Vermont Association
of School Psychologists


Conferences and Other VASP Events

Upcoming events

    • May 01, 2015
    • Castleton State College

    School Psychology Practice in Vermont-A Changing Landscape

    Beyond Individual Assessment: A Systems Level Role for School Psychologists

    Presented by Louise Vojtisek, M.A., NCSP

    Presented by Jennifer Patenaude, .M.A.

    May 1, 2015 at Castleton State College


    Louise Vojtisek, M.A., NCSP is a semi-retired school psychologist who lives in Middlebury, Vermont. She is a past president of the Vermont Association of School Psychologist and currently serves as the Vermont delegate to the National Association of School Psychologists. Louise is an experienced practitioner with expertise in curriculum based measurement (CBM), universal screening, and development of early reading skills. Following many years of traditional school psychology practice, she made a dramatic career shift in the direction of prevention and systems level change, and has worked actively with administrators and teachers to develop universal screening protocols, multi-tiered support systems, and adoption of core curricula that are effective with the majority of a school’s population. As a trainer for Dibels, Aimsweb, and now Formative Assessment System for Teachers (FAST), she has consulted with many schools, and enjoys working with teachers and administrators to develop skills in utilizing data to inform and monitor instructional programs at the building and district level. The National Association of School Psychologists has adopted the motto: Helping children achieve their best. In school. At home. In life. Louise believes her current focus on prevention of behavioral and learning problems for all children, rather than intervening, often too late, at the individual child level, has been the most gratifying work of her career. When not involved in CBM work, Louise takes frequent walks with her Jack Russell terrier, perseveres in keeping up to date with technology, and enjoys reading, knitting, and travel.

    Jennifer Patenaude, M.A has worked for North Country Supervisory Union for the past 19 years as a special education teacher, evaluation specialist, and instructional specialist. She is very closely involved with the planning and delivery of professional development opportunities on various general and special education topics within North Country Supervisory Union (NCSU), and other supervisory unions around Vermont.  Jen also serves as a course instructor, workshop presenter, internship supervisor, and Special Education Advisory Council member for the Vermont Higher Education Collaborative (VT-HEC).

    Morning Session: Data Based Decision Making (DDDM) and formative assessment are well researched, evidence-based practices that produce the most robust effects when delivered with technology, training and support. Findings from the literature suggest that formative assessment is a systematic, continuous process used during instruction. This type of assessment provides a feedback loop to check for progress and detect learning gains, identify strengths and weaknesses, and narrow gaps in learning. Effective implementation has been shown to improve learning outcomes for students who are struggling with learning, students with disabilities, and English learners, and may increase coherence when aligned with or linked to a state’s comprehensive assessment system. This session will illustrate a shift in typical school psychology practice, from a “within child” deficit paradigm to an eco-behavioral perspective, with an emphasis on universal screening, intervention, and progress monitoring prior to
    special education referral. The impact of a school psychologist can be magnified when efforts originate at the school or systems level, as opposed to working only with individual students. To embed these issues in context, participants will be introduced to Formative Assessment System for Teachers (FAST), an evidence based screening, progress monitoring, and data management system that originates from the work of Dr. Ted Christ at the University of Minnesota. The various components of FAST will be reviewed briskly, but the focus will be on the reports and case examples obtained from these assessments and specifically how these relate to the work of school psychologists at the classroom, school, and district level. School psychologists’ training in consultation, academic and behavioral interventions, counseling, research, and evaluation results in a skill set that will be needed as districts implement MTSS procedures. This creates new opportunities and potentially a greater need for school psychologists, while also requiring some role expansion.

    Afternoon Session: As Vermont moves forward towards the use of a Multi-Tiered System of Supports for the purposes of identification of Specific Learning Disabilities, many questions have been raised regarding what this process might look like from the standpoint of a comprehensive evaluation. What tools might be used? What information will be essential for teams to make key decisions regarding student program planning regardless of eligibility status? How might cross-battery factor analysis be utilized within this model? The answers to these questions and related topics will be addressed as part of the day.

    Topics Covered Over the Course of The Day:

    1. Multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS)

    2. Universal screening and progress monitoring

    3. Data based decision making and the critical role that can be played by School Psychologists

    4. Assessment of cognitive factors that impact learning

    5. Changes in SLD identification in the era of MTSS

    6. The SLD Identification toolkit available from (National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD)

    7. Examples of what these changes look like in practice.

    8:30 - 9:00 Registration

    9:00 - 12:00 Morning Session – Break at 10:30 – Refreshments included

    12:00 - 1:00 Lunch – Included - Annual Meeting Immediately following Lunch

    1:00 - 3:00 Afternoon Session

    3:00 Professional Development Certificates Distributed

    Registration: Pre-registration is encouraged by April 20, 2015 so lunch can be guaranteed. Registration at the door is accepted.

    VASP Members* $60 VASP Student Members* $30

    * You must be a current VASP member to attend the Spring Conference. Call Cynthia LaRiviere (802-847-9801) if you are unsure of your 2015 membership status or check on: . The 2015 (Jan. – Dec. 2015) membership dues of $40 (students $15) were due by 01/31/15 but can be included with this conference registration for your convenience.

    Register online at: Click on spring conference under “Events”. Membership dues can also be paid for online. Click on the “Join Us” tab and choose appropriate membership or update your membership.

    Questions re: registration or payment contact Katey Wisse

    Continuing Professional Development Credits for VT Licensed Psychologists & VT School Psychologists: 6 CPDs for Category I for VT Practicing Psychologists.  Submit for approval. 6 CPDs hours for School Psychologists, & Nationally Certified School Psychologists.

Stern Center - Assessment Symposium Series

  • Assessing Social Cognition
    Date: 01/30/15

  • Evaluating Listening Comprehension and Reading Comprehension
    Date: 03/27/15

  • Identifying Learning Disabilities in ELLs
    Date: 05/8/15

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