Fast Facts: Back to School Stats from the National Center for Education Statistics

It’s back to school time—what do we know about our nation’s students and schools?

Across the country, hallways and classrooms are full of activity as students head back to school for the 2019–20 academic year. Each year, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) compiles some back-to-school facts and figures that give a snapshot of our schools and colleges for the coming year. Scroll through below to learn more.

Back to School by the Numbers: 2019–20 School Year

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Angela Cleveland
FREE Digital Citizenship/Cybersecurity lessons for ALL grade levels!

Looking for some FREE Digital Citizenship & Cybersecurity curriculum? Check out CYBER A.C.E.S. from Palo Alto Networks. Differentiated by age & by topic!

The Cyber A.C.E.S. – Activities in Cybersecurity Education for Students – program aims to demystify cybersecurity through interactive learning, equipping kids ages 5 to 15 with an understanding of how to protect their digital future.

Cyber A.C.E.S. provides the cybersecurity basics students need to have safer online experiences and become good digital citizens. Lessons are designed so they can be facilitated by anyone, regardless of their knowledge level, with each module tailored to a specific age group.

Click here for more information and to download the free lessons.

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Angela Cleveland
Michelle Obama to guide students through first year of college in new YouTube series

YouTube on Tuesday released a trailer for an upcoming original series featuring former first lady Michelle Obama in which she and others will give advice to students starting college. 

In the trailer, Obama described the 10-episode learning playlist, called "A Student’s Guide to Your First Year of College," as a "crash course on how to succeed in the month ahead."

She added that the series will teach students about topics including time and money management, personal wellness, the importance of mentors and peers and concepts helpful for class.

The guide is a collaboration between Obama's Reach Higher education initiative, YouTube Originals and NowThis. 

It will debut Sept. 4 and can be watched on the NowThis and YouTube Learning channels. 

Link to article to learn more.

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Angela Cleveland
NJSCA Summer College Bus Tour - July, 2019

On July 11th our NJSCA coach bus filled with counselors from throughout the state of NJ returned from a three day trip to Connecticut where we toured both private and public colleges including  Western Connecticut State University, Fairfield University, Sacred Heart University, Quinnipiac University, U Conn, and Trinity College.                         

We gathered helpful information, enjoyed good weather (until our arrival back in NJ in a deluge of rain),  formed relationships with other counselors, and had fun. The Admissions Representatives couldn’t have been more hospitable.  A Welcome cocktail party was hosted by Sacred Heart University at our Marriott Hotel, and stand-up comedy was provided by Larry, our comedian.  The colleges provided meaningful presentations, campus tours, and opportunities to interact with students and staff.

Check out this Prezi from Colleen Bodek, Director of Guidance/Testing at Roselle Park School District. She compiled her notes and pictures from the tours!

At the end of the tour the question asked of Carmine Venes, our tour Coordinator was: Where are we going next year?
The answer: Check in April to find out!

Click here to see photos.

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Angela Cleveland
School Counselors Prepare Students for 21st Century Computational Thinking Skills

Counselors are at the forefront of opening doors to opportunities for all students. They collaborate “with stakeholders such as parents and guardians, teachers, administrators and community leaders to create learning environments that promote educational equity and success for every student” (ASCA School Counselor Competencies). It is crucial for educational leaders to recognize the impact and service school counselors have in every school community as stakeholders embrace engaging educational environments that support pathways to sustainable and rewarding post-secondary opportunities. Read more

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Angela Cleveland eNewsletter

The eNewsletter which is designed to advance counselors’ level of technological literacy, application, and integration. You will find practical solutions, tools, and answers to technology related problems, especially as they apply to your job as a counselor. If you would like to share a tip or trick, or if you would like to ask a question, email Russ Sabella at

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Angela Cleveland
Marketing Your School Counseling Program

“There is purpose in marketing what you do. If your stakeholders are more aware of the amazing work that you do, they can increase the buy in for teaching lessons or time with students. You can work to decrease extra duties so that you can spend your time being a counselor rather than a monitor. You can connect with parents and teachers so that when they are seeking extra support, they come to you as an expert in mental health and child development. Most of all, the more that our stakeholders are aware of what we do to support students, the more time we can spend in prevention rather than reaction.” - Rebecca Atkins
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Angela Cleveland