Jan. 8, 2015

School Counseling Presentation at December Board of Regents Meeting
The NYS Board of Regents began their discussion of regulation recommendations from the Office of Higher Education and Office of P-12 Education regarding school counselors on December 15th, 2014. The full item is linked here for your information. The Regents discussed many important questions as they considered not only the recommendations presented but also their concerns for student access to school counselor services and the important role of school counselors supporting college and career readiness.

Presentation of this report to the Regents is the next step towards eventual adoption of regulatory updates which will impact the required components of a district's school counseling program and of school counselor preparation programs. These changes will also impact the requirements for those seeking certification as a K-12 School Counselor in New York State.

We expect there will be considerable discussion as the Regents seek to move forward on these items. NYSSCA will continue to attend the monthly meetings of the Board of Regents and report to our membership the progress being made, especially opportunities for public comment. The Department of Education will draft amendments to current regulations for both P-12 and higher education programs, and will report back to the Board of Regents in April 2015.More

Nominate someone for NEA Social Justice Award
The NEA Social Justice Award will be presented at the NEA RA to one exceptional member who demonstrates the ability to lead, organize and engage educators, parents and the community around social justice issues that impact students and schools. Go here to learn more and complete a nomination form. Deadline is March 30. Online voting is April 15-May 1.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

Little college guidance: 500 high school students per counselor
The New York Times
A steady stream of teenagers fidgeting with forms and their backpacks flowed through the Midwood High School in New York City college office one day this month, all with lists of questions on their minds. But one of the school's two college counselors was nowhere to be found. She had taken refuge in another office, a quieter spot where she tried to pump out as many college recommendation letters as she could.More

What Arne Duncan's new senior adviser did to New York schools
The Washington Post
John King is leaving his job as commissioner of New York State schools commissioner to become a senior adviser to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, with the "roles and responsibilities of the deputy secretary," according to the Education Department, which issued a statement giving King high praise for his work in New York.More

Starting the new year: Begin anew by cycling back
By: Pamela Hill
It's a new year once again. Most traditions say to begin anew. Put aside old ideas and behaviors that did not work. In special education, it is important to build upon what has been taught successfully. Do not start with something entirely new, rather cycle back and refresh with students what they know and what they have learned. Celebrate what is strong in memory and practice, while observing students for what needs to be taught again or differently. Then add new learning, but link it to what is known.More

What is bullying?
District Administration Magazine
When we talk about bullying, what do we mean? Unfortunately, the answer is far from clear. Educators are taught one definition, while most state statutes have yet another definition. Worse, surveys are based on a variety of definitions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Education, and Health Resources and Services Administration partnered with bullying experts to develop a uniform definition of bullying.More

Nine strategies for students with disabilities
Scholastic Administration Magazine
The U.S. Office of Special Education Programs recently announced a major shift in the way it oversees the effectiveness of states' special education programs. Under this new framework, known as Results-Driven Accountability, the federal office has tilted the balance from a system focused primarily on procedural compliance to one that emphasizes improved educational results for students with disabilities.More

Busting the student data privacy myth
Scholastic Administration Magazine
Tracking student data gives educators the power to make more informed decisions in their instruction for better student outcomes. But with great power comes great responsibility. That's why schools and ed tech companies alike are increasingly making student privacy a top priority. Still, many remain wary about data privacy issues — often due to confusion or lack of information on how the issue has progressed.More

4 common dyslexia myths debunked using neuroscience
The Huffington Post (commentary)
Priya Kalra, a contributor for The Huffington Post, writes: "Although scientists now understand dyslexia better than ever before, it is still a condition shrouded in myth and misunderstanding. I first came to see our flawed perceptions of dyslexia while tutoring a fourth-grader. Despite normal intelligence and effort, he could not read. I saw how the frustration this caused him affected his general behavior and attitude toward school."More

Texas House to push stipends for high school counselor training
Austin American-Statesman
House Speaker Joe Straus announced that the Texas House will propose an initiative this year that will provide stipends to high school guidance counselors who seek additional training so they can perform their jobs better under a new state law. The San Antonio Republican did not unveil the details of the program, but said in a statement it would "build on the successes of House Bill 5," a major education reform bill the Legislature passed in 2013.More

Report: Students with disabilities and non-whites suspended more frequently than peers
Vermont Public Radio
Vermont students lost over 8,000 days of classes in one school year due to suspension and expulsion. That's according to a new report, and perhaps most telling in that report is the fact that those disciplinary actions were two to three times more likely to be taken on students with disabilities. The report, called "Kicked Out — Unfair and Unequal Discipline in Vermont's Schools" also found that non-white students were more likely to be suspended than white students.More

Why emotional learning may be as important as the ABCs
Thomas O'Donnell's kindergarten kids are all hopped up to read about Twiggle the anthropomorphic Turtle. "Who can tell me why Twiggle here is sad," O'Donnell asks his class at Matthew Henson Elementary School in Baltimore. "Because he doesn't have no friends," a student pipes up. And how do people look when they're sad? "They look down!" the whole class screams out. Yeah, Twiggle is lonely. But, eventually, he befriends a hedgehog, a duck and a dog. And along the way, he learns how to play, help and share.More

What will sink and what will survive as states test Common Core?
PBS Newshour
In 2008, a set of academic standards for U.S. public schools called the Common Core was created for states to voluntarily implement. Intended to raise the bar for American students and teachers, many states that originally signed on are now rewriting the standards or opting out altogether. Special correspondent John Tulenko of Learning Matters reports.More