Sep. 3, 2015

Welcome back to a new school year
The NYSSCA Board and President, Dr. Barbara Donnellan wish every school has a great opening to the 2015-2016 School Year. It is an exciting time to be a school counselor in New York State and there is a lot happening at the Board of Regents level regarding our profession. Check our website at www.nyssca.org often and be one of the most well informed regarding these important issues. Hope to see everyone at our Annual Conference in November at the Sagamore on Lake George.More

NYSSCA 2015 School Counselor of the Year Award
The New York State School Counselor Association presents several awards each year at our annual conference including the School Counselor of the Year Award.

The NYSSCA School Counselor of the Year award recognizes a school counselor who has exhibited outstanding service to students and the profession. The nominee demonstrates creative school counseling innovations, effective counseling programs, leadership skills and contributions to student enhancement. The nomination format follows the same criteria as the ASCA School Counselor of the Year Award, which enables NYSSCA to nominate the winner of our award for the ASCA award. Click here for School Counselor of the Year Nominations and Submissions online form.

All nominations are submitted online. Click here to read more and apply.More

SCA Annual Conference 2015 — Register now!
New York State School Counselor Association Annual Conference 2015
"School Counselors: Advocating Access for All!"

Special Keynote Speaker, Dr. Carolyn Stone, ASCA Ethics Committee Chair and Professor, Univ. of North Florida
The Sagamore Resort, on Lake George, Bolton Landing, NY
Nov. 20-21, 2015
Participant online registration here.
Exhibitor online registration here.


New materials can enhance anti-bullying campaigns
Local anti-bullying initiatives can be enhanced with materials available from #Day1, a campaign that encourages participants to be "upstanders" against bullying "from Day 1."

The Day 1 Campaign provides a script to be read to a class, sports team, or any group — and then invites participants to sign a pledge card committing themselves to being an "upstander." For more information, go to www.day1campaign.com.

NYSUT, which along with the AFT and NEA has a proud history of activism against bullying, offers resources like this rack card.More

3 in 10 US parents worry about child's safety at school
Twenty-nine percent of U.S. parents say they fear for their child's safety at school. This is down from the 33 percent found immediately after the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012, but still above the 25 percent measured a few months before that incident occurred. U.S. parents' fears about school safety reached a high of 55 percent in April 1999 after the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado. Parents' concern typically peaks immediately following high-profile shootings — as seen in 2001 (45 percent) after the Santana High School shooting in California, and in 2006 (35 percent) after a shooting in an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania — and then fades. The low point in parental concern (15 percent) came in August 2008. More

New rule ends 'modified' tests for students with disabilities
Disability Scoop
The U.S. Department of Education is doing away with a policy that allowed states to consider some students with disabilities academically proficient without meeting grade-level standards. The agency said in a final rule published in the Federal Register that states will no longer be allowed to administer tests to students with disabilities that are based on modified academic achievement standards. Previously, states could count up to 2 percent of their students as proficient under the No Child Left Behind Act for taking such exams. But now the Education Department is saying no more to the policy known as the "2 percent rule." More

3 tips to boost student health and improve learning
Education Dive
A cough can keep a kid home from class. A vision impairment can make it hard to read the board. A lack of physical activity can make them fidgety. The ways that student health impact students' ability to learn in class begin small. But according to a new report from a state-run research organization, those small struggles add up. And in low-income communities, they can create real barriers to student learning. Education Commission of the States was founded by states to research and consult on key education trends. Its new report, "Health barriers to learning and the education opportunity gap," compiles data from a variety of sources, including national health surveys, research into the link between student health and academic achievement, and influential policies governing school-based health practices. More

Empty plate: Kids are being bullied to skip lunch at school
U.S. News & World Report
Anti-bullying curriculum has created a generation of kids who are much more aware of overt, classic bullying. However, bullying and peer pressure take many forms, and at times can be very difficult to spot. One alarming trend happening in some school cafeterias is kids facing pressure to not eat lunch, or to eat much less than they actually want. More

No improvement: ACT says college exam scores are stagnant
The Associated Press
U.S. high schools haven't shown much improvement in the past four years when it comes to preparing college-ready graduates, according to the Iowa-based nonprofit group that administers the ACT college entrance exam. The group says only about 40 percent of graduating high school students who took the ACT exam this year show a "strong readiness" for college in most subject areas. Meanwhile, 31 percent of these students aren't meeting readiness levels in any core subject areas. More

Why some in education believe truancy deserves much more attention
The Washington Post
Recent battles in the edu-policy world have centered on standardized testing, teacher tenure, charter schools, vouchers and Common Core state standards. But debates over how to address poor student attendance — which is directly linked to low achievement and high dropout rates — have generated much less heat and light. And that's a mistake, according to the Center for American Progress, which is seeking to highlight truancy as an issue that deserves far more attention than it traditionally gets. More

This map shows how many more students are living in poverty than 9 years ago
The Huffington Post
Students in America's schools are much, much poorer than they were nine years ago. In 2006, 31 percent of America's students attended schools in "high-poverty" districts, meaning that 20 percent or more of the district's students lived below the federal poverty line. By 2013, however, this number jumped to over 49 percent, according to an analysis of U.S. Census estimates from the nonprofit EdBuild. This means that nearly half of the nation's children between the ages of 5 and 17 attend schools in communities where a large chunk of families are struggling to get by. More

Report: Most parents of college-bound students unaware of upcoming SAT changes
THE Journal
With changes to the SAT set to take effect in March 2016, 85 percent of parents with college-bound children are still unaware of the coming update, according to a new survey from Kaplan Test Prep. "When provided more details about the proposed changes to the SAT, the surveyed parents' opinions about the new format were divided," according to a news release. Thirty percent of surveyed parents said the changes would make the test harder or otherwise responded negatively. Thirty percent said the changes were positive. Twenty percent said they were indifferent, and 15 percent said they still didn't have enough information to form an opinion. More

School breakfast programs now serving 13.5 million kids
Washington Examiner
The U.S. Department of Agriculture boasted that an average of 13.5 million students around the country were using its School Breakfast Program each day in 2014, and that more than 10 million of those students were getting a free breakfast under the program. The breakfast program was made permanent in 1975, when it had about 2 million users. About 20 years later, it had more than 6 million users, and between 1996 and 2014, it more than doubled to 13.5 million users. More

How not to flip your lid over college applications
The Washington Post
School is starting, as is the new college admissions season — and kids as well as their parents are already starting to get panic attacks about what lies ahead. How to keep anxiety at reasonable levels and deal with college applications in a non-crazed fashion? Brennan Barnard tries to answer that in this post. Barnard is the director of college counseling at The Derryfield School, a private college preparatory day school for Grades 6-12 in Manchester, New Hampshire. More