NHSCA Board Meeting

Comfort Inn, Concord, NH

January 11 & 12, 2008

Meeting Minutes

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:

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.

VP Reports

Technology Update

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.

Regional Chair Updates

Committee Chair Updates

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.

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.

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.

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.

For registration and management purposes in regards to conferences, Kim L. tried a program called C-Vent and really liked it. She thinks that it could be a possibility as we look forward to making more complex conferences. If you are interested in looking at it, let Kim L. know.

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.

Technology Discussion:

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.


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. mentioned that the guidance directors are willing to work with NHSCA. Kim L. has been attending their meetings and will continue to do so

New Business

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

March meeting.

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.

Respectfully submitted,

Kim Seaman

NHSCA Secretary