Office of School Counseling

Friday Sendoff - December 6, 2019

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"You're Almost There!"

As we approach the holiday break, encouragement is sometimes needed to push through to vacation. Counselors you are almost there! Self-care is right around the corner!

Your students need the same encouragement when classes are challenging, when it's hard to get out of bed, when applying for that last college or scholarship and for our seniors to push through semester one. We may not be able to show students the finish line as we're guiding them but we can give them the energy, motivation and encouragement to trust that the end result is near and they will be rewarded for their perseverance and determination.

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 2020 at 9am-12pm

3505 Resource Drive

Randallstown, MD

Save the Date.

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


FREE Lyft Rides for Families Needing Access to Resources (Provided by United Way) Guidelines:

1. The client must originate and stay within Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Anne Arundel, and Howard.

2. It must be for food access, financial assistance, medical, or employment related reasons.

3. We can provide up to 5 round trips to each person.

How can people access: Call 211 M-F, 8AM-7PM and request a ride. The program will begin this Friday.

Middle School Department Chairs

Please share the December College and Career Newsletter with parents, staff and other stakeholders.

Secondary Counselors

**NEW** LGBTQ Professional Development The PowerPoint from this 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.

November Secondary Science SMORE:

Secondary Department Chairs

Local Knowledge is a new digital publication developed for Maryland’s middle and high school counselors by the Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC). "Local Knowledge" will deliver a quick, informative read on student opportunities at our 16 community colleges. This month covers the new Maryland Community College Promise program. Click here to subscribe and receive this monthly.


Department Chairs, please complete the survey below so we know how many Course Registration Guides to order for your office:

ESSA At a Glance

What is ESSA?

**NEW** Each week, we will provide you with an ESSA fact of the week. Keep your eyes out for an upcoming WebEx about ESSA, access to Well Rounded Curriculum and how this impacts our 6 year plan conversations with students.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015. This bipartisan measure reauthorizes the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation’s national education law and longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students.

ESSA includes provisions that will help to ensure success for students and schools. Below are just a few. The law:

  • Advances equity by upholding critical protections for America's disadvantaged and high-need students.
  • Requires—for the first time—that all students in America be taught to high academic standards that will prepare them to succeed in college and careers.
  • Ensures that vital information is provided to educators, families, students, and communities through annual statewide assessments that measure students' progress toward those high standards.
  • Helps to support and grow local innovations—including evidence-based and place-based interventions developed by local leaders and educators—consistent with our Investing in Innovation and Promise Neighborhoods
  • Sustains and expands this administration's historic investments in increasing access to high-quality preschool.
  • Maintains an expectation that there will be accountability and action to effect positive change in our lowest-performing schools, where groups of students are not making progress, and where graduation rates are low over extended periods of time.

High School Counselors

**NEW** 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 for 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.

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.

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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**NEW** 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.**

Health Informatics Degree Fundamentals -

Please share the following guides with students. Contact Alyssa Porter with questions.

Health Informatics Career Overview -

Day with an Engineer 2020 Attached below are the application materials and flyer for this year’s Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Day with an Engineer program. The program allows juniors and seniors to actively shadow engineering professionals at their offices and on job sites. Students will get a valuable first look at what it’s like to work as an engineer. The application deadline is Friday, January 10, 2020, and the event is scheduled for Wednesday, February 19, 2020. Please encourage any juniors or seniors who are interested in pursuing a career in the engineering field to apply.

College Counselors

**NEW** 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. For more information, visit:

**NEW** 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

MCAC materials in Spanish

In an effort to ensure that students and families who speak Spanish are aware of the Maryland College Application Campaign (MCAC) and the supports the MCAC provides, attached below you will find four MCAC brochures translated into Spanish. The brochures are also located on the MCAC website. Click on the MCAC Spanish Brochures - MCAC español folletos tab on the right side of the web page. You may use the link below to access the MCAC website. Please share the brochures accordingly with stakeholders, families, and students. The attached translated brochures are:

  • MCAC (about the college campaign)
  • MCAC Financial Aid - Show Me the Money!
  • MCAC Tuition Waiver for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth and Foster Care Youth
  • Undocumented Students

Link to access the MCAC website

College Application updates (PLEASE REVIEW)

University of Delaware - we received information that if your students completed a Delaware application through the Coalition and submitted school documents through Naviance, the application may still read incomplete. U Delaware does not get the transcripts and recommendations through eDocs so please have the student add you to their Coalition application and add their documents there.

Notre Dame University of Maryland - Please check with your students to make sure their applicaiton is complete. NDM doesn't accept eDocs submissions. They have notified their processing team that many applicants are in fact submitting documents through Naviance so that they can take the appropriate action. None of your students will be penalized for having to resend documents, so please don’t worry. They accept applications on a rolling admissions basis and every applicant is still equally considered for scholarships, regardless of when the student applies. There's no hard deadline in place of when we need all applications and documents in our system, and they are constantly reviewing applications. For future reference, please have any application documents sent to This is the direct email to the processing team who can pull the documents and upload them to the student’s profile.

Cornell College: Evaluating College Choices

What makes a student say yes to a college?

Inside Higher Ed writer Matt Reed examined this question and posed it to his readers.

Career coaches matter

Ultimately, your students' college journey should end with a terrific launch into graduate school or a career. Hear what students at Cornell have to say about the Berry Career Institute's career coaching.

A College Evaluation guide

We've put together a resource that explains how to evaluate colleges that you can use with your students and their parents when they struggle to make a decision.

Skills training, short-term certificates, or 4 years of college?
What should you keep in mind when students ask what the differences might be between a 4-year college degree and short-term skills or certificate training?

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

Recently Added/Updated Scholarships in Naviance


Bank of America Student Leaders Program

Elks National Foundation Legacy Awards application

First Financial Federal Credit Union Scholarship

Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship

Princeton Prize in Race Relations

Union Plus Scholarship

USDA 1890 Scholarship Program


Courageous Persuaders Scholarships

Relevant Bulletin Items

November 27, 2019 Bulletin





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

**NEW** 2019 ASCA Webinar Series: Solution-Focused Techniques for Responsive Services Dec. 16, 2019, 3-4 p.m. Responsive services are school counseling interventions intended to help students with their immediate needs and concerns. In the time-sensitive environment of a school, having brief, effective and strengths-based techniques is critical to a school counselor’s success in supporting students. Hear about numerous solution-oriented counseling techniques and specific language that will fill your techniques toolbox.

Introduction to Sand Tray Therapy 1/6/20 in Randallstown. 3 CEU's offered.

Getting to the Point! Methods and Applications of Solutions-Focused Brief Therapy 1/6/20 in Randallstown. 3 CEU's offered.

The Ethics of Self-Disclosure 1/6/20 in Randallstown. 3 CEU's offered.

Your Own Worst Enemy: Helping Clients Address Anxiety Through the Lens of Emotional Intelligence (Live Webinar) on 1/7/20. 2 CEU's offered.

The Change Ethic 1/12/20 in Pikesville. 3 CEU's offered.

Life Reclaimed: Helping Substance-Using Clients Through Recovery and Beyond, (Live Webinar) on 1/13/20. 2 CEU's offered.

Supervision and Leadership, Management Seminar 1/16 and 1/23 in Hereford (2 day training for those interested in being an LCPC Board-Approved Supervisor). 12 CEU's offered.

How Trauma Transforms: Nurturing Resilience Through Play Therapy With Clients Impacted by ACEs (Live Webinar) on 1/15/20. 2 CEU's offered.

Best Approaches in Trauma Treatment 1/30/20 in Dundalk. 3 CEU's offered.

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

Lending Library Item of the Week:

Puzzle Pieces K-5: This resource provides complete lesson plans with reproducible summary posters for reinforcement and reproducible parent letters for each lesson.

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**NEW** Large Size Coloring Pages

These 48"x 83" pages are great for classrooms and sensory spaces. If you'd like more information, visit:

Office of School Counseling Lending Library

Inspiration and Good News


We would like to thank Simon Briggs and Andrea Tavernia for helping us out this week. They presented to principals about how school counselors work with students at the secondary level to help them meet their goals and to keep them on track to graduate in 4 years. We truly appreciate their time, flexibility, and willingness to support our office!
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Creativity and Coping Skills

Paige Artis teaches students how to make "stress bracelets" in group and individual counseling. Students love making them, using them as a coping skill, and giving them as gifts!
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Say my Name!

Mr. Simmons from Dogwood Elementary School wanted to make sure students who speak our most common languages know exactly who he is. If you look closely, his name is also in Braille!
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No Stress Zone

What a great idea to give a student who needed a break a place to color and maybe have a conversation with Mr. Simmons. His themes change regularly so there's always something for everyone!
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Parkville High School Trade and Career Fair

Over 110 students attended the Parkville High Trade Fair this morning. A HUGE thank you to Ms. Adkins for being the mastermind behind this event! Thanks to the counselors their support and the amazing teachers who promoted the event. See pictures below...


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 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.