Volume 49, Issue 3 (December 2020)

Editor: John Desrochers

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  • Climate Justice—Part 2: School Psychologists as Advocates

    School psychologists work to increase protective factors and decrease risk factors that influence children’s ability to thrive. As noted in the first article in this series, climate change has serious negative consequences for youth and their families, and especially for those in low income and economically marginalized communities. This article explores ways that school psychologists can advocate for sustainable practices together with students and families. … more

  • Leveraging MTSS to Advance, Not Suppress, COVID-Related Equity Issues: Tier 2 and 3 Considerations

    The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated school, state, and federal responses to curb infection and resultant fatalities, including extensive school closures and reliance on distance education for a substantial portion of the academic year. This article considers the equity issues laid bare by COVID-19, followed by the implications for MTSS, with a focus on Tiers 2 and 3. … more

  • Physical Health Disparities as a Social Justice Issue: Actions School Psychologists Can Take at the Systems Level

    School psychologists can be powerful social justice advocates for children and adolescents who experience physical health disparities. To aid school psychologists in their social justice advocacy and actions, this article aimed to enhance school psychologists’ knowledge regarding common physical health conditions children and adolescents experience, detailed social determinants of health that pose obstacles for minoritized and marginalized communities, and offered ideas for systemic intervention to facilitate social justice for children and adolescents who experience the negative consequences of physical health disparities. … more

  • Happy Thanksgiving!

    Thank you for reading this latest issue of Communiqué. Looking around, it is clear that social justice has become figural in school psychology practice, as it has in the culture at large. Articles printed in Communiqué and other sources have expanded my thinking on this topic in significant ways, and for that I am very grateful. … more

  • I Am Grateful

    Happy November! I cannot believe I'm even writing those words … November! For me, the school year seems to go by the quickest from September to December. There are many celebrations and holidays, and the first term is full of promise and optimism. … more

  • Tourette's Disorder: What School Psychologists Should Know

    This article provides a background of Tourette’s syndrome along with aspects school psychologists should consider in practice. The description, history, incidence, risk factors, comorbidity, assessment practices, and social aspects of school-age youth affected by Tourette’s is discussed. Information regarding DSM-5 diagnosis is provided along with how this disorder compares and relates to special education eligibility. Various accommodations and recommendations for treatment and intervention are lastly reviewed. … more

  • Examiner Drift: What It Is and How It Can Be Avoided in Your Assessment Practices

    School psychologists spend a considerable amount of time mastering the administration and scoring of standardized measures; however, once they have mastered these skills, they may not consider the need to revisit the learning process over the course of their careers. Consequently, school psychologists may experience examiner drift—a deviation from standardized administration and scoring procedures that occurs slowly over time. The purpose of this article is to explain how examiner drift occurs, outline how it can be assessed, and how it can be prevented. … more

  • Engage With Your Communities

    Julie A. Grossman, PhD, NCSP, works in Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS) in Maryland, a large, diverse district of more than 130,000 students, where she is assigned to three elementary schools. She is responsible for conducting psychological assessments; attending meetings (e.g., IEP, 504, SST, SIT); providing counseling services; and consulting with school staff, parents, and community stakeholders. … more

  • Honoring Elizabeth A'Vant: An Interview With the Recently Retired Multicultural Affairs Committee Chair

    Elizabeth (Liz) A'Vant retired from the Providence Public School Department in Rhode Island at the end of the 2019–2020 school year, following a 38-year career in education. Liz began her career as an elementary school teacher before becoming a school psychologist. … more

  • Candidates for NASP Offices Announced

    The 2021 election cycle has begun, and you can play a role in the future of NASP leadership. This year, we are electing a president-elect and 18 state delegates. Find more information on the candidates at … more

  • Working as a School Psychologist in Nonpublic Schools

    It was with great interest that I read the article about nonpublic school (NPS) placements in the September Communiqué [49(1), pp. 4, 6]. In the beginning of my career, I worked in a public school district and was involved in the decision to place students in NPS settings, and also monitored our students in these schools. … more

  • Strategic Liaisons

    NASP's ongoing work is organized into four program areas: Professional Advocacy, Professional Development, Professional Information Services, and Professional Standards. Each of these areas is facilitated by a strategic liaison (SL), a member of the Board of Directors (BoD) who promotes communication between NASP committees/boards and the BoD and monitors progress toward one or more of NASP's strategic goals. … more

  • Professional Growth Committee

    The primary mission of the Professional Growth Committee (PGC) is to support and guide efforts within NASP that relate to professional development. The PGC works to promote the professional growth of school psychologists in all of their varied roles (practitioners, administrators, graduate educators, etc.) from early through late career, and into retirement, seeking to provide resources for the evolving learning and service interests of professionals at every stage across that span. … more

  • FBAs and BIPs: An Updated Case Law Analysis

    In contrast with professional norms and best practices, the legal requirements for functional behavioral assessments (FBAs) and behavior intervention plans (BIPs) are meager in scope and specificity (Collins & Zirkel, 2017). Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (2017) makes no mention of FBAs or BIPs, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) only requires them, in tandem with manifestation determinations, for disciplinary changes in placement (§ 1415[k][1][D]-[F]). … more

  • Join the NASP Social Justice Committee National Book Read of Just Medicine

    Last year, the NASP Social Justice Committee (SJC) introduced an annual National Book Read as part of their activities to promote social justice within the field of school psychology. The National Book Read aligns with SJC's theme for the year and offers school psychologists an opportunity to collaboratively learn and discuss a social justice issue common to schools, children, and families. … more

  • Bill Pfohl Receives Jack Bardon Distinguished Service Award

    Communiqué does not usually print announcements about personal achievements, especially outside of our own association, but we will make an exception for a two-time NASP president who just won a prestigious APA Division 16 award—the Jack Bardon Distinguished Service Award. … more

  • Reflections on Facilitating a Book Read of Unequal City

    Last year, the NASP Social Justice Committee established a profession-wide read of Unequal City: Race, Schools, and Perceptions of Injustice by Dr. Carla Shedd. Unequal City analyzes students’ perceptions regarding their experiences of injustice with police; their disparate educational experiences in Chicago Public Schools; and their experiences in traversing through treacherous and unfamiliar geographic regions. … more

  • Facilitating Student Reentry Following Psychiatric Hospitalization

    The frequency of psychiatric hospitalizations for school-age children has increased substantially over the past 2 decades, with an estimated 300% increase in child and adolescent hospitalizations during this time period. In 2012 alone, approximately 310,000 students ages 13 to 19 were hospitalized for either a mental health or substance abuse disorder. … more

  • Dr. Tracy E. Waasdorp on Bullying

    Dr. Tracy Waasdorp is currently a research scientist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Her work has followed a consistent path toward helping us understand, prevent, and intervene with bullying behaviors. Her article, “Peer Sympathy for Bullied Youth: Individual and Classroom Considerations,” was just awarded the distinction of SPR's Article of the Year. … more

  • A New Normal for Psychological Evaluation Reports

    For months we have known that, for many of us, this school year would be very different from any before. We have all had to reconceptualize what it means to be a school psychologist in the time of coronavirus and widespread calls for social justice. … more

  • From Graduate School to Academia: Guidance From the Early Career Committee

    Completing graduate school can be a challenging and rewarding experience in any individual's life. However, planning for your career can be an exciting, nerve-racking, and daunting endeavor. In addition to traditional school psychology practice in schools, career alternatives include university faculty positions, administrative roles (e.g., director of psychological services), private practice, school neuropsychology, and clinically focused roles in a hospital or community setting, among others. … more

  • Counteracting Zoom Fatigue

    The videoconference meeting is about to start. I have muted myself, quickly thrown on a professional looking shirt, and I try to make my hair look somewhat combed. I click on the meeting link and make sure to look straight into the camera and appear attentive. … more

  • A Practical Guide To Mental Health and Learning Disorders for Every Educator: How to Recognize, Understand, and Help Challenged (And Challenging) Students Succeed

    This book recommends itself as a “ready reference for teachers, counselors, school psychologists, administrators, and classroom aides,” and is the latest edition by Dr. Cooley, supplementing an earlier version published in 2007. The additions to the book were designed to reflect modifications in educational practices along with changes in diagnoses with the publication of the DSM-5 in 2013. … more

  • How to Be an Antiracist

    In recent months, we have seen heartbreaking evidence that systemic and brutal racism against Black people persists. As part of a multiracial social movement demanding change, NASP and the School Psychology Division of APA have explicitly called out institutionalized disparities and violence against people of color. … more

  • Multi-Tiered Systems of Support In Secondary Schools: The Definitive Guide to Effective Implementation and Quality Control

    Multitiered systems of support (MTSS) are now common in schools across the United States. Moreover, there are numerous outstanding books, training materials, and website supports that are readily available to assist those implementing MTSS. However, these training resources are focused primarily on elementary school implementation. … more

  • What Science Tells Us About Autism Spectrum Disorder: Making the Right Choices for Your Child

    What Science Tells Us About Autism Spectrum Disorder: Making the Right Choices for Your Child includes an exploration of topics that are geared toward a better understanding of autism spectrum disorder for parents. It is also a great resource for professionals, including school psychologists, when it comes to assisting parents and caregivers who are caring for a child with the disorder. … more

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