As schools work to safeguard student health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, school counselors are challenged to meet student needs both at school and outside school in the event of closures. ASCA has developed some recommendations for both situations. Here you'll find a number of resources for talking to students about the pandemic, including encouraging parents to limit their children's exposure to news media, providing a calming influence to students as needed, and helping students address their fears.
Schools, working together with local health departments, play an important role in slowing the spread of diseases to help ensure students have safe and healthy learning environments. Please review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In terms of the ASCA Annual Conference, we continue to closely monitor updates from the CDC, as well as state and local public health authorities. At present, the ASCA Annual Conference will be held June 27–30 in Seattle, as scheduled. However, full refunds are available for registration through May 31. Please know that your health and safety is our top priority and, certainly, members should consider their own health in decisions to travel. Please follow @ASCAtweets and the ASCA website for updates.
ASCA has also developed guidance for school counselors to continue to meet student needs in the event of a school closure.
The rapid spread of COVID-19, commonly referred to as the coronavirus, has forced districts to review and in some cases implement emergency shutdown plans. As with any school safety issue, ongoing collaboration among campus staff, administration and district personnel is critical.
Depending on your district’s safety protocol, a school may want to appoint a multidisciplinary team to create plans so services can continue in the event of a shutdown. This team should include an administrator, school counselor, lead teachers, social worker/psychologist and school nurse, plus other personnel deemed necessary.
Any plan should involve comprehensive school counseling services that would be provided, while taking into account legal (depending on the state) as well as ethical concerns. Because school counselors do not provide ongoing therapy, the team should develop a list of available outside mental health services and share with parents and families. Ensure equity and access issues are addressed in any coordinated plan as well, such as ensuring students have access to computers and Internet.
Guidance on Virtual or Distance Learning Programs
The ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors provide guidelines for working in a virtual or distance learning environment. Providing school counseling services and activities in this setting presents some challenges and limitations, but here are some things to consider.
Providing Direct Student Services
Should you be forced to develop alternative methods for providing direct services to students, prioritize the most critical academic, career and social/emotional lessons while continuing to teach the school counseling curriculum as much as possible. Because the uncertainty of working in a new environment will bring heightened stress to students, emphasize the following:
You also should encourage families to use appropriate online resources to enhance the students’ ongoing academic, career and social/emotional development.
Providing Indirect Student Services
If you are providing indirect services to students, you should make a concentrated effort to educate the school community on how to best reach you. Use email and any available school/district online platforms and resources to consult and collaborate with families, teachers, administrators and other school staff. Provide resources on how to receive mental health, social/emotional and physical well-being support on your website.
Elementary Vice President
Secondary Vice President
PSSCA 2020 - Morning:
PSSCA 2020 - Afternoon:
PSSCA Executive Board Elections 2020-2021
Candidates for Elementary Level Vice-President:
Ruth Arndt - As Elementary Vice-President, my hope is to help continue to advance the profession of school counseling by offering support and help to my colleagues and elementary school counselors across the state. As a school counselor going in to my sixth year with Lexington School District One, I have had the good fortune of working alongside and with many amazing school counselors that have helped guide me along the way. I have helped to develop district leadership lessons for elementary school counselors and serve with my school on the Leadership Team and Student Improvement Council. It is an honor to be nominated for the position of Elementary Vice-President and I look forward to helping you all in any way that I can.
Terina Gardner - “Accomplished school counselors set high standards for themselves as counseling professionals in the education community.” We are leaders in our field who are active advocates for the counseling profession and who recognize the importance of our individual role in shaping the future of our profession. I have worked as a School Counselor at the elementary, secondary, and alternative school settings for over twenty years. I am currently an elementary school counselor and was previously director of school counseling at two middle schools in Richland School District Two. My desire to impact student achievement coupled with my professional experiences make me a strong candidate for the position of Elementary Vice President. My goal will be to not only support the mission of PSSCA but to serve as a voice for elementary school counselors in South Carolina in order to ensure students across our state receive premier counseling services.
Candidates for Office of Secondary Level Vice-President:
Sara Beckett - As a school counselor for the past 13 years I have been afforded the opportunity to practice my profession in the Fort Mill and Lexington One School Districts. I’ve been tapped to be on a team of counselors to open both a new middle school and high school during my first two years as a school counselor. I am an ADEPT certified school counselor evaluator and recently renewed my National Board Certification. All of these accomplishments would not have happened without the support of other school counselors around me. Communication, support, and recognition is what PSSCA does well now and what I want to continue. I enjoy seeing the “Big Picture” of how we impact our families within our community and state. I am relatable and will continue to support those around me to ensure we are a united front that is up-to-
date with the school counseling profession.
Kimberly Brown - My vision for the Palmetto State School Counselor Association is tied to the mission of PSSCA which is to advance the profession of school counseling. As Secondary Vice President I would do this working by to ensure that the PSSCA Secondary School Counselors have a voice in the association. I plan to speak up for the needs of the secondary school counselors in our state. I desire to work with the association to provide quality professional development opportunities to secondary school counselors. I am currently in my fifth year as Lead School Counselor at Whale Branch Early College High School in Seabrook, SC. I am a member of the School Counseling Leadership Team for the Beaufort County School District. I previously served on the PSSCA Board as the Membership Development Chair for and I have served on the Awards (Professional Recognition) and Professional Development Committees for PSSCA.
Anya Stewart - I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Wofford College, and Master of Education in Counselor Education from Clemson University. During my 11 years, I have worked as a school counselor in Anderson One, Lexington One, and currently Aiken County Public School District. I currently serve on the Board as the Awards Committee Chair. I also serve on the College Board Counselor Advisory Council for South Carolina. My vision for PSSCA is to continue the efforts of promoting and advancing the role of school counselors across this great state. I am excited for the opportunity to be a part of a dedicated team of professionals who work hard to promote a greater awareness of the roll of school counselors. As Secondary Vice-President, I will be able to connect with other high school counselors across the state, and advocate on their behalf, and increase communications across districts!
Candidates for Office of Secretary:
Janelle Butler - I’ve had the pleasure of serving as a school counselor for over 12 years and a community counselor for 6 years. Currently I’m housed at Longleaf Middle School, where I work with 6th and 7th grade students in various capacities as outlined by our ASCA model, as well as in my community. I don’t just lend my talents to my school, but also to colleagues in the profession. I’ve facilitated various professional development opportunities, presented at conferences, as well as developed and advised several school initiatives and programs for students.My mission is to take my passion for the profession beyond the four walls and play a more vital role on the state level as an advocate for our advancement. I plan to use the knowledge gained through my memberships in PSSCA, SCEA and ASCA over several years to offer meaningful contributions in meetings and our organization as a whole.
Meghan Snipes - This is my twelfth year as a school counselor in South Carolina and during that time I have watched the Palmetto State School Counselors Association grow into an organization that is truly making a difference in the lives of counselors in this state. My hope is to bring my background as not only a school counselor but as a leader in my school and community to contribute to the success of the association. I have served on many committees such as my district's curriculum writing team and the school counselors sunshine committee that required me to be organized and a good communicator with others. I believe my ability to work well on teams that share a common vision and my work initiative will support the growth and professionalism of the association. I would be honored to serve as the secretary of the board and to further the mission of PSSCA.
Media Contact Lachelle MetcalfAmerican School Counselor Association571-329-4199Email
ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Palmetto State School Counselor Association is pleased to announce that Deborah Blume has been recognized as the South Carolina school counselor of the year by the American School Counselor Association. The ASCA School Counselor of the Year program (#SCOY2020) honors the professionals who devote their careers to serving as advocates for the nation’s students, helping them achieve success in school and in life. State school counselor of the year honorees were selected based on several criteria, including: school counseling innovations, exemplary comprehensive school counseling programs, leadership and advocacy initiatives and contributions to student outcomes.
“The School Counselor of the Year award is an esteemed recognition for our profession,” said Richard Wong, Ed.D., ASCA executive director. “The research is clear: school counselors have a significant impact on students’ academic achievement, social/emotional development and postsecondary planning. This award highlights their dedication, contribution and excellence.”
The state school counselor of year recipients will travel to Washington, D.C., to be honored and formally recognized at a black‐tie gala on Jan. 30, 2020, along with the national School Counselor of the Year and finalists.
About the American School Counselor Association
The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) professional organization based in Alexandria, Va. ASCA promotes student success by expanding the image and influence of school counseling through leadership, advocacy, collaboration and systemic change. ASCA helps school counselors guide their students toward academic achievement, career planning and social/emotional development to help today’s students become tomorrow’s productive, contributing members of society. Founded in 1952, ASCA has a network of 50 state and territory associations and a membership of more than 36,000 school counseling professionals. For additional information on the American School Counselor Association, visit www.schoolcounselor.org.
This open call for nominations is an opportunity for PSSCA members to have direct influence on our member-driven organization. PSSCA members are welcome to nominate yourself or colleagues with their approval. Access the Nomination Form electronically by clicking the link above. The deadline for submitting nominations is November 12, 2019. Qualified PSSCA members will conduct all voting via an online ballot.
Read more here
PSSCA is pleased to announce a Call for Nominations for PSSCA Advocate of the Year. Nominations are due November 1st, 2019. To view the nomination form go to https://pssca.schoolcounselorawards.org/scoy/other-awards
PSSCA is pleased to announce a Call for Nominations for the 2020 PSSCA School Counselor of the Year. Nominations are due November 1st, 2019. To view the nomination form, go to: https://pssca.schoolcounselorawards.org/scoy/nominate
It will likely happen every day somewhere in Greenville County Schools. A WYFF News 4 investigation found that last year there were more than 180 reports of bullying on the district’s hotline or bully reporting app.
The app is installed on each of the district Chromebooks.
Reports were filed from 45 different schools.
The majority of the reports involved middle schools in the district.
While it doesn’t mean there was no bullying in the school, there were no reports filed at A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School.
“Clearly it is an issue,” said the school’s counselor, Deb Blume. “But sometimes I feel like if we would all focus more on educating students about empathy and compassion, we might get a lot farther than focusing on the negative things that are happening.”
Blume is the South Carolina counselor of the year.
Results from a study with school counselors at a state conference in Ohio suggested school counselors who saw the term “guidance counselor” were statistically significantly less likely to believe school counselors were able to perform the 25 tasks on the survey. Each of the items on the survey was created using content from the 2018 ASCA School Counselor Professional Standards & Competencies Draft (ASCA, 2018a) and/or the 2016 CACREP Standards (CACREP, 2016), specifically the Section 5 Entry Level Specialty Area related to School Counseling standards. In other words, participants perceived those with the title “guidance counselor” as less competent to do the job described in the survey.
School counselors perceive their own competence differently based on the title they use to describe their professional role. When school counselors use “guidance counselor” to describe the work that they do...
Copyright © 2020
Palmetto State School Counselor Association