Empowering Children, Educators, and Families

Kansas Association of School Psychologists

Fall 2023 Edition

Brittany Vigilius, Editor                                                                                                                                                         Mandy Thomsen, 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

Dear KASP members,

It is hard to believe that it is almost the end of October! It was really wonderful to see so many of you at our Fall convention. It was great professional development, and it was an immense honor to award some well deserving recipients. Umaria Yakubu and Raina Ochoa were awarded the Diversity Graduate Student Scholarship, Representative Blake Carpenter and Bert Moore were awarded the Friend of Education Award, and Monika Jasso was awarded the School Psychologist of the Year award. Please join me in congratulating them!

At the convention we also celebrated our increased attendance compared to last year’s convention, the change of Emotional Disturbance to Emotional Disability, KASPs contribution to the KSDE Dyslexia guidance, and KASP’s ESPS application grant. We also celebrated Olathe Public Schools being the first district in Kansas to not only apply for the ESPS, but also receive a designation of Proficient. To learn more about the ESPS recognition program and application please go here, and here for the application grant.

During the regional meetings at the convention, we discussed dyslexia changes and solicited questions from all members. The KASP board will review those questions and have a follow up video answering them.

Finally, we elected five new board members! Please help me welcome the incoming president-elect, Brittany Vigilus, associate editor, Cori Bohnenblust, Southeast Regional Director, Susan Severin, treasurer, Julie Zollinger, and Central Regional Director, Tommie Gonsalez.

Looking ahead to the coming months, National School Psychology week is right around the corner (November 6-10). NASP’s theme this year is Let’s Grow Together. NASP has some great resources and activity ideas for the week.

Another exciting event that we have coming up is our Mental Health Lobby day that will be occurring on February 1st . Additional details will be coming soon!

I hope that you are celebrated and appreciated during the National School Psychology Week!

As always, honored to be your president,

Lina Kitson, Ph.D., NCSP

KASP President

Lina Kitson, Ph.D., NCSP

KASP President


 We send updates and information  via social media. This is also a great space for collaboration!

Board News and Announcements

Board Minute Summary by Angie Howard, Secretary

Members of the KASP Board convened in Wichita, Kansas on the evening of October 11, 2023.  Fall Convention details were reviewed, and actions were taken to finalize preparations.  Members of the Board agreed to seek information and questions from membership related to dyslexia during regional meetings to produce and distribute information and resources that might best address the needs of membership on the topic.  The NASP Delegate gave an update regarding National School Psychology Week activities and encouraged participation in Advocacy Push Day on Wednesday of NSPW noting ease of use of the letters and advocacy materials made available by NASP.  The GPR Chair shared action taken to establish a proclamation and signing for NSPW with Governor Kelly and indicated that information will be shared as it becomes available and also announced that February 1, 2024 has been set as Mental Health Advocacy Day at the State Capitol. Members of the Board discussed favorably the possibility of KASP co-sponsoring a PREPaRE Workshop.  The topic was tabled, and a subcommittee made plans to meet for further discussion. The meeting was adjourned. 

The KASP 2023 Meeting of General Membership was held during the Fall Convention on October 13, 2023, and was called to order at 12:00 p.m.  KASP President, Dr. Lina Kitson, addressed membership, thanking them for their service to the field and for their participation in the convention. The President reviewed progress on initiatives of the organization and highlighted the impact of KASP’s advocacy efforts leading to changes in legislation as well as involvement in establishing dyslexia guidelines with KSDE.  Awards and accolades were presented to the KASP Past President Lina Kitson, Diversity Graduate Student Scholarship recipients Umaira Yakubu and Raina Ochoa, KASP Friend of Education recipients Blake Carpenter and Bert Moore, and KASP Kansas School Psychologist of the Year Monika Jasso.  The KASP President announced the results of elections related to open board positions.  The following elected individuals will assume their positions on the KASP Board in January 2024: President-Elect: Brittany Vigilius, Associate Editor: Cori Bohnenblust, Treasurer: Julie Zollinger, Southeast Region Representative: Susan Severin, and Central Region Representative: Tommie Gonsalez.  The floor was opened to membership for comment.  No comments or questions were offered, and the meeting of General Membership was adjourned at 12:23 p.m.

Convention News

Lenae Kaus, Convention Chair

The 2023 KASP Fall Convention was a huge success! We spent two days in Wichita with an amazing line-up of high quality professional development. Dr. Matthew Burns started Thursday morning with his keynote presentation on MTSS and we walked away with strategies for both systematic change and student-level intervention; Attorney Brian Dempsey stepped in for Mark Ward to present KSDE's Year in Review, sharing the important legal information that has come away from special education cases in the past year; Thursday afternoon ended with a variety of breakout sessions that made it hard to choose just one! The Convention Social was a great way to unwind Thursday evening while enjoying drinks, snacks, and Chiefs football.

The Friday workshop by Dr. Samuel Ortiz was jam packed both morning and afternoon with research and practice for evaluation of multilingual learners; participants were given a literal map to guide us through ELL evaluations and make ethical, legally defensible eligibility determinations for these students. Dr. Ortiz shared amazing resources that are available, some free and some with cost, to help analyze data within ELL evaluations.

During lunch on Friday, we celebrated outstanding practitioners and students at our awards banquet, announced new board members at our membership meeting, and gave away some awesome prizes! Over the two days, we also had the opportunity to meet and purchase one-of-kind merchandise from our vendors Drawings by Trent and the Derby Transition Education Center.

Please don't forget to complete evaluation forms for all sessions attended in order to receive CPD certificates. Evaluation forms can be found through the links in the convention brochure. CPD certificates will be sent via email in the coming weeks.

Thank you to all who attended Fall Convention, and don't forget to mark you calendars for next year! The 2024 KASP Fall Convention with be October 17th and 18th in Lawrence and will feature Dr. Ross Greene as our Friday presenter. Be on the lookout for more information about this and about our upcoming Spring Conference.

Advocacy Corner

Jonathan Smeeton, Government & Public Relations

What a great KASP Fall Convention! It was a great time of learning and an awesome opportunity to catch up with school psychologists from around the state. As I returned to the building this week with so many great ideas, I realized that implementation is a from of advocacy. When we take ideas or concerns to our administrators or providers we are advocating. 

There are several opportunities for advocacy work on behalf of our students coming up. First, National School Psychology Week is November 6-10. The theme this year is “Let’s Grow Together.” NASP has a number of resources available to help highlight our roles in schools and how we can highlight our role throughout the week. The resources can be found here. For me, the highlight of the week is Wednesday. Wednesday, November 8th is Advocacy Alert day. We are encouraging our membership to send a letter to your legislative representatives in Congress highlighting the important work we do and requesting their support for this work. KASP will provide a template letter. Keep an eye out on social media for more information to take part in this exciting opportunity. I am also planning to share the NASP Practice Model with my local cooperative board during the board meeting held during NSPW. This will be a great opportunity to highlight our unique skills and training and talk a little bit about how they can support us in our work. 

Save the date! Thursday, February 1, 2024 we will be gathering in Topeka for our annual School Mental Health Advocacy Day! This is a collaborative effort between school psychologists, school counselors, school social workers and school nurses to bring attention to the mental health needs of our students. This opportunity to meet with your local representatives and state senators and let them know what you need. We are planning to release videos and podcasts in mid to late December to discuss not only the skill of advocacy but to provide examples. The goal is to make this day less intimidating so you will want to attend. 

We hope you enjoyed the Fall Convention as much as we did. Take the ideas back to your building teams and advocate for proper implementation. Grow these advocacy skills into opportunities outside your teams at the district, state and national levels.  

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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