In This Issue:
A Message from the DPI
A Message from the WSCA Board
School Counselor: Role in School Safety
Legislative Update – Afternoon on the Hill
WI Technical College Survey
ASCA National Model Helpful Tips
ASCA Model Training – Registration Open
Upcoming Events and Committee Updates
WSCA’s Got Talent
Tell Us Your Story
College Goal Wisconsin
November is the Month of the Military Family
Shelley Joan Weiss
Wisconsin Commissioner for the Education of Military Children
“Military families exemplify the courage and resolve that define our national character. For their country and their loved ones, they rise to the challenges of multiple deployments and frequent moves — spouses who care and provide for children in their partners’ absence, kids who make new friends and leave known comforts behind. They are the force behind the force, patriots who support their family members in uniform while enriching the communities they call home.”
This quote from President Barrack Obama’s 2017 proclamation for November as the Month of the Military Family summarizes the special challenges military families face. Every family has challenges, but military families have unique challenges that all of us need to be aware of. Schools play a special role in the lives of all families and often school personnel who are the first individuals who families connect within the civilian community. It is important that educators increase their understanding and responsiveness to military families joining our communities.
During a recent meeting, I listened to a panel of parents and children discuss the challenges of frequent moves from city to city and state to state. Families became very emotional as they discussed the stress of moving into a new community with no family connections – trying to find the best neighborhoods, the best schools for their children, learning the “culture” of the community, finding jobs for the non-military members (spouses, children). These families did not venture into discussing the added stress of having a family member frequently deployed to distant locations and daily facing threats to their lives.
We have thousands of military families in Wisconsin, including both active duty and members of the Guard and Reserve. Too often we do not recognize those families and may not be prepared to respond to their needs as a family. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is working to increase the awareness of the large numbers of military families who have children in our schools, and to increase understanding of the challenges they face. Members of the Wisconsin State Council for the Interstate Compact for the Education of Military Children are working with others to increase awareness and improve support for families. Schools need to understand that they are often being the first and best connection between the families and the community is essential to our success in Wisconsin.
We invite you to explore and share the resources included with others. Finally, please share the ways you celebrate the Month of the Military Family and how you are striving to meet the needs of military families. Your insights and inputs will help others.
“Some of our finest work comes through service to others.” – G.B. Hinckley
In the world of WSCA, it is that time of year when we begin looking for those who have an interest to serve on our WSCA Board. Nominations and Elections Committee has completed the information that is needed in order to apply. We are always looking for school counselors that will represent diverse needs and perspectives. We will be making the application information available soon.
Over the past three and a half years, the WSCA Governing Board of Directors has been functioning under Policy Governance with a nine person board and in support from our Executive Director but separate from our WSCA Coordinators Team. The service, in time, that our Board Members share is in a three year commitment and about five physical meetings. It is quite amazing how quickly those three years pass.
Along with the gratitude for service given to our WSCA Organization, the networking and friendships formed are so worth all of the work done. Please consider the opportunity to be a change agent within the WSCA Organization. If you have any interest, please feel free to review the board of directors position description in order to better understand the roles and responsibilities. To understand the focus of the WSCA Governing Board of Directors, please review the WSCA ENDS Policies. We look forward to your application.
“Leadership is Service to others.” — D. Morrison
Angela M. Goebel
With the recent funding by the Wisconsin Department of Justice for school safety, counselors are required to be involved in school safety planning. Many of these conversations are about topics that are not directly connected to a counselor’s day to day work and may take time away from working with students.
Using the four themes of the ASCA model, Advocacy, Leadership, Collaboration, and System Change may help reframe counselor involvement on these school safety teams. School counselors are in almost all public school districts in Wisconsin and are often the only school employed staff with advanced training in mental health. School counselors in Wisconsin have been asking for a “seat at the table” for many years. Depending on administration and school structures this varies significantly across the state.
The DOJ grant requires trauma awareness training. Many counselors have had professional development and advanced training on supporting students impacted by trauma. Counselors are often seen as the staff expert for mental health concerns and feel confident directly supporting students.
The school safety grants give counselors the opportunity to not only share our expertise on the impact of trauma and mental health on students but to also be on a leadership team that that is reviewing and revising policies and procedures. The counselor is one of the few staff trained to view students holistically which gives a unique perspective to advocate for system change to ensure students are not only physically safe but feel psychologically safe.
WSCA has advocated for the need to be proactive and preventive in school safety planning. Comprehensive school counseling programs improve school climate and culture. As counselors are collaborating with their leadership teams it is critical to not only focus on the students most at risk but also support a positive school climate for all youth.
Now is the time for Wisconsin school counselors to advocate creating systems that will support all students in your buildings.
School Safety Resources:
National Child Traumatic Stress Network
- School Safety Resources:
- Trauma-informed active shooter/intruder drill guide
- Psychological First Aid for Schools Guide
- Addressing Race and Trauma in the Classroom: A Resource for Educators
American School Counselor Association
- The School Counselor and Safe Schools and Crisis Response Position Statement
- Helping Traumatized Children Learn
National Association of Secondary School Principals
- School Safety: A Principal Concern
Principals strive to better prepare themselves for crisis in the wake of the Parkland shooting
- School Safety Part II: Stakeholders Weigh In
A school resource officer, teacher, and student share their input on the importance of school safety
- A Framework for Safe and Successful Schools Considerations and Action Steps
National Association of School Psychologists
- A Framework for Safe and Successful Schools
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
- Mental Health Resources
- Safe Schools Resources
Wisconsin Department of Justice, Office of School Safety
- School Safety Resources
2019 Afternoon on the Hill
Although we’re only two months into the 2018-2019 school year it’s never too early to start planning for your 2019 WSCA Conference experience. The Government Relations Committee would like to encourage ALL school counselors in the state to participate in Afternoon on the Hill this spring. With discussions about school safety, college and career readiness, and education reform on the minds of many stakeholders, we have a prime window of opportunity to advocate for our role with elected officials. If you are hesitant to participate, take a look at the preparation resources all of our participants receive when they sign up for this FREE preconference offering.
The experience will kick off with an educational and collaborative workshop in the Monona Terrace Convention Center.
Prior to our workshop, we encourage you to find some time to review the following information below in preparation for the event:
- Who is your WI State Senator and Representative? Click this link: https://legis.wisconsin.gov and enter your home address in the search box in the upper right-hand corner. (We will have set up your appointment in advance).
- Afternoon on the Hill Worksheet for meeting with your Legislator – Click Here
- Communicating with Your Legislator: Do’s & Dont’s – Click Here
Sneak Peek at Agenda:
- Introduction to Legislative Advocacy
- Tips for a Successful Legislative Meeting
- Setting our Talking Points/Educating Policymakers
- Orientation to Capitol (Map)
What to wear/bring:
- Professional attire. Look sharp!
- Sensible shoes
- Any information/documents from your school or district that you want to share with your representatives
- Business cards to leave with representatives
Don’t miss Government Relations’ post-event gathering at a local establishment, where you can stop in, warm up, and join the other AOH participants for a complimentary beverage of your choice.
If you have any questions or ideas about Afternoon on the Hill contact Rachel Pufall, Government Relations Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5 – THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2019
WSCA’s 54th Annual State Conference
The Power of Hope
Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center