2023 Virtual Fall Conference
The WSASP 2023 Fall Conference will be virtual and we are now accepting proposals.
National School Psychology Week
Get ready for National School Psychology Week! WSASP has expanded on NASP themes to bring you a full week of activities to celebrate our profession! We look forward to your engagement in these activities all week. We would love to hear about all the amazing things you do to celebrate this week! Post on the WSASP Facebook group or on your social media accounts with our NSPW hashtags (#schoolpsychweek #NASPadvocates #WSASPadvocatestoo #waedu #waleg #waelex) so we can support and celebrate one another! You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to share or if you have any questions.
We have worked with the Governor’s office to obtain an official proclamation for National School Psychology Week this year.
Welcome to National School Psychology Week! NSPW is all about SHINE. Today we will focus on showing off the best of our profession, as well as increasing awareness about school psychology.
Tuesday: Engage Community
Today we will focus on our professional dedication to social justice and engage others in this practice.
For this reason, Today we are asking you to post about how school psychologists are engaged with and support social justice on your social media accounts. See a sample message provided here:
I am a school psychologist, and I stand for social justice for all of my students. School psychologists provide culturally responsive services to students and families from diverse backgrounds. Please support policies and legislation that help all students succeed, such as those supporting the rights of LGBTQ+ students, equitable access to education regardless of race or zip code, and fair discipline practices. #schoolpsychweek #NASPadvocates #WSASPadvocatestoo #waedu #waleg #waelex
Another idea is to share the NASP Social Justice and School Psychologists infographic on your social media accounts, or print it off and hang it in your office.
Finally, if you’re not on social media, you can also engage with resources on social justice put together by WSASP’s Social Justice Task Force. Another idea is to share one, or several, of these resources with your colleagues.
Building social connections. To help improve social engagement and connectedness, and to learn more about others, play icebreaker Jenga. Write a number on each Jenga block that corresponds to an icebreaker question. When a student pulls a block, have them answer the icebreaker question. Ask how many other students have an answer in common and ask if students have a unique answer. Discuss how having similarities and differences in a group can help the group shine even brighter.
Build interests and make connections. Encourage students to join a club or spend time with others who have a similar interest, goal, or social cause. Spend time exploring school clubs or community service opportunities. Discuss what activities may help support positive change in the community. Show students how to find information about these activities (i.e., looking at the school website, looking at a list in the main office) and when the clubs meet. Debrief after the first meeting or event.
Use a compliment calendar. Print a calendar template for the month. Model specific compliments for students. Encourage students to compliment a peer or adult each day and color in the day on the calendar brightly when they have achieved this. Discuss how giving a compliment each day made them feel.
Connect with school-wide positive behavior interventions and supports. Help students see how empowering others to let their individual qualities shine in a collaborative environment will help improve the school community. Encourage teachers to provide intermittent positive reinforcement in the form of specific verbal praise, thumbs up, or even school-wide tokens for working together. Consider featuring the poster as a kick-off to a year-long focus on "Together We Shine" behaviors. For example, create a bulletin board that changes weekly or monthly to highlight different behaviors that relate to working together to build resilience and hope. Connect with kids. Provide the faculty with a list of students in the building. Have each faculty member put their initials next to a student with whom they have a connection. Compile the lists and determine if there are students who do not have an initial next to their name. Have a staff member make contact with that student to check in and help ensure the student feels connected to the school community.
Recognize colleagues. School psychologists are natural collaborators who work closely with many caring adults to help children achieve what is possible. The "Possibilities in Action" Partner program is a great way to recognize colleagues who, either through their own efforts or by encouraging the efforts of others, make an exceptional difference in the lives of students and families by supporting the possibilities within each student. This could be a teacher, administrator, coach, community provider, parent mentor, or any other individual who stands out in your mind as going above and beyond the call of duty to help students achieve their best. Recognize and honor others with the Possibilities in Action Partner Program. The program description, suggested selection guidelines, press release, and Possibilities in Action Partner certificates are available online on the NASP website.
Encourage professional growth. Choose a professional topic that you would like to learn more about and find one activity that will help you grow more in this area (e.g., searching for information on the NASP website, reading a book, participating in a webinar, speaking with a colleague). Discuss what you learned with a colleague or reflect personally on how learning about this topic has helped contribute to the school or professional community.
Happy National School Psychology Week and Advocacy Action Day! Your advocacy today is more critical than ever, as we prepare for next year's Congress and state legislative sessions. These actions can make a difference - and they shouldn't take more than five minutes of your time.
Federal Advocacy Action Day:
Today we will focus with thousands of school psychologists across the country in raising our voices to our elected officials at the federal, state, and local level. In addition to the federal Advocacy Action Day letter above, we have several resources to help you engage in local advocacy today.
Today is NSPW Advocacy Action Day! Join me in advocating for increased access to school psychologists for students here and across the country.https://www.nasponline.org/research-and-policy/advocacy/advocacy-action-center #schoolpsychweek #NASPadvocates #WSASPadvocatestoo #waedu #waleg #waelex
Create a foundation for advocacy. Help students create leadership groups that focus on areas they are interested in. Topics could include issues portrayed in the media or on the news (e.g., civil unrest, crime, violence, social justice, politics, racism, sexuality, bullying). Work with students on developing strategies for expression of their thoughts and ideas. Areas to consider include working with others with opposing views, strengthening public speaking skills, and attendance to events (community, social, or civil events). These groups can also be used to teach problem solving and conflict resolution skills.
Invite an advocate to speak. Research individuals in the community who have advocated for an important cause (something related to education or kids would be ideal). Invite the advocate to speak to students about their path to becoming an advocate, how they identified supportive individuals to collaborate with, and tools they use to convey their message.
Thursday: Embrace Families & Cultures
Today we invite you to focus on activities that embrace the families and cultures in your schools and communities. Here are some suggested activities to get you started.
Guide leadership. Identify parents and guardians who demonstrate an interest in leading a group or organizing family-friendly events. Assist them in organizing meetings for the families and community leaders to attend. Events can vary from cultural nights, homework help/tutors, award ceremonies, book clubs, fundraisers, and more.
Involve your community. Work with school leaders to identify community agencies that work to create positive school climates. Many agencies are often looking for ways to get involved with schools and reach families. Consider contacting food banks, law enforcement agencies, recreation centers, and religious organizations. These organizations often work with families prior to students enrolling in school, so new or ongoing partnerships can create a connected and positive environment where all stakeholders are working towards one goal.
Embrace culture. Encourage your school to embrace and honor the variety of cultures that exist in your building. Work with school leaders to infuse cultural lessons throughout the school year. Get your families involved. Reach out and ask about ways they would be interested in sharing the variety of cultural experiences that exist amongst the school community. Create "Show and Tell" opportunities within the classroom that will allow students to highlight strengths and areas of interest and aspects of their culture.
Engage families. Offer families/guardians increased opportunities to access the school building, in person or virtually. Offer homework information sessions, positive parenting classes, trainings on alternatives in discipline, computer training courses, accounting courses, award ceremonies, and more. These events allow for the school environment to become a welcoming and warm environment that not only offers educational support to its students but also to parents and guardians.
Friday: Self-Care and Connection
We’ve saved today for activities related to reinvigorating your own practice through some self-care and connection activities. Here are some of our ideas, and please feel free to share any of your own on our facebook page.
Self-Care: Assessment. To get you started today, you may choose to complete one of these self-care assessments to determine which areas of self-care you may want to focus your time on today.
Community Care. Invite your colleagues to an after-work activity (i.e., sharing a meal, meeting up to play some badminton, taking a nature walk, etc.).
Self-Care: Boundary Setting. Set some boundaries to protect your time and energy. Here are some steps you might try: