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VOL. 46, NO. 6

2010 Leadership Forum By BOB BARDWELL MASCA Past President MASCA Government Relations Chair



ll school counselors, directors of guidance, counselor educators, graduate students, and others interested in school counseling in Massachusetts are invited to participate in the 2010 Leadership Forum for Massachusetts School Counselors on Beacon Hill on Wednesday, March 10 from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. The program is sponsored by MASCA, the New England Regional Office of the College Board, and the New England Association for College Admission Counseling. Participants will hear from state legislators, educators, and others who are impacted by school counselors. And attendees will receive training in how to advocate for the school counseling profession with administrators, school boards, and policy makers. MASCA, College

Board, and NEACAC leaders will also be participating. Legislators, legislative aides, and DESE staff will be invited to hear about the school counseling profession and what we need to do to improve student wellbeing, career planning, and academic performance in the Commonwealth. An update on the two school counseling-related bills filed in 2009 will be given. In addition to the speakers and conversations around the importance of school counseling, participants will meet with their State Representative and Senator to educate them about what school counselors do and why we make a difference. We need a large turnout of school counselors and their supporters to show policy makers how vitally important school counselors are. Please bring data that shows how your school counseling program has made a positive impact on student performance, well-being, and achievement. Registration information is included in this issue of CN as well as on MASCA’s website, Registration forms must be completed and returned to me by March 1. For more information, contact me at 413-267-4589 x1107 or bardwellr@ ■

Come out and support the school counseling profession March 10, 2010 • 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Massachusetts School Counselors on Beacon Hill


MASCA Needs You and the Time is Now By CHRISTINE EVANS MASCA President



ave you given any thought to becoming involved in the activities of MASCA? Please consider the possibilities available in the coming months. There are many options, and your talents are very much needed. Are you willing to step up and take action to meet the ideals expressed in our mission statement? One of our themes this year is Moving All Counselors Ahead: Making Accountability and Readiness Count. You are an important part of bringing this about; in fact, it will not happen without you. Now that you are all fired up and ready to go, this is a good time to lay out the options. How about becoming an officer? The nominations for elected office are due by February 27, and the nomination form is available on the MASCA website as well in this issue of the Notebook. Serving as an officer is a wonderful vehicle for professional development as well as a fantastic opportunity to serve your peers in the field of school counseling. When I was asked to consider accepting a nomination, I was flattered but also fearful that I might not be able to do what (continued on page 18)




2009 – 2010 MASCA OFFICERS PRESIDENT CHRISTINE A. EVANS East Bridgewater High School 11 Plymouth Street, East Bridgewater, MA 02333 Tel. 508-378-5851 • Fax 508-378-8236 E-mail: PRESIDENT-ELECT CAROLYN RICHARDS Somerville High School 81 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143 Tel. 617-625-6600 x 6120 • Fax 617-628-8413 E-mail: PAST PRESIDENT KAREN M. D’AMOUR Manchester Essex Regional High School 36 Lincoln Street, Manchester, MA 01944 Tel. 978-526-7641 • Fax 978-526-2044 E-mail:

February 2010

inside 4

Lesson Plans 101 By Donna Brown

VICE PRESIDENT ELEMENTARY TBA VICE PRESIDENT MIDDLE / JUNIOR HIGH RICHARD WHITE Gateway Regional Middle School 12 Littleville Road, Huntington, MA 01050 E-mail: VICE PRESIDENT SECONDARY JENNIFER LISK Medway High School, Medway, MA 02053 E-mail: VICE PRESIDENT POSTSECONDARY JAY LEIENDECKER Vice President Enrollment Services, Dean College Tel. 508-541-1509 • Fax 508-541-8726 E-mail: VICE PRESIDENT ADMINISTRATORS RUTH CARRIGAN Whitman-Hanson Regional High School 600 Franklin Street, Whitman, MA 02382 Tel. 781-618-7434 • Fax 781-618-7098 E-mail: VICE PRESIDENT COUNSELOR EDUCATORS THERESA A. COOGAN, Ph.D. Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater, MA 02325 Tel. 508-531-2640 E-mail: VICE PRESIDENT RETIREES RALPH SENNOTT P.O. Box 1391, Westford, MA 01886 Tel. 978-692-8244 E-mail: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DONNA M. BROWN Adjunct Professor, UMass Boston P.O. Box 366, 779 Center Street Bryantville, MA 02327 Tel. 781-293-2835 E-mail: TREASURER TINA KARIDOYANES P.O. Box 1007, Monument Beach, MA 02553 Tel. 508-759-3986 E-mail: SECRETARY CARRIE KULICK-CLARK Braintree High School, Braintree, MA 02184 Tel. 781-848-4000 x 2273 E-mail: MEMBERSHIP COORDINATOR DEBORAH CLEMENCE P.O. Box 805, East Dennis, MA 02641 E-mail: COUNSELOR’S NOTEBOOK EDITOR SALLY ANN CONNOLLY 19 Bayberry Road, Danvers, MA 01923 Tel. 978-774-8158 • Fax 978-750-8154 E-mail:


6 7 8 11 12 15 16

Leadership Forum Registration

Connecting with Colleagues: Sharing a Best Practice By Ruth Carrigan

MASCA Call for Nominations

MASCA Professional Development News By Helen O’Donnell

MASCA Spring Conference Registration

A Sense of Style By John Steere

Dropout Prevention: Tips for Counselors By Nicolas Dillman and Suzanne Morris

Published by: Massachusetts School Counselors Association 10 issues per year, September through June. The yearly subscription rate is $30.00. Individual copies are $3.00. Opinions expressed in the articles published herein represent the ideas and/or beliefs of those who write them and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Massachusetts School Counselors Association, Inc. The acceptance of an advertisement for publication does not imply MASCA endorsement of the advertiser’s programs, services, or views expressed. Questions concerning submission of articles, publication deadlines, advertising rates, etc., should be addressed to Sally Ann Connolly, Editor.

©2010 by the Massachusetts School Counselors Association. All rights reserved.


Lesson Plans 101 By DONNA BROWN MASCA Executive Director


n October, there was a very interesting discussion in ASCA Aspects about how to develop lesson plans. The initial, somewhat panicked discussion was started by a graduate student who had been asked to produce several lesson plans as part of her program. She was concerned because she didn’t know what she was expected to do, and consultation with her classmates had made matters even worse. I empathized with her because while teaching both the school counseling practicum and internship courses online at UMass Boston, I had similar reactions from some of my students when they were asked to create lesson plans. Some thought they were actually going to try to teach sections of the ASCA Model / MA Model to their students; others understood that the Models were providing areas for development within the curriculum framework. Most of them needed a template, and happily, at the end of the semester, all had produced appropriate, teachable lesson plans.





Golden Past, Platinum Future: MASCA 50th Birthday Celebration The MASCA 50th Birthday Committee has been meeting regularly to make plans for a celebratory luncheon at the MASCA Annual Spring Conference. For information or to volunteer, contact Mary Westcott at mary


DONNA BROWN There really is no great mystery to creating lesson plans for the guidance curriculum. All you are doing is making a map for your classroom presentation. Initially you need to provide a detailed outline of what you hope to accomplish, explain how you are going to present your material, and indicate how you will know if students “got” it. As you become more comfortable, you will make the lesson plans your own. In some districts, lessons to support the school counseling curriculum are designed in-house; others choose to not “re-invent the wheel” and purchase ready made materials or take advantage of the lessons posted on the internet. However, usually everyone has to tweek the individual lessons to customize them for their own situation. So, how do you begin? First, think about your goals. What do you want students to learn? How will students be better as a result of what you do? How will you evaluate the students’ learning? Will you design a pre/post test? Will students write a story or submit a report? Will they work as a group or individually? Next, take a look at what you already do. Is character education the focus of second grade? Are cliques addressed in grade five? Do you use an introductory career program in seventh grade? Are you completing four-year plans for high school? Are the programs sequential? Are any interdisciplinary? Organize your information using the three domains: Academic, Career and Personal/Social. Next, decide what concepts in the domains support your goals. What should students know or be able to do? Determine how you will present the material

and how you will engage students. Will you make a PowerPoint or use a story or poem or share a short DVD clip to introduce the material? Will you need to make worksheets? What will students do? Will they play a game? Ask and answer questions? Engage in role play? Conduct a web quest? Will there be follow-up? How will you evaluate your lesson? This is a very, very simple description, but it covers those items that should be included. There are lesson plan templates for school counseling lessons online. You might like to check out some school and state sites featuring guidance curriculum and/or lesson plans supporting that curriculum to see how others have designed their plans. Be sure you’re already familiar with the MA Model; it will make your planning much easier.

Resources Missouri Guidance and Placement Lessons curr/cmd/guidanceplacementG/lessons/ index.php School Counseling Program,Tucson Unified School District index.asp North Carolina Standard Course of Study, Guidance guidance Rhode Island School Counselor Association (Resources, Toolkit) American School Counselor Association Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Massachusetts School Counselors Association National Center for School Counseling Outcomes ■ COUNSELOR’S NOTEBOOK



2010 Leadership Forum for Massachusetts School Counselors on Beacon Hill Wednesday, March 10, 2010 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. REGISTRATION FORM Complete and return this form by March 1 to: Bob Bardwell Monson High School 55 Margaret Street Monson, MA 01057 (Or e-mail to, Fax: 413-267-4157) Name: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Title: _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ School /College / Organization: _________________________________________________________________________________ Business Address: ____________________________________________________________________________________________ City/ State / Zip: ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone: __________________________________________________ Fax: ______________________________________________ E-mail: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

The event is free. Lunch and materials are included. As a Leadership Day participant, you will visit the offices of your State Senator and State Representative in the Massachusetts State Legislature on Wednesday, March 10. Please call the offices of your State Senator and State Representative as soon as possible and schedule appointments with each of your legislators. Try to make the appointments between 1:15 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Allow at least 20 minutes for each appointment and give yourself at least 15 minutes between appointments. If you are attending with someone from the same Senate or House District, make your appointments together. Try to meet with your legislator, but if he or she is not available, ask to meet with an aide who deals with educational issues. If you have any questions or concerns about making the appointments, please contact Bob Bardwell at or Jon Westover at

Tell Us About You Work

Home Residence

Who is your State Senator? Who is your State Representative? What is your 9-digit zip code?

To find legislators’ names and contact information, go to and enter your home/voting address. Click on the “Find my election information” button, and this will bring you to the “My election information” page. Then click in the name next to “Senate in General Court” for your Senator’s information page. Arrow back to the “My election information” page, and click in the name next to “Rep in General Court” for your Representative’s information page.



Connecting with Colleagues: Sharing a Best Practice By RUTH CARRIGAN MASCA VP Administrators


ne of my favorite posters from ASCA’s Lesson for Life series features the slogan “Life is a Journey, You’ll Need a Guide.” I think about those words often when I consider the important work that we do as school counselors. This month I am happy to showcase a best practice from Donna Neary, one of our professional colleagues and the current president of the South Shore Guidance Association. Every day she helps to guide her students at Brockton High School and is very willing to share her expertise about the program “Ask Your Teacher about College Day,” which she developed and implemented at her school. For the past fourteen years, in an effort to get students from her city high school of 4300 students to start thinking about college, to open a dialogue about postsecondary education, and to expose them to the myriad of college options, Donna has spearheaded “Ask Your Teacher about College Day.” The premise of the program is simple: engage teachers, staff, and school administrators, enlist them to wear apparel promoting their alma mater, and encourage them to share their thoughts about their experiences at colleges and universities across the country. This fall nearly sixty percent of teachers, counselors, and administrators at Brockton High School participated in the program and more than 100 institutes of higher learning were represented through college t-shirts and sweatshirts. In addition to promoting their schools, many teachers brought promotional brochures and college yearbooks to class, and some even incorporated college awareness and college planning into their lessons for the day. According to Donna, many colleges are happy to share admission materials and even some apparel with alums after a quick call to the college admissions office and an explanation of the benefits of the program to students. Brockton High School Assistant Housemaster Matt Beals was happy to share his Ohio State school spirit with his stu-


RUTH CARRIGAN dents at BHS. “Usually, the first question is about football, but then I tell them that Ohio State has a medical school, a law school, and a veterinary school. They have an airport, a golf course, and over 7,000 majors. It’s almost a city within a city,” Beals said. “This day is a great opportunity to talk to kids about the great things about college because it keeps the conversation going, and it keeps kids heading toward school.” Donna feels that exposure to colleges

and universities is very important to her students. Over the years, she has seen students make mistakes like applying to colleges that they have never visited or limiting their choices to only local schools. She feels that the “Ask Your Teacher about College Day” is a great way to help guide students. It encourages them to start thinking about college, to get expert advice from educational professionals they know and trust, and to understand that college can be a reality. If you’d like more information about implementing this program at your school, please contact Donna Neary at donna If you have a best practice that you would like to share with professional colleagues in Massachusetts, please contact me at Ruth., so that we can continue to spread the word about programs that make a difference in the lives of our students. ■


MASCA Call for Nominations 2010 - 2011 Elected Positions The following elected positions need to be filled in 2010. Each elected position is for a two-year term, with the exception of President-Elect, which is a three-year commitment. • President-Elect • Vice President Jr. High/Middle School Counselors • Vice President Administrators

• Vice President Counselor Educators • Vice President Retirees Descriptions of the positions and a list of duties can be found on the MASCA website. If you are interested or know someone who is, please submit a nomination form. For your convenience, a nomination form has been included in this issue of the Notebook. A copy is also available on MASCA’s website,

Send the completed nomination form by February 27 to Karen D’Amour, Manchester Essex Regional High School, 36 Lincoln Street, Manchester, MA 01944, or you can e-mail nominations to Candidates will be elected by a ballot vote at the annual spring conference in April.

Appointed Positions As per the MASCA By-laws, we seek to fill the annual slate of appointed positions: • Executive Director • Secretary • Treasurer • Coordinator of Membership • Counselor’s Notebook Editor • Technology Coordinator • Coordinator of Professional Development Job descriptions for each position can be found at To apply, send a resume and letter of intent no later than March 1 to Christine Evans, East Bridgewater High School, 11 Plymouth Street, East Bridgewater, MA 02333, or you can e-mail your information to Applicants will be interviewed by a screening committee. Upon completion of the interview process, the screening committee will then make recommendations to the Executive Council and the Governing Board.

Government Relations As per the MASCA By-laws, we seek to fill the position of Government Relations Chair. A job description can be found on MASCA’s website, If you are interested in applying, send a resume and letter of intent no later than April 1 to Carolyn Richards, Somerville High School, 81 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143, or you can e-mail your information to crichards@k12.somerville ■




MASCA Officers Nomination Form 2010 -2011 DEADLINE FOR RECEIPT OF NOMINATIONS: FEBRUARY 27, 2010 Nominations may be submitted by either of the following: 1) An affiliate association with authorized signature, or 2) The signatures of ten (10) MASCA members.



appy New Year. Do you believe in making New Year’s resolutions? Maybe we as MASCA members should resolve to make our 50th anniversary in 2011 a full-year celebration that ends with a “bash.” And a leap forward. Ideas are welcome. We need some creative thinking about teamwork with affiliates, helping those who are having problems, and motivating leadership in our members. Do we have sponsors for our 50th celebration? I understand that Dean College and MA Maritime Academy are joining forces in some way. How about engaging service clubs such as Rotary? The 50th Anniversary Committee is probably saying, “We can’t do it alone.” For developing teams, a good source is Stephen Balzac of Stow, Massachusetts. He knows how to build teams. For information, go to Are some of us addicted to the Internet? Not me. I need to learn to check my e-mails more often. If you are addicted, what is the reason? Maybe you need to return to some face-to-face connections. We can build friendships beyond the computer. What is the danger to teens of constantly using the cell phone for text messages? Is this a good topic for MASCA’s conference? Remember Dr. Ed Colozzi’s advice (June 2005): Achieve success with the “Four Fs”: focus, fellowship, faith, and fun. Here is a thought from Jane Howard, writer: “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” Is MASCA part of your tribe? For me, yes, since about 1962. Happy New Year. ■


Mail to: Karen D’Amour MASCA Past President Manchester Essex Regional High School 36 Lincoln Street Manchester, MA 01944 Or e-mail nominations to: Nomination submitted by: ___________________________________________ Affiliate association: ________________________________________________ Authorized signature: _______________________________________________ Date: ____________________________________________________________ Telephone number: _________________________________________________ • Nominees must be paid-up members of MASCA and have indicated a willingness to serve. • The President-elect automatically becomes President. • The slate will consist of President-elect, VP Middle /Jr. High, VP Administrators, VP Counselor Educators, VP Retirees. MASCA Members:

School Address:

__________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ Duties for each position can be found at Election by ballot vote will be held at the Annual Spring Conference in April.


MASCA Officers Nominee Information Sheet 2010 -2011 Office:_________________________________________________

Educational background: ___________________________ ____________________________________________________

Nominee: ______________________________________________ Position now held: ______________________________________ School address: _________________________________________

____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ Experience in school counseling: ____________________ ____________________________________________________


____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________ Home address: _________________________________________ _______________________________________________________

____________________________________________________ Professional affiliations: ____________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________



Please attach a recent photograph of the candidate.



MASCA Professional Development News By HELEN O’DONNELL, Ed.D. MASCA Professional Development Committee Chair MASCA Conference Committee Chair


reat news. Registration fees for MASCA’s Annual Spring Conference have been frozen at 2009 rates. Want to save more money? Take advantage of the Super Saver or Early Bird Registration opportunity. Are you bringing your family, arriving early, or staying late? The hotel will extend the $89/night MASCA conference room rate for your entire stay. This is an opportunity for some great golf, North Shore sightseeing, and a visit to the hotel’s CoCo Key Water Park. On MASCA’s website you can find updated conference materials including agenda, programs, registration materials, keynoter information, and driving directions. Credit card payment available. If you have not received your personal invitation to register online, please e-mail the MASCA webmaster at ronmill If your MASCA membership is paid and current, your personal invitation will allow you to register at member rates. Others who are not currently paid MASCA members will have access to non-member registration.

MASCA PDPs If you have been registering and paying for MASCA PDPs, don’t forget to complete the Certificates of Attendance / Evidence of Learning Forms that were included in your conference packets. Once you accumulate a minimum of ten hours

of professional development training, send your completed forms as directed. MASCA PDP protocol is posted on the MASCA website under Professional Development. Send inquiries to pdchair@ ■

MA Model Summer Institutes 2010 Opportunities MA Model Institute 1 or the MA Model Advanced Institute Dates July 14, July 15, and November 18 plus mandatory attendance at the MASCA Fall 2010 and MASCA Spring Conference 2011 Site host Dean College, Franklin 45 PDPs will be issued for successful completion. Fitchburg State College offers three graduate credits for an additional fee. Details are available at For more information, contact me at pd FEBRUARY 2010



Massachusetts School Counselors Association Annual Spring Conference



Connecting Counselors in the 21st Century


April 11-13, 2010 Crowne Plaza Boston North Shore, Danvers, MA (formerly Sheraton Ferncroft) Conference Inquiries: Helen O’Donnell, Conference Chair,

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION FORM • Member registration rates: MASCA membership must be current (PAID by credit card or check) by March 17. Purchase orders in process are NOT considered paid. Check membership status at • Paper registration: Print clearly, one registration form per person. Mailed form must be accompanied by check or PO. • If you are employed as a full-time professional school counselor, you may not register at the graduate student rate. • To request online CVENT registration, e-mail Ron Miller, Confirmations by e-mail only. • Payment options: (1) online with credit cards (M/C or Visa, no debit), (2) offline with check or purchase order. • Refund policy: Send requests in writing by March 30 to A $20 processing fee will be charged. No refunds after March 30 without written approval by conference chair (Ex., bereavement). Payment expected for registrant non-attendance. • Registrant name and work mailing address will be shared with select sponsors. To opt out, send e-mail to • Hotel reservations ($89 MASCA rooms), 978-777-2500, • If you have special needs or require an accommodation, please notify us by April 2. FIRST NAME _______________________________ LAST NAME__________________________________________ Elementary

Middle School

High School



Grad Student

Counselor Educator

E-mail address (required for automated electronic confirmation) : _____________________________________________ Preferred mailing address: Home Work/School name: ___________________________________ Street address: __________________________________________________________ City/town: __________________________________________ State: ______________ Zip: ________________ Requesting vegetarian meals First MASCA Conference?

Yes Yes


MASCA Professional Member by 3/17

NonMASCA Member

Retiree or Graduate Student* (*not employed as a school counselor)



INCLUSIVE REGISTRATION includes ALL conference days and attendee events. Sunday: First-Timers/Graduate Student Reception, Graduate Student Events, Poster Sessions, Workshops, Keynoter, Welcome Reception Monday: Breakfast, Keynote, Workshops, Exhibits, Poster Sessions, Snack Breaks, Luncheon, Afternoon Reception, Evening Party Tuesday: Breakfast, Keynote, Workshops, Exhibits, Poster Sessions, Snack Breaks, Luncheon, Administrator Partnership events $225 $280 $145 $160 SUPER-SAVER: CK/CC, no POs, ends 3/1 $240 $299 $155 $170 EARLY BIRD ends 3/17 $265 $315 $165 $180 REGULAR registration begins 3/18

OTHER REGISTRATION OPTIONS: Sunday only Sunday only Monday only Monday only Tuesday only -

Early Bird ends 3/17 Regular registration begins 3/18 Early Bird ends 3/17 Regular registration begins 3/18 Early Bird ends 3/17

$ 90 $100 $115 $135 $115

$105 $145 $165 $185 $165

Tuesday only - Regular registration begins 3/18


Sun. & Mon. -


Early Bird ends 3/17

$50 $60 $70 $80 $70

$ 65 $ 70 $ 85 $ 95 $ 85



$ 95




Sun. & Mon. - Regular registration begins 3/18





Mon. & Tues. - Early Bird ends 3/17





Mon. & Tues. - Regular registration begins 3/18





$20 $25 $10

$20 $25 $10

$20 $25 $10

SUBTOTAL WALK-IN registration: Add $20 to total MASCA PDPs: Add $25 to total PO processing fee: Add $10/invoice TOTAL TOTAL PAYMENT ENCLOSED $____________

CHECK No.____________

$ 20 $ 25 $ 10

PURCHASE ORDER #_______________

Registrants using POs will be electronically sent an invoice, which should be submitted for payment via school/business protocol. List registrant names on PO.

Make checks payable to MASCA and mail to Joe Fitzgerald, Registrar, 5 Progress Street, Weymouth, MA 02188




MASCA facilitates connections

MASCA selects conference keynoter L aurie Young of laughterworks@laugh will be the keynote speaker at MASCA’s Annual Spring Conference. Laurie is a professional counselor with more than twenty-five years of experience in Michigan schools. She is also an adjunct professor for Western Michigan University’s Holistic Health program, and she has served as keynoter for conferences sponsored by the counseling associations in Louisiana, Indiana, and Michigan and presenter to over 1000 other organizations. Laurie will share with MASCA conference attendees her expertise in the area of learning and the brain. Plan now to attend the spring conference for professional enrichment and networking opportunities.


MASCA now has a QR code for the MASCA website, Simply scan the image with a free app on your smartphone, and you will be taken to MASCA’s website.

Conference hotel offers amenities • Location: Crown Plaza, Boston North Shore (formerly the Sheraton Ferncroft), Danvers • An upscale, modern, first-class hotel with first-class amenities. Conveniently located five miles from historic Salem, nineteen miles north of downtown Boston, and a picturesque ride to many popular North Shore attractions. • Room Rates: $89 for up to 4 registrants / room available pre- and post- conference • Newly appointed guest rooms with high-speed Internet access and voicemail in all rooms. • Starbucks on site, a 24-hour business center, and swimming pool for guests. • Discount CoCo Key Water Park passes available via on-line store • Health Club and full-service spa services (hair, nails, massage, etc.) on site • Priority Club® hotel loyalty program • Website: FEBRUARY 2010



Teaching a Healthy Lifestyle “The school environment is a key setting for influencing children’s food choices and eating habits . . . . By ensuring that only healthy food options are available, schools can model healthy eating behaviors, help improve students’ diets, and help young people establish lifelong healthy eating habits.” — Dr. Howell Wechsler, Director, CDC division of Adolescent and School Health

MASCA DIRECTORY OF MASSACHUSETTS SCHOOL COUNSELORS The Directory lists school counselors in K-12 public, private, parochial, and regional and technical high schools. Phone, fax, and e-mail information is included. Each MASCA member will receive one (1) complimentary copy. PLEASE USE THE ORDER FORM BELOW to order more copies. Download the form at or order online and use your credit card.

1-5 copies @ $30.00 each . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. ____

$ _________

Additional Copies 6 or more @ $25.00 each . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. ____

$ _________

Shipping / Handling @$3.50 each copy . . . . . . . . No. ____

$ _________

5.00 P. O. Processing Fee (per order) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ _________ Make checks payable to: MASCA

TOTAL: . . $ __________

If mailing this form, send to: Ms. Marla Schay, Weston High School, 444 Wellesley St., Weston, MA 02493

Questions? E-mail

Your name and contact information: Name: ______________________________________________________________ School District/Business: _______________________________________________ Mailing Address: _____________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________ E-mail Address: ______________________________________________________ Phone: _____________________________________________________________


Teenage Obesity Linked to Increased Rate of MS ST. PAUL, Minn. – Teenage women who are obese may be more than twice as likely to develop multiple sclerosis (MS) as adults compared to female teens who are not obese, according to a study published in the November 10, 2009, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The research involved 238,371 women from the Nurses’ Health Study and Nurses’ Health Study II who were 25 to 55 years old. The women answered a questionnaire about their health behavior and medical information every two years. Over the course of 40 years, 593 developed MS. Participants reported their weight and height at age 18. Scientists then calculated their body mass index (BMI). The women were also asked to choose one of nine body silhouettes, ranging from very thin to extremely obese, to describe their body size at five, 10 and 20 years old. The study found that women who had a BMI of 30 or larger at age 18 had more than twice the risk of developing MS compared to those with a BMI between 18.5 and 20.9. A woman with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 kilograms per meter squared was considered overweight whereas a woman who was considered obese had a BMI of 30 or more kilograms per meter squared. The disease risk among women who were overweight but not obese at age 18 was only somewhat increased. The results were the same after accounting for smoking status and physical activity level. Women who had a larger body size at 20 years of age, represented by the use of silhouettes in the study, also had twice the risk of MS compared to women who reported a thinner body size. Larger body sizes at ages five and 10 were not associated with MS risk. “Our results suggest that weight during adolescence, rather than childhood or adulthood, is critical in determining the risk of MS,” said study author Kassandra Munger, ScD, of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. “Teaching and practicing obesity prevention from the start, but especially during teenage years, may be an important step in reducing the risk of MS later in life for women.” ■ COUNSELOR’S NOTEBOOK

A Sense of Style By JOHN STEERE MASCA Emerging Leader


few days ago, my wife and I were out at dinner when she asked me if I would accompany her to a local clothing store to help her look for some new fashion items for her wardrobe. Being a good husband, I went along. As we were browsing through the racks, with all the amazing colors and newest fashion trends on display around me, I found myself thinking about work and the individual students I had seen that day as well as the ones I had to track down the next day. All the students that I had seen or wanted to see were across different grade levels, and all were dealing with a wide variety of issues and situations. As I continued to shift through the racks and walk up and down the aisles, my mind shifted from the style of the clothing to my style of school counseling. I would describe my style of school counseling as serious with a touch of flexibility and humor, but there are some days when a little bit of improvisation comes into play as well. I believe that I am still continuing to develop and evolve my style of counseling as I approach my fifth year as a professional school counselor. A few questions about counseling style began to creep into my mind. Why is counseling style so important in the development as a professional school counselor? For example, my background outside of school counseling is in athletics and coaching, but many of my students have never been in any type of varsity athletic competition in their lives. How do I connect with my students so that the non-athletic student will feel that I am one of his or her strongest advocates within the school? As I write this, I continue to see how different styles of counseling are used to teach students. A colleague sent me a hilarious YouTube video of a group of teachers and counselors in a charter school in Brooklyn, New York. They were dressing up as recording artists and rapping in order to help their students prepare for the SAT the following Saturday. This video had a touch of flare to it, but I also thought that the style that the teachers and counselors used was amazing. It showed their students how FEBRUARY 2010

willing they were to make themselves look goofy and take a risk in an attempt to get the students prepared for a standardized test. And it showed how willing the counselors were to counsel and teach students outside of the guidance office. A counseling style allows the counselor to connect with a student, and it shows that the counselor is operating with the

best interests of the student in mind. I believe that a counselor’s style has to be solid in its foundation, but it needs to encompass a wide variety of interests and ideas. There will be times when the foundation is rocked, but so long as the foundation is solid and the mind is open, the counselor will be effective in connecting with the students. â–


Dropout Prevention: Tips for Counselors By NICOLAS DILLMAN and SUZANNE MORRIS Boston College Counseling Interns



ropout prevention has become the hot topic in schools today. It is becoming increasingly important to obtain a high school diploma since students who drop out have an ever-dwindling number of career options. Now more than ever we need to address this issue. While it often seems to be a daunting systemic problem, there are certain warning signs school counselors can be aware


of and steps that we can take to minimize student dropouts. Early intervention is a key component to helping at-risk students. One early warning sign is a student’s failure of multiple subjects or repetition of a grade level. Students who fall into these categories should have regular check-ins with their school counselor and have their progress monitored. Collaboration within the school system can increase awareness of at-risk students. Teachers, counselors, psychologists, mental health counselors, nurses, administrative staff, and parents can keep an open flow of communication to fully support students. Communication with elementary and middle schools can also help identify students with risk factors before they arrive at high school. At Somerville High School, a pilot program takes ninth graders identified by their elementary school as potential at-risk students and places them together in one period of a resource class. In this class they receive homework help and learn valuable organizational and study skills. Repeating freshmen were also interviewed individually by counseling interns to assess reasons why they were held back and how the school can help them succeed. Assisting students at risk of dropping out is a valuable opportunity for professional school counselors to utilize their interns. The interns in your department are all current school counseling students, steeped in the MASCA and ASCA models and eager to learn all facets of your daily job. Allowing them to intervene with atrisk students provides valuable experience COUNSELOR’S NOTEBOOK

that they will be able to use post-graduation in their own careers. It is also a great opportunity, as a supervisor, to lead an intern through a more sensitive side of the profession. Most importantly, your interns most likely have a smaller caseload and more free time during the day, allowing them to work with at-risk students on a more individual basis. When working with this population of students, counselors need to be multiculturally aware and competent. Is the atrisk student a new arrival to the United States? Is their family’s legal status an area of concern? If the student displays limited English proficiency, is he or she enrolled in an ELL/ESL program? Counselors also need to explore if a frequently truant student comes from a family that does not understand compulsory secondary education in the United States. Sixty-five countries, many with high numbers of immigrants in Massachusetts, require eight or fewer years of schooling. It may be helpful to connect these students with an ELL counselor and with resources in the community. There may be additional factors that may cause school to not be your student’s main priority. The student may have to work to help support their family, have a poor home life, have drug or alcohol problems, have a learning disability, or simply not be able to understand the material in class. In order to prevent students from dropping out, we must figure out what problems they face and work with them to overcome these factors, whether through weekly check-ins, counseling sessions, or group sessions. Many well-documented dropout prevention strategies and curricula are available online. Researching these options or collaborating with fellow counselors can help greatly. Dropout rates in Massachusetts, across all demographic areas, have remained fairly steady for the past ten years. And although dropout rates have not significantly increased over this period of time, being complacent is simply not good enough. Schools must work to understand what puts students at risk in order to implement individualized interventions and systemic change. If your school has developed a unique way of addressing students who are at risk of dropping out, please contact us at or suz.a.morris ■ FEBRUARY 2010

Measuring the Value of a High School Diploma Dropping out of high school wasn’t always an irrational act. As late as the 1960s and ’70s, dropouts in Massachusetts could find decentpaying jobs in manufacturing plants. But a high school diploma is now the rock-bottom minimum requirement to establish an independent life. — “Raise dropout age to 18,” editorial, Boston Sunday Globe, November 15, 2009, K8. __________________________ Northeastern University’s Center for Labor Market Studies estimated that each dropout costs Massachusetts almost a half million dollars over his or her lifetime . . . . In these dire economic times, we cannot afford to be complacent. All students must graduate from a Commonwealth high school with a diploma in hand, well prepared to embark on postsecondary education or a viable career. — Making the Connection: A Report of the Massachusetts Graduation and Dropout Prevention and Recovery Commission, October 2009


Joining together to promote college awareness

Donna Neary, center, South Shore Guidance Association president and counselor at Brockton High School, promotes college awareness along with BHS English teachers, William Callahan and Oriana Packer.

EVANS (continued from page 1) is required. A good friend and mentor promised to be there to help. After much consideration, I agreed to give it my best effort. What I discovered immediately (thank goodness!) is that one is not expected to know everything in order to do the job and that MASCA and ASCA both invest an incredible amount of resources to provide the training and support needed. The running of the board is truly a team effort, and the network of friends extends far beyond the borders of Massachusetts. If serving as an officer is not a commitment you are able to make at this point, I urge you to think about how else you might pitch in to help. There are a number of committee chair positions as well as appointed positions that will be open and in need of someone willing to learn and serve; the specific openings are posted in this issue of the Counselor’s Notebook. Suppose you have decided serving on the board is too much right now, but you still want to be involved? There are plenty of opportunities to participate. You could serve as a committee member, meeting two or three times a year to work on a project. Or you could submit a proposal to present at the upcoming conference. Or you could agree to help stuff bags before the conference. If you have more time in the summer, Jenn Lisk, VP for Secondary Counselors, is serving as the site coordinator for the ASCA National Conference to be held in Boston in July. She is looking for volunteers to help with the hospitality duties. Jenn’s contact information can be found on page 3 of this issue of the Notebook. Another option is to join us on March 10 as we speak with legislators at the “Day on the Hill” in Boston. Surely, there is something you can do. In some way your talents are exactly what MASCA needs. ■

MASCA Connects Counselors



MA Model Summer Institutes 2010 PEOPLE, PLACES, AND PROGRAMS New England Tech offers Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy The Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program at New England Tech allows certified occupational therapy assistants to expand on their academic and clinical experience to become leaders in their profession. This program is designed to be a bridge for professionals to move to the next level of responsibility as registered occupational therapists. The program is offered in a weekend format that requires students to be on campus five (5) weekends in each ten-week academic quarter. A student following the MSOT program as outlined will complete the degree in ten (10) quarters. Each academic quarter has at least one course delivered online. Registered occupational therapists (OTRs) assist people of all ages, with varying abilities or handicaps, to become independent in their day-to-day activities. Because every client has a unique set of circumstances, OTRs evaluate, develop, and help carry out a unique treatment plan for each one.

MA Model Institute or the MA Model Advanced Institute July 14, July 15, and November 18 plus mandatory attendance at the MASCA Fall Conference 2010 and MASCA Spring Conference 2011

Dean College, Franklin 45 PDPs will be issued for successful completion. Fitchburg State College offers three graduate credits for an additional fee. Details are available at For more information, contact Helen O’Donnell at

Accreditation Status The Occupational Therapy Program has received Developing Program Status from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Upon successful completion of the accreditation process, graduates of the program will be able to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Registered Occupational Therapist (OTR). Most states, including Rhode Island, require licensure in order to practice. ■ FEBRUARY 2010


Massachusetts School Counselors Association, Inc. COUNSELOR’S NOTEBOOK Sally Ann Connolly, Editor



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Send this form to: Deborah Clemence P.O. Box 805 East Dennis, MA 02641


Massachusetts Coalition for School Counseling Advocacy Day March 10, 2010 • State House, Boston Advocate for our students, our schools, and our profession MASCA, NEACAC, and The College Board have joined together to sponsor the 2010 Advocacy Day on Beacon Hill. School counselors and others who believe in quality school counseling programs in our schools will spend a day at the State House advocating for issues that are important to school counselors and the young people we serve. Participants will receive training on legislative issues and advocacy and will talk in person with our elected legislators and other policymakers to inform them about who we are and what we do, and about the importance of quality school counseling in our students’ education and lives.

YOUR PARTICIPATION IS CRUCIAL FOR THIS TO WORK! All of our voices are needed for this effort to be effective.

WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! For information, contact Bob Bardwell at

Counselor's Notebook, February 2010  

The February 2010 issue of the Counselor's Notebook, the official periodical of the Massachusetts School Counselors Association