School Psychology

Conference Program

Conference Program

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

37th Annual School Psychology Conference

Healthy Communities, Healthy Schools: 
Strengthening Student Well-Being

Friday, March 02, 2018
8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Howard Gittis Student Center
1755 N. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA

Schedule of Events (Details Coming Soon!)
Time Description


Registration and Continental Breakfast

Howard Gittis Student Center, “The Underground”


Welcome and Remarks


Keynote Address: Addressing the Opioid Crisis

Marsha Zibalese-Crawford, PhD, MSW 
Devin Reaves, MSW

The nation’s opioid epidemic shows no signs of stopping as the latest statistics showing that 59,000 to 65,000 people died of overdoses last year, with a harder, but likely imprecise, number of 62,497. Heroin use is on the rise as prescription painkiller prices increase, leading patients to switch to cheaper alternatives. The President has declared it a public health emergency; a move that will waive regulations and free up resources to help in the battle of education, rehabilitation and prevention. 

This session will address briefly the current state of the opioid crisis, identify where progress has been made, what policy gaps need to be filled to reduce addiction, abuse and dependence — and save lives, and provide those who work with youth a better understand of the critical importance of prevention at the community level, so that those in need receive the appropriate services.

Workshop Objectives

Participants will:

  1. Identify the opiate and heroin overdose problem and the risk factors.
  2. Explain the effects of policy and the current economic and political landscape on youth and adults
  3. Identify practical application tools for youth



Morning Workshops

Evidence-based Evaluation of English Learners: A contemporary approach to testing for all practitioners.
Presenter:  Samuel Ortiz, PhD

This presentation outlines an evidence-based approach to evaluating English learners with emphasis on contemporary methods for using tests in a nondiscriminatory manner. Specific procedures are presented which permit any evaluator to conduct assessments of English learners in a manner that can generate valid data to support conclusions and diagnostic decisions. Advances in tests and testing will be presented, including the dual-norming feature of the Ortiz PVAT and its utility in resolving the question of “difference vs. disorder.”

Workshop Objectives

Participants will:

  1. Explain the true nature of bias in testing as a function of construct validity.
  2. Identify the limitations of various approaches to testing English learners and the extent to which validity is undermined by cultural and linguistic factors.
  3. Apply specific procedures (including use of the Ortiz PVAT) for making “true peer” comparisons.

The Elephant in the Room: Assessment and Management of Suicide Risk
Presenter: Terri Erbacher, PhD

The ability to conduct an informed suicide risk assessment is a vital skill for clinicians. This session will focus on identifying often hidden warning signs and risk factors, building a therapeutic alliance, utilizing assessment tools, effectively conducting suicide risk assessment interviews, and determining level of suicide risk. Practitioners attending this workshop will gain an understanding of how to monitor suicidal behavior over time, plan treatment, and will conclude with a comprehensive case review to ensure practical understanding of the material presented. Attendees will leave this workshop with many specific strategies and skills that can be implemented immediately.

Workshop Objectives

Participants will:

  1. Conceptualize risk factors and warning signs of suicidal behavior
  2. Conduct and document a comprehensive suicide risk assessment
  3. Assess level of risk and apply strategies to treatment plan and monitor suicide risk over time




Afternoon Workshops

Ethics in the Digital Age
Presenter: Barbara Boles-Williams, PhD, NCSP

This workshop will provide participants with knowledge and understanding of their ethical responsibilities regarding the use of electronic communication and digital technology.  Discussion will focus on interpretation of the NASP’s 2010 Principles for Professional Ethics related to these challenging areas.  Participants will learn and practice a problem-solving model to process actual cases involving issues presented to school psychologists surrounding professional use of electronic communication and digital technology.

Workshop  Objectives
Participants will be able to:
  1. Become familiar with ethical responsibilities related to the use of electronic communication and digital technology
  2. Learn a general ethical and professional practices (EPP) problem-solving model
  3. Practice the model in small groups


Re-examining Conduct Disorder Through the Lens of Complex Trauma
Presenters: Jessica Linick, PhD, Akeem Marsh, M.D., Jennifer Cabrera, M.D., and Lara Cox, M.D., M.S.

The field of psychology is increasingly recognizing the importance of trauma and traumatic experiences, as evidenced by an extensive revision of the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder diagnosis, as well as the creation of a Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders section in the DSM 5. Conduct Disorder has also undergone an important clinical modification for the 21st century, with the addition of the specifier “with limited prosocial emotions.” However, full appreciation of the fundamental relationship of trauma to conduct-related disorders is still lacking. This symposium aims to demonstrate, through use of a case study and review of the literature, that understanding and treating trauma is a necessary and fundamental component of strategies to mitigate the potential negative long-term outcomes of Conduct Disorder. In this symposium, we will 1) describe the impact of trauma and disrupted attachment on behaviors associated with Conduct Disorder; 2) discuss the overlap between the epidemiology, phenomenology, and neurobiology of trauma and Conduct Disorder, including discussion of the proposed diagnosis of Developmental Trauma Disorder; 3) review the current evidence-based treatments for Conduct Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, including psychopharmacology; 4) illustrate the consequences of failing to address trauma in youth diagnosed with Conduct Disorder and the broader ramifications of this failure on an individual and societal level; and 5) discuss implications for the educational settings and interventions that can be used with traumatized youth. Throughout the symposium, we utilize a common case example to better illustrate the concepts described. Overall, we will encourage attendees to think about how they can incorporate knowledge related to the overlap of attachment, trauma, and behavioral disorders into their clinical practice, as well as provide practical tools to both conceptualize and work with individuals presenting with these challenges.

Workshop Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  1. Identify risk factors for, and the impacts of, trauma and disrupted attachment on social-emotional development
  2. Discuss the overlap in the epidemiology and phenomenology of trauma-related symptoms and Conduct Disorder
  3. Discuss the current evidence-based treatments for Conduct Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
  4. Illustrate the consequences of failing to address trauma in youth diagnosed with Conduct Disorder and the broader ramifications of this failure on an individual and societal level.
  5. Provide implications, including interventions, for use within a school setting


**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 Thursday and Friday evening .  For more information, call the Conwell Inn at 215-235-6200 or visit their website**