Pupil services respond to the changing environment in which children live and develop. New pressures on communities, families and schools have resulted in more at-risk students now than in the past. As a result, pupil service now includes more collaborative work with other professionals and community agencies. Pupil services also include career/educational planning, help in developing positive self-esteem and interpersonal relations, helping to address excessive absenteeism, and addressing mental and physical health related concerns, special learning needs, and school safety issues.
Other areas of critical interest to pupil services staff include:
- Chapter 15/Section 504 issues, including identification, developing service agreements, and monitoring.
- Special education issues, including transition planning, incarcerated youth, discipline, behavior management, assessment and identification, early intervention, and legislative and legal decisions.
- Pre-referral Intervention/Student Assistance Program issues, including pre-referral procedures, intervention design, and expanded programs.
- Community issues, including liaison, coordinated services, effective use of resources, and school-based community services.
Pupils have complex needs and interests, which extend beyond the educational system. Each student has unique characteristics. Cultural, physical, social and emotional factors are all important.
The diversity within pupil services encourages a team approach. The team focuses upon the child as a learner. Issues and problems may differ between the elementary and secondary levels; however, the basic operating procedures and team processes are essentially the same. Analysis of data, consensus building, action planning, and monitoring student progress are essential elements of any team's operation. The team makes recommendations and decisions regarding the student's eligibility for support services, alternative educational programs, and/or other appropriate interventions within the school and community.