MSPA Conferences are full-day (6 PDP) professional learning events. Registration includes a continental breakfast, lunch & snacks. 

Pizza & PD

Pizza & PD was developed to provide MSPA Members with low cost professional learning opportunities at convenient times throughout the year. 


MSPA provides professional learning opportunities at different locations though out the state, including Western MA and the Cape

Upcoming events


MSPA also provides online learning opportunities accessible to anyone with a computer. 

Additional Opportunities

Did You Know? Active MSPA Members can attend conferences sponsored by State School Psychologist Associations across the North East Region for the member rate (without joining). Learn More

NASP provides both in person and online professional learning opportunities. Learn More 

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Upcoming Events

    • 05 Apr 2019
    • 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Red Barn at Hampshire College, 893 West St, Amherst, MA 01002 Directions at:

    Struggling Learners: Tier Two Strategies Specifically for ADHD, LD, ODD, and ASD

    The Western MA Chapter of MSPA Spring conference is focused on supporting struggling learners at Tier 2 in the classroom. This presentation begins with the ten precepts that govern behavior as these are true for all learners. Afterward, we will focus on specific strategies for students with ADHD, LD, ODD, and ASD.  We will look at these interventions in the context of a competing pathway chart. To make a behavioral intervention we need three strands after the summary statement. The three strands are called the Triple R: 1) Revise the environment to set the student up for success, 2) Replace the behavior by teaching a replacement behavior and 3) Reframing our own response so we feed the replacement behavior and extinguish the target behavior. 


    To help attendees understand what governs behavior and how to implement a successful intervention in any setting. 

    • Participants will leave with a surefire technique to get family members to assist in implementing an intervention plan.
    •  Participants will understand how long an intervention must be implemented with consistency and fidelity before we can expect a change.
    •  Participants will understand what students are trying to gain and escape by engaging in behaviors.
    • Participants will learn specific strategies for students with ADHD, LD, ODD, and ASD. Each of these interventions will be tied into the Triple R of a competing pathway chart.
    • Participants will be able to fill in a competing pathway chart for a student with ADHD, LD, ODD, and/or ASD
    • Participants will be able to identify core concepts of behavior and what they really mean. For instance, everyone has heard, “Behavior is learned and it serves a specific purpose”…but what does that mean in a school setting?
    • Participants will be able to identify functions of behavior and how to address those functions through a competing pathway chart.
    • Participants will be able to identify differences between males and females and how that might affect identification of ADHD in males more than females.
    • Participants will be able to name interventions for ADHD, LD, ODD, and ASD based on real stories learned through this presentation. The real examples will be relevant to their setting and situations.

    Presenter Bio 

    Laura Riffel, PhD: Dr. Riffel has taught every grade in Pre-K-Adult in general and special education. She ran a day clinic and statewide project on behavioral interventions and supports in the state of Georgia. She was also an adjunct professor at Georgia State University teaching Applied Behavior Analysis for Classroom Teachers. She also ran from 1998-2012 when she retired.

    Dr. Riffel and her family fell in love with a young man she worked with at the University of Kansas. His name was Jay and he had autism, bipolar condition, obsessive compulsive disorder, intellectual disabilities, and mild cerebral palsy.  He wanted to live in his own home like his sisters. Dr. Riffel and her husband had the privilege of living with Jay for almost a decade as his housemates. Unfortunately, on January 7, 2009 Jay passed away from a sudden cardiac arrest.  His last day was like any other.  Tom went in his bedroom and together they picked out an outfit for the day. This was laid out on the bed. Tom asked Jay what he wanted for breakfast. Jay replied, “waffles”.  Tom said, “Okay, go ahead and get in the bathroom and get ready. Reagan will be here in a bit to help you with your shower.  I’ll go make your waffles.”  Reagan arrived just as soon as Tom walked in the kitchen.  By the time she reached the bathroom, Jay was gone.  Twice a year, the entire Riffel family has waffles in Jay’s honor.  His birthday, June 24 and the anniversary of his death January 7.  In Jay’s honor, we encourage you to pick a day and have waffles.   

    Accommodations & Other Information

    The Red Barn is handicap accessible and arrangements can be made to provide necessary accommodations.

    A lunch is served. Please email any needed accommodations or dietary restrictions to PRIOR to the workshop.

    Payment Information

    For those wishing to pay by purchase order, please complete registration, print the invoice, and mail invoice and district purchase order at least one week PRIOR to the conference to:

    MSPA-West, P.O. Box 149, Belchertown, MA 01007


    PO materials can be emailed to Rob Santiago at, again at least one week PRIOR to the conference.

    For those wishing to pay by check, please complete the registration form, print the invoice, and mail check made out to MSPA at least one week PRIOR to the conference to:

    MSPA-West, P.O. Box 149, Belchertown, MA 01007

    Continuing Education Policy

    The Massachusetts School Psychologists Association is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to offer contact hours. The DESE requires the completion of a pre-test, which is to be completed prior to the workshop start time. A post-test is also required and will be given at the end of the workshop. Participants must attend the ENTIRE CONFERENCE and satisfy state regulations in order to receive contact hours. Each participant is responsible for knowing and meeting the DESE licensure requirements.

    CE HOURS: The Massachusetts School Psychologists Association is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists to sponsor continuing education (CE) for psychologists. In keeping with NASP requirements, these are awarded in contact hours only. CE hours will be awarded at the close of the workshop.  MSPA maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

    Arriving more than 15 minutes late or failing to stay for the entire program will result in the inability to obtain a PD certificate. Certificates will only be distributed at the conclusion of the program.

    • 10 May 2019
    • 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Sheraton Framingham: 1657 Worcester Rd, Framingham, MA 01701

    Massachusetts School Psychologists Association Spring 2019 Conference:

    Reflection & Practice; Race, Language, & Gender 

    Friday May 10, 2019 

    8:00-8:30 am Registration 

    8:30am -4:00pm  Conference 

    Sheraton Framingham: 1657 Worcester Rd, Framingham, MA 01701

    Registrants will choose one morning session and one afternoon session from the following options:

    1. School Psychologists and the Myth of a Post-Racial American Society: Implications for Practice, Policy, Justice, and Equity By: Dr. Charles A. Barrett 

    2.  English Learners: More than just language By: Dr. Ivonne Borrero 

    3. Sexual Orientation and Gender: By: Dr. Todd Savage 

    1. School Psychologists and the Myth of a Post-Racial American Society: Implications for Practice, Policy, Justice, and Equity

    Charles A. Barrett, PhD, NCSP


    The United States continues to become an increasingly diverse and less homogenous society.  As a consequence of these demographic trends, the students, families, schools, and communities that school psychologists serve are becoming more heterogeneous, which presents extraordinary learning opportunities for developing more informed and effective clinical practices.  Although uncomfortable and unsettling for some, it is imperative that school psychologists develop an appreciation for their students’ and families’ unique histories through the lens of race. In fact, the recent addition of social justice as one of the National Association of School Psychologists’ (NASP) strategic goals underscores the importance of school psychologists infusing principles of equity into all aspects of service delivery.  Further, and consistent with Bronfenbrenner’s ecological perspective (Bronfenbrenner, 1969), school psychologists must recognize the injustices that diverse groups have been subjected to, and in some ways continue to experience, within various contexts (e.g., community and country). 

    After briefly surveying the correlation between racialized experiences and negative outcomes for Indigenous American, African American, Asian American/Pacific Islander, and Hispanic American students and families, this session will offer practical implications for practice and policy to promote equity and justice.

    Goals of Presentation: 

    1.     Using national and local data sources, attendees will explore significant race-based inequities for school-age children including academic achievement and social, emotional, and behavioral functioning.

    2.     Using a social justice framework, attendees will explore the implications for equitable school psychology practice, including prevention, intervention, and assessment.

    3.     Attendees will be exposed to the central role of school psychologists as agents of systems change and influencers of necessary policy decisions that are intentionally informed by principles of justice and equity.

    Charles A. Barrett, PhD, NCSP

    Anchored by an unwavering commitment to equity and justice, Charles Barrett is lead school psychologist with Loudoun County Public Schools and an adjunct lecturer in the Graduate School of Education at Howard University.  Actively involved in the training and development of future psychologists, he serves as assistant director, internship supervisor, and chair of the Committee on Diversity for LCPS’ APA-Accredited Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology.  His current leadership positions include being a member of the Publications Committee, co-coordinator of the Bilingual Interest Group, co-chair of the African American Subcommittee, chair of the Social Justice Committee, and the Virginia Delegate to the NASP Leadership Assembly.

            2. English Learners: More than just language 

    The population of English Learners has consistently increased in Massachusetts over the last decade. School Psychologist are expected to understand and manage multi-layered needs of these students in areas such as culture, language acquisition, instruction, and assessment for Special Education services. New laws also impact the work of the School Psychologist with this population. Participants will expand their knowledge in each of these areas with the focus on understanding basic guidelines to implement at their own settings. 


    1. To explore the cultural and linguistic barriers school psychologist face when working with English Learners.

    2. To understand alternative instructional tools and interventions that may be offered to EL before they are referred to special education at the Tier 1 and 2 level. 

    3. To expand intervention tool boxes to work with ELs. 

    4. To understand how language access impacts assessment and learning of this population. 

    Ivonne Borrero, Psy.D, NCSP

    Dr. Ivonne Borrero, is a Bilingual (Spanish-English) School Psychologist with vast experience in working with bilingual students in Puerto Rico and Massachusetts. She has worked as a bilingual school psychologist in Boston and Newton Public Schools for the past 13 years. During her time in Newton she developed protocols and programs for ELLs/SWD. She has supervised graduate level students from Northeastern, Tufts, and other state institutions. For two and a half years she supervised English Language Learners/ Students with Disabilities for the Boston Public Schools as a member of the Instructional Team of the office of English Language Learners and the ELD/SWD Task force of the school committee. Currently, Dr. Borrero is the program director of the Behavioral Services Department at the Boston Public Schools where she directly supports and supervises school psychologist sand pupil adjustment counselors. She is an active member of the American Psychologist Association and the Massachusetts School Psychologist Association. 

    3. Understanding and Supporting Gender and Sexual Diversity in Schools

    Todd A. Savage, Ph.D., NCSP

    The purpose of this section is to provide participants with increased awareness and knowledge about sexual and gender diversity as they pertains to schools; family matters and raising gender diverse children and navigating the education system in this regard will also be presented. Finally, specific tools and strategies participants can use to support sexual and gender diverse students will also be highlighted. Learning will be supported through direct instruction, large and small group work, and resources that can be employed to facilitate these processes. 


    1. To enhance participants' awareness of sexual and gender diversity matters in schools from multiple perspectives. 

    2. To assist participants in constructing and/ or augmenting their knowledge bases related to sexual and gender diversity in schools. 

    3. To highlight tools and strategies participants can employ to support students and to improve school commutes as they pertain to sexual and gender diversity. 

    Todd A. Savage, Ph.D., NCSP

    Todd is a professor in the school psychology program at the Univserosty of Wisconsin-River Falls; he is also the former president of the National Association of School Psychologists. Dr. Savage's scholarly research interest include school safety and crisis prevention, preparedness, and intervention, suicide and behavioral threat risk assessment and management, culturally responsive practice; social justice; LGBTQ+ student issues, having devoted the past five years of his work to gender diversity. 

    • 10 May 2019
    • 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    • Sheraton Framingham: 1657 Worcester Rd, Framingham, MA 01701

    MSPA Spring Casino Night 2019

    Try your luck, unwind, and have a heck of a good time!! Please join us after our Spring Conference at the Sheraton Framingham for a night of food, fun, and prizes as you play your favorite casino games staffed by professional dealers.  

    Tickets are only $35 a piece and include: 

    • 1 free drink
    • light appetizers
    • music
    • hours of gaming fun

    Win fantastic prizes such as:

    • Free admission to an upcoming MSPA conference, 
    • 1 Free year of MSPA membership
    • and much, much more!  

    All profits made on the evening will go directly to supporting our Diversity Scholarship Fund.

Past Events

12 Mar 2019 MSPA Mock Interviews
04 Mar 2019 Rapid Interactive screening Test for Autism (RITA-T) in Toddlers
16 Nov 2018 MSPA Student Social
15 Nov 2018 CANCELLED: MSPA Western MA Chapter Fall Conference 2018: Struggling Learners: Tier Two Strategies Specifically for ADHD, LD, ODD, and ASD
02 Nov 2018 MSPA Fall Conference Creating a Multi-Tiered Social Emotional Support System Responsive to All Students
28 Sep 2018 MSPA Cape and Island Presents: Using standardized assessment tools to evaluate Autism Spectrum Disorder
11 May 2018 MSPA Casino Night
11 May 2018 MSPA Spring Conference: Interventions to Support the Whole Child
06 Apr 2018 MSPA Western MA Chapter Spring Conference 2018: Social Emotional Assessment and Learning - Supporting Individual and School Wide Efforts
15 Mar 2018 The Refugee/Immigrant Experience
05 Mar 2018 Using Standardized Assessment Tools to Evaluate Autism Spectrum Disorder
09 Jan 2018 Mock Interviews
12 Dec 2017 MSPA Western MA Holiday Get Together
16 Nov 2017 MSPA Western MA Chapter Fall Conference 2017: Working with Students with Autism in Schools
27 Oct 2017 MSPA Fall Conference 2017: Advanced Interpretation of the WISC-5 and WIAT-3/ LD Identification, Legally Defensible Reports & Expert Testimony for the Savvy School Psychologist
12 May 2017 MSPA Student Spring Social Event
12 May 2017 MSPA Spring Conference: Education as a Civil Right for All: Implications for Professional Practice
25 Apr 2017 PBIS and SEL: Addressing Complex Group and Individual Student Issues at Tiers 2 and 3 (Western MA Workshop Series - #4)
20 Apr 2017 MSPA Statehouse Visit
11 Apr 2017 Massachusetts School Psychology Association (MSPA) Bilingual School Psychologist Meet-up
07 Apr 2017 MSPA Cape and Islands, Ethics: A Real World Approach to Real World Challenges!
28 Mar 2017 PBIS and SEL: Addressing Systems Level Implementation and Tier 1 Issues (Western MA Workshop Series - #3)
21 Mar 2017 MSPA PIZZA AND PD: Understanding and Supporting Gender Diversity in School
10 Jan 2017 Massachusetts School Psychology Association (MSPA) Bilingual School Psychologist Meet-up
10 Jan 2017 MSPA Event: Mock Job Interviews
18 Nov 2016 Cross-Battery Assessment, SLD Determination, and the Assessment-Intervention Connection
18 Nov 2016 MSPA Cape and Islands Advanced Interpretation of the WISC-V & WIAT-III LD Identification
08 Nov 2016 MSPA Bilingual School Psychologist Meet-up
28 Oct 2016 MSPA FALL CONFERENCE: Brief Solution-Focused Counseling in Schools: A Toolbox of Practical Techniques
25 Oct 2016 Proactive Efforts to Reduce the Stress of Ethical Decision-Making In Practice (Western MA Workshop Series - #2)
06 Oct 2016 PIZZA and PD: Executive Function in the Everyday Context: The Evidence for Assessment and Intervention
27 Sep 2016 Advanced Interpretation of the WISC-5 and WIAT-3/ LD Identification (Western MA Workshop Series - #1)
13 May 2016 MSPA Casino Night
13 May 2016 Supporting Student Behavior at School: Strategies that Work
12 May 2016 Wine and Cheese Social and Book Talk
26 Apr 2016 MSPA-West MA Workshop IV: Tier 3 - Supporting Individual Students (Series: Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and Social Emotional Learning Curricula in Schools)
22 Mar 2016 MSPA-West MA Workshop III: Tier 2 - Check-In/Check-Out and Small Group Support (Series: Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and Social Emotional Learning Curricula in Schools)
06 Nov 2015 MSPA-West MA Fall Conference: Executive Functioning Interventions for a Changing Child and Adolescent Brain
20 Oct 2015 MSPA-West MA Workshop II: Tier 1 -Classroom Support (Series: Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and Social Emotional Learning Curricula in Schools)
09 Oct 2015 Assessment of Child and Adolescent Behavioral and Emotional Problems and Risk with the BASC-3
22 Sep 2015 MSPA-West MA Workshop I: Tier 1 - School Wide Support Overview (Series: Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and Social Emotional Learning Curricula in Schools)
15 May 2015 MSPA Spring Conference: The Woodcock-Johnson IV
14 May 2015 MSPA Wine and Cheese Social, Student Presentations, Gallery Walk, and Book Talk
28 Apr 2015 Extending Positive Behavior Support to the Home for Behaviorally Vulnerable Youth
24 Mar 2015 Best Practices in Tier II Reading Instruction
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