Teaching is not for the weak. Today’s societal and familial issues impact the classroom as never before; educators must respond appropriately to these issues, or schools fail.
Care Teams are one of the most effective methods for responding to schools’ needs. A Care Team is a group composed of diverse school professionals. When an at-risk student is referred to the Care Team, team members gather information about the situation, plan and implement appropriate interventions, and continue monitoring the circumstances, if necessary. The WCPA consultant first trains the team members, then functions as a leader and professional resource for the group.
An on-site consultant functions as school counselor or supplements a school’s existing counseling staff, and is usually purchased for a block of time each week. The consultant’s tasks often include observation of students or classrooms, brief counseling with students, communication with families, and consultation with teachers and administrators.
Principals meet monthly, in small groups, led by a WCPA consultant. In the group, principals present individual cases about students, families, staff, or policy, share support, and resolve problems that group members are having within their schools. All information shared is strictly confidential.
We frequently provide in-service education for school professionals. Presentations on a variety of issues are available, and length can vary from one hour to full-day workshops.
WCPA therapists work with groups of at-risk students, who need help to learn appropriate social skills and behaviors. Students are grouped by age and social skill needs, and meet regularly. After 6-8 sessions, group membership can be reassessed. During group, specific skills are taught, such as: basic social skills and manners, conflict resolution, anger management, making friends, and coping skills. Social skills groups are available at the WCPA office, and can also be provided in the school. Schools choosing to provide these groups on-site may designate the topics on which the groups will focus.
Schools concerned about the potential for dangerous behavior by a particular student can refer that student for a comprehensive risk assessment. With parental permission, the student and his or her family are interviewed, the teacher or relevant school professional is contacted, and a battery of psychological testing is performed. A written report is then provided to the school, outlining the therapist’s impressions.
Psycho-educational testing is offered for intellectual functioning (IQ), academic achievement, learning disabilities, emotional problems and ADHD. A full battery of psychological tests is available for students of all ages. All testing services include a timely, written report, as well as specific recommendations for the client and his or her family and/or school.
In addition, a diagnostic team can conduct a Comprehensive Student Assessment. The assessment includes an observation of the student in the classroom, consultation interviews with teachers and parents, psychological and/or educational testing, and a thorough written report with a feedback session for parents and school staff.