It is a pleasure to welcome our key note speakers to the 2022 McGill Summer Institute for School Psychology Conference that will take place virtually from May 26-27th, 2022.

Dr. Elana Bloom is a psychologist, who worked at Lester B. Pearson School Board for more than 17 years in various roles. At the start of her career, she worked as a psychologist in elementary and high schools. She then assumed the role of the Coordinator of the Center of Excellence for Mental Health, a Ministry of Education mandate to build capacity among school staff in the area of mental health across the province. While maintaining her role as coordinator of CEMH, she also assumed the role of coordinator for the Family, School, and Support Treatment Team, comprised of behavioral technicians and consultants who provide support to students, parents’ and school staff focused on social-emotional learning, trauma-informed practices, and solution-focused approaches. She has also been a sessional instructor at McGill and Concordia University. Currently, Dr. Bloom is the Manager of the Access Center for Students with Disabilities within Campus Wellness and Support Services at Concordia University. Dr. Bloom and her team work with students, faculty, and other university stakeholders to reduce barriers to academic participation, raise awareness about disability and accessibility, and engage in community-building to promote an inclusive environment at Concordia. She has a published numerous peer reviewed papers and co-authored book chapters, in addition to having a community-based clinical private practice. Her areas of interest include universal mental health approaches, emotion regulation, skills-based mental health interventions, and non-suicidal self-injury. ​

Summary of Workshop

Their presentation will explore shifts in the role of the school psychologist as it has evolved from an assessment-based learning focus to intervention, prevention, and promotion of mental health and well-beingThe workshop will consider how a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) enables the school psychologist to guide schools with universal approaches and programs that promote mental health and well-being for all students, more targeted programs geared to prevention and identification of at-risk students, and collaboration with community resources to support students with mental health disorders. 

​Areas covered: evaluation processes and methods; intervention processes and methods; human development 

Leanring objectives:

​a) Learn about evidence-based practices in school-based mental health promotion, prevention and intervention.
b) Understand the variety of clinical approaches that can be effective in the practice of school-based mental health.
c) Explore service delivery models pointing to the most effective roles for the school psychologist
d) Develop the capacity to reflect on the psychologist’s skills and abilities in conjunction with the needs that present in the school setting. 


Dr. Gerry Weintraub is a psychologist who has worked in schools for over thirty-six years. He is currently coordinator of the Centre of Excellence for Mental Health, a Ministry of Education resource with the mandate to support Quebec English School Board educators with best practices to promote positive mental health, and to prevent and intervene with mental health problems. He has been a leader regionally and nationally in developing and elaborating models and approaches to school-based mental health through the organization conferences and webinars, participation in communities of practice and published articles on the subject. Areas of particular interest include conceptualization and implementation of policies and procedures for school based response to traumatic events, suicide prevention and prevention of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). Dr. Weintraub has also been a faculty lecturer at McGill University, Faculty of Education.

Interviewing children: Rapport building, question type, and forensic practices

Friday May 27th, 1pm - 4pm 


Dr. Marie-Hélène Pennestri is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, McGill University. She is also a Regular Researcher at the Integrated University Health and Social Services Centres (CIUSSS) du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal. She completed her Ph.D. in Psychology at the Université de Montréal while training at the Center for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine. She then pursued postdoctoral training at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute (McGill University). Her research program aims to investigate the development of the sleep-wake cycle in infants, children, and adolescents, from a developmental and familial perspective. She also investigates associations between sleep and mental health in vulnerable populations. Her research program is funded by main federal and provincial agencies, such as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Fonds de recherche du Québec. She has a multidisciplinary approach, and her projects integrate both physiological and psychological measures. In addition, Dr. Pennestri is a clinical psychologist working with children, adolescents, and their families at the Pediatric Sleep Clinic of Hôpital en santé mentale Rivière-des-Prairies. She regularly shares her knowledge and research results with parents and professionals. She draws from her experiences and questions as a clinician and mother to guide her study choices.​​

Summary of Workshop 

​During the current workshop attendees will be introduced to interviewing methods used with children and youth. A review of forensic interviewing practices used with children and youth who have alleged, or are suspected of experiencing physical, sexual, and/or neglect will be reviewed. Attendees will learn techniques for building rapport with children and youth during an interview. Dr. Williams will review various forms of questions, and which are most productive in an interview, while also minimizing suggestion. Finally, a review of interviews with children will be provided to highlight some of the methods discussed during the workshop.

Areas covered: evaluation processes and methods; human development 

Learning objectives:

a) To review the steps of a forensic interview
b)  To conceptualize best practice approaches for facilitating disclosure during an interview with a child or youth
c) To understand the basic principals of narrative practice and rapport building
d) To identify and recognize various forms of question type

Summary of Workshop

In this presentation, both a clinical and research-based approach will be used to offer a definition of sleep and sleep health. Some topics to be covered include the biological and psychosocial determinants of sleep, different measurement tools, the importance of sleep hygiene, routine and sleep environment, and the main pediatric sleep disorders. Case studies and major myths will be used to provide an interactive learning experience for participants during the workshop.

Areas covered: evaluation processes;  intervention processes; human development; classification of mental disorders and psychopathology; links between biology and psychotherapy 

Learning objectives: 

a) To better understand the importance of sleep in child development 
b) To learn about the biological and psychosocial determinants and correlates of sleep
c) To understand the main sleep-related challenges in children and adolescents
d) To explore how it is possible to better help families with sleep hygiene, routine, and environment, while respecting their values and culture.

2022 Conference Speakers 

Summary of Workshop

The presentation will examine the relationship between advocacy and self-care.  Attendees will learn about resources to support diverse communities exposed to trauma (i.e., medical, or racial) and will learn how to curate self care routines linked to their core values.

Areas covered: relationship between toxic stress and racial trauma and achievement; resources to support advocacy awareness; resources to support and monitor self-care. 

Learning objectives: 

a) examine the relationship between toxic stress/racial trauma and achievement
b) explore the relationship between social justice advocacy and racial trauma
c) examine the dynamics between advocacy and self-care
d) identify sustainable selfcare routines 

CLICK HEREto see the full SISP 2022 Conference Program

The changing landscape of school psychologists 

Friday May 27th, 9am - 12pm 


Dr. Stacy Williams is an Associate Professor at Marist College, a Licensed Psychologist and Certified School Psychologist in New York State. Dr. Williams serves on the Trainers of School Psychologists (TSP) executive board as President-Elect.  At the state level, Dr. Williams is the Treasurer of the New York Association of School Psychologists (NYASP). A practitioner scholar, Dr. Williams’ years of working with groups of K-12 at-risk learners in both urban and rural communities have given her clear insights into the frustrations, challenges, and joys of working as a school psychologist.  She has consulted with Instructional Support Teams (IST) working closely with key stakeholders integrating multi-tiered systems of supports (MTSS) at the IST level.  Dr. Williams has also consulted internationally, bringing MTSS strategies to rural classrooms in Jamaica, her home country.  Dr. Williams researches and provides training in social justice, creating inclusive classrooms, academic and behavioral interventions, data-based decision-making for teachers, and university/school partnerships.



Dr. Williams is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, in the Faculty of Education at McGill University. Prior to joining the Department, she was a visiting postdoctoral fellow at the University of Southern California's Gould School of Law. As a registered psychologist in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, Dr. Williams has clinical experience in hospital, school and community agencies. She has worked with maltreated populations while conducting forensic interviews for various law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles. Her research focuses on interviewing children and youth in forensic and medical settings. She specializes in conducting interviews with children and youth, with an emphasis on the disclosure process.

Sleep in children & adolescents: Why is it important, how does it work, & how can we improve it?

Thursday May 26th, 9am - 12pm 

Self-care and advocacy: Meal preps for the soul

Thursday May 26th, 1pm - 4pm 

For any questions, please contact us at​

​​Hosted by SISP student committee, McGill University

Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology