• 03/27/2023 1:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    With this statement, MASP calls on all school psychologists to speak out against racism, and take proactive steps to prevent the occurrence of intolerant or racist acts and recommends the immediate retirement of American Indian mascots, symbols, images and personalities by schools, colleges, universities, athletic teams and organizations.

  • 02/17/2023 6:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    February 17, 2023

    In the wake of the tragedy at MSU, MASP President Vincent Hodge sent a message yesterday which focused on caring for those impacted by the shooting on campus.  His message was not intended to diminish our efforts to advocate for effective gun safety legislation in Michigan and the nation; in fact, the MASP Executive Board remains committed to advocate for legislation that would work to  prevent more senseless gun violence.  Vincent himself is deeply passionate about that, but wanted to ensure we were taking time to truly grieve for those affected.  This is a complex issue with multiple sets of feelings and calls for action going on at the same time.  

    President Hodge conveys these thoughts:

    Please accept and extend my humble and heartfelt apologies. As a direct victim of, and immediate witness to, gun violence, I understand your feelings. In my effort to provide an immediate response to what was unfolding, I failed to recognize that I was triggered by this event. My statement was more of a personal reminder, and not a public instruction or statement on behalf of MASP. Please rest assured, despite this unintended miscommunication, that the MASP Executive Council (including myself) continues to support our posted position on gun violence.  I am so deeply affected by what happened to those students, their families, and all students and employees on campus.

    In December, 2021, the MASP Executive Board approved and adopted a Statement on School Violence Prevention which we hope can be an important advocacy tool to help support school psychologists and others in their efforts for effective consultation and systems level change to ensure that all Michigan schools can learn and thrive in a safe and supportive environment.  The statement, in its entirety, can be found here: MASP Statement of School Violence Prevention.  The mission of the Michigan Association of School Psychologists (MASP) is that all Michigan students achieve  their fullest potential.  In order to accomplish this mission, we must work to ensure that students learn and thrive in school environments that are safe and free from violence.  MASP joins the call for the passage of common sense and reasonable gun safety legislation in Michigan, as well as to increase the availability of school psychologists and access to comprehensive school mental and behavioral health services.

  • 02/16/2023 6:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    February 16, 2023
    Dear Colleagues,

    It is with a heavy heart that I must report that an act of gun violence has violated the peace of Michigan State University’s campus. February 13 th , at approximately 8:30 pm shots were fired in Berkey Hall, and then the Union Building a short time later. We have lost 3 innocent souls (Alexandria Verner, Brian Fraser, and Arielle Anderson), and 5 other persons were injured in
    this act of heinous violence. The alleged perpetrator, who appears to have been suffering a mental health crisis, took his own life. As of this event, there have been 67 mass shootings in the U.S. since January 1, 2023.

    Now is not the time to rant about gun control. This is a time for us to attend to our family,  friends, colleagues, peers and students in the MSU community. As a community and State, we are facing challenging times ahead. Let’s meet them with compassion, healing, courage, and conviction. Our hearts go out to the MSU, and surrounding communities. Untold numbers of individual have varying degrees of physical and/or emotional proximity to this tragedy. As school psychologists, counselors, and therapists, we were built for times such as these.

    During this incredibly difficult time, be encouraged that we possess an incredible strength, courage, and determination to heal and help other’s do the same. The response of school psychologists, across the state, with offers of support and consultation continues to grow. Let’s look to build on the resilience that our children and other individuals possess.  We have seen, and
    will see that even in the face of grief, loss, fear, and trauma, that people can demonstrate hope and positivity.

    Our colleagues on the board are working diligently to streamline supports and coordinate sponse efforts.  Susan Koceski (our Oakland County Regional Representative), who was so instrumental in coordinating supports for school psychologists in Oxford and Oakland County,indicates that there has been an “all call” type message put out through social workers to rally mental health supports following this tragedy. Many of the social workers will counsel, and some will be able to provide crisis response.

    The responses from Community Mental Health and law enforcement have been timely and incredible.  The whole MSU and Lansing community is rallying together, providing supports for everyone that has been, and will continue to be, impacted. We are showing our best selves in this crisis, and that is exactly what is needed. Let’s all continue to show up for our family, friends, and peers in the MSU community.

    During conversations surrounding the tragic Oxford incident. Past MASP President Dr. Lauren Mangus noted that many colleagues around the country who’d had “unfortunate experiences of tragedies such as this, two themes were repeatedly echoed: 1) care for the caregiver and 2) reaffirming safety and security (for ourselves, loved ones, students, colleagues, and our
    communities).  In the coming days, weeks, and months, in addition to all of our other roles and responsibilities, it will be vital to prioritize our own self-care.”
    For additional information, which NASP has approved for dissemination with appropriate references, see the following:

    As we forge ahead during this time, I encourage you all to check in with family, friends, peers, and students; as well as those who may cross you minds, or who may appear disconnected from community. But, most importantly take stock of you own mental health and engage in whatever form of healing you may need. We can take care of others, if we have not taken care of ourselves. We cannot pour healing into the vessels of others, if our own vessels are broken and
    empty. “Remember that ‘love says no’ and boundaries are part of self-care” according to my good friend Dr. Lauren Mangus.

    If you are in need of resources, have any questions, concerns, or would even like to provide supports, please reach out to your Regional Representative.  Also, we have School Violence Resources on our website and continue to update social media with resources.  Take great care of yourselves and remember that we are all in this together.  MASP is here.

    Peace, protection, healing, and courage.

    Vincent O. Hodge, PhD, EdS, NCSP
    MASP President 2022-2023
  • 01/15/2023 6:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    MASP is pleased to announce NASP Attendees may earn up to 33 SCECHs for attending the annual conference and 10 SCECHs for participation in the Denver Express Package! The following three items are required to earn SCECH and must be completed within 2 weeks of the annual convention or 2 weeks of viewing the virtual sessions.

    For NASP Annual Convention Attendees:

    Email to masp.scech.coordinator@gmail.com the following:

    - Copy of convention receipt

    - Completed Documentation form 

    - Complete Google Form https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1xt8P75TH51ldtL7_ljMZow31wl1j1EBWIRQelX6DCXs/edit

    For NASP Denver Express Package Attendees:

    Email to masp.scech.coordinator@gmail.com the following:

    - Copy of convention receipt

    - Completed Documentation form 

    - Complete Google Form https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1xt8P75TH51ldtL7_ljMZow31wl1j1EBWIRQelX6DCXs/edit


    For more information about the Michigan Get-Together, please contact Tracy Hobbs:  MichTKH@yahoo.com.

    For more information about SCECHs, please contact: masp.scech.coordinator@gmail.com

  • 05/15/2022 6:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Michigan Association of School Psychologists (MASP) is pleased to announce its highest award and would like to congratulate Sharon Dusney, the first recipient of our MASP Lifetime Achievement Award.  The MASP Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an outstanding school psychologist who has had an impact on the field in Michigan and has dedicated his/her professional life to the development and improvement of school psychology. The announcement was made during our May 11th Board meeting and recognized Sharon for 31 years of service to MASP and her commitment to our profession. 

    Sharon currently serves as the Director of Special Education for the Garden City Public Schools. Derek Fisher, GCPS Superintendent of Schools, in his letter of support, wrote: "I can think of no better nominee to recognize with the MASP Lifetime Achievement Award than Sharon Dusney. Sharon's professional career and commitment to serving students and families, exemplifies and honors the professional standards of the Michigan Association of School Psychologist (MASP)."

    Sharon began her career as a school psychologist with the Romulus Public Schools after graduating from Eastern Michigan University in 1992 with a Specialist Degree in Arts and Sciences.  She went on to serve as a school psychologist and later as Supervisor of Special Services with the Van Buren Public Schools from 1994 to 2005.  In 2005, Sharon took on the role of Director of Special Education with the Garden City Public Schools where she has served since that time.

    Sharon has been an important presence within MASP for many years, having served as President (1996-97), Treasurer (1998-99), Secretary (2009-10), and Region 10 Director, at various times, for 22 years.  Sharon has also held leadership roles with the Michigan and Wayne Country Associations for Special Education Administrators, serving as President (2007-08), Treasurer (2006-07), and Secretary (2005-06).

    One of Sharon’s many strengths and passions as a MASP leader has been her commitment to our graduate students and in strengthening the future of our profession.   This commitment was demonstrated in Sharon’s  presentations for graduate students at annual MASP Conferences which focused on job applications, interviews, and preparing for a career in school psychology.  As a special education director, Sharon was able to share candid information from an administrative perspective for those embarking on their careers.  Sharon’s impact on early career professionals and our field has been significant for decades. A current MASP leader shared this reflection:    “I first came to know Sharon as a MASP student representative during my first semester of graduate training.  As a freshly minted student, Sharon initially struck me as a seasoned, passionate, and incredibly principled professional who, even 17 years later, this impression has not wavered. 

    Other MASP colleagues shared these thoughts about Sharon:

    • I’ve learned a lot from her as a leader, and am inspired by her passion and commitment to the profession through her leadership on the MASP board.  I am grateful to have known and learned from for over half of her tremendous tenure on her 31 years of service to the MASP board and field of school psychology overall.  
    • Sharon Dusney is truly a pioneer and leader in our field, and she encompasses exceptional, well-rounded leadership skills:   excellent communication, strong interpersonal relationships, passion, and dependability.

    • Sharon encapsulates and is a prime model for our practice domains of initiative and dependability, communication, and ethical responsibility.  She is such an incredible asset to our field and will be terribly missed.  One thing I know for certain is that just as Sharon has impacted me and countless others, her legacy will continue to have a ripple effect through our profession and association.  

    Please join us in congratulating Sharon on this well-deserved recognition.

  • 05/03/2022 6:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Michigan Association of School Psychologists believes that all students should be provided with welcome and affirming schools.  Unfortunately, a record number of Anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced and passed around the United States.  In turn, this has created a negative climate for LGBTQ+ students in the schools and within the community.  Further, some schools have implemented policies that are harmful for LGBTQ+ students within Michigan and around the United States.  MASP created an LGBTQ+ handout that provides ethical and legal input regarding supporting LGBTQ+ students.  This document provides a wealth of great information and can be used as an advocacy tool in supporting LGBTQ+ students.  Together we can work to create wonderful schools where all students feel accepted and supported in Michigan. 

  • 01/02/2022 6:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In light of the recent Oxford tragedy, MASP is taking action regarding school violence and advocating for safety and wellness.  In an effort to promote school safety and mental health, we developed a Statement on School Violence Prevention which was approved and adopted by our Executive Board in December of 2021. We hope that this can be an important advocacy tool to help support school psychologists and others in their efforts for effective consultation and systems level change to ensure that all Michigan schools can learn and thrive in a safe and supportive environment.

    Statement on School Violence Prevention

    (Adopted by the MASP Executive Board on December 15, 2021)

    The mission of the Michigan Association of School Psychologists (MASP) is that all Michigan students achieve  their fullest potential.  In order to accomplish this mission, we must work to ensure that students learn and thrive in school environments that are safe and free from violence.  In that spirit and in the wake of the senseless tragedy in Oxford, MASP joins the call for the passage of common sense and reasonable gun safety legislation in Michigan, as well as to increase the availability of school psychologists and access to comprehensive school mental and behavioral health services.

    As part of the National Association of School Psychologists' (NASP) commitment to ensure all children's safety, well-being, and ability to thrive in school, at home, and throughout life, NASP adopted the "Resolution to Support Efforts to Prevent Gun Violence" in January, 2018. This resolution outlines key, evidence based, policy solutions to preventing gun violence (articulated below) which MASP supports. Access to firearms is highly associated with increased risk of injury and death among youth.  And research is clear that exposure to gun violence is highly associated with diminished social, emotional, and academic well-being among youth. It is our responsibility to advocate for the policies and practices that will reduce gun violence.

    Addressing mass gun violence must include preventing access to firearms by individuals at risk of hurting themselves or others.  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics from 2019 (CDC), there were 39,707 firearm-related deaths in the United States with 23,941 of these deaths by firearm suicide.  During that year, there were 1,220 gun deaths in Michigan which included 83 children and teens (ages 0 through 19).

    MASP aspires to protect children from gun violence by encouraging and supporting solutions that create safer, healthier schools, homes, and communities. We support Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s call to lawmakers to enact common sense gun safety measures. Nessel says the tragedy in Oxford should provoke a conversation about Michigan's gun laws and how we can keep children safe in our schools. "I think it's important that we sort of dissect what occurred, and think about what we can do better to potentially prevent a tragedy like this from occurring in the future in another school, in another town in another part of the state." Nessel says she would like to see changes to Michigan gun laws to prevent this sort of violence. "It's time for us to reevaluate the laws that we could be potentially putting in place that could have stopped this from happening.” 

    In conjunction with common sense gun safety laws, we must also improve access to comprehensive school mental and behavioral health services which helps to promote student learning and safety.  Providing ongoing access to mental health services promotes school safety by helping to create a positive learning environment in which students feel connected to their school community and a sense of belongingness. The continuum of school mental health includes promoting wellness, resiliency, skill building, and help-seeking behaviors. These are critical to student well-being and to identifying students who may need more intensive services or for those who require immediate intervention, including those at risk of harming themselves or others.

    MASP endorses the following actions which represent best practice principles in preventing school violence:

    • a comprehensive approach to school safety (NASP Framework for Safe and Successful Schools);
    • increased access to comprehensive school  mental and behavioral health services; 
    • improved ratios for school psychologists and other school-based mental health professionals as well as more effective use of existing school psychologists; and limiting inappropriate access to firearms.
    • rigorous enforcement of existing gun laws;
    • eliminating inappropriate youth access to guns;
    • improving awareness of evidence based safe gun practices, including secure storage of firearms;
    • restricting the presence of guns in schools to only commissioned and trained school resource officers; 
    • ensuring greater protection to keep guns out of the hands of individuals deemed at risk of hurting themselves and others;
    • comprehensive background checks for all gun purchases;
    • extreme risk protection orders that allow family members or police officers (when notified by school/family or when responding to an incident) to petition the court to remove someone’s access to weapons when they are deemed a threat to self or others;
    • bans on weapons that can do mass destruction in a short period of time (e.g., fully automatic assault weapons and high-capacity magazines); and
    • evidence-based threat assessment policy and practice; mental health evaluations and re-entry plans, including ongoing mental and behavioral health support for students identified as being of imminent threat to themselves or others; and enhanced student access to mental health supports in schools and communities.
    NASP Research Summary:  Gun Violence and Youth, 2019
    NASP Resolution:  Supporting Efforts to Prevent Gun Violence, 2018
    NASP Framework for Safe and Successful Schools, 2013 (Updated March 2015)

    MASP supports approaches that protect children, as they are particularly vulnerable when it comes to gun violence both as direct victims and as being traumatized by the exposure to the deaths of family members, friends, neighbors, and community members. This includes:

    In conclusion, MASP believes that effective laws and policies can reduce gun violence as well as create safer, and welcoming learning environments, all while upholding the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Additionally, MASP advocates strongly for improving access to comprehensive school mental and behavioral health services. This work is critical to  helping all children to learn and achieve their highest potential, now and throughout life. Collectively, we share this responsibility. MASP looks forward to working with other educational and mental health organizations, as well as engaging in advocacy and discussion with state and local policy makers, to create laws and policies based on best practices and research.

    The statement can be found at:  MASP Statement of School Violence Prevention

  • 12/31/2021 6:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On December 30th, Governor Whitmer signed into law the new Critical Shortage legislation: 

    ACTION BY THE GOVERNOR: HB 4694 MPSERS and Substitute Teaching

    The bill would modify MPSERS to allow retirants to be employed at a reporting unit under certain circumstances without forfeiting their retirement allowance or health care coverage. For critical shortage areas, the bill would push back a sunset to July 1, 2025; strike a three-year limitation; and remove the 12-month waiting period for retirants who do not work in the month of their retirement and who are working under an extended COVID-19 learning plan. Comparable changes would be made to the MPSERS section on substitute teachers and independent contractors. The bill signed by the governor and assigned Public Act 267 of 2020.

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