MASSACHUSETTS SCHOOL COUNSELORS ASSOCIATION
VOL. 47, NO. 9
The Year in Review By CAROLYN RICHARDS MASCA President icant working partnership bringing counselors to the table on many initiatives: College Readiness Project, High School Graduation Initiative, DESE Performance Appraisal Task Force, College Participation Advisory Group, and DESE School Bullying Prevention Task Force. MASCA Governing Board finalized the five-year Strategic Plan during the March GB meeting to include these ongoing initiatives.
s the year comes to a close and MASCA’s Leadership team prepares to attend the ASCA Delegate Assembly in June, I am required to prepare the MASCA Annual Report. Because I am currently doing so, I want to share it with you. As of January 1, a total of 602 Massachusetts counselors were members of ASCA. Because the number of ASCA members in each state determines the number of state delegates attending the ASCA Delegate Assembly, this year we will send four. The Assembly promises to be a busy one with many important issues on the agenda.
ASCA DELEGATE ASSEMBLY 2010-2011: MASCA REPORT Summary of the Year’s Activities Beginning with the August LDI (Leadership Development Institute), MASCA has had a number of exciting developments this year. DESE Commissioner Mitchell Chester dialogued with MASCA Governing Board members in August the day before he left for Washington, D.C. to present the Massachusetts DESE / RTTT application. Successful in the quest, Massachusetts was the only state to include professional school counselors in the RTTT application! Thus began a signif-
Advocacy / Public Policy Activities This year, the Government Relations Committee was renamed the Advocacy Committee to reflect the more comprehensive scope of the committee’s recent work, which allows further outreach to advance school counseling across the Commonwealth. So far this year, committee members have been closely involved with RTTT, have met with state
representatives to share ideas about future legislation and learn more about the legislative process, have met with a Research Analyst for the Joint Committee on Education to detail how important school counselors are in the education reform movement and to secure a prominent place in the legislative process when issues such as student achievement, career- and college-readiness, or bullying come before the Legislature. A successful Advocacy Training Session took place in November at the ASCA North Atlantic Regional Meeting and a successful School Counseling Leadership Forum took place in March on Beacon Hill. Speakers at this event included Greg Darnieder, Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary on the College Access initiative, Keith Westrich, DESE Director of Career & College Readiness, and Brian Law, ASCA President. (continued on page 14)
MASCA AWARDS 2010 - 2011 O.S.C.A.R. Jan Tkaczyk • Mary Westcott
Leadership Award Christine Soverow
Counselor of the Year Martha Tatro
Administrative Award James Peters
Torch Award: Rising Star Merrie Beth Cleary
George Thompson Memorial Scholarship Maria Paoletti
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.MA.US PRESIDENT-ELECT MICHELLE BURKE Beverly High School 100 Sohier Road Beverly, MA 01915-2654 E-mail: email@example.com PAST PRESIDENT CHRISTINE A. EVANS Randolph High School 70 Memorial Parkway, Randolph, MA 02368 Tel. 781-961-6220 x 545 • Fax 781-961-6235 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com VICE PRESIDENT MIDDLE / JUNIOR HIGH RICHARD WHITE Gateway Regional Middle School 12 Littleville Road, Huntington, MA 01050 E-mail: RWhite@GRSD.org VICE PRESIDENT SECONDARY JENNIFER LISK Medway High School, Medway, MA 02053 Tel. 508-533-3228 x 5107 • Fax 508-533-3246 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org VICE PRESIDENT POSTSECONDARY JAY LEIENDECKER Vice President Enrollment Services, Dean College Tel. 508-541-1509 • Fax 508-541-8726 E-mail: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org VICE PRESIDENT COUNSELOR EDUCATORS THERESA A. COOGAN, Ph.D. Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater, MA 02325 Tel. 508-531-2640 E-mail: email@example.com
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VICE PRESIDENT RETIREES RALPH SENNOTT P.O. Box 1391, Westford, MA 01886 Tel. 978-692-8244 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com TREASURER TINA KARIDOYANES P.O. Box 1007, Monument Beach, MA 02553 Tel. 508-759-3986 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com MEMBERSHIP COORDINATOR DEBORAH CLEMENCE P.O. Box 805, East Dennis, MA 02641 E-mail: Deborah_Clemence@verizon.net COUNSELOR’S NOTEBOOK EDITOR SALLY ANN CONNOLLY 19 Bayberry Road, Danvers, MA 01923 Tel. 978-774-8158 • Fax 978-750-8154 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Helping Others Help Themselves By Donna Brown
MA MODEL MATTERS: A Model for Success By Karen Harrington
THE INTERN’S TALE: Scheduling Brings Opportunity By Erica Bardan
ED’S VIEWS By Ed Bryant, NCC
Massachusetts Leadership Forum By Bob Bardwell
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.
©2011 by the Massachusetts School Counselors Association. All rights reserved.
Helping Others Help Themselves By DONNA BROWN MASCA Executive Director
n the evening, as we settle into our favorite chairs and turn on the television, many of us are overwhelmed by the nightly news reports of violence, hunger, poverty and natural disasters. We see a steady stream of humanity representing lost social, educational, and cultural opportunities. It’s easy to think, “What can I do? How can I help? I’m only one person.” It’s especially frustrating to us as counselors because we’re in the business of helping people figure out how to fix themselves, and for much of what we see, it seems impossible to make a difference. Most of us have heard the Margaret Mead quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” More to the point, however, is another Mead quote: “Never depend upon institutions or government to solve any problem. All social movements are founded by, guided by, motivated and seen through by the passion of individuals.”
826 Boston: www.826boston.org The other night I had the opportunity to attend a fund raiser for 826 Boston, a group that exemplifies what individual effort can do. The first 826 center was established in Valencia, California. Their website shares the following information: “Founded in 2002 by author Dave Eggers and educator Nínive Calegari, 826 Valencia is dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their writing skills, and to helping teachers get their students excited about the writing. Our work is based on the understanding that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success and that great leaps in learning can be made when skilled tutors work one-on-one with students.” Since 2002, seven other 826 centers, including 826 Boston, have been established. So, why was I so impressed? After all, lots of places do tutoring, including schools. Well, first of all, I was dazzled by the work (books, movies, etc.) pro-
duced by the students. Imagination, collaboration, and hard work all converge to produce creative works that are published for an audience. Along the way, students gain self-confidence, solid academic foundations, and usable, transferable skills. Secondly, much of the program interfaces perfectly with the MA Model. There is emphasis on communication, goal-setting, planning, and cooperation as well as the social skills of empathy and self-management. In short, it is a microcosm of how we’d like kids to develop — and it is the product of one man’s vision.
Girl Up: www.girlup.org Another person’s vision has led to the founding of Girl Up, a campaign to have girls and young women in the United States support U.N. programs for girls in developing countries. Thirty-three year old Elizabeth Gore developed this idea after an encounter with a twelve-yearold Ethiopian girl, who had to work many long hours a day to support herself because she had run away from home to avoid becoming a child bride. The one bright spot in her day was provided by a U.N. program that helped her attend school a few hours per day so she could learn to read and write. In much of the developing world, students must purchase their school supplies. If a student (usually a girl) cannot buy pencils and books, she is barred from attending. Through Girl Up, a five dollar donation (a High Five), purchases school supplies so another girl can attend school. This, in turn, will boost her earning power, which makes her more independent and less vulnerable to child marriage and sexual violence. In addition, experts believe there will be a positive effect on the girls’ villages because studies have shown that girls who become educated are more likely than boys to invest their time and talent in their communities. As Gore said, “You can change the lives of girls globally without leaving your town.” Thus, when you wonder, “What can I do?” think about what you would really like to fix and take the first baby steps in that direction. Who knows, maybe you’ll spearhead a movement! ■ COUNSELOR’S NOTEBOOK
MA MODEL MATTERS: A Model for Success By KAREN HARRINGTON Center for School Counseling Outcome Research & Evaluation, UMass Amherst
chool counselors are often advised to follow an evidence-based practice (EBP) approach to our MA Model work. EBP may feel like an intimidating and confusing process or a theory far removed from the experience of working with students. Although adopting an EBP approach may require a shift in our mode of practice, EBP is simply a framework for determining priorities amid competing demands for our time, deciding possible best courses of action to meet these challenges, and assessing if our efforts have been effective in helping students to be more successful. EBP is defined as “the integration of professional wisdom with the best available empirical evidence in making decisions about how to deliver instruction” (Russ Whitehurst). The theory of EBP was developed in the field of medicine in the 1990s, and it is now being used in nursing, mental health, social services, and the juvenile justice system. In each of these disciplines, professionals use EBP to create a questioning and
continual improvement process in their work with clients. School counselors can adopt a similar curious and thoughtful examination of our work with students as we ask ourselves: Is what I am doing working? If not, what do I need to change? In their book, Evidence-Based School Counseling (2007), Dimmitt, Carey, and Hatch describe a three-step process for creating an EBP school counseling practice.
First Step: Knowing what needs to be addressed. School counselors begin by examining school and student data to determine what problems exist in their building. These data can come from many different sources: needs assessment results, school climate survey findings, progress report indicators, disciplinary incident reports, attendance data, and AP course enrollment figures. The “problem” (i.e., the area that the school counselor would like to impact) is best stated using a quantitative description. Using quantitative indicators enables
school counselors to set benchmarks and accurately measure outcomes towards achieving the target goal. For example, a counselor might discover that there has been a sharp increase in the number of disciplinary referrals since the beginning of the year. The quantitative description might read, “The number of major behavioral infractions will be reduced from an average of 16 incidents per month to an average of 5 incidents per month school-wide.”
Second Step: Knowing what is likely to work. This step involves reviewing what the research literature or other reputable information sources say about a specific intervention. A number of websites list interventions or curricula that are considered research-based, including What Works Clearing House, The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the Committee for Children, Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports, and the Substance Abuse
and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices. This step also includes considering whether an intervention can be implemented with fidelity, which means being able to deliver an intervention in your building in the same manner in which it was implemented in the research study. Key issues with fidelity include age/grade of students or number of class periods needed to fully deliver an intervention. It is important to remember that simply because an intervention proved successful in one setting does not mean it will necessarily be effective with your particular group of students. Variables such as race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and individual differences in children can impact the results of any intervention. Going back to our earlier example, our school counselor, after reviewing different interventions focused on reducing school disciplinary incidents, might choose to implement PBIS, since this researchbased intervention has been shown to be effective in reducing disciplinary problems in elementary students.
An evidence-based approach encourages us to move our practice to the next level by also identifying and applying the best information available in our professional decision-making. In shifting from anecdotal evidence to methods and practices that have been proven to be beneficial, we increase both the effectiveness of our work and the credibility of the profession. Instituting an EBP approach to school counseling may represent a paradigm shift in how school counselors structure their
work and perform their job responsibilities. Learning new skills and applying this level of rigor and honest appraisal to our work is not a necessarily easy or comfortable process. Ultimately, however, we all want to know that our work with students is effective, relevant, and meaningful. EBP provides a framework and creates an environment for us to enhance our professional practice and MA Model implementation and maximize our opportunity to create strong and positive outcomes for students. ■
Third step: Knowing if the intervention made a difference. This final piece involves evaluating the impact of a chosen intervention. School counselors must go back and re-examine the original data to determine if positive changes in student behavior have been demonstrated as a result of an intervention. The school counselor in our example would compare the number of disciplinary events both before and after delivering the PBIS curriculum to determine if there was a reduction in the number of disciplinary infractions for those students. If so, the school counselor could then decide if the curriculum should be expanded to more classrooms; if not, a different or additional intervention may need to be considered. It is noteworthy that across disciplines, the definition of evidence-based practice always includes mention of the importance of professional wisdom. A school counselor’s knowledge and expertise — about students’ needs in general and also about the unique characteristics of students in their building — are critical to making the best decisions regarding how, when, and in what ways to intervene with students. MAY 2011
MASCA TRIBUTES 2010-2011 Robert Bardwell Nominator: WMCA Bob Bardwell is the consummate counselor involved at the local (WMCA), state (MASCA) and national levels (ASCA). He is an active voice with the DESE and Massachusetts State Legislature, advocating for counseling legislation. His work with students, parents, staff, and counselors is exemplary. Bob represents the “best” attributes of counseling.
John Hagberg Nominator: FHGA ASCA Secondary Counselor of the Year (Honorable Mention) 1990. MASCA Counselor of the Year 1986-87. Retired, Director of Guidance, Belchertown High School. Respected school counselor, colleague, and valued mentor. Dedicated FHGA member, including President and multi-decade FHGA Trustee. WMCA member. Retired WM swim official and time keeper. Golfer. Skier.
Ron Miller Nominator: Colleagues of MASCA School counselor 35+ years. Retired. MASCA webmaster, technology guru, mentor, educator. Dependable source of strength and collegiality. Career journey components: MASCA and Information Technology. Change agenda in counseling career, MASCA and MTA. Approach to life: Ask important, searching questions inviting responses that consider “what might be” not just “what is.”
Donna Brown Nominator: SSGA SSGA thanks Donna Brown for her work on behalf of students and school counselors across the state. School counselor at SLRHS for 23 years and former adjunct counselor educator at UMass Boston, Donna served as MASCA President, and in 2009 was appointed Executive Director. Thank you for all you do!
Tina Karidoyanes Nominator: MASCA Fiscal Oversight Committee In five years, Tina has organized our finances and helped us on our journey to fiscal responsibility. She is an integral part of the Executive Committee, Governing Board, and the Fiscal Oversight Committee, and she provides financial counsel to virtually everyone. Bright and approachable, Tina will be sorely missed.
Kathleen Scott Nominator: NECA Kathleen, president of NECA for two terms, is an outstanding leader. She has been responsible for raising the level of professional development at the affiliate and state levels. Former guidance coordinator at North Middlesex Regional High School, Kathleen has served as a counselor for Amesbury Public Schools since 2002.
Mary Riordan Chouinard Nominator: Donna Brown MASCA President 1973-74. ASCA VP for Jr. High / Middle School. O.S.C.A.R Award winner. You believed in me before I ever believed in myself. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, giving me good counsel, and becoming my friend. Joseph Fitzgerald, Ed.D. Nominator: Colleagues of MASCA MASCA conferences registrar and Technology Chair. Breadth and depth of understanding of others, yet humble enough to not flaunt it. Cares about all MASCA members, especially retirees. Loves learning, especially technology related. Possesses a dry, wry sense of humor. Widely learned, a “doctor” with a common man touch. Katharine Gray Nominator: Colleagues of MASCA Faithful advocate, consummate leader of school counseling profession. Systemic Change agent spearheading MA school counseling reform: led creation of MA Model and Implementation Guide, Institute trainer, and RTTT training coordinator. Unique Potential: consultant, educator, program evaluator, national workshop speaker / trainer. MASCA Liaison with DESE and industry partners. Adjunct faculty, UMass Boston.
Kristen Lazzaro, Ed.D. Nominator: NSGDA NECA Administrator of the Year 2009. NSGDA Director of the Year 2006. A strong developmental guidance advocate, Kristen brought the MA Model to Triton Regional High School, where she instituted a teacher-counselor model of developmental guidance in which counseling staff work directly with all students in a guidance classroom setting. Jay Leiendecker Nominator: MASCA Fiscal Oversight Committee Retired VP Enrollment, Dean College. Varsity golf coach, Dean College. MASCA VP Postsecondary. Chair, Fiscal Oversight Committee. Intelligent, positive, diplomatic, Jay has shepherded MASCA to a more secure financial future. Along the way he has patiently explained fiscal policy, smoothed ruffled feathers and shown a wonderful sense of humor. Maureen Lenihan Nominator: NSGDA A guidance counselor since 1997, Maureen has been the Director of Guidance for the Revere Public Schools for the past four years. She supervises counselors in five different schools and is the AP Coordinator, Designated Administrator for the MMSI Grant, and Director of The Credit Recovery School.
Birute Silvia Nominator: Ruth Carrigan A long-time member of MASCA and SSGA, Birute devoted her professional life to helping young people. As her former counselee, I know she touched thousands of lives during her career as school counselor and guidance director at Oliver Ames High School. I am proud to call her counselor, mentor, and friend. Janice Tkaczyk Nominator: Colleagues of MASCA Forty years local, state, and national service, advocacy, leadership to school counseling profession. Cape Cod Tech: counselor, retired guidance director. Cape and Islands Affiliate. MASCA: GB, Past President, Executive Director, Conference Committee, MA Model Trainer. ASCA: VP North Atlantic Region, Model trainer. Rotarian. Golfer. Currently, UTI National Director, Counselor/Academic Relations. Mary Westcott Nominator: NECA Mary’s career includes 30 years in education as elementary, kindergarten, special education, and guidance counselor. Completed her career as guidance coordinator at Westford Academy. Mary enthusiastically shares her expertise and wisdom. NECA: President, Life Trustee. MASCA: President, Ethics Committee Chair, Role Statement Committee, conference presenter, 50th Birthday Celebration Committee Co-Chair. COUNSELOR’S NOTEBOOK
THE INTERN’S TALE: Scheduling Brings Opportunity By ERICA BARDAN Master’s Student in School Counseling, Bridgewater State University
he transition from winter to spring brings about many things. In the world of school guidance, it means scheduling. This hectic and time-consuming project becomes even more daunting at large urban schools with 4,000+ students. The easiest route might be to automatically sign students up for their next
year’s required classes and have them submit a list of preferred electives to fill space. In fact, this is what I expected when scheduling started at my current school. However, to pursue this route would be to avoid a great opportunity—the opportunity of engagement. One of the biggest challenges for school
counselors seems to be getting students invested in their own education. In a large city school servicing thousands, many students have far bigger concerns, such as where are they going to sleep that night and where will their next meal come from. That is where scheduling becomes such a great venue for discussion. It allows counselors to meet individually with their students and get to know them a little better. During my observations of this process, I have seen students become excited about classes they might be able to take the following year; and I have seen counselors use this excitement to motivate the students to improve in other areas as well. These individual sessions have also allowed for the focus of future plans and ambitions at every grade level. They also provide the opportunity to check in with students a little further about other stressors that may be interfering with their academic success. The best part is that the students are directly involved. They are advancing in their own psycho-social development with independent thinking, the taking of responsibility, and looking beyond that afternoon, that week, and even that year. Counselors ask students about their preferences, goals, and dreams — independent of their parents. The idea of autonomy rings loud and clear, and students respond readily. They show that they are, indeed, capable of making responsible decisions about their futures. I have been at my current placement since September and have learned a great deal about what it takes to be a counselor in a large school as well as how I want to be as a counselor. I have found that although scheduling is a daunting task, it provides the best opportunity to work with students in the capacity that I have always imagined. There are so many possibilities that can come from this interpersonal activity, and I look forward to maximizing these opportunities to the benefit of my students. ■ COUNSELOR’S NOTEBOOK
ED’S VIEWS By ED BRYANT, NCC MASCA Life Trustee
MASCA Help-a-Kid Awards 2010 - 2011 These scholarship gifts are given to randomly selected counselors at the MASCA Spring Conference for students in their schools. Elementary Level Debra Moretti, Salemwood School, Malden Middle / Junior High School Level Barbara Page, Quabbin Regional Middle School, Barre High School Level Albert Mercado, Milford High School, Milford
n spite of the April Fools Day weather joke, the MASCA 50th Birthday Celebration arrived and was celebrated. Our thanks to Mary, Oscar, and the planning committee for arranging this bash. More memory notes. For over a tenyear period Charles Brovelli arranged for or was involved in the Governor’s Proclamation presented at the annual conference. Charlie is now under the weather, and we wish him good health. We also thank him for his years as Directory Editor and Membership Coordinator. Another memory. On October 1978 the North Shore Guidance Directors voted a philosophical statement, “Guidance and counseling in Massachusetts.” We also published a booklet on this topic. Remember the 1944 film, South Pacific? One of the many great songs included the lyrics, “the whole human race was falling on its face.” This seems to be true today. We need guidance and counseling in our schools more than ever. Many administrators and school boards do not understand or appreciate the role we play. And parents are concerned about the media damaging their kids. According to PTC, “This exposure is causing damage and harm ….television, video games, computers, and cell phones, also music and movies.” On a positive note, we wish MASCA much success in the next fifty years. And best to all for a happy spring and a relaxing summer. The next issue of “ED’s Views” will most likely be its swan song. “Old sailors never die, they just fade away.” God bless! ■ For professional development, networking, and professional advocacy, renew your MASCA membership. Go to www.masca.org.
MASCA Tributes 2010 - 2011
Massachusetts Leadership Forum By BOB BARDWELL MASCA Past President MASCA Advocacy Committee Chair
Do you want to express your appreciation to a school counselor? Here is your chance to pay tribute. Sign up and post your tribute at www.masca.org. Tributes are being accepted through June, and they will be posted on MASCAâ€™s website. 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. Price per tribute: $50
For more information, e-mail email@example.com.
n Wednesday, March 16, over 70 school counselors and their supporters converged on the Massachusetts State House for the annual Leadership Forum for School Counselors on Beacon Hill. They left inspired about the current federal Career & College Readiness (CCR) initiatives, and they learned how to be a better advocate for our profession. Greg Darnieder (Senior Advisor to Secretary Duncan from the US Department of Education) and Brian Law (president of the American School Counselor Association) were keynote speakers. Many of those in attendance also visited with their state representatives and senators to gain support for the three bills that were filed on behalf of school counselors in this legislative session. This is the third annual Leadership Forum, a professional development and advocacy program sponsored by the Massachusetts Coalition for School Counseling, which consists of the MASCA, the New England Association for College Admission Counseling, and the New England Regional Office of the College Board. Each year the program aims to provide school counselors and their allies with information and resources to be a better school counselor and to advocate for the school counseling profession in their schools and communities and with their policy makers. For the 2011-12 legislative session, three bills were filed on behalf of the CoaCOUNSELORâ€™S NOTEBOOK
lition: House Bills 1941 & 1945, which were filed in the previous session, and HB 1068, which is a new bill filed on our behalf. House Bill 1941 is “An Act Establishing a School Counseling Leadership Pilot Project to Accelerate College and Career Readiness in Massachusetts Public Schools.” This legislation will create a two-year Pilot Project for ten school districts to accelerate college and career readiness, utilizing the new college and career web portal at the school district level through a redistribution of school counselor time, allowing them to fully integrate college and career planning throughout the district and community. Rigorous evaluation will be included with the goal of producing evidence-based standards for highly effective college and career readiness school counseling programs statewide. The project will be managed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) with input from a broad array of stakeholders in college and career readiness. The twoyear cost will be $700,000 and implementation of the Pilot Project is dependent upon legislative appropriation. House Bill 1945 is “An Act to Assure College and Career Readiness through Six-Year Career Plans for all Massachusetts Public School Students.” This legislation will require all public school districts to prepare students for college and/ or career with a six-year plan spanning from grade eight through the first year after high school graduation. These plans will be coordinated by licensed school counselors with training and expertise in standards-based, comprehensive, developmental school counseling practices. Implementation and accountability will be managed by the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education. House Bill 1068 “An Act to mandate elementary school counselors.” This legislation will require all public school districts to employ a certified school guidance counselor as outlined in the regulations for Educator Licensure and Preparation. The Coalition is requesting that members visit the Advocacy Committee homepage on the MASCA website: www.masca.org/index.php/governmentrelations-news). Massachusetts residents are urged to contact their legislators or Rep. Alice Peisch (Alice.Peisch@mahouse.gov) regarding support for bills 1941 & 1945 and Rep. Todd Smola (Todd.Smola@ma MAY 2011
house.gov) to support bill 1068. The more co-sponsors that are secured, the more likely the bills will move through the legislative process successfully. The website has details about each bill, research supporting the school counseling profession,
and tips for talking with lawmakers. For more information about the March 16 program, the bills, or seeking co-sponsors, please contact me at bardwellr@ monsonschools.com or 413.267.4589 x1107. ■
MARK YOUR CALENDAR! MASCA Fall Conference October 25, 2011 • Holiday Inn, Boxborough
RICHARDS (continued from page 1)
SAVE THE DATES! MA Model Summer Institute July 13, July 14, and November TBA Dean College, Franklin _____________
Advanced MA Model Institute July 12, July 13, and November TBA Sites: TBA For details, go to www.masca.org. Send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. N.B. These are not RTTT training sessions.
Future Plans and Goals Summary • Strengthen the partnerships already in place and seek additional partnerships that will promote the implementation of the MA Model as an educational reform best practice. • Continue to reach out to all parents, administrators, staff, school boards, community members, educational organizations, legislators, and business members to promote school counseling and garner support for priority projects. • Identify multiple paths for ensuring that quality professional development is available to all school counselors. • Increase MASCA membership. • Organize financial resources to support priority projects. • Align and integrate Professional Development with priority projects; offer more professional development on a smaller, regional, topic-focused basis. • Maximize use of technology to support priority projects. Utilize MASCA website to increase services for members. • Determine multiple ways to collect data and share evidence of best MA Model practices. • Develop mentor system for MASCA Leadership positions to ensure continuity. Issues / Needs / Concerns Confronting School Counseling in Massachusetts • Need to identify and engage technical assistance providers that have a proven track record for supporting MA Model development and implementation. • Build capacity to ensure administration buy in on the district / school level to support MA Model implementation, particularly in tight budget times. • Time, energy, and personnel on the MASCA Governing Board to keep pace with the rapidly changing developments. ––––––––––––––––––––
As you reflect on my report to ASCA, consider how you can get involved in MASCA’s Governing Board and committees. The challenge is daunting, indeed, but with more counselors becoming involved with more initiatives, we can build on the momentum and achieve even more. Together with our partners, we have the extraordinary power to transform the counseling profession. Please join us. ■
Massachusetts School Counselors Association, Inc. COUNSELOR’S NOTEBOOK Sally Ann Connolly, Editor
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MASCA Spring Conference 2011
— Photos courtesy of Kathleen Barrett, St. Joseph College, CT