KANSAS ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS

Empowering Children, Educators, and Families


Kansas Association of School Psychologists





Spring 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 Fellow Psych Friends! This year has taken us on a different path than I am sure was beyond any of our imaginations. I can say that I have become more proficient in virtual meetings and responding to emails chains than I have ever had before! I am sure you all feel that pain, too! This crisis has made us all become more flexible and really utilize those problem-solving skills. I know that in times like this, it can be easy to focus on the negative difficulties we are being bombarded with. But, just as we teach our students, it is more important than ever that we have a Growth Mindset and try to stretch outside of our comfort zone. It is also important for us to find “silver-linings”. My personal ones have been an outside office sometimes, more cuddles with my two boys, and some needed home projects! What are some of your silver linings?

One thing that I want to emphasize is that our association is always working through how we can advocate for our members. This pandemic has challenged us to ensure we are providing you with up to date resources. Check out our website and this newsletter for more information on how we can support ourselves and our team through the COVID-19 pandemic. We are also going to be embarking on a specific training as a board from NASP to learn how to put through legislation to continue our advocacy efforts in a variety of ways.

Please know that advocacy is a big component that your board has been a part of. If you haven’t heard, legislation was on the docket to change the ED label. KASP has been working diligently to build relationships with state legislatures and they turned to us to ask our opinion. KASP formed a position statement and sent someone to speak upon school psychologists behalf. I want to emphasize that your board has been on several different task forces with the state to ensure school psych representation! If you have questions or concerns please let us know what we can do for you!

Psyched to be your President,

Jessica Mefford




Jessica Mefford, Ed.S

KASP President

KASP IN SOCIAL MEDIA



Board News and Announcements

Board Minute Summary by Angie Howard, Secretary

On March 19, 2020, the KASP Board held a special meeting to discuss COVID-19 and the related impact on Kansas school psychologists.  The board discussed how to best provide support to members and to distribute relevant information to members who are navigating challenges associated with COVID-19 and related school closures.  The board also discussed the upcoming Spring KASP conference and made a determination to modify the conference to a virtual format.  Updates were given related to spring and summer board meetings as well as Fall 2020 Conference planning. 

Timely Events

Spring Conference Update:

Due to the ongoing pandemic, KASP has decided to cancel the in-person Spring convention. However, an online option will be offered. More information to come. Stay tuned!

Timely Topics

                                                                                                            COVID-19 Information

Below you will find some resources from the state and national level. However, every district will implement a variation of the plan as all districts have different needs. Please use these as general guidelines and look out for information from your district. 

Communication Tools

Below are some tools that can used for communication with your school teams, students, and family members:

  • Zoom has lifted its limitations for those in K-12 schools. This program can be downloaded through your district. Zoom has great tools and some of them include that screen sharing, notating on the screen (could be useful for signing documents), and dividing participants into groups (this could be useful for virtual classes or large meetings).
  • Google hangout is also a free tool that can be used for video conferencing. Easy to install and has great tools. 
  • Skype is an additional popular video conferencing tool that is free. 
  • Google Voice allows you to create a phone number that you can use as you call parents. This allows you to not have to use your own phone number. 

Productivity Tools

At a time of uncertainty and instability it may be difficult to be productive. Below are some tools and suggestions to increase productivity:

  • It is helpful to create a weekly schedule with goals and activities that you wish to accomplish each day. The schedule should include how long you would like to engage in a particular task and don't forget to schedule in breaks and fun activities! 
  • As we are unable to meet with our teams/supervisors/ graduate students in person, it may be helpful to schedule weekly meetings to keep in touch on ongoing projects/evaluations/reports.
  • The constant influx of information from the news can be overwhelming and distracting. Obtaining information from trusted and reliable sources can help highlight important and accurate information.
  • Another easy method to avoid distractions is to turn off your phone, close unimportant tabs, and log out of your email while completing a task. It may help to set a timer (visual timers as we know are very beneficial) to know exactly how much longer you have left to complete the task. 

Apps to Support Mental Health

  • Calm - A free app for educators that includes guided meditations, sleep stories, breathing programs, and relaxing music. 
  • Happify - This is a free psychologist-approved app! This app has  engaging games, activity suggestions, gratitude prompts and more to train your brain as if it were a muscle, to overcome negative thoughts. 

  • Breathe2Relax - This app was created by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology and is portable stress management tool that teaches users a skill called diaphragmatic breathing. This app targets decreasing the body’s ‘fight-or-flight’ stress response, which is how we are all feeling right now!


Convention News


Graduate Student Representative Corner Student Representative Update

Hello everyone! My name is Molly Spencer, and I am the Student Representative for the Kansas Association of School Psychologists. I, like many other college students around the world, have experienced personal struggle in how to manage all of the changes that have taken place in the past month. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in people of all ages, professions, and geographic locations needing to adjust and disrupt many aspects of both personal and professional life. This disruption is undoubtedly handled differently by each individual, and some are more impacted than others. College students, especially graduate students, are uniquely vulnerable to everyday stressors and are required to uphold high academic standards, even during this time of inconsistency and unrest. While we may be privileged to be completing our education from our homes currently, most (if not all) of us have had to give up our in-class learning experiences, observation hours, in-person meetings, valuable practicum and internship experiences, and even our opportunity to walk at graduation. As the changing of our educational plans and professional advancement has occurred, it is imperative to focus on what we can control and how we can work to get the most out of our education, while still taking care of ourselves. While there are many suggestions, steps, plans, and opinions circulating on how to best manage this time, it is important to find what works best for you, your professional goals, and your own personal responsibilities. Below are five tips, specifically geared toward school psychology graduate students, that can hopefully provide some information that you can use to balance life.

  • Communicate regularly with your professors, advisor, and supervisor. Ask important questions and lean on these individuals for advice, direction, and support during this time.
  • Cultivate cohort or classmate collaboration. It is crucial to connect with those who are going through the same experiences so you all can share encouragement, suggestions, and even just have like-minded individuals to vent to.
  • Maintain a schedule. As most graduate students are experiencing a major switch to online learning or alternative educational experiences, it is valuable to maintain a consistent structure to your day and ensure that all your responsibilities are being completed on time.
  • Enact self-care and be forgiving with yourself and others. During this time when tensions and stress are high for everyone, it is important to find coping mechanisms and maintain an understanding mindset when interacting with others. I like to think of it as practice for our future profession when we will be handling tense situations, stress, and tricky interactions.
  • Stay connected to professional organizations such as NASP and KASP. These organizations can provide important information and valuable guidance on what to do as a school psychologist or school psychology graduate student at this time.
  • Best of luck during this time and finish the semester strong!

Molly Spencer


NASP ANNUAL CONVENTION

Save the date for NASP 2020 Summer Convention 

Click here for additional information!

NASP 2021 Annual Convention. 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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