(Black Press Media Photo)

School district to ramp up psychologist search in 2019

Prince Rupert has not had a full time district psychologist for more than 10 years

School District 52 (SD52) is stepping up its efforts to recruit a full time district psychologist to conduct assessments of Prince Rupert’s students in 2019.

On Jan. 7, the district’s school board received a letter signed by eight Pineridge Elementary School teachers stating that there are at least a dozen students at the school waiting for different types of assessments, including a psychologist’s assessment.

READ MORE: District psychologists, teacher shortage discussed at school baord trsutee debate

Irene LaPierre, superintendent for SD52, said finding a full time psychologist is a task the district is focussed on.

“Having a psychologist that can support our district or school, parents and most importantly our students is one of our highest priorities,” said Irene LaPierre, superintendent for SD52.

The role of a psychologist’s assessment is to provide a detailed report of a child’s learning that will help teachers form an educational plan specific to that student.

The report is also used to help determine whether or not the child can be classified as having a learning or intellectual disability, which could provide access to funding and other resources for the student.

SD52 currently has one psychologist under contract who conducts 40 assessments per year at schools in the district, but there has been a consistent push from both teachers and parents to bring one to Prince Rupert on a full-time basis.

LaPierre confirmed that there has not been a full-time psychologist in the district for more than 10 years.

Recruitment was also hot-button issue during the 2018 school board trustee debate where several of the candidates voiced strong opinions about what the district needs to do to increase student access to assessments.

During that debate, Kristy Meier, who is currently a member of the school board, referred to lack of access to a psychologist’s assessment as “unacceptable”, stating that the wait times for designations can put the students at a disadvantage.

LaPierre said that the district has been putting considerable time into its recruitment push over the past few months. This includes going to recruitment and career fairs in universities both inside and outside the province.

“It’s one of our highest priorities,” she said.

LaPierre also stated that she faced a similar situation where she previously served in School District No. 83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap). That district — which has 6,000 students — has a similar arrangement as Prince Rupert with a contract psychologist conducting an average of 40 assessments per year.

“For a district one-third the size of a district of 6,000, we do the best we can,” she said. “I think that where it lacks is if we were to have a district psychologist, then there’s always that follow-up piece that we don’t get necessarily under contract as much as we would if we had someone in house … I think that with this round of recruiting, fingers crossed that some will be enticed to come up to Prince Rupert.”

READ MORE: Collaboration key to success for new SD52 superintendent in Prince Rupert

To report a typo, email: editor@thenorthernview.com.


Matthew Allen | Reporter
Matthew Allen 
Send Matthew an email.
Like the The Northern View on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Second dump site of Dungeness crab discovered

DFO confident new site related to April 2 dump of 250 more crab

Kitchen at risk of closing without volunteers at the Prince Rupert Seniors’ Centre

President of the charity, Bonnie Wekel, is working in the kitchen while they search for people

BC Bus North service extended to September

Transportation ministers have extended the service, which was set to expire at the end of May

Nisga’a leader named UNBC chancellor

Dr. Joseph Arthur Gosnell is the first Indigenous leader to assume the role

Northwest local governments team up to fill in future employment gaps

Around 17,000 jobs will need to be filled in the region over the next eight years

Prince Rupert high school student reaches 100,000 followers on YouTube

Voice actor, animator, Jericho Fortune has more than 30-million views on his channel GTAGAMER222

Amber alert issued for 5-year-old Ontario boy

Ethan Montes is believed to be in the company of his mother, 47-year-old Juliet Mohammed

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

RCMP arrest B.C. man following threatening Vaisakhi Facebook post

Post made reference to pressure cooker bomb at massive Surrey parade

University mourns student who died in B.C. canoeing accident

Andrew Milner, 19, was in his second year with the University of Calgary’s basketball program

B.C. woman pleads for people to stop stealing daffodils meant to honour cancer victims

Cynthia Bentley honours memory of those lost to cancer by planting 100 daffodils each year

WEB POLL: Would you like to see locally grown produce to support residents at risk of food insecurity?

Nisga’a Society is working on a pilot project to provide fresh veggies to members in Prince Rupert

Two in critical condition, several still in hospital after Langley deck collapse

Close relative Satwant Garcha makes daily trips to visit those injured at the wedding

Most Read