WSCA Executive Director Message

By Stacy Eslick, WSCA Executive Director

Change can be exciting, stressful and a little scary all at the same time!  As School Counselors we are masterful at supporting our students, families and staff when it comes to change and transition.  As professionals, we are facing our own change based on requirements by the state such as ACP, RTI, PBIS, and EE.  It seems like we finally get one initiative in place and there is another coming our way. As YOUR professional organization, we are working diligently to support members through all of this change. 
 
WSCA has an amazing team of leaders that facilitate this work through committees.  This group will meet in July at the Leadership Development Institute to reflect, refine and collaborate on the upcoming year.  We will be writing SMART goals, planning professional development opportunities and providing advocacy for the profession.
 
This will be a year of change for WSCA as we transition into having an Executive Director and fully implement policy governance.  I am honored and excited for the upcoming year!  There is a lot of work to be done, but there is an awesome group of leaders that will pave the way.
 
As always, this is YOUR organization so please reach out to us if there is support you need.
 
Warmly,
Stacy Eslick

 
WSCA Board Chair Message
Kelly Curtis

 
WSCA is a leader in state school counseling associations. We can be very proud of that. At this year’s ASCA Delegate Assembly, WSCA representatives were asked to speak during two general sessions at the Delegate Assembly – once to explain how we facilitated the ACP Legislative Alert in May, and once to discuss our transition to Policy Governance. Your WSCA Leadership Team has made this happen to benefit you as members, and it is exciting to think that our state association is a national leader in these efforts.
 
Though many of us may be lounging on a dock this time of year, WSCA is in full swing, preparing for our Leadership Development Institute the end of the month. This year’s LDI will be special in that it is the first year our two sides of leadership will function separately.  The Board of Directors will work hard on defining the “Ends Policies” – those broad goals which provide our vision and truly identify where we need to direct our efforts and resources to best serve members.
 
We will discuss many issues during this leadership training, including topics like the rollout of Academic and Career Planning, the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative, and the rising concerns about mental health.
 
Our team of nine directors, led by myself as Board Chair and Jennifer Betters-Bubon as Assistant Board Chair will seek to learn as much as we can this year about the issues and opportunities facing our profession.  In turn our new Executive Director, Stacy Eslick, will lead the team of Committee Chairs and staff toward meeting the goals set by the board’s vision.
 
The potential in our association has just grown by leaps and bounds.  I’m thrilled at the prospect of our potential achievement in the coming year and beyond.  Expect great things!


Topic of the Month:  Educator Effectiveness for the School Counselor

Educator Effectiveness & School Counseling
by Lisa Koenecke, Professional Relations Coordinator


WSCA has put together an ad hoc committee of board members to work with Gregg Curtis from DPI on creating an evaluation tool specifically for school counselors.  WSCA is excited to give back to the membership a tool we feel your supervisor/administrator can actually evaluate our unique role.
 
As you know, DPI did not push for our positions to be evaluated this year.  Only principals and teachers had to use the Educator Effectiveness (EE) tools.  In Stoughton, our administrators did want the school counselors to go through the process.  We used Teachscape.  Other WSCA board members on the ad hoc committee used the CESA 6 model for evaluation.  In developing the WSCA evaluation tools, we tried to incorporate both versions, a hybrid, if you will.
 
Many meetings and collaborations with a variety of school districts in Wisconsin and other states have produced a template.  One big change that you will see is that we refer to SLO (Student Learning Outcomes) as SCO (School Counseling Outcome).  In the School Counseling Outcome Template, where you can record your Professional Practice Goal (PPG), information will guide you through your data collections.  Please also note that ASCA's new Mindsets and Behaviors have changed our domain of Personal/Social to Social Emotional so you will see that terminology included along with career and academic goals.
 
As you complete the School Counselor Evaluation Plan Rubric, we tried to show you examples of how that specific rubric score could also be used to complete part of WSCA's WSCPAR (Wisconsin School Counselor Program Accountability Report)...kind of a two for one special!  The rubric includes the following:
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Assessment
  • Program Planning and Management
  • Program Delivery
  • Professionalism
Some of the elements are optional as we understand not every school district uses their school counselors the same.  For some elementary school counselors, it might be quite difficult to collect career data.  Together, there are 19 Core Competencies/Themes.  The critical elements will be scored as Emerging, Basic, Distinguished and Exemplary. 
 
There will also be a workflow guide, similar to that of a teacher.  In Wisconsin, school counselors belong to a group called WAPSO (Wisconsin Association of Pupil Services).  This process has been in discussion for over three years trying to determine how to evaluate school counselors, school psychologists, school nurses and school social workers (WAPSO).   Your WSCA president has been attending these meetings with our DPI School Counseling Consultant for years.  Our proposed Wisconsin Pupil Services Evaluation includes the following workflow:
  • School Counselor Self-Review
  • School Counselor Evaluation Plan: Here is where the SCO, artifacts, evidence and your PPG will be
  • School Counselor Practices will include announced and mini observations keeping student confidentiality at the forefront
  • End of Cycle Summary
So, as you can see, if you've read this entire article, a lot of work has gone into creating a School Counseling Evaluation for Wisconsin.  As we continue to work with DPI and the Educator Effectiveness department, our goal is to have this tool available later this summer.  We will also be providing more information to our membership as the 2015-16 school year begins and at other WSCA professional development events.
 
Thank you all for your continued dedication to improving our profession.  Our goal is to truly show our relevance in the academic, career and social/emotional development of every Wisconsin student. Embracing the “Spirit” of Educator Effectiveness
by Olin Morrison, Director

 
Congratulations! You made it through another school year. Now it’s time for the offseason. You have, no doubt, already assessed your on-the-job performance based on the required competencies needed to fulfill your building’s needs (yes, that is just a fancy way of saying you thought about how things went). Over the summer you will brainstorm how to improve your performance and that of your school counseling program. Come August, you will likely have plans for what to focus on professionally and programmatically. This is the basic process behind educator effectiveness: reflect, brainstorm, plan. The Wisconsin Educator Effectiveness (EE) System is a performance-based evaluation system designed to improve the education of all students in the state of Wisconsin by supporting guided, individualized, self-determined professional growth and development of educators.
 
So here are some of the questions that I asked myself while working on the Wisconsin School Association Educator Effectiveness Committee.
  • How would job satisfaction change if school counselors were evaluated based on what they should be doing?
  • How does a school counselor’s day-to-day change if he/she is evaluated based on comprehensive school counseling program outcomes?
  • How does the relationship with administration change with increased communication about the school counseling program?
  • How will it look when school counselors direct their own professional growth?
  • How do students’ lives change as school counseling programs develop an increased focus on student outcomes?
 
If you are like me, the answers to these questions bring a mixture of excitement and trepidation. I am anxious because of one word: more. As we all know, there is only so much you can add to the plate. My excitement, however, is two fold. First, highly effective school counselors are already actively engaged in the process of reflecting on and adapting their school counseling programs. This means that EE is not an addition, but an adaptation. Second, the impact of school counseling programs on students across Wisconsin is greatly improved when school counselors and their administrators communicate and collaborate on school counseling program outcomes.
 
I know for some the words “Educator Effectiveness” bring about an immediate negative and visceral reaction. My hope is that you will join me in embracing what I have come to find as the “spirit” of Educator Effectiveness: better outcomes for Wisconsin kids.
 

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DPI Corner: “We Made It! Now What?”
Gregg Curtis; DPI School Counseling Consultant

The school doors have flung open for the last time this year, and our students have enthusiastically headed off to their summer activities. Once our initial elation at having survived another 437, 1050, or 1137 hours of instruction wears off and we realized there are only so many happy hours we can enjoy before permanently damaging our livers, we may face the question, “What should I do today to recharge my batteries for next fall?”
 
Fortunately there are several paths to rejuvenation and self-care; many of which do not require much planning or complexity. Our bodies and minds can be rebooted through the use of activities that address our sensory, pleasure, mental/mastery, spiritual, emotional, physical, and social selves. Below are examples of the activities that can be used in our quest for summer revival.
 
Sensory self– focusing on the sensations around us (sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch) can help keep us in the moment.

  • Breathe deeply of fresh air
  • Snuggle into a blanket, hammock, or unmade bed
  • Close your eyes and listen to running water or lapping waves
  • Get a massage
  • Cuddle with a pet
  • Stare up at the sky (daytime or nighttime)
  • Listen to music

Pleasure self– engaging in pleasurable activities individually or with a group can create positive energy.

  • Take yourself out to lunch
  • Be a tourist in your own city or town
  • Garden
  • Watch a movie
  • Go to the beach
  • Take a boat ride
  • Walk your dog
  • Journal

Mental/Mastery self – give yourself a boost by doing a task you’ve been putting off or challenge your brain in a unique way.

  • Clean out one (or more than one) junk drawer
  • Drive to a new place (w/o the GPS)
  • Try a new activity
  • Read something on a topic that’s new to you
  • Immerse yourself in crossword or Sudoku puzzle

Spiritual self– get in touch with what really matters to you.

  • Attend church
  • Read poetry
  • Light a candle
  • Meditate
  • Spend time in nature
  • List five things you are grateful for

Emotional self – too often we label emotions as “good” or “bad.” Instead:

  • Name your feelings and accept them for what they are
  • Write down how you feel
  • Cry when you need to
  • Laugh when you can

Physical self – engaging the body in physical activity releases pent-up energy and improves health.

  • Try (or continue) yoga
  • Go for a walk, hike, or run
  • Dance (like no one’s watching!)
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Play golf
  • Kayak
  • Take a nap

Social self – connecting with others is an important part of self-care.

  • Spend quality time with friends or family
  • Participate in a book club (reading for fun)
  • Join a support group
  • Volunteer

 This is only a cursory list of how we can all take care of ourselves over the summer months in order to be at our best come August. For more suggestions you can visit the “80+ Self-Care Ideas” webpage.
 
Best wishes for a restful, relaxing, and recharging summer.
See you on the golf course!
 
Adapted from: Seven Types of Self-Care Activities for Coping with Stress, Markway, B. (2014)
Retrieved June 7, 2015, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shyness-is-nice/201403/seven-types-self-care-activities-coping-stress.

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Upcoming Events & Announcements

Plan to Attend WSCA's 9th Annual Summer Leadership Academy
This year's topics:  Data Boot Camp or Academic and Career Plans (ACPs).  Choose from two levels of data training or choose to learn more about ACPs. Join us for some excellent professional development and to network with other professionals from across the state!
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
9:00 - 4:00 pm - Oshkosh, WI
Register Today!
CLICK HERE for more information

Fall Summit
Thursday, Oct 22, 2015
9:00 - 4:00 pm - Turtle Lake, WI
CLICK HERE for more information
 
WISCONSIN SCENE!
  Network with Statewide School Counselors Today!
The Wisconsin School Counselor Association is excited to announce the addition of "Wisconsin SCENE" to the American School Counselor Association discussion board,
ASCA SCENE, located at www.schoolcounselor.org/SCENE. 
For directions on how to use Wisconsin Scene Click Here. We hope this new tool helps enhance and support the important work you do as a school counseling professional in Wisconsin.
 
 

July 2015


WSCA Executive Director Message
By Stacy Eslick, WSCA Executive Director
WSCA Board Chair Message
By Kelly Curtis

Upcoming Events & Announcements
 
 

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