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WSPA President’s Message
by Linda Servais
Someone told me they saw some plants beginning to pop up last week! Well, then it snowed again. Guess it’s too early to be thinking of spring yet. However, it should be warmer in San Antonio next month, the site of the 2017 NASP Convention. The first two days I will be attending the leadership workshops to catch up on ESSA and other important issues for school psychologists. These workshops are intended to help state leaders hear from not only NASP leaders, but each other. We learn what other state leaders are doing to get school psychologists involved in the discussions in their home states as each state begins to implement ESSA. Our profession is named specifically in ESSA as mental health professionals and we need to be sure we are represented and involved in the decision making as the states roll out their plans. I hope some of you will also be attending NASP. You certainly won’t regret it!
I am also attending a rules hearing at DPI in Madison regarding license flexibility changes. WSPA needs to be represented so we can monitor and speak, if necessary, about maintaining good, solid licensing for school psychologists. We again need to emphasize the importance of the specific training we have in not only mental health, but also interventions both academic and behavioral. The school knowledge we have is not evident in other community mental health providers and we need to be sure state leaders and other stakeholders understand this difference.
WSPA has contributed to a joint letter with the Wisconsin School Counselors Association (WSCA) in response to DPI’s budget calling for funding for School Social Workers in order to promote more mental health in the schools. The main problem we see is this does not allow the flexibility school districts need to hire and/or retain their own school-employed mental health professionals. We need to be sure that school districts don’t over-look school counselors and school psychologists when making hiring decisions in an atmosphere of limited financial resources. Additionally, local school boards and administrative leaders best understand the needs of their students and communities. The letter we have composed will be sent to the Joint Finance Committee and the two Education Committees (house and senate) next week to be sure they are informed of our position.
Please check out the article in this WSPA Sentinel by Chris Weins on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The piece includes the kinds of things you can say and do to help implement ESSA while talking to and working with the stakeholders in our state and your districts. As you already know, ESSA has replaced NCLB and states and local jurisdictions will have increased control over the implementation of the act and allocation of funds. We must be actively involved in the planning stages, especially since we are specifically mentioned in the Act. Now is the time to be informed and involved in order to make sure we can lend our expertise in helping our state and local districts do what’s best for students.
Hang in there as we approach spring (Yes it will come!). Keep doing your wonderful work, but remember to take care of yourself. To be of service to students, parents, administrators, etc. you need to maintain your own physical and mental health. Spend time with your family, read a good book, or just allow yourself some down time to rejuvenate your body and mind. Always be mindful of your own needs!
See you all soon,
WSPA Spring 2017 Sentinel Newsletter is now available on-line for members. Click on Resources, then choose WSPA Sentinel.
For Members, Click This Link: http://wspa18.wildapricot.org/WSPA-Sentinel-Newsletter.
To see School Psychology Jobs posted on our Website, click this link: School Psychology Jobs
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Ballroom at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel
WSPA Spring Convention 2017
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).
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