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  • April 02, 2020 10:13 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Counselors,

    As many of you continue to navigate these difficult times, we are continuing to curate resources and offer webinars to help you navigate this new reality. I also hope that each of you is finding a balance between work, self care, and family time. I know that I'm still working on this juggling act.

    It was so wonderful to see so many smiling faces during our first Zoom meet up. I also appreciate your patience as I navigate new technology. It was such a success, that we can plan offer more meet ups in the future for us to talk, brainstorm, and share a friendly smile with our counseling community.

    I also know that your email inbox is probably full right now. Mine is bursting at the seams with PD opportunities, Zoom call reminders, and fun activities to do while staying safe at home. For this reason we are compiling a list of webinars, PD's, resources and more on our Professional Development page. Please continue to check it and follow us on social media for regular updates.

    As always, thank you for trusting us to help you with your work and for your tireless efforts on behalf of your students.

    Stay happy and healthy,

    Laura Filtness

    TSCA Chair of the Board


    LEARN MORE

     

    TSCA Webinar Series 

    Boost Your Program With Mindfulness

    Part 1: Tuesday, April 14, at 5pm EST

    Register for Part 1 with Laura Filtness here.

    Part 2: Tuesday, April 28, at 5 pm ET

    Register for Part 2 with Tanya Harris here.

    30% of children have problem self regulating, which impacts the classroom learning environment for all. Learn how to incorporate comprehensive mindfulness and resilience practices into your MTSS program that not only helps children with high ACES scores, but improves the entire school climate. 

    After attending this session you should be able to:

    •  Provide and explain specific and practical strategies to incorporate mindfulness and resiliency into the elementary setting.
    •  Discuss why mindfulness and resilience is relevant to student development and the school setting and its impact on neuroscience and brain development.
    •  Examine the implications of mindfulness in the elementary setting and the benefits it has for all stakeholders.


     

    Help for Middle Tennessee

    As you know many of our colleagues and students were recently impacted by the deadly tornados in Middle TN. Anyone wishing to help tornado victims can make a donation to the Community Foundation Emergency Response Fund https://www.cfmt.org/story/middle-tennessee-emergency-response-fund/.


    Social Media Take Over

    We hope you have been enjoying all the fun we have been having over on Instagram. Our IG takeovers have been a fun way to our leaders and members to connect with each other and share their tips for success. If you are interested in taking over our social media let us know.

    Professional Development Opportunities


    There are so many wonderful ways to spend this "extra" time at home. Learn about all the current opportunities on our Professional Development page.


  • March 24, 2020 10:51 AM | Anonymous


    Dear members,

    What a strange and confusing time for educators, parents, and counselors everywhere. We know that each one of you is facing a different and difficult challenge right now. As you know, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 (coronavirus) a pandemic. The stress of preparing for this virus (and for some, dealing with it directly) may understandably increase worry and anxiety in our students, staff, families, and communities.

    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. Please make sure you reach out to your district leaders for guidance and policies regarding reaching out to students to provide resources and services. It is imperative that you follow the directives of your county and district. 

    Here you will 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.

    We want to support you as you protect your health and the health of those around you. To that end, we have accumulated resources and tips for you to use and share with others in your networks.

    General Information

    Support for Schools

    Mental Health Care

    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. ASCA has also developed guidance for school counselors to continue to meet students’ needs in the event of a school closure. 

    Any plan should involve comprehensive school counseling services that would be provided while taking into account legal 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 it with parents and families. The team should also address equity access issues in any coordinated plan as well.

    TSCA's goal over the next few weeks is to meet you where you are and to support you as best we can. We also want to be mindful of the amount of information and resources we share, during an already overwhelming time. Here is what we are currently offering:

    • Regularly scheduled Professional Development opportunities so we can continue to learn from home.

    • Self-care support for our members. 

    • Continued resource share and updates from ASCA via our social media and newsletters.

    • Engaging and exciting social media takeovers from your board and our members. Follow us onInstagram!  Do you want to take over our Instagram for the day? Reach out to us for a takeover day.

    As much as we are here to support our students, please also know that we are here to support you as well. Should you feel as though you simply need a listening ear, a thought partner, or a problem-solver, please know that we are here for you. Wishing you peace and comfort in knowing that we are all in this - together! 

    Your TSCA Board

    Updates from the Department of Education

    The U.S. Department of Education announced that students affected by school closures due to the pandemic can bypass standardized testing for the 2019-20 school year. Upon a proper request, the department will grant a waiver to any state that is unable to assess its students because of the ongoing national emergency, providing relief from federally mandated testing requirements for this school year. Waiver requests must come from the state. Because student performance, as measured by assessments, is required for statewide accountability systems, any state that receives a one-year waiver may also receive a waiver from the requirement that testing data be used in the statewide accountability system.

    Additionally, the department announced that Federal Student Aid (FSA) borrowers who hold federal student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days. These borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency. All federal student loan servicers are required to grant an administrative forbearance for a period of at least 60 days (beginning March 13, 2020) to any borrower with a federally held loan who requests one. Borrowers should contact their loan servicer online or by phone. 

    The Department of Education has released new information clarifying that federal law should not be used to prevent schools from offering distance learning opportunities to all students, including students with disabilities. This new resource from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) explains that as a school district takes necessary steps to address the health, safety, and well-being of all its students and staff, educators can use distance learning opportunities to serve all students.

    Keep up with all Department of Education updates on this website. Student privacy information related to FERPA requirements can be found here.  Additionally, if you need information about COVID-19 that is not covered on the website, email the Department of Education at COVID-19@ed.gov.




    Internship Ideas

    We know that many of you are concerned with how to help your intern and practicum students during this time. Here are a few ideas of virtual supervision activities: 

    • Create a “School Counselor Bible” of Top 25 topics at their level and resources for those areas in a Live Binder or Google Drive

    • Contact Jill Cook to use the RAMP portal to have students evaluate and review RAMP applications. 

    • Watch and discuss a webinar together.


    TSCA Professional Development Partnership

    TSCA is excited to share our latest partnership with the Center for Educational Media and Professional Development (CEM/PD) in the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) College of Education. As part of a larger initiative, the PK-12 Collaborative at MTSU, the School Counselor Collaborative will be the second professional development program created by CEM/PD. In 2017, CEM started the successful ELL Collaborative supporting educators who work with English language learners. To date, more than 300 ELL educators from 47 school districts have participated in the ELL Collaborative.

    Using a similar model, the School Counselor Collaborative at MTSU will be:

    • Composed of school counseling practitioners and leaders in PK-12 schools in Tennessee

    • Participant driven, with participants identifying session topics based on their needs and serving as presenters to share strategies, materials, programs and technology that have been successful for them

    • Scheduled based on input from school counselors to identify optimal dates for sessions

    • Beneficial for districts with fewer resources and staff to support professional development

    • Promoting professional support networks and individual contacts across districts which is beneficial for specialized practitioners

    • Available at no to low cost for participants

    The dates for the School Counselor Collaborative Summer Academy will be June 23-24, 2020, at Middle Tennessee State University. This year’s focus will be “The Dysregulated Child.” Beginning in 2020-2021, CEM will offer multiple professional development sessions throughout the school year. The sessions will be recorded and available for all school counselors across the state to access at any time.

    TSCA is committed to providing high-quality professional development for school counselors across Tennessee, and we are excited to partner with CEM at MTSU to make this commitment a reality! Check out the TSCA website and social media for future details.

    Present to Inspire, Empower, Embrace

    National Center for Youth Issues (NCYI) is looking for presentations for the School Counselor and Administrator Leadership Institute (SCALI) that will help to build the capacity of Tennessee school counselors and administrators to help our students be ready for the next step on their academic and social/emotional journey.  NCYI will convene a committee to review and select Institute sessions. You will be contacted by NCYI, the organization managing this Institute, to let you know if your proposal is accepted. The deadline for submission is May 15, 2020.  Learn more and submit your proposal

    Mark your calendar for the Tennessee SCALI: September 13-15, 2020. Join TSCA to be inspired, empowered and embraced!


    ACES: The Role of Life Experiences in Shaping Brain Development

    Childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a tremendous impact on our lifelong health and opportunity. So, early experiences are an important public health issue. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can put young people at significant risk for substance use disorders and can impact prevention and substance use recovery efforts.

    This is a one-hour training by public health experts in Tennessee on their curriculum Building Strong Brains: The Role of Life Experiences in Shaping Brain Development. It’s an insightful approach community and education leaders can implement to increase protective factors and reduce the impact of ACEs for children and adolescents.

     Visit https://www.tn.gov/tccy/tccy-acesfor additional ACEs resources. Building Strong Brains is supported by an investment of the Tennessee Department of health and its partners including the School of Social Work, University of Memphis.

    Help for Middle Tennessee

    As you know many of our colleagues and students were recently impacted by the deadly tornados in Middle TN. Anyone wishing to help tornado victims can make a donation to the Community Foundation Emergency Response Fund https://www.cfmt.org/story/middle-tennessee-emergency-response-fund/.

     



  • January 05, 2020 3:47 PM | Anonymous

    The School Counselor’s Guide to Surviving the First Year offers a comprehensive look into the first-year school counseling experience. 


    This practical guide includes topics from internship to professional development from an intimate perspective within the context of real-life scenarios. Drawing from personal experiences, journal articles, textbooks, and excerpts by numerous professional school counselors, it fuses what a school counseling trainee learns in their graduate program and the field experience they get into one unique guide. Emphasizing hands-on approaches, this volume offers personal as well as professional steps toward success in the ins and outs of counseling. 

    This book is a valuable toolkit for the developmental journey of school counselors in-training and beginning school counselors.

    Interested in purchasing? You can find the book at: 

    https://www.routledge.com/The-School-Counselors-Guide-to-Surviving-the-First-Year-Internship/Couch/p/book/9781138364325

    and 

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1138364320/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1576972126&sr=8-8


  • January 01, 2020 9:01 PM | Anonymous

    Dear TSCA members,

    This past year the executive board of TSCA took the courageous step of becoming their own independent organization. 

    This change parallels the transitions made by our national associations, the American School Counseling Association and the American Counseling Association. Over time, the two organizations evolved to the point where a more independent relationship makes sense. Currently, there are only 10 states that are still affiliated with their state counseling association and of that, only 4 that have a financial connection.

    As the role of a School Counselor evolves, TSCA is evolving with it. We are devoted to meeting the unique needs of School Counselors in TN while maintaining our invaluable relationship with the professional counselors in our state.

     With the recent changes at the state DOE in regards to School Counseling, we are also committed to staying on top of any proposed bills or policies that may impact our profession. Many states, with guidance from ASCA, organize a day on the hill to advocate for School Counselors. In fact, states such as Arizona have been very successful in lobbying for School Counselors with guidance from ASCA. If this is something you are interested in doing with us, we would love to have you help us. 

    This thoughtful transition allows us to meet the needs of Tennessee School Counselors by providing more services such as webinars, specialized conferences, professional development opportunities, an updated website with news from across the state, and lower, more affordable dues. It has also allowed us to create a simpler and more seamless way for new members to join and current members to renew. 

    TSCA is committed to you as a member. We look forward to offering you increased professional development offerings and benefits in the coming months.  

    If you joined TSCA while we were affiliated with TCA, then you are still a current, active TSCA member. TSCA dues for professionals are $25 and $10 for students and retired professionals. If you have questions or concerns about your membership, please contact Carla Christian at csc829@gmail.com.

    We are excited to start the new year by entering the next chapter of our TSCA journey, and even more excited that you are coming along for the ride.

    Happy New Year,

    Laura Filtness

    TSCA Chair of the Board

    Celebrate National School Counseling Week, Feb. 3–7

    This years theme is "School Counselors: Helping Build Better Humans". You can find everything you need on the National School Counseling Week resource page on the ASCA website, including details about the new photo/video challenge, download the new signs as well as the promotional toolkit to share with your school and community partners. 

    Stay on top of all the National School Counseling Week and School Counselor of the Year activities with this event calendar. And, be sure to follow and use #NSCW2020 on social media. 




  • December 02, 2019 4:24 PM | Anonymous

    Jordan Tatum Receives TN School Counselor of the Year Award

    The Tennessee School Counseling Association is pleased to announce that Jordan Tatum has been recognized as the TN 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.


  • December 02, 2019 4:23 PM | Anonymous

    If you joined TSCA while we were affiliated with TCA, then you are still a current, active TSCA member. You will have an opportunity to renew with a check or online payment at www.tennesseeschoolcounselor.org. TSCA dues for professionals are $25 and $10 for students and retired professionals. 

    If you have questions or concerns about your membership please contact Carla Christian at csc829@gmail.com.


  • November 07, 2019 6:59 PM | Anonymous

    Researchers from The University of Memphis and the University of South Florida are investigating the impact of the TN State Board Policy 5.103, that established new guidelines for school counselor ratios and mandated that school counselors spend 80% of their time in direct service to students. Our goal is to gather survey data from at least 100 TN school counselors, which we can utilize for on-going advocacy efforts to ensure school counselors are being deployed in schools in roles and functions that maximize their impact upon student success. You will receive a $10 e-gift card for answering all questions on the survey, which we anticipate will take around 10-15 minutes to complete. (Payment limited to the first 150 participants with completed surveys, and we will add a note to the first page of the survey as soon as we see that the maximum amount of money has been allocated.) Please click here for the link to the survey:

     

    https://memphis.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0q9Vu5okBX58PJP

     

    After you complete the survey, you will be directed to another link to enter your email and e-gift card selection: Amazon, Starbucks, or Target. Be sure to click on the blue arrow button at the bottom of the page to submit your email and gift card selection.

    For a few TSCA members who completed the survey at the TCA conference, there was a glitch in the link to the e-gift card that has now been fixed. If you are one of the school counselors who completed the survey but did not receive the e-gift card link, please email Michelle Brasfield (rmwelch@memphis.edu) directly on how to obtain access. The others who were able to enter their selection should have received their e-gift cards Saturday (11/16).

    Thank you for your time, and please let us know if you have any questions.

    Best,

    Michelle

    Michelle Welch Brasfield, EdD, LPSC

    Assistant Professor, Coordinator of the School Counseling Program
    Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, and Research


  • November 01, 2019 6:59 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Tennessee Counselors,

    Fall is in the air! I hope each of you are finding the time to take care of yourselves. School has picked up, schedules changes have left us feeling dizzy, and the referrals just keep coming in.

    Stop and take time some self-care. This year I’ve been teaching my students about the benefits of mindfulness. I encourage each of you to try it out as well.

    Venture outside into the crisp fall air and try this simple mindfulness activity:

    • ·      Find 5 different leaves
    • ·      Listen for 5 different sounds
    • ·      Look for 5 different fall colors
    • ·      Use your sense of smell to detect 5 different scents
    • ·      Find 5 different textures (rough twigs, soft flower petals, etc.)

    I hope each of you have a wonderful and relaxing Fall Break,

    Laura Filtness

    TSCA Board Chair


  • July 01, 2019 7:40 PM | Anonymous

    Welcome,

    I’m so excited to start the this year as your Chair of the Board and Social Media Chairperson.

    This summer I had the honor of representing TN at the ASCA Leadership Institute in Boston. It was an incredible week of learning, collaborating, and fellowship. Our speaker Lindsay Pollak inspired me to think of how we can grow TSCA to meet the multi-generational needs of our members. To do that, I need you!

    I would love to see our members sharing their wisdom in our state newsletters, getting involved by attending our chapter and state conference, and most importantly sharing your ideas and feedback with our leadership team.  So let’s keep in touch- follow us on social media or e-mail me anytime. 

    Let’s have a wonderful year together,

    Laura Filtness


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