Focus: Virtual School Counseling
April 21, 2020
Virtual counselor
No One Chose to Become a Virtual School Counselor
During his press conference on April 14, Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled California’s Roadmap to Modify the Stay-at-Home Order , which describes six indicators that must be met before the order can be modified. In his presentation, the governor described the need after the stay-at-home order is lifted to “toggle back and forth” on social restrictions in response to changing conditions until “herd immunity” is achieved in the state. He is quoted in a Politico article saying conversations are underway about how schools could reopen in a "physically constrained" way after this school year.

Leaders at the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) developed guidance based on this information for schools to consider when planning for the 2020-21 school year: COVID-19 Assumptions and General Recommendations. In this document, important questions are raised for how schools will operate and the changes that will need to be made to support the governor's roadmap to recovery. As roles shift, what does this look like for school counselors, especially in a virtual setting? What planning needs to happen to prepare for these changes?

In a time where we need to consider modifications to our practice it's important for school counselors to be thinking ahead and developing solutions. We know that no one chose to become a virtual school counselor, but we need to prepare for the "new normal," which will probably include some of our work in a virtual setting.
This Week's Focus: Virtual School Counseling
Last week, the Riverside County Education Collaborative (RCEC) provided webinars on the topic of virtual counseling by grade level. They provided links to helpful resources and documents, and provided strategies, ideas, and tips to support school counselors through this transition. RCEC also asked school counselors to share their work on how they were launching their virtual counseling programs. The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) is also developing toolkits by grade level to supplement this request and need.

Virtual Elementary School Counseling Resources

Virtual Middle School Counseling Resources

Virtual High School Counseling Resources

Additional Virtual School Counseling Resources

*To access RCEC webinars and resources, follow these directions to create a free account.
New CASC Website for School Counselors
School counselors throughout the state met two weeks ago to discuss the development of a website designed to provide guidance and easy access to online school counseling resources for school counselors, educators, caregivers, and other school-based mental health professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic and maintaining continuity of education. Virtual counseling services are unique and required thoughtfulness and care in the avenues for communication with each school and district programs varying. 

The new COVID-19 website from the California Association of School Counselors (CASC) serves as a resource in the areas that school counselors typically work in social-emotional well-being, academic support, and college and career preparation and transitional services. Because school counselors often help caregivers access resources, we have dedicated a page to caregivers with basic needs information, mental health concerns, and tips for creating a productive and balanced environment at home so that children can learn. This site is a work-in-progress. Each page was designed by a team of school counseling and school administrators who have experience and expertise in each given area.

Strive Virtual College Exploration Week: April 20 to 23
Strive is hosting a free virtual college exploration week from April 20 to 23. Many of the panel presentations could serve as guidance lessons and provide school counselors with up-to-date information on college admission requirements.

  • More than 300 colleges from 44 states and 10 countries
  • College admission officers share important tips
  • 96 sessions over four days
  • Day and evening options
  • Panel presentations on a range of topics for juniors and underclassmen
  • Free and open to students nationwide

RCEC School Counselor On-the-Go Webinar Series

All webinars are all scheduled from 11 a.m. to noon PST.

As school districts move toward distance learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the RCEC College and Career Readiness unit is offering the free School Counselor On-the-Go webinar series virtually in April and May to meet current needs.
To ensure the technology security of each webinar and in order to track needs for future topics, RCEC 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 e-mail with the Zoom link to use for the webinar or you may also dial in.

CASC Webinar: Counseling Toward Solutions, 3rd Edition
Register for a free webinar at 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, h osted by CASC. This webinar will provide ideas for working online with parents, students, and teachers. Participants will get a brief review of the three steps to a so lution-focused approach and its application to counseling situations in all grade levels. Ide as to share with teachers to help the navigate conversations online will be illustrated and emailed to each participant after the webinar.
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:

If you have any questions or comments on the 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.