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WSPA President’s Message by Rene Staskal

Spring, 2019

It is hard to believe, but we have already started planning for transitioning our next set of students across levels in my school district. We still have a semester left of school, but need to start prepping for the fall. As I was reviewing the topics in this newsletter and planning for next year, I was struck by how much of our role as school psychologists can be seen through the lens of social justice.

The National Association of School Psychologists defines social justice as “a process and a goal that requires action.” NASP goes on to state that “School psychologists work to ensure the protection of the educational rights, opportunities, and well-being of all children, especially those whose voices have been muted, identities obscured, or needs ignored. Social justice requires promoting non-discriminatory practices and the empowerment of families and communities. School psychologists enact social justice through culturally-responsive professional practice and advocacy to create schools, communities, and systems that ensure equity and fairness for all children and youth.”

Social justice is the natural next steps for school psychologists who make data-based 

decision and notice certain groups of students who have different outcomes than others. We are poised to make system level changes that address these inequities. WSPA is poised to advocate for the profession as an agent of social justice.

I was recently reflecting on WSPA’s long term goals and recent accomplishments with a fellow board member. We noticed that all of our action steps can be viewed as addressing issues of social justice. WSPA continually strives to meet the professional development needs of practitioners in the state (I encourage you all to attend the spring convention). We focus on advanced training in mental health as school psychologists often provide these services to students who do not have access in other settings. WSPA is also working to address shortages to ensure all students have access to school psychological services in our state. WSPA is also focused on continuing to collaborate with state agencies including the Department of Public Instruction and the Department of Justice to bring our lens tp public policy issues.

As we push through February and March (the dreaded Farch of the year), take care of yourself, and celebrate the work you do as an agent of social justice.


WSPA Spring Convention, Thursday, March 28th and Friday, March 29th at the Red Lion Hotel Paper Valley, 333 W. College Ave., Appleton WI 54911


The Wisconsin School Psychologists Association endorses the position that child migrant separations from their parents at the southern border of the United States  must cease and that separated families must be reunited expeditiously in order to minimize the risk of trauma reactions among vulnerable children. The rationale for the position is adopted from the position paper authored by the National Association of School Psychology Association and other colleague organizations, found here:  http://www.nasponline.org/about-school-psychology/media-room/press-releases/nasp-calls-for-end-to-policy-separating-families-at-the-border

WSPA Spring 2019 Sentinel Newsletter is now available on-line for members.  Click on Resources, then choose WSPA Sentinel.

For Members, Click This Link:   WSPA Sentinel Newsletter

To Donate to the Children's Fund, Minority Scholarship, or the Elizabeth Lindley Woods Scholarship, use this link:  https://wspa18.wildapricot.org/Donate

Who Are School Psychologists?

School psychologists have specialized training in both psychology and education. They use their training and skills to team with educators, parents, and other mental health professionals to ensure that every child learns in a safe, healthy and supportive environment. School psychologists understand school systems, effective teaching and successful learning. Today's children face more challenges than ever before. School psychologists can provide solutions for tomorrow's problems through thoughtful and positive actions today.

The training requirements to become a school psychologist are a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours including a year-long internship. This training emphasizes preparation in mental health, child development, school organization, learning, behavior and motivation. To work as a school psychologist, one must be certified and/or licensed by the state in which services are provided. School psychologists also may be nationally certified by the National School Psychology Certification Board (NSPCB).  

Read more about School Psychology


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Wisconsin School Psychologists Association
WSPA Manager-Don Juve
Onalaska, WI 54650
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