School Psychology Canidates Assess Pershing Elementary Students’ Reading
Late last month, candidates from our School Psychology Program conducted reading assessments with students in grades 1-4 at Pershing Elementary School, University City. These assessments are used to benchmark student progress for developing school-wide norms for the Response to Intervention Model being implemented at Pershing. This was the second of three visits this year in which school psychology candidates benchmarked at Pershing. The third visit will occur later in the spring. Julie Hume, literacy coach at Pershing, uses the collected data to screen students who need additional reading support and to track student progress once interventions are implemented.
Candidates who participated in the screening were Anna Mae Larson, Kanika Smith, Heather Quach, Carrie Hegdahl, Jenny Brilley, Christy Gaeta, Kristina Licata, Nichole Cooley, and Mary Herbst.
Mike Bahr and Don Gouwens, UMSL school psychology faculty members who supervise the assessment project, described the candidates’ interaction with Pershing students as “professional and fun,” hearing many positive reactions and comments from the youngsters.
The practical experience for future school psychologists gained through this partnership helps prepare them for practicum placements and internships in the second and third years of their program. During this visit, the candidates had an extended opportunity to talk with Hume during lunch and discuss her role in consulting with Pershing teachers to improve student academic performance. Hume, who also guest lectures in the school psychology academic interventions course, took the candidates to the “assessment wall,” a staff workroom graphically displaying grade-level progress in meeting instructional objectives. The graphs assist teachers in seeing and understanding how student outcome data can be used for early identification of academic problems and eventual evaluation of student interventions.
In addition to Hume, Pershing Principal Herbert Buie is a key supporter of this partnership. The COE and School Psychology Program extend our thanks to these professionals and the School District of University City for this partnership.
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