During School Psychology Awareness Week, Nov. 11-15, the Comal Independent School District recognized the Licensed Specialists in School Psychology (LSSP) who work behind the scenes and across the district to ensure every student’s success. These highly-educated and trained professionals support families, teachers, administrators and campus staff to create safe, healthy and encouraging school environments.
“Our LSSPs provide expertise in mental health, learning and behavior,” said Michele Martella, Comal ISD’s executive director of special education services. “They are uniquely qualified to help students succeed academically, socially, behaviorally and emotionally.”
Comal ISD employs 17 LSSPs and six diagnosticians with four open positions currently available for qualified LSSPs, which is the Texas credential that permits the practice of school psychology.
“Our primary role is evaluation to determine eligibility for special education services,” said Brooke Simmons, Comal ISD’s coordinator of psychological services. “This involves assessments to determine if students meet criteria for one of the 13 areas of special education eligibility. LSSPs also provide related service counseling to students in special education as well as consultation and collaboration with teachers and staff.”
For Angela Fox, studying school psychology combined her love for psychology and desire to work with children perfectly. As an LSSP for Comal ISD at Garden Ridge Elementary, Fox said that while no two days are alike, she typically spends her time testing and observing students, scoring assessments, writing reports and working with teachers and staff.
“I strive every day to find ways to help our students achieve success; whether it be through intervention ideas that I give teachers or evaluating them to determine what services they need to reach their potential,” Fox said.
The LSSP license is required by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (TSBEP) to provide school psychological services in Texas public schools. An LSSP must complete a graduate degree in school psychology or closely related field; receive a passing score on the national exam for school psychology; and be eligible for certification as a National Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) or educational equivalent. In Texas, the title of School Psychologist is limited to those licensed psychologists with a doctorate degree in school psychology.
Thank you to all LSSPs for all you do!
-LSSP Angela Fox
-LSSP Brooke Simmons serves as Comal ISD's coordinator of pyschological services.