Empowering Children, Educators, and Families

Kansas Association of School Psychologists

Summer 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

Happy start of the school year to you all!

I hope that you had a refreshing summer and are ready to get going on another year. My summer included some traveling, enjoying time with my family, and listening to a lot of audiobooks. I am looking forward to a great year.

The board met for our summer retreat not too long ago; we had productive conversations about our strategic goal areas and the goals themselves. We continue to make sure that they are relevant and are based on our state’s needs. However, we cannot do it alone as a board. We need your help! If you are interested in volunteering to help with any of our tasks, please reach out to any of us on the board. This is a great micro-volunteering opportunity. Also, if you are interested in board services, please reach out to us. New board positions are voted on during our fall convention in October. 

Speaking of our fall convention, I am so thrilled to have Dr. Matthew Burns, Mark Ward, and Dr. Samuel Ortiz as convention speakers. Registration is open so don’t wait! Looking forward to seeing you in Wichita on 10/12 and 10/13. 

Let’s make this year memorable, productive, and transformative for our community. Wishing each of you a successful and impactful school year ahead!

Humbled to be your president,

Lina Kitson, PhD., NCSP

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 Overland Park, Kansas on the evening of Friday, August 4 and on Saturday, August 5, 2023.  Beginning Friday, the board reviewed and approved the minutes from the prior board meeting and heard updates from each of the board members.  Alongside these updates, the board discussed future actions related to continued advocacy work, membership perks, and provision of resources to membership.  A motion was approved to grant the KASP Treasurer permission to roll over CDs to the best available rate as they mature.  The board also approved updates to the standing rules aimed at providing clarity regarding the KASP Board election cycle and to allow the KASP Newsletter, KS School Psychologist, to be distributed more widely rather than solely to members as previously established.  Members of the board who recently worked alongside KSDE and TASN to develop dyslexia indicators and the dyslexia handbook shared an update and the board brainstormed ideas for avenues for effectively conveying these updates to membership.  The Conference Chair shared feedback from prior conferences and board members reflected on the feedback and established plans for continued improvement.  The President and President Elect gave updates regarding the upcoming Fall 2023 KASP Convention, and the Conference Chair and board members worked to finalize.  Upcoming Board Elections and Fall 2023 Convention award nominations were discussed and a plan for seeking additional nominations was established.  The board worked to update the strategic plan for improved alignment with NASP’s revised strategic goals, reviewed progress made on established strategic plan goals, and worked to prioritize and refine goals and action plans.  The board agreed to hold an additional meeting in the fall to continue to work on strategic planning.  Additional subcommittee meetings were established, and the meeting was adjourned at 2:28 p.m. on Saturday. 

Convention News

Mark your calendars for our 2023 Fall Convention: Leveling UP! Refining Practices in MTSS and ELL Evaluations

KASP is so excited to bring this year’s lineup of presenters to our fall convention in Wichita on October 12th and 13th. 

Dr. Matthew Burns will give a keynote presentation on Thursday focusing on MTSS, followed by KSDE attorney Mark Ward sharing his year in review and answering our legal questions, then ending with your choice of breakout sessions. Our Friday workshop will be given by Dr. Samuel Ortiz, the most notable expert on the topic of ELL evaluations. A unique variety of vendors, raffle giveaways, and a fun evening social will also take place over the course of the two days.

Take advantage of early bird pricing now! More details and registration at KASP.org.

Advocacy Corner

August 2023 Advocacy Update

Welcome back!! There are a few changes of importance to our profession that were implemented over the summer months. First, thanks to the advocacy work of school-based mental health professionals across the state, the Emotional Disturbance disability category has been legally changed to Emotional Disability. There are no changes in the criteria or eligibility indicators for this category.

Secondly, Dyslexia has been specifically updated and prioritized as a Specific Learning Disability. Eligibility indicators specific to dyslexia have been proposed and an update to the eligibility indicators. Before these indicators can be released for use by practitioners, they need to be open to public comment and approved by the Special Education Advisory Council. To review the proposed changes and provide comment, click SETS Announcements. The public comment opportunity ends on August 31. 

It is not too soon to begin thinking about National School Psychology Week! Plan some activities to promote the profession and your role in schools during the week of November 6-10, 2023. The theme this year is Let’s Grow Together. This is a great time to promote the profession. Consider presenting to your local school board or presenting to graduate students in education or psychology during the week. Resources for Practice Model presentations can be found Practice Model Push Project and resource for the Exposure project are available here

KASP is committed to continuing advocacy efforts that align with our strategic plan. At the state level, we have initiated contact with legislators regarding the workforce shortage that continues to plague the profession in Kansas. We are working towards legislation to ensure equity for all students and continuing to monitor the bills that, although well-intentioned, may have a negative impact on our students and educational outcomes.  

Last, but not least, registration is now open for the 2023 KASP Fall Convention. We have an extraordinary lineup of Dr. Ken Burns, Dr. Samuel Ortiz, and, of course, legal expert extraordinaire, Mark Ward, J.D. We look forward seeing you in person, in Wichita October 12-13, 2023.

Awards/Scholarship Opportunities

Kansas School Psychologist of the YearThe Kansas School Psychologist of the Year award is intended to identify and recognize a KASP member in good standing who is an outstanding practicing school psychologist. 

Edna L. Harrison Pioneer Award:This award helps to address the need to reframe the role of Kansas school psychologists as educational and mental health providers. The awards serves to validate those KASP members who are practitioners who are engaging in innovative health service delivery and working to meet the needs of children with increasingly more diverse and challenging needs.

KASP Diversity Graduate Student Scholarship:The purpose of the KASP Diversity Graduate Student Scholarship is to support the graduate training of promising school psychology students in the state of Kansas. Two students will be awarded $1000 per year each fall. Students are eligible to reapply for a second year of funding.

NASP Excellence in School Psychological Services (ESPS) Recognition ProgramKASP is pleased to announce the allocation of non-recurring funds to support one or more districts in submitting an application for the NASP Excellence in School Psychological Services (ESPS) Recognition Program. KASP has $500 in available funding for 2023 ESPS Recognition Program submissions to assist one or multiple school districts with the application fee. The application for the ESPS Recognition Program is due September 30th. If your district is planning to apply, please consider applying for this grant to fund your application. More information can be found here.

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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