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Final Review of the 2011 GW/NASP Public Policy Institute

Learning and Social-Emotional Supports for Vulnerable Students: Directions for the Nation

From July 6-12, 2011, 85 school psychologists, teacher, school administrators, graduate students and other interested people came to Washington, DC from 27 states and the District of Columbia to participate in the 2011 GW/NASP Public Policy Institute. This institute was co-sponsored by George Washington University (GW), Graduate School in Education and Human Development (GSEHD). The 2011 PPI is the second institute since the approval of a formal partnership agreement between NASP and GW that will allow the PPI to be offered on an annual basis. GW is one of the nation's premiere graduate schools training future leaders in special education and educational public policy. GW brings to the partnership resources, professional expertise, and professional connections that help make the PPI a rich public policy and advocacy training experience for all involved.

2011 PPI participants came from across the United States including California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and West Virginia

PPI participants had the option of participating in a 3 day training (July 6-8) for NASP Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credit or a 5-day training (July 6-8 and 11-12) for GW Graduate Semester Credit.

An amazing line up of national experts presented information and engaged in dialogues with PPI participants. Here are a few of the national leaders and scholars that participated in the PPI:

  • Dan Habib, film maker and producer of the award winning film “Including Samuel” and Kelsey Carroll, star of his new movie “Who Cares About Kelsey?”
  • Maurice Elias, Professor of Psychology and Director of Rutgers University Social Emotional Learning Lab
  • Debbie Staub, Education Advisor, Casey Family Programs
  • Renee Bradley, Deputy Director, Research to Practice Division office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education
  • Kathleen McNaught, Director, American Bar Association Center for Children and Law
  • Barbara Duffield, Policy Director, National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth
  • Michael Usdan, Senior Fellow and Past President, Institute for Educational Leadership
  • Joel Packer, Executive Director, Committee for Education Funding
  • Joanne Cashman, Director, IDEA Partnership
  • Laura Speer, National KIDS COUNT Project Coordinator, Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Dan McGarry, Asst. Superintendent of Curriculum, Upper Darby Public Schools, PA

Several NASP leaders and staff also presented including NASP President Phil Lazarus; Government and Professional Relations (GPR) Committee leaders Sally Baas (MN) and Katie Eklund (CO); NASP President-Elect Amy Smith; and NASP staff, Stacy Skalski, Director of Professional Policy and Practice, Kathy Cowan, Director of Communications, and Mary Beth Klotz, Director of IDEA Projects and Technical Assistance. GPR committee members Canids Hogan (OK) and Trisha Pedley (CA) also helped facilitate state team planning through daily regional networking sessions. GW Asst. Dean of GSEHD, Bob Ianacone and Professor Carol Kochhar-Bryant also presented, led teamwork sessions, facilitated discussions, and led the “wicked problems of practice” culminating activity for GW credit participants

Capitol Hill Day, July 8, 2011

On July 8, 2011 PPI participants traveled to the U.S. Capitol to engage in a day of hands on advocacy. The day began in a beautiful room in the US Capitol Visitors Center that was sponsored by Rep. David Loebsack (IA-2). Participants enjoyed a continental breakfast and got an inside look at life on Capitol Hill through a question-answer session with legislative staff. Our thanks to Michael Gamel McCormick, Education and Disability Policy Advisor for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee; Chris Toppings, Minority Staff, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee; Kara Marchione, Senior Education Policy Advisor, House Education and Workforce committee, Minority staff; and Lisette Partelow, Senior Legislative Assistant for Rep. Loebsack (IA-2).

After the morning session, state teams ventured into the halls of Capitol Hill to meet their elected officials and/or legislative staff. Over 86 different offices of U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives were visited that day. NASP materials and resources were presented and specific public policy priorities and issues were discussed.

Sample Presentations

PowerPoint presentations are accessible to current NASP members only. Please log in to see the links.

PPI sessions included presentations from national experts, school psychology leaders, GW faculty, and NASP staff. Samples of some of the presentations are included here:

Selected 3-day Presentations

  • Introduction to the PPI. Presented by Stacy Skalski, NASP staff and Carol Kochhar-Bryant, GW Professor.
  • NASP Advocacy Programs. Presented by Stacy Skalski & Kathy Cowan, NASP staff and Sally Baas, GPR Committee.
  • KIDS Count: The Status of America's Children. Presented by Laura Speer, National KIDS COUNT Project Coordinator, Annie E. Casey Foundation.
  • Policies and Practices to Promote Safe and Successful Schools: Promoting Social Emotional Learning in Students. Presented by Maurice Elias, Director of Rutgers University Social Emotional learning Laboratory.

Selected 5-day Presentations:

  • Do We Need a “Child Find” System to Identify and Respond to the Populations? Presented by Stacy Skalski, NASP staff.
  • Safe Schools Healthy Students: Reaching Out to Commercially Sexually Exploited Youth. Presented by Jenee Littrell, Director Wellness and Guidance, Grossmont Union High School, California
  • Supporting Student Living in Foster Care: What Schools and Communities Need to Do to Support Student Success. Presented by Debbie Staub, Education Advisor, Casey Family Programs, Seattle, Washington

Evaluation of the 2011 GW/NASP Public Policy Institute

Three-day participants and five-day participants were asked to rate the quality of speakers, arrangements, and materials at the conclusion of the institute. GW credit participants also completed the required course evaluation.

Generally, the results of these evaluations were overwhelmingly positive with session ratings ranging from 4.26-4.89 (5=very helpful and informative).

Summary of 3-day Evaluations
Summary of 5-day Evaluations

2011 GW/NASP Public Policy Institute Photo Gallery

As with any NASP event, staff, leaders and participants recorded their favorite PPI moments in pictures to share. The following pictures are posted for your enjoyment and to give you a sense of what PPI participants experienced first-hand.

Marketing and Planning for the 2011 GW/NASP Public Policy Institute

View the original details leading up to the PPI.