Winter Greetings from your WSPA President!
I hope you have your calendar marked for the upcoming WSPA conference at Ho Chunk Casino in Wisconsin Dells/Baraboo March 26-28, 2014. Please make sure to bring your pupil services team to the preconference PREPaRE 2 training. Remember that you do NOT need to have PREPaRE 1 training to take the PREPaRE 2 training. This outstanding PREPaRE 2 training will help your team respond to the immediate and long-term mental health needs of students after a crisis.
Here are the highlights of what I have been involved in since the last Sentinel.
WSPA jumped into action on 2 pieces of proposed legislation with 24 hours to act. These bills would further limit access to pupil records, not allow for schools to gather biometric data on pupils, and (among many other things) significantly limit the amount of information DPI could collect on students. Please see John Humphries article on our response to these in the newsletter.
I appeared as a guest panelist on the PBS television show, “Teen Connection.” This television show focused on school safety and bullying. It was aired live in Green Bay on December 17 and will be re-aired several times in 5 states. I was asked to represent WSPA on this show given my prior participation in the 2013 State Superintendent’s Summit on School Safety and other DPI sponsored events. Steve Fernan (Head of Prevention and Wellness at DPI), a mother and sister of a boy who died by suicide after being bullied, a Latino girl who was bullied for her race and immigration status in high school, and another teen working to end bullying in her school were panelists. Please check out the show at http://wpt.org/TeenConnection/main if you are interested. I appear in the second half of hour-long show.
I worked with Veronica Milling, Danielle Brown, Linda Servais and Mike Lackas (WSPA mental health committee, other WSPA board members and our association manager) to coordinate efforts with the Wisconsin School-Based Mental Health Coalition (SBMHC) in Madison. This coalition, headed by Dr. Katherine Halley, is starting to advocate for school-based mental health services in Wisconsin. Dr. Halley offered to give WSPA a role in this important advocacy work.
The Department of Public Instruction invited me to represent WSPA at an upcoming Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Strategic Planning Meeting on January 28, 2014 in Madison. WSPA was invited to play a role in providing training on UDL in Wisconsin schools. We were invited to the table once again! Unfortunately, the frigid temperatures that closed even UW-Madison kept me from attending.
I wish you a wonderful winter/spring and look forward to communicating again soon. Please check our website www.wspaonline.net for updates! I hope to see you in Wisconsin Dells/Baraboo at the WSPA conference!
Your WSPA President,