|Board Chair Message
By: Olin Morrison
Hello, I hope this finds you all reflecting on what was a successful and productive school year. I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself and my role. My name is Olin Morrison and I am the newly elected Board Chair for the 2016-17 WSCA year. Many of you already know at least a little bit about me, and a few of you, a bit more than I care for you to know.
One thing you should all know about me is, I LOVE WSCA! I was a young man who really needed a strong school counselor. Thankfully, in lieu of a great school counselor, I had a fantastic collection of dedicated educators who were determined to see me reach my potential through hard work and character. The people of WSCA remind me of those altruistic and passionate individuals to whom I owe so much today. It is a wonderful feeling to keep company with the likes of you all.
Currently, I serve as a school counselor at Meyer Middle School in the School District of River Falls. As a school counselor, I am passionate about character education, school climate, restorative justice, and experiential education. Paramount to my duties as a school counselor, I am a loving father to my children Edee and Barrett, and a devoted partner to my wife Nealee. On any given day you are likely to find the four of us engaged in any number of outdoor pursuits, usually capped off with some ice cream, per Edee’s request.
My job as Board Chair, or Chief Governance Officer, is to ensure the integrity of the Board’s process. The assigned result of the Chief Governance Officer’s job is that the Board behaves consistently with its own rules and those legitimately imposed upon it from outside the organization. The purpose of the board, on behalf of the WSCA owners (that’s you), is to ensure that WSCA achieves appropriate results for appropriate persons at an appropriate value and avoids unacceptable actions and situations. So, as Board Chair, I look forward to hearing from all of you about “appropriate results” and “appropriate persons,” whenever and however you feel comfortable reaching out. Until then, please peruse our Board’s current interpretation of “appropriate” in the WSCA Ends Policies.
As you all know, even though there are only 28 days in an average February, the shortest months of the year are June, July, and August. We will be back at it before you know it. So… whether it’s family time, running, kayaking, reading, scrapbooking, homebrewing, or listening to old David Bromberg albums (<----one of my favorites), make sure you take time to do what you do for you.
Executive Director Message
By Stacy Eslick, WSCA Executive Director
Happy 10th Anniversary Summer Academy!
WSCA had an amazing year thanks to our members and countless volunteers. Our Coordinator team has worked tirelessly to provide our members with professional development, newsletters, professional recognition, advocacy and school counselor representation at the state level.
In July the Board and Coordinators will participate in LDI (Leadership Development Institute) to reflect on the past year and finalize plans for 2016-17. As part of LDI, all Board members and Coordinators attend the WSCA Summer Academy.
WSCA is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Summer Academy this year! Very wise WSCA Board members recognized the need for additional School Counselor professional development opportunities during the summer and created a one day intensive learning workshop. Summer Academy moves throughout Wisconsin to provide counselors training close to home.
When the WSCA Professional Development and Education committee began planning for Summer Academy the team considered the WSCA board directive to ensure all school counselors are implementing culturally competent practices. As part of that charge, WSCA is excited to have the Wisconsin RTI center train School Counselors on Cultural Competencies in Comprehensive School Counseling Programs. Mark Kuranz, former ASCA Director of Education and Training will work with School Counselors to implement learning from the morning into the creation of data driven program goals. Come join us at Summer Academy on July 26th to begin planning your school counseling program! Register Today!
The WSCA team is looking forward to having you join us to celebrate the 10th Summer Academy anniversary in Pewaukee!
Graduate Student Corner
The E Word: Ethics and Their Impact on Social Media
By Alyssa Pon-Franklin, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
EEthics. That word carries a lot of weight in our profession. We have courses specifically dedicated to the ethics of our profession, and researchers study the intricacies of ethics in a variety of situations. An ethical violation can carry significant consequences, and there are specific organizations dedicated solely to assisting counselors experiencing ethical dilemmas.
At the last WSCA Grad Student Committee meeting, we had the honor of speaking with Dr. Carrie King about ethical considerations in our field and the ethical dilemmas that we may face as professional school counselors. She talked about ethics in regards to abuse reporting, consent, parental involvement, personal values, and more. We were also able to ask for advice about various scenarios.
Towards the end of our meeting, we turned to the topic of social media. With the advent of various facebook groups, email listservs, and other counseling networks, it can be difficult to know what is considered ethical in social media. The ACA published a new code of ethics in 2014 to provide us with some helpful guidelines. The code states:
- H.6.a. Virtual Professional Presence
- In cases where counselors wish to maintain a professional and personal presence for social media use, separate professional and personal web pages and profiles are created to clearly distinguish between the two kinds of virtual presence.
- H.6.b. Social Media as Part of Informed Consent
- Counselors clearly explain to their clients, as part of the informed consent procedure, the benefits, limitations, and boundaries of the use of social media.
- H.6.c. Client Virtual Presence
- Counselors respect the privacy of their clients’ presence on social media unless given consent to view such information.
- H.6.d. Use of Public Social Media
- Counselors take precautions to avoid disclosing confidential information through public social media. (ACA, 2014)
Here are some C’s that I keep in mind when it comes to social media.
- Caution. Be careful what you post. Do not post anything that could make a student identifiable to others. Even in a closed group, it may be easy to find out what school you work at, which can leave students open to breaches in confidentiality.
- Clarify. Determine your motives for posting/emailing. Are you looking for advice? Are you frustrated about a situation and wanting to vent? Are you looking for support? There may be other methods to achieve those results.
- Consult. Ask your supervisor, a colleague, or a mentor when in doubt. They may see the situation from a different perspective or help you identify possible consequences.
- Communication. Have that consultation in person or over the phone. Do not put information in email that you wouldn’t want others to see. Emails can be forwarded to others, and school emails may be open to discovery in legal situations.
- Consider. Self-awareness is key. Don’t be afraid to examine past situations and re-assess your personal social media policies. As counselors, we should strive for continuous growth.
What are your tips when it comes to social media ethics? Share them with the WSCA community using the hashtag #wscaethics
ACA (2014). ACA Code of Ethics. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.
By Kelly Curtis, 2015-16 WSCA Board Chair
Previously published in Counselink, Spring 2016
Few educators have as strong an impact on school climate as school counselors. We are uniquely positioned to deliver school-wide messages and use a trauma-sensitive lens to help identify achievement and opportunity gaps. Our partnerships with building- and district-level administration can guide professional development for all staff. This influence must include a culturally competent vision - all the time. It’s our religion.
Our WSCA Board of Directors has engaged in ongoing discussions about cultural competence in our Ends Policies. It is currently listed as one of five defining elements of effective school counseling: School counselors are knowledgeable about culturally responsive practices. This demonstrates a belief that cultural competence belongs at the beginning of every conversation and the front of every initiative. It is ingrained throughout our school counseling roles as we serve ALL students.
ASCA provides clear guidance on cultural competence in our ethical code.The first tenet of professional responsibility in the preamble: Each person has the right to be respected, be treated with dignity and have access to a comprehensive school counseling program that advocates for and affirms all students from diverse populations including: ethnic/racial identity, age, economic status, abilities/disabilities, language, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, family type, religious/spiritual identity and appearance.
Diversity is much more than “race” and both students and staff need ongoing education about the many ways we can not only accept, but embrace differences. While the political stage may be filled with opinions about race, ethnicity, culture, religion, socio-economic status, gender, sexual orientation, and immigrant/refugee status, school counselors simply advocate for and affirm all students. In order to do this well, we must seek to understand our own lens and biases to remain supportive and not unintentionally disrespect someone. Here are a few best-practice initiatives:
Courageous Conversations About Race, by Glenn Singleton and Curtis Linton outlines a specific protocol for having conversations about race. The “six conditions” are: Focus on personal, local and immediate; Isolate race; Normalize social construction & multiple perspectives; Monitor agreements, conditions and establish parameters; Use a "working definition" for race; and Examine the presence and role of "Whiteness".
Restorative practices promotes inclusiveness, relationship-building and problem-solving, teaches conflict resolution, and brings those who have been harmed, those who have done harm and their supporters together to address wrongdoing. The process encourages equity in a classroom or other group, and establishes a protocol where all views are accepted and all voices are heard, encouraging problem-solving and building relationships.
Safe Zone Training
In partnership with DPI, GSAFE annually trains more than 1500 educators across Wisconsin on how to create safe and supportive school environments for LGBTQ youth. Trainings build competency and confidence in staff, and demonstrate how to create safe and supportive school environments, Gay-Straight Alliances, “Safe Zones”, and inclusive curriculum and resources.
Whatever the demographics in our school, it is our responsibility to advocate for and affirm all students. We must help others to accept and embrace differences and our schools will be richer because of our diversity. Few issues need our vocal leadership as much as this one. Preach!
If you are looking for more information and resources regarding this topic, join WSCA on July 26th for our 10th Annual Summer Leadership Academy in Pewaukee!
WSCA 10th ANNUAL SUMMER LEADERSHIP ACADEMY REGISTRATION IS STILL OPEN!
Tabitha Stelter, Publications Coordinator
I am delighted to serve WSCA as the Publications Coordinator. I served as the committee chair back in 2006-2009 after having been the Graduate Student Representative. This is my second year in this three year term. I have an incredible committee consisting of Jen Binneboese, Alissa Darin, Elina Kats, Alyssa Pon-Franklin, Katharine Reid, Sara Rollin and Angelica Valdivia who have worked with me to develop the monthly topics to be covered by WSCAlink for 2016-17. Keep reading in “Upcoming Events & Committee Updates” to see some of the upcoming topics and deadlines!
I will be entering my third year as the 4K-4th grade school counselor at Spring Hill Elementary in Wisconsin Dells. Prior to working for the School District of Wisconsin Dells, I was a middle school counselor for 8 years. I’ve grown to appreciate the differences that exist between adolescents and primary age children. I have two of my own children, ages 2 and 4, who keep me busy when I’m not soliciting, editing and/or writing articles for WSCAlink. I look forward to the many article submissions the WSCA members send my way (email@example.com
) this year. The Publications Committee Social Media Contacts will be sure to remind you so follow us on Twitter @WSCAlink
WSCA 10th ANNUAL SUMMER LEADERSHIP ACADEMY REGISTRATION IS STILL OPEN!
2016 Summer Academy- Cultural Competencies in Comprehensive School Counseling Programs
CESA 1 Conference Center – Pewaukee
Tuesday, July 26th
, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (includes lunch)
Exploring Culturally Responsive Practices in Systems of Support
taught by the Wisconsin RTI Center. In this exploratory session, school counselors will consider the purpose behind engaging in culturally responsive practices within supports. We will explore concepts of self-awareness and implicit bias. We will also examine strategies for validating and affirming who students are as well as ways to respectfully build and bridge connections to students’ families and communities. Participants will be given time to reflect and consider ways to own and apply this work back in their schools. Mark Kuranz will be speaking in the afternoon about how to apply participant’s knowledge into their programs.
- WSCA Member: $65
- Non-Member: $75
- Grad Student Member: $40
** One Graduate Credit will be offered through Viterbo University for $200.00
Course payment & registration are separate from the workshop registration.
You can sign up through wscaweb.org through the membership portal, or visit http://wscaweb.org/2016-Leadership-Academy#.VtnK9_krJxA
Thank you to our host site CESA 1!
If you would like to learn about sponsorship opportunities for WSCA’s Summer Academy, please contact Aria Krieser, Professional Development Chair, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
2016 Fall Summit Information
Friday, October 21st
, 2016 - 9:00a.m.-4:00p.m. (includes lunch)
CESA 4 Conference Center – West Salem, WI
Session Details: Mental Health in Schools:
Jennifer Muehlenkamp is a national expert on suicidal behavior and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) in youth. Participants will learn best practices and interventions to support students with non-suicidal self-injury, depression and anxiety in the school environment.
One Graduate Credit will be offered through Viterbo University for $200.00.
Registration is now open
Join today for a FREE t-shirt -
WSCA will be offering a FREE School Counselor t-shirt to anyone that becomes a member or renews their 2016-2017 membership!
This is a great way to promote our roles as SCHOOL Counselors!! Besides receiving our awesome new t-shirt, by becoming a WSCA member or renewing your membership, you will also receive all of our member benefits including:
September WSCAlink: Anxiety and Depression Needs of our Students Deadline August 10
October WSCAlink: WSCPAR Questions Answered Deadline September 10
November WSCAlink: ACP with All Staff Buy-In & Support Deadline October 10
More topics to be announced soon via Twitter!
In the meantime, send questions/articles to email@example.com
and the Editorial Board will let you know when it will be used.
Don’t be afraid, be published!