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School Psychologist

Alissa Ortiz, School Psychologist

(203) 385-4282

ortiza@stratfordk12.org

As the School Psychologist at Stratford High School, I work closely with the School Social Worker, Guidance Counselors, Teachers, Administration, parents, and community resources to assist students.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Psychoeducational Evaluations
  • Planning and Placement Team (PPT) Chair
  • Pupil Study Team (PST) Chair
  • Intervention/Counseling
  • Collaboration/Consultation

Supportive Tips and Resources

The Importance of Adequate Sleep

  • Adolescents require 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep.
  • Adequate sleep positively affects academic performance.
  • Make adequate sleep a priority.
  • Encourage a routine of low level activity prior to sleep and a consistent bedtime.
  • Biological/developmental changes that occur in adolescence impact sleep patterns. It is typical for adolescents to stay up late (have later hours of wakefulness) and sleep later in the morning. This coupled with inadequate sleep can lead to sleepiness and being prone to falling asleep during the school day especially during early morning hours.
  • Over time, continuous lack of adequate sleep can lead to sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can affect health, mood and behavior.

Dealing with Stress

The following was adapted from the NASP article "Stress in Children and Adolescents: Tips for Parents", November 2008. The complete article can be accessed at http://www.nasponline.org/families.

What is Stress?

Everyone is affected by stress and reacts to it in different ways. Stress is a way that our body responds to the demands made upon us by the environment, our relationships, and our perceptions and interpretations of those demands. We all experience both "good stress" and "bad stress".

How Parents can Help

  • Build trust with your child.
  • Encourage the expression of feelings.
  • Teach and model good emotional responses.
  • Encourage healthy and diverse friendships.
  • Encourage physical activity, good nutrition, and rest.
  • Teach you child to problem solve.
  • Help your child have a part in decision-making when appropriate.
  • Use encouragement and natural consequences when poor decisions are made.

The following are several tips adapted from the NASP article "Helping Children Cope in Unsettling Times: The Economic Crisis Tips for Parents and Teachers", December 2008. The complete article can be accessed at http://www.nasponline.org/families.

  • Be reassuring.
  • Acknowledge and normalize their feelings.
  • Take care of your own needs.
  • Maintain a routine.
  • Spend family time.
  • Emphasize people's resilience.
  • Prepare your child for any anticipated family changes.
  • Stick to the facts.
  • Communicate with your children's school.

Study Skills/Homework

  • Provide study/homework area to limit distractions
  • Assist in establishing a routine/schedule to complete assignments
  • Make homework completion a priority
  • Encourage, praise, be positive, non-judgmental when providing assistance
  • Utilize Stratford High School student agenda for organization
  • Maintain communication with your child and your child's teachers regarding class expectations

Websites

www.nasponline.org : The National Association of School Psychologists represents and supports school psychology through leadership to enhance the mental health and educational competence of all children.

www.ldonline.org : LD OnLine is the leading website on learning disabilities, learning disorders and differences. Parents and teachers of learning disabled children will find authoritative guidance on attention deficit disorder, ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, dysnomia, reading difficulties, speech and related disorders.

www.nod,org : In addition to keeping you up to date on the National Organization on Disability's most recent developments, the N.O.D. web site provides you with the latest in disability-related news, information and resources.

www.sleepfoundation.org : Established in 1990, The National Sleep Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to providing information to promote better understanding of sleep and sleep disorders. The foundation supports sleep related education, research and advocacy.

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