April 3-4, 2023
Boston Marriott Newton
2345 Commonwealth Ave. Newton, MA 02466

MASCA logo white

April 4-5, 2022
Boston Marriott
2345 Commonwealth Ave.
Newton, MA 02466


Breakout Sessions

Breakout Sessions

We look forward to having you join us at the Massachusetts School Counselor Association Conference!

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

9:30 a.m. – 10:20 a.m. Breakout Session 1

ASCA & MASCA: What Do All of Those Letters Really Mean and What Can They Do for Me?

Lead Presenter: Bob Bardwell

Are you an ASCA
or MASCA member and wonder what we do for our members?  Do you belong to ASCA and/or MASCA just for the discount registration on the annual conference?  How do you fit in? In this session you will
hear from ASCA and MASCA leaders who will share the mission of ASCA/MASCA, advantages of membership and how to get involved either locally, at the state or national levels.  ASCA and MASCA are better because member involvement. 
Come find out what we do and how to be more active.

My Career and Academic Plan (MyCAP) for Success After High School

Lead Presenter: Lisa Harney

This presentation will include foundations of MyCAP, student driven ongoing development, leadership team responsibilities, and school and family partnerships. 

How To Handle Our Hardest Students

Lead Presenter: Kathleen Hilchey

We know these students all-too-well.  They can be explosive, sullen, tearful, or refuse to even speak.  How is it possible to support them effectively and not have them take up hours of our work-week?  By combining trauma-informed practices and conflict coaching you will leave this session with some simple tools to help these students to feel calmer, to function better, and, to find ways to re-integrate them back to class quickly.

The SEL Playlist: Meaningful Implementation Across the School

Lead Presenter: Danette Jewell

The general education classroom offers many opportunities for nurturing students’ social and emotional growth across academic content areas. This session will highlight proven and engaging SEL strategies that you can implement with your students no matter what you teach.

Advocating for Our LGBTQ+ Humans

Lead Presenter: Lisa Koenecke

Three out of ten of us know someone who is Transgender. It only takes ONE supportive adult to reduce LGBTQ+ youth suicide attempts by 40%, BE that ADULT.  Learn the latest vocabulary, laws and take home FREE resources.  We will discover how to lead collaboratively in order to advocate for systemic change.  Is your space welcoming and safe?  Bring your questions and hear how this school counseling leader will help you save lives!


Lead Presenter: Wendy Rock


10:40 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Breakout Session 2

Suicide Prevention: Connecting ALL Students

Lead Presenter: Angela Avery

Suicide remains the 2nd leading cause of death among youth ages 10-24 years old. School Counselors are in a unique position to support and reach ALL students. Learn how to decrease suicide ideation among your students by proactively teaching coping skills and tier-leveled systems of support in your school counseling program. Identify ways to build on what you are already doing. Many resources shared.

Supporting Students with Disabilities to Ensure Post-Secondary Readiness

Lead Presenter: Adam Hartwell 

To ensure students with disabilities are college and career ready, supports, resources, and options available. You will learn how to involve parents in Individuals Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) transition planning. We will share information about ABLE, accounts that are helpful for students with disabilities to assist with college and life expenses. Hear from experts from a private and public college who will share successful strategies and experiences. 

Project Kind: Creating a School Culture of Kindness and Inclusion

Lead Presenter: Jacquelyn Saunders

Many middle schools struggle with making students feel like the belong in their school community. Project Kind is a pilot program at the Gibbs School in Arlington, MA that empowers student leaders to take ownership of inclusivity and kindness in their building. Learn about the impacts of this type of program at the Gibbs as well as how you can start a similar project in your own school.

The Easiest Way to Document Your Time and
Analyze Your Results

Lead Presenter: SCUTA Ambassador



Lead Presenter: Rodney Robinson



Lead Presenter: Wendy Rock



Lead Presenter: Rep from The Princeton Review

1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m. Breakout Session 3

School Refusal & School Connectedness:  A Braided Thread

Lead Presenter: Amy Ballin

School refusal and chronic absenteeism are often addressed as a student problem with individual interventions. Exploring school-related factors that contribute to absenteeism is essential. School counselors play an instrumental role in helping their schools create a welcoming environment. Participants will leave with strategies to increase a sense of belonging and connectedness, antidotes to chronic absenteeism.

Supporting School Counselors to Deliver Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Lead Presenter: John Crocker

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach to addressing a litany of concerns that our students face, including anxiety, depression, and trauma. Despite the overwhelming amount of research available that underscores the efficacy of CBT, many misconceptions still exist about its utility in a school setting. In this session, participants will learn how school counselors can implement CBT in groups and individually.

Peer Leader Programs:  Tapping into the Strengths Within

Lead Presenter: Melissa Dervishian

Peer Leadership programs often develop with the goals of enhancing leadership and confidence among students, and providing peer-to-peer mentorships, but there is so much more these programs can offer.  This session will highlight the benefits peer leadership programming can have on developing students’ SEL skills, improving school climate, and strengthening community partnerships.

Building Capacity for High School Tier 2 Group Counseling

Lead Presenter: Kate Driver

Many elementary counselors run counseling groups, but how do you plan and execute this powerful tier 2 intervention at the high school level? This session will explore how to choose a group framework, advocate with administrators for support, and communicate with teachers and families about the importance of group counseling. We will also discuss different models to schedule and deliver groups and examine best practices for selecting students.

Trauma-Informed SEL

Lead Presenter: Linda Price

Implementing an SEL curriculum or utilizing the components from the CASEL model can create a calmer and more connected school environment. But doing so needs to take into consideration the role that trauma plays in how students understand and engage in relationships. Join Linda Price to learn about how you can bring trauma-informed SEL into your counseling sessions, groups, and classrooms.


Lead Presenter: Rep from MEFA


2:05 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. Breakout Session 4

School Counseling Program Evaluation: A New MASCA Initiative

Lead Presenter: Kari Denitzio

MASCA is pleased to have recently launched a Program Evaluation initiative. Evaluation team members will share the process they’ve developed to capture the perspectives of multiple stakeholders on the school counseling program’s effectiveness and raise awareness about the pivotal role school counselors play. Recommendations will help school counselors connect their department’s noted strengths to specific objectives articulated in the MA Model.

Let’s Talk About The “A” Word: Anxiety

Lead Presenter: Jon Mattleman

An introductory workshop for supporting youth with anxiety. Severe and uncontrolled anxiety can prevent youth from succeeding socially, emotionally, academically, and even athletically. With insight, humor, and compassion Jon provides the language and direction adults need to be of real support to youth. Participants will learn: differences between stress and anxiety, signs, symptoms, and different types of anxiety, helpful and unhelpful words.

How Gardner Schools “Do” Mental Health at All Tiers

Lead Presenter: Karen McCrillis

Explore how Gardner Public Schools has implemented MTSS through an interconnected system framework scaled up across the district to provide positive, preventative and proactive practices and decrease time spent in reactive crisis mode. See first hand how we use data and our decision making processes to inform practices at each tier level. Learn how we have implemented evidenced based SEL practices, monitored fidelity, effectiveness and equity.

Restorative Practices: Circle Time!

Lead Presenter: Bonnie Robbins

Restorative practices enable all members of the school community to integrate and normalize a collaborative approach by focusing on building, maintaining and repairing relationships among all members of a school. When students feel like they have an increased connection to school, they have more educational motivation, classroom engagement and improved school attendance. Learn to use a variety of different types of restorative circles.

College and Career Readiness: Working Smarter in Our Schools

Lead Presenter: Christine Scafidi

As a school counselor we become very territorial of other professionals working with our students. But what if we had partners who supported our work and helped us do our job better? The community in Lawrence is blessed to have a wonderful collaboration between the school counseling program, GEAR UP and the Department of Higher Education. Between these three entities, all of the students at LHS receive college and career support. Come hear how!

Creating a College-Going Culture in a 6-12 School

Lead Presenter: Allison Stoddard

Post-secondary success does not start in 12th grade. Working in a 6-12 school, we utilize our college-bound mission to incorporate post-secondary success and access starting when they enter our school in 6th grade. Through the implementation of a college and career school counseling curriculum, student retention rom grades 6-12 has increased, with the focus on student post-secondary success. Learn how to create a school-wide post-secondary mission.



Fax 423.899.4547


National Center for Youth Issues
P.O. Box 22185
Chattanooga, TN 37422-2185