School Counselor Connection
Tips for Success Vol 6, October 2020
Focus: Equity and Inclusion
What is our responsibility as educators?
This article focuses on the tech industry, but it gives thorough explanations about what each of these terms mean, along with accompanying thought exercises. How can we transfer this knowledge to our own classroom and school settings?
Here are three simple tips for how to talk with children about shattering events like the death of George Floyd.
Report indicates that overall, African American and Latinx students lag behind all indicators. Student groups such as EL, Foster, McKinney V, SWD also show consistent gaps throughout all indicators.
Our inherent biases sometimes cause us to see student behaviors in ways that can be unfair to the student -- this was a painful lesson that I learned in my second year as an intervention school counselor. This article offers a helpful framework.
Great resource to share: Does your curriculum, projects and assessments, selection of independent reading, posters, even your bitmoji classroom offer students a reflection of who they are (mirrors) and people who are different from them (windows).
Click here for a fantastic, in-depth exploration of how to approach curriculum and assessment across all age levels from an anti-bias perspective.
It’s not easy to know how to correct or confront any of the constituent members of our school community when we see/hear evidence of stereotyping, whether one-on-one or in group settings. Here’s a how-to guide for speaking up.
Culturally Responsive and Inclusive Instruction
Below you will find some great resources I invite you to explore further to enhance student engagement during your lessons.
- Universal Design for Learning- the 2020 Orange County Symposium will have a breakout session on this topic!
- Culturally Responsive Teaching- OCDE will be hosting Culturally Responsive PBIS Trainings. Check our more details here
Check out our latest article!
Let's Talk About Diverse Books
If you're looking to diversify your classroom library, check out this list.
If you are interesting in engaging in conversation about literature and what to teach, at all age levels, follow @DisruptTexts on Twitter.
Here's Just the Webinar You Need!
If you only read one thing in this newsletter, read this article, which details how the practice of not seeing color/race can actually be counter-productive, even harmful, for students of color.
SEL as a Lever for Equity
As a pandemic and nationwide fight for racial justice amplify longstanding inequities in education and other sectors, CASEL released a new report, Emerging Insights on Advancing Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) as a Lever for Equity and Excellence, featuring five insights based on efforts in 20 school districts across the nation.
Supporting Students with Unique Needs
An eye opening research article that will give the perception of Latinx students regarding the support received in high school.
Legal Updates! Senate Bill 860: Approved September 2020
SB 860 (Beall)-Requires the Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program to coordinate efforts to ensure completion of the Application for Federal Student Aid or the California Dream Act Application for foster youth pupils who are in grade 12.
Please continue to be intentional about reaching out to our students in the foster care system, and students experiencing homelessness. Below are some resources to help inform your approach and services.
Questions to Consider:
1. Do schools have plans in place to respond to increased trauma caused by extended shelter-in-place orders in unsafe living situations and increased economic stress?
2. If distant learning will be part of re-opening, are schools prepared to ensure students experiencing homelessness can access the internet, devices, meals, tutoring and mentorships?
3. Are community collaborations robust, so families and students can receive additional services that support educational success?
· Sample Student Needs Assessment Form
· Schoolhouse Connection Preparing to School Re-opening and Recovery
· Keeping in Touch During School Closure- includes Identification Strategies
Google Folder to Financial Aid Resources: here
Identifying and Supporting our Military Connected Students
“Ask the Question” and make a difference to begin to identify this invisible student population.
So what are the next steps?
Here’s how you can help us to start the conversation:
· Watch and share the attached short video; How can you identify military connected students?
· Ask the question! Help to spread the word and the need to identify these students in all OC schools. Emergency or student information card; McKinney-Vento form; behavioral health/counseling or tiered support intake forms; add a questions to online registration; all of these were identified by our attendees as great places to collect this data.
· Share the need with decision makers: there is an identified need to work with administration to understand the need and train all support staff that offer mental health and other support services to students and families.
Help relay the need to create a system and follow-through for documenting and using this information in tiered support services.
· Find all meeting flyers, power-points, video, articles and sample forms available at https://tinyurl.com/FCPSFSC
College Related Updates and Reference Guides
Below are some resources to help your students navigate college admission process and virtual college fairs.
Coalition for College
Introduction to FAFSA Webinar by Coalition for College
The Coalition is hosting two more virtual fairs this fall, both opportunities to connect with more than 120 smart college choices. You can find more information, and registration information at the links below.
University of California
UC of California hosted a few webinars. Check them out here
California State University
Be sure to attend our Orange County Counselor Symposium Breakout Session titled College Admissions: How the Pandemic made the Process Pivot! and hear directly from a panel of regional admission officers. Please submit your questions to them here
Parent/ Caregiver Resources and Tools
Lately, I am hearing many students are struggling with back to school anxiety. Below are some resources you can share with your families/ teachers on how to navigate anxiety in school aged children.
Let's begin by defining anxiety.
Parent Back to School Update for Teachers/ Counselors here : This form is a good tool staff could use to learn how the student is doing during distance/hybrid learning.
Surveys for School Counselors here: Find ready to go samples of needs assessments and check-in forms.
- The Collaborative for Academic and Social Emotional Learning (CASEL) website has a plethora of resources https://casel.org/covid-resources/
- CASEL CARES: Helping Children and Families Manage Stress & Build Resilience with Dr. Bruce Perry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqsWvHMpexg&list=PLM3PYurzmKsB5noV-XsMflymTvS3-Xu0m&index=7
- CASEL CARES: Webinar on Social Emotional Learning in Spanish
Adults Needs Self-Care too!
Handout: Tips for Taking Care of Yourself
Google folder to explicit SEL instruction. Please use this in complement with your SEL systemic implementation.
Educator Tools: Listen to and Learn From Families
Use these tools to help you engage your families and meet your LCP Engagement priority goals.
This is a difficult time but, "You are Doing a Good Job"
To Know Better!
Orange County Human Relations Commission needs your help in creating an inspiring campaign to stop hateful vibes and wrongful bias fueled by the pandemic. Seven awesome student winners attending middle or high school in Orange County will earn $5,000 toward anti-hate initiatives at their schools. Plus, their campaigns will be publicized in Orange County and beyond. This is an incredible opportunity not only to make a difference, but to stand out from the crowd in college/job/internship applications.
- Schools that submit a completed entry are eligible to receive a $500 reimbursement after the contest winners have been announced.
- Each team must submit an anti-hate multimedia project (one submission per team) encouraging fellow students to 1) practice acceptance and inclusivity, 2) keep social distance, and 3) wear a mask during the pandemic. Participants may choose from a variety of multi-media projects but can only submit one file type (.mp4, .jpeg or .pdf). Recommended teams should be made up of 2 – 6 students from the same middle or high school, but this is not mandatory. Teams of students from different schools are not permitted.
- There’s no limit to how many teams can enter for each school. Each school will receive a maximum of $500 total. If schools have multiple teams, the grant will be split among them.
Presentation for Parents & Students
Together4Teens: An interactive conference for youth and parents/caregiver to address the needs of youth today
Goal: Promote awareness and understanding about the challenges youth are facing, and increase access to support for students and adults
Conference Topics: Parents/caregivers -Teen Mental Health & Wellness and Social Media/Digital Parenting During COVID.
Teens - writing your story, self-care, exploring your future, resources for coping and support, etc.
Target Audience: Middle and high school students (teens) and their parents/caregivers
Dates: November 10th, 11th, & 12th
Additional organizations on this conference committee include:
1. Bloom Foundation
2. Tilly’s Life Center
3. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD)
4. Olive Crest
5. Cal Optima
6. Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC)
OCDE Support & Resources
Instructional Continuity Website- find resources to support your students and families
Be Calm Session- guided meditations led by Dr. Vezzuto
Crisis Response Network:
Meghan Gruppo, M.A., CCTP, Interim Program Lead
Family Engagement Program:
Sheree Newman, Program Specialist
Student Mental Health
Social & Emotional Learning
Colleen Ferreira, Coordinator
Toby Jean Espley M.Ed, Coordinator
McKinney Vento Homeless Information & Support:
Jeanne Awrey Coordinator
Student Services (CWA/SARB):
Terrance Dunn, M.Ed., Coordinator
Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program:
Raina K Lee, Coordinator
Luz M. Arellano, Ed.D
Orange County Department of Education