NCSPA is a professional organization that supports and advocates for school psychologists across North Carolina to provide comprehensive services that reflect best practices in the field of school psychology.

Welcome parents, educators, leaders, and student support specialists!

We hope that you will find this resource helpful as you fulfill your role in ensuring positive educational outcomes and wellness for all our children and youth. As School Psychologists across North Carolina, we can be part of the solution, no matter the problem!

Special Announcements

NCSPA Legislative Update
Posted on March 15, 2019 by Digital Media Committee Chair

The 2019 legislative session is in full swing and there are several bills related to education that moved through the House last week. Two especially noteworthy bills are House Bill 76 (School Safety Omnibus) and House Bill 75 (School Mental Health Screening Study). Here’s a little more about each:

As the name suggests, the School Safety Omnibus bill (HB 76) pulls together several measures related to school safety. Several of the components are related to the physical safety of school facilities (e.g., school crisis kits, schematic diagrams and emergency access to school buildings for local law enforcement, lockdown drills, school risk management plans, school building vulnerability assessments, etc.). The Center for Safer Schools and its powers and duties are outlined along with a list of agencies with which the Center will cooperate. Part V outlines training and reporting standards for School Resource Officers (SROs). Part III might be where you want to start reading if you’re short on time. That section outlines threat assessments and threat assessment teams. School psychologists are listed specifically as a required team member (where practicable). The original version of this bill was reviewed by members of the LPP (Legislative & Public Policy) Committee and some questions, concerns, and suggestions were passed on to our NCSPA Lobbyist. NCSPA was successful in securing favorable amendments to the bill.

The School Mental Health Screening Study bill (HB 75) directs DPI and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to conduct a study to recommend a mental health screening process to identify school children in NC who are at risk of harming themselves or others. Again, we were successful in amending the bill, and NCSPA is now a named entity in the first paragraph where DPI and DHHS are required to confer with us in the course of their study. The following elements are required in the proposed study:

  • Whether the state should require such a screening
  • Which mental health professionals should conduct the screening
  • What behaviors or mental health diagnoses the screen should be targeted to identify
  • The format the screening must take
  • Whether the screening will be uniform throughout the state or whether the agencies (DPI & DHHS) should create guidelines for each local school administrative unit
  • Creation of a policy to connect children identified as being at risk with appropriate mental health services
  • How to store and access the confidential health information generated by the screening
  • The age at which to initiate screening and whether it should be repeated at different ages
  • Whether parents will be able to opt out
  • Others deemed necessary

If you are interested in the prior versions of or amendments to either bill, go to and search by bill number (HB 76 or HB 75) in the search box on the top right section of the page. Both have passed the House and head over to the Senate. Stay tuned for more updates as we anticipate these things will move quickly through the legislative process.

NCSPA Jack Bardon Live Time Achievement renamed the Dr. Jim R. Deni Life Time Achievement Award
Posted on November 04, 2018 by Digital Media Committee Chair
Preparing for Hurricane Florence
Posted on September 11, 2018 by Digital Media Committee Chair
In preparation for Hurricane Florence, NCSPA is sharing the following resources to help support students, families, and educators to prepare for and recover from the storm:

For up-to-date information, please monitor local news and use the ReadyNC website, which offers news on forecasts, government announcements, traffic, shelters, flooding, and more. Download the app to your phone for easy access.

From NASP: From the Autism Society of North Carolina: From the South Carolina Association of School Psychologists:
2018 Fall Conference, October 14-16, 2018 at Hilton Charlotte University Place in Charlotte, NC
Posted on August 22, 2018 by Digital Media Committee Chair
Dear Colleagues,

The NCSPA Board and Fall Conference Committee invite you to participate in our 2018 Fall Conference, October 14-16, 2018 at Hilton Charlotte University Place in Charlotte, NC. The Conference theme is School Psychologists: Systems Level Change Agents.

On Sunday, you will have a chance to hear from Dr. Perry Zirkel on the law and identification of Specific Learning Disability and Dr. Mark Shinn on implementation of MTSS in secondary schools.

On Monday and Tuesday, our learning opportunities will include sessions with Rhonda Armistead,who will do a session on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Charles Barrett, who will discuss disproportionality and English Language Learners. Other session topics include homelessness, Section 504, MTSS and Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as using the Community Resiliency Model.

Between sessions, we will be using facilitators from around the state to Gather and Gab about a variety of topics that you want to discuss! These small groups will meet at a local restaurant, have a great meal, and talk shop! When you register for conference, let us know of some topics you might be interested in discussing!

Some other conference highlights to look forward to include our Advocacy Reception, sponsored by PAR as well as an evening banquet and reception. We will have good food, awards, the raffle and other prizes, and dancing! You won’t want to miss it!

Speaking of raffle, the charity the conference committee has chosen to support this year is Mental Health America. MHA supports professionals and families and is education-focused in social emotional learning. Come join us and learn ways to develop as a systems level change agent!

See you soon,
Alma Harness
NCSPA Fall Conference Chair

For more information and to register click here.
Lead one of our Gather and Gab special interest groups!
Posted on July 18, 2018 by Digital Media Committee Chair
Hello, Practitioners,
The NCSPA Fall Conference Committee has been working hard throughout the year to bring you a high quality, relevant, and informative professional development opportunity in October. Last year, NCSPA piloted the idea of special interest group meetups for our practitioners to network and discuss current issues in a less informal setting. We'd like to provide the same opportunity again at this year's conference and offer the opportunity facilitating one of our Gather and Gab special interest groups!  

Our 2017 conference feedback survey listed the following topics as areas of interest: 

LD determination, Counseling and mental health services, Assessing English Learners, MTSS implementation, AU evaluation and intervention, leadership, preschool topics, collaboration with outside agencies or other specialists, mentor/supervision, LI populations.  But if you have other ideas for a group we’re more than happy to have you facilitate the conversation!

Do you need to be an expert in any of these areas? No! Not at all! The point of Gather and Gab groups is to get folks together and discuss challenges, successes, and ideas around these topics. We just need you to be curious and willing!

Based on feedback from last year, we have decided to provide different times for the groups to meet:

  • Pre-Dinner/Dinner: after 5 pm Saturday (October 13)
  • Breakfast: 7:00-8:00 Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday (October 14-16)
  • Lunch: 12:00-1:00 Sunday, Monday (October 14-15)
  • Lunch: 1:00 Tuesday (October 16)
The meetup groups will be limited to about 8 people. Our programming committee will provide some facilitation questions as well as assist in reserving space at one of the nearby restaurants for your group to meet. 

If you are interested in facilitating a Gather and Gab, please fill out the form found at this link.
View all updates >>

NCSPA on Social Media

Leigh Kokenes, School Psychologist of the Year, will be the guest on the March 23 (7:30 p.m.) airing of Education Matters on WRAL where she will discuss the state of School Psychology in NC! If you miss it, view it on FOX 50, March 24 @ 8:00 a.m. #NCED ...

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