September 2021

Table of Contents

A Message from the WSCA Executive Director

Dear WSCA Members,

It is hard to believe we are going into our third school year with COVID still in state and national headlines.  It appears we will be dealing with the impact of COVID for much longer than any of us had initially anticipated and will continue to balance supporting students and schools while also taking care of ourselves and our own families.  

I have been thinking of all of you the past few weeks as students are returning to school. It was wonderful hearing how counselors across the state truly took time over the summer away from work.  It also sounds like many of you came back to last minute changes and stressful situations in your schools that you have had to navigate and deal with.  There have also been heartwarming stories on how working with your students has helped you recenter and bring joy even in stressful times.  

Our Director of Operations team met for our annual Leadership Development Institute in August and spent a great deal of time reflecting on how we can best support you.  There is so much that we can’t control so how do we create a community of school counselors to help each other through yet another year of COVID? Know that your WSCA leaders care deeply about your well being and are working to provide space and opportunities just for you.  

WSCA leaders are looking forward to seeing many of you at our upcoming annual conference in November at the Kalahari.  We also know that it may not be possible for you to attend in person so we have created a virtual option for you to still feel connected to our largest annual event. 

Please know we are here for you! Reach out, connect, and let your community support you.


Members, are you looking for a way to get involved in WSCA without a big time commitment? Join the Scholarship and Professional Recognition Committee! We are looking for committee members to help us review Professional Recognition Award applications and Scholarship applications during fall and winter. The time commitment is only 5-10 hours for the entire year!

Our first committee meeting will be held virtually on September 21st at 4:30pm.

Please email to join. We’d love to have you!
– Lauren & Katy

A Message from the WSCA Board of Directors

Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year from your WSCA board!

The summer seemed to fly by, but we hope you had a chance to practice your 4 R’s this summer.

  • Rest
  • Renew
  • Refresh
  • Recharge

We know that the 2020-2021 school year was filled with many challenges and that we have a lot of work to do as school counselors as we begin a new year. However, we know that as Wisconsin School Counselors you are up for those challenges and WSCA is here to support you as you dive into the important work of the school year.  

Our board had an opportunity to gather together this summer for our summer leader development institute. As a new board member, I was able to immerse myself into the work of the WSCA board and the way the board leads our organization. The WSCA board uses a policy governance model, created by Dr. John Carver, to lead. (If you want to learn more about this model, here is a resource: As a part of this model, the board focuses on our purpose (ends). Our ends drive all that we do as an organization. I thought I’d share them with you as we begin the year.  

The Wisconsin School Counselor Association exists so there are conditions enabling Wisconsin School Counselors to practice with the highest level of effectiveness using an equity lens to the extent that justifies available resources.

  • School counselors (active and pre-service) have the knowledge necessary for effective school counseling practices to develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive school counseling programs. 
  • School Counselors have the knowledge about current ethical and professional practices and their application.
  • School Counselors are knowledgeable about trends in school counseling and education.
  • School Counselors are knowledgeable about leadership and advocacy principles. 
  • School Counselors are knowledgeable about equitable and culturally responsive practices. 
  • Key Stakeholders (including but not limited to) school administrators, policy makers, and community members will understand the impact made by the school counselor implementing a comprehensive school counseling program. 

To sum these up, the purpose of the WSCA board is to assist you as school counselors:

  • To use an equity lens to develop, implement and evaluate your comprehensive school counseling programs. 
  • To be knowledgeable about current ethical and professional practices, trends in school counseling and education, leadership and advocacy principles, and equitable and culturally responsive practices.
  • To ensure key stakeholders understand the impact of a comprehensive school counseling program. 

Each and every one of you is WSCA and we look forward to connecting with you throughout the school year!

~Jenny Holle

Feature Article – 10 Tips for Promoting Social and Emotional Learning at Your School

10 Tips for Promoting Social and Emotional Learning at Your School

Amanda DeSua
School District of Waukesha

The first few weeks of school can set the tone for the year. Having routines in place, working to develop relationships and creating a safe and supportive environment are critical steps towards a successful year. With that in mind here are some tips to help you start the school year right:

 10 tips for promoting social and emotional learning at your school

  • Model healthy problem solving and coping skills for your students and colleagues. 
  • Get a pulse for the day by checking in with your students (and staff). Recognizing strong emotions early in the day and addressing them can build relationships and avoid dysregulation later in the day. 
  • Incorporate literature, activities, announcements or displays that promote equity, empathy, and compassion for others. Weaving SEL into academics and the environment increases connections for students and builds social awareness. 
  • Offer opportunities for service to the school and community. Students thrive when they have purpose and responsibility. 
  • Include mindfulness in your routine. This is a great way to start the day or ease into learning after a transition. 
  • Create a calming space for students to practice coping skills and self-management. Calming corners, mindful mazes or safe places throughout the building can help students reflect and refocus. 
  • Take advantage of teachable moments and create situations for restorative justice. Make sure disrespect among students is addressed with empathy, but also set the stage for forgiveness, positive change and relationship building. 
  • Highlight and praise prosocial behavior throughout the day. Reinforcing skills and connecting our daily interactions to social emotional learning is very powerful. 
  • Encourage reflection by having class meetings or facilitating respectful problem solving among students. Journaling can also be a powerful reflection tool and boost social and emotional learning and self-awareness. 
  •  Remember how connected our emotional and physical health are. Taking care of yourself is crucial so that you are prepared to care for others.

You Spoke, We Listened

Legislative Updates

WSCA’s Afternoon on the Hill

We are so excited to have counselors join us again for our annual Afternoon on the Hill event! It is critically important that school counselor voices and stories are heard by our state legislature.

Come learn how to effectively advocate for the profession you love and put it to practice! This opportunity will provide an overview of how to get your message out to your legislators about what you do, the difference you make, and how they can help support our mission. Following an interactive training session, we will meet with legislators during scheduled appointments at the Capitol. This event is an outstanding opportunity for professional leadership and advocacy. Over the years, our presence on the Hill has paid, and will continue to pay, dividends for WSCA and all school counselors statewide! Join us, and keep the positive momentum growing!

Want more information?

Register to participate in WSCA’s Afternoon on the Hill

Ask a question and/or join WSCA’s Government Relations Committee

2021-2022 Professional Development - NEW Professional Development Catalog, Online Learning Update

Members Corner - Why Join WSCA as a Grad Student

Conference Information & Updates - Pre-Con Social/Emotional Track, Grad Students

Counselor Connections - Special Interest Groups, ASCA Model Training