OSCA Conference 2020 - Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
October 9, 2020 - Sunriver Resort

OSCA Conference 2020 - October 9, 2020
Date:        October 9, 2020
Location:  Sunriver Resort:  Sunriver, OR 
Keynote speaker:  Dr. Johnny Lake

More info for the 2020 OSCA Annual Conference coming soon.


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MARCH 2020

President’s Letter: Let Your Leadership Show

By Laureen Held
Oh my! This is not going to be another task, is it?

Not exactly.

I know you are carrying a heavy load: addressing multiple needs of students, responding to teacher and administrator emails, answering the phone to countless parents and writing mandatory reports. Your platter is full. Your time is gone in the blink of an eye. Yet, if we don’t advocate for our roles, our vital jobs become redefined and we are reduced to being overpaid babysitters, providing supervision in the lunchroom and on recess duty. Pulled from our ideal ASCA National Model job, we’re deposited into the world of chaos and crisis intervention.

I recently was challenged (again) to recognize the following truths about our role as effective school counselors. We are proactive, preventative in counseling. We serve all students. We focus on providing supports within three domains (academic, social/emotional, postsecondary) to impact student achievement. We utilize an educational model to focus on student strengths. We are an integral member of the school leadership team. We have clearly defined roles. We focus on outcomes from services provided. We collaborate with all stakeholders. We act as a change agent, especially for educational equity for all students. We advocate for all students to have access to rigorous courses. We take full accountability for student success. We advise all students on multiple postsecondary pathways. We broker services from community agencies, as well as the school system’s resources. And we spend most of our time in Tier 1.

How do we engage in this role effectively? “Hatching Results for Elementary School Counseling” and “Hatching Results for Secondary School Counseling” books are great resources. In these books, Trish Hatch and her team of authors express how we need to be intentional within our role. The books provide charts, reproducible documents, testimonies and helpful step-by-step ideas for success. These books are loaded with practical steps that we can take – baby steps of action.

You can start today by creating one S.M.A.R.T. goal: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. When your goal is met, share your results! Market your program. Be proud of what you are doing. Let others share in your joy by learning how your actions are changing the hearts and lives of the students in your care. Consider these options:
  • post blurbs in a weekly parent email
  • create a counselor corner on your school website
  • create a counselor brochure
  • provide presentations to teachers, parents and school boards
Highlight one activity you have successfully engaged in. Highlight student testimonials (with permission, of course). Share numbers! Example: “With our new attendance initiatives, our school-wide attendance has increased from 89.2 percent to 96.4 percent.”

Remember, a high-quality school counseling program doesn’t just happen. It is created with intentionality. You have what it takes to make it happen. You are worthy of celebrating your efforts and success. You are instilling hope into the lives of students every day. Now it’s time to let our parents, administrators, staff and communities know just how amazing you are!

Contact Laureen Held, OSCA president, at OSCAPresident@oscainc.org.

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