resources for parents

School Psychologists: Powering Growth in Student’s Academic and Mental Health

Children and adolescents in the United States face significant challenges related to academic achievement and mental health. For example, only 36% (reading) and 40% (mathematics) of 4th grade students scored at or above proficiency on standardized tests in 2015 (McFarland et al., 2017). Approximately 1 out of every 17 students will not complete high school and about 13% of the school population, representing 6.6 million youth, require special education services for one or more disabilities that invariably affect their learning and mental health (McFarland et al., 2017). Roughly 1 out of every 5 students will experience a clinically significant mental disorder chiefly including anxiety disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and mood disturbances such as depression (Kessler et al., 2012). Thus, it is clear that our student population needs ongoing, effective support to meet and overcome these challenges successfully. Who will answer the call to address these needs? Fortunately, school psychologists are ideally suited to enhance student academic and mental health given their extensive training and experience in educational and mental health support strategies.


Does your child seem stressed to be back at school? Fear not.

It is normal for some students to experience back-to-school stress. Many challenges come with the start of a new school year. This article is geared toward the typical stressors of starting or returning to school, and is not intended to focus on students showing severe cases of anxiety or depression. Many of the school-related challenges described below can cause students distress, irritability, reduced focus or academic performance. Though many of these changes simply take time to adapt to, others are readily addressable.



7 Things to do this Summer to Get your Child Ready for Kindergarten

For some, summer already feels likes it’s over and the school bell is about to ring.  For others, the start of school feels like it is barely on the horizon and that many long summer days are in between.  Regardless of how you are feeling about the start of school, there are some easy things that you can do to make the transition into school easier for your Kindergartener. The way that children start school can contribute to establishing a positive trajectory in school.  It is a good investment of a bit of your time over the summer to help get their school year off to a great start.  Here are 7 Things to do this summer to get your child ready for Kindergarten:


The 5 W’s of Threat Appraisals

Are you a K-12 teacher, administrator, school support staff member or parent that feels concerned, confused or panicked when you hear a student make a threat? The following information will help you understand the 5 W’s related to threat appraisals, the safety process and help you create a plan of action to avoid major catastrophes now and in the future.


All About Kindergarten Screening: What You As A Parent or Caretaker Should Know

Kindergarten screening is a way to gauge your child’s current functioning and growth. It is a brief evaluation or assessment of several developmental domains of functioning in young children that typically takes place prior to the beginning of kindergarten. Although there are myriad benefits to kindergarten screening such as providing accurate estimates of your child’s functioning, informing you and professionals of areas of strengths and challenges, and assisting in planning interventions if necessary, it is not routinely conducted in the United States perhaps because it is not required. As the benefits of kindergarten screening continue to emerge, however, school systems may be more open to begin or enhance their kindergarten screening procedures. As a parent or caretaker, here’s what you should know.


10 Ways Schools and Parents Can Help Students with ADHD

Kevin, a bright, enthusiastic second-grader, has tremendous difficulties in school. He can’t seem to pay attention to his teacher’s instruction, gets distracted easily by activities around him, has trouble staying still in his seat, and often bothers his classmates by talking to them during work time or calling out without permission. As a result, Kevin gets very little work done and is getting increasingly further behind in math and reading. Kevin’s teacher and parents are very frustrated and blame each other for Kevin’s difficulties. Unfortunately, Kevin’s situation is very typical for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); a condition that affects between 5 to 10% of students in the US.



The 4 Principles of Attachment Parenting and Why They Work

Attachment parenting took a beating after the May 2012 issue of Time Magazine with its controversial cover picture of Jamie Lynne Grummet nursing her 3-year-old son. If the cover wasn’t inflammatory enough, the title, “Are You Mom Enough?” added further fuel to anti-attachment (aka anti-helicopter) parenting outrage. The implications of this cover story were that there’s something wrong with parents (especially mothers) who coddle their children or at least become too involved in their upbringing.