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School psychologist shortage affecting CCSD

Posted: 11:15 PM, Feb 26, 2018
Updated: 2018-02-27 15:57:28Z

For more than a decade psychologist Tracee Guenther's sat across from school kids: listening and helping.

"We do see a lot of kids nowadays that are suffering from a quiet level of depression," Guenther said.

She said for some kids, the pressure of grades and growing up are made worse by social media.

"If you have a middle schooler with an Instagram account, she can see when she's being left out of activities and how that affects her emotionally," she said.

There is a major need for more psychologists like Guenther.

The Nevada Association of School Psychologists (NVASP) estimates there's an average of one school psychologist for every 2,1000 students in CCSD. The national association recommends one psychologist for every 500-700 students.

Guenther, who also serves as the secretary of the NVASP, said part of the problem is a lack of university programs and interest. CCSD also offers less pay than other districts.

Other districts in Nevada have found a way to address the shortage through hiring packages and other benefits. NVSAP is working with CCSD in an effort to close the gap.