Every three years, WSASP conducts a 'reevaluation' of the state of school psychology in Washington state. We are the only organization to collect and analyze detailed information about the role of school psychologists in Washington. The information provided supports advocacy efforts at the district, state, and federal levels. Click here to access census results and key takeaways.
For the 2022 Census, over 2,500 pre-established WSASP contacts received a link to complete the survey. 488 recipients completed the survey, a 20% increase from the number of respondents in 2019! More than half of our respondents reported being within their first 10 years of practice. The school psychologist population in Washington continues to be overwhelmingly female (74%) and white (approximately 83%), but this year’s data set has diversified somewhat compared to 2019 results.
Our results reflect a school psychologist role heavily burdened by assessment, report writing, and other clerical tasks that prevent the provision of direct services to children. Census data shows that less than 40% of respondents are actively engaged with data, systems, or practices within a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) in their role. Those who are engaged participate most with data processes and least with practice and implementation.
A new student counseling service through the Central Washington University Psychology department has been providing much-needed support for nine Kittitas County youths this spring, supplying free mental health services that weren’t otherwise available to them.
Under the supervision of Assistant Professor Olivia Holter, CWU School Psychology graduate students have been able to offer solutions-based counseling to kids ages 8-17 based on their individual needs. Each child has participated in six to eight sessions over the past two months, and Holter says the program has produced valuable results, for both the clients and graduate students.
“I’m incredibly proud of the work we are doing because we are making a difference in the lives of kids in our community,” she said. “The pandemic has had a large impact on the social and mental well-being of kids, and this service has the potential to help a community that historically doesn’t have enough providers.”
Click here to learn more.
Our hearts are heavy following the tremendous loss of life yesterday at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas. This massacre follows other acts of gun violence in Buffalo, NY, and an increase in gun violence in many of our communities around the state. We send this email on the two-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota.
High profile acts of violence, particularly in schools, can confuse and frighten children who may feel in danger or worry that their friends or loved ones are at risk. They will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security and talking with them about their fears.
Resources for Supporting Students:
Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers (NASP)
School Shooting Resources(National Child Traumatic Stress Network)
Talking To Children About Terrorist Attacks And School And Community Shootings In The News (National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement)
It is also critical that educators - including school psychologists - continue to practice critical self care. Following a crisis, teachers are often required to provide additional support to the students in their classes. In addition, crisis responders and mental health professionals are tasked with providing crisis intervention and additional mental health support to the school community following a crisis event. Consequently, it is extremely important for caregivers to monitor their own reactions and take care of their own needs as failure to do so can result in stress and burnout.
Resources for Supporting Educators and Self Care:
Coping In The Aftermath Of A Shooting (American Counseling Association)
Self-Care for School Psychologists (NASP)
Care for Caregivers: Tips for Families and Educators
If you are in need of additional support or resources, please reach out to WSASP.
Cassie Mulivrana, WSASP President
Alex Franks-Thomas, WSASP Immediate Past President, Communications Committee Co-ChairSherri Bentley, WSASP Mental Health Committee Co-ChairMikael Olson, WSASP Communications Committee Co-Chair, Area 1C Co-Representative
Elections closed on April 29th. Members voted for President-Elect, Treasurer, and Area Representatives for even-numbered areas. Elected positions will begin July 1, 2022.
President Elect: Mikael Olson, Issaquah School District
Treasurer: Arick Branen, Tacoma Public Schools
Area 1B: Larry Ruble, Lake Stevens School District
Area 1D: Sarah Daley, Federal Way Public Schools; Krista Helbing, Kent School District
Area 2: Apryl Yearout, Soap Lake School District
Area 4: Unfilled
Area 6: Sara Allen, Yakima School District; Tricia Parker
Area 8: Kayleen Campbell, Spokane Public Schools; Franklin Day, Cheney School District
Area 10: Mary Bauer, Kennewick School District; Lore'K Garafola, Riverside Publishing
Thank you to everyone who participated, and who has served on the WSASP Board!
WSASP has signed on to a letter to Congress requesting $1 billion to support new competitions of the Mental Health Service Professionals Demonstration Grant and the School Based Mental Health Services Grant in FY23. These two funding streams support efforts to address workforce shortages of school employed mental health professionals and increase access to comprehensive school mental health services across the country. These services are needed now more than ever and these grants are supporting amazing work to increase access to school psychologists!
Original signers include the American Psychological Association, American School Counselor Association, Mental Health America, National Association of School Psychologists, Sandy Hook Promise, and the School Social Work Association of America.
Click here to view the letter.
WSASP is seeking nominations for the 2022 elections! This election cycle, WSASP members will be voting for the positions of President-Elect, Treasurer, and Area Representatives for even-numbered areas (1B, 1D, 2, 4 , 6, 8, 10).
Current members are eligible to self-nominate for the position of Treasurer and area representative. Candidates for President-Elect are nominated by Executive Board members. Candidates for President-Elect must have served as an Area Representative or Committee Chair for the past three consecutive years.
Click here to watch a video from Past-President Alex Franks-Thomas and President Cassie Mulivrana explaining the roles of different leadership positions within WSASP, including positions up for election this year as well as committee participation.
Click here to submit a nomination statement for yourself or a colleague. Nominations are due on April 13, 2022, and ballots will be sent out on April 15, 2022. Elections will close April 29, 2022 and results announced April 30, 2022.
To learn more about leadership opportunities in WSASP, please click below to register for one of our information sessions. After you register, you will receive an email with information about joining the meeting.
Current events unfolding in Ukraine may have a direct impact on many of our communities in Washington State, including students and families who have direct ties to Ukraine and Russia, as well as military-connected students and families. They can experience violence and loss directly, be exposed through extensive media and internet coverage, deal with the stress of parents who are deployed, or have relatives displaced by violence or oppression and become refugees.
Children’s natural resilience plays an important protective role, but trauma and extreme stress and anxiety can interfere with their learning and well-being. Families and educators can support children by establishing a sense of safety and security, helping them to process their thoughts and feelings, reinforcing their resilience and strengths, building positive connections within the school community, placing events in the proper context, and providing any needed mental health support.
WSASP recommends the following resources to support students, families, and communities who may be impacted by these recent events:
National attention has been given to recent state-level legislative bills and directives that are likely to inflict emotional harm to students based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. Although these bills and directives do not directly impact students in Washington State, exposure to media coverage of these has the potential for strong negative effects.
This is especially a concern for those who may feel a connection with the individuals involved or who are vulnerable themselves. It is imperative that educators, parents, and other caregivers advocate for, connect with, and support students who may be at risk. Understanding risk factors and effective supports is critical in preventing peer violence and decreasing the risk of suicide in LGBTQI2-S youth.
WSASP stands firm in its commitment to equity, and is committed to advocating for policy and legislation that supports equitable practices in the field of education in Washington State.
The WSASP Non-Discrimination and Equity Statement, approved in May 2021, is available here. If you are in need of professional support or guidance, please reach out to WSASP by emailing email@example.com.
Gonzaga's fifth annual Assessment Conference will take place on Friday, March 4 in person on the university campus. Visit the event website for more information. Please note that a virtual attendance option is not available. The event is free for Gonzaga students and faculty, $40 for students from other graduate programs, and $150 for community members, including school psychologists.
WSASP is hosting a happy hour at the NASP Convention in Boston this week for attendees from Washington State. The happy hour is scheduled for Wednesday, February 16, 2022. Click here to RSVP!
Washington State Association of School Psychologists816 W. Francis Ave #214Spokane, WA 99205