Workshops - Friday

*All times are PST and subject to change

Session 1 | Session 2 | Session 3 | Session 4

Session 1
10:30 am - 11:15 am

Culturally Sustaining MTSS Practices
Dr. Jake Olsen, Assistant Professor, California State University, Long Beach

This session approaches the topic of culturally sustaining practices across all tiers of the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) framework, to meet every student where they are at. Whether schools are in-person or virtual, this session provides practical strategies that can be used by all educators as an integral part of supporting students in this difficult time of Covid19 where trauma is prevalent, grief and loss are widespread and basic needs are, in many cases, interfering with learning.
Promoting Safety, Inclusion and Well-Being for LGBTQ Students
Vincent "Vinnie" Pompei, Director, Youth Well-Being Program, Human Rights Campaign

A lack of cultural competency on LGBTQ identities and fear of pushback often result in hesitancy around LGBTQ inclusion efforts, which create unwelcoming and sometimes hostile school climates.  There are a growing number of schools offering professional development, updating policies, and creating procedures to ensure LGBTQ students are supported and protected.  These schools are experiencing dramatic improvements in school climate resulting in increases in attendance, achievement and graduation rates. Join us to strengthen your knowledge, attitudes, and skills to become a more effective advocate for needed change in your school.

Using Data, Leadership, and Advocacy to Disrupt Systems of Oppression
Molly StrearPhD, Associate Professor, San Francisco State University;
Leia Eckstein, Head Counselor, San Francisco Unified School District, County Satellite Schools, CASC Board of Directors

Collective responsibility and intentional advocacy among school stakeholders are essential for disrupting long standing patterns of oppression. During this session, participants will learn how liberation psychology and everyday antiracism can contribute to critical education and mental health practices. Using this framework, participants will be able to critically examine their positionality and school dynamics to develop actionable, data-driven advocacy plans that challenge systems of oppression. Examples of school counselors engaging in equity-focused leadership and advocacy will be shared to elucidate school-based equity work. Participants will be encouraged to pause throughout this presentation in order to apply this work to their unique contexts, reflecting on their own positionality and school culture through an intersectional lens.

Social Justice and Youth Marijuana and Vaping Violations:  Finding Equity and Balance
Molly Lotz, LCSW, Co-Founder of MEI, Marijuana Education Initiative

Looking at youth marijuana and vaping related infractions through a social justice lens allows administrators and professionals to guide their decisions by examining policies from multiple viewpoints in an attempt to avoid pitfalls that can lead to a lack of equity among students.  As schools navigate marijuana and vaping related violations and changing policies, learn how multi-tiered systems of support, alternatives to suspension, motivational interviewing and restorative practices can further support the framework of social justice to promote the continued equitable and quality education of all youth.

Nurturing Deeper Connection in a Time of Crisis
Dr. Bob Nelson, Superintendent of Schools, Fresno Unified School District; 
Nikki Henry, Chief Information Officer, Fresno Unified School District

Positive relationships formed on the basis of transparency and trust are fundamental to education.  As educational leaders, we are often taught that in order to effectually lead, that we need to fit established leadership paradigms. But authenticity, the ability to bring your honest self to work each and every day, is the key to building effective engagement with students, colleagues, and families alike.

California Leaders United Towards Boosting School-Based Mental Health Services
Loretta Whitson Ed.D., Executive Director California Association of School Counselors; Chris Stoner-Mertz, LCSW, CEO, California Alliance of Child and Family Services; Trish Hatch Ph.D., President and CEO of Hatching Results ®, LLC

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond recently called together leaders from counseling groups across California to work together in a coordinated effort to close gaps in mental health support for students experiencing increased levels of trauma exacerbated by the pandemic. The Thurmond team cites the importance of counselors now more than ever as the key to addressing students who are struggling. This includes students who have significant disruptions in their educational programs, have grief and anger issues over racial injustice, and/or have the added strain on households dealing with food insecurity.  In this workshop presenters will provide an inside look of the committee’s work. The interactive Q&A will be an opportunity for participants to share how they are managing local mental health needs and effective practices.

Session 2
11:30 am - 12:15 pm

Authentic & Intentional Relationship Building between American Indian Tribal Leaders and Shasta County’s  Educational Leaders … A Story Worth Sharing
Becky Love, Shasta County School Counseling Coordinator, Shasta County Office of Education & Hatching Results LLC; Judy Fores, Shasta County Superintendent, Kenwa Kravitz, Wintu Representative;  April Carmelo, Title VI Coordinator, Shasta Union High School District; Barbara Wolfin, Pit River Representative;  James Ward, Winnemem Wintu & LIFE Center Director; Kelly Rizzi, Shasta COE Director of School & District Support

What happens when education leaders reach-out to build sustainable relationships with other educational leaders within the Indigenous community?  This workshop will share the journey that began when Shasta County’s Superintendent of Schools was undeterred in her efforts to build authentic relationships with American Indian Education (Title VI) program leaders, as well as tribal leaders.  The Shasta team began this journey by exploring strategies to  understand the “why” behind the outcomes for their American Indian students. This resulted in forging new paths towards including the development of Shasta County’s American Indian Educator Training Series. This comprehensive curriculum was co-created with tribal leaders and Shasta County educators. The intention was to afford Native students the opportunity to  feel a sense of belonging, to increase self-confidence and cultural identity, therefore strengthening their social-emotional well being and success in school. This workshop will highlight this curriculum and provide how deep listening, seeking to understand and shared strategies are effective approaches to school and community collaboration.               

Like Water Etching Stone: Cutting Through Layers of Grief and Trauma During Global Pandemic
Aubrey Uresti, Ph.D., LPCC, PPS-SC, Assistant Professor, San José State University

Confronted with the numerous changes in day-to-day life resulting from the COVID-19 global pandemic, along with the social epidemic of systemic racism, we find ourselves in a surreal world where words like unprecedented, unparalleled, and uncharted are woven into our daily discourse. We are faced with dual crises—the acute crisis of COVID-19 and the chronic crisis of racial trauma. In some ways, these crises may overshadow the stressors that our students and school communities were already experiencing; in other ways, they may highlight losses and traumas that were previously hidden. Meeting these challenges head-on includes social/emotional interventions at individual, group, classroom, and school-wide levels.

Designing Virtual Counseling Centers
Tami Hester Johnson, District Counselor Program Specialist, Cajon Valley Union School District

Developing and creating a safe and caring virtual counseling environment, reducing barriers to mental health services, and creating systems for greater access for students, especially the most vulnerable students is essential. In this session, participants will understand the vital elements of designing Virtual Counseling Centers to reach students within an MTSS framework.  Participants will also be provided with a variety of resources that can help build a Virtual Counseling Center and factors to consider in the delivery of small group counseling sessions. During the Q&A, participants will experience first-hand an E-Counseling PlayList.

Using a Check-in Process as a means for Providing Counseling During School Closures
Thomas J. Sopp, MA., Long Beach Unified School District, Co-Chair CASP Mental Health Committee;
Susan K. Coats, Ed.D., School Psychologist, LEP, Co-Chair CASP Mental Health Committee

This presentation is meant not only for Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) professionals, but also for the supervisors of PPS staff, and other school mental health professionals on how to support all students during the global pandemic using a “check-in” model, and for providing more intensive services, using tele-health strategies.

Leading SEL with an Equity Lens
Lisa T. Wright, Education Partnerships Manager, Committee for Children (Second Step); 
Jasmine Williams, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Committee for Children

The goal of this session is to discuss clear methods in which SEL is used as a leverage, and when it’s not, to support education equity with our youths. Driven by research and direct student and teacher feedback, participants will explore the diverse experiences that our students face, concrete strategies one can use to expand upon the SEL lessons and validate students’ experiences, and the role of the adult educators in the equity journey. This is an important topic as our students are diverse in many aspects and majority of our educators are white. Students of color are being disciplined disproportionately in comparison to their white peers. We must come together and find the best practices to serve our children so they can thrive emotionally, academically, and in life.

Signature Practices from Three California School Counselors of the Year (2019, 2020, 2021)
Alma Lopez., (SCOY 2021) School Counselor Coordinator, Livingston Middle School; Josh Godinez, (SCOY, 2019) School Counselor, Centennial High School; Sarah Slemmons, (SCOY, 2020) School Counselor, Culver City Middle School

This session provides a rare opportunity for participants to learn from the top school counselors in California. Each presenter will share lessons they have learned over the years and signature practices that they utilize in addressing trauma and anti-racist practices. They will share a number of strategies for creating a school environment that is open, caring and that celebrates diversity.                                                                                                                                                                                          
Tiered Supports that Promote College Equity & Access
Whitney Triplett, Director of Professional Development, Hatching Results

Did you know that students who meet with a school counselor are 3.2 times more likely to attend college? School counselors can put in place supports that even impact college persistence and degree attainment. Considering this through an equity lens, school counselors have tremendous power that can be channeled to open doors for underserved student populations. Join this session to feed your brilliant brain lots of ideas for Tier 1, 2, and 3 college access supports that are grounded in evidence-based practice!

Session 3
1:15 pm - 2:00 pm

Utilizing Student Voice to Create a Feedback Model for Improving School Culture and Increasing Student Engagement
Patrick Keeley, Ed.D., Superintendent, Mountain Empire Unified School District

Education is often something we do to students instead of with them. Through a series of interviews and focus groups you can examine issues in your school community that truly matter to the students. Participants will learn a process to empower students to work with their teachers to address critical issues at school. This partnership and trust between adults and students is essential to students being able to access learning.

Mindful Schools: Cultivating Awareness, Resilience and Compassionate Action
Megan Sweet, EdD, Senior Director of Program and Impact, Mindful Schools

This session will highlight how Mindful Schools work with educators and counselors to increase awareness, unearth biases, and develop the resilience and compassion to create meaningful change in their own lives and their school communities. Participants will learn how mindfulness can be implemented to create systemic change, as well as experience mindfulness practices, gain immediate tools for their well-being, and discover how Mindful Schools can support them in creating joyful and inclusive learning environments.

Restorative Practices: Community Circles in Distance Learning
Dr. Rebecca Pianta, Coordinator of Counseling and Student Support, Capistrano Unified School District

Whether virtual or in-person, Community Circles and Restorative Practices are effective strategies for cultivating a positive school and classroom climate and building greater connections, accountability, and empowerment amongst students and staff.  Research shows, schools that implement Restorative Practices (community circles) have reported less disciplinary issues and stronger, positive relationships among students and staff.  In this session, participants will learn effective facilitation skills and gain access to tools to implement Restorative Practices: Community Circles in a virtual world and for when we return to in-person learning.

Network of Safety: Building Suicide-Safer Schools and Communities in California
Jarrod Hindman, Vice President, Community Development, LivingWorks

This session will describe the statewide online suicide prevention initiative underway in partnership with LivingWorks, the CA Department of Education, and the San Diego County Office of Education. LivingWorks Start is a 90-minute, skill-building suicide prevention training being provided to middle and high school students and staff throughout California. This session will detail how LivingWorks Start can fit into a comprehensive and integrated suicide prevention strategy, and discuss how school mental health professionals and school staff can support students at risk for suicide in a virtual learning environment.

School Counselor Collaboration with Clinical Mental Health Counselors: Experiences, Practices, and Implications
Malti Tuttle, PhD, LPC, NCC, Auburn University; Brandee Appling, Assistant Professor, University of Georgia; Simone May, Teaching Faculty, Florida State University

School counselors are increasingly challenged with recognizing and attending to students’ mental health needs and often collaborate with Clinical Mental Counselors for the purpose of supporting students' mental and social-emotional wellbeing within the K-12 setting. Based on a research study conducted by the presenters, this session will focus on the experiences of School Counselors who have collaborated with Clinical Mental Health Counselors. Through active participation and discussion, participants will gain strategies for practice and implications for school counselors to incorporate to increase and enhance effective collaboration with Clinical Mental Health Counselors.                                                                                       

1:15 pm - 2:30 pm
*Extended session

Unlearning White Saviorism in the Classroom
Vanessa Geffrard, MPH, National Trainer and Public Speaker, Consultant

The job of a life-affirming educator is fun, exciting, complicated, and of course, life changing for ourselves and our students! Some of the things that can be challenging in our roles are answering the difficult questions that come our way, balancing classroom management, honoring the identities of all of our students, all the while examining our values and keeping them in check. This workshop will support participants in examining the root of their biases as it relates to their students, the role we play in upholding white saviorism, and starting our process to unlearn and undo it all.

Session 4
2:15 pm - 3:00 pm

COVID-19, Civil Rights, and Social-Emotional Development Theory; Exploring Proactive Measures for Student Success
Fabiola Bagula, Ph.D., Senior Director, Equity Department, San Diego County Office of Education

Public Schools play a pivotal role in the social-emotional development of human beings. Currently, we are collectively living through a global pandemic and a civil rights movement. How might Social-emotional development theory help us to understand proactive measures in order to nurture healthy development and growth? The workshop will explore proactive measures for student success.

A Collaborative Approach to Enhancing the Well-Being of Students and Families: The Family Resource Center Model
Thomas J. Sopp, MA., School Psychologist, Long Beach Unified School District; Erin M. Simon, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent, School Support Services, Long Beach Unified School District; Kimberly Ieremia, M.S., School Counselor, Long Beach Unified School District; Stephanie Kubicek, M.S., School Counselor, Long Beach Unified School District

The Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) has established Family Resource Centers (FRC) staffed by school counselors and school psychologists to provide social/emotional/behavioral health related support to students and teachers within identified schools. This presentation will highlight the use of Family Resource Center model as a viable approach for providing social, emotional and behavioral support and the valuable partnerships with other School-Based Mental Health Professionals

Facilitating Engaging Group Activities Online
Beatrice Nguyen, M.A., PPS, College and Career Counselor, Capistrano Unified School District;
Alexandra Todd, M.A., PPS., K-8 School Counselor, Capistrano Unified School District

Research shows that group counseling can, in many cases, be more effective than individual counseling. At a time when social isolation is occurring in unprecedented ways, the role of groups as a protective factor is an important one. Online groups can be a means for engaging and inspiring students.  They offer school counselors a useful way to support more students, address stress and provide for students’ mental health needs. Participants will learn the ins and outs of virtual group counseling including understanding ethical issues, as well as learning tips and tools to conducting effective sessions.

Supporting Youth Through the Uncertainty of COVID
Cheri Lovre, Director, Crisis Management Institute

Supporting students through the isolation and anxieties caused by COVID-19 calls for new strategies and adjustments to our expectations of both ourselves and of the students.  It is not surprising that increasing numbers of youth are now on prescription drugs for anxiety and depression.  However, the novel challenges wrought by COVID-19 leave many feeling confused and unable to identify or define the multiple losses and stresses.  This session explores some of the invisible issues facing students and provides strategies and activities that can be used immediately.  Kids can only "get as well" as the adults around them, so engaging parents and supporting staff is key.

Better Together: Administrator and Elementary School Counselor Collaboration Increases Access to Student Support Services
Amy Dauble-Madigan, Elementary School Counselor, El Marino Language School; 
Mina Shiratori, Elementary Principal, El Marino Language School, Culver City Unified School District

Why is elementary school counseling a practical investment in helping schools reach their LCAP goals?  While elementary school counseling is often overlooked as a viable addition to a school’s instructional programs, this district found that investing in an elementary school counselor was cost effective, was welcomed and appreciated by teachers and other staff members, and was an important factor  in identifying student needs and reducing barriers to learning. Hear from the school principal and school counselor about the inner workings that were required to increase counseling services and the positive results that followed. Attendees will learn about the use of school counselor-led social justice lessons and the utilization of a restorative practice model to enhance a positive school climate. Attendees will walk away with ready-to-use strategies and resources that can be easily replicated in any elementary setting.