Final Review of the 2019 GW/NASP Public Policy Institute

Building Capacity for Safe and Successful Schools: Policy Directions for the Nation

From July 15–19, school psychologists, teachers, school administrators, graduate students, and others interested in education policy came to Washington, DC to participate in the 2019 GW/NASP Public Policy Institute (PPI). The institute was cosponsored by the George Washington University (GW) Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD). GW brings to the partnership resources, professional expertise, and professional connections that help make the PPI a rich public policy-training experience for all involved.

This year, PPI participants came from 32 states, including: AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, IL, IN, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MS, MT, NC, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WI, and WV. PPI participants had the option of taking a 3-day basic training (July 15–17) for NASP Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credit or a 5-day advanced training (July 15-19) for NASP Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credit or GW Graduate Semester Credit. Additionally, a 2-day Special Topic training was offered to people who have previously attended PPI. This opportunity focused on exploring the theme of the institute in greater depth through participation in Days 4 and 5 of the program. An amazing line up of national experts presented information and engaged in dialogues with PPI participants. Some of the national leaders and scholars who participated in this year's PPI included:

  • Michael Yudin, Principal, Raben Group, Former Asst. Sec. of Special Education & Acting Asst. Sec. for Elementary and Secondary Education

  • Nonso Umunna, Research Director, Advocates for Children and Youth, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Kids Count Data Center

  • David Bateman, Professor, Educational Leadership and Special Education, Shippensberg University of PA

  • Renee Bradley, Deputy Director, Research to Practice Division, Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education 

  • Michelle Dallafior, Vice President, Budget and Tax, First Focus

  • Paul Kesner, Interim Director, Office of Safe and Supportive Schools

  • Mike Booher, Consultant and Trainer, Safe and Civil Schools

  • Deb Temkim, Senior Program Area Director for Education, Child Trends

  • Kristen Harper, Director for Policy Development, Child Trends 
  • Whitney Allgood, Executive Director, National School Climate Center
  • Ed Clark, Chief Safety Officer, Montgomery County Public Schools
  • Mo Canady, Executive Director, National Association of School Resource Officers
  • Kari Olsen, RULER Program Manager for High Schools, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence
  • Donna Desaulniers, School Psychological Services Program Manager, Fairfax County Public Schools
  • Angela Mann, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of North Florida
  • Ben Fernandez, Coordinator of Prevention Services, Loudon County Schools

Members of the NASP Government and Professional Relations Committee, as well as key staff members, led interactive discussions and provided education on the basics of grassroots advocacy. Professor Angela Heishman also presented, led teamwork sessions, facilitated discussions, and directed the GWU credit participants. You can view the full agenda for both the 3-day and 5-day training experiences and see the entire line up of speakers below.

Capitol Hill Day, July 17, 2019

On July 17, 2019 PPI participants traveled to the US Capitol to engage in a productive day of advocacy. The day began in the Capitol Visitor's Center, in a room sponsored by the office of Senator Thune (R-SD). Participants enjoyed a continental breakfast and got an inside look at life on Capitol Hill through a question-and-answer session with legislative staff members. We thank: Matt Stern, Education Policy Advisor, Senate HELP Committee, Majority Staff; Kim Knackstedt, Disability Policy Advisor, Senate HELP Committee, Minority Staff; Emily Smith, Education LA, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT); and Michael Northrop, Education LA, Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-GA) for sharing their experiences working on Capitol Hill. After the morning session, state teams ventured into the halls of Congress to meet their elected officials and/or legislative staff. Nearly 100 visits to the offices of US senators and US representatives were made that day. NASP materials and resources were presented and specific public policy priorities and issues were discussed.

Sample Presentations

PowerPoint presentations are accessible to current NASP members only. Please log in to see the links. PPI sessions included presentations from national experts, school psychology leaders, GWU faculty, and NASP staff. Samples of some of the presentations are included here: