Educational Evaluations 101
What makes an All Belong Educational Evaluation different?
As an All Belong School Psychologist, I’ve been asked this question in various forms over time as I’ve interacted with parents and school staff. Generally, this question arises when someone is trying to determine which type of evaluation would best suit the needs of their student. Since child and adolescent evaluations are available in different forms from a variety of organizations and cover areas such as speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, or neuropsychology, it’s natural to wonder which direction to take when trying to best ascertain student needs and what services would be most appropriate.
What follows are some of the distinguishing characteristics of a All Belong Educational Evaluation. Other providers of evaluations may do one or more of these characteristics, but none do them all.
Evaluations from CLC Network are comprehensive in that they cover neurodevelopmental, educational, social, behavioral, emotional, and executive functioning. Our team of School Psychologists takes a broad-based look at a child emphasizing each child’s unique strengths and interests and develops learning plans built on those strengths. The process focuses on the needs of students and is conducted by our team of experienced School Psychologists who are specifically trained to address educational concerns. Therefore, the evaluations are very relevant to a child’s “job”, namely school!
Our comprehensive evaluations also include information, both written and conversational, from both parents and teachers. This unique lens allows us input across multiple settings and therefore provides the best view of a child’s functioning.
Partnership with the School
When students are referred to All Belong from an All Belong Member School, our School Psychologists have the benefit of partnering with the All Belong Teacher Consultant assigned to that building to learn more about how the student functions in the classroom and encourage the process of implementing suggestions arising from the evaluation. In addition, the team meeting at the school following an evaluation helps both parents and school staff learn about and discuss the evaluation findings together and builds bridges that will support the implementation of the recommendations.
This shared ownership of the child’s education benefits both the school and the family.
Another unique characteristic of our partnership with schools is our demystification process which follows an evaluation. When a team meeting is held with parents and school staff, the adults learn a great deal about how a child learns and the strengths that they bring to the learning process.
We think that it is also vital that children learn about how God created their “head and heart” to function.
To that end, teachers are trained in demystification, a structured conversation with students about their unique talents, gifts, and challenges, and how the adults in their lives will partner with them to address these areas. This empowers students with information and gives them a sense that their difficulties are manageable.
Perhaps most importantly, All Belong completes the evaluation process from the perspective that each child, with their inimitable talents and abilities, is a vital contributor to God’s family. We are a community of believers who have each been given a place and a contribution and we are incomplete when one member is missing.
1 Corinthians 12:18 says, “But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.”
When our School Psychologists conduct an evaluation, which focuses on a student’s strengths, we help clarify their unique, God-given gifts and contributions.
Our faith also means that we see each person as an image bearer of God, possessing intrinsic value. Every student, parent, family member, teacher, or staff member that we meet during an evaluation is created in the likeness of God and deserves respect, love, and our best efforts to complete the evaluation in an excellent manner.
If you would like more information about All Belong and the services we offer to those who love and nurture individuals with differing abilities, please visit our website.
Beth Harmon served as a School Psychologist at All Belong, where she enjoyed the "ah ha" moment when a parent or teacher gains an understanding of why a child learns or behaves in a certain way. She loves being the advocate to help the adults in a child's life appreciate the uniqueness of and love the child even more.