Gov. Roy Cooper proclaimed the week of Nov. 7 to 11 as School Psychology Awareness Week in order to recognize the important work school psychologists do to help students succeed.
The theme of this year’s National School Psychology Week, which is also Nov. 7 to 11, is “Together We Shine.”
School psychologists across the state work with students, parents and other staff members to implement interventions to address behavioral and academic struggles. They also conduct evaluations of students who are suspected of having a disability and might require specially-designed instruction.
Twelve school psychologists work at Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. They serve pre-K through high school students and also work in alternative programs, including the Virtual Learning Academy.
“I chose school psychology because I think it's incredible to work with a team of educators that have the same goal in creating a positive environment for students and bolstering their success,” Emily Heghmann, a psychologist at Chapel Hill High School, said.
The CHCCS psychologists, while they have individual caseloads, share resources and knowledge with one another, according to Heghmann.
Heghmann is in her second year at CHHS. In addition to the broader responsibilities of evaluating students and determining the best educational programming for them, she said she began training this year to conduct psychotherapy sessions.
The 16-week sessions, during which Heghmann said she will work entirely with Hispanic students, will help students identify stressors and how to overcome them.
“It's really important to have these services in schools because not everybody has the opportunity to access them outside of school, whether that be for socio-economic reasons, including transportation or different levels of concern in housing,” Heghmann said.