Washington State Association
of School Psychologists    

Uniting school psychologists to support all students through advocacy, leadership, and professional development. 

2018 Spring Lecture Series

Registration for the 2018 Spring Lecture Series is now open! Register here - the first session begins January 19th!

Archived Spring Lecture Series

You can now access previously aired Spring Lecture Series, dating back to 2014, for a discounted price! Please go here for more information.

President's Message

Hello Fellow School Psychologists!  

Ready or not, the 2017-2018 school year has started! I am hoping that each and every one of you found some time this summer to unwind and recharge so that you’re ready to do your best work for the students of Washington State. Your Washington State Association of School Psychologist’s (WSASP) executive board kicked off the summer with a retreat to plan for the upcoming school year. We are committed to serving our members to the best of our ability, in order to “unite school psychologists to support all students through advocacy, leadership and professional development because we believe that school psychologists are an integral and dynamic force in fostering student success” (WSASP mission/vision statements).   

To assist us in fulfilling our mission, Jill Davidson, Carrie Suchy, and I were fortunate enough to attend the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Public Policy Institute (PPI) in July located at George Washington University in Washington D.C. The NASP PPI enabled us to learn how policies are made, the barriers to implementation, and the changing federal role in education.

We were afforded the opportunity to engage with national leaders and experience firsthand how legislation is created and advanced on Capitol Hill. We met with legislative staff in the offices of Senator Maria Cantwell, Senator Patty Murray, and Representative Derek Kilmer. We also met personally with Representative Denny Heck. We thanked them for their continuing support of the Reducing Barriers to Learning Act, the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, and the Equality Act. We asked them for continued support on the Mental Health in Schools Act, as well as the IDEA Full Funding Act. We will continue to have these conversations with our state legislatures and I personally invite anyone who has interest to join us, please contact gpr@wsasp.org.  

In addition to increasing our skills in regards to governmental public affairs, a group of us from Tacoma Public Schools committed to expanding our roles to include mental health intervention and received training from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)/Project AWARE. Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education) increases awareness of mental health issues among school-aged youth, including training in mental health for school personnel, families and community members. Cognitive Behavioral Interventions for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) is a skills based group intervention that is aimed at relieving symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, and general anxiety among children exposed to trauma. Given the time intensity of this program, our challenge will be strategizing a way in which we can begin to implement it in our district. With the shortage of school psychologists state-wide, we have to get creative and join forces if we are to be viewed as professionals who are capable of doing more than testing and placing students in special education. Throughout this school year, we will keep you posted on our progress. I’d love to hear what you are doing in your districts to promote mental wellness…no matter how small you may think it is. Remember that all of the “small” things you do on a daily basis, lighten the load that many students bring with them to school, and can add up to make a BIG difference. Please email me personally at president@wsasp.org to share your stories so that we can highlight them for all to see. By sharing, you may inspire someone to try something that they haven’t considered. I also invite you to email me if you have ideas about how WSASP can support you in your role as a school psychologist. WSASP is your association and we are here for you. 

I want to remind you to be looking for emails from your area representatives. They will share information about the upcoming fall conference, opportunities for WSASP involvement, as well as general information about the happenings in the state that impact education and the work we do for students.   

I am wishing you all a smooth start to the school year. CHEERS! 

Tracy Pennington, PhD., NCSP
WSASP President

Washington State Association of School Psychologists
PO Box 525
Cheney, WA 99004
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