Maggie Dassira – School Psychologist

maggie

Maggie Dassira | School Psychologist | margaret.dassira@apsva.us | 703-228-4225

I am the school psychologist at Long Branch and Nottingham. This is my third year with APS and third as a school psychologist. I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology from Virginia Tech in 2015 and attended graduate school at James Madison University for my School Psychology degree. In between undergrad and graduate school, I worked for Falls Church City Public School as a special education paraprofessional. I supported 3rd/4th graders and loved being in the classroom. I grew up in Falls Church City and have enjoyed moving into the Arlington area, especially being able to explore so many new restaurants and coffee shops. Since I currently live in an apartment and can’t have my own garden right now, I have started collecting plants and am constantly adding new ones to my windowsill. I also enjoy traveling, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.

Who are school psychologists?

School psychologists are uniquely qualified members of school teams that support students’ ability to learn and teachers’ ability to teach. They apply expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior, to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. School psychologists partner with families, teachers, school administrators, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community.

What do we do?

Assessment: One of the primary duties of school psychologists is assessment. School psychologists assess students suspected of having a disability as part of the process in determining eligibility for special services. A strong aspect of assessment is the collaborative process in which the school psychologist obtains the teachers’ and parents’ perspectives. This allows the school psychologist to develop a comprehensive picture of the student, his or her functioning, and how interventions can be developed.

Promote Positive Behavior and Mental Health: School psychologists may work with students individually or in groups to promote social problem solving, anger management and conflict resolution, reinforce positive coping skills and resilience, and encourage positive peer relationships.

Interventions and Progress Monitoring: School psychologists are also a member of the school’s Student Support Team (SST), which are meetings intended to be a cooperative process between school psychologists, parents, teachers, counselors, administration, etc. as an effort to promote success in students who are struggling. It can be used to help intervene with children displaying behavioral, emotional, or academic difficulties and help prevent the development of a more serious problem. Together, the school psychologist and the teacher identify the problem, develop specific goals, brainstorm interventions, and create a plan to help the student become more successful.

To learn more about the role of school psychologists visit The National Association of School Psychologists website at  https://www.nasponline.org/