Suspension of School-Based Mental Health Symposium
Last week, a Bob Dillon tune from the 60s began to ring in my subconscious — "The Times They Are a-Changin." As we were taught in our grad school counseling theory class, our subconscious often sends us messages that require attention.The Covid-19 Virus is a big-deal and in my time in public education, Covid-19 is by far the most dramatic and perhaps one of the most defining moment for educators across the country. Many groups and organizations are beginning to take calculated measures to protect people's health and wellbeing.
To this end, CASC has suspended the School-Based Mental Health Symposium scheduled for May 15. We are in the process of refunding all registrants' registration fees. We also want to thank our host, San Juaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE), who graciously agreed with our decision and is willing to host this event in the future. In particular, I want to thank Lisa Neugebauer and her staff from SJCOE who initiated the partnership to bring a large-scale PD event to the Central Valley. CASC is committed to bringing PD to this area in the future.
This week, there has been daily reports of Southern, Central and Northern California schools closing. Universities have been converting all classes to an online format. Dr. Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration stated on Sunday, "We're past the point of containment." He also said, "We have to implement broad mitigation strategies and the next two weeks are really going to change the complexion in this country." He predicted at least two months of difficulty.
I have asked CASC Board Members to gather information to help guide California school counselors in establishing protocols and lessons that can be used with their school community. I have also reached out to our national affiliate, the American School Counselors Association asking that they provide guidance to the 50 state school counseling associations. You can anticipate future guidance as we address the unpredictability that lies ahead. CASC's Facebook page will also be a place to find current information as it becomes available.