Monday, October 3, 2011

Follow-up references on Age of Consent to Mental Health Services

I wanted to provide some follow-up to some questions, comments, and commentary from the training.

Link to California Family Code 6924 (and the 6900's in general which deal with consent to services).

UCLA School Mental Health Project Page with links and resources to the practical concerns, including consent and confidentiality, of providing mental health services in schools.

Webpage with a ton of summaries and links to resources on the topic of informed consent. (Scholarly and national level, not CA specific).

 National Center for Youth Law's "Minor Consent, Confidentiality, and Child Abuse Reporting in California"

National Center for Youth Law's Summary of Minor Consent Law's for CA. (A great index to reading the law directly.)

Disclaimer: Some of these reports may be a little dated if legal changes occurred recently. However, the legal citations should allow you to cross-reference to the direct legislative text.
Specific California laws can be accessed for free at

Also note that I have not yet found a great set of resources that definitively and concretely answer the question, "At what point does seeing a school psychologist and/counselor in the schools meet the threshold of mental health services and, therefore, requiring formal consent." If you have any good ones, please post!


Friday, September 30, 2011

Handouts for CASP Law & Ethics October 2011

Here is the standard handout.

Law & Ethics Handout

I also provide some follow-up commentary on the issues regarding a parents right to access records and test publishers rights to proprietary test security, with several links, at a previous blog post.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

School Psychologists and Mental Health Services in a Post-AB3632 California

I try to write to a varied audience.

This one is pretty focused not only on a specific audience, but a specific geographical issue.

Please review the California Association of School Psychologists position paper on mental health services in the schools.

I know the authors pretty well.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Becoming a fan of Khan Academy

A couple of months ago, I received some contacts by people that associated with via Twitter and LinkedIn.

I did not immediately respond for two main reasons.

#1 -
For those that cannot tell by the jodhpuri in my picture, I am a gora jamai.
For the non-Indians, this means that on the day of my wedding, I immediately became related to about 1/2 of Northern India.

As such, I immediately assumed that Khan Academy must be lessons in how to star in Bollywood Movies without wearing a shirt by this guy.

#2 - I am pretty much a cynic when it comes to marketing, sales, etc.
In fact, I feel a rant about the number of iPad requests I get every week coming on soon.
Don't even get me started in the number of Non-Public Schools who cannot provide the outcomes that my public educators provide.

Regardless, is one of my favorite websites.
I ran into this presentation, and I also noticed that it was a different Salmon Khan.

I became intrigued, so I went to the website and learned about the Academy.

I immediately signed up my son for an account.
My biggest problem is that I heard rumors of childrens' accounts on gmail, but I haven't figure out how yet. (Anyone? Bueller?)

I am quickly becoming a fan.

Here is my son on a Motorola Xoom working on the Addition 1 Practice Module.
He will turn 5 next month.
The Math goes from 1+1 to Calculus.

What I like:

1. It is free!

2. The videos.
They are a short 2-10 minutes from the ones I have reviewed.
They are multi-modal, you can see the work as he talks.
He uses plain English.
You can review, rewind, etc.

3. It is free.

4. The software.
It is very compatible across platforms.
I have used it on an Android Tablet, an iPhone, and a PC.
(Use the regular website, not the applications or mobile sites.)

5. It is Free.

6. The practice software.
Points and badges make it fun.
There are links to videos and hints.
It tracks data.

7. The coaching software allows a teacher or parent to track usage and progress with intuitive and great data tracking and organization.
I want to see the potential that is has for my resource support intervention classes.

8. It is free.

9. My almost 5-year-old is using it for my initial pilot.

10. If you notice the TED video, he explains how it is designed to support good teaching, not replace it.

Room for Improvement

1. It requires a higher level of user to "get it" or be self-directed.

2. It is not linked to state or national curriculum standards.

3. Some of the modules jump too much from level to level. For example, Addition 1 is questions like 8 +7, but Addition 2 is questions like 83+9. Getting "proficiency" in Addition 1 does not make you adequately ready for Addition 2.

Either way, I highly recommend that you check out the site and the two videos that I embedded.

I particularly like what he says in the TED talk about having lecture at home and increasing the quality of teacher interface time in class.

Too bad I missed the application deadline to be a partner district by 2 weeks.
I only wish that I did not watch so many Salman Khan Bollywood movies or I would have logged on sooner.

I would love to hear your experiences.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Reminder - The Blog is for General Education Purposes Only

I just wanted to run a quick reminder about the nature of the blog.

I do solicit questions for general blog topics.

I do have to apologize for being behind in my posting.
It is the "I am behind on everything time of year."

I have about three posts working in my head.

However, I have received a burst of personally-focused emails lately.

To that end,  I want to respond to a few things.
#1 - If you are in any amount of crisis, despair, or trouble get help right away!
I don't check my emails often, but even if I did, I am no replacement for a live face-to-face conversation with a loved one or professional.

#2 - I skim emails for content and basic information.
Real-world problem-solving requires some serious work.
I don't want anything that I say on the blog or emails to feel like specific advice.
It is not.

As a public service announcement, here is the California Board of Behavioral Sciences advice on online therapy...
which I don't and won't do.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Workshop follow-up:: FERPA, Copyright, Trade Secrets, & Test Security.

As a follow-up from my ethics workshop on the discussion of Parent Rights to Records under the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) versus Copyright and Trade Secrets of test protocols, here are some links and resources on the matter.
(Note: I cited the wrong 9th-circuit decision. It was Newport-Mesa, not Manahatten Beach.)

One one side, there is the stance of the test publishers due to copyright, test security, and trade secrets.

Position Statements of PAR, Pearson, and MHS.

On the other side is the Newport-Mesa Unified Sch. Dist. v. State of California Dept. of Educ., 43 IDELR 161 (C.D. Cal. 2005) decision.

(I am unable to find a free link the entire decision. If anyone finds one, please send and I will edit it in.)

Balanced and school psychologist focused commentary on this can be found from both CASP and NASP.

Practice Pointers:

Remember that the focus of the workshop was on ethics and not the specific application of law / potential litigation.
To be consistent with that fact, this really goes beyond the scope of the workshop.
In that regard, I highly suggest that you inquire with your employer and determine if there is a clear procedure or policy on this that is current enough to include both the 9th Circuit and publisher positions.

The internet also has some legal advice from both law groups representing districts and parents.
I decided to avoid citing those due to possible profit motives, political agendas, etc.
However, Google away, if you so choose.

For those in California, the Federal 9 Circuit holds a stronger precedent than the rest of the nation.
Therefore, it is essential that your district have a specific policy for guidance that has been vetted by your chain-of-command and legal counsel.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Presentation Handouts for CASP 2011

Here are my handouts for this week's presentations.

Please don't ask for the presentation slides for two reasons:
1. The photographs that I use are copyrighted for the presentation so long as I do not collect money, but not for distribution.
2. This breaks the Presentation Zen rule of  NO SLIDEUMENTS.

Links to the pdfs:
Clicking the link will take you to Google Docs.
Choose the "File" menu to download onto your computer.

The handouts and (hopefully) with links.

No Child Left Behind & Accountability
 for School Psychologists

Dr. Eric Beam
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1.     How do you keep the political sound-bites out of a hot-topic law?
2.     Key Points
a.     The relationship between the Federal and State in education.
b.     Accountability
                                          i.     Academic
                                         ii.     Teacher Qualifications
c.      School Choice
d.     Funding Flexibility
e.     Evidenced-Based Interventions
3.     Key Vocabulary in California
a.     * - Asterisk – Used to denote the fact that, especially in California, almost every rule has an exception, waiver, or special circumstance. One example is the “Safe Harbor” provision where an AMO can be met by showing growth without meeting the federal target. Also heavily used in PI because the State cannot afford to implement as written.
b.     AMO – Annual Measurable Objective – The participation and proficiency goals for each school/district. A school or district must meet all AMO’s for every Significant Subgroup to meet Adequate Yearly Progress. Each state determines what determines proficiency, but NCLB determines how many student must be proficient for each year. See the “Hockey Stick” graph below for the annual proficiency goals.
c.      API – Academic Performance Index – The scale from 200-1000 (with a goal of 800) that represents the California’s State Accountability System. Although it is not technically part of No Child Left Behind, CA embedded much of the State’s original system into our NCLB. The CA Legislative Analyst’s Office has criticized the California Department of Education for creating confusion, misplaced prioritization, and unnecessary expense because of this.
d.     AYP – Adequate Yearly Progress – The actual set of goals outlined in NCLB. A school or district meets AYP when they meet every AMO for the year.
e.     CAHSEE – California High School Exit Examination – The tenth-grade administration of the CAHSEE, meaning first-time CAHSEE test-takers, represent the majority of the proficiency calculation for high schools.
f.       CALPADS - California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System – California’s attempt for a universal student tracking and data-system.
g.     CAPA – California Alternative Performance Assessment – Alternative assessment for students with severe disabilities. This assessment is based off of alternative curriculum standards. Up to 1% of valid test scores may count towards AYP.
h.     CMA – California Modified Assessment – Alternative assessment for students with mild/moderate disabilities. Based off of regular education curriculum standards. Up to 2% of valid test scores may count towards AYP.
i.       CST – California Standards Test – The main standards test used in California. It is the primary test used to determine AYP in grade K-8.
j.       DAIT – District Assistance and Intervention Team – See Program Improvement (PI).
k.      Dataquest – The official state database available online.
l.       Ed-Data – Education Data Partnership – Website designed to be more public-friendly.
m.    ELD – English Language Development – The programs, curriculum, and instruction in English Language Arts targeted for English Language Learners.
n.     ELL – English Language Learners – Students for whom English is not the primary language spoken in the home and have not been re-designated as fluent in the past three years by passing the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) or other measure of English Proficiency.*
o.     EPC – Essential Program Components – Nine areas of program evaluation for schools/district in Program Improvement. They are:
                                          i.     Standards-based instructional materials.
                                         ii.     Instructional minutes and intervention minutes in Reading/Language Arts, English Language Development, and Mathematics.
                                        iii.     Annual district instructional/assessment pacing guide.
                                       iv.     Administrator and Instructional Leadership training and on-going professional development that includes EPCs and the district’s Program Improvement Plan.
                                         v.     Fully-credentialed and Highly-Qualified teachers.
                                       vi.     On-going instructional support and professional development in R/LA, ELD, and Math.
                                      vii.     System of assessment and data-monitoring for students.
                                     viii.     Structured, monthly collaboration in RLA & ELD for common courses/departments.
                                       ix.     Fiscal Support that is aligned to EPCs.
p.     Highly-Qualified – NCLB requires that States create a plan (within Federal parameters and approval) to determine the requirements for a “Highly-Qualified” teacher.
q.     NCLB – The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 – The name for the 2001 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Requirements for all states and public entities that receive Title I education funding. Many of the operational details are left to each state. California’s NCLB Website.
r.       PI* – Program Improvement – California’s system of school/district intervention. It consists of 5 levels. Schools or Districts enter PI after two years of failing to meet AYP. They advance one level for every additional year that they do not meet AYP. In the first year that they meet AYP, their level remains unchanged. In the second consecutive year of meeting AYP, they exit Program Improvement.
                                          i.     PI Years One and Two are categorized as “School Improvement” and require school- and district-based improvement initiatives. Supplemental instructional services, funding for professional development, offering school transfers to students in underperforming schools, and school improvement plans are common requirements for schools in PI1 and PI2. These requirements are primarily school-based with increasing district involvement.
                                         ii.     The third year of Program Improvement is categorized as “Corrective Action” and requires interventions that are more aggressive. In addition to continuing earlier requirements, districts must implement at least one of the following at PI3 schools: replace school staff, implement new curriculum, decrease management authority of school-level administration, appoint an approved outside consultant, extend instructional time, or restructure the internal organization of school. PI3 also increases accountability reporting to parents and the state.
                                        iii.     Program Improvement Years Four and Five are categorized as “Restructuring.” In addition to continuing all previous interventions, districts of PI4 schools must plan a major restructuring of the school to be implemented if they enter PI5. The districts must consider reopening as a charter school, replacing the principal and almost all other staff, state takeover, management by a third-party contractor, or any other similarly 14 invasive plan approved by the state. Schools that continue to fall short of AYP remain in PI5 under threat of more punitive measures.
s.      Reconstitution – The term used in educational research when there is a major replacement of staff and/or administration beyond normal turnover.
t.       R/LA – Reading/Language Arts.
u.     Safe-Harbor – Alternative means to meet an AMO by meeting the State growth standard for proficiency.
v.      SAIT – School Assistance and Intervention Team.
w.    Significant Subgroups – Any of the following Subgroups are deemed significant and are required to meet AMOs to achieve AYP is they either represent 100 valid test scores OR 15% enrollment (with a minimum of 50 enrolled students).
                                          i.     African-American or Black
                                         ii.     American Indian or Alaskan Native
                                        iii.     Asian
                                       iv.     Filipino
                                         v.     Hispanic or Latino
                                       vi.     Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
                                      vii.     White
                                     viii.     Two or More Races
                                       ix.     Socioeconomically Disadvantaged
                                         x.     English Learners
                                       xi.     Students with Disabilities
x.      SPSA – Single Plan for Student Achievement – Intended by CDE to be a master document for school planning including, but not limited to, evaluation for PI, EPCs, strategic planning, and accreditation.
y.      Standards – Reference to curriculum standards. Usually references the state-adopted curriculum standards. All instructional materials, instruction, assessment, and intervention are to be aligned to the standards.
z.      STAR – Standardized Testing and Reporting – The umbrella program by which the state administers testing and accountability.
aa.  Takeover – Voluntary or forced oversight by the State or a contract agency.
bb.  Trustee – An individual assigned by the State to a district or school with the power to over-rule administrative decisions.
cc.   WWC – What Work’s Clearinghouse – National registry that evaluates the research and evidence base of an intervention.
4.     Practice Tips for School Psychologists.
a.     Attention and Language.
                                          i.     Focus on the student, not the school/district needs.
b.     IEPs
                                          i.     Address testing issues.
                                         ii.     Make sure ELL issues are addressed.
                                        iii.     Focus on classroom, do not underestimate power of LRE!
                                       iv.     Facilitate data-based decision-making.
                                         v.     Know the non-special education offerings.
c.      Reports
                                          i.     Understand, access, cite, and use the non-psychological data and evidence around you!
                                         ii.     Teacher and classroom focused recommendations.
d.     Consultation
                                          i.     Remember the research, statistics, program evaluation, and consultation classes from graduate school.
                                         ii.     Be very instructional focused.
                                        iii.     Volunteer, but stay out of spotlight.
e.     Interventions
                                          i.     Pyramid of interventions.
                                         ii.     Research and Evidence-based Interventions.
                                        iii.     Collect data that allows for both program evaluation and Educational Benefit monitoring.

Legal & Ethical Issues
Dr. Eric Beam
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·        Law versus ethics.
·        Overview of NASP Framework.
·        Overview of California Board of Behavioral Sciences.
·        Key Issues in Ethics.
·        Vignettes and Interactive Activities.

I.                 Respecting the dignity and rights of all persons.
1.      Autonomy and Self-determination (Consent & Assent)
2.      Privacy & Confidentiality.
3.      Fairness & Justice.
II.               Professional competence & responsibility.
1.      Competence.
2.      Accepting responsibility for actions.
3.      Responsible assessment & interventions practices.
4.      Responsible school-based record-keeping.
5.      Responsible use of materials.
III.              Honesty and integrity in professional relationships.
1.      Accurate presentation of professional qualifications.
2.      Forthright explanation of professional services, roles, and priorities.
3.      Respecting other professionals.
4.      Multiple relationships and conflict of interest.
IV.              Responsibility to schools, families, communities, the profession, and society.
1.      Promoting healthy school, family, and community environments.
2.      Respect for law and the relationship of law and ethics.
3.      Maintaining public trust by self-monitoring and peer monitoring.
4.      Contributing to the profession by mentoring, teaching, and supervision.
5.      Contributing to the school psychology knowledge base.

California Board of Behavioral Sciences (January 2011)

The following are definitions from the Business and Professions Code regarding the scope and practice of licensees regulated by the Board of Behavioral Sciences.

For the purposes of this chapter, the practice of marriage and family therapy shall mean that service performed with individuals, couples, or groups wherein interpersonal relationships are examined for the purpose of achieving more adequate, satisfying, and productive marriage and family adjustments. This practice includes relationship and premarriage counseling.
The application of marriage and family therapy principles and methods includes, but is not limited to, the use of applied psychotherapeutic techniques, to enable individuals to mature and grow within marriage and the family, the provision of explanations and interpretations of the psychosexual and psychosocial aspects of relationships, and the use, application, and integration of the coursework and training required by Sections 4980.37, 4980.40, and 4980.41.

The practice of clinical social work is defined as a service in which a special knowledge of social resources, human capabilities, and the part that unconscious motivation plays in determining behavior, is directed at helping people to achieve more adequate, satisfying, and productive social adjustments. The application of social work principles and methods includes, but is not restricted to, counseling and using applied psychotherapy of a nonmedical nature with individuals, families, or groups; providing information and referral services; providing or arranging for the provision of social services; explaining or interpreting the psychosocial aspects in the situations of individuals, families, or groups; helping communities to organize, to provide, or to improve social or health services; or doing research related to social work.
Psychotherapy, within the meaning of this chapter, is the use of psychosocial methods within a professional relationship, to assist the person or persons to achieve a better psychosocial adaptation, to acquire greater human realization of psychosocial potential and adaptation, to modify internal and external conditions which affect individuals, groups, or communities in respect to behavior, emotions, and thinking, in respect to their intrapersonal and interpersonal processes.

LICENSED EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST Section 4989.14: Scope of Practice
The practice of educational psychology is the performance of any of the following professional functions pertaining to academic learning processes or the education system or both:
(a)    Educational evaluation.
(b)    Diagnosis of psychological disorders related to academic learning processes.
(c)     Administration of diagnostic tests related to academic learning processes including tests of academic ability, learning patterns, achievement, motivation, and personality factors.
(d)    Interpretation of diagnostic tests related to academic learning processes including tests of academic ability, learning patterns, achievement, motivation, and personality factors.
(e)    Providing psychological counseling for individuals, groups, and families.
(f)     Consultation with other educators and parents on issues of social development and behavioral and academic difficulties.
(g)    Conducting psychoeducational assessments for the purposes of identifying special needs.
(h)    Developing treatment programs and strategies to address problems of adjustment.
(i)      Coordinating intervention strategies for management of individual crises. 

1.      Sexual Misconduct
a.      BBS Publication: Professional Therapy Never Includes Sex.
2.      Impairment due to illness or dependency.
3.      Intentional or reckless harm to client.
4.      Gross negligence / incompetence.
5.      Mandated reporting.
6.      Conviction of a crime substantially related to duties.
7.      Fraud related to qualifications and functions.
8.      Permitting trainee or intern to work outside of practice/competence.
9.      Discipline by another state or agency.
10.   Fraud to receive license.
11.   Misrepresentation of credentials.
12.   Exam security.
13.   Impersonating or allowing impersonation of licensee.
14.   Aiding and abetting unlicensed activity.
15.   Failure to maintain confidentiality.
16.   Failure to provide Sexual Misconduct brochure.
17.   Violating chapter on supervision and hours of experience.
18.   Pay, accept, and solicit referral fees.
19.   Failure to disclose fees in advance.
20.   Improper advertising.
21.   Failure to keep records consistent with sound clinical judgment.
22.   Willful failure to comply with clients’ access to mental health records.
23.   Failure to comply with Section 2290.5 (Telemedicine).

Underlying Concepts in Ethics
1.      Do no harm!
2.      Unconditional positive regard.
a.      Self-determination and judgment.
3.      Informed consent.
a.      Including financial.
4.      Confidentiality
a.      Limitations.
5.      Records
a.      HIPAA, FERPA, and memory notes.
6.      Competent Scope of Practice
a.      Including cultural competency and values.
7.      Conflict of Interest
a.      Dual Relationship.
b.      Financial.
8.      Responsible citizenship.

Practice Pointers
1.      Professional Development. – Formal and informal.
2.      Develop a support network.
3.      Divulge and document.
a.      Timelines.
4.      Proper practice means that no one has to trust your ethics.
5.      Self-care.
6.      Teach and mentor!

Interactive Activities
1.      Reflections
a.      Competency
b.      Values
2.      Case-studies
a.      The psychologist/advocate.
b.      The request for protocols.
c.      The isolated school psychologist.
d.      The “expert” teacher.
e.      The out-of-control co-worker.
f.       IEPs are not family court.

Recommended Reading for NCLB