COVID-19

Hello Montana School Counselors,
In accordance with the
CDC recommendations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the MSCA Spring Conference has been cancelled. MSCA will issue full refunds to registrants starting this week. Refunds will be issued in the form of registration payment (i.e. credit cards will be credited, checks returned). 

 

MSCA knows how important professional development is for our members, therefore we will be working on duplicating the content of the conference in a “Virtual” Conference. Further communication about this opportunity will be heading your way in the coming weeks. 


In the meantime, for school counselors working to transition their programs online, check out the MSCA Resources and see here for help and resources from ASCA

ASCA
 UPDATE: COVID-19

 

(Updated March 25, 2020) — ASCA is closely monitoring the evolving news about COVID-19. This webpage provides updates on how the virus affects ASCA members and the school counseling profession.

ASCA Programs, Events and Conferences
Annual Conference
At this time, the ASCA Annual Conference will still be held as planned June 27-30 in Seattle. However, if you’ve already registered and feel unable to travel, full registration refunds may be requested through May 31. The most up-to-date information about the conference can always be found on the conference website.
 
ASCA Webinars
Due to GoToWebinar capacity issues, ASCA is halting live webinars for the time being. All scheduled ASCA webinars will be posted as recorded versions on ASCA On Air as soon as possible after their scheduled date. Webinars on ASCA On Air are always free to members. All webinars recorded from March 15–May 15, 2020, are also free to nonmembers. A limited number of past webinars are also open to nonmembersCEU quizzes for webinars from March 15–May 15 are free to both members and nonmembers. ASCA U Specialists
We understand a lot of professional development events have been canceled, so we wanted to make sure our members, nonmembers and graduate students can get the professional development they need and have requested. Therefore, from March 17– May 15, we're offering our ASCA U Specialist trainings for only $29 for members (regularly $99) and $49 for nonmembers (regularly $249). No code needed. If you have any issues purchasing or registering for any of these professional development offerings, please contact ​us.
 
RAMP
The deadline for RAMP applications is still Oct. 15, 2020. However, applicants will not be penalized for incomplete applications (results reports, spring advisory council meetings, canceled activities and programs) due to school shutdowns from COVID-19. 

ASCA-Provided Liability Insurance
The coverage provided with the ASCA membership includes coverage for tele-counseling as long is this is part of your school counseling activities. The limit is $1 million per occurrence/aggregate, and it pays after the school coverage has paid. Students who are ASCA members and in master’s programs are covered by ASCA’s liability insurance for activities that are part of the university’s practicum/internship program/requirements. Insurance is free for ASCA professional and student members. Click here for more information about membership and here for more information about ASCA's insurance program. 

Virtual School Counseling Resources

Planning for Virtual/Distance School Counseling During an Emergency Shutdown

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has forced districts to review and in some cases implement emergency shutdown plans. Plans should outline comprehensive school counseling services that will be provided and address equity and access issues such as ensuring students have access to computers and internet. Download the PDF.

Webinar on Demand: School Counseling in a Virtual Setting
Explore how various technologies are utilized in virtual school settings to students’ academic, career and social/emotional needs and how to implement comprehensive school counseling programs in virtual school settings. Watch the webinar. Open to members and nonmembers.

Position Statement: The School Counselor and Virtual School Counseling

School counselors working in a virtual setting provide a school counseling program through the use of technology and distance counseling with the same standards and adherence to ethics as school counselors working in traditional school settings.  Read the full position statement

"School Counseling Principles: Ethics and Law" – Chapter 3, Cyberspace
This chapter of the "Ethics and Law" publication helps you:
• Discuss the influence technology has on the school counseling profession
• Identify the different aspects of the ASCA National Model related to the use of technology in school counseling
• Understand safety precautions students, school counselors and parents/guardians can take while interacting on social media websites
• Reflect on the consequences of unprofessional behavior on websites
Download the chapter for free.

Magazine Article: It’s a Virtual World 
School counseling can be delivered effectively in a virtual environment; however, there are legal and ethical issues to consider that don’t typically exist in a brick-and-mortar school. Read the article.


ASCA Ethical Standards for School Counselors: Virtual Section
A.15. Virtual/Distance School Counseling 
School counselors: 
a. Adhere to the same ethical guidelines in a virtual/distance setting as school counselors in face-to-face settings. 
b. Recognize and acknowledge the challenges and limitations of virtual/distance school counseling. 
c. Implement procedures for students to follow in both emergen- cy and nonemergency situations when the school counselor is not available. 
d. Recognize and mitigate the limitation of virtual/distance school counseling confidentiality, which may include unintended viewers or recipients. 
e. Inform both the student and parent/guardian of the benefits and limitations of virtual/distance counseling.
f. Educate students on how to participate in the electronic school counseling relationship to minimize and prevent potential mis- understandings that could occur due to lack of verbal cues and inability to read body language or other visual cues that provide contextual meaning to the school counseling process and school counseling relationship. 

COVID Resources

Here are some suggestions and resources to consider as you provide support to your students regarding COVID-19. as well as links to other education-related organizations with valuable information to share.