Idaho School Psychologist Association
 

NASP Delegate Assembly Report


July 2011

The 2011 meetings in Bethesda Maryland began with the Western Region meeting on Thursday, July 14. Topics of discussion included the NASP budget, the fall Western Regional meeting (which will be held on September 30, October 1 & 2, in Denver, Colorado). NASP will pay for our President-Elect to attend; anyone else is welcome to attend, at their own expense. This is a wonderful time to meet some of the important folks from the NASP office, as well as to obtain information on the new Practice Model. Issues from each state were discussed and briefly summarized below:

  • Arizona – Legislation. Conference topic is roll-out of new practice model.
  • California – State association financial issues, state association approval of new practice model.
  • Colorado – Development of job description based on the new practice model.
  • Hawaii – Psychological Examiner positions are being replaced by School Psychologist positions as people retire. Openings exist for next year. RTI model being used more.
  • Montana – NCSP, NASP membership, and knowledge of the new practice model are being utilized for certification.
  • New Mexico – Legislature has developed a dyslexia assessment requirement.
  • Utah – State is dealing with position freezes due to economy.
  • Washington – Financial issues in schools. State conference will be in Vancouver, Canada.
  • Wyoming – New evaluation process begin implemented. August conference in Jackson Hole will feature Dr. Goldstein.

I shared that schools in Idaho are being impacted by the weak economy, as well as recent legislation.

The Delegate Assembly began early Thursday morning with a lengthy discussion of the budget. After much discussion, the NASP budget of just over $7 million was approved. Position papers on Specific Learning Disability (SLD), LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning), Supervision, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) were approved after some tweaking. These position papers should arrive on the NASP website by the beginning of September.

APA’s annual meeting will be in Orlando, Florida this year and in Hawaii next year. So, those of you with Doctoral degrees may wish to consider joining Division 16 of APA for some wonderful conference locations. APA is also in the process of developing specific treatment guidelines for DMS-IV-TR disorders, as well as guidelines for tele-practice, and a definition of school psychology. Rest assured that NASP is closely involved with this last process, so that no repeat of the recent MLA issue surfaces.

NASP is undergoing a SWOT process. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Some of you may remember that ISPA went through this same process a few years ago, during Dr. Tom Trotter’s Presidency. As part of this process, the delegates were involved in the process of revising NASP’s Vision, Mission, and Value statements. Delegates determined that Advocacy for school psychologists in meeting student mental health needs, and respect for the diversity between NASP members’ beliefs in RTI and neuro-developmental assessment, were of utmost importance. SWOT development will continue in regional meetings, webinars, and on-line polls.

Compensation packages for NASP President, graduate assistants, and clerical assistance were revised. One of the reasons for this revision is to make salary and benefit replacement for the NASP President more equitable for those in private practice.

Value-added evaluation, as it pertains to school psychologists, was also discussed. Value-added evaluation is a school employee evaluation tool which uses student growth in high-stakes testing as part of the (teacher) evaluation process, and is a major part of the federal ‘Race-to-the-Top’ grants. Discussion centered on whether and/or how this concept should be applied to school psychologists. Use of the new NASP Practice Model shows how we can help meet the needs of schools.

The NASP website is undergoing massive changes which will make it both easier to navigate as well as have much more content. A major priority of this update is to provide much more on-line professional development. This is a great advantage to those of us in Idaho, as attending national conferences in generally not possible. When the website update is complete, members will be able to access specific workshops from conventions and conferences with appropriate CPD hours. NASP is investigating the possibility of offering free coupons for on-line seminars (another advantage of NASP membership!).

Delegates were brought up-to-date on the NASP 2011 Philadelphia convention planning; the focus of the conference will be urban school psychology.

The NASP Children’s fund provided an update. Given the weather this year, some donations have been earmarked for tornado victims. The fund currently has $88,000 available for grants. The Children’s Fund is recruiting for a disaster contact person from each region of the country. If you are interested, I can assist you in making contact with the appropriate folks.

As you can see, much work was accomplished during a brief time in Washington, DC. Remember that Idaho’s delegate position will be open in 2013. I can truthfully state that being honored with this position has been the most professionally rewarding experience of my career. Please consider running for state delegate in 2013. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding this position.

Respectfully,

Ray James
NASP State Delegate - ID
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