Office of School Counseling

Friday Sendoff - December 13, 2019

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As we begin the week before the holiday break, it's important to remember that there are students who are not looking forward to the break. Being home for 12 days could mean no food, no heat, no electricity, gifts and/or potentially no connection with someone they trust.

These students will spend the holiday break counting down the days until they come back to school with the one person they trust and they can always rely on. As school counselors, YOU are often that person.

So while we know these next 5 days will be challenging, remember that there are students who will be eager to be back at school with you in January.

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.


**NEW** MSCA PD: "Anxiety & Action" Materials

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

**NEW** 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.

Upcoming Grief Groups at Stella Maris:

· Adult Loss of Loved One Group

· Adult Loss of Loved One to Overdose/Substance Abuse Group

· Teen Loss of Loved One Group

· Young Widows & Widowers Group

· Kids Grief Day Camp

Please see the attached flyer for a complete listing of programs. For more information or to register, please call 410-252-4500 x7291.

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.

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*NEW* 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

**NEW** 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.

**NEW** 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.

Secondary Counselors

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.

High School Counselors

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.

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** 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.

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


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

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

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

We the Students Scholarship

AFA Teens Awareness College Scholarship

Relevant Bulletin Items

December 6, 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.

For other ASCA Webinars, visit:

**NEW** 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

For more information and registration information, please visit our website:

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 Items of the Week:

Social Skills Activities for Special Children

Borrow the Elementary version or the Secondary version from our lending library for ready-to-use lessons and worksheets to help children use social skills inside and outside the classroom.

Scenario Cards to facilitate role-play

Acting Out Scenario Cards allow students to use the scene suggestions on each card to act out various situations that sometimes come up in the day to day lives of middle and high school students. Students in a small group select or are given a card that provides them with a scene description and actor parts needed. Then the actors present their mini-play with or without any preparation. Following the play, students in the small group or classroom process the role play. Suggested discussion questions are provided for each scenario.

Topics include: Peer Relations, Anger Management, Impulse Control, Prejudice/Intolerance, Transitions, Grades/Tests/Academics, Time Management, Anxiety/The Future, Friends in Crisis, Dealing with Teachers/Other Adults, Cyber Bullying, Cutting, Suicide, Sexuality, Friends in Crisis, Tobacco/Alcohol/Illegal Drugs, Gangs/Violence

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

Rest and Relaxation

Melanie sends her love from the National Harbor with Phil, Nysa and Isaiah. They're enjoying some much needed family time and having lots of fun! She misses you all and can't wait until she's able to return to the job and team she loves.
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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.