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Race to the Top: DESE and MASCA Partner in Action By CAROLYN RICHARDS MASCA President

VOL. 47, NO. 3


National Career Development Month November 2010 National Career Development Month, which is sponsored by the National Career Development Association, will be celebrated during the month of November. Richard Madden is serving as the state contact for one of the sponsored activities, a poetry and poster contest. The contest’s theme is “Celebrating My Career Dreams.” Winners will be posted on the NCDA website, and they will be showcased at the annual NCDA conference in July. Information about NCDM and career resources can be found in this issue of CN. ■

Celebrate National Career Development Day with Dr. John D. Krumboltz CAROLYN RICHARDS


n the Race to the Top competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education achieved the highest score, and it was awarded $250 million. Over the four years of the grant, $125 million of the funding will go to participating Massachusetts school districts through a Request for Proposal process, and $125 million will remain with the DESE. In accordance with the RTTT state application, DESE will use its funds for administrative costs and for providing additional funding for participating district programs such as data systems improvement. Participating districts must use their RTTT funds in three focus areas: • Improve teacher and principal effectiveness based on performance. • Ensure effective teachers and leaders in every classroom and school. • Use data to improve instruction. There are approximately 275 partici(continued on page 4)

“Action-Based Tips for Successful Career Counseling” A special webinar sponsored by NCDA November 17, 2010 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time Dr. John D. Krumboltz is internationally recognized for his Happenstance Learning Theory. He is a Professor of Education and Psychology at Stanford University. His numerous books and articles include the 2nd Edition of Luck is No Accident with Al Levin in 2010. In 2004, the American Counseling Association designated him a Living Legend in Counseling.

Workshop Highlights • Take a fresh look at Happenstance Learning Theory with Dr. Krumboltz as your personal guide. • Explore ways to empower clients to capitalize on unexpected events and take needed actions. • Learn how to help clients welcome mistakes and set-backs as learning opportunities. • See how clients can continuously benefit from life-satisfaction check-ups. • Get practical tips you can use right away.

For information about registration, go to



2010 – 2011 MASCA OFFICERS


PRESIDENT CAROLYN RICHARDS Somerville High School 81 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143 Tel. 617-625-6600 x 6120 • Fax 617-628-8413 E-mail: PRESIDENT-ELECT MICHELLE BURKE 100 Sohier Road Beverly, MA 01915-2654 E-mail: PAST 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: VICE PRESIDENT ELEMENTARY JACQUELINE BROWN East Somerville Community School 42 Prescott Street, Somerville, MA 02143 Tel. 617-625-6600 x 6517 • Fax 617-591-7906 E-mail: 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 Tel. 508-533-3228 x 5107 • Fax 508-533-3246 E-mail: VICE PRESIDENT POSTSECONDARY JAY LEIENDECKER Vice President Enrollment Services, Dean College Tel. 508-541-1509 • Fax 508-541-8726 E-mail:

November 2010

inside 6 8 9

Tweet Resources for Counselors By Donna Brown Technology Notes By Joe Fitzgerald MA Model Matters: Assessing Needs By Albert Mercado


November is Career Development Month


ACTE Stresses Need for STEM Programs

VICE PRESIDENT COUNSELOR EDUCATORS THERESA A. COOGAN, Ph.D. Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater, MA 02325 Tel. 508-531-2640 E-mail:


Resources for Counselors at

VICE PRESIDENT RETIREES RALPH SENNOTT P.O. Box 1391, Westford, MA 01886 Tel. 978-692-8244 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:

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 JENNIFER JUST McGUIRE Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School 220 Sandwich Road, Bourne, MA 02532 Tel. 508-759-7711 x 247 • Fax 508-759-5455 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:



Crisis in the Schools: A Memo for Parents By Brenda Melton

Warning Signs of Bullying By Ted Zeff

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.


RICHARDS (continued from page 1) pating school districts. All are eligible to submit a work plan to apply for RTTT funds, and allocations will vary among districts. District work plans are due to DESE by October 22 and to USDE by November 22. DESE recommends that the first year be a planning year. It will offer webinars to help applying districts determine elements of their work plan. A set of activities in each of the three focus areas will be described.

As a professional school counselor reading this, you may be wondering how school counselors are involved. Massachusetts was the ONLY state in the country to include professional school counselors in their RTTT proposal! As a result, “Project 4C: Implementing the Massachusetts Model for Comprehensive School Counseling Programs” was created. The MA Model is designed to ensure that all students benefit from the guidance and counseling program by providing consistent, classroom-based, pre-

Stay informed For up-to-date information about RTTT, college fairs, conferences, and more, go to . Once there, you can renew your membership. For your membership expiration date, see the mailing label affixed to your CN.


vention-oriented, and evidence-based programming for all students, as well as targeted small group and individual interventions for students identified as at risk. In Years 1, 2, or 3 of RTTT, school districts may begin MA Model implementation district-wide or in one or more schools.

Projected Timeline In the first year of implementation, the district will identify members of a Model Implementation Team. This team will be comprised of at least one school administrator, guidance director/supervisor, teacher, school counselor, parent, and student, who will attend the MASCA October conference. The intent is that participants will complete a guided review of the MA Model and receive instructions on how to complete a “gap analysis” or audit of current Model program components. The Team will return to their district with the tools and techniques to complete the audit by April 1. Throughout the audit process, technical assistance will be provided. The Model Implementation team will then attend MASCA’s April conference, where team participants will receive ongoing technical assistance in conducting an in-depth review of the audit results and will evaluate the district’s current capacity for data-based management of the Model implementation. During the summer of 2011, the Implementation Team will identify the most salient foci for program delivery and plan ways to organize, direct, and manage school counseling resources and time effectively. In the subsequent two years, the Team working with designated staff will implement the plan. The Team will purchase and implement at least one evidence-based school counseling curriculum annually and provide training and technical support to school counselors in curriculum implementation. Assistance with selecting, planning, delivering, and evaluating classroombased curriculum delivery and analyzing COUNSELOR’S NOTEBOOK

and reporting results will be available. In subsequent years, ongoing professional development will continue at MASCA’s fall and spring conferences. Each year participating districts will send members of the Model Implementation Team so that they can access resources to help • develop an accountability system to measure student outcomes and program effectiveness, • strengthen the school counseling management database system to determine student needs, • target interventions for groups and/ or individual students at risk, and • monitor resources, evaluate results and identify ways to overcome obstacles that the Team encounters.

Bringing RTTT to your school What can you do, as a practicing professional school counselor, to bring Project 4C to your district/school? • Approach your principal and superintendent to inquire about RTTT. • Inform them of the role professional school counselors will have in the RTTT process. • Consult the MASCA website regularly for RTTT updates. • Review the MA Model and the Model Implementation Guide to further your working knowledge of guidance curriculum. • Review data collection and analysis techniques and think of ways you can collect data. Research indicates that districts/schools that plan and implement the MA Model demonstrate measurable improvement in student engagement, school climate, academic achievement, and college- and career-readiness. We have the extraordinary power to transform the school counseling profession. Transform your school by focusing energy and advocacy on RTTT. ■ NOVEMBER 2010


Tweet Resources for Counselors By DONNA BROWN MASCA Executive Director


have been tweeting on behalf of MASCA for several months now, and I’ve found several tweeters who have taught me a lot about social media and tech resources for educators. As we become more accustomed to creating classroom lessons, some of these techniques will help us make our presentations more interesting and polished. Additionally, there are a number of sites that have ready-made lesson plans that merely need to be tweaked to make them appropriate for your school and aligned with the MA Model. A site that every school counselor should bookmark is Resources on Bullying and Cyberbullying by Holly Epstein Ojalvo at The Learning Network of the New York Times. Lesson plans on bullying as well as additional resources will be found here. Articles and lessons relating to academics, STEM, health, and psychology are a few of the other topics on The Learning Network. The site on bullying is

Art Athletic Training Biology Business Management Chemistry Communication Computer Information Systems Compute Science Criminal Justice Economics Education English Environmental Science Ethnic and Gender Studies General Science History Liberal Studies Mathematics Movement Science Music Nursing Political Science Psychology Regional Planning Social Work Sociology Spanish Theatre Arts


DONNA BROWN 06/28/resources-on-bullying-and-cyber bullying/ Another corporate collaboration was announced at the end of September. ASCA will be collaborating with Liz Claiborne Inc.’s Love Is Not Abuse Coalition to ensure that the Love Is Not Abuse curriculum, a free teen dating abuse curriculum already in over 8,000 schools, is expanded nationwide. Go to http://www. Glogster is a very useful, fun tool to make a presentation come to life. It can

be used to organize ideas, research, and create posters in an easy cooperative way. Although it will be most appropriate with elementary students, middle school and high school students will also enjoy using it: Another interesting tool is Schoology, which describes itself as “a webbased learning management system and configurable social network, for K12 and Higher Education.” This is similar in format to Facebook, but teachers will find it much easier to use to start discussions, post homework, and even give online quizzes or tests: A very favorite tool of mine is Wordle. Maybe I like it because I’m a former English teacher who is still fascinated by words. Initially, I thought it was fun to play with, but I couldn’t see many practical applications. Boy, was I wrong. This is a program that helps both auditory and visual learners understand the power of words. Character, theme, real life, and fiction can all be studied through

Private quality. Public value. Discover more by visiting us online at Westfield State Office of Admission Post Office Box 1630 · Westfield, MA 01086 (413) 572-5218 · COUNSELOR’S NOTEBOOK

the lens of a wordle. Even students’ application essays can be run through Wordle to test for repetition. The result is a word cloud that can be analyzed and critiqued. Although I’ve probably mentioned it before, I will share one of the best guides to various tools for the classroom written by Michael Zimmer. Entitled Tools for the 21st Century Teacher, this guide is helpful for beginners and Internet natives alike. Beginning with the more common Twitter, Blogger, and Google, Zimmer not only explains each clearly but he also includes a short instructional clip, examples, and other resources. Although I know viewing this online is the green thing to do (and makes it possible to just click on an interesting link), I have to admit to downloading the entire guide and keeping it close for reference. Find this resource at docs/tools_for_the_21st_century_teacher/ There are a zillion other resources referenced on Those of you who follow me, know you get a lot of re-tweets from me as I read and try to quickly evaluate the helpfulness to school counselors of the hundreds of tweets received each day. Some are informational, while others are designed to “stir the pot.” Others are critiques or opinions of everything from the latest technology to current events. Taken as a whole, they are fascinating and often instructional. I’ve learned a lot! Join me at MASCAExDr/

ASCAway: Norm Gysbers Norm Gysbers shares his thoughts on the history of school counseling on an ASCAway podcast. Listen to the interview with Richard Wong of ASCA at ascaway-the-history-of-school-counseling/

On another note I would be remiss is I didn’t offer congratulations to Rich Kelley, principal of Silver Lake Regional High School. A former MASCA member, conference presenter, and school counselor at SLRHS, Rich was named Massachusetts Principal of the Year. Also, congratulations to the students and staff at the newest satellite of Massasoit Community College at the Lincoln D. Lynch School in Middleborough Center. A wide range of day and evening credit courses are offered that will fulfill many degree requirements in some of Massasoit’s most popular programs such as Liberal Arts, Business, Criminal Justice, and Early Child Care. The newly renovated facility should prove a boon to students and businesses in this under-served area of southern Plymouth County. ■ NOVEMBER 2010


Technology Notes By JOE FITZGERALD MASCA Technology Committee Chair


s described in the last issue of the Counselor’s Notebook, you were asked to update your profile on the MASCA website under the “Members” link. Updating your profile is very important in order to get e-mails concerning your membership and current information from MASCA.

The information you receive in e-mails are reminders, and it is highly recommended that you go to the website often because there is a lot of excellent information available. You should bookmark what you want to save in the favorites section of your web browser.

Information about professional development In doing some website work with the MASCA Technology Coordinator this past year, I realized how much information is available there. Professional development opportunities abound. The fall and spring conferences are detailed, for example; and as a member it is a simple process to register online. Many other professional development activities are detailed as well: Massachusetts Model trainings, political action activities, and almost all of the affiliate meetings. These meetings are often hosted by colleges, universities, and career programs, giving you updated information about their unique opportunities. Each year other workshops of counselor interest are sponsored by organizations other than MASCA. New England colleges, through NEACAC, provide information about their fairs for the school year, and colleges and universities use our website to announce area meetings for counselors. One of the best places to find all this information is the online calendar, which you can begin to use from the homepage. We are trying to update it in a timely manner, and with the new website interface it has become much easier to do so. Please let us know what you think of the website. Send your ideas or comments to ■

Twitter Away Join MASCA Executive Director Donna Brown on Twitter. 8


MA MODEL MATTERS: Assessing Needs By ALBERT MERCADO, Milford High School


e at Milford High School are in our third year of implementing the MA Model. Our goal is that by the end of year five, all elements of a comprehensive school counseling program will be developed and implemented.

Getting Started First, the department must work as a team and collaborate as a team. You may be surprised to see that you are already implementing some components of the Model. Therefore, it is important to revisit what you are doing and document what is completed, what is in progress, and what needs to be developed. Once you take inventory, refer to the ASCA Developmental Cross Walk Tool. You and your counseling team should complete the Tool individually and as a group. It will give you a better understanding of what needs to be completed and where you are in the process. As a team you will have to collaborate and identify your priorities. There may be some activities that you can cross off right away in relation to implementation. Others you can identify as work in progress or in need of additional time or planning. Once you have a list of priorities, you will need to identify the resources needed and who will be responsible for each action. This can be difficult because we may think that resources mean money, and in these difficult times, money may not be readily available. Be ready to advocate for your programs and show the impact they will have on your targeted audience. If your district is receiving Race to the Top Funds, now is the perfect time to get involved. I am certain that if you can show your administrative team better student outcomes, they will find the resources you need. Be creative and think outside of the box. During the analysis you will need to take a look at what you are currently doing as counselors. Identify how your time is being spent. Discuss which activities support your students and what activities support your administration. Don’t be afraid to ask why you are doing something if you don’t understand why it’s being done. We identified tasks that our department NOVEMBER 2010

was responsible for but they served no purpose. These were eliminated. Other tasks were automated through technology or our student management program. And other processes and procedures were streamlined by eliminating unnecessary steps. These measures resulted in additional time for our students. In total we gained over 900 hours — time that was being

misused on tasks that did not support college- or career-readiness. Now the time is being used to support our students. Think about it: 900 hours is equivalent to a full-time counselor. The MA Model is flexible enough to allow the school counseling team to incorporate activities that will address its unique needs and priorities. The key is collaboration. ■


November is National Career Development Month Suggested activities for celebrating NCDM in your school Workshop and Fashion Show “Professional tradeswomen offer handson workshop experiences in their trade or technology and participate in a fashion show demonstrating their work gear. The girls learn about career options, salary ranges, and get to try out the work.”

(Susan Russell, Coordinator, Women, Work, and Community; Annual Conference for High School Girls and their Guidance Counselors, ME)

Popcorn Cup and Career Tips “We gave out popcorn to students with helpful career development tips on each cup such as choosing a major, network-

ing, writing a resume, and goal setting.” They held on-the-spot resume critiquing and career testing (using Holland's Codes). (Carly Dennis, Career Counselor University of Cincinnati, OH)

Career Vision Board “Students had to create a bi-fold board for their career of interest, illustrate what the job might look like or involve, what colleges offer the program needed, what academic skills are needed, and list community service activities, summer jobs, or volunteer work related to the career.” (Karen Sweezy, Cleveland Early College High School, OH)

Job shadowing and interviews Activities for students included job shadowing and interviews with entrepreneurs. (Phyllis Utley, Greenville Technical College, SC)

Career Dress-Up Day “7th grade students dressed up in a career of their choice on career day. As they went around to classrooms, other students were able to push a button and then they would reiterate information about their career. The knowledge they needed to remember included job description, salary and outlook, education, interests and similar occupations. Students chose various jobs from veterinarians, bakers, fighter pilots to stunt performers.” (Rachel Olsen Sargent Central School, ND)

Dress for Success Day “We had a ‘Dress for Success’ day where students who dress for a job interview are given a raffle ticket and we had drawings for prizes. We had another day for ‘Dress for Your Favorite Occupation Day.’ Winners for the school’s poetry and poster contest were announced and awarded prizes.” (Kathryn Hilgenkamp, Horry County Schools, SC) –––––––––––––––––––– — National Career Development Association, “Creative Ways to Celebrate,” http://association /aws/NCDA/pt/sp/ncdmonth, Accessed October 1, 2010. ■





ACTE stresses need for STEM programs ALEXANDRIA, VA, June 30, 2009— An Issue Brief by the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) titled “Career and Technical Education’s Role in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math” describes how career and technical education (CTE) can help meet the critical need of developing a skilled, professional STEM workforce to secure America’s economic future. CTE courses and programs strengthen students’ under-

standing of STEM content and attract students to STEM careers. According to a recent survey by the Lemelson-MIT Program on teen attitudes, most youths lack understanding of STEM, which creates a serious obstacle to attracting them to careers in this area. Nearly two-thirds of teens indicated they may be discouraged from pursuing a career in STEM because they do not know anyone who works in the field (31 percent)

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. ____

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

Questions? E-mail

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or understand what people in these fields do (28 percent). CTE programs allow students to explore interests in STEM-related careers through a variety of avenues, including career advising, mentoring, job shadowing, internships and career and technical student organizations. During the last decade, thousands of new cutting-edge STEM-intensive CTE programs have been launched or expanded in schools across the nation. CTE programs integrate high-level academics and technology into the curriculum, and the programs offer students a deeper understanding of STEM career pathways, facilitate student transitions between secondary and postsecondary education and careers and help encourage more students from under-represented populations to enter STEM fields. “CTE expands students’ horizons as it helps them learn about different STEMrelated career options through hands-on training and the application of core content knowledge. The relevance of CTE and the use of applied-learning strategies keeps students engaged in STEM programs, thus increasing the number of students interested in this critical area,” said ACTE Executive Director Jan Bray. “It’s imperative that we continue to increase the number of STEM-related CTE programs and courses, especially if the United States is to remain competitive in a global economy.” Hans Meeder of the Meeder Consulting Group, LLC provided background information and content for this Issue Brief. To obtain a copy of the Issue Brief, visit ACTE’s website, ■

Name: ______________________________________________________________ School District/Business: _______________________________________________ Mailing Address: _____________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________ E-mail Address: ______________________________________________________ Phone: _____________________________________________________________


ASCAway: STEM Careers Astronaut Sally Ride discusses the importance of (STEM) careers. Listen at 2009/06/01/ascaway-stem-careers/




Resources for Counselors at Guides Gender Fair Counseling for STEM: A guide for K-12 school counselors, preservice counselors and their college instructors.

12th grade who are interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and careers. Career Challenge: Career Challenge: Enrich 21st Century Skills Find College Aerospace Course

Programs State Space Grants: Contact information for National Space Grant Directors 10 NASA Centers: A list of NASA centers to visit Best Practices: Individual Career and Achievement Plans for High School Students Real Game INSPIRE Programs: The Interdisciplinary National Science Project Incorporating Research and Education Experience, or INSPIRE, is a multi-tier year-round program designed for students in ninth to

Search for Science Master’s Degree: The latest data and information about master’s education in science, mathematics and engineering. Here you will find a database of over 2,000 programs from over 300 institutions as well as articles, tables and data pertaining to science master’s education and the master’s workforce.

Gender Schemas and Science Careers: Tutorials for Change: Gender Schemas and Science Careers. The tutorials are designed as slides with voice-over narration. Universities Space Research Association: The Education Programs Office is dedicated to sustaining NASA’s technical workforce of tomorrow. Located at USRA Houston, the Education Programs Office (EPO) offers several exciting internship programs for high school and college students. These internships provide rich onthe-job training experiences that encourage educational advancement and academic achievement in careers directly related to NASA’s technical workforce.

NASA Field Center Educator Resource Centers: A list of contacts for NASA Field Center Educator Resource Centers

ASCA Resources: American School Counselor Association’s Resource Center ■

ASU Virtual Counseling Center: Career planning and life skills for a global society

— STEMcareer,, Accessed October 1, 2010.


Career Posters Russ Sabella, Past President of ASCA and a technology consultant, recommends

MASCA Membership The Massachusetts School Counselors Association (MASCA) is dedicated to providing information and services that will support the counseling profession. Joining MASCA not only keeps counselors connected and informed but also strengthens the guidance profession as a whole.

MASCA Membership Benefits: • Your support of MASCA initiatives, which include professional development and advocacy for all counselors • Subscription to the Counselor’s Notebook, mailed to you monthly when school is in session and available online • Reduced rates at fall and spring conferences • Subscription to the MASCA e-mail list for timely updates and information • Access to online database of all MASCA members • Opportunities to participate on a variety of MASCA committees Our membership application is now online. You can choose to pay by credit card or by check. If you pay by credit card, your membership application can be approved in a timely manner. To renew or to join, go to the MASCA website: 14



Service Academy Night Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Danversport Yacht Club, Danvers, MA 6:30 – 7:00 pm 7:00 – 8:00 pm 8:00 – 9:30 pm



ASCA celebrates its milestone anniversary next April at the annual spring conference. Would this be a good time to review our mission? How do we address our mission? By fostering partnerships with our state affiliates, setting standards, advocating, training …? Our annual conference helped to improve guidance and counseling in Massachusetts. And MASCA publishes an informative monthly newsletter, the Counselor’s Notebook. Remember Louise Forsyth, past president of both MSCA and ASCA? She was famous for her public relations skills. She was editor of the MSCA cookbook, Guidance for Gourmets (1988), which was published during my term as executive director. Carol Ryan, MSCA president at the time, had a recipe for Lobster Newburg, and my wife, Mary Lou, had one for Dog Biscuits. We had no trouble selling this exciting book. Remember, as well, Dr. John Silber, former president of Boston University? He was a keynote speaker at one of our Cape Cod conferences. My job was to obtain a suitable gift for him. The expensive plaque was purchased from the USS Constitution Museum, but it was never presented. Another memory. We funded a trip to Washington, D.C., for a MSCA member to lobby for school counseling. Results? We heard that Oscar Krichmar has been ill. We wish our past CN editor a speedy recovery. The theme for National Career Development Month 2010 is “Celebrating Our Past: Achieving Our Dreams.” That is what MASCA is doing. Enjoy an awesome autumn. ■


School representatives booths open Opening Ceremony School & Program Overview briefings Visit with school and service representatives

Schools and Service Representatives Attending U.S. Naval Academy • U.S. Military Academy • U.S. Air Force Academy U.S. Merchant Marine Academy • U.S. Coast Guard Academy Massachusetts National Guard • Massachusetts Maritime Academy Maine Maritime Academy • Navy ROTC • Army ROTC • Air Force ROTC Norwich University • The Citadel • Valley Forge Military Academy Virginia Military Institute • U.S. Marine Corps A congressional staff member will be on hand to discuss the federal academy appointment and nomination process. All interested students and parents in grades 9-12 are invited to attend. There is no cost to attend nor any need to make a reservation. For further information, please contact: Capt. Ed Bryant, USCGR (Ret) Phone: 978-356-5453 • Email:


Focus on Student Safety

SAVE THE DATES! Advocacy Training Session Saturday, November 20 _____________

Leadership Forum on Beacon Hill March 6, 2011 _____________

MASCA Spring Conference and 50th Birthday Celebration April 10-12, 2011 Exhibit Hall • Events • Concurrent Workshops Receptions • Awards Sunday Welcome Keynoter: Dr. Norm Gysbers





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 2011, which will be held at the Ferncroft in Danvers. Invited guests will be past presidents, executive directors, and OSCAR recipients. Committee members include Co-chairs Oscar Krichmar and Mary Westcott, Florence Athanasia, Donna Brown, Ed Bryant, Sally Connolly, Lillie Davis, John Gould, Judy Josephs, Fred Laire, Manny Manolopoulos, Maureen Martin, Judi Masters, Helen O’Donnell, Ralph Sennott, Carol Ryan Tarka, Andy Tarka, and Larry West.


Crisis in the Schools: A Memo for Parents By BRENDA MELTON, M.Ed., L.P.C. ASCA Past President


hildren need safe environments if they are to thrive. When that safety is disrupted, for whatever reason, adults need to reassure children that they will be protected. Crises can range from schoolrelated incidents to incidents in the community, such as natural disasters, or the world at large, such as terrorism or war. School counselors are a vital part of crisis intervention and can help students understand and recover from the many situations that arise, both those inside and outside the school. In my career as a school counselor, I’ve been called on to tell a student about a death in the family, work with students after a teacher’s death and help students deal with a suicide at the school as well as a tragic car accident during the school day that killed three students. Your job as a parent is to be wellinformed about the school’s crisis intervention plan. One of the first things to expect after a crisis is accurate information from the school, such as a letter sent home to keep everyone informed and minimize misinformation. During a crisis children feel a loss of control, and they may feel more empowered knowing what has happened. Be honest in your discussions with your children, and let them know the basic facts. If you don’t know all the information, simply tell them that not everything is known at this time. Crisis situations mean uncertainty for parents, who want to know how to help their children cope with their feelings and understand what has happened. Communication between parents and the school counselor is critical during and after the crisis. Children need caring adults during this time to understand them, support them and help them express their feelings. The partnership with parents and the school counselor is an important relationship that will provide COUNSELOR’S NOTEBOOK

the necessary foundation to help children recover from a crisis situation. The school counselor’s role during crisis intervention includes: • Providing crisis counseling for students • Identifying students who need more intense counseling and post-traumatic intervention for grief / loss • Providing information to the media on the incident and the school counselor’s role in supporting the students • Supporting parents, teachers and staff as they provide for the students • Stabilizing the school environment, and helping students return to normalcy. All children react differently to changes, so observe their behavior, and listen to them. Because children often have difficulty expressing their feelings, their grief comes out in their behavior. Their reactions will depend on their emotional development and age, their relationship to the crisis event, the information they receive about what has happened and their past experiences. They may be confused and worried about what might happen in the future. They may fear that similar events will occur in their own lives. When


children have been through a difficult experience, they need reassurance. Help your children explore their emotions, and let them know that their feelings are normal. Some children will want to repeat the story over and over to make sense of what has happened; other children may not talk about the incident at all. Younger children may not understand what has happened, especially in the case of death. If the child doesn’t understand, explain as much as needed, but don’t pressure the child into understanding. Let your children talk about the crisis as much as they need to share, allowing them to express their feelings safely without judgment. A parent’s most difficult role in this situation is to allow their children to feel pain. We want to spare our children from tragedy; however, we shouldn’t minimize the loss. One of my students was told by her well-meaning parents that she needed to “get over it.” Her reaction was to feel angry that her parents did not trust her and resentful that they did not understand how meaningful this was to her. This may be a stressful time for the family if the child has already experienced the death of someone close. Previous

feelings may come back to the forefront, and your child may have nightmares. Continue the normal daily routine as much as possible, including a regular bedtime. Explore different ways to help your children cope with the stress, and, most importantly, practice these coping skills yourself as well. Talking about feelings openly, exercising, getting enough sleep, laughing and taking breaks are excellent stress relievers. Limit your children’s television viewing if the crisis receives a lot of coverage. When should you seek help from a professional for your children’s post-crisis behavior? Some aggressive behavior or acting out may be expected. Parents may see anger and sadness. However, if the behaviors continue and seem to prevent the child from continuing a normal routine after a few weeks, professional help may be needed. Your best resource is your child’s school counselor, who can provide additional resources for parents and students who are having difficulty adjusting. ■ —, Article for Parents, Accessed October 10, 2010.


Warning Signs of Bullying By TED ZEFF, Ph.D.


pproximately 160,000 children miss school every day in the United States for fear of being bullied. More than 50 suicides have been linked to prolonged bullying. Approximately 85 percent of school shootings have revenge against bullies as a major motive. School-related bullying has led to depression and poor school performance in many children. The costs of bullying are high, but, unfortunately, many children suffer alone, keeping their experiences of being bullied to themselves. Many children are taught that it is a sign of weakness to ask for help, and frequently fail to tell anyone when they are being bullied for fear of appearing weak. Many children feel shame and assume, “Something must be wrong with me. Why else would they target me?” Children who are bullied are at risk for developing a number of emotional difficulties, including depression and anxiety symptoms. Children who are particularly traumatized may go on to develop

a specific type of anxiety disorder called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is usually brought on by a terrifying physical or emotional event or series of events. Some of the symptoms of PTSD include trouble sleeping, withdrawal from normal activities, a lack of concentration, and emotional numbness. When children are suffering from PTSD, they are prone to developing strong physical symptoms in situations where they feel unsafe and in danger. They appear disconnected from others, and they may experience an intense physical response from their nervous system that can involve angry outbursts, jumpyness, and hyper alertness. This reaction is the nervous system’s response to potential danger, whether real or imagined, creating constriction and disassociation in order to protect the body. When children experience trauma, they often become frozen and exhibit feelings of helplessness and shame, rendering them nearly unable to defend themselves when

Beyond Bullying: Proactive Planning and Implementation Presenter: Gail Okerman Assistant Professor, Fitchburg State University Owner, Five Points Counseling and Consultation Monday, November 15 • Hickory Ridge Golf Club, Amherst 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (register, 8:45 a.m.) Wednesday, December 8 • UTI, Norwood Campus 9:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. (register, 9:00 a.m.) Learn the seven essential steps that support the integration of healthy pro-social behavior in your school community. Explore the complexity of social-emotional development and strategies needed to build healthy relationships. Discuss proactive school community approaches to teaching pro-social skills and managing bully behavior. To guide action planning, handouts are available for assessment of your school’s protocols and implementation programs. Snack and light lunch are included. Cost: $50, MASCA members; $60, non-members Send inquiries to or call Helen O’Donnell, 413-549-1914. See MASCA website for registration details.


attacked or put under pressure. These traumatized children then bring this frozen state of helplessness to many other situations that they perceive as threatening throughout their lives. And, the more withdrawn these children become, the more fearful and helpless they feel, the stronger the likelihood that they will slip into serious emotional trouble.

A Message for Parents Although children may experience depression, severe anxiety, or PTSD due to a variety of factors, frequently these symptoms are related to school bullying. The following is a list of red flags that your child may be being bullied: Is your child disconnecting from people and isolating him/herself in their room? Although teens usually separate from the family, they normally connect more often with their friends. Has your child developed physical problems such as stomachaches and headaches that interfere with their life? Has your child’s schoolwork recently suffered, and is it difficult for your child to concentrate? Does your child have trouble falling or staying asleep or experience frequent nightmares? Does your child seem listless, unenthusiastic, and disinterested in life? Have you noticed that your child seems hypervigilant, extremely nervous, depressed, or emotionally explosive (beyond the normal teenage angst and moodiness)? If you suspect that your child is suffering from any of the above symptoms that is interfering with their life and you have not been able to help alleviate their suffering, you should consider having your child evaluated by a licensed psychologist, licensed marriage and family counselor, or licensed social worker. If you can’t afford to pay for private therapy sessions, virtually all cities have low-cost therapy clinics (check with your city or county department of mental health). ––––––––––––––––––––

Dr. Ted Zeff is the author of The Strong, Sensitive Boy. For more information on the book, visit ■ COUNSELOR’S NOTEBOOK



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


Honor Your School Counselor “Tributes” A MASCA 50th Birthday Promotion 50




MASCA Birthday Reception Monday, April 11, 2011 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.





Did a school counselor encourage you to accomplish your goals and follow your dreams? Did a school counselor you know make a positive difference in the lives of students? Do you want to express your appreciation to that counselor? Here is your chance to pay tribute. Sign up and post your tribute at Tributes will be posted on the website, and nominees will be invited to attend the MASCA 50th Birthday Reception, where they will be honored with a Certificate of Recognition. Submissions are welcome from all residents, school systems, MASCA affiliates, students, past graduates, families, administrators, and others. To get started, click on the 50th Birthday School Counseling Tributes link on the homepage. Submit a fifty-word tribute about the counselor’s impact on your life or the lives of students. A photo is optional.

For more information, e-mail

Counselor's Notebook, November 2010  
Counselor's Notebook, November 2010  

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