MASCA
SESSION DESCRIPTIONS

LIVE Sessions: April 5-6, 2021

Recorded Sessions: Available until May 31, 2021

9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Pre-Conference Sessions

This session is not included in the conference registration fee. Click here to register for this session.

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School Counselors and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice: Learning and Leading Together

Manjula Karamcheti, Dr. Julianna Stockton, Dr. Anjali Deshpande & Dr. Des Floyd

 

ABOUT THIS SESSION: Join Manjula Karamcheti, Dr. Julianna Stockton, Dr. Anjali Deshpande and Dr. Des Floyd as they present School Counselors and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice: Learning and Leading Together. This pre-conference session will introduce participants to design thinking, teaching for justice as a competency, and the ASCA Racism and Bias standards as ways to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in schools. Our team will introduce tools and exercises that promote identity development, examining conscious and unconscious bias, and strategies for using data to identify systemic oppression in school programs and policies. Topics including, but not limited to structural and systemic racism, white supremacist culture, and racial justice will be explored. Participants will be asked to bring a problem of practice regarding diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in their school, community or other setting and will have the opportunity to work through that problem individually or in a small group with a team.

This session is not included in the conference registration fee. Click here to register for this session.

You will need a password to view this session. The password will be sent out prior to the event. Please check your junk/spam folders.

Transitioning from Graduate Student to School Counselor: Tips, Tricks, & Insights

Dr. Megan Krell & Kayla Schutte

 

ABOUT THIS SESSION: Join Dr. Megan Krell and Kayla Schutte as they present Transitioning from Graduate Student to School Counselor: Tips, Tricks, & Insights.

Calling all graduate students! This session is designed as a pre-conference Graduate Student Institute to help prepare for the job application process and transition to the role of a school counselor. Topics will include: resume and cover letter best practices, interviewing techniques and practice, navigating the licensure and continuing education process, and a panel conversation with new school counselors and administrators from recently hiring districts.

This session is not included in the conference registration fee. Click here to register for this session.

You will need a password to view this session. The password will be sent out prior to the event. Please check your junk/spam folders.

Trauma Responsive Educational Institutions in a Post-Pandemic World: We Need Them Desperately

Dr. Karen Gross

 

ABOUT THIS SESSION: Join Karen as she presents Trauma Responsive Educational Institutions in a Post-Pandemic World: We Need Them Desperately. This pre-conference session will address this reality: the vaccines will allow us to reopen schools and greatly narrow the risk of physical illness. But, the reality is that we will need to address the trauma our students and educators have and are experiencing pre, during and post Pandemic. This session will focus on strategies for creating trauma responsiveness within institutions, addressing changes needed at the macro level. Topics will include changes in institutional culture, use of space, communication approaches and new hire orientations. Concrete strategies will be provided and they can be adapted to schools that serve differing student populations. The proffered ideas, while grounded in theory, are based on in-the-trenches experiences with institutional transformation. Please bring one cup or saucer you are willing to break (yes really) and glue and nail polish (ideally gold). We will be using these items for an exercise.

3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Opening Workshop Session

15-Minute Counseling Techniques that Work: What You Didn’t Learn in Grad School

Allison Edwards

SPEAKER BIO: Allison Edwards LPC, RPT is an affiliate professor in the Human Development Counseling department at Vanderbilt University. She is the author of Why Smart Kids Worry, Worry Says What?, and Marcy Is Having All the Feels. Allison received her graduate degree in Counseling from Vanderbilt University and is a National Certified Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor, and Registered Play Therapist. Allison has over 20 years experience working as a school teacher, school counselor, child/adolescent psychotherapist, and educational consultant to schools throughout the country.

Allison travels both nationally and internationally training professionals in the areas of empowering anxious children in the classroom, managing the emotional needs of students, recognizing the social/emotional needs of gifted students, and sharing how educators can talk to parents about student anxiety. Allison helps school leaders understand how social/emotional differences can be supported in their neurologically diverse student populations, and provides consultation and staff development on how to effectively improve emotion regulation in the classroom.

ABOUT THIS SESSION: Join Allison as she presents 15-Minute Counseling Techniques that Work: What You Didn’t Learn in Grad School. Feel like you don’t have enough time to do counseling? Participants will learn 15 counseling techniques that can be implemented in less than 15 minutes from when a student walks into your office. The program can be suited to elementary, middle, or high school counselors (or a combination of all) and participants will not only learn the strategies but will be doing them alongside Allison as she teaches how to implement them. Get out your Play-Doh! This hands-on, experiential program will revolutionize your counseling department and help kids leave feeling empowered.

8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. – MASCA President’s Welcome and Keynote Session

Taylor, Julia

Mental Health Literacy: Raising Awareness to Provoke Change

Julia Taylor

 

SPEAKER BIO: Dr. Julia V. Taylor is an assistant professor at the University of Virginia. She was previously the Dean of Student Services for the Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy, a public, all girls’ school located in Raleigh, NC. Originating from the Washington, DC area, Julia received her undergrad degree in Exercise Science with a concentration in Health Education from George Mason University. She received her masters in Psychology with a concentration in School Counseling from Marymount University. Julia received her  doctorate from Virginia Commonwealth University in Counselor Education and Supervision.

Julia is the author of many books: The Body Image Workbook for Teens, The Bullying Workbook for Teens, Salvaging Sisterhood, G.I.R.L.S: Group Counseling Activities for Enhancing Social and Emotional Development, and a children’s book, Perfectly You. She frequently presents her research and experiences with educators, parents, and students at the national level.

ABOUT THIS SESSION: Join Julia as she presents Mental Health Literacy: Raising Awareness to Provoke Change. Current research indicates that 1 in 5 students will experience a mental illness before the age of 25, with symptomology beginning during adolescence. The lifelong trajectories for these conditions can be greatly improved with early identification and intervention. School counselors are ideal to provide Tier 1 programming to reduce stigma, promote help-seeking behavior, and enhance mental health literacy for youth. This session will provide an overview of current research and best practices to address the topic, along a plethora of suggestions and advocacy resources.

Expected session outcomes:

  • Participants will examine stigma-reducing strategies associated with mental health conditions.
  • Participant will learn how to improve help-seeking behavior among youth and bystanders.
  • Participants will understand early identification strategies to share with parents/caregivers, teachers, administration, and other educational stakeholders.
  • Participants will learn how to utilize connections with community service boards and outside mental health providers.

9:30 a.m. – 10:20 a.m. – Live Breakout Sessions #1

Advocating for a Gender Inclusive Educational Environment for Trans Youth

April Megginson

Bridgewater State University

Domain: Personal / Social – Social / Emotional
Grade: All
Audience: School Counselors & Directors/Counselor Supervisors

 

In this interactive workshop, you will learn statistics associated with gender non-conforming youth, ethical & legal statutes that support their rights, ASCA’s Position Statement on LGBTQ Youth, and examine ways in which school counselors can advocate for a gender sensitive and inclusive environment. Participants will come away with a variety of relevant resources applicable to their professional practice in K-12 schools.

Approaching Anxiety: How (and When) Educators Can Intervene

Allison Edwards

 

Anxiety is the #1 mental health disorder in the country and affects nearly 30% of students. Each day students walk into classrooms with upset stomachs, sweaty palms and minds spinning with fear-based thoughts. Learn how to recognize anxiety in children, how to support anxiety in neurologically diverse classrooms, and how to talk to parents about student anxiety. Educators will leave the session with confidence to identify issues to address inside the classroom and how to work with outside professionals to help anxious children begin to thrive.

Putting Students at the Center: Why DEI Really Matters

Deanna Cullen, Tyeshia Weir, Manjula Karamcheti, Andrea Encarnacao and Amy Cook

St. Michael’s Academy

Domain: Personal / Social – Social / Emotional
Grade: All
Audience: School Counselors & Directors/Counselor Supervisors

 

The IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access) subcommittee of MASCA wishes to provide a networking opportunity and knowledge sharing session for any educator, support staff member, or administrator. Join us to share about “how does your school celebrate/participate in diversity work?” or “what is your biggest challenge relating to equity/diversity in your school, classroom, or counseling practice?” We will hear from our youth about what they wish educators would do to ensure equity and justice for all students.

Strengthening Sisterhood: Empowering Girls to Resist Societal Pressure, Fight Unrealistic Media Standards and Develop a Healthy Body Image

Julia Taylor

 

Today’s standards of beauty are unrealistic and unattainable. It’s not a coincidence that body image disturbances are widespread, contagious, and toxic. Girls are inundated with confusing messages that often interfere with their ability to learn, lead, and develop authentic relationships. This session will address these important issues, with a focus on helping girls develop leadership skills to combat and revive a generation that has become exhausted by body bashing, social media saturation, and the myth of perfection. Participants will have a clear understanding of body image, media literacy, and the pressures girls face on a daily basis, learn how to creatively assist girls and their families in developing leadership skills that promote a healthy and balanced life. Participants will also learn specific counseling techniques to empower girls to rise above our cultural standards of success, learn tools to teach girls to assertively advocate for themselves and will be provided with a plethora of resources that can easily be integrated into a comprehensive school counseling program.

Teachers’ Perceptions and Experiences with Secondary Trauma and Self-Care

Amy Ballin

Simmons University

Domain: Academic
Grade: All
Audience: School Counselors & Directors/Counselor Supervisors

 

Student discipline requires trauma-informed interventions. Attention to student trauma has increased, however, teachers and counselors encountering student trauma may struggle with burn-out or secondary trauma, which may impede their student support and advocacy efforts. Therefore, our research examined teachers’ and counselors’ perceptions of and experiences with secondary trauma, burn-out, efficacy and self-care during COVID-19.

The Importance of Early College & Career Planning

V. Scott Solberg

Boston University

Domain: Career
Grade: Middle
Audience: School Counselors & Directors/Counselor Supervisors

 

Students introduced to higher education & career opportunities early are better prepared to graduate with skills to embark on a career & be more proactive, adaptive, & resilient in life management. ILP’s enhance the relevance of learning opportunities & help students build essential career navigation skills. This session will highlight & exhibit activities educators can use to help youth identify their talent & skills that align to the workforce.

10:40 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Live Breakout Sessions #2

Approaching Anxiety: How (and When) Educators Can Intervene

Allison Edwards

 

Anxiety is the #1 mental health disorder in the country and affects nearly 30% of students. Each day students walk into classrooms with upset stomachs, sweaty palms and minds spinning with fear-based thoughts. Learn how to recognize anxiety in children, how to support anxiety in neurologically diverse classrooms, and how to talk to parents about student anxiety. Educators will leave the session with confidence to identify issues to address inside the classroom and how to work with outside professionals to help anxious children begin to thrive.

Cultural Competence, Implicit Bias & Providing Services in the Remote World

Kaitlyn Robichaud

Whitman-Hanson Regional High School

Domain: Personal / Social – Social / Emotional
Grade: All
Audience: School Counselors & Directors/Counselor Supervisors

 

This presentation will bring to light our own implicit bias, our understanding and self-awareness of cultural competence, the impact of engaging in remote services/learning, and how we can ensure that all students feel comfortable, safe and supported in the virtual setting. Recognizing our implicit bias and enhancing cultural competence in our schools is essential to improving how students access services and engage in learning virtually.

Planning, Delivering, and Assessing Multi-Tiered Instruction

Helen O’Donnell

Fitchburg State University

Domain: Academic
Grade: All
Audience: School Counselors & Directors/Counselor Supervisors

 

Is your curriculum supporting student growth in academics, behavior, and attendance? MA Model 3.0 advocates for school counselors to spend 80% of their time developing and delivering multi-tiered, proactive, comprehensive curriculum aligned with the school’s educational mission. Topics: curriculum planning; delivery strategies promoting student engagement; data collection to assess curriculum impact on student learning and program effectiveness.

Self-Care for School Counselors

Jacqueline Zeller

Harvard Graduate School of Education

Domain: Personal / Social – Social / Emotional
Grade: All
Audience: School Counselors & Directors/Counselor Supervisors

 

This session will describe the importance of school counselors’ self-care. To most effectively support students and comprehensive school counseling programs, it is important for school counselors to care for their own wellbeing. This session will incorporate literature and research that describes self-care, common sources of stress, the connection of self-care to school counselors’ ethical practice, and self-care strategies.

Suicide Prevention for Virtual/Hybrid Classrooms

Meghan Diamon

Riverside Community Care

Domain: Personal / Social – Social / Emotional
Grade: All
Audience: School Counselors & Directors/Counselor Supervisors

 

When schools shifted to virtual learning, counselors advocated for continued (and additional) social emotional education and supports. However, most classroom prevention programs and counseling tools were untested in remote learning settings. SOS worked with school counselors to adapt the program and collect student feedback on virtual suicide prevention. This session’s findings will provide guidance for future suicide prevention efforts.

Using MyCAP for Career and Post-Secondary Planning

Lisa Harney

MA. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Domain: Career
Grade: High
Audience: School Counselors & Directors/Counselor Supervisors

 

Lisa Harney from DESE will present MyCAP – the individual planning tool that helps students own their future. Jennifer McGuire will share the program used at Upper Cape for student-driven MyCAP implementation

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. – Virtual Awards Ceremony and Update from the MA Commissioner of Education

Virtual Awards Ceremony and Update from the MA Commissioner of Education

Join MASCA for the Virtual Awards Ceremony and updates from the MA Commissioner of Education.

1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m. – Live Breakout Sessions #3

Bringing Light to the Darkness of Suicide

Roger Von Braun

Von Braun Enterprises

Domain: Personal / Social – Social / Emotional
Grade: All
Audience: School Counselors & Directors/Counselor

 

This presentation focuses on what school counselors can do to develop a healthy school environment, improve communication between staff, and support identification of at-risk students. Using my experience as an educator, combined with what I have learned from the loss of my brother, I offer staff a new perspective on suicide prevention based on connection & empathy.

Building Resilience in the Shadow of COVID 19

Donna Kausek

The Nan Project

Domain: Personal / Social – Social / Emotional
Grade: All
Audience: School Counselors & Directors/Counselor Supervisors

 

This workshop offers educators the tools to help build resilience for both teachers and students during the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic. Attendees will leave this training with a better understanding of the mental health consequences of Covid-19 and the pillars of resilience, along with concrete strategies to encourage student resilience through classroom activities.

DHE Admission Standards for State Universities

Shayna Eddy

Framingham State University

Domain: Academic
Grade: High
Audience: School Counselors

 

This session will be lead by the directors of the state universities. Come and learn what the DHE requires for entrance.

Growing Resilience for Healthier and Stronger Communities

Dr. Stuart Lustig

Cigna

Domain: Personal / Social – Social / Emotional
Grade: All
Audience: School Counselors & Directors/Counselor Supervisors

 

Resilience — commonly defined as the ability to quickly recover from challenges — is closely connected to the people and communities that surround you. But Americans’ resilience is at risk. Cigna’s 2020 study shows that children entering their early pre-teen years (11-13) often experience a sharp decline in resilience that continues through age 23. Our insights can offer action plans to help your students and communities build inner resilience.

Restorative Practices in ACTION

Bonnie Robbins

Whittier Middle School

Domain: Personal / Social – Social / Emotional
Grade: All
Audience: School Counselors

 

Restorative practices enable all members of the school community to integrate and normalize a collaborative approach by focusing on building, maintaining and repairing relationships among all members of a school, as well as increased academic performance and improved school attendance. Learn how to use different types of restorative circles, such as problem solving, academic and attendance circles. We will provide you with a toolbox of materials.

Supporting Your Students in Making an Informed College Decision

Julie Shields-Rutyna

MEFA

Domain: Career
Grade: High
Audience: School Counselors

 

This session will provide a detailed overview of how to support students and their families in making informed college decisions using free web-based tools. The presenters will discuss what their research and experience have revealed to be critically important to making truly informed decisions. They will also review also common myths and misconceptions, and describe seven key questions that can guide the college choice process.

2:05 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. – Live Breakout Sessions #4

A Culturally Relevant Approach to Postsecondary Planning

Adam Seidel

OneGoal

Domain: Personal / Social – Social / Emotional
Grade: High
Audience: School Counselors & Directors/Counselor Supervisors

 

Postsecondary planning is often thought of as a series of steps like building a list of schools, personal statements, FAFSA, and applications. OneGoal’s comprehensive program, grounded in Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, ties these steps to the process of identity exploration and fostering a critical consciousness to support students in understanding the systemic barriers to postsecondary success and persisting towards their greatest aspirations.

District-Wide Mental Health Screening: Five Years of Implementation

John Crocker

Methuen Public Schools / MASMHC

Domain: Personal / Social – Social / Emotional
Grade: All
Audience: School Counselors & Directors/Counselor Supervisors

 

The presenter will discuss how mental health screening was piloted and scaled-up in Methuen Public Schools over six years. Strategies that have yielded successful implementation of screening will be offered, including the use of web-based screening and the use of a passive consent policy. The use of data to 1) identify students who may require services, 2) aid in progress monitoring, and 3) evaluate program efficacy will also be discussed.

Opportunity for All: Counseling on Postsecondary Access During COVID and Beyond

Bill McMurray

Bishop Fenwick High School

Domain: Academic
Grade: High
Audience: School Counselors

 

This session will examine creating awareness and access for postsecondary opportunities for students. COVID has exposed and highlighted inequities for underserved populations. Among the many socioeconomic measures, data clearly demonstrates postsecondary education provides higher income levels, reduced unemployment rates, and healthier lifestyles. Our panel will discuss the tangible steps counselors and teachers can take to provide awareness.

Navigating the Emotional Contours of Parenting a Transgender Teen or Child

Maura McCullough

Domain: Personal / Social – Social / Emotional
Grade: All
Audience: School Counselors

 

This presentation for school counselors will review strategies to provide appropriate support to parents navigating their child’s gender transition. Parents may experience an array of emotions, including distress, anger, sadness, and grief. Learn what you need to know about the gender spectrum and how to assist parents navigating the emotional contours of parenting a transgender adolescent or child.

School Counselors’ Critical Role in Implementing Systemic Student Support

Maria Theodorakakis

Boston College, Center for Optimized Student Support

Domain: Personal / Social – Social / Emotional
Grade: All
Audience: School Counselors & Directors/Counselor Supervisors

 

To address longstanding achievement and opportunity gaps, schools are increasingly prioritizing the non-academic needs impacting students’ ability to learn. The COVID-19 crisis exacerbated non-academic needs and further highlighted disparities, hastening implementation of systemic/integrated student support approaches in school districts across Massachusetts. This session will explore school counselors’ critical role in systemic student support.

Teaching Kids Relaxation, Regulation, and Coping Techniques

Casey O’Brien Martin

Brockton Public Schools and Lesley University

Domain: Personal / Social – Social / Emotional
Grade: Elementary
Audience: School Counselors

 

Learn how to use a tier-one SEL intervention to teach children to cope with their feelings more effectively utilizing fun and engaging breathing techniques, stretches, and cognitive-behavioral strategies. Participants will learn creative calming skills to use with their students, review best-practices, understand the rationale for using trauma-informed mindfulness practices, and examine research on how people change, relationships & resiliency.

Academic

Making Large Caseloads Seem Small with Data-Informed Targeted Communication

Jessica Coscia

Monta Vista High School

Domain: Academic
Grade: High
Audience: School Counselors & Directors/Counselor Supervisors

 

Guidance counselors nationwide struggle to effectively support the needs of every student when their caseloads are larger than the time available. With the increasing demand for time-intensive social emotional support, combined with academic and college & career counseling demands, disaggregated and targeted communication informed by accessible data can make providing timely guidance for individual students possible.

Career

Perceptions of Impostorism and Admission Criteria in College Admissions

Tim Poynton

University of Massachusetts Boston

Domain: Career
Grade: High
Audience: School Counselors & Directors/Counselor Supervisors

 

The results of a study with over 300 college students who reflected on the criteria they believed their first-choice college used when making admission decisions, and their feelings of competence – AKA Impostor Phenomena (IP) – are reviewed in this presentation. Findings indicate that students overestimate the importance of some non-academic factors and underestimate the importance of academic factors, and frequently feel academically fraudulent.

Personal/Social – Social/Emotional

Vaping Me Crazy! Weed Between the Lines!

Michael DeLeon

Steered Straight Inc

Domain: Personal / Social – Social / Emotional
Grade: All
Audience: School Counselors & Directors/Counselor Supervisors

 

The workshop discusses the complete misunderstood fixation of the Vape and the JUUL by adolescents. The susceptibility of the adolescent brain to this dangerous stimulant is not what our youth understand or are getting the truth about. The systemic dangers to the brain and body that is completely underestimated regarding the Tri-Fecta Gateway of Nicotine, Alcohol and Marijuana. This workshop breaks down the dangers of vaping and the consequences of its use by our youth and will give attendees solutions to combat that in the classroom and at home.

Youth Speaker: Sarika’s Story of Perfectionism, Achievement, and Suicide

Sarika Argawal

Minding Your Mind

Domain: Personal / Social – Social / Emotional
Grade: High
Audience: School Counselors & Directors/Counselor Supervisors

 

Sarika always held herself to impossible standards. She strived to be the best in all that she did, hoping to please those around her. Soon she became dependent on others’ approval for her own self-confidence. As a high-performing student who felt trapped she began to believe that suicide was the only way out. Learn about how the adults in her life helped her. Sarika is a national speaker sharing her story with students, parents, and teachers.