– The Summit Educational Service Center (ESC) will host a unique professional development opportunity on Friday, April 6 for members in the community to better understand and assist the needs of students from different cultural backgrounds whose native language is not English.
The opportunity will be hosted by the Kent/Akron Association of School Psychologists (KAASP), which is one of the regional affiliates of the Ohio School Psychologists Association. The goal of the training is to link the information provided by the International Institute of Akron on mental health and educational needs of the population they serve with best practices that identify special needs in non-native English speaking students from different cultural backgrounds.
This informative training event will include several top-quality speakers, including: Manager of Social Services Radha Adhikari LLM, MSW, LSW; Congolese Community Leader Rollin Mukanza; and School Psychologist Rossana Torres, who is also the current president elect of KAASP.
“The nature of current norm-referenced standardized cognitive assessments, as well as achievement measures, imply an unfair comparison of students from different cultural backgrounds and whose native language is not English,” said Torres. “Even non-verbal measures contain a level of bias. Therefore, it is important to integrate multicultural approaches, review instruments that have been normed considering these differences, as well as implementing procedures that can help practitioners determine the validity of their results.”
The presentation aims to shed light on these various approaches to cognitive assessments, along with helping attendees better understand other cultural, ethnic and education needs of students from Congolese, Bhutanese and Afghani origin in particular.
“We want to provide first-hand information on the characteristics and needs of children coming as refugees and/or coming from adverse backgrounds who might need special education services,” said Torres. “To not over identify English learners is as important as identifying the ones that do meet criteria as children with disabilities according to IDEA [Individuals with Disabilities Education Act].”
According to Summit ESC Superintendent Joe Iacano, this opportunity is vital to community educators looking to gain knowledge of the ongoing development of school-based mental health efforts on a national scale.
“Connecting people who are seeking to develop the way they assess students with special needs is a goal of our Center,” said Fazio. “We anticipate this opportunity to be an enlightening experience for everyone involved and we encourage all psychologists and other educators in the community to attend.”
Doors will open at 8 a.m. with the first presentation beginning at 8:30 a.m. The cost is $45 for members and $65 for non-members with lunch included.
The deadline to register for the KAASP professional development training is April 2, 2018.
See the attached flyer for more information.