Empowering Children, Educators, and Families

Kansas Association of School Psychologists

Fall/Winter 2020 Edition

Lina Kitson, Editor Teresa Walters, Associate Editor

KASP Vision and Mission

KASP VISIONKASP visibly leads in promoting proactive, research-based practices and partnerships which foster the academic and psychological well-being of children, for their benefit and that of their families, schools, communities, and the profession of School Psychology.

KASP MISSION:  KASP exists to advocate for the psychological and educational well-being of Kansas children, while serving the needs of the membership and promoting school psychology as a profession.

President's Message

Hello wonderful KASP members,

As I am writing my final newsletter as President, I am reflecting on these past two years as president and am so excited where our board is taking our profession in the state! 2020 has presented some unforeseen challenges, but it has also given us a tremendous opportunity to slow down, pause, and do some deep thinking around our core values. 2020 has also pushed more than ever to adapt, be flexible, PIVOT, and overcome obstacles we have never had to before. I recognize we are all tired, but I want us all to reframe and reflect on how strong each of us are too! I have been truly blessed to work with our amazing board who has not stopped and continued to provide PD, position statements, and driving legislation in these crazy times!

I hope as we all end the year reflecting and begin identifying goals for 2021 that we all try to promote the versatility our profession has. This is only done through grassroots efforts and our presence. I wanted to share with you a simple strategy I did recently to take our “elevator speech” and ensure it is in people’s hands. I made business cards!

I know this is a simple gesture but it a quick way to share our diverse role. I hope that 2021 is simpler for us all but I also hope that we can take all the skills we have gained this year to transform us all into something greater.

Psyched to be your President,

Jessica Mefford, Ed.S

Jessica Mefford, Ed.S

KASP President


Board News and Announcements

Board Minute Summary by Angie Howard, Secretary

The KASP Executive Board convened via Zoom on October 7, 2020.  The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. and begin with review and approval of minutes from the previous meeting.  Members engaged in a review of key discussion points from the NASP Government and Public Relations training completed in August, 2020 and engaged in conversation regarding refining key advocacy priorities for the organization as well as determining the path forward for KASP legislative and advocacy work.  Among other key priorities identified, lowering ratios for school psychologists so that skills in prevention and intervention practices can be leveraged to meet the mental health, social/emotional and academic needs of all students and families, and increasing equitable access for general education, special education and BIPOC through use of data-based decision making and evidence-based practices were highlighted as key priorities of KASP advocacy initiatives.  The board noted that these initiatives align well with the NASP and Kansas 2020 Standards revisions which place an increased emphasis on social justice and leveraging expertise in professional practice and target the goal of moving the profession forward through advocating for the ability to practice across a variety of domains relevant to the vast training and skillsets of school psychology practitioners.  The board worked collaboratively to develop an “elevator speech” with the intention of sharing this advocacy tool with all members for the purpose of creating consistent messaging across Kansas School Psychologists who are encouraged to lead with this message about who we are, what we are asking for, and why it is important.  This message was developed for use in advocacy both locally and at the state level with the intent of being modified as needed based on the intended audience.  Members of the board engaged in discussion regarding Mental Health Day at the Capitol and noted a need to follow up with Kansas school counselor and social worker organizations to discuss feasibility and format of the 2021 lobby day given the impacts of the pandemic. 

Members of the board then turned their focus toward finalizing details of the KASP 2020 Virtual Fall Convention and discussed logistics related to timing and format of the KASP 2021 January Board Retreat.  Finally, the Board President provided an update regarding conference ideas and speakers for the KASP 2021 Virtual Spring Conference seeking additional information from board members related to possible topics and presenters.  Themes discussed as topics of interest to KASP members were: dyslexia legislation, assessment and processes; administration and interpretation of norm referenced assessments during a pandemic; MTSS data interpretation during a pandemic; and mindfulness and psychological well-being. 

The KASP 2020 Meeting of General Membership was held during the KASP 2020 Virtual Fall Conference on October 8, 2020 and was called to order at 10:56 a.m.  KASP President Jessica Mefford thanked members for their participation in KASP Virtual conferences noting that over 90 individuals participated in the KASP 2020 Virtual Spring Conference and that over 200 individuals registered to attend the 2020 Fall Convention.  The President provided an update on initiatives related to promoting increased legislative presence and action for school psychologists and the communities they serve across the state highlighting the importance of advocacy.  The newly developed advocacy “elevator speech” was explained and shared visually with members who were encouraged to take action through advocating for an expanded role for school psychologists in alignment with the NASP 2020 Standards.  Also noted as key points for advocacy discussion were engaging in conversations aimed at creating a better understanding of our multifaceted role, the need to help clarify the importance of our profession, and the need to compel schools to hire additional school psychologists due to their extensive training and skillset.  KASP Members were reminded to vote in the 2021 Board Member Elections and the President opened the floor for questions and comments.  Members asked questions related to social media accounts to facilitate connection among state school psychologists and were provided clarification on available groups.  Gratitude was expressed to Kansas School Psychologists for their continued efforts to serve students and families across the state and for their resilience and flexibility during unprecedented times.  The meeting of general membership was adjourned. 

Timely Events

The Mental health lobby day which typically happens during this part of the year will be held later this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. More details will come soon!

National School Psychology Week

We hope you all had a wonderful National School Psychology Week!

We want to thank Governor Kelly, as she proclaimed November 9th through 13th as National School Psychology Week in Kansas.

Timely Topics

Introducing the newly elected KASP board members

  • Stacey Moddie-President (moving from President Elect) 
  • Jessica Mefford-Past President (moving from President)
  • President Elect-Lina Kitson (moving from Editor)
  • Teresa Walters-Editor (moving from Associate Editor) 
  • Associate Editor-Jill Marzolf 
  • Jonathan Smeeton- GPR (moving from Communications Director) 
  • Western Region Director-Brett Bieberle 
  • Communications Director-Kim Keiser (moving from Western Region Director)
  • University Representative (University of Kanas)-Chris Niileksela 

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We thank the outgoing board members for their service and dedication to our profession! 

Jennifer Kitson (University Representative), Molly Spencer (Student Representative) 

Sometimes we need to smile, laugh, and just find joy in life. We hope you enjoy the following:

A little levity in the form of timely limericks:

The great meals my lady does serve

Are way better that what I deserve.

I eat them all but,

when I look at my gut

I have failed to flatten the curve.

By John Annen


I used up my last roll today.

There seems to be no other way.

Because of the hoarders

And the governor's orders

My Waterpick's now my bidet.

By Doug Denham


Store stocks have rarely been leaner.

The virus has changed our demeanor.

My people I miss.

Six Feet? We can't kiss.

But, my household has never been cleaner!

By Jeanne McNeal


My wife, with no ifs, ands, or buts,

Was quick to make face masks for us

And when C-virus stops

She'll be quick to shop

for new bras to replace those she cut.

By Ross Plovnick

KASP School Psychologist Elevator Speech

During the 2020 Summer KASP board meeting the board worked on developing an elevator speech that can be used to describe our role to families and staff.

Be sure to share the creative ways that you use this tool with us on our Facebook page and Twitter!

Fall Convention Highlights

The 2020 Fall conference was a unique experience this year due to the current COVID-19 environmental restrictions.

The Virtual Fall Conference was held on October 8 and 9, 2020. Over 200 individuals registered to attend the Fall Convention with a zoom format. The KASP board received a lot of positive feedback regarding the convention and its' format!

On Thursday morning, Keynote speaker Dr. Laurie Klose, presented on Ethics for School Psychologists in 2020: Ethical Problem Solving for Excellence in Practice. Many timely topics were offered during the breakout sessions. One of the benefits to this years’ Zoom format was the ability to record breakout sessions. Recorded sessions enabled attendees to go back and view any and all breakout sessions. In previous years, attendees had to make choices of what to attend and missed timely topics of interest. We are making lemonade!!!

On Friday, Charles A. Barrett, PhD, NCSP was the keynote speaker for both the morning and afternoon sessions. He spoke on the topic of evaluating ELL students.  To learn more about Charles, including his books on a variety of topics that are relevant to educators, visit www.charlesbarrett.org

Congratulations to all 2020 award recipients! 

KASP Minority Scholarship recipients were Samanthan Hernandez from Fort Hays Sate and Daniel Gonzalez from Wichita StateEach student received a $500 scholarship.

The School Psychologist of the Year was awarded to Brandie Duskie.

The Friend of Education Award was presented to Dale Dennis, KSDE (retired).

CPDs have all been emailed for those that completed the online forms AND had an email address from their registration. If someone did not get a copy of this CPD then they should contact us through the KASP email address or complete a form (click here).

Everyone who registered for the Fall Convention will receive a copy of Charles Barrett's book, Its Always About the Children! The book was mailed last week and should arrive by the end of this week. 

Legislative Corner

Convention News

2021 Spring Virtual Convention 

We are excited to continue to provide you with relevant professional development. In May we intend to hold a virtual conference about Dyslexia. Information about the speaker, date, and registration will be coming soon! 

Update from the Student Representative

The KASP board thanks our wonderful student representative, Molly Spencer, from Fort Hays State University for her dedication, service, and work this past year. We wish her the best of luck as she enters the profession of school psychology! 


The NASP 2021 Convention will be held virtually this year! This means you can take part of high quality professional development without the cost of travel and accommodations. Registration opens December 15th. Click here for additional information. 

Kansas Association of School Psychologists (KASP) is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists to offer continuing education for school psychologists.  KASP maintains responsibility for the program.                                         

 KASP is a NASP approved provider of CPDs.   KASP is approved provider #1030

No person will be denied access to or full participation in any KASP program, event or activity on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, disability, or age. 

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