A message from our School Psychologist, Ms. Ashley Mendez:
As your friendly School Psychologist at Donald E. Woods Opportunity Center (DWOC), my goal is to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. I focus on supporting students’ ability to learn and teachers’ ability to teach. As the School Psychologist, I apply my expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior, to help children and youth flourish.
School Psychologists partner with families, teachers, school administrators, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community and make education for all students a positive and rewarding experience.
As the School Psychologist, I am an active member of the Problem Solving Team, Leadership Team, and Positive Behavior Intervention Support Team, Haines City Chamber Education Committee and School Advisory Council.
I assist DWOC by improving academic achievement, promoting positive behavior and mental health, supporting diverse learners, creating a safe, positive school climate and monitoring individual student progress. Furthermore, I assist DWOC by providing my services in:
- Conduct psychological and academic assessments
- Monitor student progress
- Collect and interpret student and classroom data
- Assist in navigating special education processes
- Collect and analyze data on risk and protective factors related to student outcomes
- Conduct functional behavioral assessments as a problem-solving process for addressing chronic student behavior
- Assess diverse learning needs
- Identify at risk students and school vulnerabilities
- Provide crisis prevention and intervention services
- Promote student motivation and engagement
- Individualize instruction and interventions
- Manage student and classroom behavior
- Improve student communication and social skillset
- Adjust classroom facilities and routines to improve student engagement and learning
- Implement school-wide positive behavioral support
- Plan services at the district, building, classroom, and individual levels
- Respond to issues of bullying and provide anti-bullying programs
- Reinforce positive coping skills and resilience
- Assess student emotional and behavioral needs
- Provide individual and group counseling
- Promote problem solving, anger management and conflict resolution
- Promote positive peer relationships and social problem solving
- Monitor and effectively communicate with parents about student progress
- Help families understand their child’s learning and mental health needs
All children and youth can face problems from time to time related to learning; social relationships; making difficult decisions; or managing emotions such as feeling depressed, anxious, worried, or isolated. School Psychologists help students, families, educators, and members of the community understand and resolve both long-term, chronic problems and short-term issues that students may face.
Students at DWOC can receive ongoing services and support with parent consent. Feel free to call, email or come in my office. My door is always open!