100 Free or Low Cost Online Professional Development During Social Isolation

Although my district is still operating online, it is truly amazing how all school districts' reactions to COVID-19 differ.  Some district employees are working all day, some educators have been told to "stand down", and others have been given no direction at all.  So, if you are an educator who finds yourself in the last two categories and you want to take advantage of taking some professional development opportunities, I have some great news for you.  Educators on social media have been doing a tremendous job at updating each other on the no and low cost opportunities that have emerged during this time of quarantines.  I have gone through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other sources to compile a comprehensive list of free resources, sites, links, information, classes, counseling websites, videos (well, you get it) to share with you.  Feel free to send me additional information to add to this ever growing list!!!!  I hope this list helps you through this very unusual and extraordinary time in our world.

Resources, Resources, and More Resources

Blog Posts/Websites

ExpatCounsellingNow Blog

Counseling blog written by expat, Scott Langston, for school counselor working aboard.  He has an written a post about staying healthy during isolation.

Ms. Kay's Counseling Corner

A great site created by Director of Secondary School Counseling, Kay Porter. Her site gives tips for students, resources on COVID-19, and fun activities. Some goodies include "Eating a Raisin Mindfully", Journaling for Self-Care, and workouts on demand.

Great blog post by Jeannie Dickson Maddox with a lot of wonderful resources and ideas of how school counselors can positively impact distance learning.  

Well written blog post by two school counselors, Laura and Kim, who guide school counselors on what to do now that school is out for COVID-19.  Their website includes a pod-cast and a 13 page guide on how to handle the school outage.



Join two school counselors who love to share practical tips for other school counselors, social emotional learning strategies, and technology to enhance your counseling program.

This self-paced professional development course is ideal for teachers, administrator, parents, and others who are new to career development. Essentials provides you the skills and knowledge you need to deliver life-changing career services. Upon completion, you will receive a certificate of completion for the 10-hour course, showing your competence and preparing you to better guide and positively impact the career path of your students.

Course Modules:
1) Career Guidance Theory
2) A Personal Touch for Career Guidance
3) Understanding the Kuder Career Planning System®
4) Planning as a Tool for Career Guidance.

Time: 5-10 hours

You will have 365 days to complete requirements after enrollment.

These sessions will focus on the skills and educational background needed to perform in a variety of professions in today's society. Participants will have an opportunity to "meet" people from the following career clusters, ask questions, and learn what is needed to "get hired" in today's competitive job market.
FLVS Career Webinars are offered as informational sessions to promote career exploration. They are offered in good faith and the information provided by our guests is believed to be accurate. FLVS does not support or endorse any one career program.

Lesson aLIVE is offering a FREE webinar series "Jobs of the Future (& Skills You'll Need to Rule)" for 7th-11th grade students! Mon-Fri next week, 30 minutes - join all or any but join us! We have awesome experts introducing interesting topics like the future of work, finance, blockchain & augmented reality. This isn't just for the "tech" inclined! To join: 1. Visit https://www.lessonalive.com/users/contact 2. Select contact type: “Join Jobs of the Future Webinar” & provide email 3. Webinar web link will be emailed. 

For the next few weeks, Mindful Schools will be offering free mindfulness classes for kids! Join us online – for mindful activities, mindful movement, read-alouds – and let’s have fun exploring mindfulness together.
Trauma-Informed Resilient Schools teaches school professionals how to create trauma-informed schools and classrooms. The training focuses on resilience, exploring the core values and beliefs of educators and places an emphasis on understanding how trauma impacts children and their school experience. Lastly, proactive strategies such as fostering connections, prioritizing social and emotional skills, establishing safety, and promoting play are presented. This course provides detailed information and concrete actions that answer not just the “why” but also the “how” to create the best classroom and school supports for traumatized students and the school professionals who serve them.

Reduced Cost
  • Anxiety and Stress Management Specialist
  • Bullying Prevention Specialist
  • Career Development Specialist 
  • Closing the Achievement Gap Specialist
  • College Admissions Specialist
  • Cultural Competency Specialist
  • Grief and Loss Specialist
  • Legal and Ethical Specialist
  • Mental Health Specialist
  • School Counseling Data Specialist
  • School Counseling Leadership Specialist
  • Students With Special Needs Specialist
  • Trauma and Crisis Specialist

Start your week off right! Enjoy a guided meditation, inspiration, community connection, and a discussion on guided meditation, inspiration, community connection, and a discussion of how to maintain a sense of calm in times of distress. When we can maintain our own personal sense of peace then everything else feels easier to manage. This special webinar also connects you with others to share tips and advice. Take the time you need for yourself so you can be there for the people you love.

Low cost webinars/courses that include documentation, supervision, self-care, cultural diversity, and much more.

Resources for School Counselors

The School Counselor and Virtual School Counseling position statement by ASCA.

Virtual counseling guidance
from Tim Conway, LRHS School Counseling.

School Counselor in Cyberspace guidance.

School Counseling in a Virtual World by Tracy Steele, Ph.D.

Planning for District Online School Counseling During an Emergency Shutdown by ASCA.

Stress Meter

What is the difference between FERPA and HIPPA?

Speaking Up Against Racism During the Coronavirus by Teaching Tolerance

Tips for Reducing Social Isolation by Beyond Differences

Virtual Counseling Resources shared by Sarah Carpenter.

Online Resources for Schools

Includes resources like an online telephone script for calling parents, re-entry suspension restorative script, bullying response protocol, behavior log, and much more!

School Closure Resources

List created by school counselors which includes resources like a workbook for panic, Coronavirus Sanity Guide, and the Netflix Party Guide.

E-Group Permission form and group rules (created by Jeannie Dickson Maddox)

Virtual Student Check in (created by Jeannie Dickson Maddox)

Mental Health Check-In  (created by North School Counselors)

Daily Google Check In Templates (created by Jennifer Findley)

Making Student Appointments Using Google Calendar

Video Email from BombBomb.com

Virtual Teaching Self-Care Tips

Information about liability insurance from ASCA

Creating a Google Voice Number

Great handout by Jennifer Hall for online class instruction.

Zoom Cards created by Jenna Reeh.

Google Hangouts Meet (not to be confused with Google Hangouts, the consumer version of this) is the virtual meeting product of Google. You are able to host up to 250 people in the same meeting, have individual participants ask questions and interact throughout either by voice or by chat. You can share links, your desktop, and even participants can share their desktops while the meeting is happening. It's a great tool, similar in many ways to Zoom and Webex, which you may be familiar with. Check out the information below to learn more about how you can easily host your own Google Meets to have virtual check in or informational sessions with your colleagues, students, and their families!

Fun activities for families during Spring Break created by Heather Renee Gulley Smith

College Information, Scholarships, and Resources

Includes help with essays, personal statements, scholarships, resources for students, recommendation letter assistance, choosing a college, wait-list information, college checklists, and much more!

How families can create and record history during a pandemic.

Stay connected with your seniors during the quarantine.  

Help your seniors process their grief and loss during the quarantine period.

Penns HS Counseling Department

Information and resources from the Guidance Team to support you during this time away from school.

Social Media Groups


Educator Temporary School Closing for Online Learning

For High School Counselors

High School Counselor Connection

High School Counselor Network

Twitter Chat


Check out the guide from Dr. Erin Mason on how to participate in a chat. 



School Counselors vs. Mental Health Counselors (In partnership with the American Mental Health Counselors Association) March 18, 2020, 12-1 p.m. Eastern 

Pop Up! Ethical Considerations: School Counseling in a Virtual Setting
March 23, 2020, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Eastern

From Guidance Counselors to School Counselors
March 23, 2020, 2-3 p.m. Eastern 

Pop Up! School Counseling in an Online World
March 24, 2020, 1-2 p.m. Eastern

Celebrate College Signing Day
March 24, 2020, 3-4 p.m. Eastern

The Power to Motivate
March 30, 2020, 4-5 p.m. Eastern

Promote Social/Emotional Learning at the Middle School Level (In partnership with the Association for Middle Level Education) 
April 8, 2020, 4-5 p.m. Eastern

Cross-cultural Counseling: Understand Bias and Practice Humility
April 13, 2020, 4-5 p.m. Eastern

Align Your School Counseling Program and MTSS
April 30, 2020, 2-3 p.m. Eastern

The goal of the webinar is to provide resources, tips, and support for parents. 

Coronavirus has resulted in all regions of our world coping with new anxieties. As many of you will know, Dr Suzanne Zeedyk thinks of these as Sabre Tooth Tiger Times.
We thought it might be helpful if she offered a webinar for the public, which explores how anxiety operates in the body and what you can do to lower levels of anxiety for yourself and others. We’re all going to need strong Internal Teddy Bears in the coming weeks! 

Florida School Counseling Association 

Learn to use Google Hangout by Sue Tranchina.

About this webinar

Join our live webinar for teachers and educators! In this event, we will show you how you can use Mentimeter to increase learning and fun in the classroom.

In this webinar we will explore:

– How to create an interactive presentation with Mentimeter

– Which questions types are particularly useful in the classroom

– Some fun and unique features that will assist your teaching

We will also hold a Q&A session where we will answer all your Mentimeter-related question!
This is a signup for any school counselors that want a training on Zoom. Whether using it in the school setting or for personal connection.  Please fill out the questions below and I will start to set up some times! Email with any questions marnipasch@teampasch.com
Webinar from 2017 by ASCA covering information on how to be a school counselor in a virtual setting.

ASCA experts discuss the roles and responsibilities of a school counselor vs. that of a mental health counselor.

Manuals, tech tools, and ways to create online content by Nancy Penchev.

Sponsored by Peace Peddlers and hosted by Ashley McGuire
Webinar opportunity for families at home during social distancing to prevent and reduce conflict. 

As more and more schools close due to the spread of COVID-19, how can school teams work together to help caregivers provide trauma-sensitive supports for kids? Get practical guidance from trauma expert Jen Alexander in this informative and engaging webinar. An experienced teacher trainer and author of the bestselling book Building Trauma-Sensitive Schools, “Ms. Jen” offers her best insights and tips on helping students who are struggling with the stress and disruption of these challenging times.

Webinar attendees will:

• Understand what families may feel and need as the pandemic affects everyday life
• Explore the stress responses and feelings of students affected by school closures
• Discover what supports students may need—and get specific ideas for meeting them
• Learn about the free activities on Jen Alexander’s blog and how to access and use them
• Get a chance to ask questions in the brief Q&A at the end

The first in our series of “coffee break chats” with Brookes authors, this webinar is an invaluable learning opportunity for every member of K-12 school teams. Register today, and learn how to provide sensitive support to students and families in a time of change and uncertainty. Virtual School Counseling Webinar
Kansas School Counselor Zoom meeting on virtual school counseling. Using Positive Psychology to Promote Resilience and Help Students During a Public Health Crisis

Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress. As much as resilience involves "bouncing back" from these difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth (APA). This webinar helps teachers to apply the five dimensions of happiness to their work and lives so they can lead themselves and their students to social and emotional learning through the current pandemic.

School Counseling a in Virtual Setting Webinar by Tracy Steele, Ph.D. Access the presentation handout here.
Recorded webinar by Dr. Bryan Pearlman.

Tips for helping families stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Trauma Informed Webinar Series

1, 2, 3 Wellness In response to COVID-19,  for a limited time we are offering the 1-2-3 Wellness online video course (normally $500) for FREE to support educators and parents during this stressful time. The course includes powerful videos and an e-workbook packed with research-based tools to support stress reduction and increases in mindfulness, social and emotional learning and self-care tools. )

Helpful Handouts

  • Mental Health and Well-being for students handout.
  • Mental Health Toolkit from MHA. Kits contains tons of helpful handouts.
  • Tracking student mood handouts.
  • Self Care plan handout.
  • Helping students with cancellations and disappointments handout
  • Parenting During the Quarantine handout
  • Online Spirit Day sample handout
  • Three handy skills for handling trauma handout.
  • Instructions for students, parents, and colleagues to use the online platform Zoom handout
  • Parent guide to Google handout.
  • Schedules for school closures from Khan Academy handout.
  • Schedule considerations during school closures handout.
  • Self care tips for teens handout.
  • How are you feeling moodmeter by Mark Sparvell.
  • Home School Spirit Week Ideas (see below).

  • Virtual College Awareness Week

  • Quarantine Bingo

  • 25 Fun activities for teens during the Coronavirus

  • Coping with stress during an outbreak handout by SAMSHA.
  •  Self care strategies for students by Pathway2Success.
  • Social Distancing handouts by Jody Lien Waston.

  •  Students in Stress Tips

  • SEL For Virtual Learning

Supporting all my high school counselor colleagues out there!  


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