VOL. 43, ISSUE 3, OCT. 2022


  • President's Message
  • Preview of WSASP Fall Conference
  • Impact of Covid-19 on students with low incidence disabilities
  • Experience as an Equity Coach
  • Assessment of Full-Time Virtual Learners Following Pandemic
  • Get Involved- Committee Descriptions
  • Communications Committee Overview
  • WSASP Retention and Recruitment
  • WSASP Leadership
  • WSASP Area Representatives
  • WSASP Committee Chairs
  • Scope Advertising Guidelines
  • Contact WSASP

Presidents Message

Carrie, Ed.S, NCSP, Franklin Pierce Schools

WSASP President

Who would have thought that in 2022 we would fondly look back at “the before times,” when the challenges we faced were compounded versions of the challenges faced by those who came before us? As we enter our schools this fall, we are comfortably situated in COVID times. It has been 3 years since the state-mandated school closures, and for many of us, this is the first year that feels almost normal again. As educators and mental and behavioral health providers, we have come through the initial crisis and are working through the ongoing trauma that is now. We as a community have experienced what felt like insurmountable obstacles. We have supported our staff, our students, and our communities through social, political, and public health crises. We are facing exciting changes in Washington schools. Through all of this, I am proud to have been a part of the WSASP Board and to now be the leader of this organization.

I look forward to connecting with members from across the state in SeaTac October 13-15th for what will be the first conference that may feel “like the before times” since the pandemic started. While there are hybrid options, this conference is primarily in-person with more than 40 in-person sessions to choose from. Our Professional Development Committee has impressed us all in these last three years with their flexibility and skills by pivoting from an in-person conference to a completely virtual conference to a hybrid conference. Now the association is moving forward in the ongoing pandemic by providing high-quality continuing education that is meaningful to all of us. As I look forward to the conference, an event I always enjoy, I find myself reflecting on what we have learned during these long 3 years.

Several things have been brought into the light during the COVID-19 pandemic. One fact made abundantly clear to educators is the significant inequities embedded in our society. Within our organization, we convened a Social Justice Task Force which is working to provide resources for school psychologists to enhance their own professional skills towards the goals of social justice and equity, including a compiled list of reading materials and plans for professional development opportunities coming soon. Simultaneously, as we have been working as a Board to improve our organization, we adopted the NASP Unified Anti-Racism Statement and Call to Action, a non-discrimination policy, the NASP stament on Prejudice, Discrimination, and Racism and the NASP statement on Racial and Ethnic Disproportionality in Education. We recognize the importance of this work as we endeavor to represent and serve ALL school psychologists in Washington, who then in turn endeavor to serve ALL students. We all have to do the work as individuals and organizations to reach this goal. Even prior to the formation of the Social Justice Task Force, WSASP has been vocal in support of legislation pertaining to equity and social justice in education, and this goal continues to be a priority for the Government and Public Relations Committee.

A second fact exposed by this crisis has two components. One being the reminder that our country is experiencing a severe mental health crisis that precedes the pandemic and is ongoing. This crisis impacts our students as well as our communities, our colleagues, and ourselves. The other side being that we as school psychologists are mental health professionals. The work we do addresses the mental and behavioral health needs of our students. Many of us, however, continue to be staffed at a ratio that limits our ability to exercise these skills. The WSASP Mental Health Committee has worked for the last several years to compile and produce wonderful resources to help school psychologists across the state at varying levels of staffing to identify and exercise their mental health skills.

Additionally, the WSASP Government and Public Relations Committee has posted the Advocacy Tool Kit, authored by former president Alex Franks-Thomas, to enable school psychologists to advocate for their role and other needs they have identified in their buildings and districts or going so far as to advocate at the state or national level. The GPR Committee continues to work with lobbyists through WEA to advocate for better working conditions for school psychologists across the state. The WEA ESA Committee is working to highlight and enhance the role of ESA’s within WEA and to enhance the support WEA provides to us as members.

WSASP is a member of the ESA Behavioral Health Coalition. This collaborative group includes representatives from the state organizations for school psychologists, school counselors, school social workers, and school nurses. We work together on our collective advocacy goals. This last year we updated documents designed to assist individuals in their advocacy for our roles and the behavioral and mental health needs of our students. The ESA Behavioral Health Professionals' Roles Specific to Social and Emotional Health and Wellness document is published on our website and has been distributed by OSPI. The Coalition is now working with OSPI and the UW SMART Center on Interconnected Systems Framework, a powerful framework for the provision of collaborative, comprehensive services to meet the behavioral, mental health, and social emotional needs of our students under a Multi-Tiered System of Support.

A third fact highlighted by this pandemic has been the need to finally see the end of the discrepancy model for SLD eligibility in the state. We have known for years that this is not an evidence-based practice, and having to complete comprehensive evaluations without access to in-person testing, many school psychologists learned how to access other sources of data to inform this process. OSPI is working now on the replacement for this model of eligibility, and I am proud to have been selected as a member of the work group addressing this necessary change. Our students deserve better. We have a professional obligation to implement evidence-based practices in evaluation and instruction in order to ensure all students make progress and meet their goals. I believe Washington is taking steps towards that goal which will have a significant and lasting impact, and school psychologists are at the forefront of this work.

Personally, I have also learned that in Washington, and in WSASP, I have a community of peers who appreciate and support me. First I was honored to be elected into this position. Then, after becoming pregnant going into my year as President Elect, I have been offered nothing but support by the WSASP Board members and my own community of school psychologists. While taking maternity leave from work and the Board, I was able to enjoy the time with my new family because I was confident that my colleagues would take care of anything that came up. My son has been attending Board meetings since he was 4 months old and I returned to work, and not one time have I felt uncomfortable or unwelcome due to this. Many women find that having children prevents them from participating in leadership roles, and what I have learned in these last two years is that my community will support me in what I believe I can do. I hope that through the trauma we have collectively experienced, you have also found community and a support network to help you to achieve your goals, personally and professionally.

I love being a school psychologist. It is who I am. It is my goal that through my advocacy work and leadership in WSASP and WEA I am passing on support, resources, and opportunities for all of you to love this work more today than you did the day before. These are hard times to maintain optimism and hope. Burn out is all too real, and we have a long way to go in Washington until we are able to practice the full scope of our training. But I am excited to do that work, and I am proud to be doing that work as your President this year.

There is more information in this edition of the SCOPE about our committees, and if you feel excited about any of the work I mentioned here, or about other amazing work happening in WSASP, please get involved!

I sincerely hope each of you has a wonderful year and can take some time periodically to reflect on what we are experiencing, what we are learning, and where we are going from here.


We are excited to invite you to WSASP’s 2022 Annual Fall Conference!

Washington School Psychologists: A record-smashing fall conference (Thurs OCt 13-Sat Oct 15) is awaiting your registration. Typically in past years, we have offered a phenomenal 24 or so sessions for your fall conference professional development. This was phenomenal because it exceeded the offerings of virtually every other association in the nation. This year, we far exceeded anything offered in the past with over forty sessions with speakers from around the country. Our usual three or four 'three-hour' workshops have multiplied to over nine such workshops. The diversity of topics is in far excess of our usual offerings. Most of our sessions will offer four or more talks simultaneously for you to choose from. And unlike other conferences, we have a wealth of talks that will be delivered to our virtual audience in addition to the in-person talk. Some of the more 'high in demand' talks that are probably beneficial to everyone, will be offered in a hybrid format on Friday. So the options for attending are several. Attend from home or office; or come to Seattle and have the entire array of presentations available to you.

Please do us a favor in return. Many of our talks are appropriate for non-psychologists such as counselors, mental health professionals, social workers, and administrators. In fact, one talk by the nationally renowned psychologist and author, Rachel Chidsey Brown of the Univ. of Maine, is focused on how psychologists and principals can work together to help develop and implement a multi-tiered system of support for academics, behavior and mental health. The talk will be delivered in a hybrid format to allow administrators to attend from their office if so desired. We even have a special rate for non-psychologists who might be attending a limited number of talks.

Please join the nearly 200 Washington School Psychologists that have already registered for the conference.

To register for the conference, go to

Whova for conferences is live. Download at:

Hotel accomodations are avilable at the Sea-Tac Mariott:


WSASP Professional Development Comittee

Impact of COVID-19 on Students with Low-Incidence Disabilities


Elias, Daphne

Makenna Kunz

Ava Anderson

Ariana Antles

Emily Cardis

Richard Marsicano

Olivia Holter

All authors were associated with CWU when working on this article during the spring.

It perhaps goes without saying that there have been many adverse consequences of the

COVID-19 pandemic. Most pertinent to school psychologists, school closures have impacted

children’s academics and social-emotional well-being (Patel, 2020; U.S Surgeon General, 2021). Although academics are of primary importance in schools, educational settings also provide students with the opportunity to gain social-emotional skills, develop their language abilities, and receive resources and services that aid in social and academic development (NASP, 2020). Furthermore, access to these resources may have been restricted during lock down leading to increased susceptibility to anxiety, depression, parental stress, and decreased academic performance (Kuhfeld et al., 2020; Masi et al., 2021; Patel, 2020; U.S Surgeon General, 2021). Even prior to the pandemic, the prevalence of mental health disorders in youth and adolescent was increasing, a fact of which was exacerbated by the pandemic (U.S Surgeon General, 2021). Despite a concerted effort to understand the impact of COVID in the schools, little research explores the impacts of the pandemic on children with low incidence disabilities.

Prior to the pandemic, students with low incidence disabilities, such as autism spectrum

disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability (ID), are at risk for lower socio-emotional and

language skills. Additionally, they are also at increased risk for mental health problems.

Typically, children with these disabilities receive services for such problems in the education

setting (Hofmann & Muller, 2021; IDEA, 2004; Maskey et al., 2013). Recent research looking at the impact of the pandemic on mental health suggests students with disabilities were one of the most significantly affected groups (U.S Surgeon General, 2021). Despite the pandemic’s wide-ranging effects, little research has been published on the social-emotional aspects of the

pandemic on children with disabilities, especially low incidence disabilities. For this reason, the

following paper aims to explore the influence of the pandemic on students with several low

incidence disabilities. Specifically, this paper will review what is presently known about the

social-emotional impacts from the pandemic for students with ASD and ID.

Socio-emotional skill development

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, research looking at the needs of individuals with ASD and ID

identified social skills deficits requiring additional instruction, as an area of primary importance (Tierney et al., 2014; Walton & Ingersoll, 2013). ID and ASD are characterized in their diagnostic criteria with deficits in social skills (i.e., reciprocal communication, interpreting non-verbal cues; American Psychological Association, 2013). For ASD and ID, previous research indicated that the development of social skills and empathy often begins with being able to identify emotional facial expressions (Blair, 2003; Simon et al., 1996). However, individuals with ASD and/or ID can struggle with identifying facial cues for emotions, especially those often characterized as uncomfortable (e.g., anger, sadness, frustration; Shanok, Jones, & Lucas, 2019; Scotland, Cossar, & McKenzie, 2015;). This previous research is important to discuss within the context of school closures and masking during the pandemic. For individuals with pre-existing deficits in the recognition of facial cues for emotions, the practice of masking has the potential to either maintain pre-existing deficits or worsen emotional recognition skills (McCrackin et al.,2022). Specifically, many researchers indicate that school closures lessened opportunities for children to practice social skills with peers (Christner, et al., 2021, Agostinelli et al., 2022). Furthermore, masks also made it difficult for children to practice facial recognition (Stajduhar et al., 2022).

For instance, one study by Colizzi and colleagues (2020) assessed the behavior of children with ASD during the COVID-19 pandemic and found that behavioral issues prior to quarantine were more likely to be exacerbated by the isolation period. Quarantine for individuals with ID may have also impacted their social skills, as parents have reported their children with ID have

increased negative behavior like aggression and reduced learning outcomes (Theis et al., 2021).The pandemic impacting behavior is not specific to these groups, as negative behaviors like aggression increased in schools among typical-developing students as well (Ragavan, et al. 2020).

Language Acquisition

Delayed language development is common among children with autism spectrum

disorder (ASD) and about one-quarter of individuals with ASD remain nonverbal over the course of their lives (Mayo et al., 2013). Therefore, acquiring useful language earlier in development among children with ASD is paramount. Baweja and colleagues (2022) provide a commentary on current literature regarding the various challenges faced by the ASD community due to the pandemic. Although the full effects of the pandemic have yet to be understood, existing literature indicates that several services were interrupted for children with ASD such as speech and language therapy (Baweja et al., 2022). Specifically, prior to the pandemic, children with ASD received 1:1 support with trained professionals in the school setting. However, the pandemic shifted their educational experiences online where many children received their Specifically Designed Instruction virtually instead (Baweja et al., 2022). Parents and caregivers were then given the task of providing support for their children, which may have been problematic given their potential lack of formal training (Baweja et al., 2022).

Similarly, students with Intellectual Disability (ID) have also historically relied on school-based

services to perform optimally. To best support students with ID, IDEA calls for providing

“supplementary aids and services” which include, “... instruction, personnel, equipment, or other accommodations that enable children with disabilities to be educated with nondisabled children to the maximum extent appropriate (Center for Parent Information and Resources; Intellectual Disability, 2017). Children and adolescents with ID also often have language difficulties (Hofmann & Müller, 2021). Although there is a current lack of research about the effects of the pandemic on students with ID in general, especially about language acquisition, Hoffman & Müller (2021) found that frequent social contact with peers from school appears to be positively correlated with language development among this student population. To measure this assumption, Hoffman & Müller (2021) utilized a longitudinal design with a sample size of 1,125 students, ranging in different levels of intellectual disabilities. The Adaptive Behavior Assessment System-3 was given to teachers and staff to report students’ language skills (Hoffman & Müller, 2021). It was found that the more social contact nominations students received at the beginning of the year, the more their language skills increased at the end of the year, thus supporting that social contact aids in language development.

Mental Health

Research has found that children with ASD and ID or comorbidity of the two are at

increased risk for experiencing child maltreatment (McDonnell et al., 2019). Additionally, it

should be recognized that reports of child maltreatment decreased during the pandemic by as

much as 51% due to less interaction with mandated reporters (Rapoport et al., 2021). However,

parental stress from adopting multiple roles for their children with low-incidence disabilities

during lock down led to decreased parental well-being. Changes in routines led to decreased

physical activity, increased digital media use, poor sleep, and a disruption to services commonly received by students with low-incidence disabilities in the schools (Masi et al., 2021).

Loss of social interaction with students diagnosed with ASD and ID may have further

amplified social skill deficits during the shutdown. Students with ASD already struggle with

developing social skills and gaining social interaction, and social distancing may worsen these

difficulties and lead to increased anxiety, depression, and restlessness (Patel, 2020). Parents of students with ID reported increased negative behavior in their children including aggressive,

anxious behaviors, and a reduction in social and learning outcomes (Theis et al., 2021). Overall,decreased social interaction and access to services for students with low incidence disabilities have been found to have negative impacts on students who already experience mental health difficulties resulting from their disability.

Link to original article with sources included

My Experience as an “Equity Coach”

Written by Mikael Olson, Ed.S., NCSP

President-Elect and Communication Co-Chair

“Social Justice in Action” SCOPE Series

My name is Mikael Olson, and I am a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and President-Elect for WSASP. I am in my 17th year of practice. This is my third year in the role of Equity Coach for my district. I am excited to share with you the amazing opportunities this position has afforded me in regards to my own learning and growth as a culturally responsive practitioner and social justice advocate. In this role, I help others learn and hone their skills with culturally responsive professional practices and social justice advocacy.

But first, a little background…..

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) firmly believes that every student is entitled to an education that affirms and validates the diversity of their cultural and individual differences, fosters resilience, and facilitates well-being and positive academic and mental health outcomes. Furthermore, NASP opposes educational disparities and disproportionality that result from discriminatory or ineffective policies, procedures, or practices marginalizing students from historically minoritized backgrounds. Disproportionality is a threat to equity and social justice as it signals differential treatment or outcomes resulting from inequitable practices or policies (NASP Position Statement: Promoting Just Special Education Identification and School Discipline Practices). Social justice is both a process and a goal that requires action.

In my district, significant disproportionality led us to the creation of a Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CCEIS) Plan required by OSPI. In order to write our first CCEIS three years ago, a Disproportionality Committee was convened to do a root cause analysis in which we reviewed the district’s disproportionality data, reviewed the special education files of the students identified by OSPI as experiencing significant disproportionality (in our case, Black/African American students identified as having Specific Learning Disability), and posed a hypothesis or “problem statement” as to why this is happening. The resulting CCEIS Plan outlined the actions we would take as a district to address and remedy disproportionality in our school district.

Our problem statement identified the lack of a systematic pre-referral process (MTSS) as resulting in the over-identification of Black/African American students in Special Education under the Eligibility Category of Specific Learning Disability. You should know that there are other racial groups also experiencing disproportionality in our district, including our Hispanic students who are also over-identified for Special Education under SLD. One of the contributing factors our district identified was the lack of fidelity in the implementation of District procedures and practices around pre-referral and Special Education eligibility for culturally and linguistically diverse students.

The creation of the CCEIS led to my position with the district. One of the actions within our CCEIS is to provide funding for a School Psychologist Equity Coach. This is a full-time position in which I coach, mentor, and support existing school psychologists to ensure teams are using an equity lens and culturally responsive considerations and practices. I also collaborate with our MTSS Coach and Integrated MTSS Specialists, school counselors, and special education and instructional TOSAs, as well as work with and on Tiered Teams to support culturally and linguistically responsive practices within MTSS structures. Additionally, I calculate our district’s risk ratios and collect other pieces of data regarding district disproportionality on a monthly basis, as well as for specific schools when they need it. Most importantly, and what I find to be the most exciting and fulfilling, is that I provide monthly professional development to our district’s school psychologists on topics such as disproportionality, social justice, advocacy, racism and the impact of white supremacy in our field, and culturally responsive professional practices (e.g., considerations for referrals, evaluations, report writing, assessment selection, family and student interviews, and eligibility determinations).

This position has allowed me to engage in a significant amount of professional development in these areas, which I in turn pass on to our district’s school psychologists and others. I have also learned more about best practices for coaching and mentoring, which has been a passion of mine for years. Best of all, I am taking social justice action every day through my work, which I hope is having a positive impact on our marginalized students who are furthest from equity.

Every district in our state is experiencing disproportionality in multiple ways, whether that be through over-representation of marginalized students identified for special education, more restrictive placements, discipline and exclusion, or under-representation for gifted programs. I encourage you to critically examine not only your own knowledge and practices but to also take the brave step of examining data and questioning practices for your buildings and districts. Think about what you can offer to your administrators, colleagues, students, and families through your own professional growth in these areas. Start within your immediate sphere of influence and branch out from there. Find your co-conspirators and build a network of advocates for your students. Suggest that your district convene a disproportionality committee to look at the data, and offer to be a part of that important work.

If you have an example of social justice in action in your district, please share your experience by writing an article for our next SCOPE! This topic will be an ongoing spotlight for our publication this year.

There are so many resources out there to support you in this work! I recommend you start with the vast library of resources and publications NASP has to offer through There will also be several sessions in these areas at our upcoming WSASP Fall Conference (register at

Assessment of Full-Time Virtual Learners Following the Pandemic

Michael W. Kirlin

Ethics and Professional Practices Chairperson, WSASP

I work as a school psychologist in the Tacoma School District. I am beginning my second year serving students enrolled in Tacoma Online Middle School and Tacoma Online High School, which are virtual programs where students do not receive in-person instructional support. Students are connected to “PACE coaches” (certificated general education teachers) who track and provide direct instruction, and in many cases individualized instruction, for all students including many with IEPs. Students who receive specially designed instruction due to their classification as special education students have IEP case managers who communicate with teachers and identified special education students on their caseloads.

For this school psychologist, this model creates specific challenges pertaining to assessment and suggested interventions. There are questions regarding how to identify and classify students with disabilities in all areas of suspected disability when in-person instruction is not provided to the student. We have Child Find obligations to advocate for all students suspected of having educational disabilities according to federal and Washington State guidelines for special education students. We must ask how we can support the identification of students with disabilities, including specific learning disabilities, when their access to general instruction is atypical compared to curriculum and instruction rendered to students in brick-and-mortar schools.

In the Tacoma School District, we have maintained our population of students requesting virtual instruction on a full-time basis from one school year to the year coming up. Though one school year is a small sample, this does indicate that virtual instruction, separate from traditional campus settings, is in demand and will continue to be part of our curriculum and instruction offerings. The provision of virtual instruction and computer-aided instruction is not new, as such models have been around for several decades. The pandemic, however, provided an unusual demand for such instruction, a demand that is increasingly preferred by many students and families.

As a school psychologist, I have had to make choices regarding how to assess students receiving virtual instruction and how to support identification and placement as students with disabilities who are eligible for specially designed instruction. We recognize many factors have not changed, including the potential need for cognitive, academic, social/emotional, adaptive, behavioral, and other assessments that each evaluation group, students who can contribute, and parent(s) deem appropriate to be addressed. A question I have had to ask is how to address assessing students with fidelity when considering limitations of access when students are not present at a traditional school campus.

I have found no replacement for direct access to students when assessing special education needs. Limitations of understanding students and their needs and qualitative factors about the student, in addition to quantitative data our assessments provide, abound without direct student access and contact. As a result, I make every effort to schedule appointments within reasonable blocks of time to assess students directly. The standardized data generated through working directly with students is often the focus of discussion when evaluation results are discussed, but it is not comfortable for me to make student recommendations without contacting students directly.

The exceptions to that general belief occur when the student’s special education eligibility was previously established, with data supporting the conclusion that little change is likely from prior results, and further benefit to the student to evaluate through traditional, standardized means is not apparent. With most students, I find obtaining updated assessment results to be helpful, if only to use obtained data to affirm a student’s special education eligibility.

When assessing students, I schedule two-hour blocks of time to work directly with the students themselves. In my experience, two-hour periods have been successful to get to know students, engage properly in discourse, and obtain assessment data. Most students, except for those with cognitive and severe social/emotional/behavioral limitations, can maintain contact to be evaluated for two hours at a time. That contact, combined with the obtained data when working with students directly, is typically necessary to understand not only the student’s unique needs, skills, and limitations, but also the perspectives of the student on what led the student to develop to that point as a learner and individual overall.

Conducting virtual observations can be difficult. Without a physical classroom, comparing the student’s engagement with that of other students often is not possible, especially when the student’s camera is off. The best observations I have experienced occur with teachers who know their students, prepare them for the kinds of teaching and learning support virtual instruction can provide, and individualize the student’s learning experience if possible. Even with standards for success that are provided by the virtual curriculum and expectations for success provided by the school district, individualizing can occur for each student and is especially necessary for students with disabilities that need such a level of intervention. Individualized virtual observations have provided to this school psychologist such information, and observational data can be easily correlated with additional historical data and assessment results to make effective recommendations on the student’s behalf.

One conclusion that I have had to make periodically for students using this approach is that virtual instruction may not be the best solution for a student. This is especially true for students that have a need to develop social engagement skills that are likely not to be developed away from contact with peers and adults. The pandemic has contributed to social anxiety that some students have experienced, including students that have a history of challenges with socialization skills. I have shared with many students, parents, and educators that learning is an exercise like any other activity and gets better with practice. When developing social graces is a student’s need, and in-person instruction is necessary for those skills to develop, having critical conversations with the student and parent(s) and the team in general is necessary to advocate for the student properly, going forward.

Get Involved!

The WSASP Board is always looking for more members to become involved in the work that we do. We know that there are many amazing leaders among our members and want to make sure you know of all the great ways you can get involved this year! One way to get involved is to join a committee. Below are summaries of each committee and our Social Justice Task Force. If you find that you are passionate about an area listed, please reach out to the committee chair about how to get involved. All new committee members are mentored by veteran members and you can volunteer to take on as much or as little as you are comfortable with as you begin volunteering for this work.

Social Justice Task Force

Chair persons: Marissa Avalon and Olivia Holter

Did you know WSASP has a Social Justice Task Force? This group promotes social justice as an essential component in the practice of school psychology, and it provides WSASP members with resources, guidance, state data, and opportunities to engage with others about social justice issues. Meetings are held on the fourth Thursday of each month from 5:00-6:00pm, and members spend 1-2 hours outside of meetings to complete tasks. Please join!

Social Justice Task Force Interest Form 2022-2023

Communications Committee

Chair persons: Alex Franks Thomas and Mikael Olson

The Communications Committee is responsible for the dissemination of information to Washington State school psychologists and the promotion of school psychology in Washington State. They strive to keep our membership informed by providing consistent, professional, succinct communication that is relevant to the profession of school psychology and aligned with association objectives. They support the dissemination of information about school psychology to all consumers within the state. Some ongoing projects they manage are the SCOPE, Prior Written Notice, WSASP website, editing WSASP publications, and official WSASP social media management. Contact to get involved!

Assessment Committee

Chair persons: Laree Foster and Leayh Abel

The assessment committee works to provide resources and recommendations regarding best practices in assessment for WSASP members, to promote communication and partnership with OSPI, ESDs, University Programs, publishers and other organizations and associations that may inform or benefit from recommendations for best practices in assessment, and to promote and share answers to frequently asked assessment questions and new advances or information.Some ongoing projects they manage are the Dear Assessment Committee Column and updates to WSASP Guidance documents. Contact to get involved!

Ethics and Professional Practices Committee

Chair person: Michael Kirlin

The ethics committee responds punctually and effectively to member questions and concerns in regards to professional challenges in their work and disseminates resources and information in how members can navigate ethical dilemmas in their practice. An ongoing project they manage is the annual Ethics presentation at the WSASP Fall Conference. Contact to get involved!

Government and Public Relations Committee

Chair persons: Anna Casey and Jill Davidson

The Government and Public Relations Committee (GPR) is responsible for advocating for students and the field of School Psychology at the policy level both state and federal. The Committee works to be familiar with public policy procedures and build working relationships with members of other organizations pertinent to the Association’s goals, such as OSPI, WEA, fellow ESA state organizations, etc. They work closely with other committees as needed to achieve the association’s goals. They work with the Executive Board to establish Association Priorities for GPR work and provide regular progress reports. Some ongoing projects they manage include planning activities for National School Psychology Week and advocating for state and federal legislation. Contact to get involved!

Mental Health Committee

Chair persons: Sherri Bentley and Danielle Bentow

The mental health committee works to promote and advance the role of school psychologists as school based mental health and behavioral health providers. The committee works to support school psychologists in their efforts by providing resources, sharing activities, and engaging with other committees to support policy changes. Some ongoing projects they manage are maintaining the Mental Health resources page on the WSASP website, providing regular articles and information for both the SCOPE and PWN, and a social media focus for May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month; the Mental Health Committee will also have three ‘Mental Health Chats’ this year, both in person at the fall conference and remote, for members to discuss and share questions, concerns, great ideas, etc–more information on that coming soon! Contact to get involved!

Recruitment and Retention

Chair persons: Cassie Mulivrana, Liz Gibson-Myers, and Kristin Schuster

The recruitment and retention committee works on activities designed to promote the highest standards for the profession to encourage School Psychologists currently practicing within Washington State to remain within the state and become Association members. The Committee will also undertake activities designed to attract new School Psychologists to the state and Association members. The Committee will also recognize members for outstanding efforts in membership development and recruitment. Some projects they manage include the mentor/mentee system for new to the field school psychologists and recruitment efforts at the annual NASP conference. Contact to get involved!

Professional Development

Chair persons: Tracy Pennington and Arick Branen

The professional development committee works to provide high quality professional development to school psychologists within and beyond Washington State. Some projects they manage include the annual fall conference and the spring lecture series. Contact to get involved!

Communications Committee Overview

Written by Mikael Olson, Ed.S., NCSP

WSASP President-Elect and Communications Co-Chair

The WSASP Communications Committee is composed of two Co-Chairs, the SCOPE Editor, the Prior Written Notice Editor, the Website Manager, and Content Editors. This year, we hope to add to our Social Media Team. The purpose of our committee is to disseminate information to Washington State school psychologists and promote school psychology in Washington State. We strive to keep our membership informed by providing consistent, professional, succinct communication that is relevant to the profession of school psychology and aligned with association objectives. The Communications Committee supports the dissemination of information about school psychology to all consumers within the state.

Our long-range five-year plan was developed in June 2019 with the goals of providing relevant content to WSASP members and other educators in Washington State in support of our association’s identified needs and goals, having media outreach responses or procedures in place, and maintaining a robust social media presence. We publish the SCOPE three times per year and PWN biweekly throughout the school year, and we maintain the WSASP website. Additionally, we hold regular meetings every other month and provide timely responses to current events. Members of our Committee edit and review written communications and publications prior to these being sent to our membership. We will also conduct a statewide survey this year, in follow-up to the survey that we completed three years ago, regarding the “state of the school psychologist” in Washington State.

If you have any interest in joining our committee and contributing to our work, please contact the Co-Chairs, Alex Franks-Thomas and Mikael Olson, by emailing

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Over 2000 school psychologists and other educators currently receive the SCOPE

1) The services or products offered (advertised) shall provide potential direct and/or indirect benefit for school psychologists; children; and/or families. Benefits are not to be limited to the field of education.

2) The advertisements must be in good taste, meaning suitable for viewing by children and otherwise non-offensive i.e. non-sexist, nonracist, etc.

3) The company purchasing the advertisement space must be an established company in business for over five years and with known products. If the company's status does not meet this criterion, WSASP may require a catalog of products or services offered; a sample of products offered to preview; and/or references of prior service recipients. If the product/services are judged to be of likely benefit, the account will be accepted.

4) Product and service accounts are to be encouraged. Paid political advertisements and paid public policy statements will not be accepted unless approved by the executive board.

5) The Scope Editor will use the above guidelines to accept or decline advertising accounts.

6) The Scope Editor will refer questionable accounts to the WSASP executive board when the guidelines above are not sufficient to make judgment.

7) The WSASP executive board reserves the right to reject any accounts deemed below our standards of professionalism or of possible detriment to our Scope readers or association. The WSASP Board has approved these guidelines for organizations or individuals interested in advertising in our newsletter.

8) WSASP address is: 816 W Francis Ave, #214, Spokane, WA 99205

* For rates and conditions please email:



816 W. Francis Ave. #214, Spokane, WA 99205

509 724-1587