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GCPS and partners to use federal grant to address School Psychologist shortage

November 7, 2023


          Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS), the Paulding County School District, and Georgia State University (GSU) have teamed up to address the shortage of school psychologists, and the federal government is funding the group’s efforts. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education has awarded the trio a grant for $3.5 million. The money will be used to recruit, train, and support a diverse cohort of professionals from local communities, preparing them to enter the field of school psychology. Dr. Nicole White, GCPS’ executive director of Special Education and Psychological Services, says students need the assistance school psychologists can provide. “Mental health needs have increased in post-pandemic years, and school psychologists are specially trained in mental health supports,” Dr. White explains. “They are a great asset to our schools in meeting the increasing mental health needs of students, and this initiative aligns with our district’s strategic plan in supporting the needs of the whole child.”

     This grant represents a significant step toward enhancing the quality of education and support services within GCPS, ensuring that students receive the care and assistance they need to thrive in their academic journey. GCPS’s Special Education & Psychological Services team comprises a culturally responsive group of school psychology professionals working diligently across the district’s 142 schools to address the mental health needs of the diverse student population. The team’s goal is to ensure that every member of Team GCPS – students, families, and staff – feels welcome, safe, accepted, valued, and well-prepared for the future. 

     Dr. White is excited about what the partnership and initiative will produce in the future. “We have cultivated a great partnership with GSU over the years,” she explains. “We believe this is a great opportunity to not only continue our partnership but keep us competitive when recruiting interns and, ultimately, keeping us in the employment pipeline for their graduates.”