• Is It Time for a Rebranding of SEL to “Life Skills?”

    by Tyler Vassar, EdS, Licensed Specialist in School Psychology and Pearson Assessments Consultant

    Group of children smiling

    Over the past few years, we’ve seen the concept of social-emotional learning (SEL) become a political hot potato. Schools and districts caught up in that conflict are missing an opportunity to help students build critical skills. After all, nine in 10 public schools say the pandemic negatively affected students’ behavioral and socioemotional development, according to U.S. Department of Education data.

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  • There's no 'I' in team: How to work with parents to support students with ADHD

    by Kathleen Woodward, Nationally Certified School Psychologist and Senior Assessment Consultant for Pearson

    Teacher helping students with class work

    Ask most educators about recent changes they’ve seen in the classroom, and one that is sure to come up is an increase in disruptive behavior, the type commonly attributed to ADHD. Yet a key challenge educators currently face is how to determine whether a student has ADHD or if they are behaviorally appearing as such for reasons that may be related to other issues, such as those tied to the lingering effects of the school closures and routine disruption caused by the pandemic.

    That’s where conversations with caregivers should take center stage. After all, they might just think their child is acting out and be unaware of how to help them. When educators and caregivers align around strategies and work collaboratively, they can help a student successfully navigate the ADHD-related challenges they may be facing at home and at school.

    Here are some actionable strategies you can implement to help students operate more successfully in both the school and home environments.

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  • A step-by-step guide to building bridges with parents

    A smiling adult assisting a smiling child with school work

    You don’t have to look far to find an article detailing the state of student achievement these days. Math and reading scores are down from where they were pre-pandemic and educators and parents alike are scrambling to find ways to close the gap. Unfortunately, academic scores aren’t the only concern in need of attention; an extraordinary percentage of our students are facing mental health challenges — many of them dire.

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  • Calming the storm: 5 tips to help caregivers tame back-to-school anxiety

    by Selina Oliver, NCSP and Senior Assessment Consultant for Pearson

    Two adults in front seats and two children in back seats of car.

    Everyone gets the back-to-school jitters — even educators. There’s a reason the “Sunday Scaries” is a thing, whether you’re returning from a long vacation or a typical weekend. And of course, this apprehension is not reserved for you and your colleagues. Students and their families likely also feel angst during transitions back to school and work. 

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  • Ease staff workload and help students succeed with digital assessments

    Child working on tablet.

    You don’t need to go far to hear about the staffing woes in our schools, and the most critical needs are within the special education and school psychologists' departments. These education professionals and their peers, including SLPs and reading specialists, need to assess more students than ever to identify the students who need instructional, speech, and mental health support — with less time and fewer resources at their disposal.

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  • Why does summer break impact student mental health?

    children playing on playground

    Summertime is often a welcomed period of fun and rest for students, rewarding them with a much-needed break from their schoolwork. However, mental health never takes a vacation, and there are signs of exacerbating problems in the summer months.

    A key challenge is the disruption of routine that summer brings. There’s also the reduced access to counselors, teachers, and other positive adult role models that were either a source of comfort and guidance or a positive reinforcement for their mental health. Financial instability is also a common factor, especially with students who relied on school breakfasts and lunches for their daily meals.  

    It’s important to note that students from historically marginalized groups are more likely to suffer from reduced access to mental health resources throughout the school year, not just in the summer.

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  • Assessments that can help you support more clients

    A man sitting on a couch speaking with a therapist

    Support more clients with anxiety and depression assessments

    In 1908, Clifford Beers published his autobiography, a chronicle of his experiences while institutionalized as well as along his mental health journey. His words held a lot of weight and reached a lot of important people who helped him begin to influence change. Over the next century, mental health and its effects on every aspect of our lives has garnered growing attention, but never as much as we are seeing today.

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