Office of School Counseling

Friday Sendoff - March 13, 2020

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Taking care of our students and YOURSELF!

Thanks to Nancy Schlenoff, Cockeysville Middle, for sharing this with us:

I’m sure that you have noticed that over the past few weeks our students have been talking to each other about the Coronavirus. They may have even asked you direct questions about the virus, schools closing, or rumors they have heard. Personally I have heard a variety of things, such as students teasing each other about it, students talking about information they have heard on the news, social media, from their parents, and each other, and just yesterday members of my Advisory talking with me about how some of our students of Asian descent are being stigmatized.

Whether or not you personally are concerned or feel this issue is being overblown, regardless of your beliefs about how the news/media is covering this issue, whatever your thoughts are about how our local or federal government is handling this issue – OUR CHILDREN ARE FEELING ANXIOUS! They are demonstrating and voicing varying levels of anxiety.

Consider your own level of concern and anxiety and take some time to reflect on your individual students. Do you feel that they are in need of an adult to listen to and acknowledge their concerns? Are there individual students that seem like they would benefit from being referred to a School Counselor, Social Worker, or a phone call home to a parent/guardian?

You can also provide support just by modeling self-care, talking to students about self-care activities (proper hand-washing techniques, getting enough sleep, exercising, talking with friends or a trusted adult, turning off their phones!, etc.), providing engaging learning opportunities, and sticking with regular classroom routines and structures. When speaking with other adults in our building about the Coronavirus, please be aware of your surroundings and how you are talking about the topic. We don’t want to inadvertently increase their anxiety.

**Most importantly, you can’t take care of others without first taking care of yourself. MAKE SURE YOU ENGAGE IN SELF-CARE ACTIVITIES! Take deep breaths. Turn off the news. Play with your pets. Read your child a book or play a board game. Call a friend. Do something around the house that you have been putting off. Take steps to lower your own anxiety level. Anna Williams just shared with me a link to an article that you may find helpful:

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**NEW**ASCA Coronavirus Resources

ASCA has created a list of resources for school counselors and other school support staff. Please continue to collaborate and consult with your administration and school nurse as questions come up.

Ten Strategies for Educators' Wellbeing

Don’t forget to take care of yourselves and your own health during this time. This article provides some ideas for taking care of your mind, body, and hearts during times of crisis.

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Lori Counsell - Mays Chapel Elementary shares this video

The Yucky Bug by Julia Cook

More Resources:

Welcome To A School That's Prepared For The Coronavirus -

Schools nationally wrestling with coronavirus closures and the effects on poorer districts -

• COVID-19 And The Catch-22 Of School Closure

Ed Companies Offering Free Subscriptions -*hectPgzBf5EWUdCz1levCg


• Ten Strategies for Educators' Wellbeing: A Handbook for Schools During the COVID-19 Outbreak -

• Crisis Managment Institute - Tips for Addressing the Corona Virus -


• ASCA Coronavirus Resource Guide -

• NACAC Resource Center -

• The Role of School Counselors during School Closures -ISCA -

Planning for Virtual/Distance School Counseling During an Emergency Shutdown -

Matt Ferenschak - Perry Hall Hall - Tips for Talking

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From Patrice Bender, Martin Blvd Elementary


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What is Pseudo Self-Care?

(adapted from The Self-Care Institute)

Sometimes it just feels so good to get lost and escape for bit. We can easily “escape” in a book, online shopping, or social media. However, when we end up laying there scrolling/reading and then it’s suddenly 11:30 at night….This is when it is not exactly self-care anymore. Especially when it negatively impacts how we feel the next day.

Sometimes there's a point where self-care isn't self-care anymore. Sometimes the good things we try to do for ourselves are not always what's best for us. Pseudo self-care is behavior that is justified as being self-care, but is actually behavior manifesting from numbing, avoidance, distraction, procrastination, perfectionism, self-sabotage, or a lack of boundaries.

Pseudo self-care is something we all do, and it's not a reason to give ourselves a hard time. Rather, pseudo self-care is something to be mindful of regarding how we make choices about what it means to care for ourselves.

Both self-care and pseudo self-care are a part of being human.

Once in while doing something wild like reading late into the night can be fun and worth the fatigue the next day. Sometimes the balance between pseudo self-care and real self-care can be hard to differentiate, and you can read more about that here.

As you go through your day today, remember that self-care is a choice to do what's best for you. Self-care has your long-term goals in mind, not just short term relief.

Upcoming Meetings



**NEW** DSS Referrals

At the present time there are no changes being made to the process for reporting suspected abuse and neglect. If there is someone with first hand knowledge they should report to 410- 887-TIME.


Communication will be forthcoming from senior leadership about food and resources for families during the two week closure.


Here is information for anyone needing to access BCPS One remotely from home

**NEW**Are you interested in presenting to your colleagues?

We are looking for presenters for the September 3rd Professional Study Day. There will be multiple breakout sessions, so we are looking for a variety of topics. If you would like to present with a team of colleagues, please complete the survey one time and include all of your names. This is a great leadership opportunity and is an excellent way to share your individual areas of expertise. Please complete the survey by May 1st

**NEW** Goucher College’s Annual Education Conference - CANCELLED!

With the latest development’s regarding the COVID-19 pandemic the Goucher College’s Annual Education Conference has been CANCELLED. While they are disappointed to cancel this annual event, the health and safety of all participants must be their first priority.

**NEW** College Fairs

On behalf of Diane Drake & her staff at CCBC, thanks to those counselors who worked the two College Fairs. After working a long hard day and then to go & put in more hours was most welcome & appreciated.

The Dove Self Esteem Project

Dove Self-Esteem Project Confident Me! curriculum tackles very real issues that our children face every day. Lessons and videos encourage a different way of thinking. They challenge us to re-evaluate stereotypes, body image, and societal roles. Each lesson encourages young people to look beyond what we know, to question what we see, are told, and shown, and in that questioning to re-evaluate our standards as a culture, society, and as a person.

Homeless Student List

School counselors are now able to access and view the Homeless Student List report in SIS. Let your specialist know if you are unable to access this report.

Elementary Counselors

Are you planning to run a session with your 5th graders on how to use a combination lock? If so, don’t forget that we have combination locks in our Lending Library! E-mail Sharon if you’d like to borrow a set.

High School Counselors

**NEW** IMPORTANT UPDATE - Counselors for Computing workshop 4/17 at Morgan State in Baltimore free for MD counselors


The computing program that was to be held on April 17th at Morgan state is being rescheduled because of current health concerns and travel restrictions to 2 summer sessions:

July 6 at Salisbury University on the eastern shore

July 22 at Hood College up in Frederick

All who registered will be informed and invited to attend a future session for CPD credit.

Sign up links will be sent out soon.

Counselors for Computing provides information to school counselors about careers and opportunities in cybersecurity and computer science and supports those who advise students to encourage diverse learners into 21st century technology courses. Please pass along this free opportunity for a 1-day workshop at Morgan State on April 17th. Lunch and swag will be provided.

Counselors at schools with military connections are especially encouraged to apply.


Registration Form:

Health Careers Institute at Dartmouth Summer Opportunities for Students

The Health Careers Institute at Dartmouth is being offered during July for high school students who have expressed an interest in working in health care or want to know more about clinical and non-clinical health careers. Students entering grades 10, 11, and 12 in the fall of 2020 who want to learn about careers and important issues and topics in health care today, are encouraged to apply.

For more information, the website is: The online application is now open and can be found on the website. The first round due date for applications of March 15th; applications will be accepted on a space-available, rolling basis after that date.

Middle School Department Chairs

March College & Career Newsletter

Here is the link for the March College & Career Newsletter that can be shared with students & families.

High School Department Chairs


MaatenRe was granted access to the directions yesterday in order to create a district file for all seniors. The report request PII including students social security numbers. She’s waiting for clarification as to whether that information can be shared and if so, the file will be created with information for all seniors and uploaded the MDCAPS website. We hope to have an update for you next week.

College Counselors

**NEW** GPA Promise Outreach Events

Effective immediately, the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s Guaranteed Access (GA) Grant and Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship outreach events scheduled at the following locations listed below have been cancelled.

Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Institution: College of Southern MD

Address: 8730 Mitchell Rd, LaPlata, MD 20646

Location: Business & Industry Building, Room 113

Time: 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Date: Saturday, March 14, 2020

Institution: Baltimore City Community College

Address: 2901 Liberty Heights Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215

Location: Mini-Conference Center

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Below are the deadlines to submit all required documentation for consideration of each program:

Guaranteed Access Grant Program - April 1, 2020
Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship - June 15, 2020

Due to the cancellation of these events, documentation for consideration of the GA Grant and Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship must be submitted by the above deadlines to our office, utilizing one of the methods listed below:

1. By Mail: Maryland Higher Education Commission
Office of Student Financial Assistance
6 N. Liberty Street, Ground Suite
Baltimore, MD 21201;

2. Drop boxes, which are located in the MHEC lobbies, located at 6 N. Liberty Street, Baltimore, MD 21201 and 200 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. The drop boxes can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please make sure you fill out the form that must accompany your documentation prior to placing it in the dropbox.

If you have any questions regarding either program or its requirements, please contact our office at 410-767-3300 or visit MHEC’s website to view information concerning how to complete the required documentation.

For more information, pertaining to the GA Grant program, Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship Program, and other state scholarships and grants available to Maryland students please visit and click on State Scholarships and Grants under Quick Links

**NEW** Baltimore County PTA Scholarship Opportunity

We have received word that they have been very few applications for the Baltimore County PTA Scholarship. Deadline is April 2, 2020. Full details are on Naviance. Let's help get the word out again

**NEW**Professional Visit Days (PVD) at Landmark College

Now is the time to reserve your spot for Professional Visit Days (PVD) at Landmark College. Both the April 2 - 3 and April 30 - May 1 sessions are filling up fast. Whichever session you choose, Landmark College covers your meals and lodging, and provides a travel stipend of up to $350 for people traveling more than 100 miles to attend. Each PVD offers the chance for you to:

  • Meet current Landmark College students
  • Hear presentations by Landmark faculty and staff on educational technology, coaching, our language intensive curriculum, college planning services, and much more
  • Take a campus tour
  • Get information about our summer programs for high school and college students
  • Receive details on programs for Visiting College Students

If you arrive the evening before the April 2-3 PVD, you can also attend the special presentation by educational therapist Marc Hoffman, whose free, public presentation How My Failures with LD Led to My Success in Life takes place on Wednesday, April 1 at 7 p.m. in the O’Brien Auditorium/East Academic Building.

Register Now

**NEW**Maryland College Application Campaign (MCAC)

Maryland College Application Campaign (MCAC) – MSDE will offer the Maryland college Application Campaign for the 2020-2021 school year. The goal of the MCAC is to increase the number of first-generation students, low-income students, and others who are underrepresented in higher education. Students will be encouraged to pursue a postsecondary education and each participant will be required to submit at least one admission application.

Please be advised that all schools participating in the 2020 Maryland College Application Campaign (MCAC) must complete the 2020 MCAC registration form. The form provides updated information about your school. You may register online at If there are any questions, do not hesitate to contact Michelle Daley at

Our district will ensure the following tasks:

· Underrepresented students will complete at least one college application

· MCAC survey

· College Planning Event**

· FAFSA Information Event**

· FAFSA Completion support**

· Decision Day (for college and career decision)

Dr. Joe A. Hairston Scholarship

During Dr. Hairston's tenure he was committed to creating a college going culture for all students. Two graduating BCPS seniors will each be awarded $2,000. Details and application can be found in Naviance. The goal is to have at least one applicant from each high school.. Scholarship available to student attending a 2-4 year college or technical school. Deadline to submit application is April 17, 2020. (Note: see extended deadline date).

Text, Talk, Set to Go.

In partnership with Active Minds, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, the School Social Work Association of America and Youth MOVE National, The Jed Foundation (JED) is excited to announce the spring 2020 launch of Text, Talk, Set to Go.
Text Talk Set to Go

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.

Relevant Bulletin Items

March 13, 2020 BCPS News Hub

BCPS News Hub is the new format for all superintendent bulletins.

Some highlights from the past week:


Professional Development

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

Office of School Counseling Lending Library

Contact Sharon Holter to borrow any items.

Lending Library Items of the Week

Inspirational & Good News

First Year Counselor Meeting

1st year school counselors learned from the AMAZING Lynne Muller about making group counseling a priority every year and techniques to make every group meaningful and impactful.

Superflexing at Franklin Elementary

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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):

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.

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

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.