Greetings from your WSPA President!
This has been an exciting quarter for WSPA! I am still reeling from our amazing WSPA conference! Thank you to the entire conference planning committee for all their work! If you attended this conference, I am optimistic that you will want to attend the next one in March at Ho Chunk Casino in Wisconsin Dells/Baraboo March 26-28, 2014. Make sure to bring your pupil services team to the preconference PREPaRE 2 training. You do NOT need to have PREPaRE 1 training to take the PREPaRE 2 training.
Here are the highlights of what I have been involved in.
The sunset is upon us December 1! WSPA provided trainings at the Fall WSPA conference to help school psychologists with their transitions to RtI. Please check out the Discussion Board (more on this below) for hot discussion on the topic!
WSPA was invited to attend training for school response on school shooters. This 2-day training was based on the ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) Model and was provided by a former SWAT team member. After attending the training, the district and I consulted with the Department of Public Instruction about our thoughts on the approach. The sponsoring school district is training staff to use components of the model. The full ALICE model includes strategies that are somewhat controversial such as training students on making their own decisions on how to respond and allowing students to distract or counter the shooter if the individual student chooses to do so. I appreciated their expressed feeling that schools need more than just lockdown as an option, however, some of the methods seemed contradictory to schools’ efforts to make school seem like a psychologically safe place. I will write more about this in a future Sentinel. I am communicating with national experts in crisis management about writing a fact sheet on crisis management to help schools sort through crisis management approaches.
WSPA’s new Public Relations committee chair, Katie Ashley, is working on a brochure on school psychology that is scheduled to be completed early in 2014. The brochure will be available for printing from the website.
The WSPA website now has a Discussion Board for Members Only. Check it out! Members are discussing topics related to transitioning to RtI, fidelity checks for interventions, PREPaRE and ALICE training, math interventions, compensatory services and MUCH more. This effort was spearheaded by President-Elect John Humphries and allows for members to problem solve and get timely information on current issues.
Lisa Hanson-Roche, John Humphries, Rob Dixon and I represented Wisconsin at the NASP Central Region Meeting on October 7-10th. This leadership meeting provided training on advocacy and allowed 13 state leaders (in Central US) to discuss advocacy, membership services, technology and social media, RtI, best practices in conferencing, and more. Other states were impressed with Wisconsin’s successful conferences, new research policy for those who want to survey members, and legislative involvement. We brought home plans for upgrading services in other areas discussed.
WSPA was invited to participate on a panel for a PBS radio show on bullying and mental health in school. This show will be recorded and aired in Green Bay on December 17 and will be re-aired at times to yet be announced. I was asked to personally represent WSPA on this radio show given my prior participation in the summer State Superintendent’s Summit on School Safety and other DPI sponsored events.
I wish you a wonderful fall and look forward to communicating again soon. Please check our website www.wspaonline.net for updates!
Your WSPA President,