Monday, December 17, 2012

More Grief and Crisis Resources for You

School counselors, below you will find three more links, some by fellow bloggers. I have also posted two more documents to the google drive.

Best of luck to you this week as we as a nation try to make sense of this horrible tragedy.

Sandy Hook Resources

National Association of School Psychologists

Emily Goodman Scott

School Counselor Blog

Friday, December 14, 2012

How to Help When Shootings Occur at School

As a society we have grown tolerant of violence. It is almost acceptable. However, when it occurs in our schools I always ask...why? Why? Why? School is suppose to be a "safe" place. Why could someone come in and destroy that sanctity? I can go on and rant about violence, or I can help you help the children who will have worry and anxiety, fear and grief because basically they don't understand and someone has robbed them of their childhood by exposing them to something that they were not developmentally ready to handle. 

The link below provides four documents to assist you with the mental health needs of your students and the links to the Crisis Institute and American Hospice.

My heart goes out to the families and faculty of all schools that encounter violence on their campuses. 

How to Help When Shootings Occur at School

Crisis Institute

American Hospice

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

ACT Explore

It's about that time again....Explore testing! In my division we use explore with all 8th grader so that the students develop a better understanding of how course selection supports career planning. ACT also presents a local workshop  for our school counselors every fall. The Explore test has a career interest portion as well. That portion really helps the students see the connection I was talking about. Interpretation of the results is provided either via a parent information night or during classroom guidance lessons. I always hate having to hunt down the resource here it is!

Enjoy and help your students be extraordinary...through career and college planning! 

Educator's Resource Page

Monday, December 3, 2012

Find Out the Scoop!...on Great Schools

Well will you looky here!! A site where parents and students rate their own schools!

If you have never been to Great Schools, it is time you visited this site and see the perspectives of your stakeholders as it relates to your school and those who serve it. This site has evolved since I used to frequent it a few years ago. Nonetheless, you can find useful information, especially as a resource for your parents.


Great Schools


If you are anything like me...every once in awhile the demands of life become overwhelming! Job, school (taking classes), family, pets, friends, clubs and/or organizations...all fighting for the little bit of free time we have or have carved out for ourselves! UGH! Grrrrrr!

Just remember that as school counselors we wear many hats, both professionally and sometimes personally (as we try to assist our friends and family with their problems), therefore it is important that we take time for ourselves and do what we can to recharge our batteries.

I like to drive or walk around the house in complete silence. Take Onyx for a walk. Sometimes, yoga, a cup of hot tea, surfing the internet, Reiki or even watching movies where I can totally lose myself and follow story lines where someone else has problems in their lives! Oh yea...and I forgot to mention shopping...LOL...

Whatever your means of self-care are, do it! Always take sometime for yourself. We are no good to others if we cannot be good to ourselves.


Friday, November 23, 2012

What Works Clearinghouse

What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES). It was created in 2002 to be a central and trusted source of scientific evidence for what works in education.They review the research on the different programs, products, practices, and policies in education.
Then, by focusing on the results from high-quality research, they try to answer the question “What works in education?” Their goal is to provide educators with the information they need to make evidence-based decisions. - taken from website
Enjoy, for this has extraordinary written all over it!

What Works Clearinghouse

ACA School Counseling Page

Believe it or not, ACA does have resources for school counselors! However, it's a little hard to find on their site. Even though they are an association for ALL counselors, they do support school counseling. Their school counseling page is filled with great resources and links. If you are a member, don't forget to check out the document on state laws for school counselors (great if you want to move to another state to practice school counseling) and the loan forgiveness for school counselors document. 


ACA School Counseling Resources

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year I have much to be thankful for. It has been a year of many blessings for me. Therefore, I would like to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. May you remember to give thanks for the many blessings in your lives, for you are a blessing in the lives of many children.

Desktop Gremlins

While at the state counseling association conference, I was buying some jewelry (uh...not a surprise there) and the vendor says..."make sure you take one of these fliers. My son is coming out with a book." Why not? I thought to myself.

In actuality they are quite cute and original. Desktop Gremlins boast on being easy to build with no glue, no tape and no knives, fun to display and ultra-cool to share. What school counselor wouldn't love that???!!!! AND THEY'RE FREE!!!!  Each of the gremlins has their own story. Too cute!


Desk Top Gremlins

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Department of Defense (DOD) School Information

If you work in a high military transfer school division, then this site will be extremely helpful in locating DOD schools. It has easy drop down menus to find the addresses of all DOD schools. As a matter of fact I just used this site today to inquire about Terra Nova test scores! Nonetheless, this is a very helpful site with all the information in one place. Extraordinary, huh?



Thursday, November 15, 2012

Blessings and Gratefulness

Over the past several months, I have been blessed by many things and I cannot express how grateful I am for them. Today I received notification that my blog was named one of the 100 Best Web Resources for Counselors. Thank you to whoever nominated me for this award. I am honored and humbled by this accolade. 

Kelso's Choice

This post is dedicated to the elementary counselors in my school division, but especially Katie T., Felicia B., Denise O., Sarah P. and Kathleen K. for fostering my love of frogs! 

When I first started my job as a coordinator, the elementary counselors in my division talked about Kelso. I was like, Kelso who? Kelso what? Well after five years of completing observations, I am a believer! I love this green frog too! I have never seen children remember and use conflict resolution skills so well. I also must tell you that this is not just a school counselor program. It is a BUILDING WIDE program. Teachers are involved as well. There are posters in classrooms and in the hallways with Kelso's choices on it. I have seen the most creative lessons around this little green guy. I have seen counselors and students ribbitt and hop and I have seen students move him across the smartboard to lily pads when they make the right choice. Moreover, one of the counselors found a video on YouTube! Well that just about seals the deal for me! Kelso is here to stay! Well at least in my division! 


Kelso's Choice

Kelso on YouTube

Scholarship List

Here is a copy of the scholarship list that comes around every year on email. Most of the scholarships are for minority students, but not all of them. This is a legitimate list because I send it to a friend a few years back and their cousin received $500 from one of the organizations.


3) Student Video Scholarships -
4) Coca-Cola Two Year College Scholarships - http://www.coca-colaschola/
5) Holocaust Remembrance Scholarships -
6) Ayn Rand Essay Scholarships -
8) Gates Millennium Scholarships (major) -
10) Sports Scholarships and Internships -
11) National Assoc. of Black Journalists Scholarships (NABJ) -
12) Saul T. Wilson Scholarships (Veterinary) -
13) Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund -
14) FinAid: The Smart Students Guide to Financial Aid Scholarships - http://www.fina/
15) Presidential Freedom Scholarships -
18) Hope Scholarships &Lifetime Credits -
19) William Randolph Hearst Endowed Scholarship for Minority Students -
20) Multiple List of Minority Scholarships -
21) Guaranteed Scholarships -
23) Easley National Scholarship Program -
24) Maryland Artists Scholarships
26) Jacki Tuckfield Memorial Graduate Business Scholarship (for AA students in South Florida )
27) Historically Black College & University Scholarships
28) Actuarial Scholarships for Minority Students
29) International Students Scholarships & Aid Help
30) College Board Scholarship Search
31) Burger King Scholarship Program
32) Siemens Westinghouse Competition - http://www.siemens-foundationorg/
33) GE and LuLac Scholarship Funds
34) CollegeNet ' s Scholarship Database
35) Union Sponsored Scholarships and Aid
- http://www.aflcioorg/schol or http://www.aflcioorg/scholarships/scholar.htm
36) Federal Scholarships & Aid Gateways 25 Scholarship Gateways from Black Excel -
37) Scholarship &Financial Aid Help
- or
38) Scholarship Links (Ed Finance Group) -
39) FAFSA On The Web (Your Key Aid Form &Info)
40) Aid &Resources For Re-Entry Students -
41) Scholarships and Fellowships
42) Scholarships for Study in Paralegal Studies
43) HBCU Packard Sit Abroad Scholarships (for study around the world)
44) Scholarship and Fellowship Opportunities
45) INROADS internships
46) ACT-SO EUR Olympics of the Mind "A Scholarships
47) Black Alliance for Educational Options Scholarships
48) ScienceNet Scholarship Listing
49) Graduate Fellowships For Minorities Nationwide
51) The Roothbert Scholarship Fund

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


WHAT???? You don't have Any.DO?????!!!!!! OMG!!! I love my Any.Do!!! I have only had it about a month, but I cannot live without it! Now I just uploaded it to my Google Chrome and I am waiting, along with 16,000 other for the web version. It's the best list maker/creator ever! It even has a screen that lets you know when you miss a call and if you want to add the return call to the list. SWEET!!!!

Dynamite Sports

The Student Activities Office for my school division sponsored a workshop for school counselors who work with students and NCAA eligibility. Rick Wire's presentation and his company Dynamite Sports was awesome. He is passionate and enthusiatic about his product and about helping young people reach their dreams, just like his son did! His site is full of FREE tools for school counselors, families and coaches. Anything you need to assist you about the NCAA can find on his site!



Cool School: Where Peace Rules

Cool School: Where Peace Rules is an interactive computer game designed to teach children about conflict resolution in a lively, fun, entertaining, and developmentally appropriate context. It was developed by interactive gaming veteran F.J. Lennon, whose credits in the industry include projects for the Walt Disney Company, Sesame Street, and Mattel. Cool School evolved from the technology-based youth initiative program at the FMCS, which was a congressionally funded effort to combat school
violence and bullying by teaching conflict resolution skills in at-risk schools

Cool School Game

International Bullying Prevention Association

The International Bullying Prevention Association is a 501(C)(3) Tax Exempt Organization that recognizes the need to create a safe learning environment, free from bullying behaviors, that nurtures the potential of all students. The have an annual conference and the members/trainers of the International Bullying Prevention Association act with conscientious effort to exemplify the highest ethical standards in providing and supporting sound research based bullying prevention training to accomplish this task.

Stop Bullying


I am really beginning to LOVE this site. I say this because at first I was a little intimidated by it, because Dr. Erin Mason has created a whole universe about technology that can assist school counselors at work and in life! It is a little overwhelming, but once you review the list and see you use a can essentially use them all. Not to mention that she has a Blog Roll which lists all blogs by and for school counselors. It is a truly resourceful site that can help make any school counselor extraordinary!

SCOPE BLOG                        SCOPE WIKI

Opportunities Book (FREE)


Another great resource for high school students is Opportunities: Preparing for college guide and workbook. This is the 12th annual release of this free college planning resource that equips students with tools to guide their pursuit of postsecondary education. Opportunities books are available in English and Spanish and can be ordered for FREE by school counselors!

Enjoy and be extraordinary!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

College Board's You Can Go!

You Can Go! is a College Board initiative aimed at first generation college students. The goal is to assist them in the college-going process and the webiste contains mini video clips of students speaking about their experiences with the process. The site also includes links for college options, college selection, next steps and a pledge which students can personalize! A great site and resource for all students.


You Can Go!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

College Board's Big Future Initiative

If you haven't had an opportunity to check out the Big Future website or share it with your all are missing out! This is an excellent site to help students with college searches, financial aid, and academic and career planning. Not to mention, there is a plethora of resources in the school counselor section in the form of lesson plans, handouts, demo-tips and Spanish translated versions.


Big Future

Big Future Counselor Resources

College Board's College Guidance Counseling

By this time, I am sure that 99.9% of high school counselors know about the College Board's products and initiatives. However, just in case you don't know this...below is the link to the guidance and counseling page. There are some relevant downloads on the right and some informational directories at the bottom that are worth checking out. This free information can assist you in the academic component of your comprehensive school counseling program.


College Guidance Counseling

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rethinking Learning: 21st Century Learner

While in a workshop the other day, the presenter showed this video on YouTube that I thought was pretty profound. In my school division the school counselors are a part of curriculum and instruction. We are not under a Student Services Model. Therefore,  everything we do must support instruction. We have to learn the same academic strategies as classroom addition to the career and personal/social foci. The message for school counselors is that we cannot continue to keep doing the same thing and expect different results.  We cannot SOLELY keep presenting lessons in paper pencil, reading books or any other traditional and conventional means. Students today utilize all types of technology at home and in the classroom. We as counselors, need to follow suit. So, use those smartboards, iPads, remote control response systems, eBooks, touch iPhones, wikis, blogs, edmodo, animoto, Skype, computers, websites, podcasts, webinars, SchoolTube or any other type or kind of that technology that can foster 21st century learning! We have to get on the 21st century/technology/critical thinking bus...or we will be left behind.

Rethinking Learning

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ode to My Dad - More Bullying Prevention Information

I received a call from my Dad the other day. He said "What is the link to your blog again? I need those bullying links". In addition to being an awesomest, most winningest (is that a word?) coach, my Dad is an elementary school teacher assistant and has been asked to help with the school-wide bullying program. So this post is for my Dad and to let him know that I stopped dragging my feet and added some more resources to the Bullying Prevention tab.

Also, this picture in the post represents metal signs that I ordered for all of the schools in my division as part of our division-wide bullying prevention program. The are posted outside of all of our schools. Just go to the Kansas Bullying Prevention link on the tab and you can order them as well. If you would like a copy of our plan, you can email me at

If you have anymore bullying prevention links or ideas, feel free to email my Dad, Coach Mo, at, I am sure the students in Central Falls, Rhode Island would love your resources!

Enjoy and thanks for your help!

Monday, October 22, 2012

OOOOHHHH!!! Look What I Ordered!!!!

I am sooooo excited! I just ordered these for our school counselors to wear at our annual college night! I canot wait until our 65 high school counselors proudly wear these buttons as they volunteer at the registration tables, as floor representatives and snack room hosts. I then started to think, this would be a great idea for school counselor associations. You could get them to say executive board and wear them at conferences, so that if participants needed help you would easy to identify. I am sure there is a host of things you can think to use them for. You can buy 1 button up to infinity!


Affordable Buttons

Even College Fairs Take Advantage of Technology

It's Fall and that means college fair time! A few weeks ago someone from the Office of Media and Communications asked us if we wanted to add gotocollege on our flyers and print ads. HUH? So I investigated (because it is part of my job, LOL). Well come to find out, our state college fair association is highly recommending that the colleges and universities buy or rent scanners to be used to scan potential student's information opposed to the traditional pen/postcard way. Well times are sure a-changing! The students go to the site, register and then can print out a bar code. They bring the paper with the bar code to the table and the college scans it and all of their information appears via the bar code. The colleges take the scanner back to their university and uploads the files and sends the prospective student more information about their institution. How do you like that? Well we will see how this turns out...

Enjoy! I think...

Friday, October 19, 2012

One of My Counselors Wrote a Book! OR...Shameless Plug #1

Friends It Is!

One of the elementary counselors in my division recently wrote this book! Kudos to K.B! I am so proud when people step out and take chances. So if you need a story about accepting differences, then this book is for you! Add it to your library if you can, for we need to support our own!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012


The Extraordinary School Counselor Blog has been around for 90 days and has reached 100 posts and over 4300 hits! Thank you school counselors for using this site as a resource for the many things that you do to help children around the country. As I continue to explore the world wide web, attended conferences and workshops and learn about the latest and greatest things in school hope is to continue to share them with you. Thank you again for providing me with this opportunity to help create EXTRAORDINARY school counselors!

More Financial Literacy Curriculum

 I love to infuse core curriculum with school counseling lessons. Financial literacy is one of the better ways to reinforce math (counting), social studies (where are the mints located) and science (what is money made from) skills. What administrator would not support that?! What a way to look and be extraordinary! 


Financial Education Clearinghouse

Smart Start Financial Education Curriculum 

Life/Work Game for 7th and 8th Graders

 The Real Game Series 
At a conference a few months ago, I attended a workshop and learned about this site that is really great. It is a little costly at $500 for a site license, but you cannot buy student engagement or real life experience.


Real Game

College Campus Tours

College Tour, College Campus Visit 
The wait is over, goCAMPUSing has scheduled its Pre-Planned High School College Tours for the FALL, WINTER, and SPRING 2012 through 2013 season. There are 11 Pre-Planned goCAMPUSing College Tours to over 65 Colleges & Universities from New England, the Mid-Atlantic, the South, the Mid-West, and the West Coast. goCAMPUSing College Tours are not only educational, informative, inspiring, empowering, and incredibly fun, but goCAMPUSing College Tours provide a controlled safe environment and are extremely affordable!

Go Campusing

Free NCAA Eligibility Course


A few years ago, I took an on-line course about NCAA Eligibility Standards. The course is back again and this time it is FREE! It is not very long or difficult. It is a good way to test your knowledge about the NCAA regulations and the upcoming academic changes. 

This can help you be athletically extraordinary! LOL! 


NCAA Course

Lovin' Other School Counselor Blogs!

I subscribe to the School Counselor Blog because it has great ideas and information. One of my favorite posts is the one about iPad apps...because I am a techno junkie!


These apps and the School Counselor Blog can truly make you extraordinary! 


iPad Apps

Congratulations School Counselors!

Congratulations to Susie and Alexcia who won the giveaways! Thanks so much for being great blog supporters!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Net Smartz

NetSmartz is another internet safety organization that is part of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC). They provide age-appropriate resources to help teach children how to be safer on- and offline. The program is designed for children ages 5-17, parents and guardians, educators, and law enforcement. With resources such as videos, games, activity cards, and presentations, NetSmartz entertains while it educates.

Their goals are to:
  • Educate children on how to recognize potential Internet risks
  • Engage children and adults in a two-way conversation about on- and offline risks
  • Empower children to help prevent themselves from being exploited and to report victimization to a trusted adult


Netsmartz Kids

Facebook for School Counselors

iKeepSafe is a non-profit organization that informs children, parents and educators about internet safety, They have a lot of free information in the form of DVDs, dowloads, manuals, etc. They also partner with the American School Counselor Association. Check it out!


Facebook for School Counselors


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Free Giveaways!

Whoever emails me first can win one of two free recources just for being a visitor to the Extraordinary School Counselor Blog!

For highschool counselors =  $53.00 value


For elementary counselors = $17.00 value

Just email and let me know the level in which you work.

Ppts for Middle and High School Students

Looking for free powerpoints for your students? Here are two that I have come across. One is for 8th or 9th graders on starting high school and the other (for high school) is on helping students create an image in the "real world". If they are not to your liking, you can always modify or borrow pieces from the ppts...just make sure you give they creators credit.


Starting High School

Creating an Image

Bully Prevention Kits for Staff

A few years ago, our district HPE coordinators received a grant for bullying prevention. They purchased bully prevention kits from Channing Bete. They are awesome! They have a ready-made powerpoint (2 versions), a manual and training ideas. We did trainings for all of the school counselors and one PTA meeting at an elementary school. In turn we gave each school a kit and their school counselor(s) trainined the staff. It was very successful. I highly recommend this kit to introduce teachers to what they need to look for in regards to bullying.

Enjoy and be extraordinary!!!

Bullying Presentation Kit

FREE Common Sense Media Curriculum and Toolkits

Common Sense Media is a great website that has free ready-to-use information to help you "guide students to make safe, smart, and ethical decisions in the digital world where they live, study and play". There is so much information and FREE STUFF on this site! I was like a kid in a candy store! They have K-12 curriculum, free toolkits, free resources for parents, a list of bullying prevention books and SO MUCH MORE!!!! Egad, this is a great site!!!

"As an educator, you can equip your students with the 21st century skills they need to thrive and survive in their wild digital world. You can also educate and empower their parents to address these issues at home". (taken from website)

You help but be extraordinary by using this site! Enjoy!



Guide to Apps

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Money Curriculum for Elementary Students

One of the neatest things I ever saw, was this free curriculum about money for elementary students. It has a history component, a math component and a social skills component. You can especially use it in conjunction with a President's birthday or teaching literacy.


VA Money Curriculum

Sites and Tips

Two years ago,  I co-wrote an article for my state association's quarterly magazine. It has some sites and tips to help make your back-to-school months more helpful.

Hope the suggestions help! Enjoy!

Sites and Tips

Transfer Student School Division Information...Right at Your Fingertips!

Over a year ago I got overzealous and created two documents for the high school counselors in my division. One was links to every state DOE's assessment page, so that they could learn about other state end-of-year/grade tests (my state has a reciprocity clause); and the other was graduation requirements for every state. Now I thought this was a great idea and that they would use it ALL THE TIME!!! Nope! I was wrong. Silly me! They just call me up and ask! LOL!  So I have decided to share it with the world and perhaps it can assist you when needing information about your transfer student's sending districts' requirements.


State Assessments

State Graduation Requirements