Counselor Connection--May 1

Education Service Center Region 15

Big picture
Big picture

School Counselor Spotlight

Jennifer Brewer is quick to point out that she is not a school counselor, but does serve many of these functions in Olfen ISD (which does not have a counselor for the district). She administers the PSAT and SAT, helps seniors apply for college and for scholarships, and helps with graduation planning and course scheduling. She has been in education for 10 years. Her favorite thing about being an educator is interacting with high school students as they start to embark on their post-secondary adventures. The advice she would give to others who need advice or are having a problem is to talk to colleagues.

When she is stressed, Jennifer likes to garden or walk the dogs. A couple of fun facts about Jennifer: she owns horses and she has two master's degrees. She has a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Angelo State University and a master's degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of North Texas.

May is Mental Health Month!

Download a daily mental health month calendar from Counselor Keri.

80% rule

The 80% rule has an effective date: the week of May 22! Information on the adopted rule 61.1073 (TEC § 33.006h) will be available in mid-May on the commissioner-adopted rule page and in late May on the Texas Administrative Code Currently in Effect webpage.

Suicide Informational Questionnaire

The American School Counselor Association has just released its Suicide Informational Questionnaire with rationale, research, instructions, and a 3-page crisis intervention form! This doc is a united effort between ASCA and several national suicide prevention organizations, it is 2 years in the making, and is a best practice school counselor document for handling crisis outcries.

Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention for High Schools

The JED Foundation’s framework – The High School Comprehensive Approach is a resource used to support and improve student mental health, reduce suicide risk, and prepare students emotionally for the transition into young adulthood. The Approach can be utilized by school leadership for strategic planning around mental health and emotional well-being at school. This framework uses seven core domains that focus on evaluation and implementation efforts.

Nine Tips for Overcoming Test Anxiety

Test anxiety is a common experience for many students. It can lead to feelings of stress and unease before, during, and after tests. One study confirmed test anxiety is a real problem, affecting 25% to 40% of U.S. students. I remember feeling anxious and my stomach turning before I sat down to take a test. Little did I know then that there are ways to overcome test anxiety. Let’s look at a few tips.
Where has this website been my whole life?

Dr. Russ Sabella has lots of handouts and other documents that you may find useful. Check them out!

Texas Education Agency’s Safe and Supportive Schools Guide

As schools begin planning their 2023-2024 school year, schools can use Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) Safe and Supportive School Program Guide. This guide offers support on conducting a needs assessment and implementation activities for improving the school climate. School climate encompasses the experience students, parents, school personnel, and community members partake. School norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures all impact the overall school experience. Schools can also access TEA’s Safe and Supportive Schools webpage for more information.

2023 Virtual Say What! Summit

Register now for the 2023 Vape-Free Virtual Summit.

Join us for the Premier:

When: Wednesday, May 17
Time: 10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Central Time
Platform: Zoom

The virtual summit will feature fun and interactive conversations and activities led by Say What! Teen Ambassadors as they discuss the physical and mental health effects of using vapes, secondhand and thirdhand aerosol, the dangerous chemicals found inside, how the tobacco industry targets youth and deceives the public into using e-cigarettes, free resources to quit vaping, and how youth and adults can join the fight against the tobacco industry.

If you can’t make the premiere on May 17, register for the summit anyway so that you can receive access to the summit recording and additional advocacy opportunities!

College, career, and military readiness resources

TEA Listening Tours

TEA is conducting a statewide listening tour to receive feedback about programs of study geared toward high-wage, in-demand occupations. Your input is essential to ensure the alignment between education and the diverse needs of Texas industries.

Please note two opportunities to attend the tour virtually – May 9 and May 12.

Better FAFSA Implementation Roadmap

The Better FAFSA Implementation Roadmap and the free uAspire webinar explore key changes coming to the 2024-25 FAFSA form. You can register for the webinar here: June 14 at 1 pm CT or July 12 at 11 am CT or August 16 at 1 pm CT.

Professional Development

Upcoming Sessions at ESC

We've got some really great sessions this spring and summer designed to support you this school year. You can simply click on any of the graphics to register.

Foster Care Consortium

Tuesday, May 2nd, 9am

612 South Irene Street

San Angelo, TX

The Foster Care Consortium will meet on topics of relevance. This may include a tuition waiver presentation, introductions by the CPAs, graduation requirements, and a fentanyl or CRCG presentation.
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Open Registration: Little Changes = Big Results Conference

Registration is officially open for the Little Changes = Big Results Conference. This two-day conference is meant to tailor your needs and availability! You will receive a certificate for each session that you attend during the two-day conference, being able to earn up to 12 hours of CPE. Just like last year you get to choose the tools you need in your toolbox to get you ready for the upcoming year. This conference is for anyone that works with students: Admin, Gen Ed, SPED, Mental Health, Paraprofessionals, etc. This year we will have a variety of local presenters training on a variety of topics: Autism, Behavior, learning, classroom management, sensory, mental health, and so much more. Please share this with all your listserve, and with anyone that you feel will benefit from this conference. Looking forward to seeing you all this summer!

Our Key Speaker is Ashley Mohesky. Some of you might have even worked with Ashley Mohesky during your education career.

Ashley Mohesky is a graduate from San Angelo ISD. Ashley has a neurological disorder called Cerebral Palsy that affects her ability to walk and talk. Due to brain damage caused at birth, doctors predicted that she would not have a quality of life and at three years old, she was placed in special education. Ashley was evaluated for a communication device and after using it for a short time proved to excel at her studies and was transferred to general education. As Ashley reports, “During my time in school, I did everything that other kids my age did. In fact, I was voted prom queen during my senior prom. I also was on a bowling league for people with disabilities throughout college.” Ashley graduated high school and attended Howard College where she received her Associate degree in General Studies. Ashley went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Angelo State University.

Hotel Block is Open

If you will be attending the Counselor Retreat, please contact the Fredericksburg Inn and Suites to make your reservation. You must secure the reservation with a major credit card at time of booking. The group rate is not available online. Contact the hotel at (830) 997-0202 and ask for the ESC Region 15 Counselor Retreat. The rate is $98 per night and cut-off date for this rate is June 11.

CTE Professional Learning Dates

I wanted to share with you all several opportunities for professional development this summer. Last year, TEA created training geared toward new counselors and administrators and asked ESCs to conduct regional convenings. ESC 15 partnered with ESCs 14, 16, 17, 18, and 9 and held training at ESC 14. This year, these sessions will be available here at ESC 15. In addition to the new counselor/administrator training, TEA is releasing a series for experienced counselors and administrators. Please know you are welcome to attend any and all training regardless of your experience level or role. Counselors serve in many different capacities and you are welcome to attend administrator training. Registration is open for all sessions. Flyers have been attached detailing each session. Additional resources will be provided if applicable to the session.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Hope to see you this summer.


Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Emergency and After Hours Resources

This list is of known providers of particular services. The providers on the list are from a variety of sources. The list is being provided as a courtesy, for information only, and the user should understand that no assurances or guarantees regarding the providers on the list are being made by providing this list. We do not endorse, approve, or recommend any specific provider listed below. This list is not inclusive of all community agencies, services, or organizations that provide the particular service, and the omission of an agency, service, or organization from this list does not imply disapproval. It is the responsibility of the user of this list to determine whether any of the content is of value to them and whether or not the agency, service, or organization meets their specific needs.