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NEWS FROM PUPIL APPRAISAL SERVICES
Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2008 @ 13:35:50 CDT by aline

OPSB News Personnel in Pupil Appraisal Services have been very busy for the benefit of Ouachita Parish students! Click 'read more' below to read full stories on the following highlights:

~~Intern Becky Gasca recently completed all requirements for National Certification in School Psychology (NCSP).
~~Teddi McGeehee, School Psychologist, was named Citizen of the Year. (photos)
~~Connie Cassels, a Nationally Certified School Psychologist, represents in the Louisiana School Psychology Association (LSPA).
~~Connie Cassels and Sam Tingle presented at the SCR Music Conference coordinated by Mark Walker, Instrumental Music Coordinator.
~~School Psychologists/Behavior Interventionists Robert Hinton and Sam Tingle participated in the National Association for School Psychologists Annual Conference.
~~Tina Roush, a Nationally Certified School Social Worker, serves as representative for the Louisiana Autism Spectrum and Related Disabilities (LaSARD) project.
~~Initial training for School Wide Positive Behavior Supports (SWPBS) has been completed in nine Ouachita Parish schools.



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Becky Gasca, a University of Louisiana at Monroe student completing an internship in School Psychology in Pupil Appraisal Services, recently completed all requirements for National Certification in School Psychology (NCSP). Including Becky, there are now nine nationally certified school psychologists, four nationally certified educational diagnosticians, and two nationally certified school social workers serving students in Ouachita Parish Schools.

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Teddi McGeehee, School Psychologist, was named Citizen of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers - Monroe Chapter. This award is given to an individual whose accomplishments exemplify courage, leadership, and the values of professional social work in our community. Teddi was nominated for her personal and professional contributions to Heartbeat Monroe, a support group for families and friends of persons who die by suicide.

Heartbeat Monroe was recognized in the February 14 issue of the national Families for Depression Awareness newsletter for hosting a bake sale at the annual Crew of Janus Mardi Gras parade. This organization raised over $250 for the production and distribution of parent and teen depression awareness guides.

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Connie Cassels, a Nationally Certified School Psychologist, began a two year term as Northeast Regional Representative for the Louisiana School Psychology Association (LSPA) in January, 2008. Elected by school psychologists throughout the region, Connie will organize and schedule regional meetings to share professional information from LSPA and the National Association for School Psychologists. She will represent school psychologists in this region as a member of the LSPA Executive Council throughout her tenure.

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The South Central Regional Music Conference was held February 21-23, 2008, in Monroe. Mark Walker, Instrumental Music Coordinator for Ouachita Parish Schools, was Executive Director of this event. For this conference, Connie Cassels, School Psychologist, developed and presented a seminar entitled “The Effect of Participation in the Arts on Educational Outcomes: A Research-Based Perspective”. It was revealed through correlated data that participation in music, drama, and visual arts may enhance achievement in mathematics, reading, and science skills for all students. Sam Tingle, School Psychologist, was co-presenter.

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School Psychologists/Behavior Interventionists Robert Hinton and Sam Tingle participated in the National Association for School Psychologists Annual Conference in New Orleans in February. The theme of this convention was “Resiliency: Building Strength for Life”. Seminars and workshops included instruction in assessment, professional accountability, prevention and intervention strategies, program development, and federal legislation and related policies, as well as the implementation and supervision of school-based mental heath services.

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Tina Roush, a Nationally Certified School Social Worker, currently serves as the Ouachita Parish Pupil Appraisal representative for the Louisiana Autism Spectrum and Related Disabilities (LaSARD) project, a federally funded program administered through Louisiana State University. She has received extensive training in the assessment and education of children with autism and autism spectrum disorders. As a grant representative, Tina assists teachers of children with autism to structure physical learning environments, teach adaptive communication skills, and model and facilitate appropriate social and interpersonal behaviors.

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Initial training for School Wide Positive Behavior Supports (SWPBS) has been completed in nine Ouachita Parish schools. Training is scheduled for additional schools for the spring and the fall of 2008. Participant schools use a data-based information system and input from faculty, students, and parents to prioritize specific behaviors, develop school-specific consequences for both positive and negative behaviors, and to implement a systematic plan that allows all students to earn positive rewards for positive behavior. Review of disciplinary data indicated that participant schools are beginning to demonstrate significant reductions in incidents of negative behaviors.

Instruction and funding for implementation of SWPBS is provided through a state/federal grant administered by Louisiana State University. Sam Tingle, Secondary Schools Behavior Interventionist, under the general direction of the Supervisors for Welfare and Attendance, serves as SWPBS System Contact for Ouachita Parish schools. Quarterly SWPBS updates will be published on this website as information becomes available.
 
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