What is a School Psychologist?
School psychologists help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. They collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community for all students.
School psychologists are highly trained in both psychology and education, completing a minimum of a specialist-level degree program that includes a year-long supervised internship. School psychologists are certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Meet Norwin's School Psychologists
Mrs. Michelle Ogg
Coordinator of Special Education and Student Services
Sheridan Terrace Elementary - Hahntown Elementary - Norwin Middle School
724-861-3000 ext 1117
Mrs. Stacey Lauter
Coordinator of Special Education and Gifted Services
Sunset Valley Elementary - Stewartsville Elementary
724-861-3000 ext 1906
Mrs. Brianna Mainwaring
Coordinator of Special Education and Psychological Services
Norwin High School - Hillcrest Intermediate - Norwin Middle School
724-861-3000 ext 1123
What do School Psychologists do?
School Psychologists Work With Students to:
- Provide counseling, instruction, and mentoring for those struggling with social, emotional, and behavioral problems
- Increase achievement by assessing barriers to learning and determining the best instructional strategies to improve learning
- Promote wellness and resilience by reinforcing communication and social skills, problem solving, anger management, self-regulation, self-determination, and optimism
- Enhance understanding and acceptance of diverse cultures and backgrounds
School Psychologists Work With Students and Their Families to:
- Identify and address learning and behavior problems that interfere with school success
- Evaluate eligibility for special education services (within a multidisciplinary team)
- Support students' social, emotional, and behavioral health
- Teach parenting skills and enhance home–school collaboration
- Make referrals and help coordinate community support services
School Psychologists Work With Teachers to:
- Identify and resolve academic barriers to learning
- Design and implement student progress monitoring systems
- Design and implement academic and behavioral interventions
- Support effective individualized instruction
- Create positive classroom environments
- Motivate all students to engage in learning
Following are examples of how the role a school psychologists in the school.
Helping Students With Learning Problems
Tommy's parents were concerned about his difficulty reading and writing. They feared that he would fall behind and lose confidence in himself. In school the teacher noticed that Tommy often struggled to understand what he was reading and often needed the help of his classmates to do related written work. After observing Tommy, consulting with his teacher, and gathering specific information about his skills, the school psychologist collaborated with his parents and teachers to develop a plan to improve his reading and writing. The plan worked, and Tommy's reading, writing, and confidence as a learner improved.
Helping Students With Behavior Problems Learn New Ways to Respond
David was a high school student who often skipped class and got into fights with others. He acted out in class and had been suspended from school on various occasions. After establishing a relationship with David, the school psychologist taught him simple techniques to relax, recognize his needs, and to control his aggressive behavior. David's mother and his teacher worked together on a plan designed by the school psychologist to establish limits, recognize David's escalating tension, and improve communication. David's relationships with peers and adults improved and he began to make steady progress towards graduation.
How do students or parents meet with a school psychologist?
Parents who would like to consult with a school psychologist should contact the Office of Special Education at (724)861-3026 and speak to the secretary who will assign the appropriate school psychologist (based on building, grade level, and/or specific concerns) to contact you.