NHSCA Board Meeting
Comfort Inn, Concord, NH
January 11 & 12, 2008
Present: Annette Belanger, Annette Blake, Jackie Creed, Kim Lavoie, Fran Meffen, Lynn Merlone, Rebecca Schaefer, Kim Seaman, Mitch Taranow, Susan Theberge, Donna Therrien, Holly Vieten
Meeting was called to order at 4:14 pm.
Approval of agenda: Fran asked if we would be discussing the needs assessment, which we will discuss when we talk about professional development. We added Scholarship Committee to the agenda as well. Agenda was passed with addition.
Secretary’s Report, Kim Seaman: The board reviewed the November 30th meeting minutes. The minutes were accepted as written.
Treasurer’s Report, Jackie Creed: Fran noted that we have a significant carryover and that while we are only half way through the fiscal year, we have used over half the budget for mileage. The treasurer’s report was passed as written. The audit is complete; it has been forwarded to the finance committee to review the recommendations. The finance committee will report back to the board at the next meeting.
President’s Report, Kim Lavoie:
NOSCA: National Office for School Counselor Advocacy is sponsored by the College Board. ASCA has been invited to this meeting. The agenda is focused on the advisory team and coming up with language for NCLB. Kim’s only concern is that since the College Board sponsors it, there will be language indicating that every student will attend college as a benchmark.
Resignations: Kristie Kim has resigned from the board due to family obligations.
Book email: Dr. Betsy Gunzelmann, author of Hidden Dangers: subtle signs of failing schools, contacted Kim L. to help get the word out about the book. The board could review the book and write an article in the newsletter. It was then suggested that Betsy herself write an article for our newsletter. Kim will invite Dr. Gunzelmann to write an article for our newsletter.
Someone emailed Kim to see if there was compiled data on salaries of school counselors. There is not; what does exist, is the teacher salary schedule on the DOE website.
Upcoming meetings (calendar): Next meeting is scheduled for March 10th and we need to decide on a location. Concord is a good location, so Kim will look into Concord HS as well as the DOE. Mitch offered Merrimack Valley High School as a possibility as well. Friday, April 11th is the Spring Conference. May 21st is the final board meeting at the Common Man. The meeting will be from 3:30 until 8. The EDdies are Saturday, June 7th. If board members are interested in attending the EDdies, they should let Holly know.
Elementary, Annette Belanger: Nothing to report
Middle School, Annette Blake: Nothing to report, but Annette asked how we get the word out about the possibility of changing the name of NHTI to Concord Community College College. Kim L. said that the message has gotten out for the “voting” of the new name. There was discussion about getting the word out about our community colleges in general, as they are such a great resource. Fran mentioned that she brought her middle school students to the regional tech. centers to get kids thinking about programs, as many of them have project running start.
High School, Rebecca Schaefer: Nothing to report.
Post Secondary, Susan Theberge: Nothing to report, except that offering the 1-credit at Keene for NHSCA conferences is going very well.
E-mail blasts, Mitch Taranow: There was confusion among the board as to how the listserv works. A listserv is a mailing list, when you post, it will go to all “subscribers”. We can ask people to subscribe, or we sign everyone on our mailing list up, and then ask people to unsubscribe if they are not interested.
We can set up different “groups” NHSCA (all members) NHSCA Blast (all counselors in the state) HS, Middle, Elementary and each region. The concern that Kathryn has is that we run into the challenge of people that aren’t technologically savvy. Mitch shared that it is simple, as it goes through email. It was asked why it is better to do a listserv vs. an email blast. Blasts are harder to deal with servers and Blasts are more susceptible to be read as spam. The goal is to have a database that we can change and have control of who is on each list. When you subscribe to a listserv, you can decide how the replies are sent. It was strongly suggested that the default is to reply to an individual and then one has to consciously choose to go public reply so that personal content doesn’t get sent out to everyone inadvertently. There should be an ethical disclaimer and guidelines so that we don’t break confidentiality and maintain the integrity of NHSCA, as well as prevent things from being posted to everyone, when they are intended for a single person.
It seems that we want to go with listserv options that are not going to overwhelm people’s mailboxes so they then unsubscribe. We will start out as one large group, rather than many sub groups to encourage initial activity.
Susan asked if she can send MaryAnne Seney the invite for her next regional meeting. It was decided that we would send MaryAnne any email blast info until the Technology Committee is up and running and can accommodate the changes.
Seacoast, Donna Therrien: They had a meeting; there were 12-15 attendees. It went well. The spring one will be at UNH in April, there isn’t a date or topic yet.
Western, Susan Theberge: They are putting off their meeting until Feb. 12th on the Art of Childhood Healing Grief. There was discussion about having more money in the budget for regional meetings.
Central, Annette Belanger: Next meeting is March 6th at Youth Service Bureau, to learn about the different programs they offer. Genesis behavioral health just contacted Annette to see if the counselors would want to do another meeting with them to learn about programming changes. Kim asked that everyone send her the dates of their regional meetings so that we can put them on the web calendar.
North Country, Matt Saladino: Absent.
Committee Chair Updates
Nominations and Elections, Fran Meffen: While we want more people to run for board positions, no one new has been found at this time. Fran will be contacting current members to see if they are interested in continuing their role. Fran will be sending an email to board members. It was asked that everyone consider all of their obligations (both on and off the board) and commit to only what they think will be manageable. “Do what you can do, and do what you do well.”
There was discussion as to whether or not there should be an official ballot at the spring conference. The board decided to continue the practice of mailing the ballot so that all members had a chance to add their input.
Technology, Mitch Taranow: To be done Saturday
Student Intern Liaison, Charles Langille: Absent
Public Relations, vacant: Still vacant.
Membership, Kathryn Sheridan: It is the same as the last meeting. 449 members at about 53% of all school counselors
Research, Susan Theberge: Lynn has just tracked down a normed mindfulness assessment. They are done with the second phase of pilots and have sent in a revised IRB to Keene. This committee presented a proposed budget. They requested $1200 for professional development and training and $800 for data collection and collation. For the purposes of auditing, it was recommended that it be more specific, outlining specific conferences to go to, and for the data collection, establish an hourly rate for collation. It was suggested that when they publish any research articles, there should be some recognition that project was made possible with support from NHSCA. Susan will revise her proposal and come back to the board with it.
Ethics, Gary Goodnough: Absent
Professional Recognition, Holly Vieten: Nominations were due Dec.31st and the nominations have been received. Holly will be meeting with the committee to make the decision. They will be recognized at the April conference. It was suggested that we invite the press to advertise the winners.
Spring Conference, Holly Vieten: The brochures just went to the printer. NHHEAF contributed $500 towards the ACSA annual conference fees. When we break out by level, Holly needs facilitators for each level. Rebecca volunteered for the High School break out session.
There was discussion that some people have already depleted their professional development days. Is this a topic that we should advocate for school counselors? We wondered if Esther might help up with this.
Newsletter, Kathryn Sheridan: It has gone to print. It was suggested that people write personal stories to add to the newsletter, as many of our articles have been more “professional.” We could also highlight counselors throughout the state. There was a suggestion to give an incentive to non-board members contribute to the newsletter. Selected contributors would receive a voucher to a conference of their choice. Motion to increase newsletter line item by $200 to cover guest article submissions. The motion passed. We will revisit this in March.
Advocacy, Fran Meffen: The committee has not met since October. There needs to be some delineation between public relations and advocacy as there is some gray area between the two. The committee needs to focus on three or so areas, so that we aren’t overextending ourselves. Fran was at a conference on college and career readiness with commissioners, college folks, and other “higher ups.” Fran felt like school counselors were not part of the discussion. So it is part advocacy as well as PR to really get out there with the role of the school counselor. Fran feels like there should be a board discussion about the overall advocacy plan.
Annette Belanger and Annette Blake made a power point presentation to their school board. It was about the role of the school counselor. It was suggested that we post it on the NHSCA website so that other counselors can use this presentation in their schools.
Administrator Liaison, Esther Asbell: Absent
Scholarship Committee, Lynn Merlone: We received a thank you note from the recipient, Sarah Bienvenue.
Professional Development, Board Discussion – It is a major member benefit, we no longer have a chair member, and we can’t let this go by the wayside. The plan is that the Prof. Dev. Committee is the over arching planning body to have a comprehensive Prof. Dev. Plan. We have the Summer Institute as an issue that we need to address, especially since we have a lot of need for implementing the National Model. We also need to address the fact that we have beginner, intermediate, and experienced counselors, so the need to differentiate is there as well. It was suggested that we only have one conference on a specific topic and then have the summer institute to have the break out sessions on responsive services, classroom guidance, group work, data management, etc. so that people can choose. It is not necessarily leveled, but differentiated. When we talk about having strands, it means overnight. It was suggested that if we have the summer institute, that we forego the spring conference, so that it is more manageable. Or can we partner with other New England states. “New England League of School Counselors.” It could rotate from each state to pool resources and to ensure enough participants. While it is a good idea, it could be too cumbersome to make happen.
One thing is still hanging for the fall conference. Will we have both William Pollack and Lynn Mikel-Brown or just one of them? It was discussed that we could have them talk together at the beginning, then have Q & A, and then have breakout sessions that people can choose. It was stated that the broader the conference, the more who are interested in attending. The consensus is that we have them both come, have a joint keynote along with breakout sessions where people could choose where to go.
Meeting was adjourned at 8:05pm
Saturday, January 12th
Present: Esther Asbell, Annette Belanger, Kim Lavoie, Fran Meffen, Lynn Merlone, Kim Seaman, Kathryn Sheridan, Mitch Taranow, Susan Theberge
Meeting was called to order at 8:35 a.m.
Mitch walked the board through the listserv and what it would look like. Should we roll it out at the conference? Walk people through it? It was decided that we would just send people the welcome email. We will need to develop guidelines on how to use the listserv. We could send out model questions, such as “What are you doing for families who have a parent in Iraq?” or “Do you have a separate evaluation for counselors, different than teachers?”
Right now, we are going to do one listserv for everyone, and not level strands. If we get too much volume, we can then re-evaluate as we grow.
Mitch has been asked if there is a place where we can post useful information. We could post it in the resources. It was suggested that we have a “members only” portion of the website, as the online resources should be only available to members, and it would promote membership. Before we spend too much time on adding resources, we should redesign the website to have a members only section.
Mitch has an old site that he could sell us for about $1,000, whereas starting one from scratch would be $7,000-$10,000. Who hosts our website? Earthlink does and we are not really pleased with their services. Mitch suggested that we don’t switch servers until we have a webmaster. It is suggested that we hire out for the design and management of the website. The tech committee needs to look at these as next steps.
As soon as Mitch has the updated membership info, he can post. We need to make sure the guidelines are posted. Where do we put it on our website? Kathryn looked at 5 other states SCA’s and they have it on their front page.
Kathryn will look at other SCA’s and create a document for us to review (rather than have everyone submit suggestions) to establish guidelines and etiquette.
Everyone needs to email Mitch, and he will populate the list so that we can review the guidelines before we send out to everyone. The timeline for the guidelines and etiquette of the listserv, as well as the initial welcome email is to be done by Jan. 26th.
We need an article in the next newsletter about how the listserv works and the ways that they can benefit from it. Mitch will write this article.
To spark discussion, Lynn will ask the Iraq question and Kim L. will post the contract question.
Advocacy Update and Discussion:
We need to set priorities and delineate between PR and advocacy, as the line between the two is sometimes gray. PR is more one sided (getting info out there), whereas advocacy is more about building relationships with a variety of stakeholders.
At the last meeting (0f the Educational Leadership Advisory Council of the State Commissioner of Education) that Fran attended regarding the new legislation on the compulsory age, Paul Leather rolled out alt. Ed and what that looks like and the new data system to keep better track of the demographic of students who drop out.
The state got a Nellie Mae Foundation grant for the follow the child grant for Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO) Network to look at competencies and how to assess ELO’s.
P-16 Council, is focused on college and career readiness. Kathryn Dodge and Paul Leather are both on this council and are working with colleges and career folks to try and make the process more seamless. Kathryn Dodge asked Fran who she thought would be a good advocate on the council for the voice of school counselors. Fran wondered if we should regularly email a council member to have counselor input along the way and keep the counselor perspective a top priority. Since Paul Leather would be our liaison to the council, and Paul represents many constituencies, it is our job to keep school counselors on the radar and giving our input throughout the process.
We need someone in the NEA who is active on behalf of school counselors. There is a counselor on the NEA board, but she is not there on behalf of school counselors. If we make this partnership, we need to approach them and build a relationship first and foremost. The group thought that approaching NEA is a good use of our limited resources.
We then discussed P-16 as a place of more leverage than the NEA. It was discussed that we should invite Paul Leather to a meeting each year to get an update on P-16 and to share with him our concerns and feedback.
The state commissioner has proposed into the budget “follow the child coordinators.” The primary goal for this position is to have personalized learning plans for each student and to follow each child, with the goal of reducing the dropout level by 50%. The question is: where does this position sit relative to a comprehensive school counseling program.
It was decided that Kim would invite Paul to our May board meeting and that she would write a letter to the new NEA President to start a relationship between the two organizations.
Another topic for the Advocacy Committee is the Elementary School counselor ratio. Fran has discussed with the advocacy committee having a legislative breakfast. She asked the board about inviting Anne Grassie, a NH House Representative from Rochester, who is on the legislative caucus for young children, to a meeting of the advocacy committee to discuss
the process for new standards to reduce the elementary counselor student ratio to the 300:1 in place at all other levels.
Other items of note from Fran’s perspective is that Gov. Lynch may be looking to bring back Kids Cabinet and she encouraged board members to look at the differences between Sununu and Shaheen in the upcoming Senatorial race.
There is a follow-up regional meeting hosted by the New England Board of Higher Education on advancing college readiness April 26, to be held in Worcester. Fran asked
if this is a meeting that the board would want to have a representative attend. The board agreed that this was worthwhile and would support Fran attending this symposium.
Kim L. will write a welcome letter to the new president of NEA and welcome conversation between the NEA and NHSCA.
Invite Paul Leather to our May meeting to discuss P-16.
Work towards reducing elementary ratios.
Kim L. mentioned that the guidance directors are willing to work with NHSCA. Kim L. has been attending their meetings and will continue to do so
At March meeting, can we look at strategic plan? It will
be on the agenda. Kim S. will take the notes on the strategic plan from the September meeting minutes and imbed them into the current strategic plan and send these out the board before the
We need to actively invite people to join our board. Hopefully, the listserv will help in recruiting more people.
We did get some names of people who were interested in the professional development committee, but we don’t think that anybody has followed up with them. It was suggested that Holly contact them to see if they want to help for the Fall Conference.
Meeting was adjourned at 10:44 a.m.