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Formerly the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP)

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Legal Updates and Ethical Practices for Serving Children and Families in Schools

Dec 09, 2016 09:00am -
Dec 09, 2016 12:00pm

Event Description

The School Psychology Department at William James College


Legal Updates and Ethical Practices for

Serving Children and Families in Schools

Friday, December 9, 2016 from 9 am - Noon

Barbara Miller, PhD, NCSP, LEP and

Gayle Macklem, MA, NCSP, LEP, instructors

In practice, school psychologists must make decisions, which affect the lives of their many clients. Often the needs of various clients’ conflict. The context in which school psychologist practice is complex, influenced by others’ needs, by law, and by pulls in different directions. This presentation is designed to give practitioners updates in ethics and relevant law and also to give them practice in dealing with the complex environments, differing values, and differing needs of the individuals with whom they work.  The case based approach is a powerful technique for practicing ethical decision making as it asks participants to share a variety of perspectives. Advantages of group problem solving are that the key influence of context can be understood, various possible solutions can be weighed, and an in-depth appreciation of the issue at hand can be realized. Additionally the approach often avoids polarization. The downside is that it takes time, which practitioners may not have when dealing with a ‘real’ situation. The cases presented are not actual cases. They represent possible situations in which one or more ethical issues arise. They have no relationship to any real person or persons, school(s), or context(s). The solution within the case is less important than the process for this training; and in most cases there is no simple solution that could not be challenged. Real life decision making is ‘messy.’ The case study approach is not designed to allow participants to generalize to cases which practitioners might encounter in their own practice  but rather “…the case study produces the type of context-dependent knowledge which research on learning shows to be necessary to allow people to develop from rule-based beginners to virtuoso experts” (Flyvbjerg, 2006).

Specific learning objectives:

  • Describe the role of the school psychologist in situations involving state and federal law

  • Identify the situations which cause the most common ethical dilemmas in practice

  • Use a model for improved ethical decision making, for recording and for defending decision making

  • Improve skills in ethical decision making in complex and messy situations and appreciating possible consequences

  • Examine how to become more proactive in preventing ethical conflicts with other professionals

  • Develop more ethical practice in collaborative teaming

  • Discuss how to become more proactive in preventing ethical conflicts with other professionals develop more ethical practice in collaborative teaming

Program Code: CFS3

3 CE Credits | $55

Location: William James College, Newton

Barbara Miller, PhD, is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and a Licensed Educational Psychologist. As a practicing school psychologist in the public schools for 34 years, she was a field supervisor for graduate students; a middle school department chairperson, representing support personnel; and a team chairperson. She developed a forum for the professional development of the school psychologists in the collaborative towns. Her primary areas of interest have been how school psychologists can expand their roles and advocacy/legislation. Barbara continues to be active on the Board of the Massachusetts School Psychologists Association, of which she is a past president. She is currently a member of the Teaching Faculty at William James College.


Gayle Macklem, MA, is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and a Massachusetts Licensed Educational Psychologist. She has practiced for more than 30 years as a school psychologist/team chairperson and as an adjunct instructor in school psychology. A former president of the Massachusetts School Psychologists Association (MSPA), she continues to serve on the Board of Directors. Gayle is the author of Bullying and teasing: Social power in children’s groups (2003), A practitioner’s guide to emotion regulation in school-aged children (2008), Evidence-based school mental health services: Affect education, emotion regulation training and cognitive behavioral therapy (2011), and Boredom in the classroom: Addressing student motivation, self-regulation, and engagement in learning (2015). Gayle currently teaches Legal, Ethical and Professional Issues in School Psychology at William James College.


  • American Psychological Association. (2010). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct with the 2010 amendments. Retrieved, from http://www.apa.org.

  • Jacob, S., Decker, D.M., & Hartshorne, T.S. (2011). Ethics and law for school psychologists (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

  • National Association of School Psychologists (2010). Principles for professional ethics. Bethesda, MD. Retrieved from www.nasponline.org

Event Type:Continuing Education Program
Category:School Psychology
Early registration ends on Jul 06, 2016.
Regular registration starts on Jul 07, 2016 and ends on Nov 28, 2016.
Late registration starts on Nov 29, 2016.


Registration Fees
Fee TypeEarlyRegularLate
 Legal Updates & Ethical Practices for Serving Children in Schools
Member Fee: $55.00$55.00$55.00
Non-Member Fee: $55.00$55.00$55.00

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