When children and teens have emotional, behavioral, or learning problems at school, a comprehensive school evaluation pinpoints the problem and guides the treatment and educational services needed.
At New York Neuropsychological Services in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan, Nicole Murray, Psy.D., specializes in performing school evaluations, helping students get the services they need to succeed and thrive at school.
What is a school evaluation?
A school evaluation is a psychological evaluation that’s performed when a child or teen struggles in school. School evaluations are commonly requested when emotional, behavioral, social, or learning problems interfere with the student’s success.
The results of the evaluation are then used to guide educational services to support the student. In many cases, a psychological evaluation is the first step for creating an individualized education program (IEP) for students with special needs.
Who can request a school evaluation?
Parents, teachers, principals, and the school’s special education director can all request a school evaluation. When the school staff begins the process, they notify the parents, explain why they’d like to have an evaluation, and obtain the parent’s consent.
If parents see problems and would like their child to be evaluated, they send a written request to the school. The letter triggers the process, and then the school must follow a timeline for obtaining the evaluation.
What should I expect during a school evaluation?
Dr. Murray uses different types of assessments, depending on the reason for the school evaluation and the student’s challenges. These are a few of the basic types of tests used:
Standardized tests evaluate your child then compare their score to the test results from a group of peers. The score is reported along with a percentile rank showing how your child compares to other students their age.
Rating scales rate the frequency of specific behaviors, emotions, and skills. Dr. Murray may complete rating scales after observing your child, but it’s also common for teachers and parents to complete the form.
Self-report scales Dr. Murray may ask older students to rate their own behaviors and skills.
Interviews Dr. Murray talks with the student, parents, and teachers to learn about the student’s history of behavioral, emotional, and learning problems. Interviews also provide information about each person’s concerns and goals, as well as information about lifestyle or classroom factors that may affect the student’s learning and behavior.
Observations Dr. Murray may observe the student at school, watching how they interact with other students and teachers.
Dr. Murray doesn’t need to use all of these different assessments to perform a comprehensive evaluation. School evaluations are individualized to meet the student’s needs.
If you have concerns about your child’s development or performance at school, call New York Neuropsychological Services or schedule an appointment online.