Rory Matson spends his days “juggling, like, seven different balls.”
As the school psychologist at Midvale Elementary, he dedicates his hours to counseling students, handling unexpected student-behavior crises, communicating with families, and completing the reams of required paperwork. While he may start his day with a plan, he’s rarely able to stick to it. “There’s always a curveball,” he says with a laugh.
“But that’s the cool part. It’s part of the fun,” says Matson, who has been at Midvale for a decade. Parents note that Matson has a calming influence on anxious children at the Title I school. He’s there when children need a soothing voice, a sounding board, a safety net when they need someone in whom they can confide.
Matson is one of CSD’s 44 school psychologists, the trained and certified professionals who have the important task of counseling and mentoring students who may struggle with behavioral, emotional or social issues. The work of school psychologists is highlighted this school week, Nov. 11-15. The National School Psychology Awareness Week is sponsored by the National Association of School Psychologists.
The theme of the week, as established by the association, is “We are all in! Teams work!” The aim is to focus on teaming to improve every child’s educational experience. “I try to help students, parents, and teachers to be happier and more successful,” says Matson. “I think that’s our job.”
“Our school psychologists truly are a valuable part of our efforts to increase student achievement,” said Robin Collett, CSD’s Director of Special Education. “They do so much to support our students, and not just when the students are in crisis. When students feel safe, secure and confident in their abilities, they can learn. On a daily basis, the school psychologists do a phenomenal job of helping students see and develop their potential. I’m proud of the work they do, and I’m glad they are a part of our team.”