On April 26, 2012 DCPS announced a new staffing model for schools with regard to special education. The new model will elevate the role of the school psychologist in the special education process. As DCPS sees it, school psychologists are uniquely qualified to take the lead in evaluating and creating special education plans for students. They have specific training in assessments as well as highly developed skills to create specific and meaningful intervention plans.

No mention is made of where this leaves special education coordinators the people in the schools that have been in charge of the evaluation and implementation process.  The DCPS announcement specifically cites the important role school psychologists can play in the Responses to Intervention (RTI) model. RTI is a highly regarded comprehensive model and approach to school interventions, both academic and behavioral, that many school systems use. At this time, DCPS has not adopted or implemented the RTI model.

We will have to watch closely next year to seewhat the effect of this change will be in our schools and for our children. Will we see more creative and targeted interventions and supports? Will the information and communication parents need be provided in a timely and supportive way? Will a whole school model be implemented that will address the needs of more students? Let’s see where this latest effort takes us.

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