• ISPA Position Statement (Sept. 2021)
    by ISPA Web on September 24, 2021 at 10:59 am

    The International School Psychology Association (ISPA) promotes principles and practices that aim to advance unprejudiced and inclusive personal, social, and cultural values and attitudes, and act in ways that are in the best interest of children and youth, educators, parents, institutions, communities, and the profession. School psychologists are committed to the principle that the contributions [...] The post ISPA Position Statement (Sept. 2021) appeared first on ISPA.

  • LGBTQ+ Suicide Prevention
    by noreply@blogger.com (Psyched About School) on September 21, 2021 at 6:32 pm

    If you or someone you know is suicidal, get help immediately via 911, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or the Crisis Text Line (text “HOME” to 741741).September is Suicide Prevention Month! Although September is recognized as THE month to share information and resources about suicide intervention and prevention, it is something that should be talked about all year long. The more we talk about it, the more we NORMALIZE talking about it. If we are able to make these conversations less taboo, individuals experiencing suicidal ideation and/or behavior may be more likely to ask for help without the fear of being judged. Suicide is preventable, but sadly is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, with almost 50,000 deaths occuring by suicide in 2019 [1].  Unfortunately, for youth between the ages of 10 and 24, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death [2]. Furthermore, when compared to heterosexual youth, LGBTQ+ youth are thought to be at an even greater risk. It is important to note that any statistics on this matter are likely not completely accurate and should be interpreted with caution. One might hypothesize that the statistics available about LGBTQ+ individuals and suicide are underreported. This is because the statistics do not include all of the individuals who may not have felt comfortable sharing their sexual orientation or gender identity. Additionally, death records do not include this information, but rather report the person’s age, sex, and race. You might be wondering why LGBTQ+ youth are at an even greater risk than heterosexual youth for suicidal ideation or behavior… We will talk about it, but first let’s talk about what “LGBTQ+” means. You may have heard or seen “LGBTQ+” and were unsure of what it means exactly. That is okay! The fact that you are here shows that you are willing to learn! LGBTQ+ is an initialism that is ever-evolving and is meant to refer to all communities included in “LGBTTTQQIAA”. Because it is ever-evolving, not all individuals agree on some of the terms used. The most important thing is to be open-minded, respectful, and use the terms that individuals share that they prefer. Here is a breakdown of LGBTTTQQIAA:L-LesbianG-GayB-BisexualT-TransgenderT-TransexualT-Two (2)-SpiritedQ-QueerQ-QuestioningI-IntersexA-AsexualA-Ally+Pansexual, +Agender, +Gender Queer, +Bigender, +Gender Variant, +Pangender For additional definitions/descriptions, click here. [9]So, why is it that LGBTQ+ youth are at a greater risk than heterosexual youth? Well… there are a number of variables. These individuals are at a greater risk for experiencing internal risk factors such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and other mental health difficulties. They are also at a greater risk for experiencing external risk factors, such as social isolation, substance abuse, prejudice, discrimination, family rejection, bullying, cyberbullying, harrassment, and mistreatment. In addition to these factors, some experience additional vulnerability due to the lack of laws and policies that protect them from discrimination [4]. These factors contribute to the overall level of risk of suicidal ideation and/or behavior in our LGBTQ+ youth. (Please note that not all LGBTQ+ youth experience these risk factors. Additionally, out of those who have experienced some or all of the associated risk factors, not all have struggled with suicidal ideation or behavior.) While it is important to be aware of these risk factors, it is equally as important to emphasize protective factors. As mentioned above, not all who experience these risk factors will experience difficulties with suicidal ideation or behavior. Protective factors play an important role in the health and well-being of our LGBTQ+ youth. Some of these protective factors include family and peer support, connectedness to the school and community, the ability to problem-solve, access to medical and mental health support, healthy coping skills, resiliency, beliefs that discourage self-harm or suicidal behavior, and limited access to lethal means [4, 5]. A focus on emphasizing and strengthening these protective factors will help to protect our LGBTQ+ youth against suicide. For WARNING SIGNS to look out for, click here. How to SupportIf you are concerned that someone may be dealing with suicidal ideation or behavior…Start a conversation with them. Talk to them privately. Listen to their story without judgement: This might seem awkward to you or you might not be sure where to start. The important thing is that you express your concern, that you care, and that you would like to help. It could be the move that saves a life! Here are some examples of ways you can begin the conversation: “Hey, we haven’t talked in a while. How are you?”“Are you OK? You don’t seem like yourself lately.”“Hey, you seemed frustrated today. I’m here for you.”“Seems like something’s up. Do you want to talk about what’s going on?”“I’m worried about you and would like to know what’s up so I can help.” It is okay to ask directly about suicide. Confirm whether they have thoughts about dying or suicide. Do not agree to keep secrets that involve their safety. It is never okay to share someone else’s sexual orientation or gender identity without their permission. If someone is experiencing suicidal ideation or struggling with suicidal behavior, there are ways to get help without “outing” them. If the person is having thoughts about dying or suicide, remain calm. Avoid discussions about the value of life, giving advice, or minimizing their problems. Reassure that there is help and that these feelings will not last forever. Encourage them to seek professional support.  [6,7,8]. If you fear that the person is at imminent risk: Provide constant supervision. Do not leave them alone. Remove any means for self-harm.Get help. Getting help may look like: informing their parent(s)/guardian(s), calling 911 or other emergency hotlines listed below, or transporting them to somewhere to be seen immediately by a medical professional (Emergency Department or Urgent Care Clinic).Continue to be a support for that person. Follow up with them after they have received help. Continue to check in with them and be there for them. Some may initially feel betrayed by your actions. That is OKAY. Remind them that you got them help because you care about their safety. Be kind to yourself, too. It can be difficult when someone you care about feels as though you betrayed them, especially when you were acting in their best interest! Keep in mind that you did the right thing by protecting their health and safety. Give yourself grace. Assistance and ResourcesIn an emergency, call 911.National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)To text with a trained counselor from the Crisis Text line for free (24/7): Text TALK to 741741The Trevor Project: TrevorLifeline: 1-866-488-7386TrevorText: Text TREVOR to 1-202-304-1200TrevorChat: Via thetrevorproject.orgTrans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860Sources For Blog: [1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019[2] CDC, NCIPC. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. (2010) {2013 Aug. 1}.  Available from:www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars[3] CDC. (2016). Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contacts, and Health-Risk Behaviors Among Students in Grades 9-12: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.[4] https://www.lgbtmap.org/file/talking-about-suicide-and-lgbt-populations-2nd-edition.pdf[5] https://afsp.org/risk-factors-protective-factors-and-warning-signs#protective-factors[6] https://seizetheawkward.org/conversation/starting-the-conversation [7] www.afsp.org/lgbtq[8] https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/mental-health-resources/preventing-youth-suicide [9] https://ok2bme.ca/resources/kids-teens/what-does-lgbtq-mean/ 

  • SPP: 132: Evidence Based Writing Instruction and Intervention
    by schoolpsychedpodcast on September 19, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    SPP 132: Evidence Based Writing Instruction and Intervention Special thanks to MedTravelers for sponsoring this episode! https://www.medtravelers.com/SchoolPsyched/ #psychedpodcast is excited to speak with Dr. Steve Graham https://education.asu.edu/about/people/steve-graham Steve Graham is the Warner Professor in the Division of Leadership and Innovation in Teachers College. For over 40 years he has studied how writing develops, how to… Continue reading SPP: 132: Evidence Based Writing Instruction and Intervention

  • SPP 131: Helping Students Build Relationships After a Year of Remote Learning
    by schoolpsychedpodcast on September 13, 2021 at 3:38 am

    SPP 131: Helping Students Build Relationships After a Year of Remote Learning We’d like to thank MedTravelers for sponsoring this episode! https://www.medtravelers.com/SchoolPsyched/ Kick off your school year with #psychedpodcast as we speak with Lenore Skenazy from https://www.freerangekids.com/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenore_Skenazy

  • We Are Here to Help.
    by noreply@blogger.com (Psyched About School) on September 10, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    It has been a hard couple of weeks, y’all.  A shooting on the campus of one of our schools is devastating to the entire community.  In addition to responding to that crisis, your W-S/FCS Student Services personnel (counselors, social workers, psychologists and nurses) were also dealing with suicide assessments, threat screenings, and physical and emotional crises (some of these during other school lockdowns) across the District. Schools are statistically VERY safe places for children but, when school shootings do happen, people start looking for answers.  We all want someone or something to blame.  Gun control and metal detectors are the most common responses.   Research has not proven that metal detectors – or other “hardening” of schools with security guards and cameras – have any positive effect on school safety.  In fact, there is evidence that metal detectors can make our students FEEL LESS SAFE at school.  Additional researchsuggests that such measures may actually INCREASE levels of violence in schools.  Please read the research on these practices (nicely summarized here, with links to multiple evidence-based studies). The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) recommends addressing a full continuum of services that lead to improved safety, well-being, and learning for ALL children, instead of simply increasing school building safety measures, such as armed security guards, metal detectors, and surveillance cameras. In the past, I’ve heard Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough make the comment that we have a tendency to “focus on the fruit and ignore the root.”  This continues to resonate with me.  If you want to be a part of the solution, focusing on the “root,” here are some action steps you can take:1.     Complete training to be a bus driver.  Due to shortages, our students are spending a LOT of unstructured time on buses.  Bus drivers have an incredibly important role in keeping students safe.  I don’t know about you but, at the end of a long day of work, I don’t want to hear that my transportation is not available, and I’ll be picked up after another route is already run.  We can eliminate that stress for students.  Let’s show up for our kids by getting them home safely and efficiently at the end of every day.  2.     Join your school’s Parent-Teacher Association.  In one school I serve that has an enrollment of about 1,500 high schoolers, the PTSA had only 52 members two weeks ago – and the majority of those members are teachers.  What message is that sending our students? Or our teachers?  Let’s show up for our kids by demonstrating that their education is important enough for us to also take an active role in the school by joining these groups.3.     Donate to local food banks.  Do you know how many of our students rely on their schools as a primary source of nutrition?  Many of our families struggle with food insecurity.  Food is just one of a child's basic physical needs.  Needs lower down in the hierarchy must be satisfied before individuals can attend to needs higher up, such as relationships, belonging, and a sense of self-esteem and accomplishment.You can find information on how to donate or host a food drive here.  Let’s show up for our kids by making sure that the basic need of food is being addressed.4.       Avoid negative language surrounding mental health.  Our students need to know that it’s okay to not be okay.  Model for them by expressing that you may be feeling upset, angry and scared right now.  We should all be feeling that way.  If you need tips on how to talk to your child about violence, you can find those here and here.  Remind children to look for helpers when they are feeling scared. Some of us have the coping skills to deal with those big feelings but, if not, it has to be okay for us to get professional help. Let’s show up for our kids by normalizing mental health care and getting help for ourselves and for them when it’s needed.  6.  Volunteer as a mentor.  Most individual schools have their own mentoring program and you can reach out to them directly for information.  In the community, the City of Winston-Salem has a variety of volunteer opportunities, including Senior Academy.  The local Big Brothers Big Sisters group has options for volunteering time or making donations.  Additional volunteer opportunities can be found on this WSFCS page.  Let’s show up for our kids by serving as a physical presence and positive role model in their lives.7.  Contact your legislative representatives.  Do you know that there is pending legislation RIGHT NOW on FUNDING for issues such as providing additional mental health resources for all students, supporting the recruitment and retention of school psychologists, and even mandating school-based threat assessment teams to take a proactive approach to help struggling students?  The recommendation for comprehensive service delivery is 1 school psychologist for every 500 students.  I currently serve 3,791, meaning that there should be about 7 of me to fully meet the needs of my students.  (If only cloning were that simple! 😕).  You can also contact our local Forsyth County Board of Education members with your thoughts and concerns.  Let’s show up for our kids by demandingthat our State and Local governments provide the resources and policies we need to ensure the social-emotional well-being of ALL our students.   8.  Finally, this last one is hard for me to express because I’m still processing the events of the last few days.  If I could make only one request for action, it would be this: model self-regulation.  When adults panic, children panic.  Trust your schools to keep children safe when we are notified of an emergency in our community, just as you trust us every day to transport them to and from school, educate them, feed them and build relationships with them.  I’ve yet to meet a principal, school counselor, custodian, teacher, bus driver, cafeteria worker, school resource office, social worker or any other elementary, middle or high school employee who is in this for the money.  😂😅  We’re here because we choose to do everything we can, every single day, to support the overall well-being of our students.   Let’s show up for our kids by modeling trust, patience, compassion, and support for one another in times of crisis.   As always, your W/S-FCS Student Services personnel are here to offer support.  Please don't hesitate to contact us if we can help.  #ItsWhatWeDo

  • 2022 International Conference on the Science of Written Expression (A Virtual Event) January 21st-23rd, 2022
    by ISPA Web on August 31, 2021 at 8:14 am

    Call for Speakers for the 2022 International Conference on the Science of Written Expression (A Virtual Event) January 21st-23rd, 2022. To submit online include a short title (10 words), a 500 word (or less) session abstract and a short (150 word) session description for use in the program. Also please  provide three learning outcomes. The audience will [...] The post 2022 International Conference on the Science of Written Expression (A Virtual Event) January 21st-23rd, 2022 appeared first on ISPA.

  • Amended version of the proposal for the Ethics Code : to vote for on the GA
    by ISPA Web on July 15, 2021 at 8:09 am

    Following yesterday’s Leadership Workshop (July 14), we are publishing this modified version of the Ethics Code proposal. Only minor changes were made after ISPA’s Leadership Workshop and this will be the version to be voted on at the GA this afternoon.   The Ethics Forum is still accessible online and can still be used for posting comments [...] The post Amended version of the proposal for the Ethics Code : to vote for on the GA appeared first on ISPA.

  • Amended version of the proposal for the Ethics Code : to vote for on the GA
    by ISPA Web on July 15, 2021 at 7:54 am

    Following yesterday's Leadership Workshop (July 14), we are publishing this modified version of the Ethics Code proposal. Only minor changes were made after ISPA's Leadership Workshop and this will be the version to be voted on at the GA this afternoon.   The Ethics Forum is still accessible online and can still be used for posting comments [...] The post Amended version of the proposal for the Ethics Code : to vote for on the GA appeared first on ISPA.