2020 Independent School Counselors Conference
2020 Independent School Counselors Conference
SpringHill Suites Greenville Downtown | 200 East Washington Street
Greenville, SC 29601
Sunday, June 14, 2020 -Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Join school counselors from independent schools across the region for this informational and inspirational opportunity. Grow your professional network and make contacts to call on for support throughout the year. Discuss the latest research and learn new ideas to implement at your school. Trending topic presentations and roundtable conversations will offer practical tips, best practices, and proven strategies you can immediately put into practice.


Sunday, June 14, 2020

4:00 pm -  7:00 pm              – {registration}


5:00 pm - 7:00 pm               – {reception}


Monday, June 15, 2020

8:00 am - 9:00 am               – {breakfast}


9:00 am - 9:30 am               – Welcome & Table Networking

Speaker: Sheri Burkeen


9:30 am - 10:30 am             – Approaching Resilience in Independent Schools

with Data

Speakers: Nina Kumar and Suniya Luthar


Students at high achieving schools are often successful, but they may also experience the negative effects of stress, anxiety, and depression. How can we improve student well-being? This interactive presentation will share case studies and examples of assessments and data to gain insight on this issue. Learn how to help your students and how to talk to parents and teachers. Examine school culture and discuss how we might better support our students.


10:30 am - 10:45 am              – {break}


10:45 am - 11:45 am            – Family Efficacy and Digital Fluency: Successful

Families in the Digital Age

                             Speaker: Kathryn Sohne


Does technology use help or hinder the parent-child relationship? Parents often feel helpless in establishing and maintaining family roles and boundaries for media and technology use. This session will guide school counselors through the research and emphasize the importance of helping families find balance, improving their digital fluency, and fostering family efficacy.


11:45 am - 12:45 pm            – {lunch}


12:45 pm - 1:45 pm              – Creating a Sustainable, Purpose Driven SEL

Advisory/Guidance Program

Speaker: Rachel Lee


Guidance and advisory programs have the potential to help students create meaningful relationships with an adult advocate and a sense of belonging with their peers. Providing a safe, engaging environment where students connect, have fun, and give back to the community meets the appropriate developmental needs students have at a precarious stage of life. Research shows that the experience of belonging and being connected strengthens academic achievement, improves mental and emotional health, and enhances the overall school experience. We will share a model for establishing a purposeful and engaging lower school guidance and middle and upper advisory program that centers on social and emotional learning as the caveat for academic and relational success in school.


1:45 pm - 2:00 pm                – {break}


2:00 pm - 3:00 pm                – Common Mental Health Disorders Seen in Our


Speaker: Melodie Frick


Students of all ages experience mental health disorders. As the number of diagnoses increases, it is imperative for school counselors to be aware of symptoms that students experience. We will discuss symptoms of common mental health disorders seen in children and adolescents, an overview of medications used for these disorders, and strategies to educate students, teachers, school personnel, and parents to help with early detection and intervention.


3:00 pm – 3:15 pm               – {break}


3:15 pm - 5:00 pm                – Small Group Discussions

Choose two topics to discuss during two 45-minute rotations. Topics include:  

·      Counseling curriculum options

·      College and career readiness

·      Lower school classroom guidance activities

·      Suicide prevention

·      Program evaluation – measuring your success

·      Student stress and anxiety

·      Partnering with classroom teachers/academic support

·      Conversations with parents


5:00 pm - 7:30 pm                 Dinner and Recharge – On Your Own


7:30 pm - 9:00pm                  Optional: Screenagers: The Next Chapter

                                               Discussion facilitated by the conference advisory group



Tuesday, June 16, 2020

8:00 am - 9:00 am              – {breakfast}


9:00 am - 10:00 am             – Legal Concerns for School Counselors

                           Speaker: Debra Wilson


                        What are the confidentiality and privacy concerns around                         student information, assessments, and services received?                         What kinds of questions can be asked on an admission                         application or during a prospective student interview                         pertaining to mental health concerns? Independent school                         counselors need to be aware of important legal issues when                         working with students and families. This session discusses                         policies and procedures unique to the independent setting.


10:00 am - 10:30 am            – {break}


10:30 am - 11:30 am            – It's a Trip! Motivational Interviewing: The GPS

Into the Student's Brain

Speaker: Tamara Hamilton


There are many reasons why students are less engaged, and engagement is everything! Anxiety, stress, learning issues, mood, temperament, and a variety of other factors can have an impact on a student’s drive. The “unmotivated” student can be challenging, but with the right approach, we can empower those students to make constructive and positive changes. Motivational Interviewing (MI) is an evidence-based approach to engaging students, strengthening their intrinsic motivation, and building personal agency. In this session, we'll discuss the neuroscience of motivation, learn the principles of MI, practice applying MI strategies, and analyze your practice for implementing MI in your school community.


11:30 am - 12:00 pm            – Closing Reflection, Distribution of Certificates


12:00 pm                             – {lunch}