Helping Trauma-Exposed Students: Strategies for School Psychologists
Melissa A. Reeves. Ph.D
Description of Presentation:
This workshop is designed to enhance participants’ existing knowledge base about trauma, grief, loss, and mourning. Participants will increase their levels of comfort in dealing with trauma and grief; better understand the differences between normal and complicated grieving, acute trauma versus toxic stress; and achieve a better understanding of factors that influence the development of trauma, grief, and mourning. Multitiered interventions are emphasized to help children and adolescents cope more successfully with these intensely felt emotions. In addition, the role of teachers and other support staff in the recovery process is emphasized.
Goals of Presentation:
This workshop is designed to enhance participants’ existing knowledge base about trauma, grief, loss, and mourning. Participants will increase their levels of comfort in dealing with trauma and grief; better understand the differences between normal and complicated grieving, acute trauma versus toxic stress; and achieve a better understanding of factors that influence the development of trauma, grief, and mourning.
Brief Biographical Sketch:
Dr. Melissa Reeves, Ph.D., NCSP, LPC recently served as President of the National Association of School Psychologists (2016-17). She is currently an Associate Professor at Winthrop University, SC in the psychology department and school psychology graduate program and a senior consultant with Sigma Threat Management Associates. Dr. Reeves is a nationally certified school psychologist, licensed special education teacher, licensed professional counselor, and former district coordinator of social/emotional/behavioral services. She has over 20 years’ experience working in public schools and a private school, in addition to providing mental health services in day and residential treatment settings. Dr. Reeves is a co-author of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) PREPaRE School Crisis Prevention and Intervention curriculum and former Chair of the NASP School Safety and Crisis Response Committee. She travels both nationally and internationally training professionals in the areas of school crisis prevention through recovery, threat and suicide assessment, the impact of trauma on academic achievement, and works with schools on establishing a positive and safe school climate. She has conducted more than 250 workshops and presentations and has also provided consultation and staff development to professionals in the United States Department of Defense Educational Activity Schools located on various military installations. Dr. Reeves is co-author of four books and multiple publications.
Session 1: Advanced Interpretation of the WISC-5 and WIAT-3/ LD Identification
This presentation will focus on more advanced interpretation of the subtests and scores which can be obtained from the new WISC-5. Special focus will be given to how the scores can be combined with achievement scores from the WIAT-3, and other measures, to look at patterns of strengths and weaknesses which may be useful and helping clinicians make decisions about learning disability (LD) identification and other clinical decisions. The presentation will also include a brief review of the mechanics of how the scores can be compared within the Q-global scoring system.
To help set an appropriate context for discussing the scores from these tests and making clinical decisions, the presentation will include a brief review of research leading to the development of RTI models and current LD theories. Case examples will be presented to help provide a specific context for this discussion. This is intended to be an interactive presentation with psychologists who attend so that this can be as useful a discussion as possible for attendees.
Dr. Michael Grau is the Pearson Clinical Assessment Consultant for MA, CT, and Eastern NY/NYC/LI. Prior to joining the Pearson staff in January 2009, he served as Director of Clinical and Consultation Services at Wildwood Programs in Albany, NY where he and his staff consulted with schools across New York State to provide independent neuropsychological evaluations, functional behavioral assessments, and staff training on various clinical issues. He is a member of the National Academy of Neuropsychology. Dr. Grau also has extensive school based experience as a school psychologist and special education coordinator. He has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He also served as Vice-President of the Council of New York Special Education Administrators.
Session 2: Legally Defensible Reports & Expert Testimony for the Savvy School Psychologist
School Psychologists must write psycho-educational reports for a broad audience: parents, teachers, principals, advocates, attorneys, and even hearing officers. There are a number of strategies we can include to make sure we complete competent assessments and write reports that satisfy all stakeholders, while “holding up” in a due process hearing. This presentation will help School Psychologists learn how to write legally defensible reports while maintaining a creative and consumer-friendly approach. Strategies for expert testimony will be shared, should a dispute end up in a due process hearing.
Brief Biographical Sketch: Tracy Paskiewicz is a School Psychology faculty member at UMass-Boston, teaching courses related to cognitive and academic assessment, supervision, and multicultural competence. She worked as a School Psychologist in a large, urban district for more than ten years. Her professional interests include issues of bias and fairness in assessment, culturally competent assessment practices, differential diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders, and supervision, training, and professional development of school psychologists.
"Understanding English Language Learners' Cultural, Linguistic, Instructional and Assessment Needs"
Description of the Presentation:
The population of English Language Learners has consistently increased in Massachusetts over the last decade. School Psychologists are expected to understand and manage the multi-layered needs of students in areas such as culture, language acquisition, instruction, and assessment for Special Education services. Participants will expand their knowledge in each of these areas with the focus on developing basic guidelines to implement at their own school settings.
Goals of the Presentation:
1. Participants will explore the cultural and linguistic barriers school psychologists face when working with English Language Learners.
2. Participants will understand alternative instructional tools and interventions that may be offered to ELL before they are referred for special education.
3. Participants will expand their intervention "tool box" to work with ELLs.
4. Participants will understand how language access impacts assessment and learning.
5. Participants will discuss the validity of assessment tools for Special Education purposes in the eligibility process.