1. Let's Advocate & Celebrate!
2. 2021 SCOY Spotlight - One Person Can Make A Difference
3. Strengthening School-Family Partnerships During Distance Learning
4. From Distance Learning to Modern Learning
5. Emerging from the Refiner's Fire
6. ASCA National Model Tip of the Month
7. Data Collection Tip of the Month
8. Member Engagement & Networking
  • National School Counseling Week Events
  • February Virtual Social on Thursday, January 11th
  • Mark Your Calendar - March Virtual Social Thursday March 11th
9. Awards & Recognition
  • RAMP 2021 Applications
  • Nominate a School Counselor Spotlight!
10.Professional Development & Trainings
  • Restorative Practices Forum: Social Justice, Anti-Racism & You
  • Virtual National School Counseling Leadership Conference
  • Riverside County School Counselor Leadership Network 20/21
  • Education & School Counseling Podcasts
11.School Counselor Job Postings
Let's Advocate & Celebrate!
by: Alexis Goddard

I knw this has been a hard year. We are almost one year into a pandemic, there are so many unknowns. But the one thing I know for sure...School Counselors are working incredibly hard and making a difference in the lives of students. I know we are all tired. There is a lot going on in all of our lives and yet we still work hard to help kids feel seen - even from a distance. Now this week, I challenge you to take a a hour or two and put something together to showcase all your hard work this year. Even if it spotlights one part of your program, use it to share with your stakeholders, push out on social media, email to your staff. National School Counseling Week is a week of advocacy. A week to get up on that soapbox and shout what our role has become, what impact we can make and why students need school counselors. This year more than ever, you need to do this. You need to educate because people do not see you on campus and what you are doing on a daily basis. This is the chance to highlight all your hard work.

After you are done pushing this out to everyone you know, join CASC for a week of fun!! Use CASC Instagram Story templates and share on your story, but don't forget to tag @mycasc. On Tuesday join our Instagram Live with our CA SCOYS. Wednesday join us for a CASC Chat with our very own Executive Director, Loretta Whitson and then end the week with a Trivia Night with Alvord Unified School Counselor - Priscilla Grijalva and myself! Look in the Member Engagement Section for Zoom information!
Check out CASC's Shared NSCW21 Google Folder for more resources on how to participate in NSCW 2021!
Connect with Alexis on Twitter & Instagram
Don't forget to participate in the ASCA Photo Challenge (above), don't forget to tag CASC on Twitter (@MyCASC, Facebook (@CASC) & Instagram (@mycasc & #mycasc) we want to show California School Counselors know how to advocate!
2021 CA SCOY Spotlight
One Person Can Make A Difference...
Alma Lopez
2021 California School Counselor of the Year
School Counselor, Livingston Middle School

National School Counseling Week is an excellent opportunity to “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” As school counselors, we often are first to acknowledge the progress, growth and success in others, but we often dismiss our own growth or progress. National School Counseling Week affords us the chance to highlight the role of school counselors and the value of comprehensive school counseling programs. One way that we can make a difference in the lives of all students is to highlight our essential role in schools because all students deserve access to a comprehensive school counseling program.  

School counselors are all in for all students and one way we do this is through a comprehensive service delivery model. We work directly with all students during counseling instruction, small group instruction and one-to-one counseling. We work indirectly with students as we consult and collaborate with families, staff, and administration. We refer students needing additional services to the appropriate service providers in and out of our building.  

During NSCW, I encourage you to take time to highlight your services with stakeholders. Consider using process data, for example, the number of classroom counseling instruction lessons you’ve facilitated, the number of small groups you’ve facilitated or the number of students you’ve met with one-to-one. Consider sharing perception data, for example, how attitudes may have changed, knowledge has enhanced or skills developed. Consider highlighting a change in outcome data, for example, decrease in chronic absenteeism rate or increase in passing grades. And, finally if you do not have this data available, make a plan to begin collecting it and share qualitative data, for example, a student, caregiver or staff email speaking to the support you offered. Be sure to remove confidential information.

There are many ways to “act as if what you do makes a difference...it does” and NSCW is an opportunity to highlight your school counseling programs services. If you enjoy writing, consider using Smore and create a newsletter. If you enjoy infographics, use Canva and create one. If you like to create videos, perhaps Imovie or WeVideo. Ask your administrator for an opportunity to share information at a staff meeting or in the staff bulletin. And, finally if you do not have a school counseling advisory created, start one. This is an excellent way to share what your program is doing with a diverse group of stakeholders.  

I invite you to set aside a few minutes to reflect and share - What is one area you have made a difference in your school building, and how did you share it with stakeholders? If you'd like to share, please let me know at [email protected] or @MissAlma_LMS.
Connect with Alma on Twitter
Strengthening School-Family Partnerships During Distance Learning
Lezya Weglarz
School Counselor & CASC Board Director
San Marcos Unified School District

Prior to becoming a school counselor, I supported families and students as a parent liaison for many years. I loved getting to know families, their hopes and dreams for their children, and working together to support their child at school and at home. As a school counselor, I love continuing to foster strong school-family partnerships, and distance learning has really highlighted the critical role of family engagement in student success.

Through countless conversations over the last few months, I am reminded that each of our families are facing unique challenges as a result of the global pandemic. While this crisis has affected our families from all walks of life, I am aware of the significant impact on our immigrant and economically disadvantaged families. The needs of our students and families are greater than ever. Whether it’s connecting families with resources or bridging communication with teachers, school counselors are in a unique position to holistically support students and families during these challenging times.

Here are some tips for strengthening school-family partnerships during distance learning:
  • Use multiple modes of outreach. If families are not responding to email or phone messages, try sending a text message (Google Voice) or using apps such as Remind
  • Always use Family-inclusive language.
  • Communicate in the home language whenever possible. Use school/district translators to support.
  • When using multiple staff to support in connecting with families to identify barriers to student attendance and engagement, provide a phone call script to ensure consistency in the messaging.
  • Create a social media account for your counseling department. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are a great way to promote school-wide activities, opportunities for students, academic support, etc. Partner with your schools PTO/PTA to get important information out to families.
  • Share school and community resources that address technology needs, internet access, housing, transportation, food assistance, legal assistance, health insurance & wellness resources
  • Do not underestimate the power of a porch visit! Collaborate with other school-based mental health professionals, administrators, SRO, or other caring adults on campus to connect with students and families in a safe, socially-distant way. Bring paper copies of the student’s schedule, school “bell” schedule, academic calendar, a list of school and community resources.
  • Snail mail is our friend! Include a personalized note to your student sharing your care and concern. Mail school and community resources. Include multiple ways families can directly contact you.
  • Get creative with meeting spaces! Many families prefer face-to-face conversations. If allowed, hold quick meetings in school parking lot, in the community, or a public space near the family residence
  • When speaking with families, share tips for supporting their student with organization, time management, creating distraction-free learning spaces, and self care
  • Encourage family communication and wellbeing above all else.

As school counselors, we might not often see the fruits of our labor. Remember that growth takes time, yet we must continue to water and nurture the seeds and bring a little sunshine to the relationships with our students and families.
From Distance Learning to Modern Learning
Maritza Cha
Alhambra Unified School District

Many educators in Los Angeles will remember March 13, 2020 as the day they suspended in-person teaching. Teachers and school counselors abruptly left their classrooms and offices to begin distance learning. For most educators, it meant diving into the unknown with a steep learning curve. 

But the issues that schools have had to confront during distance learning are not limited to those related directly to providing instruction to students; they involve taking care of the whole child. It became apparent how reliant the community is on our school systems not only to teach for the future, but also to help families survive the present. The inequities that existed prior to distance learning have only become magnified and more pronounced. 

Teachers and school counselors should be “institutional agents” for their students. Teachers and school counselors can and should extend social capital to students during this time, as put forward by theorist Ricardo Stanton-Salazar. Life presents ever-changing, new and complex challenges. We also have to adapt to new situations. Through teacher and school counselor leadership, we can show students we are not giving up on them.

As the pandemic has forced us all to rethink how to deliver content to students, it is imperative for us also to rethink how we address persistent inequities. As educators, we need to redefine our approach to distance learning and see how we can make it work better even than our prior in-person model of education. Dr. Frances Gipson, Director of Urban Leadership program at Claremont Graduate University has recharacterized distance learning as “modern learning.” By reframing it, we can start to strategize how to proactively leverage technology that was initially utilized in an ad hoc manner merely to deliver remote instruction. We can start to address inequities that existed before the pandemic, regarding issues such as communication with families and student learning. For example, if a parent can’t take time off work to attend a parent conference, now we know we can use Zoom during their lunch hour. If a student needs to be away from class, there may no longer be a need for the student to lose out on instruction time. They can Zoom into their class and keep pace. 

Thus, “modern learning” is not just a remote or distanced replacement for in-person education. Modern learning allows us to rethink our educational system as a whole. It provides an opportunity to innovate and rethink what education can and should be. Should education be measured more by the number of minutes that a student spends in their seat, or by their demonstrated mastery of content? When we return to in person or a hybrid system, we will still have to tend to the social emotional needs of our students, who have been traumatized by the pandemic. As educators, we now must ask ourselves, will we respond with the same methods or will we leverage what we have learned and adapted to during the pandemic to innovate new solutions to persistent problems? 
Emerging from the Refiner's Fire
Empowering Students to Overcome Adversity
Sunnie Hope Morrison, M.A., P.P.S., A.P.C.C. #7980
CASC Emerging Leader

School counselors are in a unique position to inspire and cultivate students’ tenacity to thrive, not just survive these unprecedented times with grace and grit. Adversity is the refiner’s fire that bends iron but tempers steel” (Faust, n.d.). Tempering steel melds elements within toughening it to retain its form and absorb impact without bending or becoming brittle. The global pandemic, civil unrest, economic strain, racial injustice, educational change, collective and personal grief---these refining fires have the potential to bend or toughen every one of us. We must diligently navigate our own trials while we advocate for students to employ life’s stressors to advance their maturity, expand their worldview, and increase their resilience to emerge stronger than ever before.

School counseling programs that use evidence-based practices focus on the development of the whole child, which heightens student maturity. Essential counseling skills that foster vulnerability, externalization of feelings, validation of experiences, strengths-identification, gratitude, growth mindset, and self-efficacy skills improve students’ ability to process disturbing external events with greater confidence and competence. For example, we can work with students to identify their top five strengths, which advances their character by illuminating their positive attributes. We can admonish students to look for ways to uplift others in need which deepens their empathy and decreases feelings of isolation. Using visual aids or props brings levity and playfulness into student meetings which can be healing; the shared smiles and laughs models healthy coping with weighty matters of our day. These counseling techniques will equip students to become self-assured, mature young adults.
Another facet of developing the whole child involves championing students’ identity formation to enlarge their worldview. Focusing attention on their unique personhood, intrinsic qualities, and untapped potential encourages a values-based rather than a performance-based worldview. Teaching students that their value, worth, and purpose are not solely founded on what they do or will do but rather who they are holistically develops a stronger positive self-concept which leads to greater self-actualization. They will be more likely to view life’s stumbling blocks as steppingstones and stop asking, “Why is this happening to me?” and begin asking instead, “What can I learn from this?” This victim to victor mindset shift enables them to expand their worldview to see that the world is something they can influence for good.  
We bolster student resilience as we validate, affirm, and encourage them to recall former difficulties they have persisted through. This broadens their perspective and reinforces perseverance. A fundamental goal in our work is to establish rapport with students where they are “seen, known, and heard” and to keenly focus on; “how we hear, how we listen, and how we connect” (Hynes, 2020). Our opportunities to hear their unique stories, discern distinct needs, and comprise personalized plans is time well spent. For example, we can ask students: 

  • “What has made you feel proud of yourself lately?”
  • “What are some ‘roses’ you can find amidst the thorns of this situation?”
  • “Tell me about a time when you did something brave.”
  • “How were you able to do that? Tell me about it…”
  • “In what ways can you make lemonade out of your life’s lemons?”

During these trusted exchanges students who feel seen, known, and heard, slowly let their walls down and begin to identify ways they have demonstrated prior resilience. This fills them with a sense of self-worth they may have never felt before. If we illuminate their past triumphs and the invaluable virtues gained, they can learn to apply those same faculties to prevail through their present and future challenges. 

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from” (Angelou, 2009). Defeats reveal the human spirit’s unparalleled capacity to enlist hardships as vital teachers to shape our fortitude. When we as school counselors seek to apply these same principles of focusing on the whole person to deepen our maturity, broaden our worldview and sustain resilience in ourselves, we will fortify our strength to empower students to rise from the refiner’s fire of our times with temperance to face any adversity and press on with renewed hope, refined courage, and reimagined purpose.  

Related Counseling Resources:

Article References
Angelou, M. A-Z quotes. (2009). Retrieved from: https://www.azquotes.com/quote/367242?ref=adversity
Hynes, C. MA, MS - PPSCC, LMFT # 45113, Personal interview. Azusa Pacific University (2020).
ASCA Tip of the Month
Jasmine Arellano-Najera, M.S., S.B.B.C., P.P.S,
CASC Emerging Leader
Middle School Counselor - Pomona Unified School District
Adjunct Instructor, University of La Verne

Hello, School Counselors and Educators, and Happy National School Counselors Week 2021!!!

As part of implementing a data-driven comprehensive school counseling program, you are going to want to make sure that you are also developing weekly calendars of your direct and indirect student services. School Counselors develop calendars with detailed plans of their meetings, planned interventions, and activities for each week of the school year. Although these calendars are flexible in the case of student crises, they ultimately serve as a plan for your school counseling program implementation. 

As you develop your weekly calendar it should include activities such as:
  • Classroom lessons
  • Group and Individual Counseling
  • Meetings with Students, teachers, parents, and stakeholders
  • Special events
  • Consultations
  • Data analysis
  • Committee and fair-share responsibilities

These calendars can also play a vital role in advocating for your program and role as a school counselor. Weekly calendars can help you calculate the percentage of time you are spending in direct student services, indirect student services, program planning and school support, and non-school counseling tasks. By having this breakdown you can advocate with your administrator on how your time can best be spent on school counseling interventions in hopes of eliminating or minimizing non-school counseling tasks during your yearly Annual Administrative Conference. The weekly calendars also serve as a guiding tool to see if you are meeting your use-of-time goal set for the school year on your administrative conference agreement for the school year. Make sure you are as detailed as possible for each entry on your weekly calendar making sure you include: type of service/intervention, who it took place with, and time spent. 

If you are applying for RAMP, you will need to submit a detailed weekly calendar for one week of your choosing for the Fall semester and another for the Spring semester, along with your completed ASCA annual calendar template to fulfill the requirements for section 7: Calendars (Annual & Weekly) of the RAMP application. Here is an example of a completed weekly calendar. 

For more detailed information check out pages 68-71 on your 4th Edition ASCA Model book and pages 110-118 in your ASCA National Model Implementation Guide 2nd edition.

For more information about the ASCA National Model, click HERE
Connect with Diego on Twitter & Instagram
Data Collection Tip of the Month
Jordan Blevins
School Counselor and Emerging Leader
Hazelton Elementary School (Stockton, CA)

Hello California School Counselors! 

National School Counselor Week is upon us, and what a perfect time to put out a Mid-Year Report highlighting the amazing services your program has provided during this tumultuous year. Mid-Year reports are the perfect way to advocate for your program and show what you’ve been doing all year, and to help answer that question that we as school counselors hear too much: what do school counselors do? Even better, you can send this report out to your important stakeholders like teachers, parents, administrators, and even school board members. 

A Mid-Year Report should be visually appealing, and easy to read. You don’t want your readers to have to search for the data. My personal favorite way to build them is by using Canva (and educators can apply to get CanvaPro for free!). On your report, you want to highlight the number of any and all services you have been providing in the main domains and categories, including but not limited to: Responsive Services (small groups, crisis counseling, individual counseling), Core Curriculum Lessons Provided, Referrals, Collaboration, and Consultations. It’s also helpful to throw in some visual aids such as a graph or two organizing your data. Graphs are super easy to create using Google Sheets. You could use a bar graph to compare last year’s data to this year’s data, or highlight growth from pre and post test data. The possibilities are endless, and customizable to fit the needs of your Comprehensive School Counseling Program. See below for examples from last school year (2019/2020) from two elementary schools in Stockton, CA. 
Connect with Jordan on Twitter & Instagram
Member Engagement & Networking
Will you attend our CASC Chat?
Zoom Meeting ID: 951 4248 5431

02/03/21 4:30pm - 02/03/21 5:30pm

This event will be a chat with our CASC Executive Director, Loretta Whitson. She will give you an update
I'll be there!
Can't make it!
Will you join us on Instagram Live?
Instagram Live @mycasc

02/02/21 4:00pm - 02/02/21 5:00pm

I'll be there!
I can't make it
Ready for Trivia?
Meeting ID: 989 2707 3764

02/05/21 4:00pm - 02/05/21 5:00pm

Come for a full filled trivia hour with Norte Vista High School Counselor - Priscilla Grijalva & CASC Board Director - Alexis Goddard!
I'll be there!
I can't make it
Save the date for the second Thursday of the month for our Virtual Socials!
Are you coming to February Social?
Zoom Meeting ID: 813 0100 9615

02/11/21 4:00pm - 02/11/21 5:00pm

Passcode: CASCHH
I'll be there!
I can't make it
Awards & Recognition

Ready to RAMP up CA?

If you are still thinking of applying for RAMP in October 2021? Click the button below to check out the fully revised RAMP Rubric for 4th edition
Do you know a school counselor who is rocking remote counseling? Or has a great parent education initiative? Or phenomenal small group or classroom lesson?
Professional Development & Trainings
The goal of this unique conference is to address a critical gap in professional development for administrators who oversee school counseling programs at the school, district, county, and state levels. Ultimately, we seek to empower and equip decision-makers to hire, mentor, lead, evaluate, and support school counselors such that measurable student outcomes are at the core of all school counseling programs nationwide. Network with others in your position from across the nation and learn about the updated roles, trends, and models of school counseling. After two dynamic days online, take away fresh ideas, applicable resources, and the confidence that you can establish the protocols and systems that will lead school counselors to implement cutting edge, comprehensive school counseling programs for the benefit of all students!

Detailed breakout session titles and descriptions are coming soon! With previous conference themes like School Counseling 101, Building the Team, Building a Multi-Tiered, Multi-Domain System of Supports (MTMDSS), Building Systems of Sustainability and Leadership, and Promoting Equity and Access, topics will include establishing effective systems, strategic planning, marketing the school counseling program, leadership and inspiration, the evaluation of school counseling programs, and using data and program design to close achievement gaps. Extensive opportunities for sharing best practices and networking with peers will be provided.

Sample session titles include, but are not limited to:
  • What Every Administrator Needs to Know About School Counseling
  • Recruiting and Hiring the Next Generation of School Counselors
  • Mentoring and Supporting New and Experienced School Counselors
  • Creating a School Counseling Program Model Handbook
  • Measuring and Sharing School Counseling Program Results
  • The Role of the School Counselor in Closing the Achievement Gap
  • The Role of the School Counselor in College and Career Readiness
  • The Role of the School Counselor in MTSS
  • Tier 1 and Tier 2 and 3 Deep-Dives
  • Evaluation, Unions, Contracts, and Courageous Conversations
  • Strategies to Identify and Develop Emerging School Counselor Leaders
  • Garnering Administrative Support at the District/State Level
  • Staying in Our Lane: Strategies for Effective Collaboration with Other Student Services Personnel
  • Anti-racism in School Counseling
Counselors, Career Center Staff,
and Administrators
September 29, 2020
February 9, 2021
Upcoming ASCA Webinars
ASCA Upcoming Events

National School Counseling Week
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday events will be available for viewing on Facebook Live or ASCA On Air). Registration required for Monday and Friday webinars.
  • Monday, Feb. 1: Webinar: TeacherTalk: School Counselors Collaborating for Student Success, 4 p.m. EST
  • Tuesday, Feb. 2: Webinar: State of the Profession: Protecting the School Counselor Role, 2 p.m. EST 
  • Wednesday, Feb. 3: Webinar: State of the Profession: School Counselors Respond to COVID-19, 2 p.m. EST 
  • Thursday, Feb. 4: Webinar: State of the Profession: School Counselor Demographics and DEI, 2 p.m. EST
  • School Counselor of the Year Gala, 8 p.m. EST (watch on ASCA On Air or Facebook Live)
  • Friday, Feb. 5: Webinar: State of the Profession Q&A, 2 p.m. EST 

Tech Tools for School Counselors: Designing Learning and Designing Futures
Feb. 11, 2021, 4-5 p.m. EST

Build a Positive School Culture via a Student Leadership Team
Feb. 16, 2021, 3-4 p.m. EST

The Resiliency Journey
Feb. 23, 2021, 12-1 p.m. EST

Middle School College & Career Program
March 3, 2021, 2-3 p.m. EST

School Counselor Performance Appraisal
March 8, 2021, 2-3 p.m. EST
Education & School Counseling Podcasts
This Week in California Education
Reflections on an insurrection, education predictions for 2021
This week, John and Ryan Smith, external officer for the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, reflect on the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and its impact on students watching the event, and they share 2021 predictions of education in California.
Schools on The Frontlines- A Carl Cohn podcast
Should students be tested for academic progress during a pandemic?
Carl talks with Scott Marion, executive director of the Center for Assessment, about the challenges of standardized testing during and after the pandemic.
Priscilla Grijalva and Josh Godinez (President of the California Association of School Counselors) discuss some of the top Reach Higher Riverside moments of 2020.

Audio Edits Dan Reyes
"Reaching Higher" Song Lyrics and Music by: Jessica and Jackie Parry, Vocals by Emily Patterson (2015)
School Counselor Job Postings
Hiring season is gearing up! Start to look out for positions for the 20/21 school year! Below are button links to a few of many jobs that are seeking qualified applicants now and next year in So Cal. For a complete listing, please visit EDJOIN by visiting the following link:
Riverside County
Orange County
Los Angeles County
San Diego County