Jun. 26, 2014

Free live webstream of first lady's speech at ASCA Conference
Even if you can't make it to the ASCA Annual Conference, Build Magical Futures, in Orlando, you can still see first lady Michelle Obama's speech on Tuesday, July 1. We'll be live streaming her speech online. Visit the home page on July 1 to watch. The First Lady is scheduled to take the stage at approximately 11:45 a.m. Eastern. Simply click on the link we'll post on the home page to watch her speech. The screen will be dark until right before Mrs. Obama takes the stage, so don't be concerned if you don't see anything right away. As you can imagine, her schedule is tight and subject to change, and the speech may not start at exactly 11:45.


Several members of the NYSSCA Board will be attending the ASCA Delegate Assembly and Conference in Orlando next week. There will be opportunities to meet with others from New York during the ASCA Conference. Attendees sit together by state during opening session, so be sure to find New York. And check the conference bulletin board for announcements on where we will be gathering. We will also "tweet" opportunities to gather during the conference so check @NYSSCAtweets and #NYSSCAatASCA for updates! Board members attending on your behalf are: Ron Smith, President 13-14; Gloria Jean, President 14-15; Bob Rotunda, Executive Director; Beth Westerheide, NYSSCA 2013 Counselor of the Year; Beth Peters, Region 8 Governor and NYSUT liaison; and Dr. Gail Reed-Barnett, Region 10 Governor. See you in sunny Florida! More

NYSSCA awards program and conference registration
NYSSCA is once again accepting nominees for awards to be presented at our annual conference to be held on Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2014.

This year, all award nominations will be submitted online HERE. For School Counselor of the Year nominees, click on "Apply Now." For the Leadership Grant, Career Achievement and Outstanding Program Awards, click on "Other Awards" and then follow the instructions to make an online nomination. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ron Smith. Nominations are due Oct. 1, 2014.

This year's conference theme is "School Counselors: Informed, Accountable, Impactful," and complete conference and hotel registration information is available online at www.nyssca.org.More

Call for authors!
The Association for Specialists in Group Work (ASGW) published a popular book School Counselors Share Their Favorite Group Activities. Due to continued interest, ASGW plans to publish a second edition of this book, School Counselors share their Favorite Group Activities: A Guide to Choosing, Planning, Conducting, and Processing, co-edited by Rebecca A. Schumacher and Khristi Keefe. We are currently seeking activities for this publication.

Submissions are due to the editors by Aug. 1, 2014. Decisions will be returned to authors by Sept. 1, 2014 and any requested revisions will be due by Oct. 1, 2014. For full information regarding submissions, click here.

Questions may be directed to the editors at schoolcounselorsasgwbook@gmail.com More

National Board for Certified Counselors newsletter
The NBCC's most recent newsletter with advocacy information is available HERE.

Also information regarding Federal Recognition of Professional Counselors follows:


How to talk about school shootings with children
Psychology Today
School violence has become a disturbing norm in our daily news. Since the devastating Sandy Hook shooting, 74 more shootings have taken place. Our country's map is literally peppered with these tragedies. With the majority of the shootings taking place in schools, colleges and universities, parents are confronted with a difficult task: how do we talk about violence with our children, and help them cope after these traumatic events?More

Most states deficient in special education
Disability Scoop
Federal education officials are dramatically altering the way they evaluate compliance with special education law and the change means far fewer states are living up to expectations. For the first time, test scores and other outcome measures for students with disabilities are a central focus in state assessments conducted under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the U.S. Department of Education said. Under the law, the Education Department determines each year how well states provide special education services and assigns one of four labels: "meets requirements," "needs assistance," "needs intervention" or "needs substantial intervention."More

80 percent of New York City schools report zero incidents of bullying
New York Daily News
Fewer than one in five city schools 'fessed up to even a single incident of bullying on a new tracking system run by the state — proof, advocates say, that Education Department officials and principals have failed to address a dangerous reality for many students. The Dignity for All Students Act of 2010 required all city schools to report incidents of bullying to a public database, so that school leaders and education officials could better address the issue More

Poll: Nearly half of American adults haven't heard of Common Core Standards
Education Week
Sick of hearing people bicker about the political football called common core? You have lots of company. A new poll finds barely half of Americans haven't even heard of the new standards, let alone heard about them nonstop. The MSN/Wall Street Journal poll, conducted by Hart Research Associates, shows that 47 percent of the 1,000 adults surveyed have not heard of the common core. Of those who have, only 22 percent said they'd heard a lot about it. The remaining 30 percent said they'd heard "some."More

Here's how kids can get better grades
Just like other organs, the brain needs to be used regularly to be at its best. And new research suggests physical exercise is correlated with improved mental functions, too. Researchers in Spain followed more than 2,000 children aged 6 to 18 for three years and looked at how physical fitness, motor skills and muscle strength related to academic performance. More

New York City's 2013 high school graduation rate rises slightly to 61.3 percent
New York Daily News
New York City and state high school graduation rates inched up slightly in 2013 as students became accustomed to tougher new standards rolled out in 2012, new figures show. The city's four-year graduation rate rose slightly to 61.3 percent in 2013, up from 60.4 percent in 2012. Likewise, the 2013 state graduation rate increased to 74.9 percent, up from 74 percent in 2012. The small gains came after a year when the rates took a slight dip due to tougher standards. In 2012, students had to pass Regents exams in five subjects to graduate, up from four in 2011. More

New contract for teachers is altering schools' hours
The New York Times
For New York City public school students and their parents, the trek to school can often seem like a race to the finish line, with the constant fear of stalled subways or unexpected squalls disrupting a carefully orchestrated routine. Starting this fall, that trek could get even hairier. Because of changes in the new teachers' contract, a number of schools are moving up the start of the school day, and more than a few parents are unhappy about it.More

College admissions strategy
The Huffington Post
Although a challenging curriculum, strong GPA and stellar test scores (for schools that require test scores) are essential, other sections of the college application are increasingly important. The essay is an opportunity to let admission officers know another side of you. Make sure your writing is character-driven. Find a "slice of life" story that belongs just to you. Topics can be as simple as a family meal, your part-time job or about a distinctive hobby. Steer clear of typical topics such as family trips, a sick relative or a community service project.More

The 'common' in Common Core fractures as state support falters
The Hechinger Report
The Common Core's main selling point was that new, shared standards would ensure American students were learning at the same rates across state lines. Common standards — linked to common tests — would tell schools in Illinois how they stacked up against schools in Massachusetts or California. Now, as more states back out of the tests, the "common" in Common Core is threatened. In 2010, 45 states adopted the Common Core State Standards, a set of skills in math and English students should master in each grade. More