School Counselor Connection

Tips for Success, Vol 10, February 2022

This month's newsletter is dedicated to our amazing Orange County School Counselors who work arduously to support our students and families.

This newsletter includes activities you can engage in to celebrate National School Counseling Week during February 7- 11, 2022. You will also find upcoming training opportunities and legislative updates that impact School Counselors!

Big picture

National School Counseling Week is celebrated during the week of February 7-11, 2022. During this special week, the Orange County Department of Education recognizes exemplary Orange County School Counselors and School Counselor Advocates who work tirelessly to support our Orange County students and families.

Throughout the week, we will feature best-practices from current school counselors as well as former school counselors who have transitioned to school/district leadership. See below for the week’s program, as well as registration information.

Big picture

Monday, February 7, 2022 | 9:00 A.M.

Stronger Together: Increasing Impact Through Wellness Teams

Presenter: Katerina Sorrell , 2021 National Certified School Counselor of the Year

We'll discuss ways you can collaborate with your Mental Wellness/Health Teams to create a more robust student system, to extend your reach and assist more students who may need more Tier II or III supports under the MTSS model in creative ways. Register

Tuesday, February 8, 2022 | 3:00 P.M.

Taking your Advocacy into Administration

Presenters: Brandi Augenstein, Kim Goodwin, 2018 OC Pathways COY; Dr. Jami Parsons, 2021 CA School Counselor Advocate of the Year; & Dr. Rebecca Pianta, 2019 CA and OC School Counselor Advocate of the Year

The skills and knowledge school counselors develop in the counseling office and across their campuses are valued in school leadership and administration. As a school counselor you're already a leader on your campus. In this session we'll hear from a panel of school counselors who have moved into the world of administration. about their journey into their leadership roles as they continue to advocate for students on a wider scale. Register

Wednesday, February 9, 2022 | 3:00 P.M.

Create an Engaging Middle School College/Career Program

Presenters: David Diaz, Diana Garibay, Munachiso Osisioma, & Laurie Tristan, 2021 OC COY

In this session, learn strategies to combine technology and existing internet-based sites to help students explore colleges, discover career interests, and build soft skills. Learn simple tips to motivate students and incentivize your program in a way that is inclusive and accessible for all. Participants will walk away with sample activities to get started with creating a program. Review of how to use data to capture student voice and evaluate program for revision will be discussed. Based on the needs of your students and availability of local post-secondary options, learn how to tailor a meaningful college and career exploration experience for your school. Participants are encouraged to bring a device for hands-on demonstration. Register

Thursday, February 10, 2022 | 3:00 P.M.

ALL Students, no exceptions - Using MTSS in Elementary Schools

Presenters: Kyle Sivcovich, 2020 OC COY; Brittany Springle

In this session, participants will learn one district's approach to supporting the Social Emotional needs of ALL students on an elementary school campus. Participants will learn how important it is to structure interventions and supports so that ALL students' needs are met, not just students with intensified needs. Participants will learn how we implement that structure, from giving universal screeners to tracking intervention progress data. As a school counselor working at the Elementary level, it is vital that everything is implemented from a structure to ensure ALL students are supported. Register

Friday, February 11, 2022

Announcement of Counselor of the Year Recipients!

Submit Better Together Photo Challenge HERE

This is the perfect time to help everyone understand the impact School Counselors make! Join the 2022 NSC Week Challenge by posting your pictures on how your involvement makes a difference! Don't be shy! Submit for a chance to win a prize!

Celebrating the Impact School Counselors Make [Click]

How are you supporting the academic, social and emotional and career development of your students? Please take a moment to share with us all the wonderful things your school counseling programs are doing to support students and families!

How Can Administrators Celebrate their School Counselors

Don't miss the opportunity to express how much you appreciate your support services staff! See below for some ideas on how you can celebrate the hard work of your School Counselors.



ASCA released a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Specialist Training Course: and is FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME! Register NOW!

CASC released "Becoming an Anti Racist School Counselor" Guide: the guide provides strategies and resources to implement as an anti-racist school counselor with an inclusive program. Check it out HERE!

Soon, Seniors will need to complete and submit the FAFSA/ CADA- AB 469: Pupil Instruction- Financial Aid Applications: Effective January 1, 2022: AB 469 requires on or before September 1, 2022, and each year thereafter, Local Educational Agencies (LEA’s) to ensure that high school seniors complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) unless an opt out form in submitted. The intent of this bill is to improve students’ access to financial aid resources. Read full Assembly Bill HERE!

Existing Coordinated Financial Aid Application Completion Campaigns:

Training Will be Needed to Supervise Fieldwork Students starting Fall 2022: The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) passed new conditions for Pupil Personnel Services Program Standards and Performance Exceptions: Commencing Fall 2022, School Counselors who wish to supervise fieldwork students will need to ensure they are cleared by the university by completing a training in supervision.

  • Please connect with each fieldwork student's university to learn theri requirements for supervision and training offerings available in house/ accepted
  • Many universities will be offering free in house training
  • The California Association of School Counselors (CASC) is offering asynchronous advanced training for $99 for members or $199 for non-members accepted by most universities for five years. Learn more about the training HERE

Starting in 2024, U.S. students will take the SAT entirely online

The SAT, a college admissions exam long associated with paper and pencil, will soon go all-digital. Starting in 2023 for international students and in 2024 in the U.S., the new digital SAT will shrink from three hours to two, include shorter reading passages and allow students to use a calculator on the math section. Testing will still take place at a test center or at a school, but students will be able to choose between using their own devices — including a tablet or a laptop — or the schools' devices.

School Counselor Professional Learning Opportunities

Click here to view upcoming professional development opportunities for School Counselors

Share, Learn and Connect (SLC) Counselor Program

The SLC Counselor Program is designed to provide a one-day, drive-in, or virtual professional development opportunity for individuals working with students in their transition to college. SLC sessions are focused on addressing the needs of public high schools, transfer programs, community-based organizations, and under-resourced independent schools.

Financial Aid Resources and Workshops

California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) Trainings

CSAC is providing new training webinars and virtual workshops to high school staff, college financial aid professionals, Cash for College hosts, as well as students and parents. Currently the commission is hosting statewide financial aid workshops in a virtual format. The workshops are offered through Zoom live webinars and are available to high school counselors, advisors, student advocacy groups, outreach specialists, and community education partners.

Cal-SOAP Financial Aid Webinar Series

Cal-SOAP offers a series of free webinars about paying for college. All webinars are held on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Click on a workshop title to register.

CSU Center to Close the Opportunity Gap- Creating a Culture of Care in Schools

Webinar 1: Supporting the Whole Child: Safeguarding Student Mental and Behavioral Health

Attendees will gain insight on various mental health disorders and psychosocial/emotional issues that affect students in K-12 settings. Educators will learn how to recognize mental health warning signs and leave with actionable strategies to remove the stigma associated with mental health issues and support students and their families.

Webinar 2: Creating a Culture of Care Through Trauma Sensitive Practices

This webinar provides an overview of trauma and its effects on youth in school. Attendees will learn about the intersection of trauma-informed, anti-racism, and equity work in schools and will leave with practical tools and strategies for building caring relationships and trauma sensitive classrooms.

Webinar 3: Building Systems of Care: A Guide to School-Based Mental Health Teams

Join the board chair of CASC, president of the California Association of School Psychologists, and president of California Association of School Social Workers as they embark on defining the complimentary roles and responsibilities of the three professions in meeting the needs of California's students. After attending, conference participants will be able to describe what each profession does and define the strategic and collaborative approach to supporting California's schools. Come with questions as this is a rare opportunity to engage with the leaders of all three organizations in one setting.

Previous School Counselor Newsletters

Click here to access previous volumes- be sure to subscribe to our newsletter!

Luz M. Arellano, Ed.D

K-12 School Counseling Services Coordinator

Educational Services

Orange County Department of Education

Luz M. Arellano is the Coordinator for K-12 School Counseling Services at Orange County Department of Education. In 2018, Dr. Arellano was recognized by the College Board and Orange County Department of Education’s “School Counselor Recognition Program” for her commitment and advocacy for increasing equity in K-12 college and career outcomes. She received her doctorate in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Educational Psychology from University of Southern California in 2019, and her Masters in Counseling and Pupil Personnel Service Credential from Chapman University in 2011. Dr. Arellano has been an educator for fourteen years starting her career as a Community Liaison and Parent Educator. Her professional experience includes Professional School Counselor for K-12, 504 Coordinator, Wellness Coordinator and Counselor on Special Assignment District Lead for K-12 School Counseling Services. She has also served as an Adjunct Professor in the School Counseling Graduate Program at Chapman University. Dr. Arellano is passionate about equity and access, parent engagement, and most definitely, passionate about elevating the role of the School Counselor and strengthening leadership opportunities for School Counselors.