Apr. 16, 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
Participant online registration here
Exhibitor online registration here
Call for programs application

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

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

GLSEN's Day of Silence is almost here!
On April 17, 2015, thousands of students across the country will bring attention to anti-LGBT bullying and harassment by remaining silent. Educators have a huge role to play leading up to and on the GLSEN's Day of Silence. Here are a few ways you can help:

Don't forget to register for the Day of Silence to tell GLSEN that you and your students are participating! If you have any questions, email us at educators@glsen.org. More

Let's Talk About Child Abuse

Next week! Come hear a dynamic conversation with our own Gloria Jean! All are welcome to join us! More

NYSUT Upcoming Webinar
Trauma Sensitive Schools — Transformational School Climate Change
Monday, April 20
from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. ESTA
Featuring Dr. Elizabeth Meeker, Director of Training and Practice Transformation at Coordinated Care Services, Inc. Dr. Meeker is a statewide consultant on trauma and trauma-informed care and trauma sensitive schools, providing training and targeted implementation support, including coaching, mentoring and team based learning. Register for the webinar at: http://www.cvent.com/d/prqzz2. Could the school climate and culture at your school be improved? Does your school have a continuing problem with aggressive student behaviors resulting in injury to school staff? Is your school or district under pressure to reduce suspensions and implement alternative student discipline practices? The webinar length will be one hour and will present information on the prevalence of trauma among school children; the impact of trauma on behavior, relationships and learning at school, the elements of a trauma sensitive school approach, and resources for implementation. Learn the value of a trauma sensitive schools approach in serving as the central framework around which other positive behavioral programs operate, achieving reduced suspensions and adverse discipline while improving behaviors and relationships. More

What students gain from being on the same track for college
At Envision Schools, there is no tracking. All Envision Schools students take the required courses for freshman admission to both the University of California and California State University systems. By not tracking students and by having heterogeneous classrooms, we have systematized our belief that all students can achieve success in college. Tracking is a pervasive school structure that seems to be another sticky problem of practice. It simplifies master scheduling challenges that consume hours of counselors' and school leaders' time.More

New York budget accord seeks to tighten rules on teacher quality
Education Week
A last-minute budget deal in New York will have major implications for how the state's teachers are trained, evaluated and granted tenure — even as many of its implications for the 200,000-plus-member teaching force still have to be worked out. The bill, approved by the legislature March 31, represents a win on some levels for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who had sought to tighten the reins on teacher-quality policies. It does away with much local flexibility on teacher evaluation, centralizing at the state level key elements of how teachers will be graded.More

3 ways technology can support positive behavior in schools
eSchool News
According to the federal Education Department, more than 19,000 U.S. schools are using School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, an evidence-based framework to reduce disciplinary infractions, improve the school climate, and increase student achievement. Similar to Response to Intervention, PBIS takes a three-tiered approach to instilling positive behavior in schools. Tier 1 focuses on interventions used on a school-wide basis for all students, such as actively teaching and reinforcing appropriate behaviors. Tier 2 applies more targeted approaches to students who need additional support, while the third tier is for students who have significant behavioral problems and may require an individual behavior plan and perhaps wraparound services.More

Schools becoming the 'last frontier' for hungry kids
USA Today
America's schools are no longer just a place for students to learn their ABCs. They are also increasingly where children eat their three squares. The classroom has become a dining room as more children attending public schools live in poverty. More than half of students in public schools — 51 percent — were in low-income families in 2013, according to a study by the Southern Education Foundation. The number of low-income children in public schools has been persistent and steadily rising over the past several decades. In 1989, 32 percent of children in public schools lived in poverty, the foundation says.More

Report: Most Americans support concepts behind Common Core
THE Journal
Most Americans support the basic concepts behind the Common Core, even if many do not know what the Common Core State Standards are, according to a new survey from the Leadership Conference Education Fund. In a national survey of nearly 1,400 American adults, 97 percent of respondents said students should be able to think critically and apply skills to the real world and 85 percent said the United States should have consistent education standards to raise expectations of students. But 24 percent of those surveyed said they had never heard of the Common Core and less than half, 44 percent, reported knowing some or a lot about the standards.More

Is America nearing the end of the No Child Left Behind era?
The Atlantic
While the so-called "Every Student Achieves" bipartisan bill still has significant hurdles to clear before passage, it's certainly the closest Congress has come in nearly a decade to an agreement on the controversial education law it seeks to revise. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the 50-year-old federal mechanism for funding the nation's public schools, was due for reauthorization more than eight years ago. No Child Left Behind is the current iteration of that law.More

Religious-freedom laws add to schools' complex duties
Education Week
Adriel Arocha was a kindergartner with long braids in 2008 when his American Indian religious beliefs and those of his father, Kenney, ran smack into the grooming policy of the Needville, Texas, school system — and led to a federal court ruling centered on that state's religious-freedom law. The law, the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, is among the varied, but similarly named, statutes in 20 other states now under intense public scrutiny in the wake of controversies in Arkansas and Indiana over whether they would allow business owners to discriminate against people based on sexual orientation.More

Shift to anonymous apps creates new school challenges
District Administration Magazine
Parents have taken over Facebook and, to a lesser extent, Twitter. This has sent device-laden students flocking to social media apps such as Instagram, SnapChat and Yik Yak, and the shift has created new challenges for administrators trying to root out cyberbullying and threats of violence. Garnering the most concern in many districts is Yik Yak, a free app created in 2013 that connects users within a 10-mile radius to a message board, and allows anyone to read and post anonymously. The app, meant for college students, is blocked on most K12 campuses thanks to technology called geofencing.More

Study: Gifted students still at risk of being left behind
The Des Moines Register
It's been more than a decade since the University of Iowa Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education released a report suggesting that many students in the upper tier of their classes are just as much in danger of being left behind in school as the students in the bottom tier. An updated version of that report, "A Nation Empowered: Evidence Trumps the Excuses Holding Back America's Brightest Students," documents how 11 years later as many as 5 million students across the nation still are at risk of being too smart for their school's own good.More

Senate plan retains testing cap for students with disabilities
Disability Scoop
A bipartisan plan to reshape the nation's primary education law would maintain strict limits on the number of students with disabilities taking less rigorous tests. After months of negotiation, the top Republican and Democrat on the U.S. Senate education committee released a joint proposal to update the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, known as No Child Left Behind. The Senate education panel is slated to consider the bill next week. Currently, students with severe cognitive disabilities are allowed to take alternate assessments in lieu of the general, grade-level tests mandated for most children. However, only 1 percent of all students — or about 10 percent of those with disabilities — may be counted as proficient by schools for taking alternate exams.More

Report: 39,000 immigrant kids coming to US
About 39,000 immigrant children are expected to enter the country illegally as unaccompanied minors this federal fiscal year, reaching the second-highest level of that migration since 2008, says an analysis issued by a research group in Washington, D.C. The estimate by the Migration Policy Institute, a nonprofit that studies the movement of people across international borders, is based on apprehension figures issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection for the first five months of the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, 2014, and ends Sept. 30. Many of the children coming from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala likely will be resettled where there are established Central American communities, such as Long Island's Nassau and Suffolk counties, said Marc Rosenblum, the report's author.More