Celebrate your School Psych!

November 8th, 2021

It is a distinct pleasure to be able to celebrate with you a group of dedicated staff members that are integral to the work that we do in WLWV. Our School Psychologists have vast, deep areas of professional expertise. Our School Psychologists are a small, but mighty group. We have 7 fabulous deep professionals who support our students, staff and community, as well as stay committed to supporting and bolstering new professionals in their field. Together they support and lift the work and experience of two School Psychologist Interns. It is an honor to celebrate with you some of the great work that this team of professionals supports.

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Improve Academic Outcomes

Every day school psychologists wrap around student outcomes. They work to understand the ways that students learn best to support teams in living into creating school settings that promote and support academic outcomes. Whether it be data analysis through our MAP assessment, progress monitoring, curriculum based measures, or panorama data, this team is honing into this information to support educators in individualizing instruction and interventions for students. Farnosh Ghasemi, who recently defended her dissertation(!), uses data analysis and culturally responsive strategies to provide consultation to families, teachers and administrators. This past year, she worked collaboratively with her colleagues - including the school counselor - to use school-wide data to drive interventions and support. This is just one example of supporting academic outcomes by this team.

Promote Positive Behavior & Mental health

Our school psychs support positive behavior & mental health. They support communication and social skills, promote problem solving, anger management and conflict resolution, and reinforce coping skills and resilience. Mike Miller, one of our school psychs, is part of a team that implements Sources of Strength, which is an evidence based best practice suicide prevention program. It is designed to harness the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy norms and culture, ultimately preventing suicide, bullying and substance abuse. This program mobilizes a group of diverse and powerful peer leaders to spread messages of home, help and strength throughout the school and community ,certainly exemplifying the promotion of positive behavior & mental health.

Support Diverse Learners

Supporting students who experience disability is a meaningful component of a school psychologists work. Often one might think about a school psychologist in the context of a special education evaluation or process. This work extends to being thought partners in the work. One of our newest school psychologists, Jody Dimiceli, who joined the WLWV community this past month, has already joined her school team, including paraeducators, learning specialists, speech language pathologist, Occupational therapists and physical therapists to share with each other practices that support individual learners and to create shared understanding and consistent plans for students throughout the day. Our school psychologists facilitate behavior support plans, partner around circles of support, train team members on Crisis Prevention and step into wrapping around students and teams with unwavering care.

Create Safe, Positive School Climates

Our School Psychs work to support school connectedness through school climate, promote positive discipline and promote our 7 components of Inclusive & Equitable Learning Communities, including deep work in restorative practices. One of our school psychologists, Kelsey Lissman, shares that building a relationship with a student through an assessment process allowed her to be a trusted adult with a student and help the student reframe their self-talk to promote a growth mindset. She says, “[the student] helped me understand how impactful our relationships with students we work with are. Even just a few words we say in passing, or how we greet them in the morning, and I would hope [the student] learned from me ways in which to be a good friend. I also hope [the student] learned that we are not defined by the mistakes we make, but rather, by how we own up to them and move forward.” Kelsey’s belief in this student, coupled with her strong relationship, social emotional skills and implementation of restorative practices exemplifies our teams’ role in supporting safe, positive school climates.

Strengthen Family-School Partnerships

This team builds relationships and care with families to strengthen the family-school partnership. Andrea Ramos is proud to have been a part of developing and supporting our strong early childhood evaluation center. This opportunity allowed her to be a part of the growth and success of our district’s youngest children and their families. Another school psychologist, Erin Pelton shares that her personal mission is to support parents in fully actualizing their roles as team members and partners. She notes that "over the past few years our learning communities have not been defined by or restricted to school fence lines. Our kitchens have been classrooms and living spaces have been learning spaces." She hopes that, while our understanding of what education “looks like” has been challenged, what has always been true is now unmistakable clearer: “We are all the learning community, we are all invaluable members of students’ teams, and our partnerships are critical to each child’s success”

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During this week, please join us in celebrating this dynamic group of school psychologists who lean in, every day to support our community in so many ways. Let's close this acknowledgment by sharing the words of one of our school psychs, Jen Steinmetz “This [work] wouldn’t be possible without the care that is consistently reflected in our community and work culture.” Thank you for celebrating this team with us! They are the best!
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Do you have new move-in students?

Students are joining us!! When new students and families move into our school district, we have a wonderful opportunity to create feelings of belonging, inclusion, and welcome. Building rapport with each student, demonstrating genuine warmth and caring, is the most important thing that we can do to help each child have a successful transition into our schools.

As our December Count approaches, we are noticing that we have 60 Move-In IEPs to be supported. 48 of those are In-State Move-In Students and 12 are Out-of-State Move-In Students.

Check out our Special Education Handbook for Move-In IEP Guidance

In-State Student Move-in Process:

  • When a student enrolls in our district with a current Oregon eligibility and IEP, do your best to provide comparable IEP services right away.
  • Notify Student Services that you have a new move-in student in order for tabs in ePEP to be opened.
  • Choose Option A or B:
    • Option A: Hold an IEP meeting within a month
      • Gather updated information for Present Levels and Goals
      • Case Manager will write a Prior Written Notice of SPED Action stating that the district will implement the IEP as written until the upcoming IEP meeting
    • Option B: If we plan to implement the IEP as written until the annual review date
      • Case Manager will write a Prior Written Notice of SPED Action stating that the district will implement the IEP as written
      • Create a Cover Sheet in ePEP - input IEP date and set the annual IEP review due date
      • Check the Service Summary from the current IEP
        • If there are any services by OT, PT, SLP, Nurse, or Counselor - input that information on the Service Summary page in ePEP
      • Check State Assessment accommodations from the current IEP
        • If there are any accessibility supports listed - input that information on the State Assessment page in ePEP
  • When a student enrolls in our district and is currently in evaluation for special education, the school psychologist or speech pathologist will coordinate with the student's previous district to complete the evaluation as quickly as possible.

If there are any missing documents, (e.g. signed Eligibility or Initial provisions), Please recreate those as soon as possible.

Please remember that Ruth and Maria are here to help you and please let them know when this process is complete!

Professional Learning Coming up!

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Supporting Recovery Services & Accessing Extra Hours

Thank you to those that have already expressed interest in supporting this great work for students!

We are planning for Recovery Services and we want to recruit you! We are recruiting paraedcuators for after school opportunities 1-2 times per week during the school year AND we are recruiting - Paraedcuators, learning specialists, Motor Team, SLPs, ICs - for a robust summer program. If you are potentially interested in supporting the summer program, let us know and we will keep you in the loop. Indicating yes is not a commitment, but a potential interest! Click on this link or the form below to express interest!

You represent the expertise, care, and compassion to create beautiful learning communities. Thank you for all that you do.
Click Here for Student Services School Year Guidance

Templates for Sped Actions have been added. These are intended to be a support In drafting a teams' PWN and will benefit from being Individualized to the discussion, agreements, and disagreements of the team.