Do you have 10 to even 20 psychoeducational assessments with open assessment plans like I do? If so, let’s talk “organization”. These 6 tools may already be in your fanny pack of resources, or may be similar to ones your district provides. However, these are my own self-created tools that I’ve found work better than generic district-provided forms. Hope they can help you too!
1. Assessment Checklist
This is probably the most important tool that keeps me organized during the school year. As a school psychologist, you MUST have a system for keeping organized in order to conduct multiple assessments at the same time. If you’re new to being a school psychologist, you may not realize that you don’t assess one student at a time, it’s more like 5-10 at a time, or 10-15!
This can make things confusing. If you do not have a system, you may realize a little too late that you never gave the parents a rating scale, or you forgot to observe the student…and the IEP is tomorrow! Having a checklist that you keep in each student’s folder can be a useful tool that can help you when juggling multiple cases…and multiple school sites.
2. Teacher Summary Report:
This is a teacher questionnaire that I created many years ago. I made it because I really just didn’t like the ones that were provided by my district. Helpful tip…Teachers DO NOT want to complete something that is more than one page! This is why I created something that condenses all of the information that I actually need for my reports.
Sometimes teachers complete the bare minimum of my form. However, at least it’s usually some information regarding academic, peer relations, and behavior. Some is better than none. If this happens, however, I will usually go bother teachers for more details if I need to.
3. Parent Questionnaire:
We should always try to get some information from the parents, right? Sometimes this information is needed and sometimes it’s not. I typically use parent information in the “Family History” section of my report. I think it’s a better safe than sorry situation. This is because it provides an opportunity for parents to vent their concerns and share some useful information on the home environment.
Sometimes parents will not return this form. If that happens, I can indicate in my report that parent declined to complete a questionnaire. By sending home something every time, and then calling on occasion, we can feel better about making the effort and then documenting in the report that the parent refused (or was unable to) complete what was sent home.
4. Student Interview Form:
Interviewing the student with some or all of the questions on my questionnaire can help build a little rapport before jumping into testing. I used to use the paragraph writing sample a lot, particularly with Middle School students, but lately I have been using it less. I actually use the paragraph prompt as both a tool to see a little of their writing and as a social/emotional evaluation tool because sometimes some very interesting topics appear.
5. Sentence Completion:
I use this tool as part of my Social/Emotional evaluation for students in grades 2 through the 8th grade. I do not use it every assessment, but it can really come in handy for students that you may be considering adding counseling services for or for students with Autism, as some very interesting response may provided some good information,
If the student has really low writing skills and I want a little social-emotional information from them, I will just read the sentences and write the answers in form them. The BASC 3 can be too overwhelming and invasive, and students often tend to give answers that they know will be considered “good” or they will be intimidated by all of the reading needed to complete the BASC 3 Self-rating scale.
6. Observation Samples:
Our observations are often the most critical part of our analysis for eligibility and how their disability impacts their academic or social functioning. Below are some samples of how I write observations, so that you can see the types of information that I include and look for during my testing, unstructured time, and recess observations.