Due to last spring’s school closures, Comal ISD Licensed Specialists in School Psychology (LSSP) have been working overtime since August. Their workload has doubled as they try to catch up on scheduling face-to-face student evaluations which are used to rule out or verify special education eligibility. This week, Nov. 9-13, is National School Psychology Week, and the perfect time to learn more about the role of the LSSP.
Currently, the district’s 22 LSSPs serve approximately 3,000 special education students from their initial evaluation to their ongoing re-evaluations which occur every three years. They have extended their daily hours to include weekends in order to make-up the 300 initial evaluations that were placed on hold last spring and continue to receive new evaluation requests while maintaining their re-evaluation schedule.
The extra hours are worth it since each completed evaluation gives one more student access to much needed special education services and interventions. The need for these services continues to grow as the district grows. In fact, the district has received 371 new evaluation requests and has approximately 1,054 re-evaluations to schedule this school year in addition to the backlog from the spring.
“We are doing really well in catching up where we left off,” says Brooke Simmons, LSSP, the district’s coordinator of psychological services. “I am amazed at the dedication and commitment that our LSSPs have for our students. They go above and beyond daily to support them and their families.”
While the LSSP’s role is focused mainly on the assessment and identification process for students with disabilities, they also provide related service counseling to students and support campuses and teachers in various capacities. They offer guidance on behavior processes, disability and student-specific support and strategies as well as parent consultations when it comes to special education.
The LSSP license is required by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (TSBEP) to provide school psychological services in Texas public schools. An LSSP must complete a graduate degree in school psychology or closely related field; receive a passing score on the national exam for school psychology; and be eligible for certification as a National Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) or educational equivalent. In Texas, the title of School Psychologist is limited to those licensed psychologists with a doctorate degree in school psychology.
The district’s LSSPs include Rio Acosta, Jeanette Arringdale, Leslie Avalos, Erin Calvin, Jennifer Coleman, Juliet Crouch, Eileen De La Cruz, Angela Fox, Angela Garcia, Keith Hirsch, Danielle Huerta, Amy Kaderka, Amy Kaspar, Dawn Magers, Brooke Nichols, Stacie Ramirez, Lynette Slebrch, Holly Smith, Glenda Trevino and Walden White. Two additional LSSPs, Lauren Salazar and Courtney Cowsert, work with district as contractors.
Thank you for all you do!
Article from Comal ISD's 2019 National School Psychology Week: https://www.comalisd.org/apps/news/article/1125784