I’m getting excited about the NASP 2011 Annual Convention in “The City by the Bay” —San Francisco. It’s always so much fun to see old friends and colleagues; the convention is a great place to renew these relationships and meet new friends from all over the country. As Kathy Minke said in her September President’s Message, school psychology is all about relationships. After I attended my first few NASP conventions, I began to recognize more and more familiar faces as I walked through the halls, and I realized what a small world our profession really is. I like that. I like being in a strange city and running into hundreds of people I know and enjoy.
This issue of Communiqué features an outstanding article by Michelle Sherman and Marshall Glenn about working with children whose parents are in the military. The last time we published major articles on this topic was 2 years ago, so this one is long overdue. With more than 2 million military children in our country, the odds are that many of us have such children in our schools. During World War II, Winston Churchill used Milton’s line, “They also serve who only stand and wait,” to recognize the sacrifices made not only by soldiers but also by the people left at home. It’s very easy not to notice that this is just as true today. Sherman and Glenn help us to understand the issues involved and direct us to the resources we need in order to assist the children and their families who quietly serve our country. I have long been a big fan of Adelman and Taylor’s work at the UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools, and now NASP has teamed up with them to create a joint policy document called “Enhancing the Blueprint for School Improvement in the ESEA Reauthorization: Moving From a Two- to a Three-Component Approach.” Read the Advocacy in Action column about the UCLA research and how NASP is using this new document in its advocacy efforts. You might find it a real eye-opener.
Communiqué again this month offers a wide variety of articles to meet the interests of our diverse readership. If you are interested in the application of positive psychology to improving student discipline and a variety of other school outcomes, the articles on gratitude and discipline should be on your reading list. Perry Zirkel returns with a very interesting discussion of the role of the DSM in special education, concluding that school psychologists should not underestimate the relative influence of their own judgment in special education adjudication. And if you are looking for a Vygotskian take on BICS and CALP, we’ve got that covered, too.
Please also take a look at Communiqué Online’s exclusive feature this month. It is an article reprinted from the The Ohio School Psychologist on school-based services for traumatized refugee children that beautifully complements the front-page article about working with immigrant and refugee students.
There’s plenty here for everyone. Happy reading and happy New Year!