California Association of School Psychologists


This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Lily Sais 8 months, 2 weeks ago.

  • Author
  • #17349

    Lily Sais

    Being a school psychologist at a charter school/non-traditional school has its pros and cons. Did you choose to work in a charter school or non-traditional school after working somewhere else? Do you find many positives that keep you happy and somewhat sane or are the cons getting to you and you find yourself beefing up your resume?

  • #17415

    Catherine Ogden

    I love working for a charter! I get to think outside of the box constantly and I get to be a change agent. Which is one of the reasons I choose this profession. I have worked in almost all types of schools now and while there are for sure disadvantages to a Charter ( lack of PDs, typically only a few other psychs, no district placement and programs etc,) I LOVE that I get to create programs and do all the training’s and really have to use what I learned to defend and educate those around me on special ed, polices etc. Sometimes I even help create those policies, procedures and handbooks!!

    • #17510

      Lily Sais

      Thank you all for replying and giving your input! I agree with so much of what you said. At times I have felt like I’m at my dream job as well Katie! Catherine, so great to hear from you and I completely agree about getting to think outside the box! Jim, my charter allows me to work 90% now and has allowed me to work very flexible hours in the past and that’s definitely a pro! I love the understanding and flexibility of working in a charter. One con that I’m noticing is our pay does not match up and our insurance costs are rising and not fully covered like they are in bigger districts. Also, we need to work 80% to qualify for insurance and I know at LAUSD that insurance is offered and is fully covered.

  • #17461

    Jim Albertson

    Pros and cons for sure. In a non-union charter I get little blowback when I ask for a questionnaire to be completed or an accommodation to be made. Teachers who are there want to be there and the school wants them. In my charter I can be semi-retired and just work a couple days a week, maxing out the earnings ceiling under STRS.
    But there is one psych, one speech, one resource. Professional development is at the SELPA or CASP level. If any of us is out for a couple weeks, it is very hard to find a sub and there is no one to take up the slack. The test library is limited and we can’t afford the tests that get used twice a year.

  • #17475

    Katie Pettersen

    After working in a very large, traditional district during practicum and internship, I sought out working at my current charter management organization and felt it to be my “dream job” (and 5 years in, I still feel this way). I love the positivity, autonomy, and passion that I experience and see everyday, and believe it far outweighs the experiences I had in the traditional district. Some of the biggest “pros” for me can also be viewed as “cons.” One of which is the work force: because many of our teachers are in (or recently graduated from) TFA, I work with many young, passionate teachers who are willing to go above and beyond to do what’s necessary for our kiddos. Rarely if ever do I receive pushback on recommendations for interventions, supports, accommodations, or strategies I propose to grade level teams. I find this to be a huge plus, and lead to positive student outcomes. The downside of green teachers is that there are more classroom management issues happening, which I often end up responding to through professional development or consultation.
    Either way, I love being at my charter school org, and engaging with other charter school psychs because it is such a unique job and can look so different depending on where you’re located!

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