Session Descriptions

Pre-Convention Workshops
Thursday, November 2, 2017

8:00AM–3:00PM (CPD – 6 hours)
Executive Function in the Everyday Context: The Evidence for Screening, Assessment, Intervention, and Progress Monitoring
Gerard Gioia, Ph.D., George Washington University School of Medicine

The executive functions contribute demonstrably to children’s success in the academic, social, emotional and behavioral domains, and executive dysfunction contributes to a wide range of clinical conditions. In this presentation, we will discuss the different methods and measures to screen and assess the executive functions, and the array of profiles that are manifested in clinical populations. We will also focus on how these assessments inform the intervention process, including the monitoring of the intervention’s outcome. Relatedly, the school psychologist’s role in concussion management as it involves the executive functions will be highlighted as an example.

8:15AM–4:15PM (CPD – 6 hours)
School-Based Motivational Interviewing: Evoking Change Talk and Rolling with Resistance
Gill Strait, Ph.D., University of Houston – Clear Lake

High caseloads, budget shortfalls, and time constraints often inhibit School Psychologists from delivering intervention and consultative services. To meet these challenges, there is a need for brief and efficient consultative and intervention tools such as School-Based Motivational Interviewing (SBMI; Frey et al., 2013; Lee et al., 2014; Reinke et al., 2008; Strait et al., 2012). Therefore in this workshop, attendees will learn and practice SBMI skills and processes that help students and teacher set goals and adopt plans for change. In addition, attendees will learn strategies for building a working alliance with students and teachers who prefer the status quo.

Convention Kick-off
Thursday, November 2, 2017

Cocktail Rounds & CALC/Awards Ceremony
Mindi Jeter, TASP Awards and Honors Chair

Enjoy light snacks and a cash bar while celebrating this year’s award winners for Outstanding School Psychologist (Specialist and Doctoral levels), Outstanding Graduate Students (Specialist and Doctoral levels), Outstanding Service to the Profession, and Outstanding Delivery of School Psychological Services. Learn more about this year’s sponsored organization Love for Kids -


Update from the TSBEP
Darrel Spinks, JD & Board Members, Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists

Recap information from the 85th Legislative Session and Special Session. Hear the latest news of what to expect regarding licensure.

KEY NOTE ADDRESS - Making Connections
John Kelly, Ph.D., President, National Association of School Psychologists

This inspirational presentation will focus on the crucial connections that school psychologists often make with students, which result in transformative experiences in students' lives.

Friday, November 3, 2017

8:15–11:30AM (CPD – 3)
Restorative Justice: Using Current Skillsets to Influence Positive Change
Sara Glennon, Ph.D., Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District

Restorative Justice has become an increasingly familiar terms within the field of School Psychology, particularly with respect to addressing disproportionality in school discipline. This presentation will assist participants in 1) gaining a better understanding of Restorative Justice, including components that comprise its use, evidence supporting its implementation, and why such efforts are critical within our practice; 2) implementing components of Restorative Justice using a tiered-based approach similar to PBIS models; and 3) incorporating skillsets inherent within the practice of School Psychology to guide Restorative Justice efforts within schools. This presentation is intended for practitioners of all experience levels.

8:15-11:30AM (CPD – 3)
Manifest Determination: A Case Study Approach
Ginger Gates, Ph.D., Region 4 Education Service Center & Gail Cheramie, Ph.D., University of Houston – Clear Lake

This workshop will 1) review the legal mandates and examine decision points for manifestation determination given a specific case, 2) review selected MDR due process hearings to highlight trends, and 3) present case studies that will culminate in the written report recommended for presentation at the MDR ARD committee meeting.

8:15-11:30AM (CPD – 3)
SEL 2.0: Promoting Social-Emotional and Character Development and Positive, Participatory School Culture and Climate
Maurice Elias, Ph.D., Rutgers University

We now know that the route to academic improvement does not go through repeated drills and a focus on weakness. Inspiration and aspiration precede remediation. For students’ success, social-emotional and character development within positive school and classroom culture and climate must be emphasized. Further, to turn on the learner’s on-switch, we must activate youth voice and empowerment. We will learn classroom-based, small group, individual, and school-wide intervention approaches to transform student motivation and behavior useful for Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 interventions. Those with all levels of background will find ideas and practices to carry out “Monday morning.”

8:15-11:30AM (CPD – 3)
Assessment of English Language Learners: Evidence-based Evaluation and Practice
Sam Ortiz, Ph.D., St John’s University

This presentation provides a review of the relationship among linguistic, cognitive, and academic development and the application of research regarding EL evaluation within a practical, systematic framework. Specific procedures are presented which permit any evaluator to conduct assessments of English learners that generate valid data to support conclusions and diagnostic decisions regarding English learners. Topics include: understanding bias in testing; issues regarding test score validity; advantages and disadvantages of typical methods for evaluating English learners; the importance of “true peer” comparisons, research foundations and use of the Culture-Language Test Classifications and Interpretive Matrix, integration of the Ortiz PVAT in conducting EL evaluations. 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.

8:00-9:30AM (CPD – 1.5)
Maximizing Parental Involvement in Secondary School Behavior Interventions
Courtney Swisher Banks, Sam Houston State University

In the midst of prevention as the foundation for intervention, does the school parent involvement model match tiered behavior support initiatives? This presentation will identify best practices for collaborating with parents of intermediate and secondary school students receiving tiers two and three behavior interventions. Specifically, discussion will focus on best practices to increase consistent and generalization of messages in adopted behavior interventions. Upon the conclusion of the presentation, the LSSP will be able to identify the types and trends of parental involvement and examine the role of the LSSP in promoting home and school collaboration in tiered behavior interventions.

10:00-11:30AM (CPD – 1.5)
Through a Different Lens: Working in Schools with Children Who Have Experienced Maltreatment
Julia Englund Strait, Hannah Hartnett, Sarah Praytor, & Kimberly Ann-Nicholson, University of Houston – Clear Lake

One in 4 U.S. students will experience a traumatic event before age 16. You have likely worked with children who have experienced maltreatment already, and as rates increase, you will definitely work with these children in the future. Even without formal training in diagnosing PTSD or delivering manualized treatments focused on abuse and neglect, school psychologists have a vital role to play in helping other educators understand how children’s backgrounds impact their academic and behavioral functioning. Learn how trauma impacts development and behavior and receive ready-to-use tools, resources, and recommendations for trauma-informed assessment, consultation, and intervention practices in school settings. 

8:00-9:30AM (CPD – 1.5 hour)
Culturally Responsive Interdisciplinary Crisis Intervention
Michelle E. Pastorek, Ronda S. Reyna, Traci Schluter, Caryn Darwin, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD

Getting a call from your campus administrator making you aware of a crisis event is a challenging experience. Engaging in culturally-responsive crisis intervention ensures that a strengths-based approach can be achieved. Due to the ever-changing dynamics of school-based crises, interdisciplinary crisis responses are often necessary to ensure the best outcomes. Key factors in successful interdisciplinary crisis response include effective communication, relationship building and ongoing reflection. Sharpen your skills by learning components of a culturally responses crisis framework, approaches to build relationships, and steps to yield prepared support staff from practitioners working in a large urban/suburban district. 

9:45–10:45AM (CPD – 1 hour)
Partnering School Psychologists and Families to Promote Postsecondary Education Preparation for Latino Students
Rebecca R. Johnson, Jorge E. Gonzalez, University of Houston

This paper explores how school psychologists can partner with families to support Latino youth’s access to college by providing information on keys to college, college readiness, college knowledge, financial awareness, and career exploration—all sources of support for families with college-aspiring youth. In this presentation, school psychologists will learn how to partner with parents of diverse youth to support them and build their social capital as they seek a college education for their youth.

CONNECTION LUNCHEON ($15 Ticket Required - must be purchased with registration) **CLOSED** as of 10/24/2017

Enjoy this luncheon with colleagues across the state. It’s a great time to catch up with friends and make new ones!

Poster Session

Check out the recent research being conducted by scholars.

1:00-4:15PM (CPD – 3 hours)
Autism and Educational Need: Assessment and Identification in School-Based Evaluations
Sarah Mire, Ph.D., University of Houston

As school psychologists are increasingly tasked with assessing for the presence of autism and related educational need, understanding both clinical diagnosis (i.e., DSM-5) or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and educational classification (i.e. IDEIA) of AU is critical. Participants will learn about 1) which key domains to include in the multifaceted assessment of school-age children who are suspected of having this disability; 2) instruments and techniques for approaching multidisciplinary evaluations; 3) important differential diagnostic and comorbidity indicators; and 4) conceptualizing these data to inform subsequent service planning. Participants’ previous experience with students with AU are targeted during this presentation.

1:00-4:15PM (CPD – 3 hours)
Disproportionality in School Discipline and the Role of the LSSP
Clynita Grafenreed, Ph.D., Region 4 Educational Service Center

National and Texas data indicate that students from culturally diverse backgrounds and students receiving special education services have a higher probability of being excluded from general education classrooms because of disciplinary practices. Educators, politicians, community leaders, and professional organizations including the National Association of School Psychologists recognize the crisis of disproportionality and advocate for the use of equitable practices for all children. During this session, we will 1) explore disproportionality in school discipline, 2) analyze the impact of disproportionality on student achievement, 3) discuss strategies to increase equity and achievement, and 4) discuss the role of the LSSP in addressing disproportionality in school discipline.

1:00-4:15PM (CPD – 3 hours)
Trainers’ Meeting
Jennifer Schroeder, Ph.D., Texas A&M – Commerce

This meeting is an opportunity for university and field-based trainers to discuss the issues impacting training within the field of School Psychology.

1:00-4:15PM (CPD – 3 Hours)
Legal Update: Top 20 Special Education Hits for 2017
Dianna Bowen, JD, Thompson & Horton, LLP

Endrew F., service animals, transgender students, mental health, and Medicaid are just a few of the most enlightening developments in special education law for 2017. Special education school attorney, Dianna D. Bowen will give you a Casey Kasem-style countdown covering the most recent and important court cases, due process hearing opinions, and legal developments that every special education provider needs to know. Dianna will break down the latest changes in special education law and provide lessons learned as well as best practice tips you can use to steer your schools in the right direction away from the courtroom. This session will be limited to the first 120 people registered.

1:00-4:15PM (CPD – 3 hours)
The Provision of School-Based Mental Health Services within a Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Framework
John Kelly, Ph.D., President, National Association of School Psychologists

School psychologists are uniquely positioned in schools to facilitate the development, delivery, and monitoring of prompt, effective, and culturally responsive mental and behavioral health services of prevention and intervention. This presentation will introduce the participants to a Multi-tiered System of Support framework for providing mental health services in schools. Specific intervention strategies and the role of the school psychologist in implementing these strategies will be discussed.

1:00-2:30PM (CPD – 1.5)
Writing Effective and Informed Behavior Goals for the IEP: The SMART Approach
Ryan H. Hinojosa, SSP, and Anita Sohn McCormick, Ph.D., Texas A&M University

Geared towards individuals with behavioral and social-emotional disabilities, the proposed workshop will highlight problems in the use of individualized education programs (IEPs) to guide implementation of evidence-based interventions (EBIs) and structure progress monitoring of individualized goal performance. Key issues include poor goal selection resulting from misuse of assessment data and failure to incorporate empirical facets of an effective goal. Attendees will use assessment data to practice writing effective goals for the target population, identify EBIs appropriate for the target
behaviors, and collaborate with others to trouble-shoot common barriers to implementation and progress monitoring of the IEP. 

2:45-4:15PM (CPD – 1.5)
Linking FBAs and BIPs Using a Competing Behavior Pathway
Crystal Hansen, LSSP, Kip Childers, LSSP, Mary Beth Morgan, LSSP, & Sandra Thomas, LSSP

An essential responsibility of LSSPs is completing Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBA) and developing behavior intervention plans. Competing Behavior Pathways (CBP) is a tool that organizes and systematizes tailoring interventions following the FBA. It serves as a link between the FBA and Behavior Intervention Plan. Through comprehensive planning a CBP facilitates the development of a behavior intervention plan around a hypothesis statement, identifies competing behavioral alternatives, and needed strategies. Learners will be able to: Identify key components of a CBP detail how to effectively use this tool with a team, and develop a CBP following an FBA. 

1:00-2:30PM (CPD – 1.5)
No Better Time to ACT Than Now: An Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in the School Setting
Kristina Harper, MA, Whitney Urane, MS, Staci Schield, MA, Laurel Casillas, MA, Kristin Streich, SSP/LSSP/NCSP, & Yarden Ran MA, University of Houston – Clear Lake

The purpose of this presentation is to introduce the DNA-V model (Hayes & Ciarrochi, 2015), which integrates concepts of ACT and positive psychology into a developmentally appropriate therapy for adolescents. The DNA-V model uses metaphorical skills (discoverer, noticer, advisor) and one’s context (self and social) to help adolescents foster mindfulness and increase psychological flexibility. Additionally, we will discuss how the components of the DNA-V model correspond with social emotional learning in the classroom. Lastly, the audience will learn specific exercises to help students formulate core values and develop plans of committed action, as well as, mindfulness and thought defusion techniques.

2:45-4:15PM (CPD – 1.5)
Using the Good Behavior Game to Improve Student Classroom Performance
Laura Martinez, Brook Roberts, & Rosario Moreno, Texas Tech University

The School Psychology team at Texas Tech utilized knowledge on Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) to develop individual interventions for problem behavior. Low teacher buy-in and fidelity of implementation required a modified approach. The Good Behavior Game (GBG), an evidence-based intervention, has been shown to be effective improving class-wide behavior. This study used the GBG to reduce problem behaviors during transitions, while addressing teacher fidelity. This mini-skills training will achieve the following learning objectives: 1) Train teachers how to implement the GBG in their classrooms. 2) Address possible teacher buy-in challenges. 3) Adapt the GBG to address different teacher needs.

Graduate Student Session
Kristin Streich, TASP Graduate Student Representative

This session will assist graduate students with navigating the internship process and beyond.  We will discuss how graduate students could best prepare for internship, what to expect during internship, how to prepare for the licensure exam, and things to consider when applying/interviewing for a job.  There will also be a question and answer time to ask the presenter questions relevant to your particular experience. 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

8:45AM-12:00PM (CPD – 3 hours)
Bullying Prevention to Intervention: Research to Practice
Kris Varjas, Psy.D., Georgia State University

The presenter will summarize a body of work investigating bullying prevention/intervention efforts in K-12 schools. We will discuss the Formative/Research phases of the Participatory Culture-Specific Intervention Model (PCSIM) including an overview of evidence-based bullying prevention/intervention programs followed by steps for stakeholders to take within your school to understand this phenomenon utilizing data-based decision making. We will then review the Intervention phases of PCSIM to highlight intervention efforts working with victims, perpetrators, and bystanders. Examples of curricula implemented with individuals, groups, and within classrooms will be provided. This presentation will help participants to identify, adapt, implement, and evaluate a bullying prevention/intervention program.

8:45AM-12:00PM (CPD – 3 hours)
Multiculturalism and Consultation in the Schools
Felicia Castro-Villarreal, Ph.D., University of Texas – San Antonio

This presentation will focus on cultural and linguistic diversity in the school to highlight the necessity for culturally responsive practices and to provide context for detailed discussion and application of consultation as a service delivery model in K-12 school settings. Frameworks for cultural adaptation in consultation will be discussed followed by a review of research in culturally responsive school consultation. Attendees will learn current national and state level student demographics, engage in exercises for critical self-examination toward culturally responsive practice, and practice techniques for making cultural adaptations in consultation with teachers.

8:45AM-12:00PM (CPD – 3 hours)
Ethics Round Table Discussion
Gail Cheramie, Ph.D., University of Houston – Clear Lake; Laurie Klose, Ph.D., Trinity University; & Jon Lasser, Ph.D., Texas State University

The Ethics Round Table Discussion will provide an opportunity for practitioners, students, administrators, and other participants to gain perspectives from experts in the field regarding the ethical and legal dilemmas associated with assessment, intervention, and supervision. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of the expert panel related to ethics and law.

8:45AM-12:00PM (CPD – 3 hours)
Best Practices for Related Service Evaluations: Counseling/Psychological Services, Parent Training, In-Home Training, and Community Based Training
Carol Booth, Ph.D.

This workshop will provide a brief overview of the legal requirements for a related services evaluation, but most importantly the workshop will focus on the practical components of a related service evaluation that will assist the LSSP in the development of the IEP and progress monitoring. Participants who have some exposure to the assessment and IEP process will benefit from this workshop; however, it is anticipated that even experienced LSSPs may find the assessment templates, samples, discussion of evaluation measures, and progress monitoring tools useful. Learner objectives will be for the participant to be able to 1) identify the necessary data sources (formal and informal assessment measures) for different types of related service evaluations; 2) integrate traditional assessment data and nontraditional observation and interview data specific to the student’s needs into the related service evaluation; 3) select appropriate evaluation report templates for different situations; and 4) prepare effective, objective progress summaries for related services. This workshop is now closed (10/23/2017).

8:45-10:15AM (CPD – 1.5 hours)

Developing Evidence-Based Recommendations within Evaluation Reports
Elise Hendricker, Ph.D. & Shannon Viola, Ph.D., University of Houston – Victoria

This mini-skills presentation is designed to help school psychology practitioners strengthen recommendations within their evaluation reports. The presentation will discuss guidelines for tailoring recommendations to ensure they are individualized with an emphasis on student data, strengths, and needs. Specific strategies will be discussed to ensure that recommendations are user-friendly for teachers and parents and can be implemented with fidelity. Resources for finding evidence-based recommendations and intervention strategies across academic, behavioral, social and emotional domains will be shared with participants. A case example will be utilized to guide participants in applying these learning objectives to a student’s evaluation data. 

10:30AM-12:00PM (CPD – 1.5 hours)
Neuroimaging 101
Amy Shatila, LSSP/NCSP & Kelsey Theis, SSP/LSSP

Contemporary neuroimaging techniques are used to identify structural damage to the brain and provide supporting physiological evidence for symptoms following a brain injury (Bigler, 2013). Neuroimaging results can assist school psychologists in better understanding the consequences of a TBI as they conduct school-based psychoeducational assessments of children with TBI. Presenters will discuss neuroimaging and implications for school psychologists. Differentiation between imaging techniques and how to read scans will be included.

8:00-9:00AM (CPD – 1 hour)
Specific Statutory Language Relevant to Special Education Eligibility: Through the Lens of Legislative Intent and Case Law
Robert D. Lackey, Ph.D., Spartan Consulting

School Psychologists (LSSPs) are expected to use psychological methods and techniques to answer psycho-legal questions. As such, a knowledge and understanding of the statutorial requirements of the law is paramount to accurately providing information related to the disability questions posed by Admission Review and Dismissal committees. This paper will explore and address the unique decision-based statute [(300.8(c)(1)(ii))] associated with the eligibility criteria of Autism [(300.8(c)(1)(i), 89.1040(c)(1)]. The decision-based statute includes the language: Autism does not apply if the child’s educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an Emotional Disturbance. Attendees will understand this unique aspect of this eligibility criteria as well as learn aspects of analyzing evaluation data to make this decision.

9:15-10:15AM (CPD – 1 hour)
Functional Cattell-Horn-Carroll (F-CHC) Nomenclature and Its Relationship to Selective Assessment
Daniel C. Miller, Denise E. Maricle, Richard Woodcock, Texas Woman’s University; Ryan McGill, College of William and Mary

The purpose of this paper is to present the Functional-CHC (F-CHC) nomenclature as proposed by Woodcock, Miller, Maricle, and McGill (2017) and to introduce participants to a selective assessment approach for academic abilities and skills based on research with over 6,000 clinical cases.

10:30-11:30AM (CPD – 1 hour)
Middle School Teachers’ Mental Health Training, Knowledge, & Perceived Roles: School Psychologists’ Potential Contribution
Nancy Peña Razo, Ph.D., LSSP, Federico R. Guerra Jr., Ed.D., Javier Cavazos, Ph.D., & Ashwini Tiwari, Ph.D., University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Although School Psychologists are responsible for providing training and intervention for students’ mental health issues, it is important to have well-trained teachers who can intervene and refer, when necessary. This session will focus on disseminating results of a research study that surveyed teachers regarding their knowledge, perceptions, training, and role in mental health. Results will inform school psychologists on how to help teachers who can in turn help students dealing with mental health issues.