June 2019

In This Issue:

A Message from ED: Reflecting on 2018-19
A Message from the WSCA Board: Self Care, Staff Wellness
Feature Article: Evidence Based School Counseling Practices
Special Summer Academy Promotion!
Legislative Update – 2019-2021 Budget & School Social Work Funding
2019-2020 Conference: Ross Greene – Opening Keynote! & Call for Presenters
WI Technical College – Graduate Student Outcome Report
ASCA  Helpful Tips – 4th Edition of ASCA model 
Summer Academy and Fall Summit
WSCA Volunteers Needed

A Message from the WSCA Exeutive Director

Reflecting on the 2018-19 school year and planning for next year

Stacy Eslick, WSCA Executive Director

WSCA had an amazing year thanks to our members and countless volunteers.  Our Director of Operations team has worked tirelessly to provide our members with professional development, newsletters, professional recognition, advocacy and school counselor representation at the state level.

Much appreciation to our WSCA leaders completing their terms: Katrina Rotar (Social Media & Technology), Alyssa Pon-Franklin (Publications), Brianna Capesius (Graduate Student), Adriana Plach (Board), Olin Morrison (Board) and Angela Goebel (Board).

While we continue to provide our members with benefits that they have become familiar with over many years, WSCA is also expanding our partnerships, advocacy and professional development.  Your feedback and input is invaluable to ensuring we meet the needs of our membership!

WSCA is now actively promoting and encouraging the use of the ASCA model for all school counselors in the state.  With this shift, WSCA leaders are continuing to hold our association accountable to members by developing annual comprehensive program goals, action plans, and SMART goals.

During the 2018-19 school year we worked on updating the WSCA purpose statement (combined vision and mission statement):

Our vision is for Wisconsin to be the model for excellence in school counseling practice, exemplified by the advocacy, leadership, and expertise of the members of the WSCA.

School Counselors are essential to the lifelong learning and success of all students.

We spent time in April working on longer term strategic planning.  We look forward to sharing more information on these plans with you on this project over the next year.

The WSCA team is looking forward to having you join us at Summer Academy in La Crosse with a deeply discounted registration rate for members only! As always, please feel free to reach out to the WSCA team if you need further information or have questions.


A Message from the WSCA Board of Directors

Self Care, Staff Wellness

Miriam Brown, WSCA Board Member

Applying to be on the WSCA Board of Directors was an easy decision. I am privileged to collaborate frequently with the impressive School Counselors within my building and within my district, and being on the Board offered a chance to collaborate further with professionals who believe in the power and leadership of this occupation. I am grateful everyday for the opportunities we get to serve students, staff, and families within our educational system, and I wanted to do more to support the WSCA mission.

Being on the Board has also become a pleasantly unexpected time for self-care, which is a good theme to visit in November! November is the month that (for me at least) the honeymoon period that comes with the start of the year begins to end, and the emotional burden attached to our role starts to get heavier. This year, the Board is focusing on connecting to our members and highlighting the leadership and advocacy work that members do; however, it is tempting to focus on what our profession on the whole is doing for and not enough on what we are doing for ourselves and each other to keep us well.

Depending on the research, 30-66% of School Counselors report high levels of emotional exhaustion and burnout. The ASCA Ethical Standards also include a mandate for self-care in requiring that School Counselors address physical or mental health needs that may impact their ability to meet student and staff needs. In this way, it is important that as members who are both leaders and advocates in schools and communities, that we highlight the ways in which you are leaders and advocates for self-care and wellness.

For me, being on the Board is self-care. It is energizing. It “re-fills my bucket” (a phrase all elementary counselors will understand). When issues with individual students, teachers, or families arise and become overwhelming, it is refreshing and rejuvenating to meet with the inspiring members of the WSCA organization and become grounded once again in the foundational work of School Counselors as a whole. Board meetings give me a chance to step back and remind myself why I entered this profession. In conclusion, this is an ask for members to continue being leaders, not just in giving to others, but also in giving to themselves, and to share your voice with WSCA on how the organization can support a culture of wellness!

Evidence Based School Counseling Practices

By Stacy Eslick

Stacy is the WSCA Exeutive Director, before joining WSCA she was a school counselor for over 15 years with experience at all grade levels.

There has been a renewed interest in using evidence and/or researched based programs in Wisconsin schools with the recent DPI roll out of the Wisconsin Social Emotional Learning Competencies.  Using Evidence Based School Counseling (EBSC) practices has been part of our work for years so it is exciting to see other educators having a greater understanding of evidence based practice in the area of social and emotional well being of our students. 

Using the Multi Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) help provide a framework for implementing evidence based practices based on the needs of your student population.  Trish Hatch has a wonderful video that shows how counseling programs (including career development) fit into MTSS https://vimeo.com/304246315 .

One of the frustrations frequently heard is that this _____ program/curriculum/initiative did not work in my school.  When considering options for your counseling program it is critical to remember that the outcomes demonstrated by the evidence or research (and what they are trying to sell you) generally only occur when you are able to implement with fidelity.  If you school does XXX “light” or “ish” then the outcomes will more than likely not be as strong or as successful. When investing great sums of not just dollars but also staff time, professional development, instructional minutes, etc you want to make sure your school is making a wise investment. 

What does this mean for your school counseling program?  Evidence-based School Counseling is defined by Dimmitt, Carey and Hatch (2007) “as the intentional use of the best available evidence in planning, implementing, and evaluating school counseling interventions and programs” (p. ix).  It is inferred, therefore, that school counselors (a) know what to prioritize – what really needs to be addressed, (b) can identify what is likely to work to meet that need and (c) have the skills to evaluate if the intervention made a difference.

Zyromski, Ph.D., B., Mariani, Ph.D., M. and Dimmitt, Ph.D., C. (2016). Evidence-based School Counseling Curricula for Elementary School Counselors. ASCA Webinar.

What does this process look like for a school counselor?  What often happens in reality is a problem or concern is given to the school counselor to manage or solve.  The counselor then often starts looking for interventions or ways to fix the problem without doing the first steps of the process which is taking a deep dive into the data to tell us more about what is happening.  How are counselors supposed to use an effective EBSC practice if they don’t know how students are supposed to be different as a result of what is implemented? There are several process models that can be used to walk counselors through the process of EBSC interventions, below is a simple way to conceptualize the steps. 

Do you have to purchase expensive curriculum, programs and materials to have an evidence based school counseling program?  The answer is no, however, it is critical that you are assessing the impact your program is having on students. Through this assessment process you are taking the opportunity to self reflect on the use of your time, energy and resources and if it had the intended outcome you wanted for your students.  If it isn’t working, then go through the process again making changes based on what you learned to improve the outcomes for your students.  

I hope you are able to take time this summer to reflect on your school counseling program.  During the school year we are so busy with the day to day responsibilities it is hard to stop and take the time to do this very important work.  

As you are reflecting you might discover that you need some new ideas on how to support your students.  A quick google search will give you thousands of options! Below are evidence based resource directories that will provide additional information in many areas related to school counseling.  

Evidence Based Intervention Network:   http://ebi.missouri.edu/

National Center for Healthy Safe Children: https://healthysafechildren.org/topics/evidence-based-interventions

The What Works Clearinghouse:  http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/

The Promising Practices Network :  http://www.promisingpractices.net

Blueprints for Violence Prevention:  http://www.colorado.edu/cspv/blueprints/index.html

Social Programs That Work:  http://www.excelgov.org/displayContent.asp?Keyword=prppcSocial

The IRIS Center:  https://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Div. of Adolescent School Health:  http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/

Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning:  www.casel.org

Fredrickson Center for School Counseling Outcome Research & Evaluation:  http://www.umass.edu/schoolcounseling/resources-for-counselors.php

National Center for Educational Research:  http://ies.ed.gov/ncer

SAMHSA Evidence-Based Practices Resource Center:  https://www.samhsa.gov/ebp-resource-center

School Counseling Analysis, Leadership & Evaluation Research Center:  https://scale-research.org/


$10 Member registration

(includes lunch and resource fair)

The State Senate passed the 2019-2021 budget and is sending it off to Governor Tony Evers.  Governor Evers has the authority to sign, veto or partially veto the budget.  As shared a few weeks ago, the Joint Finance Committee changed the language in the budget that allowed districts to hire the best pupil service professional to support mental health needs of students to just school social workers again.  

DPI recently shared data on the distribution of social workers hired under this funding from the 2017-2019 budget.  Legislators have stated they support the social work provision to increase access to social work services to districts that did not have these services before.  Interestingly, the data does not support this claim. 

71% of the districts receiving funding (63 out of 89) had school social workers on staff in the 2015-16 school year and received 85% of the funding ($2,561,405.00) in 2017-18 & 2018-19.   

24% of the districts receiving funding (21 out of 89) did not have a social worker in their district in the 2015-16 school year and received 11% of the funding ($336,305.00) in 2017-18 & 2018-19.

6% of the districts receiving funding (5 out of 89) were private schools so there is no way to determine if they had social workers in 2015-16 as private school staff is not monitored by DPI.  Private schools received 3% of the funding ($102,290.00) in 2017-18 & 2018-19.

85% of the money went to districts that already had social workers in their district which contradicts the statement that this funding was going to districts with no previous access to social workers.

WSCA supports the need for all pupil services to help our most vulnerable students. However, the reality in our state is the limited availability of social workers and psychologists.  School counselors have the necessary training to provide mental health support to students and we need to educate others on our training, knowledge and skills. 

Please help us in continuing to talk to your legislators about putting students first so they have access to a qualified school employed mental health support.   Schools need the flexibility to hire a pupil services staff that will meet the needs of their students.

Go to legis.wisconsin.gov. Toward the right hand side of the page, you’ll see the words “Find my Legislators.” Underneath, there is a space to enter your address. Type in your complete home address and click “Find.” You will see a map of your legislative district and photos of your representative and senator in the Wisconsin State Legislature. To view your representative and senator in the United States Congress, click on “For more information, click here.”

Not sure, what to say?   Click here for tips on writing a letter, sending an email or calling your legislator.