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Psychological Services

School Psychologists promote educationally and psychologically healthy environments for all children and adolescents by implementing research-based, effective programs that prevent problems, enhance independence and promote optimal learning.

School Psychologists are available to support all students. Most children and adolescents face problems from time to time. Some problems may include:

  • Worrying about starting school.
  • Struggling with organizational problems.
  • Lacking in study skills.
  • Falling behind in their school work.
  • Feeling sad, angry, lonely or rejected.
  • Having problems with family or friends.
  • Experimenting with drugs or alcohol.
  • Worrying about their sexuality.
  • Thinking about suicide.
  • Considering dropping out of school.

Meeting Student Needs

School Psychologists provide services according to the individualized needs of the students in their schools. While practices vary, most school psychologists:


  • Help school staff understand learning and behavior problems and their effects on student achievement.
  • Participate in several problem-solving teams to support a student’s academic achievement.
  • Provide suggestions and recommendations to promote success in the classroom and at home.
  • Coordinate services between school staff, home and local community agencies.
  • Provide recommendations for community resources and help to promote social and emotional wellness.
  • Advocate for student needs both in and out of school.
  • Provide direct support to specialized programs within the school.


  • Provide individual and group counseling to students during the school day when it is deemed necessary to directly support academic achievement.
  • Develop behavior intervention plans to support students whose behaviors impede their learning or the learning of other students.
  • Develop educational strategies or action plans to support students in critical skill areas.
  • Assist students, staff and families with crises.
  • Help students problem-solve conflicts.


  • Help to identify potential learning problems.
  • Provide strategies to help parents and teachers address behavior.
  • Help promote a climate of cultural proficiency.
  • Develop school-wide initiatives to address bullying and promote the use of Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports.
  • Participate in school-based crisis teams to provide training to staff in the event of a crisis.


When formal assessments are indicated through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 team decision, a wide variety of techniques are used to assess a student’s level of functioning in the following areas:

  • Academic skills.
  • Learning aptitudes.
  • Social-emotional and behavioral functioning.
  • Social skills.
  • Learning environment and social climates.

Staff Professional Development

Psychologists help support school staff by providing professional development on a variety of topics, including:

  • Student learning strategies.
  • Classroom management techniques.
  • Students with disabilities.
  • Substance abuse issues.
  • Crisis management.
  • Suicide prevention.

School Psychologist Training

National Association of School Psychologists Excellence in School Psychological Services logo.

School psychologist training includes a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours and a year-long internship. Training focuses on child development, learning, behavior, motivation, mental health issues, school organization, and legal and ethical issues. School psychologists are certified by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Most HCPSS psychologists are also nationally certified by the National School Psychology Certification Board (NSPCB).

In 2021, the HCPSS Office of Psychological Services received the Excellence in School Psychological Services (ESPS) Silver Award from the National Association of School Psychologists. This recognition reflects the commitment and hard work of HCPSS’ school psychologists who support the learning and mental health of all students.

Contact Information

Mail or telephone:

Department of Psychological Services
Applications and Research Laboratory
10920 Clarksville Pike (Route 108)
Ellicott City, MD 21042
410-313-6773 (P)
410-313-6780 (F)