Mar. 19, 2015

Big changes expected in school counseling programs
How many guidance counselors work in your school district? The answer may be zero. The term "guidance counselor" has been retired by leaders in the field, and directors of "school counseling" programs say they are in the process of reinventing their office operations. While the term "guidance" implies the function is one of steering students toward college and vocational choices, counselors say they are focusing on three main areas: academic progress, social-emotional development and college and career planning. The State Education Department is drafting new regulations on counseling based on a national model, and counselors say an update is badly needed. New York last updated its school guidance and counselor certification regulations in the 1970s.More

NYSSCA Executive Board Elections
NYSSCA Members will be receiving an electronic ballot for our annual elections in the next few days. Please take a moment to review the candidates and cast a vote in this important election. Our candidates this year are:


13 Annual NYSUT Professional Issues Forum on Health Care
April 18, 2015 — Desmond Hotel, Albany

This conference provides professional development opportunities for: pre-K-12 school nurses; higher education health care faculty and professionals; school psychologists, therapists and counselors; VNA nurses; nurses and health care professionals in hospitals and other health care facilities. 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

Guidance counselors should reconsider the gap year
Psychology Today
It happened again yesterday. A mother of a gap year student shared — raved, actually — about how important the experience has been for her daughter. She was a strong student in high school, but she didn't love learning anymore and didn't have the sense of purpose and direction she was going to need to succeed in college. The gap year program she participated in helped her find a passion for learning and is sending her into higher education knowing what she wants.More

New York City elementary school eliminates homework
The Huffington Post
A public elementary school in New York City has stopped giving its students homework, DNAinfo reports. P.S. 116 Principal Jane Hsu wrote a letter to parents last month detailing the decision, explaining that after more than a year of analyzing studies, the school had concluded that students' after-school time would be better spent on activities like reading at their own pace and playing rather than working on class assignments. Hsu's letter says that many studies indicate that there is no connection between homework and academic success. Indeed, there are some studies that show that the link between homework and success is dubious at the primary school level.More

Low number of counselors, advisers problematic in student success
The Red&Black
For many students across the United States, an academic counselor serves as an important factor in the outcome of their futures. Recently, first lady Michelle Obama spoke out about the importance of counselors and advisers, beginning in in high school. She said there are two worlds: In the first, the question high school counselors ask isn't if students are going to college, but where. The other is when high school counselors do not have adequate resources to even speak about college to the students they serve.More

Confronting a low-income crisis in US schools
District Administration Magazine
The number of U.S. students who come from low-income families has long been the metaphorical elephant in the room when it comes to education funding. But, according to a new report by the Atlanta-based Southern Education Foundation, it's a problem that can no longer be ignored. For the first time in at least 50 years, a majority of our public school students fall into that low-income category. For Steve Suitts, vice president of the foundation, the alarming trend is that the increase of low-income students is now occurring in regions where it had not been before.More

New counseling program ensures student readiness
Tyler Morning Telegraph
Tyler ISD's guidance and counseling program is in place to help ensure that students are socially and emotionally ready to learn academically, Leigh Anne Barber, who is in her first year as director of guidance and counseling, said. Guidance counselors not only work with students but with teachers, staff, parents and members of the community promoting the educational, career, personal, social and emotional development of students, Barber said. More

Schools overcoming homeless hurdles
District Administration Magazine
A homeless student in Delaware last year spent about three hours a day riding back and forth to school in taxi cabs — at a cost to the Delmar School District of more than $10,000. The 2,000-student district did not support the arrangement, but it was settled on after school officials, the student and a social worker held "best-interest" meetings mandated by the federal McKinney-Vento Act. The law, among other requirements, gives homeless students who have been relocated outside the district the right to be transported to their home schools.More

House education bill aims to help school counselors
Twin Falls Times-News
Twin Falls High School counselor Sharee Hamilton helps about 400 students with anything from academic planning to disciplinary issues. She wants to spend more time building relationships with students — not on administrative tasks. A bill introduced by the House Education Committee aims to help overworked school counselors. Legislation calls for spending $2.5 million to support counselors and provide specific guidelines for their job descriptions.More

What makes a great school leader?
The Telegraph
Excellence is not an act, but a habit. The schools and their staff practice being excellent. But what then is the starting point for inspirational leadership? First. It's knowing where you want to go. At the heart of that knowledge is deciding what it is that you want your children and students to have by way of 21st century minds, knowledge and skills. Great school leaders have thought through this question very carefully, and of course are prepared to adapt as they proceed.More

How can I prepare my child for the upcoming IEP meeting?
By: Howard Margolis
Parents often ask me how to prepare for IEP meetings. One way is to send your child's case manager a list of questions you need answered. Let the case manager know that you need the answers to effectively contribute to the development an appropriate IEP — one likely to produce important progress in important areas. When writing the questions, make sure they're important, specific and answerable. Here are sample questions from the parents of Lucas Enigma, a mythical child with reading and other learning disabilities.More

Obama seeks more federal money for education
USA Today
President Barack Obama said the nation's schools are improving, but need more federal money to keep pace. "The challenge that we face is that this is a monumental task and it requires resources," Obama told reporters at the White House. The president spoke briefly after meeting with a group of superintendents, board members, and educators from some of the nation's largest school districts.More

Despite opt-outs, PARCC testing numbers soar
U.S. News & World Report
Despite a growing number of students refusing to take Common Core-aligned exams this spring, a record number of tests are being completed, according to data from one of the two main testing consortia. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers consortium — which began testing in eight states and the District of Columbia last month — said more than 2 million tests had been completed. Louisiana, Massachusetts and Rhode Island will also be deploying PARCC exams soon. In total, PARCC expects 5 million students will take its exam this year, the consortium said.More

Privacy pitfalls as education apps spread haphazardly
The New York Times
At school districts across the country, the chief technology officers responsible for safeguarding student data are tearing their hair out. Scores of education technology start-ups, their pockets full from a rush of venture capital, are marketing new digital learning tools directly to teachers — many are even offering them free to get a foothold in schools. That has enabled educators nationwide to experiment with a host of novel "adaptive learning" products, like math and foreign language apps that record and analyze students' online activities to personalize their lessons.More