January 2023

Table of Contents

A Message from the WSCA Executive Director

Dear WSCA Members,

Last year WSCA offered a kindness challenge, and we were in awe of how counselors were present for their students every day while facing tremendous personal challenges. We are putting a spin on the kindness challenge by starting the new year with a self-care and boundary-setting challenge! We at WSCA wish you all a gentle and intentional start to the new year and hope this challenge can help bring some fun to what is a cold and stressful time of year.

The challenge is simple: use our prompts each week and share a photo using #WSCASelfCare23 on any of the platforms WSCA is active on (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn) to be entered into a chance to win a weekly prize.

Prizes will be picked weekly from posts shared using #WSCASelfCare23, so be sure to participate in all five weeks of challenges! Winners will receive a $50 Amazon gift card and a small self-care goodie.  If you’d like to participate but don’t partake in social media, feel free to email your photos to admin@wscaweb.org.

  1. Week 1: Drink in the New Year!
  2. Week 2: Walking in a Winter Wonderland!
  3. Week 3:  Settle Down for a Long Winter’s Nap!
  4. Week 4: Let it Show! Let it Show! Let it Show!
  5. Week 5: Read to Recharge!

We at WSCA wish you all a gentle and intentional start to the new year and hope this challenge can help bring some fun to what is a cold and stressful time of year.  Full details can be found by visiting https://www.wscaweb.org/self-care-challenge-giveaway/

A Message from the WSCA Board of Directors

Hello WSCA members! 

As we head into the second half of the school year, I hope everyone was able to take some time over the winter break to rejuvenate and spend time with family. I don’t know about all of you, but I’m looking forward to National School Counseling Week, which is coming up on February 6-10th. NSCW is a nice way to break up the long winter months by celebrating our profession! This is also a great opportunity for us to directly impact our WSCA ENDS, “Key Stakeholders (including but not limited to) school administrators, policymakers, and community members will understand the impact made by the school counselor implementing a comprehensive school counseling program.” Use NSCW to share information with stakeholders regarding the role of a school counselor and the amazing work that we do for all students – and don’t forget to connect with each other! This year’s theme is “School Counselors: Helping Students Dream Big.” Remember: both WSCA and ASCA have resources and materials available online for you to use throughout the week. We are looking forward to this opportunity for the Board to network and get member voice through NSCW activities. 

On Friday, February 10, 2023, from 7:30 – 11:00 am, please join WSCA and your counselor colleagues for a morning of connection, collaboration, and celebration at our 3rd Annual National School Counseling Week Breakfast! No matter where you are in the state, we have an opportunity for you to join in this celebratory event. Choose to attend in person at one of seven regional events or join virtually. (Exact locations are subject to change as details are finalized.) The full schedule for the day can be found online at: https://www.wscaweb.org/conference-events/nscw-breakfast-2023/.

This event will include a WSCA-led presentation on “The Role of a School Counselor,” the announcement of our Scholarship & WSCPAR Awards, a Keynote presentation on Equity in School Counseling, socializing & networking time, and of course, DOOR PRIZES!

Regional Locations:

  • Menomonie – UW-Stout
  • Ashland – Northwood Technical College
  • Stevens Point – UW-Stevens Point
  • Sheboygan – UW-Green Bay Sheboygan Campus
  • Racine – Gateway Technical College
  • Platteville – UW-Platteville
  • Waunakee – WSCA Office Building
  • Virtual

I hope to see some of your NSCW activities through social media!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WSCAweb/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wscacounselor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wscasocial/

Take care!

~Erika Spear, WSCA Board Member

2022-2023 Professional Recognition Highlight

Dr. Caroline Baker, University of Wisconsin – River Falls

WSCA 2023 Mary Gehrke-McAllister Leadership Award

Larry Palm, Capital High, Madison Metropolitan School District

2023 Secretarial Staff Award

Feature Article – Responding to Cyberbullying: Strategies for School Counselors

Responding to Cyberbullying: Strategies for School Counselors

Justin W. Patchin, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; Cyberbullying Research Center

Technology has created many opportunities for students to be hurtful to each other in a variety of ways and has made interpersonal peer conflict even more challenging for schools to deal with. This is complicated by the reality that youth are often hesitant to confide in adults when they face problems with peers. In addition, the ever-changing apps, platforms, or technology involved may overwhelm even the most well-meaning of adults. However, cyberbullying is less a technological issue than a relationship issue, and school counselors have a lot to offer to help, even if they don’t know much about the latest app.

The safety and well-being of students should always be the foremost priority. How can you help students feel supported, heard, and encouraged? It is essential to convey support because they likely are in a very vulnerable state. Demonstrate through words and actions that you both desire the same end result: stopping the cyberbullying and ensuring it does not happen again. This can be accomplished by working together to arrive at a mutually agreed-upon course of action. It is important not to be dismissive of their perspective but to validate their voice and perspective; this actually can help in the healing and recovery process. Targets of cyberbullying must know with certainty that the adults whom they confide in will intervene rationally and logically and not make the situation worse. Reassure them that you are on their side and will partner with them to make things better.

Collect as much information as you can about what happened and who was involved. In many cases, the student will know (or at least think they know) who is doing the bullying, even if it is in an anonymous environment or involving an unfamiliar screen name. Often the mistreatment is connected to something going on at school. If so, your school’s bullying policy will be utilized. Be sure to follow the procedures outlined. If you haven’t recently reviewed your school’s bullying policy, now might be a good time to take a look at it to ensure you understand your role and responsibilities.

Empower students to address cyberbullying by giving them tools to respond in the moment. Make sure they know how to report bullying and how to block users on the apps they are using. Encourage them to document what is happening by saving text messages or making screenshots. Remind them not to retaliate, as tempting as it might be, because the other student(s) involved might similarly report them for bullying. Here are two additional resources to help in working with students: Website: cyberbullying.org; Book: Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying (3rd edition out in summer 2023). Students are reluctant to talk to adults about their experiences online, especially ones that are negative. The best thing a school counselor can do is create the kind of relationship with students where they feel comfortable coming forward. Remember, most of the time, students who are cyberbullied just want the bullying to stop. Sometimes that might require formal discipline, but not always. Think creatively about what needs to happen in this particular situation, involving these particular students, to get the behavior to stop. If you are able to accomplish this, then students will run to you with their problems, for better and worse.

You Spoke, We Listened

Legislative Updates

Save the Date for WSCA’s Spring Afternoon on the Hill

WSCA’s Afternoon on the Hill continues to be a cornerstone of our association’s year.

Come learn how to effectively advocate for the profession you love and put it to practice under the virtual dome! Registration will open soon. 

Find all the details on our Government Relations Webpage.

ASCA Position Statement Public Comment

The ASCA Position Statement Committee is revising eight position statements in 2023. Members are asked to review the current versions and provide feedback on any changes and updates they think are necessary. Review the statements and provide comments by January 19, 2023.

  • The School Counselor and Academic Development
  • The School Counselor and Career Development
  • The School Counselor and Identification, Prevention and Intervention of Behaviors That Are Harmful and Place Students at Risk
  • The School Counselor and Retention, Social Promotion and Age-Appropriate Placement
  • The School Counselor and School Counseling Programs
  • The School Counselor and Social/Emotional Development
  • The School Counselor and Student Safety and the Use of Technology
  • The School Counselor and Virtual School Counseling

Public comments can be submitted at this link: https://www.schoolcounselor.org/Standards-Positions/Position-Statements/Position-Statement-Public-Comment

2022-2023 Professional Development

Counselor Connections

Conference Information & Updates

Members Corner