School counSelor’S corner
The Newsletter of the Connecticut School Counselor Association
Volume 18, Number 3 Spring 2009
From CSCA President, Carol Tomkalski
As another school year winds down, we begin to reflect on all of our looking to learn more about the ins and outs of the program. More
accomplishments. CSCA continues to work very hard to advocate information on the July Summer Leadership Academy is included in
and promote the role of the professional school counselor. It has this issue of the newsletter.
been a challenging year for many of us with the economy causing
setbacks in many districts. During these times we must continue CSCA is always working hard to provide our members with as
to focus on the direction in which we are heading. We have made many professional development opportunities as possible. Staying
tremendous strides in school counseling throughout our state over connected to relevant issues is the key to working with our students,
the last several years. Most recently we revised the Comprehensive parents and staff. Please remember to save the date of October
School Counseling Program Guide which was published by the 13th, 2009 for our annual fall conference. This year the location will
State Department of Education. Many of us have used this guide be the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cromwell. The theme is Transforming
as a resource to move our programs forward this year. CSCA has School Culture: School Counselors Rising to the Challenge. We
a curriculum committee in place that has been working to collect will hear a riveting keynote from a member of Rachel Scott’s
lessons at the various levels to post on our website under the toolbox family in regards to Rachel’s Challenge. For those of you who are
section. These lessons will be aligned with the Comprehensive unfamiliar, Rachel Scott was the first victim of the Columbine High
School Counseling Program Guide and will be designed to provide School tragedy in 1999. Since that fatal day, Rachel’s incredible
school counselors with some helpful ideas in working with their story has been told to over 10 million people in venues around the
students. world. Oprah, Larry King Live, The Today Show, Fox News, CNN,
ABC, CBS, and NBC are a few of the media programs that have
Other important CSCA events: CSCA participated in a research shared the story of her life. It has also been featured in a television
study with Dr. Richard Lapan from the University of Massachusetts documentary, a television advertisement about kindness, and has
Amherst, Center for School Counseling Outcome Research. It is been the subject of several books. This keynote message contains
our hope that the data collected from this survey can be used to five powerful challenges taken from Rachel Joy Scott’s life. These
help lobby for school counselors throughout our state. We were challenges are being implemented in secondary schools across the
very pleased with the response rate from this survey. Thank you country, and are making these schools safer and more enjoyable
to administrators and directors of school counseling programs who places to be in. Every listener will walk away a changed person from
took the time to answer the questions. As we all know, data is very this heart rending, humorous, thought provoking, and entertaining
powerful and provides us with the support we need to improve our presentation. I guarantee that you will not want to miss this event.
programs within our districts. The conference committee has been working hard to make sure
that this event will leave you energized to go out and continue to
In April, CSCA held a graduate student workshop on the topic of make a difference in your schools. We have also taken into account
interviewing and tips as a first year school counselor. This workshop the feedback from last year’s evaluations, thank you to everyone
was very well attended and the graduate student committee, who who filled one out. Please note that we have simplified the sign in
coordinated it, did a wonderful job. CSCA also offered a Naviance and out procedure relative to CEUs and the organization of this
overview and training in conjunction with Saint Joseph’s College in phase of the conference will be very different this year.
West Hartford for all counselors and administrators who were
CSCA is a non-profit, volunteer organization which relies on its
members to function. All of our board members are dedicated
to their role and work hard throughout the year on behalf of our
School counSelor’S corner members. If we can work to increase our association membership
then CSCA will be able to grow and provide even more services to
Official newsletter of Connecticut School Counselor Association our members. Our membership chair is working closely with our
. . . P u b li S h e d 3 t i m e S P e r yeAr . . . public relations chair to conduct a membership drive. If you know
someone who is a school counselor, but is not a member of our
association please encourage them to join. Strength is in numbers.
editOr: de lia Ador no To increase our strength and develop a stronger voice we need
to continue to build our numbers. Thanks to all for supporting our
AdvertiSing mAnAger: l a u r e n Cor r ell organization.
PhOtOgrAPher: dr. Ka th le e n bar r et t
School RefoRm in connecticut:
compRehenSive School counSeling pRogRamS muSt Be a paRt of it
by Kathy Scully, CSCA President-elect
In schools across the state, discussions about school reform are occurring every day. Through programs and initiatives such as Scientific Research
Based Interventions (SRBI), Positive Behavior Supports (PBS), Response to Intervention (RTI), and the Connecticut Dept. of Education’s Secondary
School Reform Plan and “Know How2Go” state-wide college preparation campaign, districts are exploring various ways in which they can enhance
As we contemplate the need for school reform in Connecticut, it is absolutely critical that we not overlook the importance of school counselors and
school counseling programs in our schools. Comprehensive school counseling programs are proactive and preventive in nature, and they are designed
to help every child succeed, both in school and in life beyond the classroom, by addressing the developmental educational and personal needs of all
students. Beginning as early as kindergarten, these programs focus on the academic, personal and future career success of every child by teaching the
necessary skills essential for success in the 21st century, and by providing critical support in three fundamental areas:
Academic support is provided through the teaching of study skills and strategies to all students, beginning in the primary grades, and by assisting in the
early identification and intervention of learning difficulties. Through a variety of programs and services, school counselors also provide the emotional
support needed to help students overcome barriers to learning caused by such things as poverty, lack of resources, physical and mental illnesses,
family disruption, crime, violence, and life transitions.
Personal and social support is provided to all students in a number of different ways. Central to the fully implemented school counseling program is
a developmental, sequential curriculum. Personal and interpersonal skills such as communication, conflict resolution, self-understanding, emotional
self-management, character development, and respect of cultural, gender, age, and racial diversity are taught to all grade levels in developmentally
appropriate classroom lessons. In addition, school counselors often play a significant role in creating a school climate that is safe, nurturing, and conducive
to learning. Through a variety of activities and school-wide programs, school counselors work to create a school culture that encourages academic
excellence, student and family engagement, high expectations, and
respect for all individuals.
Career education and support . Children learn about the wide range
the economic impact on childRen
By Caryl Hallberg, Director, Covenant To Care For Children
of career choices through lessons and activities such as career clubs,
career days, field trips, and guest speakers. By helping students make According to Anne Mitchell, President of Early Childhood Research, it
connections between school and future career success, these activities will take three to five years after it is over for a child to recover from the
help students stay interested and involved in school, and provide the effects of the current economic depression. Before the budget crisis and
inspiration and motivation to take on academic challenges that will help the economic failures one in ten children in Connecticut lived below the
them to achieve their goals. During high school, school counselors play poverty line.
a major role in helping to shape students’ futures through individual
planning. This assistance comes in the form of encouraging early Everyone concerned with child welfare and education is in conversation,
career exploration, disseminating information about specific skills but I worry that our children are not able to wait for DC leadership to be in
and educational requirements needed for various career areas, and place, for CT government to come to agreement, or for school systems to
providing information and support to both students and their parents as succeed or nonprofits to expand their programs.
they navigate their way through the search for post-secondary options,
There is a lot to hope for in the stimulus plan and I urge you to look
financial aid, and the college application process.
at Senator Dodd’s Resource Guide to the American Recovery and
Many school districts in Connecticut have partial school counseling Reinvestment Act of 2009. We here in Connecticut have opportunities if
programs in place, existing at some grade levels. However, many more we act with awareness and strategy.
programs are limited due to the lack of an adequate number of school
Covenant to Care for Children is actively monitoring these conversations
counselors. The American School Counselor Association recommends
and where we can we are participating. We will do all we can to advocate
a student/counselor ratio of 250:1 to ensure that programs are effective
for Results Based Accountability, strategic thinking, and programs and
in producing the desired results. Currently, in some Connecticut
spending that maximize the positive impact on our children.
schools, that ratio is as high as 1500:1. Only about 35 school districts
currently employ school counselors in the elementary grades. This is Meanwhile we will keep saying “yes” to our children as requests for their
a time when most children begin developing a sense of their academic basic needs come to us. Our wonderful volunteers and donors will continue
identity as well as their feelings about school, learning, and life options, to make it possible.
and where these programs would potentially have their greatest
impact. As we move through these difficult times I am keeping my eyes open for
tools parents, caregivers and mentors can use to minimize the fear of the
The research overwhelmingly demonstrates that schools with future we may collectively communicate to our children. It is crucial that we
fully implemented school counseling programs have a direct, understand that the added economic stressors we are all feeling contribute
significant, and positive impact on student outcomes such as to the possibility of child abuse and neglect. We must offer respite and
support to our friends and neighbors whenever possible to help each other
school attendance, test scores, and graduation and college through and to protect our children.
We, as adults, need to learn to monitor our speech and the impact of
School counselors make a difference in the lives of students. messaging regarding the economy that our children experience. Please
We are trained professionals who are in a unique position to visit www.aap.org/disasters/economy.cfm for a wonderful tool in working
improve our schools and to help our students achieve. Any with your children.
discussion of school reform in Connecticut must include plans Covenant to Care for Children is a nonprofit, private agency working with
to move toward fully implemented comprehensive school over 200 faith and community based organizations, communities and
counseling programs in every school district, beginning in the businesses to meet the needs of abused, neglected, and impoverished
elementary grades and continuing through high school. If and children and teens throughout Connecticut. Programs, including a
when these conversations take place within our schools, we statewide mentoring program, Children’s Enrichment Fund, and Critical
Needs Delivery program, have provided service to over 25,000 children
need to be sure that a well-implemented K-12 school counseling
statewide, 79% of whom were in the care of DCF. For more information
program is an integral part of the planning process. please visit our website at www.covenanttocare.org.
call foR gRaduate Student poSteR SeSSion
cScA ProvideS The Connecticut School Counselor
Association is pleased to announce that
ProfeSSionAl develoPMen t CONNECTICUT
it has started accepting proposals for the
SCHOOL Graduate Student Poster Session for the
COUNSELOR annual conference which will be held on
A S S O C I AT I O N
Tuesday, October 13th at the Crowne
Plaza, Cromwell, CT
conference CSCA highly encourages the submission of
proposals to be presented at the Graduate
TuesDay, OcTOber 13, 2009 Student Poster Session. For a paper to be
CROWNE PLAzA, CROMWELL, CT
presented at the Graduate Student Poster
Session as a poster format, the first author
of the paper must be a graduate student. Timely submission of proposals is essential for
program preparation. Deadline for the receipt of all proposals is 11:59 p.m. Thursday,
May 29, 2009. Only one proposal can be submitted from each first author. All proposals
must be submitted electronically via e-mail attachment to: email@example.com. Questions
about proposals can also be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org. Both successful and
unsuccessful applicants will receive a notification via e-mail by September 1, 2009.
Presenters for the Graduate Student Poster Session need to prepare their posters
on their own display boards. Self-standing 36 inches by 46 inches display board is
recommended. Tables will be available for the session for presenters to place their
e display boards. Please note that CSCA will not supply display boards.
See p age 5 f enifitS! The PrOPOsal
member CSCA Student Members may submit Graduate Student Poster Session proposals for
consideration. Nonmembers must join CSCA at the time the proposal is submitted
for review. Visit the CSCA web site at www.ctschoolcounselor.org for membership
Naviance presentation April 24, 2009, St. Joseph College. information. Proposals must be submitted as e-mail attachments. Microsoft Word is the
strongly preferred format.
The proposal should include the following specific items in the order as given below.
cScA high School roundtAble a) Title of the proposal
b) First author’s name and institutional affiliation
c) First author’s e-mail address, and telephone number
tueSdAy, MAy 26, 2009 d) Names of co-authors or co-presenters and their affiliations if any
8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. (limit two per poster)
e) The abstract of the proposal, not to exceed 300 words.
437 Pequot avenue, new london, cT 06320 DevelOPing a POsTer PresenTaTiOn
registration is required for this session A poster presentation allows for question-and answer sessions, and the exchange of
ideas and information regarding your research, project, or innovative ideas.
OrganizaTiOn anD layOuT
regiSter now The tri-fold board is ideal for a poster presentation and can be purchased at Wal-Mart
Seating Limited to First 70 Registrants
or Staples type stores.
Presenter name(s): Institution and department.
The agenda will include a discussion on the CT The title should be readable from 20 feet away. The body of the writing should be
Comprehensive School Counseling Curriculum and Mitchell readable from 6 feet away.
College will also give a talk on their school, its admissions
Make section headings distinct from the body of your writing. Use graphics, photos,
policy, and its Special Education programming. Nicole
DeRonck and Deborrah Ramirez, encourage counselors to pictures, anything that visually represents your presentation. For display, print PowerPoint
bring any lessons that they use in their schools for posting slides and tape them to the poster board. Add emphasis with bold, underline, or color.
onour CSCA website. Italics are harder to read. Used effectively, color is an effective method of attracting
people to your poster. Use contrasting colors for readability and a professional look.
Please senD yOur iDeas TO:
Mount your printed material (text and graphics) on a colored background to create a
Deborrah A. Ramirez Director of School
Counseling Berlin High School 860-828-6577 X163
VP Elect of CSCA email@example.com ***Prepare handouts that highlight the key points of your research or project ideas
TH E GREAT LES S ON ROUN D- UP
To assist our members in implementing the curriculum component of the Comprehensive Program, CSCA will be creating a “Lesson Toolbox”
on our website. If you have a lesson that you would like to share, please submit via an e-mail attachment to the respective CSCA VP:
elementary: Peg Donahue firstname.lastname@example.org
Middle school: Brad Lepisto Brad.Lepisto@newcanaan.k12.ct.us
high school: Nicole De Ronck email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
cSca 2009 gRaduate Student confeRence
By Marlene Silano and Jessica Fryc
Saint Joseph College played host to the 2009 CSCA Graduate Student Conference. The Crystal Room of Mercy
Hall was filled with graduate students from all across Connecticut. The morning began with a student mixer in
which students from Saint Joseph College, SCSU, University of Hartford, CCSU and Fairfield University mingled.
The chatter focused on the job search process and what districts were currently hosting internship and practicum
students. Terry Stearns, CSCA Graduate Student Liaison introduced the gathering by extolling the virtues of
CSCA. He spoke of the leadership and advocacy that CSCA provides to both graduate students and practicing
school counselors as the only association in CT dedicated to the needs of school counselors. He highlighted the
professional development opportunities that CSCA provides including the Annual Fall Conference to be held on
Dorine Russo addressing graduate students.
October 13th, and the Summer Leadership Academy.
The substance of the conference began with a panel discussion titled What to Expect Your First Year as a School Counselor. The panel, made up of first
and second year school counselors, included Todd Giansanti, Lauren Nadeau, 2008 graduates of Saint Joseph College, Kaitlin Impelluso and Jessica
Marshall, graduates of the University of Hartford, and Lisa Ramaccia a graduate of Central Connecticut State University. Todd currently works as a school
counselor at Vernon Center Middle School while Lauren has found a home at Martin Kellogg Middle School in Newington. Kaitlin serves as a school
counselor at Middletown High School. Lisa Ramaccia is currently employed at East Lyme High School and Jessica spends her time between Greater
Hartford Academy of the Arts and Sciences and the Math and Science Academy. The panelists spoke about the biggest challenges they have faced in
their first year on the job. Each panelist talked about his/her own experience with the job search process. The pros and cons of living in the town in which
you work were also discussed.
Next, Dorine Russo (08), another graduate of the SJC school counseling program presented Bullying and Harassment Prevention: Improving School
Climate and Culture. She offered a comprehensive overview of the school counselor’s role in creating safe fair and responsive schools. She shared
specific interventions to encourage school climate. Ms.
Russo believes “school climate is a key factor in determining
whether students will be bullied.” memBeRShip
Lastly, Kathy Scully, CSCA President-Elect, and current By Mary R. Wendell, Membership Chair
elementary school counselor in the Waterbury Public whAt doeS cScA do for you?
Schools presented Interview Tips and Strategies to Help
You Get a Job! Ms. Scully’s handouts included a quiz and Professional development: annual conference
interview questions. She encouraged attendees to role summer leadership academy
play prior to their first interview. Ms. Scully encouraged special topics workshops
candidates to consider their philosophy of education/school
counseling and be prepared to produce a writing sample on round tables in locations throughout connecticut
the topic at an interview. The CSCA President-elect further up-to-date access to information on issues relating to school counselors
reflected on the need of candidates to try and match their newsletter published three times a year
talents to the needs of the hiring school.
According to student representative, Melissa Nelly, from advocacy
Fairfield University, “This segment of the conference
provided me with a lot of good information about the As CSCA members, everyone can be part of the Membership Committee’s mission to increase
interviewing process. Given the economy, I know the job membership. We welcome your ideas! Tell your colleagues what you find beneficial about
search is going to be a tough one. I feel like I’m better belonging to our statewide association. The more members we have, the more programs we
positioned to tackle it after listening to the speakers today.” can offer!
Renee Bacon, a representative from Southern Connecticut
State University, said, “ I thought the information that was The Membership Committee continues to research ways to increase our membership. At the
presented today was really practical and useful. I’m really request of the Governing Board, a committee including Mary Caminiti, Roland Thompson, Lydia
glad there was such great attendance.” Vine and Mary Wendell is working together to define a new Institutional Membership which
To become a student member of the Connecticut School will be offered to post-secondary institutions of higher learning. Again, your input on ways to
Counselor Association please visit increase membership is always appreciated.
w w w. ct sch o o lc o u n s e lo r.o r g
elementaRy School counSeling in connecticut: WheRe do We Stand?
By Nancy Staab, MS, LPC – School Counselor, Bungay Elementary School, Seymour, CSCA Elementary School Vice President-Elect
Those of us who work at the elementary level School diStRictS in connecticut that employ elementaRy School counSeloRS
understand first-hand the need for providing
elementary students with comprehensive school avon essex norwich sherman
counseling programs. It is during these early years
that the foundation for future success is built. Students
are developing their attitudes toward learning and bethany griswold Old saybrook southington
their identities as learners. Social/emotional skills
and problem-solving skills are forming. Students
are becoming aware of their future educational and bethel hampton Pomfret voluntown
career choices. School counselors at the elementary
level can make a positive impact on their students’ region 15
development that will hopefully last a lifetime. bridgeport lisbon Waterbury
Unfortunately, in the state of Connecticut, few region 16
elementary-age students are currently able to benefit canterbury Litchfield Weston
from school counseling programs. Of the 169 school
districts in Connecticut, only 34 – about 20 percent
– have elementary school counselors in place for all cheshire Meriden salem Wilton
Change will certainly take time, especially given columbia Monroe salisbury Woodstock
the current economic climate. In the meantime, we
who work at the elementary level need to continue
providing high-quality comprehensive school east granby new canaan seymour
counseling programs that maximize our students’
success. These programs can become models for Enfield new Milford shelton
the rest of the state, and will hopefully serve as a
foundation from which we can grow. Sources: CSCA 2009 Directory and school/district websites
CSCA_7x10_ad.indd 1 8/26/2008 5:08:48 PM
DC08005_College_Signpost_8.5x11.indd 1 8/26/08 9:55:56 AM
the School counSeloR leadeRShip academy foR 2009
By Pat Landers, Leadership Academy Chairperson
The School Counselor Leadership Academy for 2009 is designed for graduate students enrolled in a school counseling program at a university or college
in CT. All graduate students may apply but preference will be given to students who are CSCA members and who will begin a practicum or internship in
2009-2010 or who have completed a practicum or internship during the past academic year.
The goal of the 2009 Summer Academy is to help graduate students become familiar with the fundamentals of the college admissions and post-
secondary planning process, and will focus on the following topics:
• Use of the individual planning portfolio for student development (found in the Program Guide 2009);
• Steps in the post-secondary planning process;
• Information/resources needed for planning and decision making;
• Interpreting student data
• Working with diverse populations in the planning process;
• Writing recommendations;
• NCAA regulations
The Academy will be a one day workshop but offered on two separate dates. Participants may register for Thursday, June 25 or Friday, June 26, 2009.
• Time: 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
• Registration & Coffee: 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. on both days
• Location: SERC Building, 25 Industrial Park Road, Middletown, CT
• Registration Fee: $20.00 CSCA Members, and $25..00 for non-members. (Registration fee covers continental breakfast, lunch and materials)
• Deadline for application is June 5, 2009
Registration materials will be distributed to graduate students the first of May by CSCA graduate student liaisons or by the Chairs of the Counseling
Departments at the universities.
The Mission of the Academy is to provide professional development opportunities that promote the professional and personal growth of school
counselors, and graduate students preparing to enter the profession. The following goals have been established for the Academy:
1. Plan programs that address the assessed needs and current issues affecting school counseling.
2. Promote school counselor collaboration and partnerships with all stakeholders of the school counseling program.
3. Advocate for the role of the school counselor.
4. Promote the role of the school counselor in student academic, career and personal/social development, and in improved academic performance.
Since the establishment of the Academy by the CSCA Board in 2005, and with the support of CACES, three Summer Leadership Academies have been
held. They focused on Advocacy and Leadership, Public Relations, and the CT Comprehensive School Counseling Program Guide, 2008. The committee
welcomes input on future topics. E-Mail Pat Landers, email@example.com
Committee: Pat Landers, Chair; Dee Adorno, Nancy Aleman, Joy DiMaggio, Hennie Budnik, Marlene Silano, and William Turek.
It’s time to vote for the CSCA Board Officers
csca ballOT 2009-2010 PresiDenT-elecT:
Ma y 2009 vote for __________ Dorine russo
Or write in __________________________________
Your vote eleMenTary vP elecT:
vote for __________ stacey zwick
Or write in __________________________________
a difference secOnDary vP elecT:
vote for __________ irasema Medina, or
Please note: This is an official ballot which must be mailed vote for __________ Jessica rhodes,
on the original CSCA May Newsletter paper to be considered
valid. Please mail your vote to Carol Tomkalski by June 20, Or write in __________________________________
2009, 109 Joshua Hill Road, Woodbury, CT 06798.
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the D a t e
T U E S D A Y,
october 13, 2009
csca annual Fall cOnFerence
Transforming school culture: school counselors rising to the challenge
Cro wne P la z a Ho t e l Cro mwe ll, CT