By John Desrochers
San Francisco and the NASP convention were
both terrific, generating NASP's third-best
turnout ever. I'm not surprised, given the topnotch
presentations, a beautiful city, and some
of the best tourist attractions in the country. The convention
was a real learning experience and, like most
other attendees, I managed to squeeze in a lot of fun,
too. Look for convention coverage in the May issue.
Next year, the convention moves to Philadelphia: No
jet lag for those of us on the east coast!
Talking about traveling, this issue of Communiqué
has an international flavor, with articles on the status of
school psychology in Vietnam and Saskatchewan, Canada.
It's easy to think that all school psychology looks like
what we do in the states, but these articles remind us that
different countries are shaping their practice in different
ways. I think they both make very interesting reading.
This is a good time to congratulate Amy Smith, Sarah
Valley-Gray, and the delegates just elected to NASP office.
NASP runs on volunteerism, and these people have definitely
taken it up a notch by running for elected leadership
positions. I'm sure you join with me in thanking them for
their commitment to our professional association.
The new NASP Communities are up and running on
the NASP website. These are definitely not your father's
communities! See Dan Florell's introduction to them on
page 36 and try them online yourself. I have begun to play
around with some of their features and can easily see
that the new communities are extremely user-friendly.
Go to the NASP homepage and click on "Communities."
This issue of Communiqué also contains some very
informative articles about working with Arab American
children, casual sex among teens, developing a parent
clinic, response to intervention, using student achievement
data to evaluate school psychologists, interns
implementing a social–emotional learning program,
and a Native American perspective on home–school
collaboration. Our readers have not been idle, either, as
you can tell from this month's Viewpoint articles, including
one addressing contributing editor Bill Pfohl's
concerns about ethics and technology. And don't forget
to read about the spring offerings of our sister publication,
School Psychology Forum, on page 38.
The issue of performance evaluation for school psychologists
is one that affects all of us. My district began
requiring everyone (including school psychologists) to
develop professional development goals tied directly to
measureable student outcomes (and used as part of our
yearly evaluations) years ago. Recently, however, this
trend has accelerated nationally. You may recall that
Frank Miller wrote a Viewpoint article ("Accountability
for Specialists") on this topic in last month's issue. This
month, NASP President Kathy Minke (see "President's
Message") and NASP Director of Public Policy Stacy
Skalski ("Advocacy in Action") explain some of the
issues involved and the actions NASP and other pupil
service organizations are taking to help ensure that accountability
systems developed for us make sense. Read
these articles: If you are not encountering these issues
now, you probably will be soon.
Enjoy the spring, everyone; and enjoy Communiqué!