Apr. 9, 2015

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
Participant online registration here
Exhibitor online registration here
Call for programs application

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

Save the date!

Thursday, July 23
8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Hosted by Shenendehowa Central School District Clifton Park, NY
Special rate for NYSSCA members.
More information to follow soon.More

2015 NYSSCA Graduate Student Scholarship application deadline approaching
To help future school counselors fulfill their educational goals, the New York State School Counselor Association awards scholarships to graduate students each year who are currently enrolled in a New York State accredited master's-level school counseling program.

Scholarships are awarded based on students' academic achievement, contributions to the field and commitment to the promotion of the ASCA/NYSSCA Comprehensive Model and NYS Learning Standards. The required letter of recommendation should be specific as to the candidate's suitability for the award. The essay response to the following question is a critical part of the application for the NYSSCA Graduate Student Scholarship

"Given the evolution of the school counseling profession in recent years, and the emphasis in education on accountability, how can counselors demonstrate their commitment to student achievement and development through the application of NYS Common Core & other Learning Standards and the ASCA/NYSSCA Comprehensive Model?"

The New York State School Counselor Association supports school counselors' efforts to help students focus on academic, social/emotional and career development so they achieve success in school and are prepared to lead fulfilling lives as responsible members of society.

NYSSCA provides professional development, publications, research and advocacy to professional school counselors in New York State.

NYSSCA Contact: Ronald Smith, past president at pastpresident@nyssca.org.
Deadline for submission April 15.

The application for the 2015 Graduate Student Scholarship is available here.More

NYSSCA Executive Board Elections
NYSSCA Members have received an electronic ballot for our annual elections. Please take a moment to review the candidates and cast a vote in this important election. More

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HealthDay News
Children are at greatest risk of being hit by a car at the end of the school day, as well as in the evening, a new study finds. One expert wasn't surprised by the findings. The after-school hours are "times when adult supervision may not be ideal," said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "Having increased police awareness and school-sponsored safety patrols available when afternoon caregivers cannot be present may help to reduce the risk," said Glatter, who was not involved in the new research.More

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By: Brian Stack
A former student from my school recently came back to interview me on zero-tolerance policies for a research paper she was writing for her graduate program. Her questions really got me thinking about the purpose and the effectiveness of this approach in schools. Designed to eradicate students from engaging in certain behaviors, zero-tolerance policies generally call for punishing any infraction of a rule, regardless of the severity or whether the infraction was due to a mistake, ignorance or an extenuating circumstance. More

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eSchool News
Bridg-it has launched Bridg-it School, an online school safety solution that addresses the lifecycle of an incident, from reporting through resolution. In addition, Bridg-it School addresses harmful situations by providing access to a Resource Center of curated content with restorative techniques that foster positive outcomes. Available via computer, tablet or smartphone, Bridg-it School allows students, teachers, parents and administrators to securely file a confidential report in less than one minute, from anywhere at any time.More

NEA campaign aims to shift ESEA away from 'testing, labeling and punishing schools'
THE Journal
A new multi-pronged campaign from the National Education Association will try to shift the focus of federal education policy away from high-stakes testing and back toward students, with a special emphasis on "children living in poverty, students with disabilities and English language learners." The campaign, called "Wave of Action," coincides with the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 by Lyndon Johnson (reauthorized under George W. Bush as No Child Left Behind, or NCLB), which is currently undergoing another reauthorization process in Congress. The campaign will include a range of activities, from a television ad to digital campaigns to teach-ins to leaflet distribution, all with the aim of pushing legislators to tone down the current law's emphasis on testing and the associated problems that come with it.More

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By: April Smith
We all know that students are different and learning is not one-size-fits-all. Some students need more academic assistance and support than others because of documented physical or cognitive disabilities. To accommodate the variety of special needs present in today's classrooms, schools have created a variety of tiered placements and intervention strategies based on the severity of needed assistance. Two instructional models dominate special education services to be given in the general education classroom: inclusion and pull-out.More

The gap between rich and poor schools grew 44 percent over a decade
The Hechinger Report (commentary)
Jill Barshay, a contributor for The Hechinger Report, writes: "The growing gap between rich and poor is affecting many aspects of life in the United States, from health to work to home life. Now the one place that's supposed to give Americans an equal chance at life — the schoolhouse — is becoming increasingly unequal as well. I've already documented the startling increase since 2000 in the number of extremely poor schools, where three-fourths of the students or more are poor enough to qualify for free or discounted meals, and I've noted the general increase in poverty in all schools here."More

Friendship barriers and solutions for kids with ADHD
Psychology Today
Helping children with ADHD learn to get along better with their peers is very difficult. Research shows that medication and reward systems can cut down on their inappropriate behavior, but these changes don't necessarily lead to greater peer acceptance or making friends. Teaching these children social skills in isolation also hasn't proven helpful. Even when children can perform a certain skill perfectly in a clinic or home setting, it doesn't mean they'll remember to use that skill in a relevant situation at school or with a friend.More

How community violence hurts students
The Atlantic
When the "D.C. Sniper" John Allen Muhammad and his then-teenage accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo went on a three-week shooting spree back in 2002, their bloody rampage did more than leave a trail of victims and spread panic throughout the capital region. The Beltway sniper attacks also hurt math and reading scores at elementary and middle schools in Virginia that were in close proximity to the shootings, according to a new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. What's more, the schools where performance worsened the most were those serving the largest populations of disadvantaged students.More

Gifted students aren't getting the focus they need
The Washington Post
States aren't doing enough to support gifted students, especially those from low-income families — that's the message that the Virginia-based Jack Kent Cooke Foundation sent with the release of report cards on state policies for academically talented children. No state received an A. There were plenty of D's and a few F's. But more important than the letter grades are some of the underlying data.More

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Scholastic Administrator Magazine
In America today, more than 80 percent of schools use pencil and paper to track visitors entering school buildings. In practice, this is the equivalent of leaving the back door open to the public. Pencil-and-paper tracking has several inherent flaws. At the most basic level, nothing compels an individual to write down his or her real name. Even if the person does write the correct name (and you can read it), that doesn't tell you anything else about that individual and his or her suitability for entering the building. Pencil-and-paper sign-in sheets are also nearly useless in emergency evacuations and they don't allow for reporting at the district level.More

Disability-related education complaints trending up
Disability Scoop
Federal education officials are fielding an increasing number of complaints related to disability discrimination in the nation's schools. More than 3,900 complaints based on disability were filed with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights during the 2014 fiscal year, the most recent period for which statistics are available. Though that's somewhat fewer than the department received in 2013, it represents a sharp rise over five years. By comparison, less than 3,000 complaints were filed in 2009.More

Nearly half of all preschoolers with ADHD are on medication
The Washington Post
The first national survey of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder shows that nearly half of preschoolers are on medication for the condition, and more than a fifth were receiving neither of the recommended therapies. American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines call for the use of behavioral therapy first with children younger than 6 because the long-term impacts of medications on developing brains are not well known. But the data show that 46.6 percent of the preschool aged children with the disorder had taken medication alone or with behavioral therapy in the previous week, and 53.2 percent had used behavioral therapy in the previous year. Another 21. 4 percent received neither therapy. The data come from the 2009-2010 National Survey of Children With Special Health Care Needs.More

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eSchool News
Assessments are critical to our efforts to improve instruction in K-12 education. Yet, in an age when students are accessing a vast array of resources on computers, tablets and mobile devices, some school districts are still hesitant to take their assessments online.More

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EdTech Magazine
An intriguing thing has been happening in schools. A decade ago, the idea of integrating technology into the classroom changed the possibility of what teachers and students could accomplish or even imagine. While that classroom tech created seemingly endless opportunities, districts soon realized they didn't have the necessary infrastructure in place to support it all. School leadership then shifted their attention to building or rebuilding networks, tackling data management and bolstering enterprise security in order to advance their academic missions.More