Sunday, June 29, 2014

#ASCA14 Pre-conference Session: Building A Peer Helper Program

Today I will be spending the whole day learning everything about starting a peer mentoring program so we can implement one for my school next year.

I will put together a more comprehensive post later, but you can follow along with my notes all day long with this link:

Saturday, June 28, 2014

#ASCA14 Leadership Development Institute Day 2

Today we received a warm welcome Eric Sparks and learned more about the first draft of the ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success, then moved to work alike groups.

Delegate Assembly, which I will be attending as a non-voting member will begin at 11:00 am today. I am excited to learn more about the process and see it in action.

Thanks for visiting my blog, please let me know if there is something specific you would like me to blog about this week!

Friday, June 27, 2014

#ASCA14 Leadership Development Institute Recap

I attended LDI this year to learn more about becoming a State leader. The event started out slow, but really got good when the ASCA staff started to share what they do and how they can help us run our associations better.

Check out my GoogleDoc (link is shared below), still in development as I learn more throughout the night (we'll be learning through 9:00 pm tonight!).


-How ASCA got the First Lady to speak at the conference 
-free technology resources
-Bully Prevention Specialist training announcement

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Finishing your Bully Prevention Action Plan

I have been working on my ASCA Bully Prevention Specialist Training Certification Action Plan for weeks! I meant to have it all done last week, but life and work just got in the way.

I put the final touches on it this morning so I thought I would quickly share a couple of resources that helped me finish my final submission. Check back in August to see if my submission was successful!

Quick Tips

  • I posted a blog in March about Freshman Orientation that touches on some of the bully prevention materials I use during parent events, check it out here
  • I also shared my freshman academy bully prevention pre-test powerpoint in this post from August.

Hope these tips are helpful to you as you complete your Action Plan. I will post my plan in a follow up post once it is approved-fingers crossed!

Now I am officially ready for #ASCA14! Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Preparing for #ASCA14: Paying & Getting Organized

#ASCA14 is just around the corner. Actually, my plane takes off for Florida on Thursday this week!

For the last 9 years or so I have been getting the ASCA conference brochures in the mail. I always talk about going, but never actually had the guts to just do it! Now that I have met so many passionate school counselors on Twitter & found out that they actually have been attending the conferences, I decided it was the right thing to do for my own professional growth.

My journey to saving/raising enough money & getting organized to bring all of the great ideas back so I can use them right away has been quite a process so I thought I would share my journey to maybe help others.

This post is two-fold (simply because I am not sure I can get two posts up before I leave). 

1st I will address paying for #ASCA14 for those who are still working to raise money for this year or even next year. 

Then I will share how I plan to organize my notes from each session so they are easily accessible later  for all of us! Finally, I'll share a little about why I am excited about this year's conference.

How much does #ASCA14 Cost?

The price of an ASCA conference can be overwhelming, especially if it has been a couple of years since you've received a pay raise at work like me.

Here's a cost breakdown for #ASCA14

  • Registration (no extra sessions): $349
  • Flight & Ground Transportation: $369.99
  • Hotel ($199/night for 3 nights): $597.00
  • Meals (per deim): $195.00
Total Approximate Cost: $1,510.99

My Approximate Cost: $2,027.99

My estimated cost is a little bit higher since I will be attending the Leadership Development Institute & Delegate Assembly prior to the conference and a pre-conference session. I also chose to fly to Florida from a smaller local airport which requires me to stay in Florida Wednesday night since they don't have flights everyday. Flying from the smaller airport will allow me to avoid driving further to the airport, avoid paying $100+ for parking & avoid crowds (I'm not big on super crowded places with strangers). I'd rather spend that money on one extra night to review what I have learned & breathe.

 Raising Funds! The fun Part!

1. Submit a conference leave request at work with all of the expenditures & see if you can get full or partial funding. I was not successful in this endeavor & actually told not to bother even asking to go. Seriously, that happened. 

2. Contact your ROE to see if there are any grants or local funding to help support you.

3. Apply for professional scholarships like The Counseling Geek scholarship.

4. Contact your state association to see if their is any funding available, especially if you serve as a Board member.

5. Get creative. Clean out your closets & have a huge garage sale. Price items to sell, but not so low you can't take in some serious cash. You can also utilize social media like Facebook to advertise specific items to sell locally.

6. Get even more creative. Clean out your jewelry box. Gold that you never wear is worth serious money!

7. Reach out to friends & family to let them know that you're raising money for a good cause. There are still a lot of people out there that like to "pay it forward" so to say.

8. Dip into that tax return money you've been saving up-this is a good reason to spend it! Invest in you when no one else will!

9. Contact your bank for a small loan. The interest is probably cheaper than your credit card company & they will appreciate your business.

10. Go grocery shopping! Really. Download a grocery money saving app like Ibotta and earn money back on things you already plan to buy!

11. Use your credit card & pay it off as quickly as possible-at least by #ASCA15!

By doing most of these things (excluding #9), I was able to pay for my #ASCA Registration, plane ticket, and ground transportation; and I raised over $1,077.00 in the last 2 weeks just by completing #5, #6, #7, and #10 to offset the cost of my hotel stay, the only major conference expense I have left.

I am confident now that I will not be breaking the bank to attend #ASCA14, which will really make it easier to have more fun!

Raising money to attend was not easy, and I got a lot of rejection along the way, but I am happy that I remained committed to my own personal growth/professional development.

Getting Organized for #ASCA14

Now that I've established that I can actually afford to go, here is a quick look at how I plan to organize all of my notes throughout the sessions.

1. Let their be GoogleDocs! I will organize my notes from each session in a GoogleDoc (in my personal account, not my school account) so they will be easier to share later. I can even Tweet a link to my GoogleDoc so others who can't be there can benefit from the sessions!

2. Each evening/morning I will review my notes & link them to my LiveBinder (which is organized according to my schedule for the conference).

3. The 3-Ring Binder. I am also taking a 3-ring binder with me complete with all of the session print outs that ASCA has posted in the conference app. I can scan my notes later to include them in my GoogleDocs  folder & my LiveBinder.

That's it! I am new at this so I am going in with an open mind & this plan of attack. If you are planning to attend #ASCA14 and you haven't read The Counseling Geek's blogpost about making the most of the conference that should be your next stop.

Then, later tonight, join SCOPE for a School Counseling on Air event to get tips from a panel of ASCA Conference veterans. More details here.

Can you think of additional ways to pay for an ASCA conference or do you have tips to share about keeping notes organized while attending a multi-day conference? Please share them in the comments section below.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

School Counselors Getting to the Core

Seems like the Common Core Standards are here to stay, so it might be time to revise those school counseling core curriculum lesson plans and ramp up programming to foster or improve the college and career readiness efforts in your school. "School counselors need an understanding of how the standards will affect the three domains of professional school counselors — academic, career, and personal/social — in relation to the needs of their students" (Achieve, 2013).

Here are a couple of great tools to help you get to the core:
  • Implementing the Common Core Standards: The Role of the School Conselor by - use the outlined action steps to support implementation of the common core standards
  • Career Cluster Framework - help students identify their pathway, cluster and career as you interpret their Explore, Plan and/or ACT results and use the corresponding sample program of study to help them devise 4-6 year individual education plans
These two tools, coupled with the ASCA Model will provide you with enough foundational information to focus your efforts to align with and support full implementation of the standards.

As you prepare to set your program SMART goals for next year, ponder these 5 seeds:

  1. Develop and continually update a four to six-year individual education plan for every student relating to college and career readiness 
  2. Develop college and career readiness lesson plans that are aligned with CCSS college and career ready anchor standards, and reinforce subject-specific standards with the assistance of your ISAC Corp Representative (Example: add an I-message common core narrative to your interpersonal communication lesson)
  3. Develop a calendar for when you will conduct lessons and push into classrooms (see the fourth edition of the IL Model for new inspiration)
  4. Collect data on FAFSA completion and college acceptances, publish the results throughout your school and community (use ISAC's FAFSA Completion Initiative data sharing tool to make collecting FAFSA data easy for you.
  5. Ensure equitable academic, career, post-secondary access and personal/social opportunities for all students through the use of data to help close achievement and opportunity gaps (school counseling curriculum for all, small groups etc. for some.
  6. Coordinate a college and career event in conjunction with your local community college and community businesses
Getting to the core and effecting positive change for students and communities isn't just about implementing the Common Core Standards in conjunction with the ASCA and Illinois Model, but doing so with professional prowess and fidelity. Professional school counselors not only have the ability to synthesize learning standards and school counseling models to deliver an effective program of services to Illinois students, but also the collaborative skill to become a strong core of this new educational transition.

The full text of Implementing the Common Core Standards: The Role of the School Counselor can be accessed via: