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VISION 20/20: School Counselors Are the future  - 2020 ISCA Conference

ISCA Conference Breakout Sessions

The list of conference breakout sessions that have been approved for the 2020 virtual conference schedule. To download this information, click here.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Session 1: 1:15 - 1:55 p.m. - 
Q&A 1:55 - 2:05 p.m.

1. “Strengthening Our Practice with Virtual School Counseling” (All)

Presenter: Dr. Trish Hatch and Terri Tchorzynski, Hatching Results

In a time of a global pandemic, racial unrest in our communities, and educational systems turning to a virtual setting, even the most experienced professionals have reported feeling like first-year counselors all over again. Now is the time to embrace the concept that challenges provide opportunities for growth. Learn new ways to expand your current program through virtual school counseling tips/tricks that will continue to engage and support students in both virtual and face-to-face environments. This session will provide tangible best practices that can be implemented immediately to strengthen your student supports.

2. “Zooming in on the Images of Gifted” (All)

Presenters: Linda Linn, retired school counselor - Prairie Lakes AEA; Lora Danker, Iowa Talented and Gifted Association

Every picture tells a story! What does “Giftedness” look like? We will be Zooming in on ways school counselors can collaborate with their gifted educators to ensure the unique academic and social emotional needs of diverse highly-abled students are addressed. In this session, we will take a Closer Look at research and best practices around Gifted student’s needs and See Beyond the Images often projected.

3. “Whitewashed Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and The Promise of Transformative Sociopolitical Emotional Learning (TSEL)” (All)

Presenter: Riley Drake, Iowa State University; Alicia Oglesby, Bishop McNamara High School

Across K-12 schools in the U.S., social emotional learning is regularly touted as an instrument for racial equity. Devoid of sociopolitical analysis and reliant on white liberalism as the operative context in schools, SEL rarely teaches students how to grab at the roots of structural racism; it merely teaches them how to endure it. This session outlines the ways that SEL is whitewashed in K-12 schools, particularly in school counseling. We offer a developing framework as an antidote to SEL as white liberalism and a conduit toward liberatory and healing sociopolitical-emotional praxis: Transformative Sociopolitical Emotional Learning (TSEL). Presenters will describe their own experiences with white liberalism and the promise of TSEL, which aims to (1) prepare every student for the struggle for racial justice and, ultimately, (2) a more just, humanizing world.

Session 2: 2:15 p.m. - 2:55 p.m. - Q&A 2:55 - 3:05 p.m.

4. “ICU 2020 Vision: Using Respect as a Tool for Social Justice (All)

Presenters: Jonnell Marion, Inclusive Cultural University - ICU

The Inclusive Cultural University (ICU) is an innovative concept unlike any other organization or movement of the past, created to connect and uplift our society through a message of fully valuing and respecting ALL for who they are!

5. “Ensuring a 2020 Vision for Your Students’ Futures: Implementing a Postsecondary Framework that Works”

Presenter: David Ford, AEA Prep

Future Ready Iowa’s goal that 70% of Iowans will possess some form of postsecondary education is not on track to succeed - enrollment in postsecondary programs has declined in Iowa for six consecutive years! What can you do as a school counselor to support students’ pursuit and completion of their postsecondary plans? Come learn more about AEA PREP’s postsecondary planning framework, including resources and action planning guides to assist you in organizing and focusing your school’s efforts. We will provide step by step strategies to ensure your graduates successfully pursue and complete their postsecondary plans

6. “Trauma-Informed Design: 10 Tips for School Counselors” (All)

Presenters: Darcie Davis-Gage, University of Northern Iowa; Dr. Gowri Betrabet Gulwadi, University of Northern Iowa; Emily Barnes, University of Northern Iowa

Schools increasingly provide counseling spaces that serve a student population with diverse social and emotional needs. School counseling offices must serve a multitude of purposes with sometimes limited control over how the space can be arranged. Counselors are equipped with trauma-informed care principles through their education and training. However, they have limited design knowledge and control over their space to practice within a trauma-informed environment. This presentation will provided school counselors simple and practical tips they may implement in their environment to promote safety, security, and wellness. This presentation is informed by a qualitative research project that examined school counselors office and alignment with trauma-informed design principles. This will be an interactive presentation and provide a unique perspective of how space and environment impacts wellness.

Session 3: 3:25 p.m. - 2:55 p.m. - Q&A 2:55 - 3:05 p.m.

7. “Healing the Healer: Why are Mindfulness Principles Not Working for Me?”(All)

Presenters: Roberto Swazo, University of Northern Iowa

The latest fad in school counseling has been the application of mindfulness interventions which should translate in a better quality of life for our K-12 students. However, as school counselors attempt to “sell the idea” of mindfulness, many suffer from high levels of stress, anxiety, and discontent. This workshop will allow participants to unravel the reasons behind the failure of operationalizing these principles for themselves, and will provide specific strategies to reboot their preconceived ideas about mindfulness. Hands on practical interventions will be provided in order to re-calibrate your emotional and psychological compass.

8. “Working Together for a Greater Vision” (All)

Presenter: Sue Schirmer, Heartland AEA

Do you know all of the people doing work similar to yours in your building? How do you help one another to “stay in your lane?” This session will explore some of the ways to uncover and work together with others (school social workers, psychologists, behavior interventionists, student support personnel, in house therapists and more) to secure better outcomes for our students.

9. “Gathering and Utilizing Essential Social-Emotional Data”(Elementary School,Middle School,High School)

Presenters: Eric Hunderdosse, Iowa City Community School District

You know data is important to implement an effective school counseling program, but you are not sure where to start. Having a tool that measures children’s social-emotional status on a regular basis coupled with a built in aggregation tool can make your work more impactful and efficient. Join me in this simple how-to session on using Closegap, a tool that collects social-emotional data and makes school counselors’ work much easier.

Level Meet-Ups - 4:25 – 5:00 p.m.

10. Elementary Level Meet-Up

Presenter: Jayne Rouse, School Counselor - Adair Casey/Guthrie Center Schools

During this session we will be discussing the techniques you have found useful in classroom lessons, small group, and individual work at the elementary level. Please bring your best resources with you to share with other counselors from across the state.

11. Middle Level Meet Up

Presenter: Brianna Porter, School Counselor - Mount Pleasant CSD

Come join us to network and share resources! This session is an opportunity for Middle School/Junior High School Counselors to build a network and interact with other middle level counselors in the state and learn about trending resources. Please come with any valuable lesson examples, ideas for College and Career readiness, as well as any exciting resources you’d like to share for working with middle school and junior high students!

12. Secondary Level Meet Up

Presenter: Carrie Talbott, High School Counselor - Center Point-Urbana High School - Center Point-Urbana CSD

Come join us for a sharing session. Compare notes, share ideas, ask questions, and make connections! Build a network and interact with other high school counselors to learn about the trends they are seeing in their schools. Bring any resources you have to share as well as your business card to expand your network!

13. K-12 Sharing Meet Up

Presenter: Alyssa Cobie-Nuss, K-12 School Counselor - Central CSD

During this sharing session we will discuss the following topics: advocating for yourself (and your sanity) as a K-12 School Counselor, favorite resources for every level, ideas on how to create “Powerful Moments” in your school, and how to balance duties and ask for help when needed. We will add to and edit our K-12 school counselor email group and share ideas on a Google document so bring your lap tops if possible!

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Session 4: 9:25 - 10:05 a.m. - Q&A 10:05 - 10:15 a.m.

14. “Cultural Inclusion” (Middle School,High School,Post-Secondary,Graduate Students,School Counselor Educators)

Presenter: Brianna Porter, Mount Pleasant Community Schools; Nate Lange, Mount Pleasant Community Schools

Go on a journey with our middle school on how we worked and continue to work to make our school culture a safe and welcoming place for all our students. This journey started in one school counselors office and transformed into a support/advocacy/educating/collaborative group for our Middle School students of color called MAC.

Learn how the group was advocated for, how admin supported the group and connected with resources, and how the first meetings went. As well as plans for how this group will proceed this year.

15. “Tools for Schools: Co-Parenting Tips and Tricks From a Divorce Lawyer”(All)

Presenter: Tyler Coe, Whitfield & Eddy Law

COVID-19 only increased the hostilities between divorce or separated parents. Not only do school counselors face increased pressure to help students during this global pandemic, but school counselors also questions from parents and guardians. This often leads school counselors with differing opinions from students, parents, guardians, and school districts. This session offers tools for schools with tips and tricks in responding to all the people school counselors serve each day.

16. “Creating a GSA: Adapting in a Hybrid Environment” (Middle School,High School)

Presenter: Kaylyn Fisher, Iowa Safe Schools

Have you been wondering what the real Gay Agenda is? Surprise! It’s creating safe spaces for LGBTQ students in K-12 schools. But how do we do that when a physical learning environment may not be available? This session focuses on creating GSAs (Gay Straight or Gender Sexuality Alliances) in a virtual environment for beginners and experts.

Session 5: 10:25 - 11:05 a.m. - Q&A 11:05 - 11:15 a.m.

17. “Stress and Anxiety after COVID” (All)

Presenter: Sheila Kinyon-Johnson, Muscatine Community School District

With the current global situation we as counselors have students from all academic levels (k-12) struggling with anxiety and stress. Statistics show that if left untreated, stress and anxiety can impact our students’ ability to succeed both social emotionally and academically in our schools.

This ISCA session will focus on counselors working with students who are struggling with adapting to the current “Normal.” In this session, you the counselor, will be given tools to promote calmness and strategies for counseling students affected by anxiety.

18. “Virtual Transitions: Advising Students in a New Normal”(All)

Presenter: Brittania Morey, ICAN

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down and made educating our students even more challenging. In March 2020, ICAN transitioned all of its services to a virtual format, utilizing video conferencing, webcams, livestreams and more to reach students, parents, and counselors. Knowing the 2020-21 academic year would be far from normal, ICAN has worked to adapt more programming to a virtual format, making planning for college and career ever-more accessible for students, whether they are in the classroom fulltime, a few days, or learning exclusively at home. Join us in this session to explore ways to utilize technology and reach students and parents without losing the connection and personal touch.

19. “College & Career Readiness Tools for Elementary Professionals” {Elementary school, Graduate Students, School Counselor Educators)

Presenter: Graci Zeiger, Iowa College Aid; Megan Sibbel, Iowa College Aid; Jamie Covell, Iowa College Aid

Incorporating college and career readiness (CCR) into elementary levels is essential for guiding students on the pathway to long-term success. However, it can seem challenging to find effective, creative, and age-appropriate strategies for introducing college and career readiness to elementary students. In order to provide support for elementary educators, Iowa College Aid, with the input of elementary school counselors, has developed a series of tools related to CCR for younger students.

This panel will include conversations about the K-5 CCR curriculum guidebook developed by Iowa College Aid staff, the ways in which elementary and middle school CCR strategies are being embedded into the agency’s Course to College program, and an update on on the professional development course for K-5 professionals offered through the Iowa College & Career Readiness Academy.

Session 6: 11:35 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - Q&A 12:15 - 12:25 p.m.

20. “Legal and Ethical Issues in School Counseling” (All)

Presenters: Thomas Mayes, Iowa Department of Education

Iowa Department of Education Attorney Thomas Mayes will present on legal and ethical issues pertinent to school counselors. Topics may include virtual counseling, student/counselor relationships, suicide assessments, LGBTQ issues, and other timely issues.

21. “Building Relationships Online”(All)

Presenters: Karin Mills, Kurtz Opportunity Center; Onica Sinclair, Virtual Campus Instructional Coach

In a world with much uncertainty, online and blended learning opportunities are becoming more prevalent. In this session, Karin Mills, the Des Moines Public Schools Virtual Campus counselor, and Onica Sinclair, the Virtual Campus Instructional Coach will share their methods to connect with students, build engagement, and help students find success in an online learning environment, while building understanding of ethical practices online.

22. “Bullying/Harassment 101”(All)

Presenters: Terese Jurgensen, Iowa Department of Education

Have you ever wanted to learn more about how to prevent and intervene to stop bullying/harassment from affecting the climate and culture of your school district? The Iowa Department of Education in partnership with Dr. Chad Rose of the University of Missouri, Area Education Agencies of Iowa and UNI’s Mentors in Violence Prevention have created new Bully/Harassment prevention and intervention modules. As a school counselor, you will walk away with knowledge and tools to support educators, students and families to recognize, prevent and intervene in bullying/harassment incidents.

On-Demand Sessions
Sessions available anytime during and after conference

1. “Supporting All Pathways for All Students”

Presenters: Mohammed Alsakka, Xello; Susan Langan, Cedar Falls High School

A strong system of strategies that support self-knowledge, exploration, and decision making can help every student unlock their future potential. With a student-centered approach, you can help students more easily connect the dots between their unique qualities, current education plans, and career pathways -- leading to greater engagement and achievement rates for your district. In this session, you’ll learn strategies that Cedar Falls High School employs to make every student future-ready, engage them in college and career exploration, and fulfill ICAP requirements through the use of Xello.

2. “Envisioning a New Future with Closing-the-Gap Plans”

Presenters: Sheryl Cline, Linn-Mar High School

Many school counseling programs have a vision that ALL students will be prepared for life after high school, This session will focus on the Closing-the-Gap (CTG) Action Plan/Results Report in the 4th Edition ASCA Model to address disparities between student groups to ensure equity and access to post-secondary opportunities. Through data examples, participants will learn ways to find, disaggregate, and identify gaps in data. Resources for finding tier 1 and tier 2 attendance interventions will be shared through an example of how one school worked to increase attendance rates in FRL high school students.

3. “ICAN, You Can, We All Can FAFSA”

Presenters: Jamie Covell, Iowa College Aid; Nathan Svare, Iowa College Aid; Meghan Oster, Iowa College Aid; Erick Danielson, ICAN

FAFSA completion is critical to the college-going process. In Iowa, approximately 50 percent of the senior class completes a FAFSA, yet 74% of graduating seniors in 2019 intend to go to college (2- or 4-year institution). Since 3 out of 4 students want to go to college but only about half complete the FAFSA, there is a substantial gap between students’ higher education intentions and their actions that could lead to their stated goal of attending college. Additionally, Black and Hispanic seniors are less likely to complete a FAFSA as of the 2020-21 FAFSA cycle.

Recently, organizations within Iowa have begun to work with high schools to improve FAFSA completion across the state. Join us to learn from these organizations about FAFSA filing in Iowa, and discover strategies to improve FAFSA completion while closing equity gaps. To begin the presentation, we will review our most recent FAFSA report to understand FAFSA completion in Iowa. Then, we will explore why FAFSA completion is important to student success in higher education. Finally, we will highlight FAFSA completion strategies, ways to address specific equity gaps, and review services provided by various organizations to assist your school with increasing its FAFSA completion rate.

4. “Higher Ambitions: How America Plans for Post-Secondary Education”

Presenters: Heather Gaumer, Sallie Mae

A new study from Sallie Mae, Higher Ambitions surveys high school students and parents about students’ plans for after they graduate high school. The study examines the value students and their families place on higher education, how they are preparing for post-secondary education if they plan to attend, and how they expect to pay for this post-secondary education. Primary data collection took place in January and an adjunct survey was in field in April to gauge how COVID-19 might be affecting students’ plans.

5. “Tools for the School Counselor/Administrator Relationship”

Presenters: Aimee Hospodarsky, Monticello Community Schools

“Focus in” on making the most of the school counselor/administrator relationship by using a variety of resources. This session will highlight a variety of tools including the School Counselor Evaluation Supplement, Annual Administrative Conference, position statements, and various other resources. Use of these resources can help define your role, lead to more meaningful evaluations, improve your program, and ultimately, impact student success.

6. “Stress Much? How to Advocate for Teacher Well-Being in Your School”

Presenters: Emily Johnson, Tuned in Teachers, LLC

Are teachers in your school under stress? Would you like to use your unique role to advocate for their (and your own) well-being? In this session, we will explore ways to make a positive impact with your staff without adding more to your plate. Join teacher well-being coach, Emily Johnson for this uplifting session.

7. “Implement, evaluate, and improve your school counseling program through the use of data”

Presenters: Sheila Kinyon-Johnson, Muscatine Community School District

With all the talk about the need for data in school counseling don’t you wish you knew where to start and how be successful at doing in? In this session we will explore the importance of disaggregating data, using data to design interventions. and how to use data to effect change in students.

You will walk away able to identify sources of school data, identify achievement related data, and create measurable outcome goals.

8. “Maximizing your time: Time Management as a Professional School Counselor”

Presenters: Sheila Kinyon-Johnson, Muscatine Community School District

How many of us feel overwhelmed with all the roles and responsibilities we have everyday? Have you wanted to present a plan detailing your role and the demands it takes to be a successful school counselor? In this session we will explore how you can provide evidence and materials to show how important your role is and how your administrator can work with you to meet the needs of your students with the training you have as a school counselor.

We will look at the importance of advocating for the profession of school counseling. Through this we will look at your responsibilities and the importance of planning, and creating a counselor calendar. We will also be exploring why it is important for you to develop a monthly calendar of events and activities.

9. “Group Counseling”

Presenters: Jaclyn Lussenhop, College Community School District

Many school counselors feel overwhelmed when it comes to creating groups to help students meet their needs. This session will be helping other school counselors figure out what groups would benefit the students. How to select students for the group, as well as the type of permission. How to run the groups successfully and what kind of data to collect to share with stakeholders about the results of the group.

10. “Beyond the Rainbows”

Presenters: Jordan Mix, Iowa Safe Schools

While great strides have been taken to expand LGBTQ inclusion, progress has resulted in a “rainbow frenzy,” with little work done to expand innovative opportunities for LGBTQ youth and other under-represented identities. In this session, participants will reflect on current practices and policies to create an LGBTQ-inclusive culture, and leaders from Iowa Safe Schools will be present to strategize and highlight models for advocacy.

11. “Career and College Planning: The Counselor Role”

Presenters: Brittania Morey, ICAN

What is the counselor role in career and college planning? What are the milestones of each grade level that counselors should be ensuring students, and parents, meet? From transitioning 8th graders to high school, all the way to graduating seniors with plans for post-high school education or training, this session will walk you through the ICAN/ISCA Career and College Planning School Counselor Resource Guide and help you create a plan for CCR in your program.

12. “Career Development of Transgender Persons: Trends, Outcomes, and Suggestions for Counselors”

Presenters: Jane Morey, University of Iowa

Transgender persons face a variety of barriers to success across the lifespan. In particular, there is little existing research on career development and readiness for people with transgender identities and experiences. This session outlines some of what is known about outcomes and attitudes and discusses opportunities for future research to better serve and advocate for transgender students as they prepare for entrance into higher education and the workforce.

13. “Let’s Unite with Harmony!”

Presenters: Don Ortman, Sanford Harmony

Our country and this world need Harmony! Sanford Harmony is a no-cost social emotional learning CASEL SELECT program for Pre-K-8 grade students designed to foster communication, connection, and community both in and outside the classroom. All resources ( curriculum, applications and training are paid by T. Denny Sanford’s gift of 170 million dollars.

14. “AEA Counselor Contacts - Your Support for 20/20 Vision”

Presenters: Sue Schirmer, Heartland AEA; Pat Lehman, AEA; Mark Shea, NW AEA; Kelly Jones, AEA; Jenny Barnett, Dr. Jo Prusha; Jessica Vance; Terese Jurgensen, Iowa Department of Education

Do you wonder how this AEA structure works? What is in it for you? Here is your chance to learn! Gain some general information and meet the AEA School Counselor contacts to give your insights and feedback. Terese Jurgensen, our school counselor contact at the Iowa Dept of Education will also be there to answer questions.

15. “Yoga & Mindfulness for the Middle School Setting: Techniques to Improve Self-Confidence and Focus”

Presenters: Molly Schreiber, Challenge to Change, Inc

CEO and founder of Challenge to Change, Inc, Molly Schreiber, will demonstrate the importance of implementing yoga, mindfulness, and journaling practices in the middle schools setting. These practices not only assist students in connecting their mind, body and breath, but also improve self-confidence and focus. Through five important parts of practice, Molly will empower attendees to use these practices during their own instruction.

16. “The Power of Relationships: Mentor Mindset”

Presenters: Mary Sheka, Volunteer Iowa; Nicole Quade, Volunteer Iowa

This session will increase knowledge and skills in order to help all the adults in your school or district connect more meaningfully to young people by understanding positive youth development and what is effective in developing empowering relationships with youth.

17. “Student Aspirations, Opportunities, and Success: Joining the GEAR UP Iowa Movement”

Presenters: Nathan Svare, Iowa College Aid; Elizabeth Medina, Iowa College Aid; Erin Valerio-Garsow, Iowa College Aid: Graci Zeiger, Iowa College Aid

Imagine a scenario where your school district increased proficiency in Math or English by 10 percentage points over a four year period. Not only were you able to increase proficiency, but you were also able to close achievement gaps for underrepresented students. How would you feel? What kind of recognition would your district receive for these accomplishment?

The GEAR UP Iowa schools experienced a 10 percentage point increase in FAFSA completion over four years. Not only did the GEAR UP Iowa schools see an increase in FAFSA completion rates, this happened despite a national COVID pandemic when State and National rates decreased.

This session is for educators who are passionate about student equity around post-secondary opportunities and success for their students. Learn about how we were able to increase student success with the class of 2020 and how you can partner with Iowa College Aid on the next GEAR UP Iowa Grant.

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