Preparing For the Storm
Once again, residents of South Carolina and neighboring states are facing the possibility of another frightening weather event. Earlier this week, our governor declared a state of emergency for South Carolina as we prepare for the possibility of Hurricane Florence heading in our direction. With all of you, we are hoping that the storm will remain well off-shore.
Given both South Carolina's recent history with weather events over the past three years we recognize that this can be an anxiety-provoking event. As a service to members and other contacts, we'd like to provide you all with resources that we hope will help you, your colleagues, and your students in the upcoming days and weeks. Please feel free to share with your friends. We intend periodically update information via email, our website, and social media (Facebook and Twitter).
We hope that all of you will remain safe during this time. We know that as a community and as school psychologists, we will find ways to support one another in the days ahead.
NASP has put together resources and a helpful infographic:
Message from the President, Philip Young:
This is a time of excitement and change in our state. These changes represent a very real potential for significant impact on our role within the public schools. Change can be hard, slow, and frustrating. Change can also be an opportunity. SCASP is working hard to help our profession and our members by identifying, advocating, and preparing for what the future of school psychology looks like in our state.
I am grateful for my time as the president-elect of SCASP, which allowed me to develop my leadership skills. School psychologists are leaders. We lead data teams, evaluation teams, crisis response teams, and problem-solving teams. We are trained in consultation and experts in data-based decision making. Sometimes I sit with colleagues and hear them complain about their directors of special education, principals, superintendents, or make excuses about the lack of RTI, behavior supports, or progress monitoring in their district. Ken Blanchard said, “The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” Although most of us are not in positions of authority, we are in positions of great influence, even if we do not recognize it. Mitt Romney said, “Leadership is about taking responsibility, not making excuses.”
Let’s make this upcoming year about taking responsibility and using our influence to make positive changes where we are able. SCASP is committed to using our influence to be a part of the solutions and changes taking place in our state.
In my opinion, one of the most exciting recent changes was the passage of Act No. 213 that was signed by the governor on May 18th, 2018. Often referred to as the “dyslexia bill” this new legislation mandates that “The State Department of Education shall establish and provide training and support for a statewide MTSS framework that must contain a common data-based problem-solving model, ongoing student assessment, and a layered continuum of supports using evidence-based practices.” School psychologists should be seen as a resource to their districts as they work to implement an MTSS framework. Given this new focus on MTSS, we are working to bring in national leaders for the SCASP Spring Conference to provide professional development around this important topic. In addition, I am honored to represent SCASP and school psychologists by participating on the Learning Disorders Taskforce that created as a part of Act No. 213.
This year I will focus on leadership and the development of school psychologist leaders so that we can be at the forefront of implementing MTSS in our state. To that end, SCASP will be sponsoring a School Psychologist Round-table meeting where lead school psychologists from every district in the state will have an opportunity to collaborate, network, and receive professional development.
We are also excited to collaborate with the state department of education on updating the eligibility criteria guidelines (formerly known as the SEED). Many of our board members have been working with the state department to ensure the new guidelines represent best practices. We plan to review the proposed guidelines at our fall conference and provide ongoing feedback until they are finalized.
Now is the time to exercise our influence and develop our leadership skills. If you have not already, please consider joining us during this exciting time in our organization and state. We have plenty of opportunities for collaboration and need our collective wisdom and brainpower to accomplish our goals. Please reach out to your regional representative or send us an email. I can be reached anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow me on Twitter @SchoolPsychPhil
“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.” ― C. JoyBell C.
If you are a SCASP member head over to our archive of the newsletters in the members section to read the latest edition of School Psych Scene.
The South Carolina Association of School Psychologists is a membership organization that empowers school psychologists to advance the learning and mental health of students in South Carolina.