PLSCN Update

Prairie Lakes School Counselor Network - November 2021

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November Note

November is flying by as anticipated ... despite that, we hope that you will be able to find time to slow down and intentionally reflect on how much we have to be grateful for in order for our brains to refresh and refocus on what our next best steps are moving forward.

For those of you who made it down to ISCA, it was so great to see you!

We recognize that prioritizing time for professional development and time outside of the district is especially challenging this year and hope you were able to gain either new information or validation of all the amazing things you do for students here in Prairie Lakes.

As always - thank you for all you do,

Courtney & Mark

21-22 PLSCN Roundtable Notes

Click to access the notes from the first quarterly roundtable. We hope you can join us in the future: December 3, February 18, and April 22nd.

PLSCN School Counselor Spotlight: November

This month we'd like to recognize our local PLSCN Certified FAFSA Professionals:

Noel McLaughlin, Algona High School

Allie Peterson, Graettinger-Terril High School

Natasha Nelson, Spirit Lake High School

Jodi Theisen, Storm Lake High School

Noel, Allie, Natasha, and Jodi have all completed the ICAN Financial Aid Certification training FAFSA: A Scenario-Based Training and are ICAN certified to provide professional assistance in filing the FAFSA form. What an amazing asset to their school community!

We invite you to nominate someone you know - or yourself - to be featured in a future PLSCN School Counselor Spotlight! Submission Form

Featured Podcast: The Adult SEL Podcast

Focusing on improving our personal well-being through research and practical strategies in order to better serve the people we care about. - Created by CharacterStrong

Want to be happy? Be grateful | David Steindl-Rast

December PLSCN Network Roundtables and Academy Workshops

Friday, Dec. 3rd, 9pm

1235 5th Avenue South

Fort Dodge, IA

  • 8:30 - 11:00 Data-Driven Dialogue/Decision-Making - Section 308687
  • 11:00 - 12:00 Elementary Roundtable

  • 12:00 - 1:00 Secondary Roundtable
  • 1:00 - 3:30 Interventions and Progress Monitoring - Section 308688

For 21-22, School Counselors will register for all workshops within the Professional Registration System. To sign up for an individual session, click the links above or select the appropriate section(s) within Course #202224. Registration closes for each section the Friday before.

Those wishing to earn licensure renewal credit will also register for Course #202225. They will be required to attend at least 15 hours of professional development throughout the year and submit reflections and action plans.

Quarterly Roundtable Discussions will be hosted in between workshops and invitations were sent out to all school counselors via Google Calendar invites last month. Counselors will RSVP via Google Calendar and are able to join in person or via zoom. Those attending in person will be able to take a lunch break opposite the roundtable they wish to attend if attending both the morning and afternoon sessions.

Please feel free to add this url to your email signature and share with your school community as you see fit!

New Winter Support Groups from Please Pass the Love!

2021 Fall Support Groups will be facilitated by Please Pass the Love's Therapeutic Outreach Coach, Alex Rohn, MA, LMHC.

Parent Support Group

This support group is a safe space to explore your feelings and share your experiences as a parent of a student struggling with mental health concerns and exploring ways to take care of YOU while taking care of your child.

Wednesday December 1st @ 5:30-6:30 pm

Wednesday December 8th @ 5:30-6:30 pm

Wednesday December 15th @ 5:30-6:30 pm

Wednesday January 5th @ 5:30-6:30 pm

Wednesday January 12th @ 5:30-6:30 pm

Wednesday January 19th @ 5:30-6:30 pm

Register Here

Student Support Group

This support group is a safe space to explore your feelings and share your experiences as a high school student struggling with mental health concerns and looking to improve your overall mental wellness.

Wednesday December 1st @ 4:30-5:30 pm

Wednesday December 8th @ 4:30-5:30 pm

Wednesday December 15th @ 4:30-5:30 pm

Wednesday January 5th @ 4:30-5:30 pm

Wednesday January 12th @ 4:30-5:30 pm

Wednesday January 19th @ 4:30-5:30 pm

Register Here

Iowa MHDS Regions Website & Map

Iowa MHDS Regions work with care providers across the state to ensure you're not alone when it comes to addressing concerns with brain health, personal wellbeing, developmental disabilities, addiction & more. Do you know which MHDS region you're in?

ASCA recently collaborated with ACT to study school counselors' perspectives on SEL. That study found that a majority of school counselors consider social/emotional learning as important as academic success. Respondents also pointed to a need for more professional development in this area. You'll learn more about this important study at ASCA@Home: Support & Sustain SEL when study researchers discuss the results.

ASCA@Home: Support & Sustain SEL includes nearly 30 informative breakout sessions, addressing a wide range of SEL topics to ensure you're up-to-date with all the latest developments and strategies. Registration is only $99 for ASCA members and $249 for nonmembers. Watch live or any time through March 31, 2022.

November Book Spotlight: ...

This month's book spotlight is one for the adults ...

Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World

Hailed as "an absolute must-read" (Jean Twenge) and a book that "will change your kids' lives" (Jack Canfield), UnSelfie by Dr. Michele Borba explains what parents and educators MUST do to combat the growing empathy crisis among children today--including a 9-step empathy-building program with tips to guide kids from birth through college, and beyond.

Teens today are forty percent less empathetic than they were thirty years ago. In UnSelfie Dr. Borba pinpoints the forces causing the empathy crisis and shares a revolutionary, researched-based, nine-step plan for reversing it. The good news? Empathy is a trait that can be taught and nurtured. Dr. Borba offers a framework for parenting that yields the results we all want: successful, happy kids who also are kind, moral, courageous, and resilient. UnSelfie is a blueprint for parents and educators who want to kids shift their focus from I, me, and we, us, and ours.

We invite you to share how you either already use - or plan to implement - a book in your comprehensive school counseling program! submission form

Subscribe to the PLSCN Google Calendar

All workshop and roundtables are available to view within the PLSCN Google Calendar. Feel free to subscribe and add events to your personal/work calendar to help you keep track! We may also be adding other learning opportunities throughout the year!

We would love to hear from you!

Thank you for all you do for the students of Prairie Lakes AEA. We want to remind you that we are here to support as needed and would also love to hear about your success stories! If you'd like to share some implementation strategies with others, please consider joining the quarterly roundtable sessions or send us an email and we will feature you in a future newsletter.

Also, if you know of a school counselor or administrator that would like to receive this newsletter and isn't, please email us and we will get them added!

Also, please remember that we would love to hear recommendations for future PLSCN School Counselor & Book Spotlights!

- Courtney and Mark

PLAEA School Counselor Supports:

Courtney Cook;

Social-Emotional-Behavioral Health Coordinator


Mark Shea;

Postsecondary Readiness Lead