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OIEP School Counselor Summer Conference

Posted: September 4, 2008

The 2008 Summer Conference for OIEP School Counselors was held July 22-23, 2008 at the Lakeview Resort in Morgantown, WV with the main focus on Developmental Guidance curriculum review.  The importance of the two day session was reinforced by the presence and participation of Fran Warsing, Jacob Green, Dewayne Duncan and Kari Rice.  Vicki Rose’s presence was also appreciated, as she provided office goodies to the counselors.

Tuesday began with a bittersweet welcome and opening by Vicki Buell and Patricia Lucas; it was Vicki’s last school counselor-only conference before retiring in August.  She commented that she felt counselors would be left in Tricia’s capable hands, with support from other central office staff.  It was shortly after this that the news broke that Fran was appointed as our new Superintendent. 

During the two days, counselors were divided into pairs to review and rate nine different curricula based on the goals and objectives for the guidance course.  Shauna Jones and Kathy Mahoney presented on the Career Choices curriculum and gave input on it, as well as on one of the other curriculum sets. 
It was agreed upon that all facilities would adopt Thinking for a Change as the cognitive education portion of the class, but then each facility could choose which materials best suits its unique environment and population, as opposed to the traditional “one size fits all” model.  Gary Sayre, Life Skills instructor at Mt. Olive Correctional Complex, led the group in the basics of Thinking for a Change.

In addition to the choosing curricula, career assessment was discussed, with Roberta Hyde and Mary Rose Axton leading a review of IDEAS and CareerScope.  At this point, counselors can choose which to use.  ACT’s Discovery and Career Cruising are also being looked into as supplements to the career component. Barbara Ashcraft gave a solid presentation on State Board Policy 2520.19 and introduced LINKS (Learning, Individualized Needs, Knowledge and Skills), a very promising advisor/advisee website that she developed.  It will be a key component in our developmental guidance classes.

The conference was a well-spent two days of innovative decision-making and a supportive kick-off to the 2008-2009 school year for OIEP counselors.

Article Submitted by: Shauna Jones, School Counselor - West Virginia Children's Home