During Summer Boot Camp 2023, we had sessions ranging from FBAs to Manifestation Determinations and more. One of the sessions that I was able to provide during this two-week period was a session focused on explaining evaluation results succinctly. My intent for this session was to provide tips and ready-to-implement ideas to help school psychs effectively communicate assessment findings. This ultimately can lead to better collaboration, informed decision-making, and improved outcomes for the students we serve! For those who missed this session, let’s do a quick recap by looking at three takeaways shared during the session. 

Avoid Jargon and Clarify Terms

School psychs learn a lot of fancy jargon in grad school. It’s important to remember that your audience might not be familiar with the technical language and jargon commonly used in the field of school psychology. Strive to explain assessment terms and concepts in parent-friendly language, as if you are conversing with them rather than in a formal meeting. For those that are still working on this skill, seek out multiple definitions of some of our “fancy terms” such as fluid reasoning and find a definition that resonates with you. Whether you are reveiwing information from the Internet or your favorite Essentials book, there are many resources that can support your desire to use more parent-friendly definitions.

Prioritize Themes 

Review your information across all your data sources and decide which themes emerge. Does your standardized testing data have ecological validity within the educational environment? Are your findings substantiated by your classroom observation as well as record reviews and input from teachers and parents? We never want to rely solely on standardized testing scores if the data isn’t converging with all of our other data sources. Determine your themes.

Synthesize Information

Synthesizing large amounts of information can overwhelm school psychs. After you have found some parent-friendly ways to explain your findings and determined the big themes that the evaluation found, now it is time to convey that information to the family. As you are going into the meeting to discuss results, think about your answer to this question, “What did we learn about this student?” One tip to ensure that your explanations synthesize information across data sources is to start your explanation with a statement such as, “Based on reviewing the student’s records, observing, talking with you [parent] and the teacher(s), plus our one-on-one testing, we found _.”  See how that goes. 

Incorporating these takeaways when explaining assessment results can make a difference in how well your assessment findings are understood and utilized by parents and other IEP team members. Ultimately, effective verbal communication not only enhances collaboration but also empowers the IEP team to make informed decisions that benefit students.

Were there Summer Boot Camp sessions you wanted to see but missed the registration deadline? Look no further; we have Summer Boot Camp replays available for purchase! From an open Q&A session to manifestation determinations and organizational strategies designed for school psychs, Summer Boot Camp 2023 will have a topic relevant to your important work as a school psych. 

Purchasing the replays gives you access until October 31st! Click the button below to invest in your professional growth and elevate your school psych skills to new heights. Be sure to sign up before registration closes in mid-October.