You’ve likely heard about LSSPs before, but maybe aren’t 100% what they are. LSSP stands for Licensed Specialists in School Psychology, and they’re one of the foundations to a functional and healthy school.
As LSSPs at Region 13, we conduct evaluations (and often reevaluations) to determine if your students are eligible for, or can continue in, special education services, academic and behavior intervention plans, and counseling as a related service. We also help assess disabilities that are listed under IDEA’s 13 categories, with the exception of visual impairment, hearing impairment, and speech or language impairment.
What areas do LSSPs’ evaluations cover?
LSSPs usually cover a lot of areas with their evaluations and services. After all, the job of a LSSP is diverse, taking a range of student experiences into account. Typically, LSSPs do records reviews, interview both parents and teachers, and have direct observations of students. Our LSSPs at Region 13 cover a lot of areas that you might not think about on your own. They do cognitive assessments of your students and look at academic achievement. They also look at adaptive abilities and do behavioral assessments, looking for things like ADHD, executive functioning, autism, and other psychological disorders.
LSSPs might also help your students by providing testing support like administering and scoring assessments, district observations, and data collection on an hourly or contract basis. Our LSSPs do hourly work in this area, alleviating the pressure that district assessment staff has and helping them to meet the timelines they need to meet.
How does the Evaluation Process Work?
When an LSSP accepts an evaluation request, they directly communicate with all the stakeholders of a student to access the necessary medical and school records. Then they set up interviews, observations, and even testing sessions with everyone involved. Depending on the LSSP you’re contracting with, the time to write an evaluation varies. Our LSSPs conduct and write all of their evaluations within 45 school days and provide copies of evaluations to their district contacts and parents by the end of the 45th day. An average time is around 45-50 days, though some LSSPs take longer.
Being in touch with both teachers and parents is a critical skill for all LSSPs to have. After a LSSP conducts an evaluation, they’ll review those results with parents prior to any meetings which focus on eligibility determinations. LSSPs recognize that parents and teachers alike all need to be accurately informed about results, because they’re the foundation of that students’ success. Our LSSPs also attend eligibility determination meetings to review results and recommendations with the IEP team (Individualized Education Program). Typically, those evaluations will be written in a format agreed upon by the district or campus. Our LSSPs write their evaluations in a format suiting the district from an embedded formal program or just a separate word document.
What else do LSSPs do?
In addition to evaluation services, many LSSPs offer additional help. Our LSSPs help conduct functional behavioral assessments and behavior intervention plans for students with behavior concerns. They’ll help you throughout the process too, from simply completing an FBA or BIP and sending you on your way, to attending meetings and training your staff on the plans you’ve already made.
While some LSSPs work independently as contracted individuals, our LSSPs operate as part of a larger behavior team operating within Region 13. Because of this, they offer individual behavior consultations, trainings, webinars, and staff in-service if needed. LSSPs have a range of interests and specializations that allow them to help you with any specific problems you might have. Our LSSPs specialize in research-based behavior interventions, working with students with psychological disorders like depression and anxiety, data collection, manifestation determination, and Social Emotional Learning. This means that not only can LSSPs evaluate your students and draft plans for you, they often can provide you the help you need to deal with issues that arise!
The last task that LSSPs typically do is provide supervision services for LSSP trainees and interns. Here at Region 13, our supervision assistance includes a minimum of weekly in-person one-on-one support, access to our test materials and resources, and regular access to the supervisor in person or via email telephone and text.