The Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES Mental Health Department comprises Master’s-level, NYS certified school psychologists and school social workers. Team members provide direct counseling services to students and families, crisis intervention, classroom consultation and can assist families by acting as a liaison with community service providers. Additional consultants are sometimes also utilized to provide added insight and support to students who may have more involved concerns in areas such as development, behavior, learning, psychiatric and/or substance abuse issues.
The student and counselor meet on an on-going basis, as directed by the IEP, to form a therapeutic relationship. Counseling can be provided individually or within a small group setting. Through the therapeutic relationship, the counselor helps the student modify attitudes and behaviors that may interfere with school success while helping the student to achieve his/her potential in the follow areas: social, emotional, behavioral, academic. MH staff in conjunction with classroom teachers may also conduct psycho-educational groups within the classroom setting separate from IEP status.
The counselor and the parent/guardian meet regularly to form a working relationship in order to support the student in his/her academic setting. Goals of the service may include: promotion of positive home/school communication, increased understanding of student functioning, enhancement of parenting skills, management of student behavior, and acquisition of needed resources to help meet student/family needs. Parent Counseling services must be indicated on a student’s IEP. Parent educational/support groups may also be formed on an as needed basis for interested parents/guardians.
At times, needs of a student and a family exceed what can be done through the traditional school counseling mode. Family Support Services is a short-term, more intensive service that is available to work with the entire family unit in a setting that is most comfortable to the family. Referrals for this service must come from a family’s home school district.
Certified school psychologists assess student cognitive, developmental, adaptive behavior, achievement, social/emotional skills, as well as behavioral and personality characteristics. This is done using a variety of standardized tests, observations and caregiver/student/staff interviews. A written report includes test results and interpretation, as well as recommendations, which may include classification eligibility, learning style, educational environment, outside agency involvement, etc. A student's program is evaluated at least every three years, and assessments are completed as determined by the student's IEP team. Additionally, psychologists can provide on-going support to the classroom staff and families around a student’s learning and behavioral issues.