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Session List

Monday, July 7, 2014

General Session
8:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

Depression in Children and Adolescents: Guidelines for School Practice

John E. Desrochers, PhD, ABPP
With 10% to 30% of young people experiencing significant depressive symptoms and most of them suffering without treatment, depression is a quiet crisis in our schools. At the same time, recent research has shown that many cases of depression can be prevented. Early intervention using currently available evidence-based programs and strategies—from elementary through high school—should be a significant part of this effort. This workshop will focus on school-based practice and will provide practical, evidence-based recommendations for working with depressed students within a multitiered problem-solving model.

Concurrent Breakout Sessions
1:30–4:45 p.m.


Building Relationships One Meeting at a Time: Leading Collaborative Family–School Meetings
Kathleen Minke, PhD, NCSP

School psychologists are frequently called on to facilitate meetings that bring together family members and school personnel, often around difficult and contentious issues. This session will review strategies based in ecosystemic theory and short-term, strength based counseling approaches that can be applied to a variety of meeting purposes. Strategies reviewed will include meeting preparation, within meeting communication and decision making skills, managing conflict, and planning follow up. Examples of applications to several meeting purposes will be provided.


The Ethics of Scientific Thinking: Avoiding Errors in RTI/MTSS Decision Making
Kathy McNamara, PhD, NCSP

Through lecture and discussion, participants will become familiar with specific legal/ethical issues and guidelines related to assessment and intervention in RTI/MTSS frameworks. The session will examine decision-making practices in the context of typical cognitive errors and biases occurring among individual school psychologists and school-based teams. Participants in this workshop will be able to identify salient ethical and legal issues in the application of RTI/MTSS to assessment and intervention practices, learn about common myths relevant to school-based assessment and intervention, and identify cognitive errors and biases that influence school psychologists’ and teams’ decisions.


Taking FBA Accuracy and Usefulness to the Next Level
John E. Desrochers, PhD, ABPP

Do you want to take your functional behavioral assessments to the next level of sophistication? This workshop will deepen your understanding of the FBA process, improve your ability to derive more meaningful and effective interventions from your data, help you gain buy-in from stakeholders, and show you how to write professional-quality assessment reports. Lecture, discussion, and case study format will be used.


Supporting Students With Concussion and Head Injury: Getting School Psychologists in the Game
Susan C. Davies, EdD, NCSP

This session will offer an overview of mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) and concussion along with hands-on tools for the assessment and development of interventions through a review of case studies. Implications for creating accommodation plans in collaboration with the family, community, and school team will be addressed. Participants in this session will gain a fundamental understanding of the impact of concussions and mTBI on learning, mental health, and social–emotional functioning; increase skills in leading a school-based concussion support team; and learn about specific assessment and intervention strategies and tools for working with students with mTBI as well as their families and medical providers.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Concurrent Breakout Sessions
8:30–11:45 a.m.


Effective Behavioral Interventions: Consultation Tools for School Psychologists
Jim Wright, MS

Student misbehavior is a frequent interrupter of classroom instruction and a serious roadblock to attaining ambitious academic standards. This workshop is designed to enhance the consultation skills of school psychologists aimed at helping classroom teachers implement positive behavioral strategies with quality and consistency to gain a strong instructional edge. Research-based strategies to handle a full range of challenging behaviors in group or individual situations will be highlighted. By attending this session, participants will be better able to help teachers: define student behavior problems clearly and specifically in order to match the student to the right intervention; identify the best classroom interventions available for managing defiant and noncompliant behaviors in individual students or whole groups; set up a structured, in-class system of graduated consequences to manage escalating student misbehavior and reduce office referrals; teach students to set their own behavioral goals and take responsibility to change those behaviors; and build stronger relationships with disengaged students.


RTI/MTSS at the Secondary Level: A Roadmap to Successful Implementation
Robert J. Dixon, PhD, NCSP

While RTI and MTSS have received frequent attention, with use and success at the elementary level, many questions still abound at the secondary level. Participants of this workshop will translate important assessment and intervention ideas from the elementary level and apply them to the secondary level. In addition, participants will examine Tier 1, 2, and 3 strategies that can work at the secondary level. There will be time for session participants to solve problems, using the concepts of the workshop to apply to their own districts.


Advanced Skills in School-Based Crisis Prevention and Intervention
Rosario C. Pesce, PhD, NCSP

This advanced level workshop will assist you in enhancing the crisis procedures already in place in your school district. Specifically, learn cutting-edge tips on conducting emergency exercises and crisis drills in the school setting, as well as the role that mental health staff have in preparing for such events. In addition, strategies for using social media, dealing with the press, and planning memorials will be offered. The legal ramifications of crisis response and the spiritual dimensions in the aftermath of a crisis also will be highlighted.


Brief Solution-Oriented Counseling in Schools
Kathleen Minke, PhD, NCSP

Solution-oriented counseling stresses working from the student’s view of the problem and moving quickly to generate possible solutions; it is a research-supported, culturally sensitive approach well suited for the practical realities of schools and school problems. This session will provide an overview of the approach and offer guidance on how to become more solution-oriented in your day-to-day work.

General Session
1:00–4:15 p.m.

Finding the Spark: How to Give Students the Tools to Manage Their Own Learning
Jim Wright, MS

Middle and high school students can master the ambitious Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics only if they possess the tools and motivation necessary to take responsibility for their own learning. This session will provide school psychologists with the guidance, diagnostic tools, and intervention strategies to train students to act as their own learning managers. Participants in this session will increase their knowledge of: structuring student (and parent) conferences to prompt students to assume increased responsibility for managing their own learning; research-based interventions in reading, math, and writing that can be self-administered by the student; helping students to identify and fix weaknesses in 'academic survival skills' such as time management, studying, or organization; data-collection methods that students can use to monitor the success of their own intervention plans; and additional strategies to boost the motivation of students to engage in assigned learning and study tasks.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Full Day Workshops
8:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Evidence-Based Interventions for Students With Memory and Learning Problems
Milton J. Dehn, EdD, NCSP

Children with memory problems are an underidentified and underserved population. Approximately 10% of children have working memory deficits, and 6% have long-term memory impairments. Of children with a specific learning disability, it is estimated that half have a memory impairment. The purpose of this workshop is to help school psychologists increase their expertise in memory interventions. The workshop will begin with a review of the neuroscience and development of memory systems and processes, with an emphasis on the memory functions of the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus. This will be followed by an overview of risk factors for memory impairments. Tier 1 interventions will focus on methods for reducing cognitive load in the classroom and on instructional approaches that support long-term memory. Tier 2 interventions will focus on brain-based working memory training, mnemonics, and other long-term memory strategies that students can learn to use independently. Tier 3 interventions will focus on accommodations and special applications for students with severe memory impairments, such as those suffering amnesia from head injuries. The workshop will include several videos to illustrate recommended methods, group discussion to allow processing of concepts, and practice of methods that are new to participants. 

Participants will:

  • Be able to describe different memory systems and processes and the relationships among them
  • Learn to identify youth populations who are at risk for memory dysfunctions
  • Recognize the essential components of brain-based working memory training
  • Identify several effective instructional practices that enhance memory
  • Describe several evidence-based interventions for long-term memory impairments

Teasing, Taunting, Bullying, Harassment, Hazing, and Fighting: Prevention, Strategic Intervention, and Crisis Management
Howard M. Knoff, PhD

Teasing, taunting, bulling, harassment, hazing, and physical threats/aggression are pervasive problems with children and adolescents in our communities today. To address these issues, this session will present a comprehensive, ecologically sound, and integrated assessment to intervention approach that is implemented at the prevention, strategic, intervention, and crisis management levels of student, staff, and school need and response. Using evidence-based practices implemented in schools across the country, participants will be provided with tools and strategies at each of these levels to assess the spectrum of incidents involving teasing through physical aggression (including cyberbullying and hazing).

Participants will:

  • Apply the current research and practice in the focus areas relative to students (aggressors, victims, and peer bystanders), staff, settings, and situations—so that they can evaluate their current district, school, or setting need and develop and evaluate an action plan to address identified gaps
  • Identify the components needed to teach students the interpersonal, social problem solving, conflict prevention and resolution, and emotional coping skills that minimize teasing, taunting, bullying, harassment, hazing, and physical aggression
  • Conduct “Special Situation Analyses” to determine why persistent incidents occur and how to link the results to strategic and successful interventions that decrease or eliminate future incidents and that respond to and resolve past incidents