Office of School Counseling

Friday Sendoff - February 7, 2020

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National School Counseling Week 2020

We thank each and everyone of you for all you do for your students, your parents, your communities, and BCPS. We are privileged to be surrounded by such greatness everyday. We hope you enjoyed your surprises. Wishing you well this week & all the weeks to come.

Melanie, MaatenRe, Jennifer, and Sharon

Upcoming Meetings

Elementary Counselors Meeting

Wednesday, Feb. 19th, 9am-12pm

323 Sollers Point Road

Dundalk, MD

This is a mandatory meeting for all elementary school counselors, which includes schools with more than one elementary counselor.

High School Chairs Meeting

Thursday, Feb. 27th, 8-11am

11640 Crossroads Circle

Middle River, MD

This is a mandatory meting for all high school department chairs.

Middle School Chairs Meeting

Thursday, Feb. 27th, 12-3pm

11640 Crossroads Circle

Middle River, MD

This is a mandatory meeting for all middle school department chairs.

First Year Counselor Meeting

Wednesday, March 11th, 1-3pm

12250 Roundwood Road


Meeting to be held in the multi-purpose room.

Registration link will be available soon.

College Counselor Meeting

Thursday, March 26th, 9am-12pm

6901 North Charles Street

Towson, MD

Greenwood Building E Room 123

Registration link will be available soon.


Stakeholder Survey

The Stakeholder Survey opened on Monday, January 27, 2020 and will close on Sunday, March 1, 2020. Attached below is a flyer to give you easy access to the survey.

**NEW** Teachers Wellness Open House - FREE

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**NEW** Mental Health Resources

Attached are reference materials for Educator Mental Health Literacy Resource and Vaping: Know the Facts Toolkit that has resources for consideration in efforts to support student, families, and staff awareness.

**NEW** - Camp MeToo

Stella Maris is currently accepting applications for their 10th annual overnight bereavement camp for children ages 8-17. Camp Me Too! will begin after school on Friday, April 24 and conclude at noon on Sunday, April 26, and will once again be held on the beautiful grounds of Camp Puh’Tok in Monkton, Maryland. Spots are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so they encourage families to register early. Completed registrations may be emailed to, faxed to 410-560-9690, or mailed to The Counseling Center at Stella Maris, 2300 Dulaney Valley Rd. Timonium, MD 21093. For more information or any questions, please call 410-252-4500, ext. 7291.

School Counselor Substitutes

Due to recent confusion with the substitute application and assignment process, our office will assign subs to schools in need of coverage. Temp services will process applicants and refer counselors and principals to our office for a placement. If you will need sub coverage at any point in the year, let your Specialist know as soon as you can. Please do not interview any candidates at your school for counselor sub positions as they will be assigned from our office only.

MSDE Related Service Audit - If you are on an IEP for counseling services, please be sure that you are entering the notes in Service Capture. If you haven't had Service Capture training and are not able to enter the notes, please keep a paper record and give them to someone in your building who can enter them for you. This will avoid any "flags" in SPS.

Certification Renewal - If you are within one year of your certificate expiring, you should touch base with the certification office to ensure you have what you need to remain employed. The certification office sends a letter to you and your principal alerting you to your pending expiration date. They can provide you with a growth chart so you know what's on file leading to your renewal. This is a great opportunity to utilize the certification worksheet in your school counseling program plan. It is your responsibility to maintain CEU's after our PD's and submit all information before certification. The Office of School Counseling we will not be able to research old CEU forms beyond 2018.

Please see the attached samples and information regarding certification, Lauryn's Law and ancillary credits needed for renewal. Knowing certification requirements is the responsibility of the certificate holder.

MSDE Certificate document - If you have a MSDE portal account, you may access and print your certificate via the Educator portal at or request a copy from MSDE by filling out the Official Certificate Request form found at

Office of Certification Contact Information

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

Elementary Counselors

Managing Behavior in Kindergarten Groups Check out Counselor Keri's 6 tips for small group counseling with kindergartners!

Middle School Counselors

The link to the February College and Career Newsletter is:

Please share with students, staff, parents, and stakeholders!

High School Counselors

6 week Summer Volunteer Opportunity at the Maryland Zoo Through this unique training program teens and young adults with disabilities are given the opportunity to build prevocational skills through volunteer experiences. These experiences designed through a series of workshops, as well as a potential six week volunteer opportunity help individuals explore personal abilities, challenges and skills related to personal independence and development needed for future successful employment and life opportunities.

All interested participants must complete the online registration and commit to the workshops and shadow days. Questions should be directed to

BCPS Scholarship Loan Program now available in Naviance. is designed to encourage and assist new graduates of the Baltimore County Public Schools to consider a professional career in education. After earning a degree from an approved Maryland teacher education program, these former Baltimore County Public Schools students will return to BCPS as teachers and role models for students. This program will provide a $4,000 scholarship loan for up to four years.

Flyer is attached below.

2020 MD-Youth Leadership Forum

We are looking for high school juniors and seniors with disabilities to participate in the 2020 Youth Leadership Forum held at Towson University. The Youth Leadership Forum was initiated in 1992 by the California Governor's Committee on the Employment of Disabled Persons. This popular program spread across the country and is now conducted annually in more than 33 states. Maryland held its first Youth Leadership Forum (MD-YLF) in August 2000.


· Must be in their final two years of high school.

· Applicant accomplishments and leadership potential

· Academic achievement

· Community service

· Participation in school and community activities

· Disability diversity

· Ethnic and racial diversity

· Geographic representation


2019 YLF dates: June 24-27, 2020

2019 YLF location: Towson University

Deadline for application: Friday, March 8, 2020

Application and fact sheet listed below

**NEW** Johns Hopkins Future Scholars Scholarship Program - Free Course for Qualifying Students

The recruitment for the Johns Hopkins University Mathematics Department’s Future Scholars Program (FSP) has started. The FSP is a competitive scholarship program which rewards talented high school students the opportunity to extend their mathematics training beyond their secondary school tracks by attending Hopkins University mathematics courses while a senior in high school.

You should fill one out for each student nominated. The official deadline for nominations is March 1, 2019. Any questions or concerns that you may have can be directed to or at 410-516-4178.

Secondary Counselors

**NEW** Congratulations to the Chesapeake High team who have seen 100% of their seniors! And Congrats to Eastern Tech who hit 100% 6 year plan completion last week!

Thank you for making this face to face time with students a priority! We truly appreciate your hard work to accomplish this goal!

**NEW** The BCPS Opps blog is back and better than ever. It is designed to share with students a wide range of opportunities for scholarships, jobs, fellowships, internships, contests, summer programs, and more. Recent posts include:

  • Auditions for The Voice
  • The national student composers competition
  • Grief day and summer camps
  • Job opps with the Census
  • Hamilton Scholar applications
  • Stop hunger grants
  • Baltimore Science Fair
  • Lifebridge essay contest
  • Baltimore Arts Guild, call for entries
  • Fellowship for young women leaders

Volunteer Opportunity at Blankets for Warriors Volunteers are invited to make fleece blankets for Mercy's patients undergoing treatment. No experience needed. Join us for 2.5 hours of enjoying friendship and community service. Middle school age children and older are invited. 3/1/20 at 11:00 at Stella Maris Inc. (2300 Dulaney Valley Rd)

Check out this month's Secondary Science Newsletter!

Secondary Department Chairs

Materials and Resources for your Counseling Program If there are materials/resources you'd like to purchase for your department to use, such as group counseling programs/curriculum, books, fidgets, parent resources, etc. We have some money in our budget to purchase these things. Please send requests/questions to Sharon Holter. Keep in mind that Amazon is not an approved vendor.

6 Year Plan Completion We are now at the halfway point in the school year. This means that your 6 year plan completion rates should be at 50%. If you are having challenges in meeting the goal of 100% completion by June, please reach out to your specialist sooner rather than later. We are here to support you!

High School Department Chairs

**NEW** Senior Warning Letters

Senior warning letters are in process from DRAA and will be available in SIS. They will communicate with schools when you're able to access them for distribution.

FAFSA Frenzy We thank the schools who have sent us the information on your upcoming FAFSA events. However, many schools have not. Sharon will be contacting each of you this week. This will allow us to advertise on the BCPS website.

MSDE Senior Survey - We are working with Naviance to prevent the glitches that you experienced with last year's survey. In the meantime, we're waiting to see if MSDE will make changes to the survey questions. For planning purposes, please schedule your dates after Spring break to allow them time to confirm the survey. We need 100% school participation as CTE and senior leadership reviews the information that's imported to MSDE.

College Counselors

Partial Matches - When you review your FAFSA completion list, you may notice that some seniors are a "partial" match and therefore, more information couldn't be provided. A partial match means their FAFSA entry from one of the categories below, didn't match what we uploaded from SIS:

  • DOB

To resolve partial matches, have the student open their FAFSA application so you can see what they entered in the fields above and if it matches what's in your excel document. The slightest deviation like Tom and Thomas or 01/01/2001 and 1/1/2001 may contribute to partial matches.

FAFSA Completion lists - Last week you received your MHEC FAFSA completion list from our office. In preparation for your FAFSA Frenzy event, use the list to meet with students who did not complete the FAFSA form or who's form is incomplete. Refer to the department chair note for more information. Below are links to videos that can help you and your students navigate the FAFSA form:

MHEC Financial Assistance Programs

State Financial Assistance Programs and Applications

Tuition Waiver for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth

Tuition Waiver for Foster Care Recipients

NACAC Request for Admission Application Fee Waiver

Students who have limited financial resources may use the NACAC Request for Application Fee Waiver Form when applying for college. The form — aimed at students planning to enroll in post-secondary education immediately following high school graduation — helps ensure that access to college is possible for all.

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College Fly-Ins

Carnegie Mellon University - April 4-6, 2020 (for accepted students)

Bowdoin College - September 17-20, 2020 (for seniors)

Swarthmore College - for seniors

Wellesley College - for seniors

Recently Added/Updated Scholarships in Naviance

Issie Jenkins Scholarship

Relevant Bulletin Items

February 7, 2020 BCPS News Hub

BCPS News Hub is the new format for all superintendent bulletins.

Some highlights from the past week:

Professional Development

**NEW** Annual Cherish the Child Symposium April 24th in Joppa, MD. Up to 6 CEU's available. Breakfast and lunch included. Breakout session topics include vaping, supporting gender non-conforming students, parent engagement in therapy, and trauma.

Evolving Our Cultural Competence 3 CEU's on 3/12/20 in Dundalk.

Through Grief and Through Growth: Promoting Support and Healing for Children and Adolescents in the Face of Loss 2 CEU's (Live Webinar) on 3/26/20

Supervision and Leadership, Management Seminar 12 CEU's on 4/27-4/28 in Randallstown. This training will meet 12 of the 18 required CEU's to become an LCPC Board Approved Supervisor.

College and University programs and courses - BCPS cohort courses for certification and recertification

Introduction to Special Education course for certification ancillary credit requirement

Introduction to Special Education credits can be taken at any accredited college or university or as Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Below are a few options counselors can consider, however, feel free to research other institutions. If there is question whether a course satisfies the requirement, the course description may be sent to your Certification Analyst for verification.

BCPS: Goucher College Online MSDE CPD Courses

CPDV.9013.BC01 – Educating Students with Disabilities: Identification, LRE, and Effective Instruction (Session 2: March 23, 2020 to May 15, 2020)

CCBC: EDTR 107 – Introduction to Special Education

University of Phoenix: Continuing Education for Teachers


The Certification office communication states that documents must be submitted to the Office of Certification by 90 days prior to the expiration date. However, MSDE allows certificate holders to complete coursework up to June 30th. This time may be used to complete coursework. A second reminder will be sent out in April which will request for counselors to provide registration information to their assigned Certification Analyst.

Reimbursement requests may be submitted if credits are completed at a college or university. Information on the reimbursement process can be found of the Office of Certification webpage.

If you plan to attend any professional developments during the school day (outside of our mandatory meetings), you must get permission from your principal to be out of the building for that time.

Resource Roundup

Office of School Counseling Lending Library

Contact Sharon Holter to borrow any items.

Lending Library Item of the Week

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Inspiration and Good News

**NEW** 2019-2020 College Board Counselor Recognition ------------------ Ken Berlett, School Counseling Department Chair, Milford Mill Academy

The College Board highlights the important work of innovative, results-oriented middle and high school counselors who exemplify excellence and commitment to student's opportunity and success. Milford Mill's Ken Berlett was one of eight Maryland counselors who received this honor that recognizes the following:

  • Demonstrated leadership and advocacy in school counseling practices and coordinating collaborative partnerships that help increase access and equity in college and career readiness.
  • Demonstrated strategies and programs that encourage parent and family involvement.
  • Demonstrated proficient use of data that impacts college and career efforts that show outcomes for students from underrepresented populations.

Congratulations to Ken for his continued leadership at Milford and continued advocacy for students and parents in his school community!

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**NEW** A note from Principal Kyria Joseph from Milford Mill Academy

With all the things seen and unseen that happens in school counseling offices, it means so much when students speak to your hard work with senior leadership. In a recent visit to Milford, Community Superintendent Dr. Jones met with a group of students, which prompted this note of thanks from Principal Joseph:


I wanted to share with you that when Dr. Jones met with our student group and each student ( over 22 representing each grade level) were able to provide her feedback on the following:

  • Each student knew their counselor and has met with them at least once.
  • Each student could articulate what Naviance was and how their counselor worked with them to create goals
  • All 10th, 11th, and 12th grades knew about ECAP opportunities and 4 students in the group has taken/passed a course. ( Students spoke about moving on to take classes on CCBC campus)
  • Seniors talked about scholarship opportunities and they need to spend more time going through the Naviance messages that is being sent to them
  • All students felt they could go to their counselor for help with course registrations
  • They talked about AP opportunities through scheduling.
  • Every 9th grader knew Mr. Childs and had met with him ( Dr. Jones was very impressed with this as we are monitoring 9th grade engagement)

I did not know any of the questions Dr. Jones would ask them so this is authentic feedback from our students of the work of our counseling department. Dr. Jones provided Kudos for the counseling department. I know the work is not easy and the accountability has been high but you are making a difference with our students taking ownership of their learning and improving their achievement. Keep staying focused on this work of supporting the entire child and meeting with all of students.

Well done Milford Mill School Counseling Department:

Ken Berlett, Department Chair

Robert Childs

Zillah Ingram

Tanganyika Whitaker

Monica Jones, College Counselor

Diana Woodlawn, Counseling Secretary

Juanita Christian, Records Secretary

Victory Villa Food Pantry

Alexis and Stephanie worked with McDonough and Jacksonville Elementary to create a Food Pantry for students at Victory Villa!
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BCPS Celebrates National School Counselor Week

Send your National School Counselor Week celebration pictures to Sharon Holter. You never know, it might just appear in the Friday send-off.
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Shawrn Watson - College Counselor Pikesville High School

Mr. Watson is brand new to BCPS this year! How would you describe him?

Pikesville High Principal Sandra Reid: Mr. Watson has a calming and quiet strength. He is passionate about empowering students socially, emotionally, and academically.

What makes him stand out as a college counselor?

Principal Reid: Mr. Watson is coachable, and willing and able to juggle the demands of two schools -- elementary and high -- despite stark and differing stages of development and services required. In addition to Pikesville High, he serves Hillcrest Elementary as a school counselor.

What counseling programs has he put in place to support students and families?

Principal Reid: Mr. Watson has orchestrated a FAFSA Info Fair and FAFSA Completion event at Pikesville High (FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid). He seeks to enrich communication with all stakeholders through robust sharing of germane college and career-related information via Schoology and an information newsletter. The latter encapsulates much of his research and findings so that students and their families are equipped with knowledge about scholarships, appropriate schools/programs, jobs, and relevant information regarding post-secondary opportunities.

How does he contribute to the school climate?

Principal Reid: Mr. Watson is a team player. He supports the school in any and every conceivable fashion, as needed. He is flexible and provides multi-faceted service to our students with a wide array of issues, concerns, and questions. He is in the process of developing solid relationships with our school and associated community members.

Shawn Watson - School Counselor Hillcrest Elementary

How would you describe him?

Hillcrest Principal, Jennifer Lynch says Mr. Watson is an empathetic, kind, and firm social emotional partner. He always has a smile ready for the students and teachers and is eager to jump in and help whenever possible.

What makes him stand out as an elementary counselor?

Mr. Watson offers what counseling programs/initiatives has he put in place to support students and families? Mr. Watson has taken a lead in supporting our food pantry. Not only does he consistently reach out to families, but he also has a wealth of resources that are new to us at Hillcrest. As a result, our families are getting wonderful wrap around support.

How does he contribute to the school climate (ie. mentoring programs, morning announcements, club advisor, coach, etc.)?

Mr. Watson is always available in the school. During arrival and dismissal, he is greeting students, checking in with them, and making sure they are ready to transition to their next event. Mr. Watson works well with his counseling partner to provide services to family, including food pantry, eviction prevention, transportation support, and more. He has even engaged in spur of the moment house visits to communicate with families.

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Robin Taylor-Chadwick - Sparrows Point Middle

How would you describe her?

Sparrows Point Middle Principal Jennifer Gounaris: Ms. Chadwick is unwavering in her advocacy for our students. In every decision Ms. Chadwick makes, the most important voice is the voice of the students. Ms. Chadwick regularly seeks the feedback of the students concluding advisory lessons, during student equity groups, and during 6-year planning meetings. It is the student voice that always drives her next steps. She is also skilled at nurturing the relationship between home and school. She is trusted by parents and caregivers, and she works tirelessly to connect families with the resources they need to thrive.

What makes her stand out as a high school counselor?

Principal Gounaris: As school counselor and department chair, Robin Taylor Chadwick has helped shape the culture of SPMS around the belief that all students can achieve with adults who are dedicated to cheering them on along the way. It is one thing to be a counselor who listens, is compassionate, and sees the potential in all students. It is another to teach and inspire others to value the impact they can make on students by adopting these same values. Ms. Chadwick has helped us achieve that at Sparrows Point Middle School. She is a leader on our school's equity team, and she has provided fundamental support in developing a robust P.B.I.S. program.

What counseling programs/initiatives has she put in place to support students and families?

Principal Gounaris: She has led the implementation of restorative circles at SPMS, providing staff and students a new way to resolve conflict and build relationships. Through her unique vision, she has created an advisory program, specialized small groups, and successful mentoring programs for girls and boys that support identified students grades 6-12. She guides students through the magnet school application process, encouraging, motivating, reassuring, and celebrating with students during the journey. She organizes our annual career day, bringing in speakers from the community to guide students as they made decisions about college and career. Among other efforts, she facilitates a program that provides assistance to families in need during the holidays. She does all this with deep, sincere respect and sensitivity for all members of the school community: students, staff, parents, caregivers, and other stakeholders.

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Nichelle Dixon- Woodlawn High

How would you describe her?

Woodlawn High Principal Jamel Jernigan: Ms. Dixon is passionate about her work. She is invested in each of her students' success. She is an advocate for students, not only focusing on academic success but educating them, guiding them, and preparing them for the real world.

What makes her stand out as a high school counselor?

Principal Jernigan: Ms. Dixon is always keeping students’ best interests in mind. In my inauguration speech last year, I described her as the "HEART" of the class. Her students move to her beat...She prides herself in learning ALL of her students' names and stories. She uses relationship-building/connection techniques to empower all students to take responsibility for their academic success and goals. She “digs deeper” in her conversations with her students to get a grasp and understanding of needs and likes in order to empower them to take on responsibilities.

What counseling programs/initiatives has she put in place to support students and families?

Principal Jernigan: Ms. Dixon has established mentoring groups to support students who need to improve their academic progress. She has also worked diligently to provide leadership and support within her department during times of transition.

How does she contribute to the school climate?

Principal Jernigan: Ms. Dixon is a proud Woodlawn High alumna, and she uses her expertise and experiences as a former WHS student to connect with and mentor students. She is also a returning member of our boys’ basketball coaching staff. Ms. Dixon supports the work of our school climate team and PBIS team by volunteering to chaperone at a variety of school events and engaging with our students regularly outside of the school counseling office.

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Karen Knauer - Sandalwood Elementary

Sandalwood Elementary Principal Melissa Lingenfelder: Ms. Knauer has worked at Sandalwood Elementary School for 20+ years. She is a pillar of our school community and often the first person families and students ask for. Former students and families often return asking to see Ms. Knauer. Ms. Knauer has worked with generations of families over her tenure at Sandalwood.

What makes her stand out?

Principal Lingenfelder: Her flexibility is unmatched and she is always available to students, families, and staff. Ms. Knauer keeps detailed records in regards to student progress and parent contacts. Ms. Knauer is able to speak to the strengths and needs of each student. She consistently puts the students’ best interests first and advocates for the supports and interventions needed for student success. Ms. Knauer is constantly rearranging her schedule and counseling approach to meet the needs of the students and school. Ms. Knauer leads our Climate Action community as well as our star/virtue students of the week acknowledgements.

What counseling programs/initiatives has she put in place to support students and families?

Principal Lingenfelder: Ms. Knauer has sought out and developed relationships with many community stakeholders to help gain resources for our students. Due to Ms. Knauer’s efforts, every student in our building was provided a backpack filled with school supplies last year. Every year, she also received school supply donations to provide to our students. Ms. Knauer has developed a relationship with a local church that provides food for 12 families every weekend of the school year. Every year at Thanksgiving, Ms. Knauer is able to provide over 15 families full meals due to donations provided through her connections. She also runs a holiday drive that provides gifts to families in need. Ms. Knauer organized and delivered all of the gifts to the families herself.

How does she contribute to the school climate?Principal Lingenfelder: Ms. Knauer also runs an afterschool basketball program with students in Grades 4 and 5. Ms. Knauer is often seen at students’ extracurricular activities during the weekend or after school. She is part of our social emotional team, which provides extra supports including a mentorship for identified students. Ms. Knauer leads our weekly Virtue challenge in which students learn about a new virtue and then work hard throughout the week to demonstrate characteristics of the virtue. On Fridays, Ms. Knauer recognizes those students and displays their pictures in the hall. Due to this program, we have seen a positive change in the culture of our building.

Thank You, School Counselors & Teachers! | #ReachHigher


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 email address:

MHEC FAFSA Completion (MD CAPS):

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.

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.

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

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.

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.