KANSAS ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS

Empowering Children, Educators, and Families





Kansas Association of School Psychologists




The Kansas School Psychologist

Spring, 2017 Issue

Kathleen L. Gaskey, Editor Tommie Gonsalez, Associate Editor

Upcoming events

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KASP STRATEGIC PLAN

 QUARTERLY REVIEW  

 BOARD FOCUS

SAVE THE DATE

NASP CONFERENCE


KASP SPRING CONFERENCE

Dr. Jim Wright

Intervention Central

May 5, 2017

Emporia State University 

 Student Union

KASP STRATEGIC PLAN GOAL 1

  • KASP shall provide relevant resources to school psychologists and all who support children and families
  • Objectives
    • Create a website that is an efficient resource for school psychologists and all who support children and families. (January 2017)
    • Make the KASP newsletter easily accessible to members with pertinent information and contributed articles. (January 2018)
    • Provide information related to featured topics to be highlighted on the website, in the newsletter, and through social media. (January 2017)

President's Message
                      Kathleen L. Gaskey, Ed.S.
 

  
 KASP PRESIDENT

School psychologists are uniquely qualified and positioned in schools to provide support to students of all ages for a variety of reasons. Whether we are helping a first grader calm down after a rough recess, or developing a plan to help improve a fifth graders reading fluency, or helping a high school student develop the skills they will need for a job after they graduate, we are enriching children’s lives and empowering them toward a better tomorrow.

One risk with the emotional closeness that this career creates is that school psychologists are highly prone to burnout. Nearly 50% of new school psychologists are doing something else after three years. When we are looking at shortages across our state, it is critical that we find ways to cope with the stress that comes with the burden of building citizens, and keep as many of us around as we can.

One thing that I have done to address burnout is to establish personal values that I use as a yardstick against the actions I take in life and in work. These values have helped me ensure that the work I am doing is meaningful. Viktor Frankl taught us in Man’s Search for Meaning, that when we find a purpose in our work and struggles, we are better able to deal with the hardships and are able to have a more positive outlook. Both things that will prevent the weight of our emotional toll from overcoming us.

I first established my values when I took part in an instructional leadership challenge at the start of last school year.  As part of this challenge, one of the steps was to identify the things most important to you, your values.  This particular challenge suggested a card sorting technique that helps identify the ideas that resonate the most with you.  I was a little skeptical of the activity but I found a website where you could try it. (Here if you want to try it yourself) I took a few minutes to go through the steps of sorting, and choosing, and whittled the card stack down to 5 words.  When I looked at the 5 words I had left, I realized that these words represented everything I had been striving to improve over the last 4 years.  Family, Relationships, Effectiveness, Communication, and Learning. FRECL. (Don’t laugh).


FRECL now serves as a touchstone upon which every action I take must be compared to.  Every action I take must be improving upon or reflect the ideas of FRECL. 

  • Family –Maintaining connection with the people closest to you. All other values work to support this value.
  • Relationships-Knowing the people you work with and connecting in a way that matters.  Relationships are in a constant state of deterioration and require intentional effort to maintain. 
  • Effectiveness-Focusing your time on the right work. Prioritizing your time for the things that will have the greatest impact on outcomes. Managing your time so you can get the important work done in the time you have.
  • Communication-Always saying what you mean; Knowing that communication is what the listener does, and the speaker has the responsibility to communicate in a way that the listener will understand.  Recognizing that people communicate differently and finding the effective ways to communicate. Knowing that work is not done until you have communicated it to people who need it.
  • Learning-Always finding new ways, new connections.  Recognizing that in an industry that is changing 10% per year, you are regressing if you are standing still.

    With these values established, all new tasks, projects, and actions are scrutinized to determine how they are helping me to achieve in one of these five areas. This keeps me from overextending myself with unnecessary tasks and ensures that I see the value and purpose in the work that I do. No matter how difficult something becomes, or how frustrated I get, I can find comfort in knowing that it is worth it.  So what are your values?  How do they show up in your work? How do you share them with your students or your own children?    


    Board News and Announcements

    Board Minutes by Susan Severin, Secretary

    The KASP Executive Board gathered in Salina, KS on August 6th to discuss agenda items that included the upcoming Fall 2016 conference in Manhattan and launch of the new KASP website.  Plans to finalize speakers and breakout sessions occurred over the summer, and will feature Dr. Samuel Ortiz, Dr. Dawn Miller, and a breakout session from Mark Ward (KSDE) to offer information on Legal and Ethical issues.  Plans for the October 2017 conference were also discussed.  The board continues to consider updates to the KASP website; increasing interactive possibilities for both members and non-members and offering more resources.  Regional Directors reported on surveys and upcoming professional development, sharing that ongoing support to regions was beneficial to practitioners in their area.  The KASP Strategic Plan: "KASP shall provide relevant resources to school psychologists and all who support children and families" was revisited and the board felt that efforts were on track.  The meeting closed with a discussion of board positions that will be open and then filled at the October conference. Board Proposals:

    The KASP Executive Board has approved a proposal to raise membership dues from $40 to $50. This must be finalized through a vote of KASP members during a membership meeting. This will occur during the Fall Convention Banquet in October. The dues increase was proposed because KASP dues have remained constant since 1993, and are the lowest in the nation. KASP has worked to add value through expanded conference offerings, reestablishment of region meetings, and an improved website. 

    During the membership meeting, a vote will be taken on the following proposition:"It is proposed that the KASP Standing Rules Finance Point 2 be amended to change regular member dues from "$40.00" to "$50.00" 





    Pictures from KASP Board Meeting in Salina, KS

     August 6, 2016


    Want to serve the profession of school psychology, work with your colleagues to advance the profession,  and gain leadership skills?   Consider running for one of the open Board positions listed below!  



    BOARD POSITION OPENINGS 2018


    ROLES/RESPONSIBILITIES


    BOARD POSITION

    President Elect:  

    The President-Elect attends KASP Executive Board meetings, prepares for his/her duties as President, and assists other officers or officials as is necessary.  The President-Elect or the President is expected to attend the annual NASP convention.  The President- Elect also works with the Treasurer to develop a budget for the year that they serve as President.  The budget would likely be developed during December and then presented at the board retreat in January.

    Associate Editor:   

    The primary function of the Editor and Associate Editor is to publish a minimum of four newsletters (The Kansas School Psychologist) per year. They shall coordinate any other publications as determined by the Board. This is a two-year position with election to the Associate Publications position for the first year. The Associate Editor will be mentored during his/her first year and will share in publication duties. The Associate Editor will become the Editor/Publications Chairperson for the second year of his/her term.

    Regional Directors:  Northeast Region and Western Region:  

    There are four Regional Directors who serve as representatives to the KASP Executive Board from the Northeast, Southeast, Central and Western regions of the state. The primary responsibilities of the Regional Directors are to inform and survey their constituents on important issues and report the results of surveys to the Board. Regional Directors also support the Membership/Public Information official by developing membership in their region and identifying District Liaisons from each independent agency providing school psychological services i.e. school district, Cooperative, Interlocal.

    Secretary:  

    The Secretary shall attend all scheduled Executive Board and General Membership Meetings and provide input at KASP activities and meetings.  She/he shall record and prepare the minutes of the Board and Membership meetings. She/he is responsible to provide a typed copy of the minutes. The minutes of Board and Membership meetings should be electronically mailed to the President one month following the meeting and provide a digital copy to all board members prior to the next meeting. 

    The secretary aids in procedural questions acting as Parliamentarian, and serves in a monitoring role for the Board. She/he also deliberates and responds to ethical questions from the membership.

    Communications Director:  

    The Communications Director's official duties are to maintain and develop membership in the Association and communicate announcements and noteworthy items about individuals and activities to the media. 

    She/he shall be responsible to coordinate activities relating to publicity of events, recognition of members, and communication of multi-state/regional information. Press releases should be sent to local news media for events such as convention information, Winner of the Psychologist of the Year, newly elected board members, etc. The Membership official shall inform external agencies and the general public about the aims and activities of KASP.

    If interested in serving on the 2017 KASP Board, please contact Ashley Enz, KASP Past-President at asenz@bluevalleyk12.org.

    POSITION SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES

    Assist President with fall convention as needed.

    • Develop goals for term as President -the concerns or issues that will need to be addressed.
    • Develop Budget for Presidential year with assistance of the Treasurer.
    • Attend NASP Central Regional meeting at NASP..
    • Type up summary of Central Region meeting for The Kansas School Psychologist.
    • Participate in KASP Leadership Retreat (January) and organize for year as President.
    • Collaborate with Editor to produce 4 newsletters per year.
    • Solicit/Obtain articles.
    • Write articles.
    • Assist with newsletter theme development.
    • Survey other state newsletters.
    • Layout newsletter pages.
    • Proofread the newsletter.


    • Within a month after an Executive Board meeting, Regional Directors will provide District Liaisons information on issues of significance from the meeting.  District Liaisons will be responsible for sharing that information in their area.  The Regional Directors may also work with District Liaisons to send and receive other information as requested by the KASP President.
    • Regional Directors help the Past President in soliciting nominations for officers and officials.  They also work to solicit nominations for Edna Harrison Awards, Action Research Grant, and School Psychologist of the Year.
    • Keep all Constitutional changes current and suggest possible wording change if something appears vague.
    • Review all documents annually.
    • See that each Board member receives a current KASP Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules.
    • Maintain a list of the cooperatives and districts by region.
    • Send webmaster/archivist final approved minutes.
    • Provide short summary of each Executive Board meeting and General Membership meeting to be published in The Kansas School Psychologist.



    • Develop and prepare current membership application with Executive Manager for distribution before the beginning of the new fiscal year (January).
    • Develop and implement membership incentives.
    • Respond to any specific member needs as necessary
    • Notify hometown media of the new President's election.
    • Notify media of the KASP School Psychologist of the Year selection.
    • Publicize KASP conferences and workshops.
    • Develop and/or distribute media spots concerning school psychology or relevant children’s' issues.
    • Arrange with the Governor’s office for the Proclamation of School Psychology Week, as designated by NASP.
    • Set up booth at the Fall Convention.



    GENERAL BOARD INFO

    The KASP Executive Board meets 4 times per year.

    • January (2 day retreat)
    • May (in conjunction with Spring Conference)
    • July/August (meeting prior to school starting)
    • October (in conjunction with Fall Convention)

    KASP provides 2 state-wide professional development opportunities.

    • Fall Convention (typically 2 days in October)
    • Spring Conference (typically in May, 1 day)

    KASP also provides regional Professional Development activities.

    KASP publishes a newsletter each quarter.

    KASP monitors state legislature for actions relevant to school psychologists and advocates of the best interest of Kansas children, youth, schools, and school psychologists.


    KASP provides relevant resources through the website KASP.org.

    KASP operates an award program including the Kansas School Psychologist of the Year, Edna Harrison Award, Minority Scholarship, and Research Grants.

    TIMELY TOPICS


    Culturally Competent Assessment of English Language Learners for Special Education Services 

    BY LIONEL A . BLATCHLEY & MATTHEW Y. LAU 

    Communiqué HandoutMay 2010, Volume 38, Number 7 1 Communiqué is the newspaper of the National Association of School Psychologistswww.nasponline.org(301) 657-0270 

    Students who are learning English as a second or third language often lag behind native English speakers in academic skills and may display differences in behavior or social skills compared to their native English speaking peers. These English language learners (ELLs) are therefore at risk for referral for special services including special education. 

    Research and experience encourage educators to use appropriate, nonbiased approaches to screen ELL students to determine their need for support within the general education program and to implement culturally competent instructional strategies prior to considering referral to special education (e.g., see Lau & Blatchley, 2009). But what about those ELL students who make little or no progress despite additional supports? When special education services are considered for ELL students, school personnel are urged to take a broad, ecological perspective, collecting data through a multidimensional, multi-task approach and interpreting results within the context of the students’ unique cultural, linguistic, and experiential backgrounds. 

    USE OF STANDARDIZED, NORM-REFERENCED TESTS 

    Using nationally standardized, norm-referenced test (NRT) scores to determine eligibility for special education requires considerable caution with ELL students. As ELL students present a continuum of English proficiency and acculturation, the appropriateness of NRTs for a given student depends on the similarity of that student’s experience to that of the test’s standardization population. 

    Tasks from standardized tests may be administered to find out what skills the learner does and does not have. However, if the learner’s background experience is significantly different from that of the group on which the test was normed, it is inappropriate to use the normative scores to draw conclusions regarding student needs and special education eligibility. The use of native language interpreters does not negate this principle, and in fact introduces other complicating factors. For instance, current standardized tests do not involve the use of interpreters as part of their standardization procedure. Moreover, some test items just cannot be translated from English to another language without seriously distorting their original meaning or without suggesting the correct or expected response. These extraneous factors could seriously compromise the validity and utility of the assessment. 

    WORKING WITH INTERPRETERS 

    Learning how to work with interpreters is a critical skill for school psychologists, special educators, and others involved in assessment and planning for ELL students. Given the limitations of norm-referenced measures for ELLs, informal data gathered from parents and other family members through an interpreter is essential. During formal assessment, interpreters in partnership with school personnel can ensure that task directions are understood by the student, and that responses are understood by the examiner. Further, the presence and participation of the interpreter communicates respect of the student’s culture and language, and acknowledges the impact of his/her limited English proficiency. 

    Using and training professional interpreters.Frequently, interpreters are not well trained in the specifics and rationale of assessment procedures. Therefore, school psychologists or other specialists need to provide training and supervise all activities when working with interpreters. School districts should rely on trained interpreters and not enlist a cultural peer or a relative as the interpreter. Many language minority families already experience a reversal of roles with their children, which is reinforced if they are used as interpreters. Additionally, using lay interpreters (particularly other family members, relatives, or friends) risks breaching confidentiality. Because special educators tend to use a unique vocabulary, it is recommended that districts or state departments of education provide training and potentially certification in this specialized area of interpreting. 

    Interpreters as cultural liaisons.When an interpreter is asked to provide information about cultural practices and expectations, he or she has taken on the role of a “cultural broker” or a “cultural liaison.” A cultural liaison is a person who has knowledge of the same racial, cultural, socioeconomic, or linguistic background as the family and is able to provide culturally specific information about the student. This information is extremely valuable in interpreting the data collected through the formal assessment process. However, school professionals should keep in mind that no one person can represent the entire culture and therefore multiple sources of data should be used. 

    COMMUNICATION ASSESSMENT 

    Native and English language assessments are essential for evaluating the learner’s language development and understanding the relationship between a learner’s language and academic performance. 

    Rationale for communication assessment.  Communication assessments are important because they may: 

    • Rule in or out a potential language disorder in the native language 
    • Provide evidence of the strength of native language skills, an important foundation for the development of English 
    • Explore the potential relevance of bilingual instruction, especially for newcomers and very limited English speakers 
    • Aid interpretation of data from other areas of assessment 

    Culturally appropriate procedures for communication assessment. It is important to sample a variety of language functions, including vocabulary, grammar, semantics, and pragmatics. Although current assessment procedures sometimes allow for only broad conclusions regarding native language proficiency, this information may play a key role in determining educational disabilities and instructional needs. For some languages for which translated tests are available (such as Spanish), bilingual speech–language pathologists may administer instruments in both Spanish and English to determine bilingual status and development. For many other languages, the only option is to work with an appropriately trained native language interpreter using structured tasks to identify strengths and weaknesses about the learner’s language usage. Observing a student engaged in such activities as story comprehension, storytelling and retelling, memory for stories, and natural, informal conversation may be useful in gaining culturally fair and diagnostically useful information, even when interpreted from a strictly clinical rather than norm-referenced perspective. All data must be interpreted in light of a thorough language history. 

    COGNITIVE ASSESSMENT 

    For ELL students, the goal of intellectual assessment is not to derive a standard score to plug into a discrepancy formula or other eligibility criteria. Even when modifying administration procedures, carefully selecting assessment tools, and using interpreters, educators must consider the validity of test results. Are findings consistent with everything else known about the individual? 

    Using U.S. norms.Although the federal law (IDEA 2004) focuses on assessment in a student’s native language, problems with standardized cognitive measures are not solved by merely administering the tests in native language or by using interpreters. Both language and cultural knowledge influence test performance. Intelligence tests reflect the values and beliefs of the culture in which they were developed and thus suffer from cultural bias. Therefore, the individual’s degree of acculturation affects performance on these standardized measures. As noted above, the use of U.S. norms for evaluating the ELL student’s current functioning or predicting future performance may be inappropriate. In some circumstances, it may be possible only to rule out mental retardation and draw very tentative conclusions about the student’s range of functioning. 

    Using nonverbal procedures.Some tasks on cognitive ability measures are more culturally loaded compared to others. The use of nonverbal measures may yield less discriminatory results for ELL students; however, some nonverbal measures also suffer from cultural bias, as they otherwise reflect mainstream cultural standards and experiences. Further, nonverbal measures of cognitive ability provide an incomplete picture of a student’s school learning potential. Tests such as the Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test (UNIT), the Leiter International Performance Scale, Revised (Leiter-R), and the nonverbal component of the Differential Ability Scales, 2nd edition (DAS-II) are preferred to such performance measures as the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children III Performance Scale, which have subtests with more cultural loading. Another measure, the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children, Second Edition (KABC-II), while not strictly a nonverbal instrument, minimizes verbal instructions and responses. These test items contain minimal cultural content and the examiner may exclude subtests which measure verbal ability; the KABC-II does include a nonverbal scale (Kaufman & Kaufman, 2004). 

    Bilingual scales.An increasing number of test instruments attempt to incorporate both native language and English in the evaluation of cognitive ability. The Bilingual Verbal Ability Tests (BVAT; Muñoz-Sandoval, Cummins, Alvarado, & Ruef, 1998) is the only verbal intelligence test currently available in several other languages as well as English. While it consists of parts of the Woodcock-Johnson, Cognitive Battery–Revised (Woodcock & Johnson, 1989), it does not have separate norms for ELL students. Similar problems exist for the Broad Cognitive Ability-Bilingual Scale (BCA-Bil; Alvarado, 1999).These combinations of language-reduced tests and testing of verbal ability in the student’s native language represent advances in test design, but the norms do not take into account the impact of acculturation or dual language proficiency. 

    Informal procedures. Additional informal assessment procedures can yield useful data within a multidimensional, multitask approach to cognitive assessment. These include: 

    • Test–teach–test strategies (testing followed by teaching relevant skills to the student and then observing how quickly and accurately the student learns the skill) 
    • Testing of limits procedures (changing standardized procedures to observe student performance under different conditions) 
    • Interviews (of teachers, family, and student) and observations 
    • Assessment of adaptive functioning (evaluating the student’s self-sufficiency in dealing with daily living tasks; see discussion below) 

    ACADEMIC ASSESSMENT 

    Academic assessment is a key component of the overall evaluation, as it directly reflects instructional needs. 

    Impact of second language acquisition.A major complication of academic assessment of ELL students is their varying stages of second language acquisition and academic experience. Understanding the specifics of their current and previous instructional programs is essential to accurate interpretation of ELL students’ academic performance. If a student has previously and recently received instruction in his or her native language, it will be important to assess those skills using appropriately trained bilingual staff to ensure that these competencies are not overlooked when all current instruction is in English. However, if a student has only received instruction in English, it is not useful to evaluate academic skills in the native language, unless he or she has been exposed to these skills at home or in community settings. 

    Using norm referenced achievement tests.The focus in academic assessment is generally on the skill areas of reading, writing, and mathematics, and to a lesser extent, the content areas (such as science and social studies). The more unique an individual’s educational experience and background, the more educators must individually tailor the assessment. Norm-referenced achievement tests are often not very useful in assessing ELLs because the norms do not adequately represent ELL populations. Further, test content does not adequately reflect ELL students’ instructional experience and test formats are often unfamiliar and confusing to the student. 

    Administering achievement tests in the native language may not improve the validity of the assessment if the curriculum is taught only in English. Norm-referenced tests can be used to determine what skills the student has or does not have, or is able to demonstrate in an English language environment, but it is not advisable to calculate or report standard scores. 

    Curriculum-based measurement (CBM).Curriculum-based measurement (CBM) provides a very systematic, research-based set of technically adequate procedures that can be used to make valid decisions about ELL students’ achievement. Most importantly, these fluency-based measures of oral reading, written expression, and mathematics calculation/ application are sensitive to growth and can therefore monitor student progress in response to instruction (Elizalde-Utnick, 2008). CBMs also provide direct measures of the academic skill of concern, allowing error analyses on samples of the student’s work to determine if linguistic or other factors may be affecting the student’s performance. 

    Another useful application of CBMs is making normative comparisons of performance between a target student and appropriate peers based on locally collected district or school norms. More specific norms for particular groups of cultural and linguistic peers may also be derived and thus establish a standard for expected performance and progress in the curriculum. (See Hosp, Hosp, & Howell, 2007, for more about CBM.) 

    Other procedures.Criterion referenced measures of achievement can also be used to collect more specific information about students’ skill development, including information about what skills a student can demonstrate and at approximately what level. The Brigance Diagnostic Inventories (available in Spanish) are good examples and are useful in validating data gathered from more formal procedures to ensure consistency (Brigance & Messer, 1984). Systematic classroom observation and teacher interviews are also considered essential in the academic assessment of ELL students. 

    SOCIAL–EMOTIONAL BEHAVIORAL ASSESSMENT 

    When ELL students are referred for emotional or behavior problems, the team must first consider their stage of acculturation. Students who are undergoing the stresses of acculturation and accommodation to a new culture may present symptoms that can mimic disabilities or mental health disorders, but can be addressed with appropriate ESL and counseling services. Others who have experienced severe trauma may be in need of immediate identification and services. 

    Multidimensional Data Sources.  Four approaches to EBD assessments include: 

    • Clinical child psychopathology evaluation by specialists in cultural differences 
    • Behavioral–environmental interaction analysis at home and school 
    • Functional behavioral analysis (FBA) 

    Response to Intervention (RTI) 

    Behaviorally oriented procedures have the advantage of being most useful for intervention planning and less subject to bias. The use of normed rating scales as required to document a discrepancy from peers is problematic due to the fact that using interpreters to ensure parents understand the items changes the standardization. Rather, the school psychologist or other behavioral/mental health specialist must rely on multidimensional sources of data such as reviewing educational and screening history and completing parent and teacher interviews, student interviews, and several class room or school setting observations. Discrepancies in reports of a student’s behavior across settings may reflect a situation where the student experiences acculturation stress at school, but not at home. 

    Interviews. High-quality parent interviews are essential for reducing bias in the EBD assessment process. Their purpose is not to convince the parents of the school’s perception and level of discomfort with the student, but rather to gain information about the parents’ understanding of their child’s behavior and needs. Cultural beliefs and family stresses may affect the parents’ ability to get involved in finding solutions to the problem. However, it is important to understand the context from which the student derives his or her identity, value system, and behavioral standards. Interview questions may include: 

    • Please tell me about your daily routines when you were pregnant with [the student]. Who took care of you? Did you work? Did you experience any health problems? 
    • Where was [the student] born, in a hospital, a clinic, or at home? 
    • How different or similar are his [native language skills, English, school achievement, social skills, behavior, and so on] when compared to his siblings and/or other relatives? 
    • Please tell me [the student’s] daily routine after she gets out of bed in the morning. What does she like to do? Does she help you at home? Does she spend time with siblings or friends in the neighborhood? 
    • Have you any concerns about [the student’s] health or past medical experiences? 
    • Do you have any other information you would like to share with us so that we can help [the student] do better at school? 

    Observations.  Systematic observations are another important component of multidimensional assessment. In the context of direct observation, it may be possible to compare a student’s classroom behaviors to those of peers with similar cultural and linguistic backgrounds. When collected systematically and over several occasions, such peer comparison data may be more valid than rating scale data in describing the degree of difference in a student’s presenting behaviors. 

    ADAPTIVE FUNCTIONING ASSESSMENT 

    Adaptive functioning assessments are completed when the student is suspected of having a severe cognitive or developmental disability. Adaptive skills allow individuals to function and thrive within their physical and social environments. Examples of adaptive skills include daily living skills, work skills, and interpersonal relationships. Examining adaptive functioning to rule out intellectual disability is an important part of the evaluation of ELL students. According to federal definitions, if students have average adaptive functioning in their homes and communities, they would not meet the criteria for the educational diagnosis of cognitive delay at school. 

    Adaptive behaviors are contextual and vary from culture to culture. School psychologists and other assessment personnel must be conscientious about the relevance of the expectations they use as the comparison standard. Even when norm-referenced adaptive measures have been translated, this does not ensure that the items are culturally relevant or appropriate. For instance, young Asian male children may not button their clothing or tie their shoes because they expect their mothers to do it for them. This is just one example to illustrate that adaptive behaviors are culturally and experientially based. While the results of norm-referenced, standardized adaptive measures might be appropriate for program planning to help the students meet mainstream American expectations, by themselves these data would not be appropriately used to determine if students have an intellectual disability. 

    Culturally sensitive interviews with the parents, systematic observations of the student in natural settings that focus on comparisons with cultural peers, and consideration of the family’s belief system all provide a framework for interpretation. The goal is to identify culturally appropriate and acceptable behaviors and then determine the extent to which the student meets these expectations. 

    SUMMARY 

    Prior to initiating a nondiscriminatory assessment of an ELL student, school personnel should implement careful screening and appropriate classroom instructional and behavioral interventions. Further, before planning a formal assessment, educators must gather information through interviews with parents, teachers, and the student; through classroom observations; and through the collection of educational, developmental, and medical histories. Examining progress monitoring data to determine the student’s response to research-based quality interventions will be most informative. 

    Once an assessment for special education eligibility is underway, each procedure should have multiple components and be conducted with modifications and cautions appropriate to the individual student. All of the information collected should be integrated and interpreted by the assessment team to ensure the most nonbiased conclusions possible. Practices that address students’ performance in the context of their culture and language backgrounds and their response to appropriate instruction will help ensure fair, effective, and efficient assessment and intervention procedures for ELL students. 

    REFERENCES 

    Alvarado, C. G. (1999).A Broad Cognitive Ability Bilingual Scale for the WJ-R Tests of Cognitive Ability and the Bateria Woodcock-Munoz Pruebas de Habilidad Cognitiva—Revisada(Research Report Number 2), Itasca, IL: Riverside. 

    Brigance, A. H., & Messer, P. (1984).Brigance Diagnostic Assessment of Basic Skills: Spanish edition.North Billerica, MA: Curriculum Associates. 

    Elizalde-Utnick, G. (2008, November).Using the response to intervention framework with English language learners.Communique, 37(3), 18–21. National Association of School Psychologists. Available: http://www.nasponline.org/publications/cq/mocq373rti_ell.aspx 

    Hosp, M. K., Hosp, J. L., & Howell, K. W. (2007).The ABCs of CBM: A practical guide to curriculum- based measurement.New York: Guilford Press. 

    Kaufman, A. S., & Kaufman, N. L. (2004)Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children, Second Edition(KABC-II). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education 

    Lau, M. Y., & Blatchley, L. A. (2009). A comprehensive, multidimensional approach to assessment of culturally and linguistically diverse students. In J. M. Jones (Ed.),The psychology of multiculturalism in the schools: A primer for practice, training, and research.(pp. 139–171). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists. 

    Muñoz-Sandoval, A. F., Cummins, J., Alvarado, C. G., & Ruef, M. L. (1998).Bilingual verbal abilities tests.Rolling Meadows, IL: Riverside. 

    Woodcock, R. W., & Johnson, M. B. (1989). Woodcock- Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery–Revised. Tests of Cognitive Ability.Allen, TX: DLM. 

    Communiqué Handout:May 2010, Volume 38, Number 7 7 Communiqué is the newspaper of the National Association of School Psychologistswww.nasponline.org(301) 657-0270C u l t u r a l l y C o m p e t e n t A s s e s s m e n t o f E n g l i s h L a n g u a g e L e a r n e r s f o r S p e c i a l E d u c a t i o n S e r v i c e s Communiqué Handout:May 2010, Volume 38, N



    convention news

    KASP Fall Convention 2016

    ”Strength in Differences: Considering the Diverse Needs of Students” 

    The Kansas Association of School Psychologists is excited to welcome Dr. Samuel Ortiz and Dr. Dawn Miller as featured speakers for the 2016 Annual Conference.  

    Thursday Keynote

    Dawn Miller

    “Effective Consultation:  Facilitating Instructional Decision-Making”

    School psychologists have such a unique and vital role in the development of instructional programming to meet student needs. Effective consultation begins with the adage “seek first to understand” and will utilize activities to strengthen participants understanding of general education frames of reference that will contribute to stronger partnerships for instructional programming. The frames of reference will include a dive into awareness and response to different belief systems, standards, evidence-based instructional practices, and navigating planning for full membership, participation, and learning in core instruction.

    Learning Objectives:

    • 1)     Understand the importance of general education frames of reference in the consultation and collaboration process.
    • 2)     Identify and reflect on their use of general education frames of reference in the consultation and collaboration process.
    • 3)     Reflect on opportunities to strengthen their practices when designing effective instructional programming.

    Friday Workshop

    Sam Ortiz


    "Evidence-based Evaluation of English Language Learners: Determining simple difference from valid disorder”

    This workshop will present current research on language, cognitive, and academic development and their application to evaluation within a comprehensive, research-based framework for generating valid data to support conclusions and decisions regarding the presence or absence of various types of disorders with English learners. Participants will be given instruction covering the implementation of evaluation procedures in a step-by-step manner for adequately measuring various abilities, guidelines for evaluating the validity of test scores, rules governing the selection and use of scores generated via testing in English vs. the native language, and specific guidance via case study examples that illustrate application of X-BASS and use of the C-LIM with emphasis on identification of specific learning disability, intellectual disability, and speech-language impairment. Topics include: issues in first and second language acquisition; the legacy of testing with bilinguals, understanding bias in testing; issues regarding test score validity; and use of the Culture-Language Interpretive Matrix. The knowledge and skills gained will be useful to practitioners at all levels and provides a solid base for engaging in evaluation of English learners that constitutes defensible and current best practices.

    Learning Objectives:
    1)    Understand the history of cultural and linguistic factors in the development of psychometric principles and tools.
    2)    Know the basic steps and process involved in conducting comprehensive and systematic evaluation of culturally and linguistically diverse learners.
    3)    Learn the advantages and limitations of traditional approaches to evaluation of individuals from diverse backgrounds including alteration or modifications in test administration, use of nonverbal tests, and native language evaluation procedures.
    4)    Apply current research in the evaluation of the extent to which the validity of various assessment approaches and test results are undermined by cultural and linguistic factors.
    5)    Learn how to apply and use the C-LIM (within X-BASS) as a method for evaluating the extent to which cultural/linguistic factors may have compromised the validity of test performance and results.
    6)    Learn how to interpret standardized test and other data in a nondiscriminatory manner.
    7)    Recognize when cultural/linguistic differences are more likely to be the primary explanation for academic problems than is cognitive-based dysfunction.

    Paper registration forms can be found here:   KASP registration form.doc

    A detailed convention schedule can be found here:  Convention Schedule.docx

     

    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. 

    NASP ANNUAL SPRING CONVENTION

    Save the Date for the NASP 2017 Annual Convention

    Join thousands of school psychology professions from across the country in San Antonio, TX, February 21–24, 2017. Learn new  skills and strategies, step back and see challenges with a fresh perspective, and bring home recommendations from other practitioners.

    Topics will include multi-tiered service delivery, evidence-based interventions, family–school collaboration, support for diverse populations, and more.

    Locate materials to convince your supervisor to approve your attendance, get registration and hotel details, and more at www.nasponline.org/NASP2017.  

    LINKS AND APPS

    CORNER BOOKSHELF

    NASP Position Statement

    The Provision of School Psychological Services to Bilingual1 Students

    ¡Colorín Colorado!

    These resources for English Language Learners (ELLs) from Colorín Colorado are age-specific and are organized by grade. Some resources may be adaptable for younger or older students. Each section contains a variety of resources, including articles, videos, webcasts, tip sheets, and recommended websites.

    Apps for Diverse Learners (©2013)

    These are some applications for computers, tablets, laptops, smartphones, etc. that can be used in the classroom or other instructional settings to support and facilitate English language learning for speakers of other languages. This will be an evolving document and we will add additional programs and applications. The current edition is focused on K12.

    Edutopia Apps for Diverse Learners

    Apps to support diverse learners K-12.  Apps can help diverse learners by gamifying their tasks, coaching them on social cues, prioritizing their time, strengthening their math skills, and sharpening their language abilities.

    A-Z Reading Passages for ELL Students

    Designed for all teachers of ELLs (English language learners), including mainstream classroom teachers with little or no experience teaching ELLs, the ELL Leveled Reader packs are a comprehensive resource for scaffolding reading instruction for ELLs at all proficiency levels.

    Each pack supports ELLs' need for vocabulary, grammar, and writing instruction in order to build English language listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

    Teachers can follow the lesson plan step-by-step and day-by-day, or they can select individual vocabulary, grammar, writing, or assessment materials to support a variety of teaching scenarios.

    Cross Cultural Developmental Educational Services

    CCDES is a small company directed by Dr. Catherine Collier.  CCDES is available to assist schools, advocates and parents to partner with each other to help EVERY student.  CCDES has been in business since 1987 and has worked with school districts around the United States and Canada.


    Resources for Multicultural Classrooms 

    Produced by The Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance’s classroom resources page offers free lesson plans for exploring topics like race and ethnicity, gender equality, and sexual orientation with students. For specific teaching practices, start with Teaching Tolerance's Critical Practices for Anti-Bias Teaching, a self-paced, four-part, professional development learning program.

     Teaching for Change

    Teaching for Change is a nonprofit, with a mission of providing "teachers and parents with the tools to create schools where students learn to read, write, and change the world." The site features thoughtful and engaging lesson plans, tips for addressing race and diversity in the class, and links to great teacher resources.

    Diversity Resources for Teachers

    Teach students to respect differences among people in their community and around the world by using the resources below for elementary, intermediate, or high school students. You'll find printables that promote tolerance and understanding, and lessons about immigrant families. Art, reading, and writing activities will help familiarize students with the history and traditions of different religions and ethnic groups.

    RTI Action Network

    Response to Intervention in Reading for English Language Learners, by Sharon Vaughn, Ph.D.  This article briefly highlights the knowledge base on reading and RTI for ELLs, and provides preliminary support for the use of practices related to RTI with this population.


    The Psychology of Multiculturalism in the Schools:  A Primer for Practice, Training and Research   

    Review the cultural characteristics of minority groups, better understand privilege in America, and incorporate cultural variables into your counseling methods. Plus, you choose what to focus on first: brush up on conceptual frameworks or hone your craft with practical applications.

    Click on book for link to NASP resources.


    Educating Everybody's Children: Diverse Teaching Strategies for Diverse Learners, Revised and Expanded 2nd EditionEdited by Robert W. Cole

    A landmark guide on how to teach students from economically, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse groups.



    Engaging Students with Poverty, Eric Jensen

    In this galvanizing follow-up to the best-selling Teaching with Poverty in Mind, renowned educator and learning expert Eric Jensen digs deeper into engagement as the key factor in the academic success of economically disadvantaged students.


    Separating Difference From Disability, Dr. Catherine Collier

    The Seven Steps to Separating Difference from Disability,  provides readers with research based information on identifying and dealing with seven cognitive learning styles typically found among culturally and linguistically diverse learners. Readers will be introduced to seven specific cognitive strategies responding to style differences.


    Interventions for Diverse Learners 

    Dr. Catherine Collier (Free)

    Document is excerpted from Dr. Collier's books RTI for Diverse Learners and Separating Difference & Disabilities where they are listed by target presenting issue & intensity of need. All are listed with the purpose of the strategy to assist with strategy fitness, i.e. selecting specific interventions to address specific presenting concerns with at-risk culturally & linguistically diverse learners. All of these strategies can be used with diverse learners on Individual Education Plans (IEP) as well as with diverse learners in the general education program

    Assessing Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students, A Practical Guide, Robert L. Rhodes; Salvador Hector Ochoa, Samuel O. Ortiz

    This is the first book to present a practical, problem-solving approach and hands-on tools and techniques for assessing English language learners and culturally diverse students in K-12 settings. It meets a crucial need among practitioners and special educators working in today's schools. Provided are research-based, step-by-step procedures for conducting effective interviews with students, parents, and teachers; making the best use of interpreters; addressing special issues in the prereferral process; and conducting accurate, unbiased assessments of academic achievement, intellectual functioning, language proficiency, and acculturation. Among the book's special features are reproducible worksheets, questionnaires, and checklists--including several in both English and Spanish--in a ready-to-use, large-size format.

    Making Content Comprehensible for Elementary English Learners, The SIOP Model, Jan Eehevarria, MaryEllen Vogt, Deborah J. Short

    The SIOP model is a comprehensive, coherent, research-validated, success-proven model for improving teaching effectiveness and ensuring academic gains for students. It can be implemented in all content areas at all grade levels and English proficiency levels. Making Content Comprehensible for English Learners provides specific application of the SIOP to the Common Core and other state standards and includes a Reflect and Apply eText feature in which readers explain their rating of teachers’ lessons, and Teaching with Technology vignettes that describe how to infuse technology into many different SIOP lessons. 

    Classroom Instruction That Works with English Language Learners, Jane D. Hill, Cynthia L. Bjork

    Language has always been the medium of instruction, but what happens when it becomes a barrier to learning? In this book, Jane Hill and Kirsten Miller take the reenergized strategies from the second edition of Classroom Instruction That Works and apply them to students in the process of acquiring English.


    SCHOOL PSYCH SPOTLIGHT

    MADE ME SMILE

    Heather Schroer, Ed.S. 


    Olathe School District

    How many years have you worked as a school psychologist?

    9 years.

    How many years in an ELL-Title Building?

    This is the beginning of my 9th year in the Olathe school district. All of that time has been spent in at least one building with ELL and Title support.

    What specialists are available at your school to help support ELL-Title students?

    Currently, both my assigned buildings have support for students with ELL needs, including teachers specializing in teaching ELL. Both buildings have Reading specialists, and one also has a Title Math interventionist.

    What do you find most rewarding working with an ELL-Title students?

    Building relationships with all students is the most important thing for me. It’s so exciting when a student who’s had difficulty with something learns a new skill.

    What is your role at your ELL-Title Building?

    The teams at my buildings are wonderful! They have a great understanding of how students with diverse needs learn, so my primary role is to support them in the discussions of student progress and intervention. I’m involved in problem solving when more intense intervention may be needed. If the team is considering special education, I’m also involved in the evaluation process and eligibility determination.

    What has been the most challenging about working with ELL-Title students?

    Helping students develop skills that may be below grade level expectations, without impacting their willingness to participate in the classroom or their self-image.

    What kinds of learning and behavior concerns are prevalent at your school?

    There’s a wide range of acquired skills and skill gaps in my buildings, whether for students with ELL or Title needs or without. 

    What resources do you find to be most useful for (1) screening, (2) assessing and (3) intervening with students from an ELL-Title program?

    My buildings utilize screening tools used by the entire district. Providing consistent and evidence based Tier 1 support is a big focus, so my buildings use Active Literacy Learning (ALL) and cooperative learning structures throughout all lessons. Teams use curriculum based measures to benchmark skills and monitor student progress, including easyCBM. When intervening, structured and explicit lessons have yielded the most success, such as the Sonday System for phonics.

    What do you think needs to change about how we serve and support ELL-Title students?

    Noticing and celebrating students’ strengths and growth, and using those to support learning needs. Also, more understanding for parents and teachers about second language development would be beneficial.

    What do you want us to know about this student population?

    All students want to feel connected and valued at school, regardless of the level of intervention they need to learn specific skills. For students navigating more than one culture, respecting and understanding their background is extremely important.


    Last school year, we began the year short staffed at one of my elementary buildings, not having enough personnel to support students in the Kindergarten classroom, whom had unexpectedly moved in with significant health and emotional needs.  

    To temporarily help cover this shortage, I worked in the classroom for 3 weeks to assist until a paraprofessional could be hired.  I had daily, numerous interactions with one bright little girl whom was struggling with self-regulation.  

    A para was soon hired, and I went back to my "regular" job as a school psychologist.  A few weeks later, I saw this little girl in the office and stopped to talk to her.  She asked me who I was and I reminded her that I had been in her classroom at the beginning of the year.  

    She cocked her head, to the side, looked very carefully at me, and asked, "Did you get your hair cut?  When I replied that yes, indeed I had, she stated, "Well, could you grow your hair back so I can remember who you are?!"

    ~Kathleen Gaskey, Ed.S.
     School Psychologist, 
    Shawnee Mission School District




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