Province to Reduce Student Wait-List for Psychological Assessments

The province is investing $974,000 to reduce wait-lists for psychological educational assessments.

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey, announced today, April 6, a plan with Mount Saint Vincent University to work with registered psychologists to address the needs of the more than 300 students on referral lists.

Starting this month, the plan will identify and organize the assessments for referred students in grades Primary to 12.

“We are cutting waits for this very important service. We are helping students who need it most,” said Ms. Casey. “This investment will help more students reach their full potential.”

The partnership will also involve four senior master’s students from Mount Saint Vincent University’s program in school psychology who will conduct assessments as part of their training.

“We are pleased to be able to support this initiative and Nova Scotia children and youth in need of psychological educational assessments,” said Elizabeth Church, vice-president academic at Mount Saint Vincent. “Involving our senior master’s students in school psychology in this initiative will both help the children in need of assessment and provide an opportunity for our students to continue to build their professional experience.”

A school psychologist’s assessment and consultation helps teachers recommend appropriate programming and services for students with learning and behavioral challenges. It helps to identify a student’s strengths and challenges.

“The assessment I had when I was in high school helped to identify why I was having difficulties learning in the classroom,” said Mount student Herbie Berrigan. “As a result, I was given the tools I needed to learn new study habits. I didn’t feel like I was all by myself. It gave me the confidence I needed to do well. I was an honor student in high school and I am now pursuing my post-secondary education.”