Feb. 12, 2015

New York State Regional Parent Advisors
New York State Office of Mental Health
Families Together in New York State in partnership with the New York State Office of Mental Health.

The primary role of the Parent Advisor is to build a strong network of family peer support programs and to assure that there is family voice in the development of all policies and services.

Parent Advisors are employed by Families Together in New York State and work in collaboration with the New York State Office of Mental Health to provide technical assistance to all OMH licensed and funded programs. For the program Brochure and Contact information, click here. More

Rich school, poor school
Beauty and peace radiate across the 319-acre campus of the elegant Cranbrook Schools, but in one corner of the upper school, overlooking the manicured lacrosse field, is an angst-filled office where students and their parents come to fret. There, on a recent morning, a pony-tailed soccer player was nervously fiddling with the zipper on her coat as she asked her college counselor if it was really necessary for her to do an admissions interview. "It's just, like, nerve-wracking because, like, you don't want say the wrong thing," she murmured, slumping in her chair.More

New York State School Counselor Association Annual Conference 2015
"School Counselors: Advocating Access for All!"

The Sagamore Resort, on Lake George, Bolton Landing, NY
Nov. 20-21, 2015
Call for Programs

The New York State School Counselor Association is seeking qualified presenters for the 2015 Conference! Topics addressing comprehensive school counseling program design and implementation and accountability for school counselors are welcome. Workshops relevant to the following topics will also receive special consideration:

Our Call for Programs application for this event is linked here. We will be accepting all applications online again this year. The link is also posted on the NYSSCA website. Please consider proposing a workshop to share your best practices, collaborations, research, resources and/or wisdom! The deadline for submission is May 1, 2015.

We encourage you to forward this correspondence to other school counselors in your school district and/or local counseling association. Conference information including hotel reservations can be found on the NYSSCA website at www.nyssca.org.More

What does a school counselor do?
Public News Service
They are mentors, advocates and career counselors. In Arizona and across the country, the people who help students deal with issues ranging from bullying and cutting class to college and career choices are being honored. Mindy Willard, president of the Arizona School Counselors Association, said National School Counseling Week shines a light on educators who each can work with hundreds of students each day "through visiting classrooms and doing lessons through small groups, individual counseling services, through response to services — just so many different ways that we impact the learning environment for students, ultimately trying to remove the barriers to their learning." More

School counselors: Who knew how much they do?
Hudson Star-Observer
There's a lot more to school counseling these days than the traditional guidance counselor days of the past. National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association, is meant to focus public attention on the unique contribution of professional school counselors within U.S. school systems and their impact on helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.More

Study looks to tap strengths of ADHD students
Medical Xpress
People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, some studies suggest, are more creative and more willing to take risks. Those traits are exactly what the field of engineering needs, say a team of researchers, but the traditional model of teaching is driving away potential pioneers in the field. With funding from the Research in Engineering Education, a program of the National Science Foundation, they're embarking on a study designed to find a better way to teach these students.More

Questions surround vouchers for students with disabilities
Disability Scoop
Some students with disabilities may get a chance to leave the public school system here — but advocates and parents aren't sure it will improve their education. Lawmakers in Mississippi will soon debate a bill to give special education students vouchers for private schools, which supporters say will boost their options and opportunities. Opponents, though, say vouchers will simply send students with disabilities to ill-equipped, unregulated schools and ultimately absolve the state of responsibility for some 54,000 students with disabilities.More

Red flags raised on plan to let Title I aid follow students
Education Week
Education groups are fighting a proposal on Capitol Hill that would allow federal funding to follow disadvantaged students to the public schools of their choice — an idea that school district advocates see as a pit stop on the highway to Voucherville. The policy — known as "Title I portability" — is included in a draft bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act introduced by U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who chairs the Senate education committee.More

It's time to redefine the credit hour
By: Brian Stack
Recently, a hot topic on the Web has been the Carnegie Unit. Also referred to as credit hours or student hours, the system has come under scrutiny by many in the educational community who believe that a major shortcoming with the model is its inability to link "seat time" with actual learning. Last month, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching published a new study entitled "The Carnegie Unit: A Century-Old Standard in a Changing Educational Landscape." Interestingly, the Foundation agreed that the time had come to redefine the credit hour. More

How schools are dealing with anti-vaccine parents
The Atlantic
The debates over vaccinations are often cast as arguments over the integrity of science. But they can just as easily be understood as conversations about power, writes Eula Biss, a senior lecturer at Northwestern University, in her book, "On Immunity: An Inoculation." As it stands, all 50 states require specific vaccines for school-aged children, although each grants exemptions for students unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons. The power struggle — pitting parents against parents — arises in the 19 states that allow families to opt out of vaccination requirements by claiming a "philosophical exemption," whether based on personal, moral or religious beliefs.More

Gifted and talented programs dumb down our students
In America, we place great value on natural talent. We idolize the sheer genius of Albert Einstein and the creative brilliance of Steve Jobs — framing their success within the idea that geniuses like these are born, not created. We have a surprisingly antiquated and misguided idea of how real talent comes to be, and this mistaken belief is holding our country back. There is no place where this myth is more destructive than in education.More

The power of observation
By: Pamela Hill
How do we know that a student is learning? What behaviors must they demonstrate for the teacher to draw the conclusion that the student has learned? Who determines learning? The teacher, the curriculum and the standards do. The current measure of learning is assessment. The student must indicate what they know by answering questions in a test format. However, there is a piece missing that is important to determine if a student has learned and is learning.More

Early childhood programs found to significantly lower likelihood of special education placements in third grade
AERA via Science Daily
Access to state-supported early childhood programs significantly reduces the likelihood that children will be placed in special education in the third grade, academically benefiting students and resulting in considerable cost savings to school districts, according to new research published today in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association.More

ESEA would see $2.7 billion increase under FY 2016 budget
eSchool News
President Barack Obama's FY 2016 budget request includes four focus areas for education, including increasing equity and opportunity for all students; expanding high-quality early learning programs; supporting teachers and school leaders; and improving access, affordability and student outcomes in postsecondary education. Education Technology State Grants would receive $200 million to support models that use technology to help teachers improve instruction and personalize learning for students.More

8 steps to combat the bullying epidemic
October was National Bullying Prevention Month in the U.S. But shouldn't every month be bullying prevention month? Shouldn't we do more about this problem — this epidemic — than raise awareness about it during one month out of 12?More

Can stress help students?
Imagine this: You're a ninth-grade math teacher, and you've just been anointed as head of the school's wellness committee, a team thrown together to deal with student stress levels that are "far too high." "We need to build a more positive climate," your principal explained. "You're relatable. Students might listen to what you have to say." Now you're writing a speech for the year's first all-school assembly on a topic outside your expertise: stress management.More