Friday, May 6, 2016

School Psychologist: Getting started with Assessments

Oh Spring.  What a dichotomy for School Psychologists.  The weather is warm, you can break out bright colors and iced coffee, but at the same time, you are scrambling, trying to beat the federal timeline on the most popular time of the year for special education referrals.  While that  will probably never change, I have developed a system over the years, for organizing and keeping track of my evaluations.



I've finally developed a system that is pretty smooth, and allows me to balance multiple evals with once without going nuts.  Here is my system:

1.  Create a cover sheet for your folder you'll keep everything in.  This is what I use, and it's been super efficient for me for the past 3 years.  It has everything I need on it, including:

  • Assessments I am doing
  • PPT dates, due dates
  • A way of tracking what assessments & observations I've done, and when I send them out/return them.




I staple that sheet to the front of your folder, write the student's name and due date on the tab, and staple a copy of the consent for testing form to the back inside, just in case there are any questions.

2.  The same day I create this, I send out a copy of all forms I need other people to fill out (developmental history, rating scales, etc.), and write those down on my form.  Another way I have made this really easy is having pre-written letters that I can quickly fill in.  Then, I stick those in an envelope and send them home/put them in teachers mailboxes.

  
One more tip:  Write "To:" and "From:" on the outside of your envelope.  Chances are, the parents will just cross out those words and switch them, and the chances of your envelope going back to the classroom teacher or random other person, are slim.



  3.  Also the same day, I get a copy of the protocols I need and put them in the students folder.  This saves last minute scrambling of me using the last protocol!





4.  Once things come in, or I finish them, I write those dates down on the cover sheet.

5.  If you don't already, as I mentioned in this post, you NEED a report template.  It will make your life  6 million times easier.  For mine, I try to go through and update things once a year to add any new assessments I have learned.

What's your secret to Spring eval season success?

Here are my go-to forms:

Testing planning form on TpT (Cover sheet)
Observation form on TpT
A student interview (I use this as an informal ice breaker for students)
A template letter for parent rating scales
A template letter for teacher rating scales



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