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 April 24, 2019 by Digital Media Committee Chair

If you are definitely joining us in Raleigh on May 2nd, you must RSVP ASAPbit.ly/NCSPALegislativeDay2019

  • We will meet on May 2nd at the Dept. of Public Instruction (DPI) “Education Building” (301 N. Wilmington St) at 8:30 a.m. We have the 150 South Room reserved. It is the room on the left, directly behind the front desk when you enter the Education Building. This will be our “launch pad” throughout the morning. 
  • The time of the State Board of Ed meeting recognition of our NASP award recipients (Leigh Kokenes and Rhonda Armistead) has been moved to 11:05 a.m. This time could change again. If it changes, we will send out an updated schedule on May 1st.
  • Dress in business professional attire (i.e. suits, ties). This is very important!  

If you cannot be in Raleigh on May 2nd, consider setting up a phone conference with your legislator(s) for that day. This is an important time for us to communicate about our School Psychologist Compensation and Recruitment bills (House Bill 482 and Senate Bill 382) and why these are so important for the safety of North Carolina students! If you don't have time to call, please send an email. We have sample letters you can copy directly from our website on the Advocacy page. 

NCSPA Legislative Update
Posted on April 10, 2019 by Digital Media Committee Chair

Attention all NC School Psychologists!

Please join us in Raleigh on May 2nd, 2019 for NCSPA’s first annual Legislative Day! Call your legislators TODAY to schedule your meetings!

RSVP by April 19th via this form:  RSVP to NCSPA Leg Day 2019

8:30 a.m. : Meet at the Dept. of Public Instruction (DPI) building for the State Board of Education Meeting where Leigh Kokenes (2019 NASP School Psychologist of the Year) and Rhonda Armistead (2019 NASP Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award) will be recognized. This meeting is open to the public.

8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. : Meet with your NCGA Senator and Representative

IMPORTANT: Make your own appointments with your legislators WEEKS in advance. Yes, that means please start now.

Find NC legislator contact info here: https://www.ncleg.gov/RnR/Representation

Lunch is on your own! (Or, depending on RSVPs, perhaps we will meet somewhere together and debrief)

If you are interested in joining us in Raleigh:

  1. Please RSVP by April 19th RSVP to NCSPA Leg Day 2019. We will send you a logistics packet which will include FAQs.
  2. Please make an appointment to meet with your NC Senator and Representative for May 2nd ASAP. You can find contact information here: https://www.ncleg.gov/RnR/Representation
    1. If you plan on attending the SBOE meeting (8:30-10:00), we recommend setting your appointments between 8:00-8:30 or 10:00-12:00. It is about a 10 minute walk between any two places you will be. Expect these meetings to take about 15 minutes each.
    2. We recommend you copy legislators’ assistants on emails.
    3. Follow up with phone calls and emails until you are able to confirm an appointment.
    4. Let us know ASAP if you are having trouble getting in touch with your Representative or Senator.
    5. Remember: Your legislators represent you and want to hear from you.
  3. Know before you go:
    1. Read our legislation Senate Bill 382 and House Bill 482 School Psychologist Compensation and Recruitment
    2. Thankfully, NCSPA has done your homework for you. Please see our Legislative Agenda, Infographic & More! We will also send a logistics packet which will include tips on how to effectively get messages across to legislators.

Any questions, feel free to contact Leigh Kokenes leighkokenes@gmail.com, Mary Whitehouse (maryhwhitehouse@gmail.com, or Melissa Mascari melissaflittlewood@gmail.com

NCSPA Legislative Update
Posted on March 27, 2019 by Digital Media Committee Chair

Contact your legislators today and encourage them to pass along our School Psychologist Compensation and Recruitment bill! The NC Senate and House have just filed identical bills, entitled the School Psychologist Compensation and Recruitment bill (SB 382 and HB 482). It is a measure that includes two parts: Part I provides for a salary increase of 1,000 dollars per month for school psychologists working in NC public schools. Part II outlines the School Psychologist Recruitment and Retention Program to become part of DPI. The purpose of this program is, as the name suggests, to recruit and retain school psychologists in NC public schools by offering signing and retention bonuses in ways that are outlines in the bill. It also requires the creation of a new recruitment and retention coordinator position to be housed in DPI and to work under the direct supervision of the State Superintendent. The bill stipulates the amount of money required to be appropriated for both parts. This bill has the support of the State Superintendent, DPI, and bipartisan support in the House and Senate.

A huge "thank you" to Senators Deanna Ballard, Don Davis, and Chuck Edwards for sponsoring Senate Bill 382; and the same to Representatives Holly Grange, Craig Horn, Donny Lambeth, and Josh Dobson for sponsoring House Bill 482!

Next Steps:

1. Find both your NC House and Senate members in the General Assembly and ask them to pass HB 482 and SB 382 through their Education and Appropriations Committees quickly.

Sample email may include these words: Dear Rep/Senator XYZ - My name is X and I am your constituent and work in X school district. House Bill 482 and Senate Bill 382 are being introduced and I am asking for your support in voting YES on these bills. There are currently less than 800 school psychologists supporting the mental health needs of 1.6 million school children in NC. NC has around 75 vacancies that districts are unable to fill because we cannot compete with our neighboring states for these highly trained professional educators. These incentives bills will support us in filling these vacancies but more importantly, addressing the mental health needs of children in school. [Add more words as you see fit and that are of local relevance].

2. Contact your local PTA and ask for their support too, especially if they are willing to contact their legislators in support of these bills.

3. Let your superintendent and school board members know about these bills so that they can contact their legislators for support, too.

4. Have a family write a "Letter to the Editor" about what a difference School Psychologists have made in their children's lives and why we need this important legislation.

5. Contact one of the following NCSPA LPP members for support in doing this: leighkokenes@gmail.com and maryhwhitehouse@gmail.com

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 www.ncleg.net 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
View all updates >>

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