Workshops - Saturday

*All sessions are PST and subject to change

Session 1 | Session 2 | Session 3 | Session 4

Session 1
9:00 am - 9:45 am

Creative Ways to Engage the Disengaged Learner
Lezya Weglarz, School Counselor, San Marcos Unified School District

The abrupt shift to distance learning has highlighted gaps in educational access for many students and families.  Students considered most at-risk due to pre-pandemic concerns, including academic performance and chronic absenteeism have fallen further and further behind during this time. Now more than ever, it is essential that educators and school-based mental health professionals identify students in need of targeted interventions to support their academic and mental-health needs. Relationships and community building are at the heart of re-engaging the disengaged learner.

Virtual Calming Rooms
*Featured session from at ASCA@Home

Alexis Goddard, School Counselor, Centennial High School - Corona Norco Unified School District; 
Josh Godinez, School Counselor, Centennial High School - Corona Norco Unified School District

COVID-19 and school shutdowns cause stress for many. This includes teachers, administrators and especially students. Without the ability to create a calming space at school, technology has allowed for the creation of virtual escapes to relieve stress and reduce anxiety for all ages. Learn step by step how to create your own virtual calming room and the various ways you can use this resource within your classroom and at your school or at the district level.

Today's Foster Youth: How to Start a Comprehensive Support Program on Your Campus
Jenna Mendez, TK-12 District Foster Youth Counselor, Corona-Norco Unified School District

Foster youth are often the invisible under-served population. Participants will learn how to create a comprehensive academic and social/emotional program serving the needs of today's foster youth. The presentation will include academic support, on-campus programs and mentorships, district and community outreach, career readiness, resources, and how to build meaningful relationships for this at-risk population. Financial limitations and options, ways to virtually connect and ideas for all grade levels will be discussed.

Help the Unseen Queen Black Females Who Face Unique Struggles in Education
Susan Toler Carr, Director of College & Career Counseling, Justin Carr Wants World Peace Foundation

K-12 Black girls don’t disobey more or commit more serious violations, yet they often get harsher penalties for the same behavior and are six times more likely to get out-of-school suspension than their white counterparts. Black women are the most underrepresented group in higher education, yet they still face unique struggles. When they are marginalized or harassed in learning environments, they feel invisible. Get resources. Help them realize their worth and place in educational environments.
Creating an Enduring Moral Compass of Kindness
Cheri Lovre, Director, Crisis Management Institute

This session examines the dynamics that contribute to a lasting foundation of kindness, compassion and empathy in youth.  Particularly with both COVID-19 and the national engagement in issues of racism, counselors need to be able to support teachers in facilitating deep and meaningful discussions with students on difficult and uncomfortable topics. Teachers have remarkable influence over youth moral development, and with the new and additional demands on counselors, arming teachers with skills for Tier One  mental health support for youth is critical. Building character is an every day experience for youth. 

9:00 am- 10:15 am
*Extended session

Counselors Not Cops: Students Share How and Why Students Fight for Mental Health as a Civil Right
Dr. Amir Whitaker, Policy Attorney, ACLU of SoCal; Elizaberh Simon, Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School: 11th Grade; Jasmin Fernandez, Synergy Quantum Academy: Grade: 12th Grade; Abraham Flores, Grand Arts; Ramon C Cortines, School of Visual and Performing Arts

Students from the ACLU of SoCal’s Youth Liberty Squad have been fighting to increase the number of school-based  mental health professionals through  impactful actions.  Leading up to California's first student Mental Health Week in 2020, students created a survey about the impact of Covid-19  on the mental health of students. They received over 600 responses and the results were staggering. The need for mental health support more than doubled according to their survey. The students organized over 60 schools and 30 organizations in support of their letter to the governor demanding support for school-based mental health in the prioritization of funds for counselors, not cops. As a result of the letter, the students testified in the California legislature, presented several times to the California Department of Education, and influenced the Governor to prioritize student Mental Health. The students also organized an art contest with over fifty students submissions and now have a petition that needs your support.

Session 2
10:00 am - 10:45 am

Closing the Achievement Gap for Black Students through an Equitable Lens
Marina Scates, Coordinator II, Los Angeles County Office of Education;
Lacey Harris, College Counselor, Inner City Education Foundation Public Schools

Black Students in California are performing at disproportionately lower rates than their peers based on statistics from the California Dashboard and Beyond the School House report by UCLA. This subgroup is suspended and expelled at higher rates, has lower college/career readiness indicators and scores lower on standardized testing. Participants will understand how the  empowerment of this population can contribute to their academic success and overall socio-personal well-being. This presentation will include a brief overview of black culture and provide strategies to support black students in the school setting.

Demystifying the DSM: Understanding Common Diagnoses Among Children and Youth
Ann Shillingford, PhD, Associate Professor and Author, University of Central Florida;
Tiphanie Gonzalez PhD, Assistant Professor, Author, Oswego State University of New York

Now more than ever there is an increased need for leadership skills in collaborating and advocating for schools to address the mental health needs of students. Attendees will gain insight on various diagnoses that affect students in K-12 settings and develop an understanding of how mental health disorders affect children and youth.

Stockton Strong: Revolutionizing School Counselors to be Leaders for Systemic Change
Jose Cardenas, Ed.D., John New, Jillian Glende, Jennifer Robles, Nicolette Gonzaba, and Tami Gray, School Counselor Program SpecialistsStockton Unified School District; Dr. Traci Miller, Director of Student Support Services, Stockton Unified School District

The goal of the session is to showcase replicable best practices in implementing a district wide comprehensive school counseling program with school counselors as leaders. Attendees will understand leadership practices, and the importance of collaboration.  The presentation will highlight the importance of courageous conversations with community members and district leadership to achieve student-centered agreed-upon goals. This information is important to school districts who are looking to implement district wide comprehensive school counseling  programs especially during these difficult times relating to budgets and distance learning.

Resilience Above Trauma During Covid-19
Da'Mond T Holt, PhD., Certified Traumatologist & Trauma Crisis Specialist, Metropolitan State University WEEAC
Due to trauma and chronic stress being on the rise in education it is causing secondary traumatic stress, compassion fatigue, burnout, and moral injury. This training is an asset-based approach to trauma with a strong emphasis on resiliency. Due to Covid-19, trauma and chronic stress has drastically increased which is affecting student academics, classroom management, discipline, teacher attrition, teacher retention, and the mental health of the entire school community. 

Session 3

11:30 am - 12:15 pm

Anti-Racist Delivery Systems and School Board Advocacy
*Featured session from at ASCA@Home
Jennifer Susko, School Counselor, Mableton Elementary School, Mableton, Georgia

The delivery system portion of the ASCA National Model includes both direct and indirect services for our students. It is vital that we attend to the racial and social justice portion of ASCA's ethical standards when we engage in these services. Hear concrete ways to deliver program services aimed at both removing barriers to the success and well-being of our Black students and ensuring that we are operating as ethical school counselors as mandated by ASCA.   

Culturally Responsive Instruction
Dr. Caroline Lopez-Perry, Assistant Professor, California State University, Long Beach 

How to promote a school culture that is culturally responsive is a challenge currently being faced by many educators today.  Studies show culturally responsive instruction can benefit students from all backgrounds and cultures.  Likewise, creating institutionalized change is needed to make lessons culturally sustaining.  Having an equity mindset and approach is a beginning step. This workshop will offer concrete ideas for teachers, counselors and administrators that includes defining culturally responsive instruction and how it impacts student learning. Attendees will learn about the different types of cultures and how they influence learning. They will leave with strategies that support deeper learning and reach beyond the standard classroom lessons.

Yoga and Mindfulness for Digital Wellness in Schools
Megan McWilliams, LCSW, MPH, RYT, RCYT, Education Specialist, Yoga Ed.

When we feel physically, mentally, and emotionally well in ourselves, we can show up in connection and community with our students. This is when learning happens. Yoga Ed.’s digital wellness breaks are tools that you can use to support you and your student’s physical and mental wellness in an online learning space. In this presentation participants will have the opportunity to experience a digital wellness break, learn how yoga and mindfulness practices support the mental health of students, and how to incorporate these practices into your virtual learning spaces.

Mental Health First Aid - Free California Department of Education (CDE) Sponsored Training for Teachers and Others
Monica Nepomuceno, MSW, Education Programs Consultant, California Department of Education

Prior to the onset of Covid-19, youth mental health issues had steadily increased. One recent study that was conducted prior to Covid-19 found that 93 percent of teachers are concerned about student mental health needs, and 85 percent voiced their need for further mental health training.  With the majority of California schools utilize a virtual format, teachers may be the only school professional seeing students regularly. Consequently, it is incumbent upon schools, now more than ever, to ensure teachers are prepared to identify and support student mental health.  Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is one of the most commonly used training programs and has a growing evidence base demonstrating increases in teachers’ knowledge base. The California Department of Education currently offers free MHFA training for teachers and other school-based school staff members. Participants will learn about the MHFA program and ways to access the training. 

Glimpse Inside a Solution Focused School:  Ideas and Practices that Lead to Success
Linda Metcalf, M.Ed., Ph.D, Consultant, Author, Presenter, Solution Focused Schools Unlimited;
Linda Webb, Ed.D., Principal, Gonzalo Garza Independence High School, Author of Solution Focused Brief Therapy in Alternative Schools: Ensuring Student Success and Preventing Dropout

This session will bring together a solution focused school counselor and solution focused school principal who will highlight the basic ideas, implementation and practices behind the creation of the solution focused school. More than ever, students need a safe environment where their voices can be heard in regard to emotional health, academic and behavioral planning.  By engaging the 'system" of educators with students, relationships grow and collaboration and respect begins to occur. The ability to be included in the discussion and heard by the educators that teach them propels students to take responsibility and as a result, become motivated to create their own preferred future. Based on the successful and award winning school, Gonzalo Garza High School, the principal of that school, the co-presenter, will inspire and motivate participants to begin adding components of the solution focused approach in their own schools.

Session 4

2:00 pm - 2:45 pm

Changing the Narrative: The African American Student Leadership Academy Cohort
Lisa Nichols, Vice Principal on Special Assignment, Fresno Unified School District-Goal 2 Department; Pat Riddlesprigger, Athlete Manager , Fresno Unified School District-Goal 2 Department; Leslie Loewen, Campus Culture Manager, Fresno Unified School District-Goal 2

The session will provide an overview of the African American Student Leadership Academy Cohort Program.  The program was developed in partnership with UC Merced as a response to disparities among qualified African American students enrolling, and not enrolling, in the UC system. The African American Student Leadership Academy (AASLA) is a program that identifies college-bound 8th grade students and provides support and mentoring through 12th grade to ensure students are UC ready upon graduation. Each cohort is named for their graduation year and serves as a constant reminder of their ultimate goal: to graduate on time and UC ready.Fresno Unified is building connections and relationships with our African American students and families to change their narrative.
Combating the Barriers of Mental Health - Best Practices In Linking Students to Resources
Chad Alan Castruita, Founder & CEO, CareSolace;
Dr. Anita Shirley, Coordinator, School Counseling Services, Corona-Norco Unified School District

Clearly define the issues families, students and staff face when navigating the CA mental health system; clearly defined barriers and solutions in navigation; COVID-19 has exacerbated the mental health crisis for schools. Navigating insurance can be a hindrance for families to get the help they need for their children or themselves. Chad and Anita will share their experience in partnering together to connect the Corona-Norco community to mental health services and support.
Transformative SEL
Anne Contreras, Director of Programs, National Trainer, Pure Edge, Inc.
In this interactive session, participants will identify the five SEL competencies, talk about negativity bias and incorporate the three signature practices focusing on brain breaks to help build belonging and inclusion.

Engaging Strategies For Race-Based Conversations With Students and Families
Derek Francis, Manager of Counseling Services, Minneapolis Public Schools, Minneapolis, Minnesota

As members of the school community each of us  can help students find and value their own voices, histories, and cultures. The recent racial events in our country have pushed many educators, community leaders, families and students to initiate complex conversations designed to unite difference and increase empathy.  This session is designed to help educators to engage students and the entire school community to embrace  culturally responsive education strategies.

Supporting the Mental Wellness of Educators
Sarah Slemmons, School Counselor, CASC 2020 School Counselor of the Year, Culver City Unified School District

Educators are under more stress than ever. It’s important that we support each other so we can be positive examples of wellness to our students. Learn how school counselors and administrators can encourage and support the mental wellness of educators at your school site. Participants will leave with activities and strategies to implement immediately.