New Jersey Association of School Psychologists

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NJASP's Spring Conference 
May 11, 2018

Holiday Inn East Windsor

399 Monmouth Street

East Windsor, NJ 08520

NJASP Spring Conference 2018

The Pajama Donation program was a huge success at our winter conference. 

This time we are supporting a toy drive for Early Intervention of Union County. 

Click here for more information:  Amazon Smile Drive- Donation for Early Intervention of Union County.pdf


The Evolved Nest and Child Wellbeing

Darcia Narvaez

University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indinana 

Every animal has a nest for its young that matches up with the maturational schedule of the offspring. The Evolved Nest refers to the developmental system that humans inherit as an adaptation from their ancestors. The human nest in early life is particularly intensive because of the vast immaturity of newborns. Nest components influence the neurobiological formation of all systems, affecting wellbeing for the long term. Early experience shapes systems that influence cognitive, social, emotional and moral capacities.  Understanding the species typical nest helps us identify species-atypical experience and target ways to mitigate its effects.

This session will help participants: 

  • Understand and remember the six ancestral caregiving practices of the Evolved Nest that foster optimal development.
  • Identify the different ethical mindsets that can govern behavior.
  • List ways to help students self-heal from a degraded evolved nest and foster prosocial  mindsets

Getting Kids on Track for Fulfilling Their Potential 
(Attending to Neurobiology)

The RAVES DEEP model helps educators and counselors facilitate moral character development through Relationships, Apprenticeship, Village connection, Expertise development and Self-authorship. RAVES provides an intentional, holistic, comprehensive, empirically-derived approach to moral character development. Developmental Ecological Ethical Practices (DEEP) model helps revamp the neurobiological underpinnings of the self. DEEP enables participants to foster self-calming, grow sociality, and expand social and ecological imagination. Instruction is informed deeply by evolution, ancient philosophy and current developmental and learning sciences about what contributes to cultivate human wellbeing. Handouts will be provided and guidebooks from the Minnesota Community Voices and Character Education project are available. 

This session will help participants:

  • Describe how the five elements of a classroom and school foster student wellbeing (RAVES).
  • Apply to their practice the five elements of a classroom and school that foster student  wellbeing (RAVES).
  • Understand ways that healing of undercared for students can be mitigated through DEEP activities

Dr. Darcia Narvaez is Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame who focuses on moral development and flourishing from an interdisciplinary perspective. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Educational Research Association. She writes a popular blog for Psychology Today (“Moral Landscapes”). One of her recent books, Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom won the 2015 William James Book Award from the American Psychological Association and the 2017 Expanded Reason Award.

**Dr. Narvaez’s book, Neurobiology ad the Development of Human Mortality; Evolution Culture and Wisdom will be available for purchase and signing during lunch.  

Joel Bocanegra, Ph.D.

Idaho State University, Pocatello Idaho

RTI/MTSS Consultation with Diverse Populations and Settings: Notes from the Field

(morning and afternoon sessions) 

This presentation will cover the topic of RTI/MTSS consultation with diverse populations and within diverse settings. Although the presentation will be grounded within the literature, the main focus will be sharing experiences and lessons learned from the field on the actual implementation of system change. Participants will learn some tips and tricks for increasing buy-in, adapting the models to be more culturally relevant, and leveraging the resources found within each community in order to maximize success.  

This session will help participants:

  • Learn how to work with diverse populations
  • How to adapt system change models to diverse settings
  • How to achieve buy-in and commitment

Dr. Bocanegra is an assistant professor at Idaho State University. His research focuses on diversity issues to include: recruitment, cultural competency, and system change. Dr. Bocanegra has experience as bilingual school psychologist, trainer, and regularly conducts consultations and presentations on the implementation of system change models in diverse environments. Dr. Bocanegra has consulted with a wide range of schools to include urban, rural, Native American, and Middle Eastern schools.

Jaclyn Morrison

Pearson Clinical

Intelligent Testing in the Schools: Turning Theory and Research into 
Practical Skills for the School Psychologist with a Caseload(morning and afternoon sessions)

Intelligence testing plays an important role in explaining a student’s current academic successes and failures. School psychologists must have a solid understanding of intelligence theory in order to measure and interpret the results, however this is often not clearly explained in our training programs. This workshop will synthesize research on intelligence and learning disabilities, profile analysis, and best practices for linking data to intervention. We will provide distinctions between often overlapping nomenclature in the field (i.e. what is the difference between a cognitive ability vs. a psychological process?) and present a flexible approach for SLD assessment geared toward the NJ special education code. Special focus will be placed on using clinical judgement within the comprehensive evaluation framework, as well as meaningful approaches for linking your data to IEP goals and instructional supports available in your districts.  

This session will help participants:

  • Synthesize research and best practice on issues related to SLD assessment
  • Develop a deeper understanding of how to interpret assessment data that informs instruction
  • Use clinical judgement when interpreting test scores with a focus on qualitative information and district specific boundaries. 

Jaclyn Morrison is a nationally certified school psychologist with five years of experience working within the NJ public school system. Currently, she works as a Senior Clinical Assessment Developer for Pearson Clinical, on their neuropsychology team. She has been directly involved with the development of assessment tools that school psychologists use in the field, recently contributing as an author on the upcoming KABC-II_NU release.  This unique professional profile has given Jaclyn the desire to bridge the gaps that exist between the academia research, testing instruments and interpretative suggestions available, and the practical implications for psychologists employed by schools.

Amanda Montani

Allentown School District

Introduction to Restorative Practices: Becoming a Restorative School Psychologist(morning and afternoon sessions)

Restorative practices is a philosophy encompassing restorative justice, an alternative approach to repairing harm between two or more parties. Differing from traditional punitive methods such as suspension and expulsion, restorative practices in schools offers not only a more teachable approach to discipline, but a continuum of methods to build community. This workshop will arm participants with an introduction to the founding concepts of restorative practices. Participating in a restorative circle to create an experiential learning opportunity, school psychologists will engage with one another to discuss how restorative practices can work practically with staff, students, and families. Consideration for cultural implications, working with students with special needs, and managing time demands will be encouraged in this collaborative group forum. We will promote a goal of all members leaving the session with a plan for next steps towards a more meaningful, restorative practice. 

This session will help participants:

  • Understand the principles of restorative practices as a philosophy
  • Learn proactive and responsive strategies for building community in schools
  • Problem solve with colleagues around realistic ways to build new strategies into practice

Amanda Montani is currently working as a school psychologist in Allentown School District. A graduate of Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, she spent the early part of her career in DC Public Schools with a more unique role as a school psychologist. Focusing on conflict resolution and behavior support for students, she became interested in restorative justice. After moving to New Jersey with her growing family in 2012, she began to pursue a graduate certificate in Restorative Practices from the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) while working as a school psychologist at the Morris County Vocational Technical School District. During that time, she became a member of NJASP and a participant of the Diversity Committee. Finding the concepts of Restorative Practices immediately applicable as a school psychologist, Amanda pursued the Trainer of Trainers certificate from the IIRP. In 2016, she and her still growing family moved to Allentown, PA where they currently reside. She is looking forward to continuing to provide future professional develop on the topic while putting the training into action with students, families, and educators. 

Barry Barbarasch, Stephanie Frasier, and Jessica Trindade

Ask the School Pyschologist: A Discussion of Theory Versus Practice(afternoon session)

This workshop is an opportunity to “ask a School Psychologist” about the challenges you face, the direction of your career and any other questions you may have. School Psychology is a fulfilling career, but we all stumble upon challenges. Some of you may simply be interested in how our roles and functions vary across the state. Perhaps you can even take new ideas to your district!  This workshop is ideal for early career or school psychologists in new positions.  It is interactive and attendees will be encouraged to participate via questions and discussion.  

This session will help participants:  

  • Answers their questions regarding the field of school psychology
  • Develop a better understanding the roles and functions of the school psychologists varies throughout the state
  • Develop strategies he/she can use to expand his/her role within the school

Dr. Barry Barbarasch , Ed.D., has been a school psychologist for over 35 years, in New York and New Jersey. He is currently President of NJASP and chairperson of NJASP Government and Professional Relations committee. He also serves on the Government and Professional Relationships committee of the National Association of School Psychologists. Barry is currently Adjunct Professor in both the school psychology doctoral program at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the Masters/Certification program at Rowan University.

Stephanie Frasier, Ed.S. NCSP, has been a school psychologist with Lenape Regional High School District for over 16 years.  She is currently past president of NJASP, a member of NJASP’s  research and conference committees.  As a member of the research committee, she has contributed to studies presented at the International Association of School Psychologists (ISPA) and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).  Before becoming a school psychologist she worked as a mobile therapist providing wrap around services to at-risk youth and a behavioral specialist at the Bancroft School in Haddonfield, NJ.  While working at Bancroft she developed, implemented and oversaw behavior plans and served as a member of the behavior management committee.  Stephanie’s current interests includes assisting students transition from high school to adulthood, writing collaborative reports with the LDT/C, and partnering with families and outside service providers to better assist the needs of high school students.  

Jessica P. Trindade, M.A. P.D. NCSP,  has been a school psychologist for 5 years in the Woodbridge Township School District. She is currently President-Elect and a member of the Government and Professional Relationships committee of the New Jersey Association of School Psychologists (NJASP). During her graduate school years and early career, Jessica presented poster presentations on risk factors and parent psycho-education on co-morbid ADHD depression and the social and emotional impact of bullying at the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Annual Convention. She was also a research assistant for several projects, including two that geared toward improving trauma-related services for the Latinx community at the Newark Beth Israel Center’s Regional Diagnostic Treatment Center. She also published an article in the NASP Communique about securing internships for culturally and linguistically diverse students. Currently, Jessica has a special interest in the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) model, early intervention, bilingual and linguistic diversity, and parental engagement.

Printable brochure:  brochure Spring 2018- Final.pdf

Information on processing PO's:  MAILING ADDRESS for PO's

Exhibitor Information:  NJASP Spring Conference 2018 - Exhibitor Registration

NJASP's Spring 2018 Conference

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