Focus: School Counselor Conferences
May 26, 2020
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THIS WEEK'S FOCUS: Advocacy and Professional Learning Opportunities

It's hard to believe how over the course of three months our roles have shifted as a result of COVID-19. The moment the stay-at-home order was announced, we were thrust into something for which there was no guide, no curriculum, and no easy answers to the questions we all had. What wasn't surprising was the immediate action that was taken by school counselors and leaders in our profession who stepped up and forged through, creating programs and resources to make a challenging time seem less overwhelming. Professional opportunities were created each step of the way and they were relevant, timely, and specifically designed for school counselors, school social workers, and those in the helping and mental health profession.

As we head into summer and regulations are lifted, changed, or omitted, we need to be cognizant as to how our role will look next school year and how it will affect the work that we do. Staying connected, continuing to learn, and advocating for our profession is more important than ever and we need to leverage each other for guidance and support.
California Parent and Youth Helpline
The California Department of Social Services is supporting Parents Anonymous in the launch of the new California Parent and Youth Helpline, which provides support and resource referrals to parents and youth during the COVID-19 pandemic. The service is available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Call or text 1-855-4-A-PARENT (855-427-2736) for services in English, Spanish, and other languages. Please share this resource with your students and families. For more information, visit
Essential Advocacy for School Counselors During the Budget Crisis and COVID-19
Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) School Counselor On-the-Go Webinar Series
As districts plan for an unprecedented start to the 2020-21 school year, it is crucial that school counselors develop a sense of urgency in building advocacy efforts in preparation for the pending budget crisis and virtual environment in response to COVID-19. It is critical that school counselors justify our roles as essential leaders within the TK-12 school system and demonstrate their added value. Join RCOE to engage with local school counselor leaders who will take you on a journey of advocacy, with information on understanding the current state of the California budget and its implications on public education. It will also focus on ensuring consistent school counseling services on a district level, developing student needs assessments based on data to drive action steps, and creating intentional goals with specific student groups in mind.

Wednesday, May 27 — TK-8 School Counselors

Thursday, May 28 — High School Counselors

All webinars are all scheduled from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

To ensure the security of each webinar and in order to track needs for future topics, RCOE asks participants to register for each session through the related OMS link by 5 p.m. the day before the scheduled webinar. You will then receive an email with the Zoom link to use for the webinar or you can dial in. T o access previous webinars and resources, follow these   directions  to create a free account on the RCOE website.
Financial Aid and College Planning Workshops
Hosted by SDCOE and Sallie Mae

Understanding how financial aid works and how to navigate families through the process can be complicated. SDCOE is hosting two webinars in partnership with Sallie Mae, a company that offers free college planning tools, private education loans, and online banking to students and families. The new learning opportunities are designed to support school counselors' understanding of financial aid offers and find ways to help students and families plan and pay for college.  Participants will need to download Skype for these webinars.

Navigating Financial Aid Offers/Award Letters
Wednesday, May 27
2 to 3 p.m.

  • How to understand financial aid offers
  • Key items to compare between offers
  • Explore grants, scholarships, work study, and student loans
  • Calculate the remaining balance
  • Learn about helpful tips and resources such as the such as Sallie Mae's Paying for College Resource

College Planning Tools and Resources
Thursday, May 28
2 to 3 p.m.

  • Saving for college
  • Calculating financial need with the FAFSA
  • Finding and applying for scholarships and grants
  • How you can access Sallie Mae’s free tools and resources such as Sallie Mae's Paying for College Resource

June 29 to July 2

Registration is now open for  ASCA@Home , a one-of-a-kind professional learning event. Using best-in-class technology, ASCA@Home will deliver an entirely new experience that will leave you energized, informed, and even more prepared to help all students succeed.
Attendees will choose from 84 sessions, which you can stream straight to your desktop, phone, or other device. Watch live and return later to view sessions on-demand in time slots you missed. ASCA@Home also includes keynote addresses from Johnnetta Cole, former president of Spelman College, and neuroscientist John Medina. You'll also enjoy special events, including virtual happy hours and an interactive exhibit hall.

What's included in your registration:
  • 84 informative breakout sessions (live and on-demand)
  • Two exciting keynotes
  • More than six continuing education units (CEUs)/60 contact hours (graduate credit available for additional fee)
  • Interactive exhibit hall where you can meet one-on-one with exhibitors
  • ASCA@Home T-shirt and other real-life gifts
  • Fun events and happy hours
  • And, once ASCA@Home is done, ASCA Summer Camps on the ASCA National Model, RAMP, school counselor preparation programs, and more

ASCA@Home rates:
  • Members: $179
  • Delegates, student members, presenters, retired members: $149
  • Nonmembers: $299

 If you have questions, please email .
Learning Opportunities
Strive Virtual College Exploration
Over the next two weeks, join the Strive Virtual College Exploration Program to learn more about college opportunities in STEM and the liberal arts. Counselors are invited to participate and can share this opportunity with their students:

May 26 to 28

Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL) is a nonprofit organization that advocates for the ideal of the student-centered college search. Join CTCL's executive director and board chair for presentations on CTCL's history and its members' approach to the college admission search. They will offer perspectives on the value of a liberal arts education as well as data beyond the typical rankings. Plus, join 39 CTCL member colleges and universities for their information sessions.

Wednesday, May 27
7 to 7:45 a.m.

Join CTCL Executive Director Maria Furtado and four members of CTCL's board of directors — all high-school-based counselors — to learn more about this distinctive group of liberal arts institutions. The session will discuss CTCL's history and approach to the college admission search. The session will offer perspectives on the value of a liberal arts education and give tips on how to "sell" liberal arts education to skeptical students and families.

Beyond Standardized Tests: Using Performance Assessment in College Admissions
Wednesday, May 27
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

A growing number of colleges and universities are expanding the ways they evaluate student admissions applications in order to gain insight into students’ deeper learning skills, such as collaboration, problem-solving, and communication. These skills are best demonstrated through performance assessments, such as student portfolios and capstone projects, that have not traditionally been used in most college admissions processes.

This webinar will look at the outcomes of a pilot program at City University of New York (CUNY) that uses performance assessments to admit qualified applicants with scores below the threshold on college entry exams. The discussion will be based on findings from a Learning Policy Institute report on the use of these assessments for equity and access in the CUNY system.

Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) — Live on Instagram
Thursday, May 28
2 to 3 p.m.

GLSEN is the nation's largest homosexual advocacy group focused entirely on reaching public school students as young as kindergarten age. GLSEN works to ensure that LGBTQ students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment. Together we can transform our nation's schools into the safe and affirming environment all youth deserve.

This Mental Health Awareness Month, join GLSEN for a free, live webinar where the organization will report on the research findings from Supporting Safe and Healthy Schools , which overviews the work of school-based mental health professionals’ — counselors, psychologists, and social workers — to support LGBTQ youth, and calls attention to the need for more LGBTQ-specific preparation. We are only beginning to understand the mental-health effects related to the rapid switch to online learning during COVID-19. GLSEN Education Manager Becca Mui will moderate a panel discussion with school-based mental health providers and LGBTQ students. The panelists will discuss their experiences with distance schooling and potential challenges to mental health, describe their school-based advocacy efforts, and share best practices. 

Youth Voices Community Forum: Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Youth with Disabilities
Thursday, May 28
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) will host a youth-led panel discussion on the impact of COVID-19 on youth with disabilities. Youth with disabilities from across the country will talk about the impact the current pandemic has had on their lives, communities, and access to supports. 

IEL has been developing leaders and partnering with communities since 1964. For the past 30 years, it has focused on supporting youth and young adults with disabilities to achieve economic self-sufficiency, to advocate for their rights, and to live independently. IEL continues to put youth voice first and event speakers will discuss the impact of the pandemic, and the changes needed to ensure that young people with disabilities do not have to face this challenge alone.  

College Board 2020 Counselor Summer Institute
August 4 to 7

T he 2020 Counselor Summer Institute is a free event. Workshops will be led by K-12 and higher educational leaders to provide professional development to school counselors around the college admissions process.

Aug. 4
  • All Means All: Advising and Counseling Students from Low-Income Backgrounds
  • Across the Desk: College Admissions Issues, Perspectives, and Opportunities
  • Beyond the Basics: A Focus on Financial Aid
Aug. 5
  • Keeping It in Perspective: Managing Student Stress in the College Admissions Process
  • All Means All: Advising and Counseling Rural Students in the College Admissions Process
  • The Power of the School Profile in College Admissions
Aug. 6
  • Living in a COVID-19 World — The Evolution of College Planning and College Admissions
  • Agency and Equity: A Matter of Professional Practice for Counselors
  • All Means All: Advising and Counseling African American Students in the College Admissions Process
Aug. 7
  • Topics in International College Counseling and Admissions
  • The Language of Access: Important Considerations for College Counseling
  • Using National Student Clearinghouse Data to Plan Postsecondary Initiatives

All attendees are eligible for CEU credits after completing a short quiz at the conclusion of each event. We encourage you to register for all events to gain access to the recordings for viewing at times that may be more convenient for you.
Newsletter Archive and Resources
The weekly newsletter and resources created by the SDCOE have been posted on the SDCOE COVID-19 website on the "Resources for School Counselor and School Social Workers" tab under "District Resources." They are also published each week in this newsletter.

The following communication tools and resource guides have been created for districts and school sites to distribute and use:

Important websites for school counselors:

Stay Connected
If you have any questions or comments on the San Diego County School Counselor Network newsletter, please contact Tanya Bulette, counseling coordinator, at .
Get up-to-the-minute information about what's happening at SDCOE and in our districts across the county.