Streamlining Assessments for School Psychologists

Streamlining Assessments for School Psychologists
By:
Cross Country Education
Posted:
March 22, 2021 23:54 PM (GMT-04:00)
Categories:
Resources

Tips from the Team: Advice from Our School Psychologists on How to Organize Assessments

As school psychologists, we are often under pressure and time constraints to finish multiple assessments at once. Caseloads can become large, and we may feel the burden of trying to get everything done well while staying in compliance. With this in mind, we have some suggestions for organizing and streamlining assessments that we believe will help other school psychologists. We have grouped these recommendations by planning, assessment, scoring, and report writing. We hope that you find these tips useful!

Planning

  •  Complete a thorough record review and gain a clear understanding of the referral concern before the meeting. Then bring the relevant parent and teacher input survey forms (BASC, Conners, ASRS, etc.) with you to the meeting. This way, you can give the parents and teacher the forms immediately after permission has been granted. This will help shorten the timeline and allow for follow-up if necessary.
  •  Make a checklist of the assessments you will give and when you completed them. This will help ensure you complete a thorough assessment that addresses all the referral concerns.

Assessment

  •  Use an interview question template that allows for information to be easily transferred into the report. Consider turning these into Google Docs to allow you to copy and paste input and then update and formalize as necessary.
  •  Become comfortable with a core set of assessments that you know very well. You may have to adjust, but if you can use assessments you are comfortable and familiar with, this will help save the amount of time it takes to administer tests.
  •  Use observation tools that allow for anecdotal and quantitative data collection.

Scoring/Report Writing

These tips are meant only as suggestions. Being a school psychologist allows for flexibility in how you approach and complete assessments. We encourage you to find what works best for you and to please pass along any tools you use or recommendations you have regarding organizing or completing assessments. In addition, CASP offers a webinar on practical strategies for school psychologists. It is meant for first-year or newer school psychologists, but we think it provides helpful suggestions and is a good refresher for all of us.

  •  Use computer scoring whenever possible. Feel free to ask whether a particular test has an online scoring option so the Special Education department can look into it.
  •  Create templates so you do not have to switch each mention of gender (she/he/they or hers/his/theirs) throughout a report.
  •  Create a summary template about strengths and needs that you fill out immediately after scoring each assessment. This will help with writing report summaries as well as Present Levels of Performance (PLPS) in an IEP. The summary template can be as simple as this:
    Strengths
    • Cognitive
    • Academic
    • Behavior/Social-Emotional (teacher and parent)
    Needs
    • Cognitive
    • Academic
    • Behavior/Social-Emotional (teacher and parent)

More Resources for School Psychologists

We hope you found these tips from our team a helpful addition to your school psychologist toolkit. For other ideas, visit our educational resources blog, where you’ll find articles on counseling techniques, special education evaluation and assessment, anti-bullying resources, suicide prevention, self-care for school psychologists, and more!

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