Office of School Counseling

Friday Sendoff - May 8, 2020

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During my last hiking trip with friends, I started the trail with utter excitement. We had this weekend getaway all planned out. I'd done this many times before so I knew what to expect. Conversation, laughter and exploration would all lead to beautiful scenery, pictures and celebration that we all made it to the top. It was such a beautiful hot sunny day, so I left my coat behind in the car. It didn't take long for the weather to shift dramatically, but I was too far in to turn back. As my friends pulled out coats, gloves, blankets and food, I realized this journey would not go as planned. I saw the generosity of friends who gave up clothes and food but also pushed me to keep going and held my hand when we couldn't see the path in front of me. I had to surrender to the experience not knowing what was ahead and not matter how uncomfortable the journey. Although they still find humor in me shaking under a blanket with a small pair of gloves, I learned about the kindness of others, my ability to overcome obstacles and adapt to change.

If at no other point in the year, we a truly blazing a new trail...a road NOT traveled with no trail guide to give us a sense of direction. You packed your backpack with everything you thought you'd need to get you through the year. You learned as I did, that you needed something else that you couldn't anticipate and had to change course and rely on others. As our students begin to reflect on what was to be a year of growth, change and celebration they will need your to help process the loss of the our school year. Especially our 5th, 8th and 12th graders who won't return to your familiar hallways or hug their teachers for the last time. They will need to hear your voice and see your face (virtually) to know everything will be okay. This time of rediscovery uncovered a love and appreciation of teachers and counselors whose creativity to stay connected keeps them going. Nothing can replace what they or their parents thought this road would be but we will be there when they need us. The journey looks different but we're doing this together.


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**NEW** Student Art Kits available

The art office has a program to get therapeutic art supplies to students in need across the district. They hope to start getting the supplies out soon pending final approval. Feel free to use this link or reach out to Sherri Fisher with questions. Additionally they’re including art activities in each kit developed in collaboration with the Art Therapy program at Notre Dame (see below).

If you have any feedback or additions you would like added please let Sherri know. Students do not need to attend a title I school to receive supplies. Given the current timeline of supply requests, delivery may not match up with the school calendar. However what they’re providing goes beyond curriculum and the end of the school year. Kits will continue to be sent as requests are able to be filled.

**NEW** Message from Michelle & Barack Obama

I’ve always loved joining commencements––the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice. Even if we can’t get together in person this year, Michelle and I are excited to celebrate the nationwide Class of 2020 and recognize this milestone with you and your loved ones.
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**NEW** FREE Virtual Youth Yoga this weekend

This Children's Mental Health Matters Awareness Week, join Sheppard Pratt and NAMI Metro Baltimore for Create & Flow, a yoga and wellness event on Facebook Live!
Sheppard Pratt's yoga therapist will guide you through a 20-minute youth-friendly yoga flow. NAMI Metro Baltimore will then lead a DIY Lava Lamp tutorial with materials you can use from home. Here's what you will need to participate!

1:00 PM EST

Create Your Own Visual Check in/Check out for Virtual Meetings

Katie Oppenheim created this Visual Check in/Check out for her sessions with students on Google Meet. Save a copy to your own Google Drive and then personalize it. This visual is a great way to get a reading on where students are that day and allows for them to communicate nonverbally about any concerns they have, without signaling to anyone around them in their home.

Free virtual "Lunch & Learn" series to boost your mental health

Participants are encouraged to sign on at least 15 minutes prior. Events fill up quickly.
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May is Mental Health Awareness Month: join us for a Virtual "Lunch & Learn" series on Facebook Live! Sheppard Pratt experts will be providing tips and resources to help you boost your mental health during these uncertain times. Upcoming topics include self-care, mindfulness, and managing anxiety.

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Virtual Calming Room

This Virtual Calming Room was designed to assist in identifying different strategies for managing emotions. We hope these tools will provide helpful outlets and practices for when life gets tough.

FREE Guided Meditations in English and Spanish

UCLA has created a free app for download on both Apple and Android. The guided meditations range from beginner stage to more advanced.

Family Navigator and Kinship Navigator Services ARE available now!

Kinship Navigator services are available to provide support to families living in Baltimore County who are raising a relative’s child/children (i.e., grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings). They do not need to meet the below criteria.

Family Navigator services are available to provide support to families living in Baltimore County who meet the following criteria:

  • If a family has a caregiver who has been incarcerated at any time during the child's life, you can refer! The Family Navigator will reach out to the family, develop a plan of action and help connect the family with community resources.
  • If a youth is between 18 and 24 and no longer enrolled in school and not working, we can work with that youth.

As long as a family meets the above criteria they can support and connect the family resources, even if they don't currently need anything related to incarceration. A Family Navigator can:

  • Identify the family strengths
  • Clarify the concerns and challenges
  • Provide emotional support
  • Identify resources
  • Make phone calls to service providers
  • Provide guidance in completing forms and applications
  • Discuss strategies for addressing school issues
  • Accompany the family to meetings when appropriate
  • Empower families to speak up and articulate their concerns and needs
  • Follow-up with families and assist with problems that may arise after initial linkages have been made

Fact sheet, brochure, and referral form are attached below.

Telehealth Services Available Though Kennedy Krieger Behavioral Health

The Department of Behavior Psychology at Kennedy Krieger Institute is offering extensive telehealth services available to all patients in order to provide mental health and behavioral services to families during the COVID 19 pandemic. They provide evidence based assessment and treatment for children and adolescents from 18 months to 21 years of age with a wide range of physical, emotional, behavioral, and learning needs. Common areas of focus include, tantrums, noncompliance, lack of routine, parent-child conflicts, sibling conflicts, anxiety, depression, coping skills, eat and sleeping difficulties. This is an excellent resource for your families who are struggling and have not had success with other clinicians or treatments. Please share this resource with families as you see fit for your community. Clinicians are available now – there is NO wait.

Additionally, their psychologists are available to host a FREE webinar to teachers and/or parents about behavior management at home, scheduling daily routines, increasing compliance, or any other topics of interest. If you are interested in organizing a webinar for your school staff and/or families, contact Parwinder Kaur at or 443-923-7341.

FREE Mental/Physical Health Resources For Adults AND Children

Give an Hour and the Campaign to Change Direction want to underscore the importance of mental health during this time. Resources include tips for dealing with grief/loss, work from home tips, and a self-care for kids activity book. Download the free resources for both emotional health and physical health here.

Elementary School Counselors

**NEW** Updates to Virtual Curriculum in Schoology

Coping Skills Lessons are ready to be shared!

THIS Monday, May 11th is the deadline to push out the Coping Skills lessons (aka April lessons). Several edits/updates have been made, so if you have already moved over some resources to be shared, please review the edits below:

Links/URLS: Several of the links to videos and other resources changed over to URLs which prompted you to download a file. All links were changed to be easier to open. Additionally, all links to videos were modified to be viewable by students (ie via ViewPure or another approved site).

Traitify: The instructions to create an account in Traitify were NOT correct. Both the Flipchart and the PDF have been updated to reflect the correct steps. If you haven't already, we recommend that you take some time to get familiar with Traitify.

Alternate/Additional Resources: Several folders contain additional resources for you to use either in place of or in addition to the resources we typically use.

Take a look in the "Additional Emotional Regulation and Coping Skills Resources" folder for new resources. Christina Simpson shared the links/videos/resources she has been using for her weekly virtues and mindfulness activities. Thank you, Christina!

**NEW** Scientists at Home

Watch Facebook LIVE as entomologist Lou Sorkin and Museum Curator Jessica Ware share facts about insects and introduce you to a few special creepy crawly guests!
Scientists at Home: Bugs, Bugs, Bugs!

**NEW** Virtual Career Fairs

Hosting a virtual career fair soon? Feel free to share your videos or YouTube page with Sharon so we can check out the careers you highlighted.

**NEW** CAT Coloring Pages

Download CAT's free coloring and activity pages, featuring machines like excavators, dozers, off-highway trucks and wheel loaders!

**NEW** K-5 Second Step

Second Step provided free COVID-19 support direct links to recorded lessons for you to use. Take a look at what's available in the link below.

Middle School Department Chairs

**NEW** Please share the May College and Career Newsletter with students, staff, and families.

High School Department Chairs

**NEW** FAFSA Completion Data from MCAC

Last week you received completion percentages from the Maryland College Application Campaign. The document shows the total number of applications by school to date and completion totals from those same applications. The difference between the two numbers are the applications college counselors need to follow up on to determine what’s incomplete using the file Sharon provides.

The attached excel document shows the actual senior enrollment divided by the completion numbers from your document to get your actual completion numbers by school. While the original document shows the percentage of completed applications from current submissions, it doesn’t reflect the senior class enrollment.

Please continue to use Sharon's FAFSA completion file to support students who are planning to attend 2 or 4 year colleges.

Naviance Senior Survey

See the attachment below for a senior survey questions. The built in grad survey data populates the following district/school reports in Naviance. There isn't a way to just pull only their responses for the 5 questions.

  • Student outcomes report
  • College application reports
  • Scholarship report

College Counselors

Common Financial Aid Errors 08 21 19
FSA ID User Challenges 08 21 19

**NEW** SMORE Translation Feature

6.3 Translation Feature: Viewers can now translate your newsletters in seconds into multiple languages! The Translation feature is powered by Google Translate and translation is based on their translation functionality.

**College Counselors have access to a SMORE license, which you can use for your school community**

1. Finish and publish your newsletter by clicking on "Done Editing" at the top right of the Editor.

Please note: Translation is only available to viewers of your newsletter.

2. Click Preview at the top right of your published newsletter.

3. Access the Translation and ADA bar

On the right side of the newsletter, a bar will appear with the ADA and Translation features.

Your recipients will be able to translate your newsletter to their desired language there.

Your recipients will need to open your newsletter on the Smore website by clicking on the link provided at the top of the email. Once they accessed the online newsletter, they will be able to translate your newsletter by scrolling down to the bottom of the newsletter, they will then see the "Translate" option. SMORE currently doesn't offer the ability to print the newsletter in the translated language.

FSA College Scorecard Webinar

Federal Student Aid enclosed slides from their webinar, however due to technical difficulties they’re unable to provide the recording. Information for students and parents can also be found at For college access professionals visit:

Scholarships Listing

Fraser Institute Essay Contest - Deadline 6/1/20

Got a Spine Scholarship - Deadline 6/1/20

The Bernice Johnson Scholarship Application -

For female students: system-wide deadline to apply is Monday, May 25, 2020.

Naviance Senior survey

See the attachment below for a senior survey questions. The built in grad survey data populates the following district/school reports in Naviance. There isn't a way to just pull only their responses for the 5 questions.

  • Student outcomes report
  • College application reports
  • Scholarship report

FAFSA completion lists

Sharon will continue to share the most up to date version of your completion list. As a reminder, students with INCOMPLETE applications started the FAFSA, but for some reason did not finish it. There could be many reasons, including the need to import parent information and/or signatures. Another flag is the PARTIAL match, which occurs when one or more of the search fields from your excel (first name, last name, zip code, DOB and high school) don’t match with what they entered in the FAFSA application. Most common is entering Sam for Samuel or Samantha on the FASFA or if a student has two last names.

The goal would be for you to check with all students but you may want to start with students who have incomplete as this may prevent them from getting an award letter or their aid being processed later on.

Morgan State University Application Fee Waiver Notice

MSU waived its application fee until November 15, 2020. The application fee waiver code is FREE20. Please click the link below for more information about the fee waiver, acceptance of unofficial transcripts, test score submissions, the opportunity for a live chat with an admission representative, their virtual campus tour, and much more!

Virtual CCBC Admissions - UPDATED FORMS

CCBC admissions counselors are excited to continue working with your seniors to finalize their post-secondary plans. Please contact your CCBC admissions rep to schedule a date for your virtual instant admissions day. Seniors should complete their CCBC online application using the attached directions PRIOR to their appointment time with the admissions counselor. After the senior consults with them, you can review their FAFSA completion to ensure its complete and has CCBC listed as one of the receiving schools. If you have any questions, please contact your Specialist

BCPS Hub Information

Recently added Hub items


Volunteer Opportunities

**NEW** United Way at-home volunteer opportunities

At Home Volunteer Opportunities – The United Way shared a few ways you can volunteer from the safety of your home.

Virtually Read to Kids

Many children do not have access to books when they can’t go to school or the library. Help bring literature to them by reading a story and submitting it to United Way!
Sew Face Masks

Your donation of cloth face masks will be given to the homeless and on-site United Way volunteers to minimize the spread of COVID-19

Professional Development

Teachers and counselors must engage in a minimum of two hours of virtual professional learning each week during the closure. Please document your participation in your Outlook calendar.

**NEW** FREE Webinar: Forced Childhood Marriage and Issues of Family Abuse (flyer attached below)

ASCA Pop Up Webinar: Making Data Work 5/15/20 @ 1:00-2:00

ASCA Pop Up Webinar: Making MTSS Work 6/18/20 @ 1:00–2:00

Ten C’s Covering Compassionate COVID-19 Care 1 CEU on 5/19/20 @10:00 - 11:00

Tips and Techniques for Online Therapy With Children 2 CEU's on 5/12/20 @11:00 - 1:00. Use code COREPLAY10 for a discount.

Trauma Rewiring: Overcome Maladaptive Defenses 1 CEU on 6/1/20 @ 8:00pm

Creative Interventions For Play Therapy 3 CEU's on 6/8/20 @10:00am - 1:00pm

Loyola is offering a fully online 1 credit Lauryn's Law summer course. (flyer attached below)

**NEW** Loyola Online Offerings

This summer Loyola is offering the following 3-credit courses fully online. Credits can be used towards certification or licensure renewal. Additionally, these courses have met educational requirements for licensure as a professional counselor.

Spaces are limited, so apply today or contact Loyola if you are interested. All courses are $635/credit. Click Apply Here for to apply for any of the courses listed below.

Current Course Offerings:

School Counselor as Leader (3.0 Graduate Credit)

  • May 12 - May 26, 2020

Stress and Stress Management (3.0 Graduate Credit)

  • June 6 - June 20, 2020

Helping Students Manage Crisis (3.0 Graduate Credit)

  • July 13 - July 16, 2020

Mindfulness Approach to Wellness (3.0 Graduate Credit)

  • July 31 - Aug. 14, 2020

Please note that these courses require a non-degree student application to be submitted. Loyola University Maryland graduates only need to submit an application (all other required documents are waived). Once you register, a link will be sent to you to submit payment. For more information, email Loyola at or call them at 410-617-1545.

**NEW** Signs of Suicide Webinar

If you weren't able to tune in to the SOS Best Practices webinar, you can Click here to watch the recording or here to view the presentation the webinar on the best practices for supporting students, teachers, and parents during social distancing due to COVID-19. They've also compiled the list of resources mentioned in the webinar below.


All Webinars

How does trauma impact the body?

In this online course, discover the intricacies of applying ACT to trauma as well as learn how to use ACT to complement other trauma treatments. 6-Session Live Online Course | Fridays, starting May 15 Register Now

Naviance Webinar Series

Learn from Naviance experts about completing critical tasks with your students during the final months of the year. Register for a free webinar by clicking the button above. You must be logged into your Naviance account to view the webinar series.

Taking Care of Your Mental Health during COVID-19

From MD Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention Network

ASCA Webinar series

Sign up for upcoming webinars. You must have an ASCA login and password to access their materials.

ASCA on Air (recorded webinars)

You must have an ASCA login and password to access their materials.

BCPS Counselors Good News & Inspiration

Virtual World of Parkville High

Check out what’s happening in the virtual world at Parkville High School: On Instagram they’re posting daily content about staying healthy during this time of social distancing and virtual learning. They invited their students to check out @counselphs and join them with their own #mentalhealthawareness posts including pictures of them wearing green

Welcome Back from Lansdowne High

Sara Heldman shared a video her staff made to welcome students back last month. Make sure you watch the whole thing!
Welcome Back Vikings!

Lansdowne Elementary celebrates Parent University Week

LES Parent University Week

Healthy Habits newsletter addition

Lauren Santos from Franklin Elementary shared a shout out we received from The Change Direction organization on Instagram!

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Holter Family Tree

Here's some happiness Patrick & Sharon Holter can't wait to share with all of you. It seems the Holter Family Tree has a new branch. We welcomed the newest little "branch", our great-granddaughter, Sophie Mae Baumgart, on April 29th. 8 lbs, 2 ozs. & 22" long.
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**NEW** Movie Night

Looking for something to do this weekend? Chloe Kazlow shared a showing of Frozen II with us!
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**NEW* Decision Day 2020

See how schools celebrated the Seniors Class of 2020!

Kenwood High School

Kenwood HS Senior Signing Day Class of 2020

Owings Mills High School


Milford Mill Academy

MMA Slideshow

Franklin High School

Franklin HS Slideshow

New Town High School

**NEW** COVID Chronicles: Decision Day 2020

Counseling departments share the Class of 2020 post-secondary plans

Farewell from Catonsville High School's Class of 2020

Catonsville Class of 2020


Schoology Access Codes

Elementary Counseling Curriculum: M4HSN-FCFN4

Secondary Counseling Curriculum: CFBV7-B6PCM

Threat Management: Q6RHK-WHHVC

College and Career Counseling: PFZD6-65N4V

Curriculum Updates: T7BM2-R8JSC

GSA Sponsors (LGBTQ+ resources): ZMBZ-4QXP-DKC89

Contact Information

Naviance Support: 1-866-337-0080 option 2 &

Signup Genius Support:

CPS phone number: 410.887.TIME

CPS email address:

MHEC FAFSA Completion (MD CAPS):

Cigna Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Through EAP, you get access to licensed clinicians to help you with emotional, behavioral, and other issues you may be experiencing such as help with finding pet care, elder care and caregiver support.

Crisis Text Line

Free confidential crisis intervention via SMS message. The organization's services are available 24 hours a day, every day, throughout the US

Counselor Observation and Evaluation Forms

The documents from this link are the most up to date and only forms that should be used for School Counselors. There are not online options or alternate observation forms for Counselors.

Office of Certification Contact Information

For information about recertification, growth charts and tuition, PD and conference reimbursements

Lauryn's Law Requirements and Course Offerings

This is the MSDE information page about Lauryn's Law requirements and local course offerings that fulfill the requirement.

BCPS School Counseling Pinterest

Check out our Pinterest page for ideas that will enhance your counseling program

Counselor T-Shirt Designs

Want to make a custom shirt for you or your department? Check out these svg desgins. There's a kiosk outside of Burlington in Security Mall that can make one for you.