Office of School Counseling

Friday Sendoff - September 4, 2020

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Navigating the Seas of Change

Thank you to all of you for submitting the many creative theme ideas. We wish we could have chosen all of them. This theme submitted by Silvana Alsamadi, from Chapel Hill Elementary, was selected and as we continue to sail these unchartered waters we know all of our amazing counselors will continue to "Navigate the Seas of Change".
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**MUST DO** 2020-2021 Counselor Questionnaire

Please complete this survey no later than September 18th. We use this information for program planning and developing your professional learning sessions.

Welcome back and Thank you!

Yesterday, we Navigated the Seas of Change with a Virtual Professional Study Day. We truly appreciate your patience, flexibility, and perseverance to complete the required components of this day. Using a Schoology Course was new for many people, including us. Remember the "Frustrating First Time" we learned about in the spring? We're going to have many more of those this fall. We all have to be patient with ourselves and willing to ask for help.

If you haven't already, please be sure to complete the following mandatory asynchronous components in the Schoology Course:

  1. View the Welcome Back Message from DSCS Leadership
  2. Watch both videos and complete all of the components of the Behavior Threat Management Procedures folder. **The Smartsheet can be submitted as a team**
  3. View all components of the Child Abuse and Neglect Compliance Training folder

*If you haven't joined the Schoology COURSE yet, the join code is: DZH2-RMX9-78J8G

*The folders don't always show as "complete" but if you complete all the components within the folder, it will show as "complete" on our end.

*The error in the Knowledge Check (quiz) for Behavior Threat Assessment updates was corrected overnight.

*The document to upload to the Smartsheet has been updated. If you already submitted, no need to send again,

*If you were not present at the 10:00 session (elementary and secondary updates), please be sure to reach out to your specialist to get updates.

*Be sure to complete the breakout session knowledge check that was provided to participants in the 1:00 sessions. These must be completed in order to earn CEUs.

*Recordings will be available in the Schoology Course in their corresponding folder. Once all are available, they will be copied into your Schoology Groups for future viewing as well.

*The PowerPoint of the Best Practices and Ethical Considerations for Virtual Group Counseling presentation is attached below. The link to view the recording is here, in the Schoology Course, as well as both the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling groups. A folder called "Virtual Group Counseling" was added to both groups and includes this presentation as well as the Informed Consent for Group Teletherapy form.


We have received many questions about the recent statement for counselors and support staff providing your school staff with personal cell phone numbers. We are aware of this and are awaiting clarification from our Executive Director. Please contact BCACD or your TABCO rep if you have questions about sharing your personal phone number with your entire staff.

Annual Homeless Training for Staff

If you are the Homeless Liaison for your building, you will be receiving an email from the Office of Homeless Education Programs and an invitation to their training, along with communication around your presentation to staff later this month.

Consent for Release of Records

We created a fillable version of this document for you.

Family & Kinship Services

  • Family Navigator services are available to provide support to the parents, guardians, or other family members of Baltimore County youth with serious behavioral health concerns who need assistance with accessing information, systems, and support services to effectively address those concerns. *please note: the former criteria of parental incarceration is no longer in effect.

  • Kinship Navigator services are available to provide support to families living in Baltimore County who are raising a relative’s child/children (i.e., grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings). *please note: Kinship families do not need to be caring for youth with behavioral health concerns

A Family and Kinship Navigator can:

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

Resources for Free Cell Phones and Internet Capable Devices

Below are two service providers who offer the Maryland Lifeline Program for eligible Maryland residents. This is a federally funded program for individuals who meet income eligibility guidelines or receive SNAP, Medical Assistance or other income based assistance. The application process is relatively simple and there is an option to get a free cell phone or you can bring your own phone and keep your phone number.

Assurance Wireless

SafeLink Wireless!/newHome

2020-2021 DSS Family Services Roster and Reporting Form

Be sure to download and save this to your computer to have it readily available to you.

Elementary Counselors

9/3 Presentation and Curriculum Updates

All components of the curriculum have been uploaded to Schoology. As we mentioned yesterday, we are working out the glitches with YouTube/Viewpure/Voice Thread. Once we are able to find a work around, we will post an update in your Schoology group. The curriculum writers' PowerPoint and a One Pager about the changes are attached below.

If you were not present at the 10:00 session about curriculum updates, please reach out to your specialist for updates. This session was not recorded.

Free Tutoring

Secondary Counselors

Curriculum Updates

Attached below is the At a Glance document for the Scope and Sequence. All of the updated components of the curriculum have been uploaded in Schoology.

If you did not attend the live presentation at 10:00 yesterday, please reach out to your specialist for updates.

Naviance Updates

RepVisits is a tool in Naviance that you already have and is absolutely free. RepVisits help high schools publish availability so college admissions counselors and military recruiters can schedule visits in real-time. This allows flexibility for counselors to easily organize and notify students of visits. RepVisits gives all students equal access to connect with colleges and discover opportunities not previously thought available to them. Remember, there is a direct positive correlation between increased Naviance access and college application rates according to the Journal of College Access.

  • What is the year over year impact of using this free Naviance tool?
    • 24% decrease in the gap between private and public high school visits
    • 42% decrease in the gap between higher income and lower income school visits
    • 10% decrease in the gap between schools with high racial diversity versus schools with low racial diversity

The third item is the new Naviance Counselor Handbook. Having a step by step guide available to all users can only positively impact implementing Naviance in a virtual landscape. It is additionally imperative for new staff and serves as a reference for all users.

Naviance Scholarship Updates:

  • Students have access to a new scholarship list with options that include the ability to filter for matched scholarships, hide past-due scholarships as well as search the list by keyword, category, grade-level eligibility, requirements and type
  • Scholarship categories are now displayed for students when viewing the scholarship list
  • The scholarship list now consistently displays a dash instead of N/A when no amount, category or deadline has been entered for a scholarship
  • After clicking on a scholarship from the list, the scholarship details page now opens in a new tab and hides empty fields, allowing students to quickly focus on the important details
  • Scholarship application documents that have been uploaded to a scholarship are now hidden for students if the related scholarship has been made inactive

They have updated their Help Library article to reflect the changes, Scholarships. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any additional questions or concerns—they are there to support you!

High School Counselors

Student Voter Registration Initiative

The Office of Communications and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc have developed a voters' registration link that they would like you to share with any eligible junior or senior.

Please send out a message via Schoology messenger or Naviance to eligible juniors and seniors with the following link:,1,xOjpg2CTm9XLfbVxAn1OKjA7mNJTpN3kflInZFwI3KXU7zNgqSLjfMqy5nGr3Dp6jc1zPtJWCl0YyEG7xfRDdD4AA3t3sDhcZOpfjseF7MD4HA,,&typo=1

College Counselors

Signup Genius Tutorial

If you weren't able to attend this morning's tutorial, you can view the recording to learn how to create a brand new or edit an existing sign up.

You can expect an invitation to a Naviance tutorial (on college planning tools and scheduling college visits) in the near future.

MPT's annual Ways to Pay for College

MPT's annual Ways to Pay for College program will be on Thursday, Sept. 24.

The attached news release provides details. Visit for more information.

2020 Virtual Student Financial Empowerment Summit

Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Eastern time

You are invited to join the U.S. Department of Education office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020 as they launch the Student Financial Empowerment (SFE) Initiative with a virtual summit. This event will bring together students, parents, educators, community-based organizations, businesses, and others to share innovative solutions to help students make informed decisions about their educational journey.

Register Now

ACT Educator and Leader Newsletter

New National ACT® Test Dates Added for Fall 2020

Your students now have more opportunities to take the ACT test this fall. These additions will help meet the demand for testing caused by COVID-19-related cancellations and social distancing requirements that limited test centers’ capacities this spring and summer. A total of eight test dates will be available for students for fall 2020 national testing.

  • Saturday, September 19
  • Saturday, October 10
  • Saturday, October 17

Learn More

Success Story: Helping Students GEAR UP for Success

When Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received a GEAR UP grant, program coordinator Laurie Mead knew it was an opportunity to help the 475 students in the program prepare for college and career success. She used a suite of ACT products and services to assist her in achieving this goal. Find out how Kennedy helped students achieve college readiness, including many whose plans didn’t include postsecondary study.

Learn More

Top Misconceptions about Social and Emotional Learning

Each post in this #ResearchWednesday blog series from Mawi Learning covers and clarifies a common misconception about social and emotional learning (SEL). Discover the research and insights that counter these misconceptions, including:

  • “You can’t measure SEL”
  • “SEL can’t be taught in schools”
  • “You can’t have too much grit”

The blog is updated every Wednesday with SEL insights from ACT and Mawi Learning experts.

Learn More

Baseline Data Can Help Close Achievement Gaps

For years, ACT data has underlined the achievement gaps among K-12 learners, and recent articles have opined that the COVID-19 crisis will only widen this gap. Meanwhile, attendees of a recent ACT webinar weighed in on the challenges K-12 educators are facing in planning the upcoming school year:

  • 74.8% said that the current crisis has caused gaps in the critical data needed to plan the upcoming school year
  • An additional 21.1% were unsure, since a baseline hasn’t been established
  • 63.9% didn’t have a plan yet

How is your school planning for the year, and what are you doing to help close these learning gaps among your learners? Acquiring baseline data about your students’ readiness can be a lifeline to help your school or district’s plan to tackle the 2020-21 school year.

Learn More About Baseline Data

ACT College and Career Readiness Workshops 2020: Sign Up Now!

You’re invited! Sign up for a 2020 ACT College and Career Readiness Workshop today! During this free, half-day workshop, you’ll discover:

  • Strategies for using ACT data to measure student readiness––and plan for the future
  • How ACT tools can help prepare your students for college and career readiness
  • New ways of empowering students

Register for a Workshop

SAT Waivers

Fee Waiver Codes Will Be Available Starting on August 17. To ensure eligible students have access to fee waivers for the weekend SAT®, fee waiver codes will be available to schools through the College Board K–12 reporting portal starting on August 17.

Here are some reminders about accessing and distributing fee waivers:

Paper fee waiver cards will no longer be mailed to schools.

Fee waiver codes will be available in the K–12 reporting portal download center—you'll need detail or summary level access to get your school's fee waiver codes.

Fee waivers delivered to the K–12 reporting portal can be used starting with the September 26 SAT administration. August SAT 2020 fee waivers were delivered in your 2019-20 allotment. Any unused codes from last year's allotment are still valid and never expire.

As part of our ongoing efforts to support you as you navigate the uncertainties due to the coronavirus and beyond, we're offering these resources to help you access and distribute fee waivers:

SAT Weekend Fee Waivers—What Counselors Need to Know (.pdf/183 KB)

Electronic Fee Waiver Access Overview (.pdf/349 KB)

From the Field: Strategies for Using Electronic Fee Waiver Codes (.pdf/174 KB)

Managing Electronic Fee Waiver Codes for SAT (.docx/92 KB)

Student Fee Waiver Tracking Form (.docx/90 KB)

Community Resources

From our friends in the Office of School Climate

Sheppard Pratt Walk-In Clinic

410-938-5302, 6501 N Charles Street Baltimore MD 21204

Currently taking walk-ins. Hours: Monday – Friday 9am – 9pm and Saturday 12pm – 4pm

Treatment Recovery Resource

443-376-5785 in Dundalk (Holabird Ave)

    • Individual and group counseling for adolescents and adults, peer recovery, and case management
    • Currently accept Medicaid and working to become credentialed with other insurance providers


Mindfulness for Teachers: A Program With Proof

Other Resources

Safe Reporting on Suicide: Media Toolkit

Download the new toolkit to learn how responsible reporting can save lives. This toolkit should be utilized by the entertainment industry, or anyone reporting or posting online content related to suicide. It includes best practices, a safe reporting checklist, and additional resources.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Grant Cycle 2020-2021

AFSP just announced their research grant priority areas; new research priorities are suicide prevention within underrepresented racial and ethnic communities and the evaluation of technological tools for suicide prevention.

Professional Development

Professional Articles

Young Adults’ Pandemic Mental Health Risks

  • “In a new C.D.C. survey, 18- to 24-year-olds reported the highest levels of symptoms of anxiety and depression, and a quarter of them said they had seriously considered suicide.”
  • The current pandemic is a breeding ground for mental health disaster,” with unprecedented levels of risk factors. “This exposure period is prolonged, longer than anything we’ve seen before,” she said, and the social isolation makes everything worse.”
  • This combination of uncertainty about their personal future and worry about the larger future can leave some people without much sense of hope or promise about what is coming next. “Hopelessness is one of the big drivers of suicide,” Dr. Vinson said. “It’s normally not about wanting to be dead; it’s about not wanting to live like this, whatever this is."

What It Means to Center “Healing Justice” in Wellness


When I think about healing justice, I think about a couple of different things: I think about the transformation of our world, the systems, the institutions, the communities, as well as our relationships to ourselves. What would happen to our world if we understood that healing was deeply connected to the dismantling of racism, of transphobia, misogynoir, and ableism, and chose to center that?”

Upcoming Webinars

Listen Up: Ethics and Energy, Understanding the Many Faces of ADHD (Live Webinar) 2 CEUs on 10/6/20

NAMI Maryland’s 38th Annual Conference (Live Webinar) 6 CEUs on October 16th For more information on the conference agenda and workshops, visit their website.

Across the Miles: Effective Strategies and Ethical Considerations in the World of Online Therapy (Live Webinar) 2 CEUs on 11/4/20

Ten Faces Of Trauma (Live Webinar) 1 CEU on 11/9/20

Starting Point: The Importance of Being Culturally Attuned With Children and Families, (Live Webinar) 2 CEUs on 11/16/20

How Trauma Transforms: Nurturing Resilience Through Play Therapy With Clients Impacted by ACEs, (Live Webinar) 2 CEUs on 12/8/20

Work Hard, Play Hard: Understanding the Therapeutic Value and Real Work Within Play Therapy, (Live Webinar) 2 CEUs on 12/21/20

Please remember that if you are planning to attend a professional development during the school day that is not offered by our office, you must get permission from your administration.

Virtual Classrooms

8 Strategies to Improve Participation in Your Virtual Classroom
Taking Care of Your Mental Health during COVID-19

From MD Suicide Prevention and Early Intervention Network

ASCA Webinar series

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

ASCA on Air (recorded webinars)

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

BCPS Counselors Good News & Inspiration

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Congratulations to Ashley Cole (Padonia International School) on her recent marriage!

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Welcome to the world Peyton Marie Wheeler born 6/19/20 5lbs. 2ozs. Congratulations to mom Julie Wheeler, Dulaney High

We Welcome Our New Counselors !!

Counselor Self-Care

Complimentary Webinar plus much more

FREE Virtual Yoga Class for September

Virtual Yoga Class for September is Wednesday 9/16/2020, at 5pm. Upon receipt of the signed PDF waiver, Ms. Keatts will send out the registration link for class. The waiver is attached.


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

SPRMNT Group - 82RB-GQ63-724X6

Contact Information

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

Signup Genius Support:

CPS phone number: 410.887.TIME

CPS email address:

MHEC FAFSA Completion (MD CAPS):

Cigna Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

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

Crisis Text Line

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

Probono Counseling

Access to free counseling services for families in Maryland. Clients are carefully matched with a clinician based on their needs.

Counselor Observation and Evaluation Forms

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

Office of Certification Contact Information

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

Lauryn's Law Requirements and Course Offerings

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

BCPS School Counseling Pinterest

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

Counselor T-Shirt Designs

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