School Psychological Services

  • Ms. Angie Harrison
    Southern High School, Southern Middle School, Crellin Elementary
    301-334-8881 extension 2317 (please leave a message with your name and return number)

    Dr. Allyson Martz
    Northern High School, Northern Middle School, Grantsville Elementary, Friendsville Elementary
    Ms. Susan Thatcher
    Accident Elementary, Broad Ford Elementary, Yough Glades Elementary, Route 40 Elementary, Swan Meadow Elementary
    Please reach out if you would like to talk to someone! We'd love to hear from our students!

    School Psychological Services

    School psychologists are uniquely qualified members of school teams that support students' ability to learn and teachers' ability to teach. They apply expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior, to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. School psychologists partner with families, teachers, school administrators, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community.
    What Do School Psychologists Do? School psychologists provide direct support and interventions to students, consult with teachers, families, and other school-employed mental health professionals (i.e., school counselors, school social workers) to improve support strategies, work with school administrators to improve school-wide practices and policies, and collaborate with community providers to coordinate needed services. They help schools successfully:
    Improve Academic Achievement
    • Promote student motivation and engagement
    • Conduct psychological and academic assessments
    • Individualize instruction and interventions
    • Manage student and classroom behavior
    • Monitor student progress
    • Collect and interpret student and classroom data
    • Reduce inappropriate referrals to special education.
    Promote Positive Behavior and Mental Health
    • Improve students' communication and social skills
    • Assess student emotional and behavioral needs
    • Provide individual and group counseling
    • Promote problem-solving, anger management, and conflict resolution
    • Reinforce positive coping skills and resilience
    • Promote positive peer relationships and social problem solving
    • Make referrals to and help coordinate community services provided in schools
    Support Diverse Learners
    • Assess diverse learning needs
    • Provide culturally responsive services to students and families from diverse backgrounds
    • Plan appropriate Individualized Education Programs for students with disabilities
    • Modify and adapt curricula and instruction
    • Adjust classroom facilities and routines to improve student engagement and learning
    • Monitor and effectively communicate with parents about student progress
    Create Safe, Positive School Climates
    • Prevent bullying and other forms of violence
    • Support social-emotional learning
    • Assess school climate and improve school connectedness
    • Implement and promote positive discipline and restorative justice
    • Implement school-wide positive behavioral supports
    • Identify at-risk students and school vulnerabilities
    • Provide crisis prevention and intervention services
    Strengthen Family-School Partnerships
    • Help families understand their child's learning and mental health needs
    • Assist in navigating special education processes
    • Connect families with community service providers when necessary
    • Help effectively engage families with teachers and other school staff
    • Enhance staff understanding and responsiveness to diverse cultures and backgrounds
    • Help students transition between school and community learning environments, such as residential treatment or juvenile justice programs
    Improve School-Wide Assessment and Accountability Monitor individual student progress in academics and behavior
    • Generate and interpret useful student and school outcome data
    • Collect and analyze data on risk and protective factors related to student outcomes
    • Plan services at the district, building, classroom, and individual levels


    Student Resources

    During this time, you may be feeling all types of emotions. It is completely normal if you are feeling unsure about the future, maybe even a little anxious! The important part is how you manage these emotions. The best way to deal with these overwhelming emotions is SELF CARE! Here are some ideas to keep connected and help others.

    Managing Isolation or Loneliness

    Tools and ideas for coping with those feelings of aloneness
    1. Get in touch with friends and family. We all get caught up in our daily lives. Catching up with friends and family helps us remember our support network.
    2. The Walk and Talk. Remember the good old-fashioned phone call? Find a nice place near trees or water or even a city walk, connect your earbuds and call an old friend.
    3. Neighborhood stroll. Though you're avoiding big crowds of people when possible, you could take a stroll and talk with your neighbors. Chances are they are spending more time at home now too.
    4. Connect with pets and plants. It might sound silly at first, but there is a lot of joy to be found in connecting with the plant and animal world.
    5. Take time for self-care. Take a bath. Journal. Read a book. Cook. Sometimes a feeling of aloneness can actually end up being a doorway to self-exploration and an opportunity for growth!

    Managing Self-Isolation

    Taking care of yourself in the face of COVID-19.
    • Structure your days. Developing a sense of normality helps feelings of hopelessness. Set a routine and follow it as best you can (ie, get up, shower, eat, read, etc.)
    • Engage in Hobbies. Engage in your hobbies. Read, write, watch TV. Try to space out your activities. Pick up a skill you've wanted to do for a while.
    • Keep Social Contact. Talk to your friends and family. Beyond messaging, facetime, and Skype. Schedule time to ensure it's regular. Use streaming platforms to watch films together.
    • Practice self-care. Ensure you are taking care of yourself. Engage in grounding techniques. Do a face mask. Treat yourself. Do some Yoga. Easy your mind and your body.

    6 Steps to Beat a Funk

    1. Name it. What is the funk stemming from?
    2. Feel it. What is the underlying feeling here?
    3. Talk it. Who do I trust to listen to my struggles?
    4. Get inspired. How can I change my mindset?
    5. Start small. What small thing can I commit to?
    6. Reinforcements. Who can help me get unstuck?

    If Feelings Could Talk

    • Sadness might be telling me I need to cry.
    • Loneliness might be telling me I need to connect.
    • Shame might tell me I need self-compassion.
    • Resentment might tell me I need to forgive.
    • Emptiness might be telling me I need to do something creative.
    • Anger might be telling me I need to check in with my boundaries.
    • Anxiety might be telling me I need to breathe.
    • Stress might be telling me to take it one step at a time.

    Daily Mental Health Bingo

    • Begin your day with gratitude
    • Disconnect from Technology and social media
    • Set a small goal each day
    • Eat foods that nourish your body
    • Monitor your shoulds. Are they from you or someone else?
    • Exercise for 30 minutes.
    • Take breaks from long work tasks.
    • Get adequate sleep.
    • Open up to someone.
    • Speak kindly to yourself.
    • Ask for help.
    • Send a thank you note to someone (or yourself).
    • Keep doing enjoyed activities. Let go of the pressure to start new hobbies.
    • Take time to acknowledge your feelings and remember they are "for now".
    • Spend 10 minutes in the sunshine.
    • Set and honor your boundaries.
    Parent Resources
    Community Resources
    Local Mental Health Providers: Provider List 2019
    24/7 National Suicide Hotline Number
    or text HOME to 741741