Sep. 4, 2014

The NYSSCA Executive Board wishes to welcome you back for the 2014-2015 school year
We hope that everyone is having an excellent opening and all challenges become opportunities. Stay tuned for updates from NYSSCA regarding upcoming professional development events and other member services as the year begins. Be sure to check out our fall conference with further information available below. Be checking your mailbox for the conference brochure which is also available below.

NYSSCA Conference 2014 — Oct. 31 - Nov. 1, 2014 — Hilton Albany

"School Counselors: Informed, Accountable, Impactful." Go to www.nyssca.org for full information.

Online registration now open. Hotel registrations being accepted. Information regarding the College Tour and Dinner at the Albany NanoTech Complex and SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

Our Conference Brochure is available here. More

Awards, Awards, Awards
Nominations for all NYSSCA Awards are now being accepted. NYSSCA is proud to present the School Counselor of the Year Award; the Career Achievement Award; the Outstanding Program, Practice, or Project Award; and our new Leadership Grant. Full information and nomination instructions are available here. Deadline for Nominations for all awards is Oct. 1.More

Doctors: Early school start times unhealthy for students
If you think school starts too early, you aren't the only one. A new policy statement published by the American Academy of Pediatrics is on the side of groggy students falling asleep at their desks and their parents who are tired of nagging them to get out of bed in the morning. They say that lack of sleep in adolescents causes poor academic performance and poses a serious public health concern. Traffic accidents, depression and obesity can result, with schools that start too early contributing to the problem.More

90 city schools failed to pass a single black or Hispanic student on state tests, study shows
New York Daily News
While black and Hispanic students did better on the math and reading exams this year compared with 2013, the achievement gap still worsened, since white and Asian kids saw bigger increases. Families for Excellent Schools CEO Jeremiah Kittredge said the findings should shock the city Education Department into taking better steps to help struggling kids.More

How well do schools communicate?
On August 20, the first results of the 2014 PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public Attitudes Toward the Public Schools were released. The report's overall conclusion is that Americans aren't convinced that federal involvement will improve public education. For example, 56 percent of Americans say local school boards should have the greatest influence in deciding what is taught in the public schools.More

Social class makes a difference in how children tackle classroom problems
Indiana University via Science Daily
Social class can account for differences in how parents coach their children to manage classroom challenges, a study shows. Such differences can affect a child's education by reproducing inequalities in the classroom. With the widening gaps in educational outcomes between social classes, the researcher suggested that this study could help schools become more aware of these differences and make moves to reduce the inequalities.More

Back to school without vaccines? Growing concern in some states
NBC News
As kids across the country head back to school, a growing number may walk through the doors without first getting vaccines. All 50 states require vaccinations for children going to public school, but nearly every state allows exemptions. In Vermont, Michigan, Idaho and Oregon more than 5 percent of kindergartners had non-medical exemptions last year, according to the CDC, well above the national average of 1.8 percent. Nationally, rates have been declining for many childhood vaccines.More

Americans' satisfaction with education system increases
As students return to school in the U.S., 48 percent of Americans are "completely" or "somewhat satisfied" with the quality of kindergarten through high school education in the country, the highest Gallup has measured since 2004. For the first time since 2007, Americans are now about as likely to say they are satisfied as dissatisfied.More

Taking charge of back-to-school fears
Psychology Today
"You're going to be fine. Don't worry! Of course you'll make friends. Of course you'll be able to do the work, you're a great student! Relax, it's going to be a great year!" What's wrong with this parent's response to their child's freak-out about starting back to school? On the surface, absolutely nothing. It's exactly what the child needs to think. But on the surface these good ideas will stay and won't sink in to your child's mind, for one reason. While well-intentioned mom is busy reassuring that everything will be fine, her son is in amygdala-overdrive, the anxiety like a force field blocking out logic and stirring up butterflies in the stomach and disaster in the mind's eye.More

The dangers of heavy backpacks — And how kids can wear them safely
The Huffington Post
Between studying, homework and extracurricular activities, going back to school may make kids feel like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders. And sometimes, they literally do. After you pile a lunch, school supplies, binders and textbooks — which typically weigh 3.5 lbs each — into your child's backpack, the load he or she is lugging around could be huge ... and potentially dangerous. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, at least 14,000 children are treated for backpack-related injuries every year.More

5 education technology trends to watch for the new school year
eSchool News
The "maker movement" makes waves in K-12 schools, and school leaders try to navigate a data privacy minefield while also bracing for online testing: These are among the top ed-tech trends to watch for the new school year. Recently, eSchool News counted down the top five ed-tech stories to watch for 2014-2015.More