Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs states that before someone can achieve their full potential they must have not only their basic needs met, but also they need to be socially and mentally well. The Heritage community has a large network of people available to not only meet the needs of students but help them succeed academically as well as mentally and socially.
Heritage High School currently has two psychologists, Ms. Karis Fruge and Ms. Carla Cde Baca, as well as past psychologist and current Assistant Principal Nicole Amidon. Fruge is in the building part time with her main focus in special education. Cde Baca works in general education as well as special education.
Just like counselors, the school psychologists are here to help, but they have different roles in the school.
“Psychologists are tasked with working in special education to do cognitive assessments, social emotional assessment and Individual Education Programs (IEP). They provide services to students with social/emotional needs. Counselors provide general counseling services, not typically to students with IEPs. Psychologists also have different training to handle things like danger and threat assessments. Counselors are typically more involved in the college planning as well as academic planning and preparation,” says Amidon.
Counselors and psychologists are similar in that they both promote mental health school wide, not just in their offices. For example, Ms. Cde Baca helps with No Place for Hate.
“What I really like about No Place for Hate is they’re coming together to be able to figure out what the student body can do to enhance the culture of kids and being accepted, which I think is important to the well-being of the school,” says Cde Baca.