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2013 Convention News
Seattle, February 12–15

Presidential Convention Strands: Building Leaders

By Amy Smith

Every year, the NASP president has the opportunity to identify strands of presentations meant to complement and carry the convention theme throughout the week. These strands consist of professional development opportunities that are related to the convention theme and highlight its important features. There will be two President's Special Strands in Seattle, as well as presentations recognized as related to the Building Leaders convention theme. While there are many directions our convention theme could steer us, the President's Strands will focus on the benefits of our investing in future leaders and highlighting the work of innovative leaders in the field. The very essence of the Building Leaders theme is the idea of prompting and preparing school psychologists to step into leadership roles. True change or school improvement work can only occur when strong leadership is present, and school psychologists have the skills and training necessary to lead. Often all that is needed is to create the opportunity to demonstrate those skills. This year's Distinguished Lecture, “Leaders of the Pack: School Psychologists as Leaders of School Change,” addresses this very idea. Delivered by Dr. Joe Kovaleski and Dr. Ed Shapiro, this presentation will highlight examples from work they have conducted in Pennsylvania with school psychologists that have risen to lead school change.

Investing in Leaders: Minority Scholarship Recipients

The first presidential theme recognizes the importance of investing in the future leaders of our profession by highlighting the work of the ERT Minority Scholarship alumni. Established in 1995, the NASP ERT-Minority Scholarship Program was developed to support minority students as they pursue their specialist-level studies with the goal of becoming practicing school psychologists. Increasing the number of minority members in the field of school psychology increases diversity and cultural awareness, which benefits other practitioners as well as the students and families we serve. This strand will highlight the work of alumni scholarship recipients. The diversity of the research and programming topics offered by these award winners emphasizes the benefits of having diversity within the field and among the presenters at our convention. For more information on the Minority Scholarship Program or for an opportunity to contribute, visit the NASP website (http://www.nasponline.org/about_nasp/minority-scholarship-program.aspx).

Strand 1 Sessions Include:

  • PA630: Multilevel Analyses Examining Relationships Between School Climate and Culture
  • PA093: Diversifying the Pipeline: Persistence Strategies for Graduate Students of Color
  • PA114: Examining Parental Perceptions of Body Weight in Children
  • PA558: Growing Up ELL: What School Psychologists Can Do to Help
  • PO663: Analysis of LGBT Content in School Support Personnel Journals
  • PO032: Disciplinary Disproportionality: The Role of Bias and Social Desirability

Innovative Leaders: Implementing Creative Solutions

The second President's Special Strand recognizes that on a more frequent basis practitioners are faced with complicated, unusual situations that require creative solutions. In this strand, we will highlight innovative programs implemented to meet the needs of students who too often are marginalized by the education system. During this era of budget constraints, test score and graduation-rate pressures, and stressed community systems, providing quality programs to the neediest students has never been more difficult. Sharing the creative solutions that practitioners and education and community systems have implemented is meant to provide possibilities for programming and problem solving when you return to your districts.

Strand 2 Sessions Include:

  • MS086: Supporting and Educating Traumatized Children
  • MS127: Evidence-Based Practices for School Refusal and Truancy
  • SY055: Promoting the Educational Success of Refugee Newcomer Students and Families
  • SY028: Review and Discussion of Tools to Assist Grieving Students
  • MS121: Students Who Self-Injure: School-Based Strategies Based on DB
  • PA731: Response of English Language Learners to Evidence-Based Interventions

In addition to the President's Special Strands, sessions related to the Building Leaders convention theme have also been identified. These presentations highlight opportunities for school psychologists to assume the role of building leaders in various situations. They explore ways for school psychologists to share their skills and training in broader arenas.

Convention Theme Related Sessions

  • PA428: A Seat at the Table … Facilitating Comprehensive Literacy Reform
  • PA729: Interventions and the NASP Practice Model: Opportunities for School Psychology
  • MS062: Keep Your Principal From Getting Fired: An Evidence-Based Practice
  • MS064: Understanding and Promoting a Growth Mindset
  • MS071: School Psychologists Role: Ensuring Quality Core Instruction in Common Core
  • MS187: Leading and Innovating Through Strength-Based Inquiry
  • MS215: School Psychologists as Leaders in Climate Change: A District Response

The Seattle convention will offer something for everyone, including more than 1,100 presentations, workshops, posters, and special sessions presented by national leaders, experienced practitioners, early career members, and aspiring students. All session descriptions, dates, and times will be at (http://www.nasponline.org/conventions/2013/index.aspx) by January 2013. In addition to the professional development opportunities, there will be social gatherings, service projects, and the chance to enjoy a truly unique city. I encourage all of you to join us in Seattle and look forward to enjoying the convention with you. It is great step toward becoming or improving as a building leader!


Amy R. Smith is the president of the National Association of School Psychologists