School Psychology

Conference Program


The Temple University School Psychology Program, the Association of School Psychologists of Pennsylvania,  and the School District of Philadelphia invite you to join us for the

36th Annual School Psychology Conference

Ensuring Success for All Children
March 10, 2017

Schedule of Events
Time Description


Registration and Continental Breakfast

Howard Gittis Student Center, “The Underground”


Welcome and Remarks


Keynote Address - Children and the Law: How Youth Status determines Legal Status In America

Presenter: Marsha Levick, Esq.

Workshop Objectives:

Participants will:

  • Identify at least two ways in which policy and law have been influenced by recent research on child and adolescent development, and
  • describe the legal status of children in schools and communities.


Morning Workshops

Finding and Nurturing Young Scholars
Presenter: Carol Horn, Ed.D.

Advanced academic potential in students from diverse ethnic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds is often overlooked and unrecognized. The Young Scholars (YS) model is designed to find students with high academic potential from diverse backgrounds at an early age, and to nurture their potential so that they will be prepared to engage in advanced learning opportunities as they progress through the school system. Participants will examine a comprehensive approach to the issue of under-representation with multiple levels of support.

Workshop Objectives

Participants will:

  • Recognize students with advanced academic potential from diverse cultural, linguistic, and ethnic backgrounds
  • Identify the role of the three A’s – advocacy, affirmation, and access to advanced learning opportunities for any child who is capable of being successful
  • Replicate essential elements of the Young Scholars model

Making It Sunnier in Philadelphia: Implementing Multi-tiered System of Supports and School-Based Behavioral Health in an Urban School District
Presenters: Laura Rutherford, PhD; Jennifer Francisco, MEd; and Ellie Heavner, EdS; Devereux Foundation, Center for Effective Schools

Multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) for behavior and school-based behavioral health (SBBH) models are effective for addressing student social development and reducing the need for reactive discipline. However, there are several factors that create barriers to implementation in urban schools, including staff turnover, high rates of problematic behaviors that require intensive support, and scarcity of resources. Therefore, urban implementation requires a more systematic effort than is often required in suburban schools. The purpose of the presentation is to describe a framework developed by the School District of Philadelphia in conjunction with the Devereux Center for Effective Schools to support implementation of MTSS and SBBH.

Workshop Objectives

Participants will:

  • Recognize the importance of utilizing a MTSS framework in urban schools and potential barriers to implementation.
  • Understand how the School District of Philadelphia has developed an internal framework to support implementation of MTSS and SBBH in schools.
  • Identify and problem-solve some unique challenges related to implementing MTSS and SBBH in urban schools.




Afternoon Workshops

Ethical Myths and Mysteries
Presenter: Linda Knauss, PhD, ABPP

Have you ever wondered where conventional wisdom comes from? Do we always have to give clients three names when making a referral, or always warn identified third parties when a client threatens them, and is it really a good idea to get a suicidal client to sign a “suicide contract?” Where are these things written? Where did they come from? This workshop will look at some common risk management and ethical beliefs and examine the rationale behind them. Do these ideas originate in professional standards, principle-based ethics, or are they myths? Clinical vignettes will be presented and participants are encouraged to share their own ethical dilemmas

Workshop Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify common beliefs that are not based on overarching ethical principles.
  • Describe the methodology to be used to identify false or unhelpful ethical or risk management principles.
  • Improve ethical decision making skills.

BrainSTEPS: Supporting Students with Acquired Brain Injury
Presenters: Drew A. Nagele, PsyD, CBIST; and Monica Vaccaro, M.S.; BrainSTEPS Pennsylvania

Children in the United States with acquired brain injury have been historically undercounted, and accordingly, underserved. It is frequently still assumed, incorrectly, that they will “bounce back” from acquired neurological injury/disease, and they will develop normally. Lack of identification of the brain-basis of their disability frequently results in their not being identified for specialized neurorehabilitation services and for not being identified in Special Ed under TBI or OHI. BrainSTEPS is a consulting program available in all PA public schools to help identify children with acquired brain injury who have learning challenges, and to set up the best possible system of learning supports for that child throughout their educational career, including transition to adult roles.

Workshop Objectives

Participants will:

  • Participants will be able to describe mild/moderate/severe acquired brain injury and its major causes and prevalence in the student population, including its disproportionate representation in juvenile justice.
  • Participants will be able to explain the major reasons for under-identification and mis-diagnosis of acquired brain injury, as well as techniques for screening to improve appropriate identification.
  • Participants will be able to demonstrate knowledge of how BrainSTEPS works to identify and support students who have acquired brain injury throughout their academic career, and how to make referrals to BrainSTEPS.
  • Participants will learn how to create accommodations and Individual Educational Plans that embrace cognitive rehabilitation strategies and techniques to assure appropriate learning supports for students with cognitive impairment.
  • Participants will be able to describe the components of WIOA that apply to developing transition plans for students with acquired brain injury ages 14-21, including Work Based Learning Experiences.

**REMINDER: Lunch is on your own.  A food court is available in the building and a list of nearby restaurants will be provided at the conference.  A limited number of rooms are available at the Conwell Inn on the Temple Campus for the evening of March 09.  For more information, call the Conwell Inn at 215-235-6200 or visit their website**