2020 Wednesday Sessions

 

Understanding and Supporting Gender Diverse Students
(NASP Domains 8,10)



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Transgender and gender diversity matters have proliferated in society throughout the past two decades, with gender diverse children and youth at the forefront in so many ways. The purpose of this workshop is to provide the participant with increased awareness and knowledge about gender diversity, in general; additionally, school-specific, mental health, and family-related considerations will be examined. Lastly, a variety of strategies and tools participants can employ to support transgender and gender diverse students will be highlighted. Learning will be supported through direct instruction, videos, and large- and small-group activities.
 
Dr. Todd Savage, NCSP – Professor – University of Wisconsin - River Falls
 


Equitable Practices Through a Trauma-Informed Lens
(NASP Domains 1,2,4,5,6,7,8)



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Educational systems throughout the United States continue to focus on implementation of trauma informed approaches. In order to be truly trauma informed, school systems and mental health providers who support those systems must understand how equitable practices are a core value permeating all educational practices. While rates of childhood trauma are alarmingly high throughout the United States, risk of trauma exposure continues to be higher among certain groups of students, families and school staff based on their particular experience both historically and at present. The presence of cultural inequities and adverse community experiences highlight the need to integrate equitable practices into trauma informed approaches. This presentation will provide the linkage between the two concepts and provide participants with an understanding of how using an equitable trauma informed lens throughout their educational practices benefit students, families, and staff. This presentation will invite participants to become self-aware of their own educational practices and introduce how the concepts of implicit bias, vulnerable decision points, and neutralizing routines are necessary practices when engaging in equitable trauma informed approaches. 

Dr. Dana Milakovic, NCSP - Mental Health/Alcohol & Other Drug Specialist - PA Department of Education
Dr. Nikole Hollins-Sims, NCSP - Educational Consultant - PATTAN Harrisburg


Remote Consultation for the Implementation of PBIS
(NASP Domains 2,6)




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This workshop will provide practitioners with strategies for remote consultation for implementing positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS). Participants will learn approaches to remote consultation and how these approaches can be applied for the implementation of school-wide and classroom-wide PBIS. Many schools across the Commonwealth are implementing PBIS. Even in a virtual learning context, the sustained implementation of PBIS is a priority, particularly given the added stress and challenges associated with virtual learning. Within the last year, school psychologists have had to shift their efforts to focus on how to provide behavioral supports, including PBIS, for a wide range of student populations in a remote format. This workshop will help participants explain modifications to PBIS implemented remotely, discuss strategies for teams who are implementing PBIS in virtual learning contexts, define core elements of remote classroom management, and describe a coaching strategy for remotely observing and providing feedback to classroom teachers.

Dr. Rachel Eisenberg, NCSP - Consulting & Research Psychologist - Devereux Center for Effective Schools
Taylor Wyatt - Training & Consulting Specialist - Devereux Center for Effective Schools
Dr. Lisa Thomas, NCSP - Assistant Director - Devereux Center for Effective Schools


School Law for School Psychologists: Beyond Special Education
(NASP Domains 10) 



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School psychologists, by the nature of their positions, are well versed in the basics of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. They are much less informed about the rights of students in general. How are school psychologists to protect the rights of special education students if they are uninformed on the rights of all students? This mini-skills workshop will provide participants with a review of legal issues and case law in educational settings. Scenarios related to the legal implications of student bullying, Title IX (sex discrimination), and legal challenges to mindfulness programs in schools will be presented.  Attendees will apply legal principles to determine an appropriate and legally defensible course of action. Participants will increase their knowledge of the educational rights of all students.
 
Dr. Shirley Woika – Professor – Penn State University
Dr. Anne McGinnis – Attorney/School Psychologist/Psychologist – New York


Supporting LGBTQ+ Students: Providing a Safe Zone
(NASP Domains 2,4,6,8,10)



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Safe Zone trainings are opportunities to learn about LGBTQ+ identities, gender, and sexuality and examine prejudice, assumptions, and privilege. Attending a Safe Zone training, having a deeper familiarity and comfort with vocabulary, inclusive practices, and privilege can help you identify ways that your organization can continue to be a safer and more inclusive space for LGBTQ+ students and colleagues.  This workshop will help to set and clarify a common vocabulary on LGBTQ+ issues, provide activities and lectures that serve as a space for critical discussion and examination of privilege, bias, and identity, give a space for participants to ask and discuss any questions they have, and empower participants to feel personally involved and invested in issues of gender and sexuality. Participants will learn more about how sexuality and gender influence our everyday experiences and the impact on students and their families in the educational setting. Participants will be asked to reflect on their organization’s written anti-discrimination policies, training for employees, level of support demonstrated by school staff, inclusiveness of their curriculum, and website access policy regarding LGBTQ+ students. Participants will be provided with current information regarding legal protections for LGBTQ+ students, as well as national and Pennsylvania legislation applying to this community.
 
Dr. Carrie Jackson – Professor – Youngstown State University


Effective Mathematics Assessment and Intervention Practices 
(NASP Domains 1,2,3,5)



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How can school psychologists partner with mathematics educators to ensure effective assessment, instructional, and intervention practices to meet the needs of all students? In this session, you will have the opportunity to explore the important role of school psychologists in supporting effective math assessment, instruction, and intervention practices. Additionally, you'll have the opportunity to evaluate research to inform practice in supporting students’ math learning and achievement, and align evidence-based mathematics strategies/interventions to the instructional hierarchy to meet student needs. 

Dr. Erica Kaurudar, NCSP - Educational Consultant - PATTAN Harrisburg
Jared Campbell - Educational Consultant - PATTAN Harrisburg


What Tier Are We In Now? Child Find During a Pandemic
(NASP Domains 1,5,6,7,8)



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School psychologists in Pennsylvania are faced with unprecedented challenges following the abrupt shutdown of schools due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. One of the most prominent questions as schools begin to discuss reopening plans emerges as: How do you determine a suspected disability and classification for special education when students have been educated at home for three or four months? Recent data highlights disparities in distance learning and suggests that all students may be behind academically. Thus, school psychologists need to readjust how to examine pre-referral data to determine a suspected disability vs. deficits related to the global pandemic. Further, school psychologists need to address these instructional differences in reports in order to meet IDEA requirements for eligibility. This presentation seeks to address these objectives through use of NASP resources, research, and discussion of practices occurring in Pennsylvania. Attendees will learn how to help school teams with RtII determinations, when to identify students for psychoeducational evaluations, and assessment strategies for addressing exclusionary criteria when evaluating for learning disabilities.

Dr. Meghan Garret - School Psychologist - Abington School District
Dr. Caitlin Gilmartin - School Psychologist - Colonial School District
Dr. Katherine Palladino - School Psychologist - Abington School District


Legally Aligned Assessment of Emotional Disturbance
(NASP Domains 1,2,4,10)



Emotional Disturbance (ED) assessment practices remain variable among school psychologists. These differences among other factors make ED eligibility determination particularly complex for multidisciplinary teams. Despite increased attention, disproportionate identification practices persist and specific groups of students continue to be overrepresented in this category. Further adding to the complexity, student’s social, emotional, and behavioral functioning is increasingly impacted by the mandatory school closures, a global pandemic, and related traumatic experiences. With a focus on prevention and intervention endeavors, as well as evaluating and servicing children with emotional and behavioral disabilities in a legally compliant and ethically sound manner, there will be a comprehensive review of multi-tiered systems of support, positive behavior support plans, legally aligned assessment, and a review of case law trends for the identification of students. Additionally, there will be discussion surrounding best practices in assessing students due to social, emotional and behavioral needs during a global pandemic.

Dr. Jessica Dirsmith, NCSP - Clinical Assistant Professor - Duquesne University
Rebecca Heaton Hall - Attorney - Weiss Burkhardt Kramer

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Enhancing Multi-Tiered Systems of Support for Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness to Prevent and Respond to Trauma
(NASP Domains 1,4,5,6)


 
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This mini-skills workshop is designed to guide participants in planning, designing, and installing enhancements to multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) frameworks to effectively prevent and respond to trauma in school settings. Many schools across the state are already implementing MTSS frameworks to promote social, emotional, and behavioral wellness in schools, such as through the implementation of school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports. Adopting a greater focus on trauma does not require school investment in a new school-wide initiative or framework; in fact, approaching school improvement from this angle could lead to inefficient and ineffective initiatives. It does, however, require the strategic use of data, systems (i.e., staff supports), and practices (i.e., student supports) for preventing and responding to trauma within an integrated MTSS framework. This workshop will support participants in explaining the assumptions and values of a trauma-informed lens; identifying the outcomes, data, systems, and practices of an MTSS framework designed to prevent and respond to trauma; and describing considerations for enhancing existing MTSS frameworks to more directly and effectually prevent and respond to trauma. 

Dr. Brittany Zakszeski, NCSP - Training & Consulting Specialist - Devereux Center for Effective Schools
Dr. Lyndsie Erdy, NCSP. BCBA-D - Training & Consulting Specialist - Devereux Center for Effective Schools


School Start Times: Implications for School Psychologists 
(NASP Domains 2,5)



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There has been much activity in Pennsylvania regarding the movement to delay secondary school start times. The purpose of this workshop is to summarize the important research in this area and review the current status. The program will include a review of the Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission report, Sleep Deprivation in Adolescents: The Case for Delaying Secondary School Start Times. Implications for school districts and school psychologists will be addressed.
 
Dr. Gail Karafin - School Psychologist - Bensalem Township School District
Dr. David Lillenstein, NCSP - School Psychologist - Derry Township School District
Dr. Dick Hall - Adjunct Professor - Millersville University


Academic Enablers and Math Achievement for Students with SLD
(NASP Domains 3,4)



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Academic enablers have been found to predict current and future academic achievement for students participating in the general education setting, even when researchers control for past achievement. Less research has examined the effectiveness of academic enablers as predictors of academic achievement for students with specific learning disabilities (SLD). The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of academic enablers as predictors of current and future math achievement for students with SLD while controlling for past achievement and to investigate the possibility that the academic self-concept functions as an academic enabler for students with SLD. Hierarchical multiple regression was used to perform a secondary analysis of the Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study dataset. Findings suggest that, when controlling for the past achievement of students with SLD, the addition of academic enablers and academic self-concept did not contribute any significant additional variance. Discussion will emphasize the importance of considering the impact of past achievement when attempting to use noncognitive factors to predict achievement. 

Lily Russell - Doctoral Student - Penn State University
Dr. Cristin Hall - Professor - Penn State University
Dr. Jim DiPerna - Professor - Penn State University


Joseph French Lecture - Part 1
Instructional Consultation Part I: Supporting Teachers Amidst Unprecedented Times

(NASP Domains 1,2,3)



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With the recent crisis of school closures due to COVID-19 and what the American Psychological Association refers to as the ‘racial pandemic’, teachers likely have returned to school with greater occupational stress. With heightened awareness and emotional intensity of persistent academic gaps and equity issues or perhaps defensiveness and lack of awareness, teachers need more support than ever before. Consultation has demonstrated reduction in teacher stress, even when compared to other more direct mental health interventions like relaxation training. In addition to reducing teacher stress, teacher coaching and consultation models have demonstrated increases in teacher efficacy, cultural competency, and student academic and behavioral outcomes. Instructional Consultation (IC) is one model that combines academic and behavioral problem-solving and is consultee-centered, but is still relatively low in reported use. This first part in a two-part series will provide a brief overview of the IC model and its evidence base, while embedding Multicultural School Consultation (MSC) considerations such as knowing oneself and the cultural constellation of the consultation relationship. Because the collaborative relationship is foundational to culturally competent IC, we will focus on practicing advanced communication skills. Discussion will follow about how school psychologists can implement IC to support teachers in challenges and change.

Dr. Lauren Kaiser, NCSP - Professor - Millersville University
Krislyn Rousseau-McGettigan, NCSP - School Psychologist - Eastern Lancaster County School District
Hannah Lombardo - School Psychologist Intern - Eastern Lancaster County School District
Bailey Gibson - School Psychologist Intern - Harford County Public Schools, MD
Katie Fritz - School Counselor - Pequea Valley School District


Joseph French Lecture - Part 2
Instructional Consultation Mini Skills Part Two: Closing Reading Gaps Pre and Post-COVID 19 

(NASP Domains 1,2,3)



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Frequent and persistent student academic concerns continue to exist in schools. With the recent crisis of school closures due to COVID 19, these problems will likely be magnified. With the predicted academic “slide”, teachers will have greater need to differentiate instruction and intervene to close gaps. Consultation has demonstrated increases in teacher efficacy and student academic and behavioral outcomes. Instructional Consultation (IC) is one model that combines academic and behavioral problem solving and is consultee centered, but is relatively low in reported use. This second part in the two part mini skills session will provide a detailed overview of the IC model, evidence of teacher and student-level outcomes of IC, and case study examples of IC for reading concerns. Discussion will follow about how school psychologists can implement IC in schools as a response to the stressors and academic learning time loss due to COVID 19.

Dr. Lauren Kaiser, NCSP - Professor - Millersville University
Bailey Gibson - School Psychologist Intern - Harford County Public Schools, MD
Katie Fritz - School Counselor - Pequea Valley School District
Krislyn Rousseau-McGettigan, NCSP - School Psychologist - Eastern Lancaster County School District
Hannah Lombardo - School Psychologist Intern - Eastern Lancaster County School District


ADHD and Autism: Making Data-Based Eligibility Decisions
(NASP Domains 1,3,4)



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The purpose of this presentation is to provide school psychologists with the knowledge and tools to differentiate between an attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). School psychologists are in a unique position to assess and make recommendations for students with ADHD and ASD; however, these two disorders often present such that either identification could appear plausible (Antshel & Russo, 2019; Taurines et al., 2012). Therefore, the majority of this session will focus on providing participants with the knowledge to complete a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation and analyze patterns in assessment data to make appropriate eligibility decisions within the context of a school-based evaluation. This objective will be accomplished through a hands-on approach using real-world case examples and discussion amongst participants. Evidence-based recommendations for the treatment of both disorders, including aspects of psychopharmacology, behavior and classroom management, and applied behavior analysis, will also be provided. Participants will be able to apply this knowledge to their own psychoeducational evaluations and make appropriate recommendations to school-based teams on behalf of students with ADHD or ASD. 
 
Amanda Zanko, NCSP – Doctoral Student - Penn State University
Victoria Petit - Doctoral Student - Penn State University


Behavior Analysis as Social Justice: Using Behavioral Principles to Eliminate Discipline Inequities
(NASP Domains 1,4,8)



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The popularity of positive behavior approaches in the literature is evident, yet schools and teachers still use punishment as their primary means of behavior management. National civil rights organizations are also drawing attention to the injustice of the overuse of suspension and expulsion as a means of controlling students of color in schools. Increasing the use of evidence-based practices, including behavior analysis and positive behavior support, can help reduce discipline inequities in schools and eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline. This presentation will analyze the ineffectiveness of punishment, along with the potential dangers, especially in regard to closing educational opportunity gaps between Black, Latinx, and white students. The behavioral science behind common, but ineffective classroom and schoolwide discipline practices across the educational continuum will be explored. The focus will be on describing the behavioral principles behind ineffective discipline methods and providing alternative effective strategies to address unjust educational practices. Participants will learn how to explain behavioral principles in plain language that can be communicated to teachers and administrators, and positive, effective strategies to replace common punishment-based practices. 

Mawule Sevon - Doctoral Student - Temple University
Shana Levi-Nielsen - Doctoral Student - Temple University


The Why Behind the WIAT-4: A Focus on Literacy Assessment
(NASP Domains 1,3,10)



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The research community knows more about language and literacy development than ever before. The WIAT-4 translates this research into practice. Participants learn to use WIAT-4 data to identify the nature of a student’s reading difficulties and appropriate interventions. Guidance will be provided for conducting assessments during times of educational disruption.

Liz Gross, NCSP - School Psychologist/Assessment Consultant - Pearson Clinical