Central York considers contracting psychologist

Meredith Willse
York Dispatch

Central York school officials are considering hiring a third-party group to fill a gap in the district's employment of school psychologists.

The Central York School Board met earlier this month for a planning meeting and discussed possibly hiring a third-party group to offer a part-time psychologist, which will cost the district $60 an hour, per the contract. 

The district typically has three full-time psychologists and one part-time. However, when Elizabeth Mason, the district’s director of special education, was promoted to her position, the on-staff psychologists were shuffled around to fill the openings, which left an opening for a part-time psychologist. 

This led to the district looking at possibly contracting Lucy Zarfos for the remainder of this school year.

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Mason explained the contractor would work for the school year with the district, mainly in the middle school, and when the contract was up, staff would reevaluate the position. 

A resident questioned the position during the public comment section. The resident said the services looked to “extend pretty deeply” and didn’t once mention parents. She requested the contract require parental consent.

Central York School District Educational Service Center in Springettsbury Township, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Mason assured the board that parents always have to consent before the district moves forward with psychological evaluations and tests. 

“This is just solely a special education school psychologist,” Mason said. 

The contractor would be working out of the middle school, and their primary role would be to determine if students are eligible for special education services. 

The district agreed on Sept. 19 to a contract with GHR Education to help fill support staff openings. At that time, Bobbi Billman, director of human resources, reported the district had 79 openings. Some of those positions are often open because of a steady stream of people rotating in and out.

When district staff updated the board about their departments, treasurer Vickie Guth asked if the district’s buildings and grounds department is fully staffed.

“Because I know we have all of these vacancies all throughout the district, so that would be an accomplishment in and of itself,” Guth said. 

Staff told her that half of the department is fully staffed, but not the custodial side.  

— Reach Meredith Willse at mwillse@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @MeredithWillse.

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