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Social Justice and the School Counselor By DONNA BROWN MASCA Executive Director



very decade has its buzz words. Sometimes the term just fades away. Other times, the term morphs into a very different concept. Occasionally, the phrase persists because it resonates with almost everyone. “Social justice” is one such term. If professional school counselors were asked to define social justice, there would be a myriad of answers. Most would cite fairness, equality, and equal opportunities as part of their definition, and they would be right. Recently, in the span of half an hour, I came across a wonderful quote about social justice by Eleanor Roosevelt twice. The first time was while I was seeking information about Roosevelt University in Chicago; the second was printed on the flyer from the Committee on Teaching About the United Nations. Addressing the U.N. in March 1958, Mrs. Roosevelt said: Where after all do universal human rights begin? In small places, closest to home — so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual (continued on page 8)

VOL. 49, NO. 2


Partnering for Success By JENNIFER LISK, MASCA President


hile the Massachusetts Model for Comprehensive School Counseling Programs includes collaboration as an important component, it is traditionally interpreted as collaborating with those who work directly with students, such as teachers and other educational and mental health professionals. For increased effectiveness, collaboration should be expanded to include even more partnerships. MASCA has built some wonderful partnerships over the past several years. We have partnered with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) on Race to the Top, the role-specific indicators of the Massachusetts Model System for Educator Evaluation, and, most recently, the task force for Integrating College and Career Readiness. This last partnership has been characterized by open and honest communication and sharing of ideas. Katie Gray has done a wonderful job of representing MASCA while working with DESE. These partnerships have given rise to improved implementation of the MA Model as well as a more reflective evaluation for school counselors and greater emphasis upon college and career readiness. I am truly excited for the opportunities for counselors and students in Massachusetts. At the Governing Board’s Leadership Development Institute this summer, we developed two goals that you can help us attain. The first is to increase part-

JENNIFER LISK nership with MASCA’s affiliates. I look forward to working with affiliate presidents to inform local school counselors of issues of importance to them and to hear what is going on in their affiliates. The second goal is to partner with businesses. This is a different approach for a profession that has traditionally partnered with educational institutions. However, with college and career readiness as a major goal, it is important for us to acknowledge and appreciate that the business world is where many of our students are headed. If we partner effectively, businesses can learn more about students’ needs, and students can learn more about expectations held by their employers. I encourage you to think about how you can create partnerships, both those that are obvious and those that may be less so. Working together will improve our profession and opportunities for our students. ■

Race to the Top Fall Summit • October 22, 2012 MASCA Fall Conference • October 23, 2012 Registration form on page 9


Driving Impaired Research shows that using a cell phone while driving causes “inattention blindness.” This inattention is equivalent to driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent, in other words, driving drunk. On September 6, 2012, the Governors Highway Safety Association called for a ban on handheld cell phones for all drivers.


Distracted Driving: Targeting Younger Drivers By SALLY ANN CONNOLLY, MASCA Counselor’s Notebook Editor


istracted drivers cause a half million injuries and 6,000 fatalities each year. Educators can help put the brakes on distracted driving by focusing on

young drivers. The epidemic of distraction has been fueled by advances in technology, especially the widespread availability of cell phones. The CDC reports that 25% of drivers in the U.S. talk regularly or fairly often on their cell phones while driving. The percentage is greater among young drivers. Forty percent of drivers ages 1829 use their phones regularly or fairly often, and 75% have used their cell phones at least once within the past 30 days. The most recent Massachusetts Youth Health Survey added texting-while-driving to the list of risky behaviors. The study found that the percentage of students who text while driving increases from sophomore to senior year. Among seniors, 61% report doing so, putting both themselves and others at risk. To send the message of safe, non-distracted driving to teenagers, educators need to tailor their efforts. Teens are not miniature adults. As David K. Urion and Frances E. Jensen — neurologists at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School — have shown, the brains of adolescents differ from those of adults in both structure and chemistry. Teens learn best not from lectures and a focus on long-term consequences but, rather, from developing their own strategies for making moment-to-moment decisions. And, as both researchers and parents can attest, peers exert a major impact upon the behavior of teens. Effective efforts to influence teens, thus, should involve peers in the process. Urion and Jensen have shown that teenagers can see the danger in the activity of others before they recognize the danger to themselves. Educators can jumpstart the movement to making roads safer by helping our youngest drivers recognize and manage distraction, especially the major distraction of cell phone use. ■ COUNSELOR’S NOTEBOOK

AT&T says “It Can Wait” 2012 – 2013 OFFICERS PRESIDENT JENNIFER LISK Medway High School, Medway, MA 02053 Tel. 508-533-3228 x 5107 • Fax 508-533-3246 E-mail: PAST PRESIDENT MICHELLE BURKE Beverly High School 100 Sohier Road Beverly, MA 01915-2654 Tel. 978-921-6132 x 11107 E-mail: PRESIDENT-ELECT THERESA A. COOGAN, Ph.D. Bridgewater State University Bridgewater, MA 02325 Tel. 508-531-2640 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 TBA VICE PRESIDENT SECONDARY CARRIE KULICK-CLARK Braintree High School 128 Town Street, Braintree, MA 02184 Tel. 781-848-4000 ext 2273 • Fax 781-848-7799 E-mail: VICE PRESIDENT POSTSECONDARY JOHN MARCUS Dean College 99 Main Street, Franklin, MA 02038 Tel. 508-541-1509 • Fax 508-541-8726 E-mail:


o curb the urge to text while driving, AT&T has launched the AT&T DriveMode app, free for AT&T customers to download. Once activated, the app automatically sends a customizable reply to incoming texts — notifying the sender that the user is driving and unable to respond. The app also allows disabling of e-mails, incoming and outgoing calls, and Web browsing. AT&T wants to inform all wireless users that safety comes first when you’re in the driver’s seat. To help battle unsafe texting, here are a few key tips, especially for teens: Be smart. Don’t text and drive. No text message is worth being distracted while you drive. Be in control. Remember it’s your phone. You decide if and when to send and read texts so take control. Consider turning your phone off, setting it to silent, or even storing it in the glove box before hitting the road. Be caring. Never send a text message to a friend who is driving to meet you or to anyone you know is likely behind the wheel.

Be a BFF. Friends don’t let each other text and drive. Visit to take a pledge not to text and drive, and encourage your friends to do the same. You can also print and sign AT&T’s pledge, available in our online toolkit at www. ■

High school senior creates winning distracted driving video

VICE PRESIDENT ADMINISTRATORS TBA VICE PRESIDENT COUNSELOR EDUCATORS TBA VICE PRESIDENT RETIREES JOSEPH D. FITZGERALD, Ed.D. 5 Progress Street, Weymouth, MA 02188 Tel. 781-264-3426 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 ASHLEY CARON 25 Belmont Ave., Stoughton, MA 02072 Tel. 508-212-0676 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:



Plan now for National Career Development Month November 2012 Demonstrations, competitions, job shadowing, Dress for Success / Career Days, tours

Integrating College and Career Readiness (ICCR) “Career exploration and applied learning at an earlier age are critical motivation tools that will help our students persist through high school and onto success in post-secondary education and career.” — Massachusetts Secretary of Education Paul Reville

Task Force Recommendations • Incorporate career readiness into Massachusetts recommended course of study. • Strengthen school, employer, higher education, and community partnerships. • Improve the utilization of school counselors in deployment of career readiness education. • Incentivize schools to create and demonstrate comprehensive career readiness strategies. • Promote the importance of college and career readiness for all students. • Explicitly identify personnel responsible for effectively executing the task force recommendations.

Strategies • Expanding the state’s recommended course of study for high school students, MassCore, to include integrated career development experiences. • Developing career readiness standards and assessments that align to those standards at the elementary, middle, and high school level. • Establishing a group of 10-12 Employer Champions to lead statewide efforts around employer participation in programs that provide career readiness. • Supporting the development of sixyear career plans for all students in grades 6-12. • Creating new tools and resources for employers, parents, and other stakeholders to increase awareness and participation in career readiness programs and activities. ■



MASCA Conference at a Glance

CAREER NOTES The road to success “Hard work is much more important than talent….How consistently and diligently you work is the single most important factor under your control in determining your success in school and beyond.” — Carlo Rotella, Director of American Studies, Boston College, “College, 101,” The Boston Globe, August 17, 2012, A15.

• • • • • • •

Counselor Educator Breakfast Meeting Morning concurrent workshops MARC /MARC Jr. Recognition Awards Exhibitor tables; Membership tables for MASCA and its affiliates; Advocacy Table MA Model Institute, MARC Jr., and Graduate Student Poster Sessions Keynoter Sirdeaner Walker Katie Gray, Unique Potential, presenting an extended afternoon session on understanding and preparing for the new School Counselor Evaluation Process Opportunities to update material for the 2012-13 MASCA Directory

Key to a job: College degree “The unemployment rate for all four-year graduates is 4.5 percent. For recent graduates, it’s 6.8 percent. For recent graduates trying to work with only a high school diploma, it is nearly 24 percent….In construction and manufacturing, which accounted for two-thirds of all Great Recession job losses, virtually all of the hiring during the recovery has targeted people with at least associate’s degrees.... Overall, the growth rate for high-schoolonly jobs is zero, and those jobs remain 10 percent below prerecession levels.” — Justin Pope, AP, “College degree is key to a job, study says,” The Boston Globe, August 21, 2012, B9.

Rural vs. urban graduation rates “The percentage of adults with a college degree in urban counties had risen to 30 percent by 2010 compared with 15.4 percent in rural areas. The gap had widened from six percentage points in 1970 to 14.6 percentage points in 2010.” — Diette Courrege, “Rural College Attainment Gap Carries Economic Consequences,” http://blogs,, Accessed on May 18, 2012.

Service Academies Night Information on academy opportunities will be available at the 22nd Annual Service Academies Night to be held at Danversport Yacht Club on Wednesday, November 7, 6:30-9:30 p.m. ■ OCTOBER 2012


Visit Us on the Web By JOE FITZGERALD, Ed.D. MASCA Technology Chair


hen I was beginning to think about topics for my column this year, I initially felt uneasy. During the first part of the summer I did think about what I could write about. But, as my mother used to say: “You know what thought did!” I think she meant that not only should I think but also do. So I am going to do by writing. In the past I have written about our website,, and this topic, I believe, needs to be emphasized. The website has new features that will become more apparent in the next few months. Most importantly, it is a resource for the working and retired school counselor. On the homepage you will see login boxes for username and password. These lead you into the members-only areas. If you have forgotten your password, follow the directions, and you should receive an e-mail that will help you get in. Under the MASCA logo are the tabs that take you to various areas of the web-


JOE FITZGERALD site. The search box is also on this menu bar. To pique your interest, I am going to list what is on the homepage as of July 31. On the main part of the homepage there are announcements and articles about: • Emerging Leaders Program • Walk To Prevent Suicide • 2013 National Conference on Bullying • 2012 Diversity Challenge • MASCA signs on! • More articles…links to articles on

counselor evaluation, scholarships, keynote address, and advocacy. To the right of each item are icons that, if you hover over them, tell you what they do. Essentially, they allow you to see the complete announcement / article, print it, or e-mail it. On the left sidebar, there is also a wealth of information: • Current issue and back issues of the Counselor’s Notebook • DESE Counselor Evaluation Rubric • About MASCA • Save the Date (important dates are listed with a link to view the full calendar) At the bottom of the homepage are our sponsors and exhibitors. They support us in many ways at our conferences and workshops, in the Counselor’s Notebook, and on the website. Many thanks to them for their continued support over the years! The MASCA website has improved and continues to improve. Please make sure to go to it on a regular basis. ■


THE INTERN’S TALE Urban vs. Suburban vs. Rural School Systems: How to Choose? By SHIRLEY MONTOVANI, Graduate Student, Cambridge College and AMY MURDOCK, Graduate Student, American International College


ven with the competitive school counseling job market today, when choosing an internship or a school system to build a career as a school counselor, there are many factors to consider. You must ask yourself what age group and location you prefer? Do you want to work with students on college readiness or join the fight against dropout prevention? It is also important to consider where your strengths as a school counselor lie. A counselor’s job in an urban school environment can involve working with students who have chronic absences, below standard MCAS scores, behavioral issues, failing grades, and parents who may be non-supportive. Urban school counselors often focus on dropout prevention and often see students who are not considering postsecondary education. This may all sound challenging, but working in an urban school environment can be very rewarding to a school counselor, and there are usually many resources for counselors and students to access. It is an opportunity to put your strengths and hard-earned graduate degrees to work. You can become a role model and resource to these students and challenge them to work to their potential. Rural school counselors face many of the same challenges as counselors in an urban school and unique ones as well. Rural communities often lack resources and service coordination, and they are granted less funding per student than urban schools. Rural education has been described as the “orphaned stepchild of the national education research program.” (Sherwood, 2001) Rural counselors must tap into their creativity and find ways to be effective with less. Suburban school counselors will find much more emphasis on college admissions and career counseling. They must be able to guide strong course selection, help students identify strengths, and best prepare them for the future. These counselors must be knowledgeable about all aspects of the college application process, financial aid, grants, and up-to-date reOCTOBER 2012

sources to help students identify colleges suited to their needs. While school counselors have many universal goals, there are some distinct differences between urban, rural and sub-

urban settings. Do some research and identify your own strengths and preferences prior to choosing an internship or accepting a position. All school counseling positions are not created equal. ■


BROWN (continued from page 1) person: the neighborhood…the school or college…the factory, farm or office…Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world. This defined social justice over fifty years ago, and it defines social justice today.

Social justice is an area uniquely suited for school counselors. More than most of the other professional educators in the school, we understand that when all students are treated fairly and offered equal opportunities, they achieve more. When an atmosphere of respect and a culture of achievement are encouraged, everyone benefits.

Resources for counselors The following resources can help you promote social justice in your own school:

Teaching Tolerance (www.teaching This organization publishes the periodical Teaching Tolerance and provides resources for all grade levels: lesson plans, posters, and a variety of media addressing bullying, gender equality, civil rights, poverty, and equity issues. A special project is Mix It Up Day, which has become a national campaign that encourages students to question and cross social boundaries by moving out of their comfort zones and connecting with someone new over lunch. United Nations. The U.N. provides social justice materials for teachers at all grade levels. One of the best places to start is Cyber School Bus ( cyberschoolbus). Topics include peace education, poverty, discrimination, and world hunger, to name a few. Also found are online resources designed specifically for use by students. Some of these are interactive. Links to other U.N. resources are provided and include annotated book and media lists. Committee on Teaching About the United Nations ( CTAUN hosts a conference every January that targets an issue of interest for educators. In 2013, the conference will be “Advancing Social Justice: The Role of Educators” at the United Nations on Friday, January 18, 2013. More information is available on the website. A Curriculum of Hope for a Peaceful World (9 Old Willimantic Rd., Columbia, CT 06237, $8.00 per year). This “oldtimey” newsletter provides a wealth of information including an event calendar, workshops and conference dates, annotated books and media, and samples of exercises and projects. The most recent issue includes the following wonderful assignment to help students understand bullying: [The teacher] had the children take a piece of paper and told them to crumple it up, stomp on it and really mess it up but be careful not to rip it. Then she had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and look at how scarred and dirty it was. She then told them to tell it they’re sorry. Now even though they said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper, she pointed out all the scars they left behind and that those scars will never go away no matter how hard they tried to fix it. That is what happens when a child bullies another child. They may say they’re sorry but the scars are there forever. The looks on the faces of the children in the classroom told her the message hit home. ■




2012 Fall Conference Registration


To qualify for member registration rates, MASCA membership must be current (PAID) by October 1, 2012. POs in process are NOT considered paid. Check membership status: CN address label,, or Request on-line registration e-mail: Electronic confirmations for all registrations. Paper registration: Print clearly, one registration form. Mailed form must be accompanied by check or PO#. Payment options: (1) Online with credit cards (M/C or Visa, per person. No debit). (2) Offline with check or purchase orders. Registrations after October 20 will be charged a late registration fee of $20. Refund policy: Written requests by October 18 to A $20 processing fee will be charged. NO refunds after October 18 without written approval by conference chair (Ex., bereavement). A replacement may be sent for any registrant unable to attend, since payment is expected for any registrant non-attendance. Registrant name and work mailing addresses will be shared with select sponsors. To opt out, e-mail If you have special needs or require an accommodation, please notify us by October 20. Hotel room reservations: Ask for MASCA rooms, 978-263-8701. AV rentals, 978-263-8701. For post-conference publicity, the media has been invited and a photographer will be present.

FIRST NAME __________________________ LAST NAME ____________________________________________ E-mail address _________________________________________(required for automated on-line or registrar confirmations) Preferred mailing address School/Work (Include school name) Home Check here if NEW address School ______________________________________________________________________________ Street address__________________________________________________________________________ City/town ______________________State______ ZIP____________ Phone _______________________ Position/Title___________________________________________________ Elementary

Middle School

High School


Registration Type (check category and option) Includes breakfast, snack, luncheon buffet, keynoter, workshops, exhibits and afternoon Institute EARLY BIRD RATE ENDS OCTOBER 1 MASCA member & on-line registration or 10/1 postmark Regular registration (after October 1) WALK-IN registration: Add $20 to total MASCA PDPs: Add $25 to total PO processing fee: Add $10/invoice Late Registration (after October 20)

Total Amount Due TOTAL PAYMENT ENCLOSED $____________


MASCA Professional member by 10/1 $115

Non-MASCA member

Counselor Educator

Retiree Graduate Student* (*cannot be employed as a school counselor)

Member $170

$125 $20 $25 $10 $20 $___________

CHECK No.____________

Grad Student

$180 $20 $25 $10 $20 $___________


$60 $70 $20 $25 $10 $20 $______

$80 $90 $20 $25 $10 $20 $______

PURCHASE ORDER #* **________________

**For PO’s, YOU will electronically be sent an invoice for YOU to submit for payment via your school/business office protocol.

Make check payable to MASCA. Please list registrant names on Purchase Order and payments. Mail to: Joe Fitzgerald, Registrar, 5 Progress Street, Weymouth, MA 02188 • OCTOBER 2012


Processing an Invoice for MASCA By DEBORAH G. CLEMENCE MASCA Membership Coordinator


ith our new website and online membership system, it is now possible to create an invoice with ease, and it will be generated automatically and sent to you by e-mail. Needless to say, this is far more efficient than mailing a purchase order and waiting for an invoice to be issued by post. Any member, secretary, or administrator can visit and perform the following steps: • Select the MEMBERSHIP tab at the top of the page and BECOME A MEMBER from the dropdown. • Scroll down the page to 3. APPLY WITH AN INVOICE VIA YOUR SCHOOL/ORGANIZATION. Click HERE to fill out an invoice.

You will be asked to complete a form answering a few basic questions and providing the names and e-mail addresses of each member being sponsored. The invoice will be generated instantly and sent to you by e-mail for submission to your business office. Please be aware that a NEW member who is enrolled by the Membership Coordinator must go to the member profile and enter contact information in order to receive the Counselor’s Notebook. Only the individual member has access to their personal mailing address and contact information. If you still wish to mail a purchase order and have an invoice issued, I am happy to do so, but the majority of school districts are now using this system very effectively. ■

MASCA advocates for school counselors. Enjoy all the benefits. Renew your MASCA membership online at 10


The School Counselor as Advocate By SHANNON DORAN MASCA Advocacy Committee Chair

Date change for workshop The workshop to be presented by Assumption College in March 2013 has been moved to April. “More on 504 and Student Records for School Counselors and Administrators” by Matt MacAvoy, Esquire, and Michael J. Joyce, Esquire, will be held on April 5 in Hagan Campus Center Hall. If you have any questions, contact Lucia Doucette at 508-767-7430 or



ur role as school counselors calls upon us to advocate for the students in our schools. However, in order to do so comprehensively, we need to engage all stakeholders, and that includes our local Senators and House Representatives at the state level. They make the final decisions about policies that affect the lives of our students, including our ability to serve them. The truth is that our local legislators are counting on us to engage in the democratic process and provide them with perspective about the concerns and needs of their constituents. Therefore, it is imperative that MASCA members reach out to their local Senators and Representatives to share their stories and expertise. Your input could have a significant impact on the course of education in your town and throughout the Commonwealth. As a member organization, advocacy is most effective when individuals join together in a unified effort. Please visit the Advocacy Works page at and open MASCA Advocacy e-mails to get up-to-date information on the status of legislation as well as timely and strategic next steps. Additionally, you will find resources to help you engage legislators with confidence through a short phone call, simple e-mail or letter. Once you start engaging in the democratic process to advocate for your students, you just might be surprised to discover how easy and satisfying civic involvement and collaboration with our government officials can be. Thank you for being a part of education change in Massachusetts! ■ OCTOBER 2012


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


IN CASE OF NON-DELIVERY, RETURN TO: Deborah Clemence P.O. Box 805 East Dennis, MA 02641

Your membership renewal date is indicated by year and month on your address label above. To renew your membership, go to MASCA’s website,

Professional Development from MASCA Holiday Inn Boxboro, MA

Monday, October 22 Race to the Top Fall Summit Tuesday, October 23 MASCA Fall 2012 Conference Keynoter: Sirdeaner Walker Afternoon Extended Session, Katie Gray For information and forms, go to

Counselor's Notebook, October 2012  

The October 2012 issue of the Counselor's Notebook, the official periodical of the Massachusetts School Counselors Association.

Counselor's Notebook, October 2012  

The October 2012 issue of the Counselor's Notebook, the official periodical of the Massachusetts School Counselors Association.