My journey at PCOM started with the MS School Psychology program. After completing my MS degree and one year of the Ed.S. School Psychology program, here I am at year two of Ed.S. This is the last year of coursework before the final year, internship year!
So our courses this semester include practicum seminar with a concentration on law and ethics, consultation and collaboration in schools, and health psychology and behavioral medicine. We meet every Wednesday for consultation and collaboration and either seminar or health psychology afterwards. I’m excited for the consultation class because this is major part of any school psychologist’s job that we have only briefly reviewed up until this point in the program. During the consultation process, the school psychologist and teacher work together to develop an intervention plan for struggling students in need of behavioral, emotional, or academic support in order to prevent more serious issues from developing. Or at least, that's how I understand the process so far...
We also had our seminar class and discussed the practicum requirements and deadlines for this semester as well as educational law. I start the first week in September and plan on going on Fridays throughout the semester in addition to working as a PCA (Personal Care Assistant) Monday through Thursday in another school district. In current education news, we discussed No Child Left Behind (NCLB). On August 20, the U.S. Department of Education approved Pennsylvania’s NCLB waiver request. Applying to all public schools and local education agencies, this waiver allows the state to implement its own plans for preparing students and improving teachers and come up short on the AYP (Annual Yearly Progress) requirements for 2014 instead of following the strict guidelines set by NCLB. NCLB’s AYP required all students in schools receiving Title I funds to reach a proficient level on state tests in reading/language arts and math by the 2013-2014 school year. Expecting 100% of the student population to reach proficiency on state testing is a very ambitious, if not impossible goal, so many states applied for waivers and were granted them provided they created acceptable replacement accountability measures. The link below is a map of state waiver status.
I have also included a link to an article on the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s website that further explains the process and includes a helpful overview pdf about the NCLB waiver in Pennsylvania.