Pre-Conference Morning Sessions – 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Session 1: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm – Mindset Matters: Growing Young Minds
Description: Do your students say negative things about themselves or others? Do they have a difficult time making that positive self-talk stick? Learn and practice techniques that will help you and your students grow their mindset and realize their full potential, fostering learning and resilience across grade levels.
1. Identify the difference between a fixed and growth mindset.
2. Create a school-wide plan to foster a growth-minded learning environment.
3. Utilize presented techniques and activities that build a growth mindset in their small group and classroom guidance lessons.
Presenters: Summer Kuba and Ellen Chance
Summer Kuba is a certified school counselor in St. Lucie County, has elementary and middle school experience, and is currently the guidance director at Palm Pointe Educational Research K-8 School in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. She earned her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Central Florida and her Education Specialist Degree in School Counseling from Florida Atlantic University, where she is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Counselor Education and Supervision. Summer has served on the FSCA Governing Board since 2014 where she continues to serves as their advocacy chair and served as the Chair of the Board of Directors last year. Summer also works for Lamar University and provides field supervision to master’s level students in the practicum experience. Also, she actively presents at state and national conferences and continues to seek out opportunities to advocate for students and school counselors.
Ellen Chance is a certified school counselor in the Palm Beach County School District and currently works with elementary students (K-5). She has diverse counseling experience and has worked with students ranging from elementary school to high school. She is knowledgeable and passionate about data-driven school counseling practices and delivers a comprehensive school counseling program at Pierce Hammock Elementary School in Loxahatchee, FL. After earning her Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida, she went on to receive both her Master of Education and Education Specialist degrees in School Counseling from Florida Atlantic University, where she is now a doctoral candidate in the Department of Counselor Education and Supervision. Ellen also works for Lamar University and provides field supervision to master’s level students in practicum/internship experience, and serves as an adjunct instructor for Florida Atlantic University in the Department of Counselor Education and Supervision. She has been an active member of FSCA and ASCA for several years and has presented at numerous national and state professional counseling conferences. In addition, Ellen actively pursues leadership opportunities in the field of counseling and has served as the co-president of Palm Beach School Counselor Association for the last two years.
Session 2: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm – Restorative Practices: School Counselor Implementation within the Schools
Description: Engage in an interactive workshop where participants will increase their understanding of Restorative Practices and the vital role that School Counselors hold in the implementation of these practices school wide. Attendees will leave with specific strategies to engage both students and faculty in creating a culturally inclusive atmosphere in their schools.
- To empower school counselors, serving as consultants to teachers, staff members, students, and families with the skills necessary to help faculty and staff to develop the empathic skills necessary to redefine misbehavior and serve to bring both the offender and offended back together developing a common ground (Hopkins, 2002).
- To increase the understanding of school counselors that, “the practice of restorative justice empowers individuals and communities through building healthy relationships, where fellow citizens support each other while holding each other accountable for behavior” (Morrison, 2006, p. 373).
- “Restorative justice provides school administrators and teachers with collaborative solutions to disciplinary violations (such as conflict, misbehavior, bullying, and criminal activity)” (Pavelka, 2013, p. 15). This training will empower school counselors with the skills and strategies necessary to engage all stakeholders in restorative practices for the benefit of the school.
Presenters: Cindy Topdemir and Jaclyn Infanzon (Bios coming soon!)
Since 2011 Dr. Cindy Topdemir has been the School Counseling Program Coordinator at the University of South Florida in Tampa, which is where she received her Ph.D., M.A., and B.A. In this position she teaches masters level courses and works with doctoral students as a dissertation committee co-chair or member. In recent years she has presented and published in the areas of school counselor accountability, school counselor consultation, group counseling, school counselor role confusion, microaggressions, and being culturally responsive. She has been involved with FSCA leadership since 2013. During this time she has been a member of the Convention Committee, has coordinated the graduate students’ poster presentations, and has chaired the Emerging Leaders Program. Previously she was a school counselor in Pasco County, Florida for 14 years and is still certified as a school counselor in Florida. While working as a school counselor she was involved in writing district curriculum and on district committees.
Jaclyn Infanzon Simmonds, ABD is a doctoral candidate at the University of South Florida and a School Counselor at Lealman Innovation Academy in Pinellas County, FL. She has a background in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling from her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
During the 2013-2014 school year, she completed a Post-Master’s Certificate in School Counseling and began her journey as a School Counselor in the Pinellas County School system. Jaclyn is delighted to be serving Lealman Innovation Academy, as this school is leading the way as an innovative school that is a place where all learners can be successful and where restorative practices is a guiding principal of all that occurs. Over the past 3 years, Lealman has undergone significant changes and has emerged as a model school in Pinellas County for personalized learning and restorative practices.
As a school counselor, Jaclyn’s educational philosophy is to empower all learners to recognize that their choices affect their future and equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue positive choices that will help them achieve their goals and dreams.
Session 3: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm – An Evidence-Based Approach to Helping Students Explore Their Postsecondary Options
Description: A recent Delphi study (Villares & Dimmitt, in press) involving a national sample of 29 school counseling experts identified the top 30 critical research questions facing the school counseling profession. After three rounds of input, the second most frequently rated question was, What are the best practices related to use of evidence-based interventions and practices? This interactive presentation will give participants the opportunity to learn about evidence-based interventions that can help students explore their occupational career self-efficacy and promote their college readiness skills. Attendees will walk away with intervention resources and a guide to free, valid and reliable instruments to measure student outcomes.
- Articulate the cognitive and non-cognitive factors associated with career and college readiness
- Explain the national school counselor research priorities for identifying school counselor-led interventions and best practices related to college and career readiness and college counseling.
- Identify two school counselor-led evidence-based interventions to implement with students to promote their college and career readiness
- Plan on how to deliver an intervention in small groups or classroom settings
- Measure student outcomes related to occupational self-efficacy and career and college readiness using free, valid and reliable instruments.
Presenter: Elizabeth Villares
Elizabeth Villares, Ph.D., is a professor and doctoral program coordinator in the Department of Counselor Education at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). Dr. Villares has worked as a teacher, school counselor, school counseling program director, and counselor educator for the past 20 years. Her current research interests include school counselor-led, evidence-based programs to improve the academic, social/emotional development, and college and career readiness of K-12 students. Dr. Villares has received numerous awards for her scholarship including being named as the FAU College of Education, Associate Professor Scholar and Researcher of the Year. She has a solid record of publishing in national/international peer-reviewed journals, conducted over 40 refereed presentations, and has co-authored a new book titled, Evidence-Based School Counseling – A Student Success Approach due out in Fall 2017.
Pre-Conference Afternoon Sessions – 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Session 4: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Innovative School-wide Initiatives for School Counselors
Description: In this session, Dr. Shapiro will share strategies for developing effective school-wide initiatives within the academic, college and career and social/emotional domains, including: establishing a clear purpose for school-wide school counseling initiatives, using data and needs assessments, collaborating with the school community to ensure buy-in, and approaches for implementation to maximize benefits for all students.
- Using data and needs assessments to develop impactful school-wide school counseling activities
- Collaboration with school administration to ensure buy-in for school-wide initiatives from school leadership
- Scheduling school-wide initiatives effectively
- Implementing successful school-wide initiatives within the academic, college and career, and personal-social-emotional domains
Presenter: Daniel H. Shapiro
Dr. Daniel H. Shapiro is currently a School Counseling Specialist, supporting elementary school counselors in the Broward County School District. He is an adjunct professor of School Counseling at Nova SoutheasternUniversity, was the 2015 Broward County Teacher of the Year as a School Counselor, and was the 2016 FSCA Elementary School Counselor of the Year. He received his Master’s degree in School Counseling and his Doctorate in Education from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Shapiro also received the Florida Governor’s Shine Award for Inspirational Teaching.
Session 5: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Mental Health Awareness in Schools
Description: This workshop will aid in training school counselors to become competent and comfortable in working with mental health issues that they face in their schools every day. When students are struggling with mental health barriers to their learning, it also affects their social and emotional well-being, which in turn, impacts the success of the school as a whole. When a school can offer a multi-tiered school-based system of support, complete with policies and practices implemented to meet student mental health needs, the result is safe, supportive school access to mental health services. A multi-tiered school-based system of support will help make schools safer by helping school counselors and teachers recognize the signs of mental illness and stress and be able to refer students for appropriate treatment. School-based mental health services are successful when team members know how to assess student needs properly and promote student academic success through identification and appropriate responses and referrals to community-based services for mental health problems.
- This professional development session will define ADHD, ODD, and anxiety as some of the main mental health needs of youth and shed light on how wide-spread the challenge is.
- The difference between mental health and mental illness will be discussed as there are many who do not realize that there is a difference between the two.
- How to address mental health issues in schools through developing a system of support to improve the educational atmosphere in schools.
- Resources for school counselors regarding addressing mental health issues with students and families will also be provided, including ways to foster collegial collaboration between schools, students, families, and communities to best address and develop a system of support for students when they need mental health services.
Presenter: Joel Laatsch
Dr. Joel Laatsch is a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) and nationally certified counselor (NCC). Since 2001 he has been working for the School District of Hillsborough County at Shaw Elementary School in Tampa, Florida as a school counselor. Dr. Laatsch’s academic education includes a B.S. in psychology and education from the University of WI (1988) and an M.A. in Psychology and Secondary Education from the University of NE (1992). He earned both his Ed.S. in School Counseling and an Ed.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of FL., Sarasota campus (1999). He is an active member of the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), American School Counselors Association (ASCA), the American Counseling Association (ACA), the Florida Counselors Association (FCA) and the Hillsborough County School Counselors Association (HCSCA).
Session 6: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Evidence-based Strategies for Boosting the ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors
Description: Walk away with strategies you can use right away that are cross-walked with the ASCA Mindsets and improve academic achievement as well as SEL skills. The engaging, student-centered strategies demonstrated are from the Student Success Skills classroom program and help you build student self-efficacy. The SSS Classroom program was recently featured in the new CASEL Guide to Evidence-Based SEL Programs as one of their six SELect programs for the middle and high school settings. These strategies are also appropriate for upper elementary. This pre-conference presentation is all about how to do it. Come ready to have some fun and learn how to amp-up your classroom prevention program with this interactive and practical presentation. You will be able to incorporate these new strategies into any of your classroom guidance programs and increase their effectiveness.
- Attendees will build their knowledge and practice related to key strategies from an evidence-based classroom guidance program focused on teaching students cognitive, social, and self-management skills that align with the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors.
- Attendees will be able to identify three evidence-based strategies for improving students engagement, increasing their memory skills, and reducing stress/anxiety.
- Attendees will discuss how to use formative and summative data gathered during these lessons to data-driven decisions about their school counseling programs.
Presenters: Melissa Mariani, Elizabeth Villares, and Hannah Bowers
Melissa Mariani, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at Florida Atlantic University. Her research interests include evaluating the effectiveness of evidence-based school counseling interventions, specifically those focused on improving students’ pro-social skills, fostering a positive classroom climate, and preventing bullying. In 2011, she was awarded Florida School Counselor of the Year for PK-8 and was recently (2016) honored at Florida Atlantic University as the University and College of Education’s Scholar of the Year. Dr. Mariani is a co-author of the book Facilitating Evidence-Based, Data-Driven School Counseling: A Manual for Practice (Corwin, 2016).
Elizabeth Villares, Ph.D., is a Professor and doctoral program coordinator in the Department of Counselor Education at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). Dr. Villares has worked as a teacher, school counselor, school counseling program director, and counselor educator for the past 20 years. Her current research interests include school counselor-led, evidence-based programs to improve the academic, social/emotional development, and college and career readiness of K-12 students. Dr. Villares has received numerous awards for her scholarship including being named as the FAU College of Education, Associate Professor Scholar and Researcher of the Year. She has a solid record of publishing in national/international peer-reviewed journals, conducted over 40 refereed presentations, and has co-authored a new book titled, Evidence-Based School Counseling – A Student Success Approach due out in Fall 2017.
Hannah Bowers is an Assistant Professor of School Counseling at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Bowers has been working with children and families for the past seven years, as both a marriage and family therapist and a school counselor. Her research thus far has focused on investigating school counseling programs and interventions that are aligned with the ASCA National Model, advocates for the school counseling profession, and engages the entirety of the school system. Dr. Bowers was recently selected as an Emerging Leader for the Association of Humanistic Counseling and promoted to Associate Editor for the Journal of Humanistic Counseling. She is excited for her recent return to South Florida and looks forward to further engaging with the local and regional school counseling community.