RASP is an active CASP affiliate and now has a thirty-year history of providing continuing professional development for local school psychologists.
History of RASP
The California Association of School Psychologists (CASP), the nation’s largest and one of the oldest psychologists associations, was established in 1950. Some eighteen years after CASPP (second “P” represented psychometrist) was established, a former CASPP president and a secretary met in St. Louis with a group of national leaders to help form what is now known as the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

The relationship between NASP, CASP, and the CASP affiliates is much like the relationship that exists between the National Educators Association (NEA), California Teachers Association (CTA), and your local district affiliates of CTA. Leadership, professional development, and legislative issues that are of mutual interest flow seamlessly between the national, state, and local levels.

A small bit of trivia, in 1961 Dr. Milt Wilson, CASPP’s newsletter editor, used part NEA’s logo (a small school house) as CASPP’s first logo!
The mission and goal of CASP is to secure and sustain programs that support the profession of school psychology by providing for the educational and professional needs of school psychologists, advancing public awareness about the contributions of school psychologists, and enabling individual school psychologists to function effectively in the schools and communities in which they serve.

In order to further the purposes of the association as stated in the constitution and by-laws, CASP encourages its members to form local associations throughout the state. CASP encourages its members to join the CASP affiliates whose boundaries include the location of a member’s place of employment. The affiliate structure (leadership and professional development activities) is the backbone of the state association. Presently there are fifteen chartered CASP affiliates in the state.

For much of the early period of CASP (1960-1990) the affiliate that represented Riverside’s interests was known as South-East Counties School Psychologists Association (SECSPA). SECSPA encompassed a huge geographic area–basically encompassing all of the area east of Pomona, including all of Riverside and San Bernardino counties!

SECSPA hosted monthly dinner meetings at Griswold’s restaurant, Redlands, and sponsored numerous workshops at Loma Linda University, UCR, and the San Bernardino County Office of Education.

As the number of school psychologists increased during the 1980’s in Riverside, it soon became apparent that SECSPA’s geographic boundaries were too large to meet the needs of the quickly growing I 215 corridor (Moreno Valley, Temecula, Murrieta, Perris, et al.) In 1991 a group of school psychologists from the Temecula, Hemet, and Lake Elsinore area approached CASP to propose the formation of a new affiliate that would meet the growing needs of school psychologists within the rapidly expanding districts located in the south-west areas of Riverside County.

Following numerous meetings, members drafted a constitution, chose a name, and applied to CASP in 1991 to form a new affiliate known as the Riverside Association of School Psychologists (RASP). Then secretary/treasurer of SECSPA Mike Hendrick followed legal and procedural processes to “close-down” SECSPA. He transferred remaining funds to the newly established affiliate RASP, and he continued performing the responsibilities as treasurer for the new affiliate.

Early leadership of RASP was provided by a number of school psychologists from Riverside. Margaret Burgess (Sedore) was RASP’s first president, followed by a number of highly involved members.

RASP is a active CASP affiliate and now has a twenty-year history of providing continuing professional development for local school psychologists. In addition, the affiliate hosted CASP’s state conventions in 2005 and 2009. The 2005 convention was one of CASP’s most successful and financially prosperous conventions.

Glenn P. Schumacher
CASP Historian

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