October 2021

School Counseling

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What do School Counselors do?

School counselors design and deliver school counseling programs that improve student outcomes. They lead, advocate and collaborate to promote equity and access for all students by connecting their school counseling program to the school’s academic mission and school improvement plan. They uphold the ethical and professional standards of ASCA and promote the development of the school counseling program based on the following areas of the ASCA National Model: define, deliver, manage and assess. (from ASCA role statement)

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School Counselor Spotlight

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Brandon Alvarez-High School Counselor, Child Welfare and Attendance

Q and A with Mr. Alvarez

What inspired you to be a school counselor?

I was inspired to be a School Counselor after seeing the great need of student support services in urban districts. I realized I had to be in a career where I could make the most impact on the lives of others and School Counseling was the way to go to do just that!

What does your day to day look like?

My day consists of conducting parent and student outreach for those who are truant or chronically absent. Networking with our school partners to identify, counsel, and provide resources to students are daily tasks.

Who inspired you to be a school counselor?

My former supervisor, a Principal of a comprehensive high school in Sacramento, inspired me to be a School Counselor. She is someone who believed in my skill set and gave me the tools to advance professionally in this field.

Tell us something you love doing at your site:

I love learning more about the culture of our school sites as they reflect the Stockton community at-large. I am reminded each day of our mission and it ignites my fire to do better and be better.

What College or University did you attend?

National University, Sacramento State, and Delta College

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Q and A with Mrs. Maughan

What inspired you to be a school counselor?

I always knew I wanted to do something that helped others. I started my career in education as a teacher, teaching kindergarten and first grade. I loved being a teacher and the relationships I was able to make with my students. My students had a lot of social emotional needs and I was always so grateful to have an elementary school counselor, I don't remember having one when I was young. As I learned more about what a school counselor does I really thought it would be a great fit for me! I went back and got my Master's and it was the best decision I have ever made! I truly love my job!

What does your day to day look like?

My day to day is always changing! I get here early so I can greet students at the gate which also gives me a chance to see if there are any concerns as the kids come in. The rest of my days could include any of the following: check in with students, classroom lessons, helping a teacher with a behavior concern, recess room, meetings, running PBIS student store, responding to a crisis, consulting with CWA or making home visits, visiting Operation School Bell, talking to parents, or helping administration. Some days I feel like I can't even catch my breath and others I actually have time to do paperwork. It just depends on the day.

Who inspired you to be a school counselor?

I believe my students inspired me to become a school counselor. There are so many students that aren't able to make that connection at school or feel there is someone there for them, I really hope to be that person for those students. I also believe that just like every student deserves a great teacher, every school deserves a counselor that is there to support them!

Tell us something you love doing at your site:

I love almost everything I get to do as a school counselor but I would say something I love would be the classroom lessons! I love being able to give all kids exposure to SEL and it's a great way for all students get to know me!

What College or University did you attend?

Long Beach State and CSU Stanislaus

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Attendance-Communication is Key!

If your child is out communicate with your child's teacher, the front office. Communication is a two way opportunity to engage the school and home of the situation the child is experiencing. This will allow for resources and opportunities to be created for the benefit of the student.
original Bringing Attendance Home_ Parent Video
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Character Trait of the Month: Respect

7 Ways to Show Respect to your Students:

  1. Allow your child to make choices about his or her body.

  2. Use good manners when interacting with children.

  3. Refrain from forcing your child to share.

  4. Respond to mistakes with grace.

  5. Listen.

  6. Show your trust in your child by allowing him to do for himself.

  7. Respect your child’s privacy.

Resources: TK-3, 4-6, 6-8, 9-12

Unity Day/Red Ribbon Week

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Red Ribbon Week/Unity Day

During the month of October we focus on Red Ribbon Week (Drug Free Looks Like Me” October 25-October 29 ) and on Unity day (October 27). There will be various opportunities for students, staff and families to engage in. Please check out the various resources and events that will be taking place this month.


- Youth Speak Webinar on Unity 10/27 at 5:00pm: Event Link

- Family Paint Night 10/29 at 5:00pm: Sign up here

- Poster Contest “Vaping: Know the Risks” is open to all students. Posters will be turned into School Counselors. Link

Unity Day


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Does GPA Matter?

GPA-boosting habits will not only help you succeed in school but in college and beyond!


  • Take notes.

  • If learning online, turn on your camera. Otherwise, sit near the front.

  • Speak up. Ask questions and join discussions.

  • Keep up. Don't fall behind on assignments. Ask for help if you do.

  • Improve reading and writing skills.


  • Write everything down.

  • Prioritize your study tasks.

  • Develop a study schedule


  • Quiz yourself.

  • Vary your study locations.

  • Space it out.


  • Get enough sleep.

  • Reward yourself.

  • Ask for help.

Learn More about iReady

iReady is an on-line individualized academic program designed to supplement SUSD’s regular K-8 classroom curricula. Based on a student’s diagnostic results, the program creates a personalized learning pathway focused on the specific skills the student needs to learn. Students complete on-line lessons and then take quizzes to demonstrate mastery of the content covered. Students work at their own pace on content in their Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD).

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Social Emotional

School Counselors continue to provide support to our staff, students and families by focusing on Trauma Informed Practices. Trauma-informed practices boost academic success, decrease disruptive behavior, and reduce emotional distress in the long term. We are continuously working with our staff to build positive and trusting connections so that our students can feel empowered and have a positive learning environment. We know that it has been a tough transition back to school and it is vital to build routines for our students.

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College, Career and Community Ready!

College and Financial Aid Applications are now Open! Need assistance contact your school counselor and attend the various workshops and events. Take into account the various financial and application deadlines. Apply early!

University of the Pacific App: http://www.pacific.edu/

Common App link: https://www.commonapp.org/

California State University Application: https://www.calstate.edu/apply

University of California Application: https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/

Delta College (Community college): https://www.deltacollege.edu/

FAFSA Application: https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa

CA Dream Act Application: https://dream.csac.ca.gov/landing

What is the Common App?
How to Guide to the Common Application (2021-2022) | Tutorial
MyCoalition: Free College-Planning Tools for Students

FAFSA and CA Dream Act Application October 1st-March 2nd.

How to Create an Account Username and Password (FSA ID)
Overview of the Financial Aid Process

SUSD School Counseling Department

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