Teachers and Counselors Turn to School Psychologists in Times of - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Teachers and Counselors Turn to School Psychologists in Times of Need

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The Washoe County School District is raising awareness about the role that psychologists have in schools.

School psychologists offer assistance to the most academically and behaviorally challenged students, but they're also the ones who school counselors and teachers turn to when problems arise in the classroom.

Carly Lott is a Hug High School counselor, and Andy Haycock is the school's psychologist. The two will often work together, side-by-side, to provide help and support to students and staff.

“If a student reports suicidality, we can both do those kinds of risk assessments,” said Lott.

But when a school counselor, or even special education teacher, has difficulty working out a solution for a student who needs assistance, it's the psychologist who steps in to lend a helping hand.

“They might know a little bit more about where a student’s disability may lie or something like that and how that may be impacting their behavior or academic performance,” said Lott.

"This student is demonstrating some behaviors that might need some further support, do you mind helping me so we can better help this student to be successful,” said Crystal Jackson, a special education teacher.

While that success might be defined differently by mental health, learning and behavioral needs, providing a positive impact in a student's life is what Haycock says school psychologists strive for.

"Being that person that the students and the staff can rely upon for additional help in times of need,” said Haycock.

Sometimes those times of need coincide with times of crisis. When a deadly threat or event like the Sparks Middle School shooting takes place, Haycock is amongst those who're qualified to give support to the school and families who're affected.

“School psychologists lead the process in identifying the nature of the threat and determine if there's more services that need to be provided and ensure that every single student in the school district is safe,” said Haycock.

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