Highlights of NASP Accomplishments July 2011 to June 2012
By Philip J. Lazarus
As you get ready to renew your membership in NASP, it is important to look back over the past year and highlight our accomplishments. NASP needs your support and continued membership to be able to continue the good work we do on behalf of children, youth, families, and our profession.
- Introduced the new online learning center with live webinars, documented sessions, and workshops from NASP conventions and summer conferences. Members may earn NASPand APA-approved documented CPD credits online. The sessions and workshops are convenient and flexible, and participants can start, stop, and review as needed.
- Held free live webinars on a variety of topics based on member interests.
- Rolled out the new online member communities, including the NASP Member Exchange, where your questions can be discussed with colleagues. Participants may share documents, videos, and links. They can start or join discussions and read and post blogs. There is also a new mobile app to access the communities.
- Held School Psychology Awareness Week, November 14–18, 2011, with the theme “Every link matters. Make the connection” and a free poster in Communiqué, theme activities and bookmarks, and recognition programs.
- Updated state credentialing requirements online for your convenience.
- Established three new interest groups (systems level data-driven decision making; pediatric school psychology; school psychologists in virtual settings).
- Awarded five minority scholarships.
- Upgraded School Psychology Forum and added a variety of new features.
- Unanimously approved the NASP Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity policy (http://www.nasponline.org/leadership/nondiscrimination_equal_opportunity.pdf)
- Established NASP task forces to deal with value-added services and the evaluation of school psychologists using the NASP Practice Model; student's roles in NASP governance and leadership; and bullying prevention and intervention. These task forces are ongoing.
- Contributed to, reviewed, and endorsed Specialty Guidelines for School Psychologists for APA adoption.
- Updated graduate school psychology training program information, available online.
Advocacy And Assistance To State And Districts
- Consulted with districts that were threatened with losing school psychology positions due to the economic downturn. Ongoing assistance was provided.
- Submitted NASP recommendations for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as well as commented on the version of the bill proposed in the Senate to ensure a robust role for school psychologists.
- Consulted on the successful passage of the Maine General Assembly Bill LD 1094, “An act to improve the delivery of school psychological services to children,” which changed the professional title from school psychological service provider to school psychologist- doctoral and school psychologistspecialist; also referenced the NASP Practice Model.
- Participated in or sponsored Congressional briefings and hearings on conditions for learning, children in transition, social–emotional learning, bullying, and roles of pupil personnel in student success.
- Established major initiatives related to assistance to states, including a three-tier assessment tool to help states strengthen their state associations.
- Provided keynote addresses at state conferences on the theme, “Advocating for the emotional well-being of our nation's youth.”
- Provided training to a number of states regarding implementation of the NASP Practice Model.
- Provided ongoing assistance to schools and communities impacted by school shootings, tornadoes, deaths in the school community, and other tragedies.
- Advocated for our profession and the children we serve at the state and national levels.
Communication And Publications
- Created presidential video messages on the NASP website aimed at parents, school personnel, mental health providers, and other stakeholders. These can be found at the About NASP section of the website.
- Developed and approved new position statements on supervision, LGBTQ, ADHD, retention and social promotion, bullying prevention and intervention in the schools, racism, prejudice and discrimination, school– family partnering to enhance learning, essential elements and responsibilities, child rights, and supporting students with HIV/AIDS.
- Updated handouts on our website for use by school psychologists and other stakeholders.
- Continued to write a monthly column (now in the eighth year) for the National Association of Secondary School Principals' magazine, Principal Leadership.
- Engaged in numerous television, radio, and print media interviews on issues of concern to parents, school personnel, and stakeholders, highlighting the role of school psychologists.
- Provided podcasts on our website related to topics of importance to school psychologists.
- Released the second edition of the PREPaRE curriculum, a comprehensive school-based crisis prevention and intervention training curriculum.
- Released Helping Children at Home and School III with more than 300 new and revised handouts on CD-Rom.
- Released Dignity for all: Safeguarding LGBT students by Peter Dewitt.
- Engaged in strategic planning to be voted upon in July 2012 that involved surveys of members, students, and former members; focus groups of student members and NASP leaders; and input from state and NASP leaders. We currently have approved a revised vision, mission, and core values.
- Contributed to the ongoing development of the 2012 School Psychology Futures Conference.
- Responded effectively to a variety of ethical concerns and complaints.
- Held four successful regional leadership development meetings in Denver, CO; Hollywood, FL; Providence, RI; and Minneapolis, MN.
Convention and Conferences
- Held successful NASP summer conferences in Indianapolis and Atlantic City.
- Held a successful Public Policy Institute in Washington, DC, on the theme of “Learning and Social and Emotional Supports for Vulnerable Students: Directions for the Nation.”
- Held the fourth largest annual convention ever, with more than 5,000 attending in Philadelphia, where Diane Ravitch, keynote speaker, presented “Will School Reform Improve Education?”
- Held more than 1,000 workshops, seminars, papers, poster sessions, and invited presentations
- Presented three parent workshops for the Philadelphia community by national experts Peg Dawson, Scott Poland, and Steven Feifer.
- Conducted television interviews at the convention with school psychology experts on issues of importance to teachers, administrators, and parents (live and archived interviews on both Philadelphia public television and the NASP website).
- Contributed the community service project sponsored by NASP Children's Fund that supported Turning Points for Children, providing for (a) activity bags for children participating in 30 elementary schools to enrich special play—one on one time within families, (b) age appropriate books that align to the reading curriculum for participing children, and (c) two additional, contracted Pennsylvania certified teachers so that the “educational improvement program component” can be implemented and offered in two additional F.A.S.T. elementary schools.
- Featured two president's strands, one of which was entitled, “Universal Prevention Approaches to Support the Emotional Needs of Youth,” and included topics and presenters on “Social-Emotional Learning: Preparing Students for Tests of Life, Not a Life of Tests,” by Maurice J. Elias; “Creating Safe Schools 101,” by Kevin Jennings; “Safeguarding Our Youth: Promoting Emotional Well-Being and Resilience Through Crisis Prevention and Intervention,” by Scott Poland.
- The second president's strand, “Providing School Psychological Services in Large Urban School Districts: What Works,” included topics and presenters on “Enhancing the Emotional Well-Being of Our Nation's Urban Youth,” by Salome Thomas-El; the Legend's Address, “School Psychologists Role in Effective Education for All,” by Kevin Dwyer; and “Moving From a Failing to an Achieving School District: How Learning Supports Helped Reach Struggling Students,” by the Upper Darby School District, Pennsylvania, staff.
- Previewed at the annual convention two films related to children's learning and mental health by accomplished and award winning documentary directors, James Redford and Dan Habib.
Philip J. Lazarus, PhD, is the president of the National Association of School Psychologists