face difficult situations, such as applying to college, getting a job, or quitting school
  • Question their aptitudes and abilities

School psychologists help children, parents, teachers, and members of the community understand and resolve these concerns.



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