Office of School Counseling

Friday Sendoff - December 20, 2019

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I Wish You Well...

When supporting students on their journey, there are instances of interpersonal conflict, disagreements, and/or miscommunication that make it difficult to move forward in a positive way. As we prepare our students and ourselves for the winter vacation this is a reminder that we sometimes need a moment of pause and reflection. Can we move forward (differently, but still forward) as individuals and groups towards a common goal? Can we surrender the need to be right in order to see what the other person meant or what they were trying to say? Was there ill intent in their actions or words? Whether real or perceived, hurt or angry feeling impede our ability to more forward. Students need your help to resolve conflicts and what better time than now!

MUST DO ITEMS - Please read this section carefully


Mandatory Meetings and Professional Developments - The PD calendar for the 2019-2020 school year was sent to you in August. Please be sure to add the dates/times to your own calendars and share them with your administration. This will prevent any confusion and requests for you to stay at your school during those meeting times.

Use of Time - As the first submission date approaches, be sure to keep accurate accounting of your time with students. This offers insight into your program and supports you may need as we identify staffing priorities.

Upcoming Meetings

Elementary Counselors Meeting

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

323 Sollers Point Road

Dundalk, MD

Save the Date.

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.


**NEW** MSCA Hometown Hero

Maryland School Counselor Association wants to highlight the amazing work school counselors are doing in the state of Maryland. Be creative,use powerpont, Youtube, etc to highlight school counselors who have made a significant contribution to the school counseling profession through advocacy, leadership, collaboration and/or systemic change. Examples of Hometown Heroes are school counselors who are applying for RAMP, started a new and innovative program at their school or in their community, created an outreach or after school program for at risk students, attend board meetings to advocate for school counselors, presents at conferences, uses data to show how their comprehensive school counseling program helped to achieve SIP goals, etc. The information you share will be presented at the School Counselor of the Year Gala on Friday, February 7, 2020. The deadline to submit your nomination is January 17th. See attached flyer below.

**NEW** Free parent workshop series - Below is the SERC FREE Parent Workshop winter series flyer. Please distribute to families in your school community.

MSCA PD: "Anxiety & Action" Materials

Both PowerPoints and handouts from the 12/6 PD are attached below.

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) - The Maryland Suicide Prevention Program will be holding an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) Training for Trainers May 11-15, 2020 in Catonsville, MD. They are seeking interested individuals who would like to apply for the opportunity to become an ASIST trainer. The T4T is being offered at no cost to selected trainer candidates. The application can be accessed here.

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Give Time & Save Lives: A Message from Crisis Text Line

We're here to let you in on a secret: You have the power to save lives. For real. If you’ve got wifi and a few hours each week, we can train you to become a Crisis Counselor.

This giving season, we launched a movement to spread a little more empathy in the world.

For us, giving back is all about #GivingTime. We launched a bold vision to rally 2,020 people to apply to become a Crisis Counselor before 2020. And, this movement is catching on quickly. In just over a week, we’re 70% to our goal!

We still have a ways to go and we could use your help. If you’ve been thinking about becoming a Crisis Counselor, now is your chance! If you apply to become one of our 2,020 new Empathy MVPs by December 20th, you could get a call from our CEO and ultimate Empathy MVP, Nancy Lublin, welcoming you to this love machine.

Pledge to give time this holiday season and apply to become a Crisis Counselor. You’ll start 2020 with our 30-ish hour training and you’ll be helping people in crisis pronto.

Welcome to the love machine!

Crisis Text Line
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A Message from TABCO

Sheila Harte-Dmitriev is the SE Zone UniServ Director for TABCO/ESPBC. She is the staff liaison for the Curriculum, Instruction and Climate Action Team which is compromised of several sub-groups of our members, including School Counselors. She spoke with Middle and High School Counselors to encourage counselors to be more active so counselor voices are represented. She asked that we share the following:

Your Association not only negotiates the terms of the TABCO Master Agreement (MA) with BCPS, but it is also our responsibility to enforce those terms. If you have questions after reviewing your agreement, speak to your Building Rep or contact your UniServ Director.

Of course, the best way to effect change is through collective action. One of the Action Teams for TABCO members is Curriculum, Instruction and Climate Team. This team meets the first Thursday of the month at the TABCO office and is made up of several sub-groups, like Early Childhood Teachers, Special Area Teachers and more. There is a group of School Counselors led by BCACD member and counseling chair Venetia Banks, who have started to attend to speak about the responsibilities and challenges unique to your role.

Finally, we are currently negotiating the entire Master Agreement with the core team being supported by a new expanded bargaining team. We wanted to ensure all the varied voices from the bargaining unit were heard and could help craft language which applies to them for the new Master Agreement.

School Counselors need to be represented. Please consider getting involved in your Union! Don’t agonize, organize!

Elementary Counselors

December Personal Safety Lessons

Please keep in mind that the delivery of our curriculum is essential. Every lesson was written to meet the needs of our students. But the Personal Safety lessons are especially important. If you have not been able to deliver these lessons, please contact your specialist if you need our support and advocacy.

Creating Counseling Centers

Do you have space in your office or classroom for student workstations? Take a look at the free Counselor Keri eBook with 101 ideas to create a client centered space.

Middle School Counselors

Counselor Keri resources

Take a look at the counseling centers resource in the elementary section to see if this would work for you. There's also the Worry Workbook in the lending library if you're scheduling an anxiety group.

High School Counselors

**NEW** Princeton Summer Journalism Program (Friday, July 31 – Monday, August 10, 2020) is a free residential journalism and college preparatory program for high-achieving current juniors from low-income backgrounds who are interested in journalism. Over 10 days, students live on campus at Princeton University and learn reporting skills from professional journalists. They also attend lectures on liberal arts topics led by Princeton U professors. Participants hold a press conference, produce a short documentary, report on a professional sporting event from the press box, attend a play or theatrical production, visit 3-4 major news outlets, and interview subjects for their feature stories in the Princeton Summer Journal. After the program, students are paired with a volunteer college adviser, a professional journalist, to help them through their application process. This is a FREE program! All program expenses, including meals, housing, airfare or train tickets to and from campus, are covered by the program. The online application is available on their website and due no later than Monday, February 17, 2020. Please note that students must submit an unofficial transcript to be considered. You may read about eligibility and the full application process here.

**NEW** Federal Student Aid
Last week, FSA shared information about thier intention to modernize operations through the Next Gen Federal Student Aid (Next Gen FSA) initiative, which includes a new website that consolidates some of the other sites such as,, and They are happy to announce that the site launch is scheduled for December 22!

Please visit the new site after December 22 at For more information, please view the full announcement on the current website.

Secondary Counselors

**NEW** US Naval Academy Summer Programs Applications for all summer programs open on January 3rd!

SUMMER STEM For Students Entering 9th – 11th Grade (Current 8th graders ARE eligible!)

Considering a future in tech? Summer STEM at the Naval Academy is a vibrant week of problem-solving, exploratory learning, critical thinking, and team building for rising 9th - 11th graders interested in a future in Science, Engineering, Technology and Math.

SUMMER SEMINAR: For Students Entering the 12th Grade

Summer Seminar gives you a taste of life at the Academy and kick-starts your application journey for an appointment to the Academy. For one week in June, you will experience first-class academic, athletic and professional training while building lifelong friendships with campers from all over the country.

**NEW** Black Girls Code** has a mission to increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology.

Applications for the Spring 2020 BROWN GIRLS CODE Clubs are now open. Deadline to apply is December 28th at 11:59PM EST. Visit:

For camp scholarships, visit:

LGBTQ Professional Development The PowerPoint from last week's PD was uploaded into the Secondary Schoology group. If you would like to refer any families or reach out the presenters, the website is We sincerely hope that this presentation gave you an appreciation for cultural differences while supporting your efforts to advocate for students. All of the handouts are attached below and have also been uploaded in the Schoology group in the PD folder. If you attended on 12/4 or in the morning of 12/5, there was one page missing on our table. You may want to download the "Supportive Services" document to get that missing page.

Secondary Department Chairs

**NEW** World Language Grade 9 Placement

Please review the guidelines attached below from the Office of World Languages for use as you place students in grade 9 classes.

Reminder: Course Registration Guide Order

Please complete the survey below so we know how many Course Registration Guides to order for your office:

ESSA At a Glance

**NEW** Well Rounded Curriculum

Access to Well-Rounded Curriculum is awarded a point value towards an overall rating for a school on the Maryland Report Card. The metric is measured for students completing high school and does not follow the cohort model. For students completing high school with a regular diploma, the student must have done at least one of the following during high school:

Be enrolled in an AP course

Be enrolled in an IB course

Participate in Dual Enrollment

Be enrolled in an MSDE-approved CTE program at the CTE concentrator level or higher

School counselors impact this area through your continued academic advising during the 6 year plan meetings and the registration process. Encouraging students to attempt rigor will be of benefit to them in their post-secondary plans.

**NEW** Well Rounded Curriculum Scores

For students completing high school with a regular diploma, the student must have done one of the following during high school:

  • scored a 3 or better on any AP exam
  • scored a 4 or better on any IB exam
  • scored a 530 or better on the Math and 480 or better on the EBRW SAT exams
  • score a 21 or better on the ACT exam
  • earned a Dual Enrollment credit**

High School Counselors

Course History Process: Transcript Articulation

When students enroll in Baltimore County Public Schools, whether from private school, another state or county we transpose their record using a COURSE HISTORY FORM with the assistance of the MASTER COURSE FILE. It's crucial that all high school counselors adhere to the long standing practice of using the prior school's grading scale, not the BCPS grading scale. This information is typically located on the transfer transcript or school profile. Additionally all courses, including failed courses must be added to the BCPS transcript.

Counselors should do their due diligence to contact the sending school to research information about courses if there are questions. If there are questions about graduation requirements, please don't hesitate to contact your Specialist or individual content area offices. This contact should be documented directly on the transcript so there's a record of any contact made to resolve questions.

When entering information on the Course History Form, the course titles used should be the comparable BCPS course title, not the title from the sending school.

Home school students who present a transcript with grades and "credits" from their home school do not earn credits and should go through the credit by exam process for any courses they'd like to earn credits in.

When records secretaries add credit be exam courses to a home school student record, they should add the statement "credit by exam" in the teacher column.

Quarter grades are not transferable to another school year for use with current year quarters for credit to be awarded.

Counselors and records secretaries should not delete or edit BCPS courses from a student record for any reason that would give a student an unfair advantage. Please refer to BCPS Rule 4100 Sec V and ASCA Ethical Standards.

Course histories should be entered in SIS by the records secretary with all supporting documents attached to the course history form so they can be added to the educational record.

There are far reaching implications for the failure to accurately document student records, costing students college admissions, scholarships and NCAA eligibility.

Below is an example of a grading scale from Archbishop Curley High School:

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Entering ASVAB Scores in SIS - If you receive a request to enter ASVAB scores in SIS, this task should be completed by your records secretary only. They can be entered the same way that you would enter a student's test scores if they were a new entrant to BCPS.

**As a reminder, ASVAB scores should not be released to military recruiters.**

High School Department Chairs

College and Career Readiness (CCR) Letters

Our office is working with content areas to revise the CCR Letter that was previously shared with families. We'll send the letter to you as soon as it's available so you're able to meet with students, adjust schedules and send the letter to parents and guardians.

College Counselors

**NEW** PCACAC Conference

PCACAC and its sponsors will provide up to TEN scholarships for counselors to attend the 55th Annual Conference in Harrisonburg, VA from April 19-21, 2020. The Marion Flagg Scholarship Program gives you the perfect opportunity to provide support to colleagues and friends in the field of college counseling and admissions. Self nominations are welcome.
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Spring Signup Genius

For many schools, you've already added your signups. Please take a moment to review what you've entered (especially for January) to make any revisions to the schedule before representatives start signing up for visits. As a reminder, colleges, military, trade and employment reps can schedule visits.

Discover CCBC

CCBC will host an information session on Saturday for interested students. Please share this reminder and the attachment below with families using Naviance or Schoology.

Rediscover the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) With $863 billion dollars in projected industry sales for 2019, there’s never been a better time to launch a career in food, beverage, and hospitality. And there’s nowhere better to do it than at the CIA, where students will get the experiential education, academic and financial support, and professional connections needed to get right into the industry they love.


What better way to end 2019 than by helping your students receive a $1,000 Early Application Grant from The Culinary Institute of America! All they have to do is submit their completed application—including all supporting docs like their official transcripts, essay, and recommendation—by December 31, 2019. We’ll process their file right away and, if they’re admitted, they’ll automatically receive the $1,000 grant.


2020-2021 Guaranteed Access Grant and the Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship Program

The application cycle is now open.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) started importing the 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Maryland State Financial Aid (MSFAA) applications.

Therefore, students who meet the income requirements in either the Guaranteed Access (GA) Grant or the Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship (Promise), will begin to receive notifications that they may be eligible for the program contingent upon submission of all required documentation. It is important to note that there is no separate application for either the GA or Promise program. Students are identified as potentially eligible for the program based on their income as reported on the FAFSA or MSFAA.

To assist you in navigating students through the 2020-2021 GA and Promise process, below you will find the following:

1. 2020-2021 OSFA Newsletter

2. GA Grant One-Pager to advertise the grant program at your school

3. Promise Scholarship One-Pager to advertise the scholarship program at your school

Important Things to Remember:

  • NEW Effective for the 2020-2021 academic year the “High School Certification Form” is NO longer required for consideration of the Guaranteed Access Grant Award program. Therefore, high school counselors are not required to complete this form, as done in the past for applicants identified as potentially eligible for the GA program.

  • NEW Effective immediately all required documentation for both the GA and Promise programs must be submitted by mail only at the address noted below. Electronic submissions of documentation are NO longer accepted due to the sensitivity of the information that is being transmitted.

Maryland Higher Education Commission

Office of Student Financial Assistance

Ground Floor Suite

6 N. Liberty Street

Baltimore, MD 21201

  • For the 2020-2021 academic year, MHEC has elected to only select 60% of its GA initial applicants for the income verification process. However, all GA initial applicants regardless of being selected for the income verification process must a High School Transcript by April 1.

  • The deadline to file the FAFSA or MSFAA for consideration of the GA Grant or Promise Scholarship is March 1, 2020.

  • High School transcripts with approved signatures: Transcripts must include up to the first semester grades of a student’s senior year, including courses still in progress. If your school does not have a HS transcript that includes all 1st semester grades of the student’s senior year, please provide the most current HS transcript AND the student’s grade/progress report at the end of the 1st semester of their senior year. We will not be able to review the student’s information until this documentation has been provided.

  • Encourage your students to check their emails, To-Do lists, and Application Status frequently. MHEC will send notifications to students regarding initial award acceptance and additional verification documents that may be requested.

  • The deadline to submit all required documentation to MHEC for GA students selected for verification is April 1, 2020. This is a hard deadline.

  • The deadline to submit all required documentation for the Promise Scholarship is June 15, 2020. This is a hard deadline.

If you have any questions regarding the information shared feel free to contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance at 410-767-3300

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.

College Fly-Ins

Landmark College Professional Visit Days

University of Tampa - 2/16-17, 2020

Southern Illinois University - 3/19-20, 2020

Roanoke College - 3/22-23, 2020

Saint Anselm College Counselor Fly-in Visit Program - 3/29-31, 2020

PCACAC College Tour - 4/1-4, 2020

MU/UD Counselor Visit Program - 4/26-28, 2020

Relevant Bulletin Items

December 13, 2019 Bulletin

1002. TEAM BCPS DAY 2020










Leadership Development

If you are currently an acting chair or have completed the leadership course for department chairs, please read the information below!!

All department chair postings will open on Monday, December 2, 2019. Applications are being accepted online for staff interested in a department chair position. The deadline for applying to be in the department chair candidate pool, and to be considered for a January/February 2020 interview, is Wednesday, January 8, 2020. Only complete applications will be given consideration for an interview.

Professional Development

Loyola Spring Continuing Education courses:

Thank you for your interest in our Continuing Education Courses. Below, please find the information for our spring 2020 semester:

Lauryn’s Law This course meets the educational requirements outlined in Lauryn’s Law. Specifically this course enhances the school counseling practitioners knowledge and skills to understand and respond to the social, emotional, and personal development of students, including knowledge and skills relating to: (1) the recognition of indicators of mental illness and behavioral distress, including depression, trauma, violence, youth suicide, and substance abuse; and (2) the identification of professional resources to help students in crisis. This course for school counselors provides a current, interactive overview of these skills and supports participants’ development/acquisition of a resource bank for distribution to parents or guardians, school staff, and students, as appropriate.

Spring 2020 Dates: February 10th- March 16th
Cost: $350

CBT Approach to Bibliotherapy : Drawing from a CBT approach practitioners learn to use literature to create a safe distance for young people to deal with issues related to self-regulation, anxiety, or chronic stress because of traumatic experiences. Literature and strategies for working with elementary and secondary students are explored along with the facilitation of coping strategies.

Spring 202 Dates: March 23rd- April 27th
Instructional Format: Online
Cost: $350

Clinical Supervision I: Students seeking supervision hours toward a LCPC may participate in this group supervision experience. Students are expected to be working with clients, and to bring cases to the supervision class for supervision, discussion, and problem solving. Students will utilize the required forms for supervision as outlined in state requirements for supervision experience. The focus of this supervision experience as case conceptualization and the development of treatment plans. A final written evaluation will be provided to each student to maintain in their records as required to document supervision.

Participants must have Maryland LGPC to enroll.

Spring 2020 dates: January 20, February 3 & 17, March 9 & 23, April 6 &20, and May 4th 5:30-7:30pm
Cost: $650

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

Inspiration and Good News

Holiday Help for Families

We know that so many of you spend hours and days on helping your families find food, warm clothing, and gifts for the holidays.

Thank you for your hard work to support your students and their families each and every day!

Holiday Ready!

Towson High School Department Chair Simon Briggs and Counseling Secretary Mary Williams are setting style trends in their holiday sweaters!
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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):

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

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.