The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s new evaluation system requires school psychologists to determine the impact that they have on students’ learning, growth, and achievement through district determined measures or DDMs. In order to assist school psychologists and administrators in identifying DDMs that might ‘fit’ the highly varied roles of school psychologists in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts School Psychologists Association (MSPA) is offering suggestions for consideration. We hope that school psychologists will add to the suggestions below as they work to identify indirect measures for their own districts.
Note that the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education advises that selected DDMs should represent a meaningful sample of the school psychologist’s role in their school district, which would provide feedback to inform practice. Some school psychologists in Massachusetts spend the vast majority of their time conducting assessments. Others have roles ranging from team chairperson to the full contemporary role covering all of the NASP domains. Therefore a variety of DDMs are needed for support personnel.
Improving School Climate
The Department of Education has created school climate surveys and a quick guide on making school climate improvements to help foster and sustain safe and supportive environments that are conducive to learning for all students in our schools. These new, free, resources will allow school psychologists to make significant improvements in students' safety, and in their sense of respect and connectedness at school. The Department has a high priority on helping schools create safer and more nurturing school climates.
For more information about the surveys
to find the Quick Guide on Making School Climate Improvements.https://safesupportivelearning.ed.gov/scirp/quick-guide
Medical Evaluations and Schools
The MSPA Board requested clarification from MA DESE in regard to medical evaluations for special education eligibility. This official determination is critical when a team is considering eligibility under Health Impairment.