The CCS School Psychologist Experience
Hear directly from CCS school psychologists and how they are applying their skill set to help CCS students.
Hope on the Hilltop: Connect, Care, & Repair with the Highland Team
“We want every student to know… you belong here, we want you here, you are a part of our community, and we care for you.”
This is the mission statement of the Highland ES leadership team, as voiced by Courtney Ryan, full-time social worker at Highland. Here, Courtney joins Highland principal Shelley Dime and full-time Highland school psychologist Desiree Nutt in a round table discussion mediated by Dr. Danita Thornton, a supervisor of the school psychology program. The group lays out their school’s guiding principles and how they’ve put them into action.
These three leaders, in coordination with the rest of the Highland team, have instituted a way of doing things that they term ‘Connect, Care, & Repair,’ which is rooted in PBIS, with branches extending into concepts such as trauma-informed care and restorative practices.
The team breaks down the level of a need discovered amongst their students and how they have responded. During the 2021-2022 school year, Highland has 183 students receiving tier 2 and tier 3 PBIS interventions. Through seemingly simple practices such as their Morning Meetings, they open lines of communication and gain insight into students’ lives, giving both students and staff an opportunity to decompress - what Shelley calls “a time to be heard and a time to be human.” And they’re not stopping there - Highland has also linked up with a multitude of community partners, putting into motion their plan for every child to have a touchpoint in the community, with 74 students so far connected with outside agencies. The team goes on to discuss their plans for the future, using new strategies such as Zones of Regulation to help kids learn to self-manage within the classroom and minimize any missed learning time – and that’s where the real payoff lies.
Desiree Nutt, School Psychologist, is assigned to Highland Elementary five days a week, which has allowed her to implement Tier 1-3 programming that has directly impacted over 100 students at the school. More importantly, Desiree learned the importance of teamwork through working with the full-time counselor, full-time social worker, teachers, and administrator. Planning and coordinating with staff have strengthened the positive impact of the school-wide programs. For more details on the positive impact at Highland, check out Desiree's PowerPoint Highland ES Full-Time Psychologist Position.pptx
--> Keep the conversation going! Click the links below to learn more about the programs mentioned in today’s discussion:
School Psychologists and Teen Mental Health
Dr. Danita Thornton, School Psychologist Supervisor, was interviewed on the CCS Podcast. Dr. Thornton discussed teen mental health and the resources that are available to students. Click to listen!