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Sunday, June 03, 2018

Bullying Research Opportunity for Elementary & Middle School Counselors

Are you a school counselor working in an elementary or middle school?  Your input is needed to investigate the relationship among elementary and middle school counselors’ advocacy and self-efficacy in addressing bullying.  To participate, please complete an online questionnaire
Please direct all inquiries to Suzana Petkovic at

Life Changer of the Year Recognition

Are you a LifeChanger or know someone who is?
LifeChanger of the Year is an annual program recognizing K-12 educators and school employees across the country. Our program celebrates those who are making a significant difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership.
Visit for more information.

Congratulations to the FSCA 2018 Scholarship Winners!

The winning submissions highlighted the important work of professional school counselors and implementing a comprehensive school counseling program, while also describing the impact that they make on students and schools.
High School Seniors:
Amanda Bello from Coral Reef High School, Counselor: Lisa Munyon
Angelica Fernando from Apopka High School, Counselor: Lisa Munyon
Graduate Student Winner:

Olivia Hebert from Nova Southeastern University, Advisor: Dr. Eric Thompson

Fleming College Scholarship Opportunity!

Fleming College is hosting an essay contest for a scholarship – open to high school seniors and undergraduate students. To find out more about the scholarship, and to apply, visit

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Stay Up-To-Date on FSCA News

Earlier this week FSCA members were invited to become subscribers to the FSCA news posts. Emails were sent to members on the evening of Monday, May 7th.  FSCA wants you to know this confirmation email is legit and is part of our ongoing effort to keep members informed of important news and events.

Letter to Florida Superintendents!

This following letter was sent to the district superintendents across the state of Florida earlier this week. FSCA continues to advocate for all school counselors.  If you are interested in learning more visit the advocacy update page on our website  Not a member?  Join FSCA today and become part of the solution!

SAT Prep Guide for College Applicantss

The College Board reports that the Class of 2017 was their largest cohort of SAT test takers in history, and observes an increase in the 2016-2017 school year of more than 650,000 students completing the SAT or PSAT assessment tests over the previous year. With the increase of colleges that require SAT scores for admissions, more students seek to do well on the SAT than ever before.
Our website offers an SAT Prep Guide for college applicants. We’re a provider of comprehensive information about majors, college degree programs, financial aid, student issues, and much more. Because SAT scores are an important part of the college application process, we cover vital test information and direct students to important online study resources. Our goal is to ensure every student is well-informed of their test choices and prepared to do their very best on the SAT.
Some topics we cover in this guide:
  • 2018 SAT test dates and information
  • The 2016 changes to the SAT
  • SAT section explanations, sample questions, and tips on how to choose the right answer
  • How to prepare for the SAT

Complete 10-15 minute survey for the chance at $100 VISA Gift Card!

Faculty at the University of Minnesota would like to invite all practicing school counselors to participate in a research study through the University of Minnesota called An Exploratory Factor Analysis Examination of School Counselor Preparedness in Effectively Counseling Gender Nonconforming Students – A National K-12 Survey. For study purposes, we are looking for 1,000 K-12 school counselors across the country to complete a short and simple survey. The study seeks to determine the usefulness of this survey in assessing counselor perceptions of preparedness in working with gender nonconforming students. The survey will take only 10-15 minutes to complete.
Upon completion of the survey, you will be directed to a Google Form where you can enter your contact information to be entered in a drawing for a chance to win one of fifteen $100 Visa gift cards. The drawing is optional and you may opt out of filling out the Google Form if you wish.
Survey responses will be entirely anonymous and all data gathered will be stored in a secure online environment.  Information will be kept confidential and secure and only the people working with the study will have access to the data unless required by law.
Thank you in advance for consideration.
To access the survey and more information regarding this study, please click on the following link:
All inquires should be directed to Dr. Carolyn Berger, Assistant Professor,

Historically Black Universitties: Are the the right fit?

Historically Black Colleges and Universities: The History of HBCUs and Why They’re Still Important Today

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Florida School Counselor of the Year Nominations!

It is time to submit your nominations for Florida School Counselor of the Year. The 2018 Florida School Counselor of the Year (SCOY) award will be presented at our November 2018 Convention, at the Rosen Plaza Hotel, Orlando.  We are eager to accept your nominations whether you select an individual to represent your district or encourage your School Counselors to nominate themselves.
This is our third year using the paperless FSCA portal created and provided by ASCA.  This online portal is for submitting, collecting, reviewing, and judging SCOY applications. It is also used for submitting our state nominee for the national ASCA SCOY award.  The online portal is paperless, so no fuss and worry about mailing packets as it is all submitted online.  We can easily have reviewers from all the around the state, and our state SCOY winner will already have completed the ASCA SCOY application and will only need to add the video to be considered for the national award.
The portal is open for nominations until September 15, 2018and has an October 15, 2018 deadline for completed application submissions. Please share this link with your nominees or individuals interested in nominating a colleague or themselves.
The portal  link is:
This portal link is also the place to make nominations for other annual awards like Administrator Advocate  – an administrator who demonstrates exemplary support of school counseling programs, and School Counselor Advocate, a non-administrator who is an educator, school board member, or community leader who demonstrated exemplary support of school counseling.
Please email Jeannie Maddox, FSCA Chair of Professional Recognition, at if you have any questions.  We look forward to receiving your nominations and reading about the amazing job the School Counselors in your districts are doing.
Note: To apply for one of the “School Counselor of the Year” awards to use the “Apply Today” link. This includes the Elementary, Middle, and High School SCOY awards. If you want to apply for one of the additional awards (e.g., School Counselor Advocate, Administrator of the Year), please click on “Other Awards”.

FSCA Announces Official Job Description of Certified School Counselors

The FSCA is pleased to announce the Certified School Counselor job description.  The job description was created with input from representatives in more than 20 FL school districts and with feedback gathered through a public commenting period. 
Thank you to everyone who submitted information and reviewed the draft. Let us know how you plan to use this to advocate for the role of school counselors.
Job Summary: The certified school counselor provides leadership in the school through the implementation of a comprehensive, data-driven school counseling program aligned with the district and school’s mission to promote academic, social/emotional, and college/career development, while ensuring equity and access for all students.
  1. Holds or be eligible for a Florida Department of Education certificate in school counseling as specified in Administrative Rule 6A.4.0181, which requires a master’s degree or higher in guidance and counseling or counselor education.
  2. Demonstrates the ability to design, implement, analyze, and document outcomes of a comprehensive school counseling program based on national and state standards.
  3. Demonstrates the ability to support student achievement, social/emotional development, and college/career readiness.
  4. Abides by the American School Counselor Association’s Ethical Standards for School Counselors (updated 2016).
  5. Demonstrates the ability to work with diverse groups.
  6. Demonstrates the ability to effectively communicate, both orally and in writing.
  7. Demonstrates knowledge of technology and software applications appropriate to job responsibilities.
A. Student Success for All
  1. Designs and implement a data-driven, comprehensive school counseling program for all students to address barriers to student learning and to close the achievement/opportunity gap.
  2. Spends a minimum of 80 percent of time providing direct services and 20 percent indirect services.
    1. Direct services include, but are not limited to, school counseling core curriculum, individual counseling and student planning, classroom lessons, small group counseling, and preventative and responsive services.
    2. Indirect services on behalf of students include, but not limited to, referrals for additional assistance and consultation/collaboration with parents, teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders to create a learning environment promoting educational equity, access, and success for every student.
  3. Delivers programs that promote students’ development of essential mindsets and behavior standards including, but not limited to, learning skills, social skills, self-management skills, and college/career readiness skills.
  4. Reviews and disaggregates student achievement, attendance, and behavior data to identify and implement interventions with current knowledge of promotion, retention, and graduation requirements.
  5. Uses school data to identify and assist individual students who do not perform at grade level and do not have opportunities and resources to be successful in school.
  6. Creates yearly, data-driven goals that advance student outcomes in areas of academic, social/emotional, and college/career development.
  7. Uses the skills of leadership, advocacy and collaboration to create systemic change to improve the academic, social/emotional, and post-graduate success of all students.
B. Promoting Positive School Climate
  1. Acts as a systems change agent in collaboration with the school leadership team to ensure a safe, supportive, and respectful school climate that promotes the social/emotional and academic development and success of all students.
  2. Fosters family and community partnerships to support the social/emotional and academic development of all students.
  3. Infuses cultural competence, ethical and professional competencies in planning, organizing, implementing and evaluating the comprehensive school counseling program.
  4. Provides preventative education and skill building along with counseling for students during times of transition, separation, heightened stress and critical change.
  5. Uses appropriate responses and a variety of intervention strategies to meet the needs of the individual, group or school community before, during and after crisis response.
  6. Supports the continuum of mental health services, including prevention and tiered intervention strategies, and collaborates with both school-based and community mental health providers to enhance student success.
C. Leadership and Advocacy
  1. Develops and communicates a school counseling mission statement that is specific, concise, clear and comprehensive, describing a school counseling program’s purpose and vision of the program’s benefits for every student in alignment with the school, district and state missions.
  2. Uses student data to demonstrate a need for systemic change in areas such as course enrollment patterns; equity and access; and achievement, opportunity and/or information gaps.
  3. Advocates for student equity and access to a world-class education that leads to high school graduation and fosters post-graduate success.
  4. Analyzes and reports outcomes of the school counseling program and goals, which are presented in the context of the overall school and district performance.
  5. Utilizes technology effectively and efficiently to plan, organize, implement and evaluate the comprehensive school counseling program.
  6. Uses legal and ethical decision-making based on standards and principles of the school counseling profession and educational systems, including district and building policies.
  7. Collaborates with school staff in the analysis of student performance data, rigorous goal-setting, and development of effective action plans for improving academic, social/emotional, and post-graduate outcomes for all students.
D. Additional Job Functions
  1. Follows adopted policies and procedures in accordance with School Board priorities.
  2. Performs other duties as specified in local, state and federal rules, laws and statutes.
Proposed January 2018 by the Florida School Counselor Association based on input from District Leaders. Revised based on open comments from FSCA members and District Leaders, April 2018.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Emerging Leader Program-Applicants Needed!

The Florida School Counselor Association is now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 Emerging Leaders Program.
Eligible applicants must meet the following criteria:
  1. Be a current member of FSCA
  2. Be a current graduate student enrolled in a school counseling degree-seeking program or a professional school counselor.
  3. Registers for the FSCA Convention November 1 – 3, 2018
  4. Attends the Emerging Leader training program during the FSCA Convention.
Application deadline is May 25, 2018. 
A complete application packet must include (a) Application cover sheet, (b) Resume, (c) Two Professional References, and (d) One Letter of Support.  The application can be submitted electronically to Dr. Cindy Topdemir at
The application cover sheet can be downloaded from

An Insider's Guide to Athletic Recruiting

Join FSCA for our next webinar event, An Insider’s Guide to Athletic Recruiting, on May 15th at 3 PM
Seventeen year College Coaching Veteran & former NCAA Compliance Director will discuss the best strategies to helping your student-athletes to get recruited to play at the next level. Coach Renee Lopez has been featured in various media including multiple podcasts, USA Weekly, SiriusXM, and ESPN Radio and writes weekly blogs on the truth behind the athletic recruiting process. She is the author of the upcoming book “Looking For A FULL RIDE?: An Insider’s Recruiting Guide”( Over the past 1.5 years, Coach Renee has interviewed over 40 college coaches across all sports and divisions to help educate families, coaches, counselors, principals, and athletic directors on the TRUE REALITIES of athletic recruiting. Join us as she shares her insider’s insight as to the best strategies to help support your high school student-athletes.
Register for free at
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Monday, April 16, 2018


This event is FREE to all.  
What is the latest contemporary research discovering about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer plus young people in school settings? What are the psycho-social issues and needs as well as the challenges within the familial context pertaining to rejecting families? Importantly, what can help this group of students, now 14-19 percent of our district populations in Florida, become more resilient and thrive in their school communities? Join us for this informative cultural competency and best practice professional development webinar which will shed light on this vulnerable group of children, who still in 2018, is highly at risk yet ripe for support and resiliency.
De Palazzo brings a passionate spirit and a solid depth and breadth of school-based knowledge to her role as Equality Florida’s new statewide Safe School Director, serving for over 25 years as a classroom teacher, Broward School District LGBTQ Coordinator, national LGBTQ consultant and anti-bias trainer.  In Equality Florida’s role since August of 2016, De has developed relationships with District administrators in 51 of Florida’s school districts, tending to the unique needs of LGBTQ students. De co-initiated “Courageous Conversations about Race,” a race and equity-based initiative in Broward County Public Schools and is a national adjunct trainer for “Future Work Institute” a diversity and inclusion workplace consulting organization, as well as a certified anti-bias trainer for the Anti-Defamation League. She was a member of GLSEN’s National Board of Directors, founded GLSEN Fort Lauderdale, and was a nationally certified trainer for GLSEN anti-bias training program, as well as the Human Rights Campaign Welcoming Schools K-5 Project, a comprehensive approach to improving school climate in elementary school environments. De cofounded the first national LGBTQ conference for and by school district employees in 2011 and the first Florida LGBTQ school district conference for upper-level administrators, general counsels, and school board members, now in their fifth year and third years respectively.
Important registration and attendance links:
Event URL:
Registration URL:
You can also dial in using your phone:
United States: +1 (224) 501-3412; Access Code: 349-637-709

Friday, April 06, 2018

Nova Southeastern University PTSD Conference

Join Nova Southeastern University on April 21stfor this local Jacksonville conference focusing on military and non-military related trauma. Breakouts will include information on learning tools and techniques for treating survivors of long-term child abuse as well as understanding PTSD in children and adolescents.  Visit the conference host site to register:
Learn tools and techniques for treating and supporting trauma survivors. Breakout sessions include:
  • Treating Adult Survivors of Long-Term Child Abuse
    Steven N. Gold, Ph.D., Nova Southeastern University
  • Project Odyssey
    Bryan Higham, Wounded Warrior
    Bo Martin, Wounded Warrior
  • Addiction, Trauma, and Brainspotting
    Beth Medina, M.S., LMHC. PA., Brainspotting International
  • Hide and Seek, Ready or Not, Here the Triggers Come: Understanding PTSD in Children and AdolescentsErika Whitfield, LMHC, Family Foundations
  • Master Resiliency Training
    Matthew Page, Nova Southeastern University
Lunch will be provided.
Dispelling Common Myths about Trauma and PTSD
Steven N. Gold, Ph.D., Nova Southeastern University
Gold’s research interests and area of expertise are in the general area of psychological trauma, with a particular emphasis on post-traumatic stress disorder, dissociation, complex trauma, the psychological difficulties of adult survivors of prolonged child abuse (PCA), and hypnotherapy aimed at increasing trauma survivors’ coping, adaptive functioning, and resilience. He is director and founder (in 1990) of the Trauma Resolution & Integration Program (TRIP), which provides psychological services to adult survivors of all types of traumatic events, trains doctoral students in clinical practice with trauma survivors, and conducts ongoing research on trauma, dissociation, and related topics.
Visit the conference host site to register:

College Success Series Webinars

A series of four webinars will offer high school students a live, interactive online experience that will feature experts in the field of education who will help them to navigate the college admissions process – from finding the right college, choosing the right major, mastering the application process and landing scholarships to achieve their degree.

The webinars will be on April 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th. Register now to secure your spot!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Grant Awards for Teacher-Led SEL Projects

Education First, a team working for effective public education, is partnering with the NoVo Foundation to provide awards for teacher- and district-led projects that foster social and emotional skills in students. They’re looking for proposals from individual teachers, teams of educators, and district leaders seeking to improve students’ social-emotional skills in fresh, inventive, or innovative ways.
For projects planned for the next (2018-19) school year, they’re offering up to $5,000 in grant awards for teacher-led SEL projects and up to $25,000 for district projects that span multiple schools. Applications are due in just about a month—by April 20.

#FSCA Advocacy

#FSCA Advocacy – Use Your Voice
Critical legislation related to the Governor’s action plan passed the Senate and the House and was signed by the Governor on Friday, March 9th, 2018 as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. The details of the legislation and the implementation plans are in the developmental stages and ambiguous at this point, but implications are that school districts will play a critical role in decision making and planning at the local level.
During the legislative session, FSCA board members and school counselors from across the state joined together for our FSCA Day on the Hill to visit Senate offices and sit in on the House debate of the Public Safety Act. The 2018 Florida School Counselor of the Year, Larissa Bennett, was recognized with the Governor’s Shine Award. We appreciate efforts to date to contact legislators and encourage ALLschool counselors to continue to advocate for our profession. As the implementation plans are formed, we need to use our voices and be a part of this work.
Knowing that legislators and district leaders will be making critical decisions on the funding and implementation of the Public Safety Act, we encourage all school counselors as certified personnel who are trained to recognize preK -12 students’ mental health needs to connect with legislators, state and district leaders.
  • School Counselors across Florida need to schedule appointments with state legislators when they return to their home districts over the coming months (April, May, June). This link will help you find contact information for your Senate and House legislators.
  • We need to let our local district leaders (superintendents, school board members, principals, other supervisors and administrators) know what we do and how we make a difference for students and families. Invite local leaders to your school to see your work firsthand. Here are some advocacy documents (FSCA Advocacy Flyer SC, and School Counselor Advocacy) that can be used to support your conversations.
  • If you cannot schedule a face to face visit, call your legislators or district leaders and tell them directly about the role you play in supporting student development and the need for 80% of your time to be spent in direct service to students. (See the Talking Points document.)
  • Continue to send emails or letters from your personal email account. FSCA leaders have written sample templates that you can copy and modify for legislators or for use with local education leaders. Sample SC Ltr is specific to school counselors. If you are an advocate of school counseling, use Advocate Ltr #1 or Advocate Ltr #2.
We will continue to provide advocacy updates and work to be involved with planning committees and implementation groups. We ask that you continue to use your voice for our profession by contacting your legislators, as well as district leaders, to share our role in schools and use your data to educate on the impact we have and how we can meet the needs of even more students and families given appropriate ratios and use of time.

FSCA Convention Proposals, Nominations, & Scholarship Deadlines

Now Accepting 2018 Convention Proposals
Are you interested in sharing your knowledge with counselors from across the state of Florida? Here is your chance!
The Florida School Counselor Association is soliciting proposals for 75-minute break out sessions promoting evidence-based programs in the domains of academic, college and career readiness, and social/emotional development highlighting the latest techniques and practices in school counseling. Presentations need to showcase proven programs, current research, or skills of value to counselors (pre-K to postsecondary) as well as district personnel, graduate students, and school counselor educators. Submit this proposal, including a brief resume for the primary presenter, by March 31, 2018.   Click here to submit.
FSCA Board of Directors Call for Nominations 
FSCA is seeking candidates for its Board of Directors. Prospective candidates must submit the completed Nomination Application Packet electronically in one PDF file to by 5 PM ET on March 18, 2018. Nomination packets can be downloaded here:
FSCA 2018 College Scholarship Competition
Eligibility and General Guidelines:
·         High School Seniors
·         Essays limited to 300 words describing the impact the student’s school counselor has had on them
·         Two $500 scholarships will be awarded
Deadline to Apply: April 1, 2017
Click Here for the Application Package!