Jan. 22, 2015

National School Counseling Week
National School Counseling Week 2015 will be celebrated from Feb. 2-6 to focus public attention on the unique contribution of professional school counselors within U.S. school systems. National School Counseling Week, sponsored by ASCA, highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. National School Counseling Week is always celebrated the first full week in February. Click here for resources and more information.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

State and city pols push to close charter school loophole
New York Daily News
State Sen. Brad Holyman, D-Manhattan, will propose legislation that would require a public hearing whenever a charter school decides to move to another location. Current laws allow charter schools authorized by SUNY to move to different districts after plans to open have been approved, but the Success Academy used another regulation to switch the site of a Manhattan charter school in 2014, which prompted protests.More

Study: Suspensions harm 'well-behaved' kids
It's a belief repeated every day by teachers, principals and parents of rule-abiding children: Suspending disruptive students will allow the rest of the class to settle down and learn. But a new, large study calls this rationale into question. The study is believed to be the first to look closely at the academic performance of individual students who have never been suspended, but who attend schools where others are suspended. After tracking nearly 17,000 students over three years, two Midwestern researchers found that high rates of school suspensions harmed math and reading scores for non-suspended students.More

How special educators can handle testing season
By: Pamela Hill
In numerous schools, testing season is just beginning. Countless public schools administer districtwide assessments three times a year, and they administer federally-mandated yearly statewide testing during the spring season. Consequently, beginning in January and continuing until May, many students will engage in two districtwide assessments and one statewide assessment. For students with learning disabilities, this can be a time of frustration or a time of confidence.More

Duncan lays out priorities for education law: Testing, preschool funding, teacher evaluations
The Washington Post
Education Secretary Arne Duncan spelled out his priorities for a new federal education law, calling on Congress to build in funding for preschool, add $1 billion annually in federal aid for schools with the neediest students, and maintain the federal mandate that says states must test students every year in math and reading. Duncan spoke at Seaton Elementary, a high-poverty school in the District's Shaw neighborhood. He was supposed to visit a classroom, but school was delayed by freezing rain and none of the mostly Latino and African American students were present.More

Longer school days, school years: Somewhat helpful to boosting student learning, but amped-up teaching does more
The Oregonian
The Obama administration required low-performing schools that got federal money intended to spur a turnaround to add time to their school day or school year. Years into the effort, however, school leaders who accepted federal millions say the added teaching time was only moderately helpful. Stepped up teaching, often resulting from teachers being given more time to collaborate, yields a much bigger payoff, they report.More

How integrating arts into other subjects makes learning come alive
Art has long been recognized as an important part of a well-rounded education — but when it comes down to setting budget priorities, the arts rarely rise to the top. Many public schools saw their visual, performing and musical arts programs cut completely during the last recession, despite the many studies showing that exposure to the arts can help with academics too. A few schools are taking the research to heart, weaving the arts into everything they do and finding that the approach not only boosts academic achievement but also promotes creativity, self-confidence and school pride.More

Majority of US public school students are in poverty
The Washington Post
For the first time in at least 50 years, a majority of U.S. public school students come from low-income families, according to a new analysis of 2013 federal data, a statistic that has profound implications for the nation. The Southern Education Foundation reports that 51 percent of students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade were eligible under the federal program for free and reduced-price lunches in the 2012-2013 school year. The lunch program is a rough proxy for poverty, but the explosion in the number of needy children in the nation’s public classrooms is a recent phenomenon that has been gaining attention among educators, public officials and researchers.More

In practice, IDEA remedies may not be available to all
Disability Scoop
Family income appears to be a major factor influencing whether parents will seek mediation or due process in special education disputes with their child's school district. A nationwide survey of over 500 parents with children on the autism spectrum finds that families earning more than $100,000 a year are significantly more likely to pursue litigation compared to those with incomes that are half that level. The findings published recently in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders may point to fundamental inequities in the special education process, researchers said.More

Warning signs for a learning disability: Short attention span, plus 7 others
Medical Daily
Nearly one in 10 American children under the age of 18 has some type of learning disability — a disorder that affects a child's ability to understand or use language, make mathematical calculations, maintain attention, and even coordinate body movements. Learning disabilities arise from neurological differences in brain structure and function. These differences, which often run in families, affect a person's ability to receive, store, process, retrieve or communicate information.More

Top 5 education trends for 2015
By: Archita Datta Majumdar
2015 is going to be an exciting year for learning, across all segments. Experts predict this will primarily be due to the mind-blowing convergence between learning habits and technology use. Changes and development in technology will define the way we learn in future as the "ed tech" market is steadily growing — it's slated to become a $19 billion industry by 2018. A look at some key trends in the news will perhaps show where we are headed and how we should prepare our students for the future.More

A new kind of social anxiety in the classroom
The Atlantic
Stress about a meeting that is still a week away, handwringing before talking to the cashier in the grocery line, worrying about seeing an acquaintance on the street — for people with social anxiety disorder, even the simplest task can prove challenging. The symptoms of social anxiety often set in around adolescence, when people place a new emphasis on social interactions and their place in their peer groups. But some academics fear that greater access to technology could exacerbate social anxiety among teens, particularly as smartphones, tablets and computers become omnipresent in and out of the classroom.More

Making the grade: Reading becomes a joy for special needs students
Atlanta Journal Constitution
For many readers, nothing compares with getting lost in a good book. But despite their desire to do so, many special needs students face challenges that make reading a pain instead of a pleasure. Not only are they locked out of the world of Harry Potter; they're also apt to be behind in their classes. "Most of school is reading, so many students with comprehension or expression problems — particularly those with dyslexia — are locked out," said Jennifer Topple, director of assistive technology at the Howard School on Atlanta's Westside. "The decoding part — sounding words out — is very difficult because their systems are not set up to do that smoothly."More

Battle lines drawn on annual testing in ESEA renewal
Education Week
Thirteen years after mandating high-stakes testing, Congress is kicking off its most serious attempt yet to update the Elementary and Secondary Education Act with partisan wrangling over whether to ditch the law's signature schedule of annual assessments. But a closer look shows that, behind the scenes, the politics aren't so cut-and-dried. At center stage, it's largely been Democrats, especially U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, defending the yearly testing schedule in the current law, the No Child Left Behind Act.More