-- Evidence-Based & Best Practices Topics


The following sessions will support the Evidence-Based & Best Practices strand of content*:
Tier 2 PBIS Intervention: Service Learning on the Green Team
Gloria Gutierrez, School Counselor, Anza Elementary School, Torrance Unified School District
Tier 2 interventions for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports include counseling groups and psycho-educational groups, Check-In Check Out, and service learning opportunities, the last of which is heavily underutilized. Service Learning develops a student's sense of duty to the community, impacts a wider purpose, and helps them gain new knowledge and skills, strengthening the protective factors tied to resilience. The Green Team Service Learning Projects related to caring for the environment, galvanizing students to develop a sense of their own ability to make an impact as well as providing an introduction to environmental justice and practices.
Building from the Ground Up: Transitioning from High School to Elementary School Counseling
Melissa Gillespie, School Counselor, Bay Laurel Elementary School
After 5 years working as a high school counselor, I was transferred to an elementary school that had never had a full time counselor before. Transitioning from one level to another can be overwhelming and confusing, but building a program from the ground up even more so. This session will include tools and resources that helped me during my 1st year as an elementary counselor, advice I received, and tips and tricks to improve your program, whether you’re in your 1st year or an expert!
Using the Science of HOPE to Support Students
Becky Love, Lead Professional Development Specialist, Hatching Results, LLC
Did you know that HOPE impacts not only well being, self-worth, and life satisfaction, but also student engagement and academic achievement? HOPE can actually be measured, taught, and nurtured in K-12 school communities, as demonstrated through over 2,000 evidence-based studies! This session will explore the application of Dr. Hellman’s work, which is timely and actionable for school counselors via Tier 1 & 2 student instruction. Walk away with FREE tools to nurture and measure HOPE!
Designing and Running Effective Student Groups
Davina Santos, School Counselor, Palo Alto Unified School District
This workshop will provide participants with the practical knowledge to design, implement, and assess effective student groups in any counseling domain. The focus will be on methods for identifying site based student needs, recruiting/soliciting student participation, designing/selecting curriculum, and assessing effectiveness of group intervention. Participants will be provided with access to a shared Google folder of resources to utilize.
Hearing Their Voices. Honoring Their Journeys. Educational Journeys of Continuation School Youth & K-12 School Counselor Support
Randee Kirkemo, Ed.D., Program Coordinator & Assistant Professor, Chapman University
“Learning from my journey and where I came from and the whole adversity I overcame... I learned that I do matter and that my story matters (Anthony, 2019)." Continuation school counselors often encounter incredible students who have fostered resilient, hopeful futures for themselves despite the traumas of their past. Join me as I share the K-12 educational journeys (testimonies) of eight remarkable continuation school graduates, now college students. Learn from their stories about how the trauma they experienced impacted their education and the role of educators along their journey. This includes shining a positive light on their continuation schools regarding them as hopeful, family-like environments. Hear more about their perspectives surrounding the role of school counselors within their K-12 journey, and what school counselors can do to support students with a history of trauma. Lastly, their reflective message of resilience will bring empowering awareness regarding the strength of the self in overcoming trauma. Recommendations for supporting At-Promise Youth, including practical takeaways, will be shared along with a call to action for school counselors. The goal of this session is to both uplift the stories of continuation school youth, and recognize the power and privilege school counselors have to impact change within this population of students.
Creating Effective School Counseling Core Curriculum Lessons to Promote Student Success and Data Outcomes
Monica Zavala Afshar, Adjunct Instructor, High School Counselor, California State University Dominguez Hills: School and College Counseling Graduate Education Department, John H. Glenn High School
This session will focus on creating effective school counseling lessons that align with the ASCA Student Standards: Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success. Participants will learn how to utilize their lessons to teach students the essential knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to promote student success and improve data outcomes. A checklist with the 12 components of an effective school counseling lesson was adapted from Dr. Lopez-Perry and Dr. Mason will be distributed (Lopez-Perry, Caroline & Mason, E.. (2018). School Counselors as Curricular Leaders: A Content Analysis of ASCA Lesson Plans. Professional School Counseling. 21.)
From 0 to 3 Elementary School Counselors in One Year: How One District was Able to Reduce the Student-to-Counselor Ratio
Fatima Pineda, Madison Elementary, SAUSD; Brandon Gernux, School Counselor, Madison Elementary, SAUSD
The need for equity in education does not begin in intermediate and secondary school, so then why do students typically have access to school counselors until then? At the start of the 2021-2022 school year Santa Ana Unified School District hired school counselors at every level with a plan to provide all students with a 250:1 school counselor ratio, which introduced school counseling programs to elementary schools in the district for the first time. In this presentation, we will share data and our vision for the impact that our work as elementary school counselors will have on student learning outcomes and educational equity when a multi-tiered multi-domain system of support is implemented.

More to come! 

*Subject to change.