NHSCA Board Meeting Minutes

March 18, 2011 4pm

NHTI, Concord

Attendance:  Melissa Tuck, Kim Lavoie, Haley Duncan, Melinda Avellino, Mel Shokal, Rheanna Cote, Esther Asbell, Sean Peschel, Holly Vieten, Lynn Merlone, Celia Slason, Kathryn Sheridan, Stephanie Collins, Mary Schwoerer, Kathy Hoppa, Michelle Bersaw, Bill Hughen, Annette Blake, Annette Belanger

Introductions were made and attendees broke into Fall Conference Committee, Technology Committee or Regional Committee workgroups.

Secretary: absent Minutes from January were approved as submitted.

Treasurer’s Report: Annette Blake reported that we have received funds from DOE for the fall conference.

 Annette Blake suggested increasing the mileage reimbursement rate.  NHSCA has been reimbursing at $0.50.  Kim checked Governing policies, which states reimbursement will reflect the current federal business rate.  The federal rate for 2011 is $0.51, so that will be the amount used from now on.  

There was discussion about accounting for some funds received from PayPal.  Annette also needs proof that we are a nonprofit organization; which may be in our tax documents.  The Treasurer’s Report was unanimously accepted.

President Elect: Lynn reported that the Fall conference committee met to discuss what the schedule may look like.  Sean looked into the cost of the Sheraton in Portsmouth.  It seems the cost might be high for overnight stay and a two-day conference.  Lynn feels Concord may still be best for central location and cost, and she would like to have breakout sessions.  The committee is tentatively looking at October 28th and checking into SERESC and the Grappone Center as locations.  They will then meet on March 29th to nail down details. Some ideas are that speakers may be from ASCA, with level-sharing, showcasing any local professors or local programs, ending with a cocktail reception with attendees welcome to stay.

Lynn is thinking about the summer meeting—full day meeting with training?  At May’s meeting we can make a decision on this.

Past President:  Kathryn reported that the NHSCA Archive bins continue to be sorted.  Kim Seaman shall be contacted regarding whether she has some past electronic records.

President:  Holly would like everyone to think about positions on the board. Please let her know by April 1st what you are thinking for your role next year. 

Holly formally thanked Mariane Gfroerer for the DOE contribution to the fall conference and Brian Blake for use of his school district account for transfer of the funds. 

Please email Mel Shokal if you did not receive the directory or the March 29th workshop flyer, and if you’d like to attend that workshop.  Advocacy training for the board will follow the workshop.

ASCA Delegate Assembly is coming up in Seattle, WA, and our board allows three representatives to attend.  Lynn will attend as President, and Robin may also represent NHSCA as she is already registered to go.  We look for one more representative.

Also coming up on July 20-23rd is LDI in Savanna, GA, if anyone is interested as President-Elect.

The May board meeting will begin at 4pm at the Common Man in Concord, filed by a complimentary board dinner at 5:30.  Annette Blake suggested inviting representatives from NHHEAF as guests.

Kim asked about having a Budget meeting prior to May 12, and Annette Blake will send out emails to arrange this.

Esther asked about the NHSCA table at the Eddies awards on June 4—if you are interested in sitting at that table, please email Holly.

Administrative Assistant:  Mel completed the directory; all ads are paid, and she collected from previous directory ads.  Membership is currently at 448.   With the recent newsletter, there were concerns brought up about too many ads—there are currently eleven for the next newsletter, and this past one had fifteen.  For next year, NHSCA can discuss ad sizes in relation articles and pages, perhaps forcing advertisers into one size or so many of each size.  Mel questioned whether she should pursue more ads.  Kim said we budgeted for $3000 in newsletter revenue and we are at $4000, so we do not need to pursue more ads.  

Mel is pleased with the arrangement of the new website and the streamlining of payments and records.

Holly asked Mel how things are going now that almost a year has gone by in her position as Administrative Assistant for NHSCA.  Deadlines and organizing things were tricky at first, but now she knows what to anticipate.

Mel has concerns about updating the directory with the appropriate names of counselors—particularly when districts pay dues for a group of counselors without naming them. 

Esther asked how many hours she puts in for the year, and Mel guessed close to 200 hours.  Esther suggested perhaps raising the Administrative Assistant’s stipend to $5000 with advertising commission, removing any “above and beyond” hourly rate. The budget committee can determine this at their next meeting.  For this past year, Mel will send Holly her total hours and bill Annette Blake for any over hours.

Break for dinner.

Elementary VP:  Celia reported that her focus has been on advocacy.  She participated in a conference call with the New England Association for College Admission Counseling (NEACAC).  The challenge is keeping elementary school counselors represented.

Middle VP:  Melinda submitted an article regarding the use of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey in a middle level guidance class for the newsletter.  Bill concurred that it aligns well with the ASCA model and uses it in his district for incoming freshman.

Secondary VP: absent

Post-Secondary:  absent/electronically submitted by Susan Theberge: “We have the opportunity to offer workshops in NH as part of a National Association of Counselor Educators and Supervisors (NARACES) initiative to ensure broader training in supervision for school counselors who work with interns. NARACES will provide people to do the training. Their vision is that this would be done as a service so that we could offer the training without cost to school counselors. NARACES will provide food and Plymouth State and Keene State will supply space.  NARACES would like to partner with NHSCA to make this happen.  Our job would be to spread the word and invite people. Gary Goodnough and [Susan] can arrange the details at Plymouth and Keene State.  Are people in support of sponsoring this? Is there interest in participating?”

Board members showed interested.  Kim pointed out it is not budgeted for this year, but can be discussed at the budget committee meeting. 

“High school counselors in NH should have received an e-mail communication from Laura and this is a personal follow up.  She would really appreciate hearing from you.  The following message is from Laura:

Using a simple online survey, she is investigating the challenges and barriers to successful transition from middle to high school, as well as the best practices that schools are using. Almost 60 counselors and administrators have already responded to the survey. Because of the critical nature of the transition process, the data collected will be relevant to administrators and school counselors for planning transition programs for your schools.  If you haven't yet had a chance to complete the survey, it should take just 10 minutes to complete.   http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RD59R7V
Confidentiality will be maintained due to the anonymous nature of the survey. The data gathered will be analyzed and included in her capstone report, which will be shared with classmates and faculty. The data may be used to make presentations to schools, school boards and community organizations. The survey will be open until Tuesday, March 22, 2011.
Participants can request a copy of the data results summary by sending an e-mail request to lkgourlay@gmail.com. If any materials are contributed per question #12 on the survey, she will provide proper attribution to the author and school.
Laura has updated and corrected the listings of high school counselors from the NHSCA directory.  [Susan] will send as a separate attachment.”

Greater Monadnock:   absent/electronically submitted by Susan Theberge: “Greater Monadnock Spring Regional meeting in May will feature Terri Herzog, Keene School District Outreach Coordinator (and graduate of KSC School Counselor Program) in charge of working with students and families who are homeless.  Her focus is on what school counselors need to know about working with students who are homeless and their families and schools.

The survey questions are complete and you have all received a copy. Next steps:

·         Mitch sends out to whole list of members and sorts responses by region.

·         Regional chairs sent notes out to their region informing them of survey.  Stephanie volunteered to cover for any region that lacks a chair.

·         Regional Chairs get data sorted by region and analyze results.”

Advocacy:  Kim sent the bylaws to ASCA.  One concern is whether affiliates can be board members. The other is taking out the word “Professional” in areas stating “Professional School Counselor.”  ASCA has not removed it from their documents. 

Also, our bylaws currently state that only employed school counselors can vote.  There was discussion about using the word “certified” or using the number of years experience.   A motion was made by Ester to strike the words “employed” and “professional” from NHSCA bylaws, and adding in their place “state certified.”  Motion carried.

Under the Governing Board description of the bylaws, liaisons and regional chairs are not listed as voting governing board members.  Discussion was had and making the change to “state certified” school counselors determines voting status.

Bylaws will be voted on March 29th at the workshop.  Mel will send the edited bylaws to those registered for the workshop, and Kim will email them to Annette Belanger so that they will be posted on the website

Ethics: vacant: Holly did email Janet Thompson from UNH regarding this position on the board, but hasn’t heard anything.

Membership: absent/electronically submitted by Ashley Shuffleton: “Membership totals: Elementary: 88; Middle: 56; High School: 172; K-8: 19; NHHEAF: 8; Retired: 6; Students: 21; Higher Education: 8; Other: 15.  Total paid memberships: 393”

Professional Development: electronically submitted: Annette Belanger sent [Melinda] a spreadsheet with past conferences that NHSCA has offered.  [Melinda] did some searching and filled in as many conferences, speakers, cost, and dates, as she was able. Annette [Belanger] has posted it on the website. Please let [Melinda] know if you notice any that were left out or need to edit.  It will be beneficial for our Association to have a record of past conferences. This information will be helpful moving forward as we consider which trainings to offer and at what cost. It seems as though our membership would be interested to see what types of professional development we have offered in the past as well.”

Professional Recognition:  Holly reported that there was a presentation today for NHSCA’s middle school counselor of the year.  The other two winners have not been announced as their school presentations have not occurred yet. 

Public Relations: nothing to report

Technology:   absent/electronically submitted: “The membership database is loaded into the new website database on wildapricot.com. [Mitch is] breaking members into regions for email blasts based on primary addresses. Members will be able to change their primary region of interests once we publicize the link. We will use the new site for the regional blasts (providing we are sending to members only).

[Mitch emailed the link to the new website trial for board members only.] You should be able to log in as a member – you might need to go through a lost password process. There are some links and sample fields we aren’t using yet that will be hidden when we go public. The basic website needs minor clean-up and development before going live. We can discuss when to switch after the board meeting. Further development can be done on an ongoing basis. [Mitch] will explore how much Group site (SCENE) capabilities can be duplicated within the new site. For the time being we need use Group sites and Wild Apricot.

Mel and [Mitch] will work out how to manage members, prospects, and events, coordinating this with relevant officers and committee chairs. We will start with the member portion, import prospects and other contacts when after that, and then set up the paid event portion. We will connect PayPal during this time. An upgrade to the Professional Level ($100/month instead of $50) will be needed to make room for non-member records.

Annette Belanger has been taking care of most of the look and feel. Other duties can be assumed or delegated via different administrative access. We need to be careful to coordinate this in a way that keeps things consistent. We have a large list of capabilities now that can be discussed at the meeting. [Mitch is] most excited about the way the system automatically follows up on memberships, renewal notices, and event registrations. It bills people, manages online and paper payments and reservations, makes invoices and PO’s, reminds people of upcoming events for which they’ve registered, keeps event coordinators (all events – free and paid) and office personnel continuously up to date about transactions, deadlines, and milestones, and more.”

Newsletter: absent: Deadline is April 15th, please submit to Beth Harrington at Writermom3@gmail.com.

Administrator Liaison: electronically submitted: In trying to tie together my roles as a Board member and an administrator [Esther] thought it might be helpful to highlight some of the State budgetary issues that may directly affect school counselors.  As some of you may be aware Governor Lynch has presented a budget that contains some large cuts to education funding.  An area that will have the largest impact is in the area of retirement.  Currently the State funds 35% of retirement costs and the Governor is proposing that in the upcoming fiscal year the State fund 0%.  This means individual districts will be responsible for covering that gap-clearly this has a huge impact on school budgets.  Also Governor Lynch wants to up the catastrophic aid threshold from 3.5 times the average pupil cost to 10 times the average pupil costs.  This aid is money provided to districts by the State to offset the overwhelming costs of out of district placements for special needs students.   If this goes through districts will receive less money thus reducing revenue.  These two things alone are going to have a huge impact on every school budget.  The real problem is most school budgets (unless a city), are voted and approved in March and most master agreements have a contract notification date sometime in April.  The State has until June 30th to complete their budget process.  This means that many districts may be “pink slipping” or conducting a “reduction in force” in order to ensure they can meet the funding for contracts. 

[Esther] share[s] this with you because in your role as school counselors you will be called upon to support staff during these difficult times.  [Esther] encourage[s] you to think now about these possible upcoming issues and develop some strategies to support your colleagues.

Guidance Director:  Bill reported that the hot topics are the house bill moving the drop out age back to age 16 with parent consent; the bullying law; and oversight of homeschooling being changed.  Holly asked if the guidance directors need anything from the board, and Bill responded that getting guidance directors to encourage their school counselors to become members is important.

Seacoast: Sean reported that he and Lisa are thinking about the topics of Behavioral Intervention Plans and Functional Behavioral Assessments.  Great Bay Community College may be a great location as they have a new massage therapy program and massages may be available to school counselors in attendance for a small fee.   

Discussion was had about the possible cut of The Carl Perkins grant, resulting in no funding for career technical programs.

Greater North Woods: absent

Lakes: Stephanie reported that ideas are brewing for their spring gathering.  A survey will be sent out to members in their area through Survey Monkey, likewise for the other regions as mentioned in the Greater Monadnock report.

White Mountain: absent

Capital: vacant

Dartmouth/Sunapee: vacant

Merrimack:  new to board/nothing to report

Old business: none

New business: none

Adjourned: 7: 13pm

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the NHSCA Secretary,

Annette Belanger, PR Chair