Populations Students Early Career Families Educators View My Account
Skip Navigation LinksNASP Home Publications Communiqué Volume 37, Issue 2 Take Strides to Boston

Take Strides to Boston: Learn How to Make a Difference for Children

Michael C. Forcade

Although I have traveled across the U.S. extensively, Boston is the one big city that I somehow missed until our first convention planning meeting in May. It’s not like I did not know it was there! I’m a history buff, love sports, go to the symphony and museums, watch Boston Legal, enjoy seafood, and even read the Harvard Lampoon when I was in college. But nothing could prepare me for the actual experience of my first visit. In my short time there, I was able to enjoy many aspects of the city, including a Red Sox game, long runs along the Charles River and through historic neighborhoods, wonderful food and shopping, and visits to as many historic sites as I could see. This is a city that definitely requires more than two days to “do it all.” What I cannot accomplish in the convention related trips I have left will get my full attention during a more leisurely trip with family. I promise all my NASP colleagues that you will find much to enjoy in Boston during any free time you can squeeze in around an outstanding professional development program.

Convention Schedule Takes Strides Back to The Future

The theme for the 2009 Boston Convention is “Take Strides to Make a Difference.” This year, the convention schedule will be returning to our longstanding timetable of beginning educational sessions on Tuesday and concluding on Friday, with the exception of a of cluster of paid workshops offered on Saturday morning. (The shifted schedule in New Orleans was an anomaly to accommodate Mardi Gras.) Future conventions will continue to use this schedule. A very important difference this year and going forward is a new process to coordinate convention registration with hotel registration: you must register for the convention before reserving your room at one of the three convention hotels at the convention rate. Attendees will register for the convention and then be provided with access allowing hotel reservations to be made through our housing bureau. This process is designed to ensure ample availability of hotel rooms in the blocks NASP has in the official convention hotels. However, I would still encourage early registration to facilitate completion of hotel and travel arrangements. You will want to be sure to do this, as the room rates are unbelievably low. What are they? Complete information about convention and hotel registration is available online at www.nasponline.org/conventions.

Best Practice at Your Fingertips

By now, your convention Preliminary Program should have arrived and you may have noticed the new, compact look. NASP has initiated a green movement designed to save trees (and member resources). The Preliminary Program still provides an excellent overview of all components of the convention and includes links to even more information posted online at www.nasponline.org/conventions. You will note that the convention program continues to offers a full slate of workshops, papers, mini-skills, symposia, and posters covering the entire spectrum of our field. Once again, over 1,200 proposals were submitted for review, which allows for the selection of a wide array of presentations and workshops centered on the Make a Difference theme. The President’s Strands this year will include presentations on autism and childhood eating disorders. Look online and in the November Communiqué for more information on these strands.

New for Boston

The program will include a few new activities designed as enhancements for attendees.

CPD Sessions. Five 90-minute sessions will be offered for those interested in earning NASP Continuing Professional Development credit (CPD). These advanced sessions will meet all requirements to be counted toward the new 25-hour CPD credit obligation for renewal of the NCSP. Three sessions will be sponsored by the Society for the Study of School Psychology and two will be sponsored by the NCSP board.

Participant Information Exchanges (PIE). Those attending poster sessions will have a new option of enjoying a PIE. This PIE will feed your brain and not hurt your diet. Participant Information Exchanges offer the opportunity to engage in a roundtable discussion on a “poster” topic after a brief presentation. Five PIEs will be scheduled during each session so there will be plenty of opportunity to participate and also move about to view posters.

NASP at the Movies. The coffee house concept has been ramped up for Boston to combine both networking and professional development. NASP Night at the Movies will feature a cash bar, popcorn, and a presentation/discussion of a documentary video. Children Left Behind examines the impact of high-stakes assessments and was produced by Dr. Louis Krueger with the support of the Massachusetts School Psychologists Association.

I encourage you to visit the convention website and learn more about the program and Boston. You would probably be spending the last week of February at home and reading a book, wishing for spring. Instead, I hope you will join me and thousands of your school psychology colleagues in listening to those who wrote the books you might have been reading, and in enjoying all Boston has to offer as one of the greatest cities in our country.

Keynote Address

The Nature and Development of Angry and Aggressive Behaviors: Implications for School Psychologists
Donald Meichenbaum, PhD—Dr. Meichenbaum is certainly a person who has made a difference in the area of cognitive-behavioral theory and practice. He will consider the nature of anger and how aggressive behavior develops from a lifespan perspective. He will consider the implications for both assessment and school-based interventions, highlighting gender differences and the role of school readiness skills. He also will explore why “smart” children keep getting smarter and other students fall farther and farther behind, and what can be done to close this gap. Specific cognitive-behavioral interventions will be highlighted with a special attention to the issues of treatment generalization and maintenance.

Featured Sessions

Distinguished Lecture: Effective Professionals and Resilient, Motivated Learners
Robert Brooks, PhD—Dr. Brooks will examine factors that contribute to the creation of “motivating environments” in schools and include specific interventions that can be applied by school psychologists for nurturing motivation, learning, and resilience.

Legends Address: When Politics Trumps Science: Generalizations From a Career of Research on Assessment, Decision-Making, and Public Policy
James Ysseldyke, PhD—Dr. Ysseldyke will summarize major findings from 35 years of research and discuss implications for policy, practice, and future directions.

Domestic Violence: Why Do We Hurt the Ones We Love?
Lenore Walker, EdD—Domestic Violence is the single largest cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States. Dr. Walker will discuss the scope, causes, effects (including underlying neuropsychological changes), and effective responses to domestic violence and intimate partner violence.

The New Norm: Military School Children, Deployments, and After
Sharon W. Cooper, MD—Dr. Cooper will provide a thorough description of the numerous stresses experienced by children who are growing up in military families. She will discuss strategies that can be advanced to assist students coping with a variety of situations.

Multicultural Challenges and Evidence-Based Solutions for School Psychologists
Thomas Achenbach, PhD, & Leslie A. Rescorla, PhD—Drs. Achenbach and Rescorla will delineate challenges for assessing behavioral, emotional, and social problems among today’s very diverse students. Practical applications of multicultural assessment will be demonstrated for students from different backgrounds with different kinds of challenges.

Risk and Resilience in Children
Jerome Sattler, PhD—Dr. Sattler will address two main themes. He will consider risk factors that lead children to become vulnerable to psychological or physical difficulties during their developmental years. In addition, he will discuss protective factors that enable children to cope successfully with risk factors (i.e., children’s resiliency).

How Early Intervening Transforms Practice: Equity as an Education Imperative
Elizabeth Kozleski, EdD, Amanda Sullivan, & Kathleen King—This presentation will address culturally responsive practice and the importance of early intervening in response to intervention and the field of school psychology generally. Related research and resources will be shared, including practical suggestions for embracing and promoting such practices in schools.

Ethics Update: Continuing Challenges, Emerging Issues, and Future Directions
Susan Jacob, PhD—Discussion of NASP’s Principles for Professional Ethics will provide the backdrop for identifying suggested future code revisions. A set of broad ethical principles and corollary standards for school-based practice will be identified, and emerging ethical challenges will be discussed.

Michael C. Forcade is the NASP Convention Chair.

Find more details at www.nasponline.org/conventions