President Dave Ramos of the Palm Beach Association of School Psychologists (PBASP) spoke to the Palm Beach County School Board on April 20th this year concerning the important roles of school psychologist in assisting all children to learn within the District.
His full text is here:
“Superintendent Malone and Ladies and Gentlemen of the board…
My name is David Ramos and I am the current President of the Palm Beach Association of School Psychologists- also known as PBASP. The mission of PBASP is to promote educationally and psychologically healthy environments for all students by providing comprehensive services that prevent problems, enhance independence, and encourage optimal learning within the schools of Palm Beach County. This mission is accomplished through professional training, advocacy, ethical standards, program evaluation, and caring professional service. PBASP is comprised of 69 total members, 66 of which are employed with the School District of Palm Beach County. Many of these individuals are seated behind me tonight.
School psychologists touch the lives of students every day, at every grade level, in every school in Palm Beach County. We are highly trained to address barriers to learning across the spectrum of educational issues at the individual, classroom, and building-wide levels, particularly given mandates established by No Child Left Behind and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act. Our specialized skills allow us to play a key role in assessing student needs and helping to remove barriers to student achievement and outcomes. We help improve student performance by providing psycho-educational assessments for learning, behavior, and mental health problems; support for English Language Learners; group and individual counseling; drop-out prevention; positive behavioral supports; consultation with school staff, parents , and community agencies; risk assessment; and crisis intervention and postvention services. Additionally, we have extensive knowledge of school law, and we work to ensure that school-based multidisciplinary teams are compliant with federal and state statutes. To offer a snapshot of who school psychologists are, I’d like to quote Dr. Gene Cash, the former president of the National Association of School Psychologists, and a nationally recognized leader in the field, “School psychologists are the one professional in our schools who know more about behavior and mental health than most educators, while understanding more about education than most other mental health professionals.” We are THE BEST TRAINED mental health professionals in our schools today.
Ladies and gentlemen, in these stressful political and economic times, I hope you recognize the value of our role and support what we do for our students every day.
Thank you for the opportunity”