HCS Counselor Connection Newsletter

February 2014

Hello Counselors!

I hope you enjoyed our three-day "snowcation." It was a beautiful sight, one we don't see very often in the south. The snow days gave students and school personnel a chance to re-charge their batteries. I think parents' batteries were beginning to drain :-) It was fun to play in the snow, but now it's time to play catch-up.

During the snow days, I had a chance to watch some of the Olympic competitions. I could not help but think school counselors and winter Olympic athletes have a lot in common: picture our counselors on the bob sled, ski slope, or in the luge. We're racing at an amazing speed toward our own medal ceremony (graduation , promotion and awards day) and we're going for the gold!

No Place for Hate and PBIS Bully Prevention

Great NPFH programs and activities are taking place in our school district. I'm proud of the work you're doing in this area! I hope you've had a chance to read the latest NPFH Newsletter for the Atlanta Anti-Defamation League: http://www.cvent.com/events/2013-2014-no-place-for-hate-atlanta/custom-17-05cf396b96c8469dad46a1712b0e18d1.aspx. Three of our schools and counselors were mentioned in the newsletter: Jill Queeney/Providence, Jennifer Dardin/AAA, and Gabrielle Degenaar/Jones Valley. I sent an email earlier this month about the protocol for submitting your information to earn your designation. As a reminder, all schools are expected to earn this designation. The deadline for all schools to earn their designation is Feb. 28, 2013. We'll have a district-wide celebration later in the spring.

PBIS Bully Prevention goes hand in hand with NPFH. As a district, we began PBIS bully prevention last fall. I've gotten lots of great feedback on the program from a variety of sources. I've even had a couple of parents tell me their children have used the "stop, walk, talk" steps at home. We knew this could be a little challenging for our upper grades, but counselors are doing a great job making it "fit" in their schools. One of the key factors to the success of this program is faculty/school buy-in; this is so important! If students ever suspect we don't take it seriously, neither will they! January 23 was the deadline to complete the PBIS bully prevention lessons.

Thank you for everything you're doing to create a positive school climate :-)

Professional Development and Growth Opportunities

If you are not a member of the American School Counselor Association, I cannot begin to tell you what you are missing. Staying current with professional literature is a key element of an effective program. ASCA provides a variety of tools specific to school counselors: ASCA Scene, ASCA magazine and journal, webinars, national conference, etc.

The focus of the January/February edition of ASCA School Counselor hit home..... "Data Talks; Help People Listen." It goes hand-in-hand with our recent PD - School Counselor Accountability. There's even an article written by Dr. Carolyn Stone, ASCA Ethics Chair, on "Helping Homeless Students."

Please take time to read two articles: "Using Results to Get Results" and "From Position to Program."

Upcoming ASCA Webinars (webinars are also archived):

*Microsoft Office Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts - Feb. 11

*Cyberbullying: The Substantial Disruption Test by Dr. Carolyn Stone - Feb. 21

*Partnering With Teen Parents - Mar. 6

*A Rainbow of LGBTGIA Resources - Apr. 3

*Promoting Student Success via the Ecological Model of School Counseling - Apr. 16

Kuder Career Planning Program:

The development of a 4-Year Plan for ALL 9th graders is part of our school system accountability plan as required by the ALSDE. If you need a refresher course, there are several opportunities to participate in a 30 minute webinar at www.kuder.com/events.

Counselor Collaboration and Communication

Counselor collaboration and communication is one of the most important and essential elements in the transition of students from one grade to another. As you can see below, Olive, Paula and Yvette took advantage of having a few minutes together at the symposium to begin collaborating and planning the transition of their students from elementary to middle school.

As we begin the "insanely busy season" of Pre-registration for middle and high school, I encourage you to collaborate and coordinate with your colleagues in your feeder schools.

As a counselor at HHS, each year our department would host an informal luncheon for our feeder middle school counselors. At this luncheon, we shared timelines, deadlines, parent meetings, and best practices. We scheduled the luncheon so that our department chairs could attend and answer questions specific to their subject area. This collaboration allowed us to plan a smooth transition for our students.

What type of transition program or activities are you planning?

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Check It Out!

The National Office for Counselor Advocacy has a plethora of tools and resources for K-12 counselors: Research, 8 Components of College and Career Readiness, Resources, Professional Development, and Own the Turf Campaign.

I first learned of NOSCA several years ago while I was researching the Principal-Counselor Relationship. They've done extensive research in this area in conjunction with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

I've embedded a link to the NOSCA website along with a couple of Youtube videos linked to NOSCA campaigns

I encourage you to "check this out!"

Own the Turf: A Message From Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan
School Counselors! Leaders in School Reform, Student Achievement and College Readiness

Organizational Tips

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