Apr. 2, 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
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

We're looking for GLSEN's Educator of the Year!
GLSEN Educator Network
Do you know a K-12 educator that goes above and beyond to make schools safer and more respectful for LGBT students and deserves the spotlight?

GLSEN's Educator of the Year Award recognizes educators (Teachers, Administrators, Counselors, Support Staff) for outstanding accomplishments and steadfast commitment to ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. GLSEN's Educator of the Year will be honored at the Respect Awards — New York on June 1. Click here to nominate someone for GLSEN's Educator of the Year Award!

The nomination period ends at midnight on April 5, so submit today! If you have any questions, email us at educators@glsen.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

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

Interview with Carmen Fariña
Scholastic Administrator Magazine
It's been a little more than a year since Chancellor Carmen Fariña took over as head of the New York City Public Schools. Appointed by incoming mayor Bill de Blasio, the longtime educator came out of retirement to accept the job and has thus far avoided stepping into one of the many political and logistical sinkholes that make district leadership so challenging. Looking back on a frenetic first year, Fariña talks about recentralizing control under regional superintendents, addressing parents’ concerns about overtesting, encouraging more sharing of ideas among teachers and schools, and avoiding ed-tech mishaps like Los Angeles Unified School District's iPad debacle.More

Report underscores key role of high school counselors in college transition
Education Week
A new report confirms that school counselors are critical to helping students transition from high school to college and career, yet often aren't allowed enough time to fulfill that role. Researchers for the National Association for College Admission Counseling reviewed data from 2009 to 2012 to examine the practices, priorities, and effectiveness of high school counseling departments. The resulting report, A National Look at the High School Counseling Office, underscores the value of counseling services but points to a mismatch in administrator expectations and actual time granted for college counseling.More

Study: Counseling beats school suspension at curbing pot use
HealthDay News via Doctors Lounge
Students at schools that impose suspensions for marijuana use are more likely to smoke pot than those at schools without a suspension policy, a new study finds. Researchers also found that counseling was much more effective in reducing marijuana use than suspensions. "To reduce marijuana use among all students, we need to ensure that schools are using drug policies that respond to policy violations by educating or counseling students, not just penalizing them," study co-author Richard Catalano, a professor of social work at the University of Washington, said in a university news release.More

The computer will see you now
The Atlantic
A growing number of people are turning to online counseling, possibly at the expense of their privacy or the quality of the mental-health care they receive.More

Education funding gaps: Which states are hitting, missing the mark?
The Christian Science Monitor
While the debate rages over the federal budget and how much will go to K-12 schools, states and localities supply the biggest share of education dollars — about 87 percent on average. But is that money distributed fairly to the students who need it most? School districts that serve the most students in poverty receive an average of $1,200, or 10 percent, less per student in state and local funding than districts with few students in poverty, according to a report by The Education Trust released by The Education Trust, a group in Washington that advocates for closing economic and racial inequities in schools.More

Using choice to motivate and differentiate
By: Savanna Flakes
Choice is one of the greatest motivators and also one of the most powerful tools in setting up a differentiated classroom. Who doesn't love choose? As adults, we prefer to have choice in our staff book studies, professional development and class schedules. Likewise, choice provides students many options to navigate content and show their mastery of material. Choice boards are one of the greatest strategies I have found to be beneficial in supporting student learning in differentiated classrooms.More

Report: How well are American students learning?
The 2015 Brown Center Report represents the 14th edition of the series since the first issue was published in 2000. It includes three studies. Like all previous BCRs, the studies explore independent topics but share two characteristics: they are empirical and based on the best evidence available. The studies in this edition are on the gender gap in reading, the impact of the Common Core State Standards — English Language Arts on reading achievement, and student engagement.More

Turns out, snow days don't impact students' test scores — But absences do
The Huffington Post
Students, parents and administrators often make a fuss about snow days, but it's really individual absences that affect learning, according to a new study. School closings for snow "have no effect at all on student achievement for the sample as a whole, in either math or [English language arts]," Joshua Goodman, a professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, observed in the report. He used data from Massachusetts school districts between 2003 and 2010 as well as snowfall data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.More

Why kids are getting more aggressive on the playground
The Washington Post
Tag ... a simple game of tag. Seems innocent enough. But is it? Not according to many teachers. Kids are starting to hit with such force that they often end up whacking their opponent across the back in a monstrous slap. I've seen this myself many times. "Ouch!" one kid cries, now on their hands and knees and fighting off tears. "Don't hit so hard!" they yell up at the child standing over them. Often, you hear the other child whine, "I didn't mean to..." Many times the act seems unintentional, although painful for the victim nonetheless. Tag is now becoming such an issue that schools are starting to ban this once beloved game.More

In Congress, new attention to student-privacy fears
Several efforts in Washington are converging on the sensitive question of how best to safeguard the information software programs are gathering on students. A proposed Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act of 2015 is circulating in draft form. It has bipartisan sponsorship from Democratic Rep. Jared S. Polis of Colorado and Republican Rep. Luke Messer of Indiana. Drafted with White House input, the bill joins a previous Senate proposal, plus much action on the state level, from regulators, and from industry and other sector leaders. Consumer groups like Common Sense Media and companies like Microsoft have spoken positively of the bill.More

What role does your building have in securing students?
By: Charlie Howell
The four guiding principles of security are deter, detect, delay and respond. Law enforcement, military and security teams have created other versions of these principles, but these are the core of providing security for any type of organization, entity or people. Therefore, when securing students in schools, we have to examine our efforts toward these basic core principles. A mix of technology, staffing, organizational structure and equipment comprises the actual security plan, but for now let's take a look at the role that school buildings play in securing schools.More

New data tool exposes size of funding gaps for students in poverty
The Journal
Two weeks after a report from the Center for American Progress explained how a calculation loophole in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act results in Title 1 schools receiving about $1,200 less per student than comparable schools, a new report confirmed the size of the gap from a different angle. The latest work from The Education Trust also offered an ambitious set of data analysis tools to help states and districts understand the gap. Ed Trust is a non-profit advocacy organization that promotes academic achievement for all students, particularly students of color and low-income.More

Texting hotline offers support for teenagers
The Wall Street Journal
New York City will offer a cellphone texting helpline for high-school students suffering from mental-health issues, an effort headed by Mayor Bill de Blasio's wife, Chirlane McCray. Recently, McCray and her 20-year-old daughter, Chiara de Blasio, unveiled NYC Teen Text at Millennium Brooklyn High School in Park Slope. The school is among 10 high schools citywide participating in the pilot project. McCray said texting is the primary mode of communication for teens. She said studies show recipients open 98 percent of text messages and are four times more likely to read them than emails.More

Report: More states adopting restrictions on restraint and seclusion
Education Week
Back in 2010, the House of Representatives passed a bill regulating the use of restraint and seclusion in schools, but it never passed the Senate. However, states are using the language from what was titled the "Keeping All Students Safe Act" to craft their own restrictions on the discipline methods, according to a report compiled by a disability-rights advocate. Jessica Butler, the congressional affairs coordinator for the Autism National Committee, has been tracking the issue since 2009. In 2012, she started publishing her findings in a report, "How Safe is the Schoolhouse? An Analysis of State Seclusion and Restraint Laws and Policies."More