Highlights From ASCA: The #reachhigher Initiative

I think ASCA will have a hard time competing for an equally compelling keynote speaker next year.  First Lady, Michelle Obama, was articulate, compassionate, inspiring, and influential.  

Her calling for more school counselors and acknowledging their work as important and necessary for our school youth hit a chord with everyone in attendance.  She shared stories of counselors from across the country, and whether she mentioned your name or your school directly, she told your story.  

Her speech can be found here.  

Erin Mason, counselor educator and founder of the SCOPE website for school counselors, is putting together a #reachhigher photo project to help promote the goal that all students who graduate in the year 2020 and beyond will have the skills necessary to attend college.  This is an important year for me, as my oldest son will graduate in the class of 2020.  I want all his classmates to attend college and I will make sure that I help with this goal.  This is my goal:

To do that, I need a program vision.  I have data points already collected, but I want to help reduce the number of students failing core classes in grades 7 and 8.  I would like to see at least a 10-15% reduction to our failures.  To do this I will meet with students weekly who have been identified by their teachers as “at risk”.  I plan to teach them SMART Goals and study skills.  I will also meet with them weekly to make sure their homework is completed and those not completing homework I will put on a check in/check out sheet.  

Want to participate?  You can until July 20th.  

Instructions for participation:

1. Determine a specific goal you have for the next academic year, a data point you want to impact with your school counseling program. This should be a goal related to college readiness and should be a SMART goal. Your goal might be about impacting grades, GPAs, college-going rates, course enrollment patterns, etc.
2. Write or type out your goal on a plain white 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper with a horizontal orientation and visible, clean, clear type or print. Begin your goal with the phrase, “I will #reachhigher to…” Here are several possible examples:
I will #reachhigher to increase the graduation rate.
I will #reachhigher to enroll more minority students in AP courses.
I will #reachhigher to increase the knowledge of 7th graders about postsecondary options.
I will #reachhigher to decrease the number of students with Ds and Fs.
Optionally, include your FIRST name only and your state but DO NOT include information about your school or district.

In addition, send me your photos and I will post them here and on The Middle School Counselor’s Facebook page.  Let’s show everyone how important this project is and how we as school counselors are valuable in making this goal a reality.  

Need to connect with other school counselors?  Check out the links below:

  • The Middle School Counselor Facebook Page
  • Carol’s Pinterest Boards
  • The Middle School Counselor on Twitter
  • Caught In The Middle School Counselors (Facebook Group)
  • High School Counselors’ Network(Facebook Group)
  • Elementary School Counselor Exchange (Facebook Group)
  • The Middle School Counselor App
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