• Welcome to School Psychology!
    I look forward to seeing everyone in September! 
    Name: Joy Pagano
    Phone: (609) 978-5700, ext. 1145


    Hello! My name is Joy Pagano and I am the School Psychologist at McKinley Avenue Elementary School. I am also a member of the Child Study Team for McKinley Avenue Elementary School.  Additionally, I provide counseling services to students in need of assistance.   


    School Psychologists have many roles, including:


    Assessment: School Psychologists are responsible for providing data-based, non-biased psychological assessment for children. Assessment for School Psychologists takes many forms, including: individual, standardized assessment of intellectual functioning, personality and behavior, sensory-motor development,and adaptive functioning. In addition, School Psychologists are also skilled at observing and interpreting behavior in the natural setting. One of the most important skills School Psychologists need to have is the ability to communicate the results of their assessment efforts so that the data are useful to the adults who will work with the child.  


    Consultation: One of the most important roles of the School Psychologist is that of consultant to teachers, professional staff, and parents. The School Psychologist works individually or in collaborative teams to help address the learning and behavioral needs of all students in the school. Using consultation strategies and techniques, the School Psychologist helps other staff members gain insight and skill so as to work more effectively with the children.


    Counseling: School Psychologists are skilled in providing counseling services to all ages of children and youth, in both individual and small group formats. Teachers and parents will often refer students for concerns, such as attention problems, aggression, mild depression, anxiety, social skills difficulties, and numerous other concerns, particularly as they are exhibited in the school setting. After assessing the particular needs of the child, the School Psychologist may elect to provide counseling services.


    Program Evaluation: An important and growing role for School Psychologists is that of program evaluation.  School Psychologists help administrators and teachers assess the effectiveness and usefulness of in-school efforts such as drug and alcohol prevention programs, school violence prevention programs, protective behaviors programs, and many others.


    Child Study Team Member: School Psychologists are a member of the Child Study Team. The Child Study Team is composed of Social Workers, Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant (LDTC), and School Psychologists. These individuals are typically case managers and are responsible for the development, review, and revision of students’ Individualized Education Program.  The Child Study Team is knowledgeable about students’ educational needs and programs.  Child Study Team members often advocate for student services and the students’ best interests. 



    Encouraging Social Success at Home!
    Parents are fundamental contributors to their child's success. A home environment that promotes academic and social success should not be undervalued. Many parents work to improve a child's academic success by making sure the child completes all homework, studies for tests, and develops creative projects, but parents also have opportunities to help improve a child's social success. Below are suggestions for teaching social skills that parents can practice with their children at home.
    1. DISCUSS THE NEED FOR SOCIAL SKILLS - Children need to understand that social skills are important. Share with your child that adults use social skills in their workplaces and community. Talk about experiences that you or your child may have had or observed when social skills were necessary. Brainstorm and come up with a list of social skills that you and your child can work on throughout the year. Below is a list of suggested social skills to work on at home with your child:
    Taking turns, Helping others, Waiting patiently, Accepting differences, Resolving conflicts, Sharing ideas, Active listening, Asking for help                   
    2. WORK ON ONE SOCIAL SKILL AT A TIME - When working with your child on social skills, focus on just one skill at a time. You may want to select one skill to focus on each week. Create a chart to list the skill for that week and record how the child is doing. Use a simple system, such as a happy face, a neutral face, and a sad face to show progress.
    3. TALK ABOUT THE SOCIAL SKILL - Help your child identify what appropriate behavior looks and sounds like. For example, praising looks like thumbs up, clapping, or smiling. Praising sounds like, "Terrific!" "I knew you could do it!" or "Way to go!" Make a list with your child of "looks like" and "sounds like" behaviors and post it next to your chart for recording the target behavior and progress your child makes in demonstrating appropriate behavior.
    4. PRACTICE THE SOCIAL SKILL - After discussing what a particular social sill looks and sounds like, provide opportunity for your child to practice the appropriate social skill behavior. Act out a scenario with your child in which he/she must use appropriate behaviors to respond in a social situation.
    5. PAUSE, REFLECT, AND REVIEW - At the end of each day, take the time to pause, reflect, and review your child's use of social skills that day. You may want to encourage your child to keep a journal to write down thoughts about the day. If your child is not yet writing, you can keep a journal together. Help your child celebrate his/her social skills successes - if you make a big deal, your child will, too!!
    (Aubrey Prince, M.Ed.)




    If I can provide any more information or if you have questions, comments, or concerns about your child, please do not hesitate to contact me.