Jan. 3, 2014

Message from President Ron Smith
On behalf of the New York State School Counselor Association, I would like to wish everyone a very healthy, happy and prosperous New Year. Take this time to spend with family and close friends. Relax so you will be able to begin the new year refreshed and ready to continue the wonderful, priceless work you do every day.

Ron Smith
President-NYSSCA 2013-2014 More

Save the date
NYSSCA's annual conference will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2014 at the Hilton in Albany. The theme for this year is "School Counselors: Informed, Accountable, Impactful." More

National School Counseling Week
National School Counseling Week, Feb. 3-7, 2014, will be here before you know it. Are you prepared to take advantage of the week to share information on how students are different as a result of school counselor's work? Get materials, many of them free, to help celebrate the week. More

Teaching Tolerance Award

We're writing to let you know that we're now accepting applications for the 2014 Teaching Tolerance Award for Excellence in Teaching. This biannual award recognizes educators whose classroom practices support the TT mission of reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations and supporting equitable schools.

The application deadline is Jan. 12, 2014. Five awardees will receive a $2,500 cash award and travel to Montgomery, Ala., for a three-day collaborative workshop and award celebration during summer 2014.

Prior to that event, these five teachers will be filmed in their classrooms, and the footage will be used in Teaching Tolerance professional development materials. Teachers applying for the award must agree to be videotaped and secure the permission of their schools and students.

Winners must also be available to travel to Montgomery in the summer for the award event.

Click here to view the application and award details. And please share this opportunity with K-12 teachers in your network who are committed to the TT mission.

We hope you have a safe and happy close to 2013, and we look forward to reading about the great work you and your colleagues are doing with students!More

After Newtown, New York City taps shrink to train school staff
New York Post
The NYPD and Department of Education have hired a prominent psychiatrist to train school-safety agents, teachers and administrators how to handle troubled students following the Newtown school massacre. Dr. Stuart Ablon, of Massachusetts General Hospital, held seminars for 3,000 school-safety agents and uniformed police officers, teaching them how to talk with troublemakers and get to the root of the problem rather than just throw them out of school or have them arrested.More

Report: 18 percent of New York City high school students bullied
The Associated Press via WCBS-TV
Eighteen percent of New York City high school students reported being bullied at school or over the Internet in 2011. That's according to a new health department report. It found that 29 percent of gay students said they were bullied compared to 17 percent of heterosexual students. It also found that bullying victims are 2.5 times more likely to attempt suicide. That's 15 percent compared to 6 percent of other students.More

Avoid these top college admissions interview mistakes
U.S. News & World Report
Acing a college admissions interview can be just what you need to give your application that extra boost. But having a bad interview can also harm your chances of being accepted. Don't fall into the latter category. The following are several of the top college admissions interview mistakes — and ways to avoid making them.More

Opinion: The toughest job — running New York City's schools
New York Post
To our new Schools Chancellor, Carmen Farina: Welcome to the toughest job in America. The new chancellor arrives at a key moment in the history of school reform. Today New York City schools are significantly better than they were before Mayor Bloomberg took office 12 years ago. The reforms promoted and achieved during the Bloomberg years — from mayoral control to school choice to enhanced accountability — have made this city a leader in education reform. But there is much more hard work to be done.More

Subtract teachers, add pupils: Math of today's jammed schools
The New York Times
The recession may have ended, but many of the nation's school districts that laid off teachers and other employees to cut payrolls in leaner times have not yet replenished their ranks. Now, despite the recovery, many schools face unwieldy class sizes and a lack of specialists to help those students who struggle academically, are learning English as a second language or need extra emotional support.More

Race to top states still have a lot of money to spend
Education Week
With states well into their final year of Race to the Top implementation, the 12 winners still have a lot of money to spend, according to the latest financial reports by the U.S. Department of Education. The state with the largest share of its award left? New York, with 59 percent of its $700 million still sitting in the bank as of Nov. 30, according to the latest federal spending report.More

Opinion: Student test scores depend on accountability
The Washington Post
At the start of 2000, U.S. students were average or below average. In 2012, their scores were almost exactly the same. Meanwhile, students in China, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong made steady gains, particularly in math and science. While our recent scores are quite disheartening, they don’t tell the whole story. More