Counselor Connection

counselor connection header
KET Learn at Home

KET Learning at Home Resources for Families and Educators


Waiver Suspends Requirements for Civics Test, Early Graduation Exams

Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, secretary of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, issued a waiver April 3 in response to the COVID-19 emergency that suspends the requirement that students who plan to graduate from high school in 2020 pass a civics test, as well as certain requirements for completing an early high school graduation program. For more information on this waiver, read the press release from the Kentucky Department of Education

2020 Advanced Placement Exams

2020 ap exams

Visit the College Board's website to learn about Advanced Placement updates for students and educators.

You can also view a webinar, "AP Program and COVID-19: The Essentials for School Counselors."

KHEAA Offering KEES, Dual Credit Guidance

The Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) has received questions from administrators at the secondary and postsecondary levels regarding the impact grading policy changes could have on Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) awards and the dual credit programs.

The attached document lays out specific examples to demonstrate how KEES grade-point average (GPA) calculations may work. 


  • Courses receiving pass-fail grades must be excluded from the KEES GPA calculation.
  • Only courses receiving regular letter grades (A, B, C, D, F) are used when calculating a KEES GPA.
  • Should a school decide to utilize pass-fail grading for the spring term, it is possible to calculate the yearly KEES GPA using final grades (and corresponding credit earned) for the portion of the year that has concluded.
  • All coursework completed during a year can count toward the KEES curriculum requirement regardless of the grading policy applied. KEES curriculum is defined as the student earning a minimum of five credits per year.
  • KEES awards become final upon a student’s graduation. Therefore, students who will be graduating this spring need to have coursework completed so their grades will be final when their KEES GPA is calculated and reported for the 2019-2020 year.
  • KHEAA will allow KEES GPA recalculation for students in 9-11 if a pass-fail course is retaken next fall for a regular letter grade. School districts will be responsible for notifying KHEAA if they plan to offer retake options to students.

Dual Credit Coursework

  • Students enrolled in dual credit coursework receive weight in their KEES GPA calculations. It is KHEAA’s understanding that all postsecondary institutions are issuing regular letter grades for dual credit as usual. They are not offering pass-fail options to dual credit students. Because the letter grade assigned by the postsecondary institution is the grade the high school uses, all dual credit students should have letter grades to include in their yearly KEES GPA calculation.
  • Grades for dual credit courses are weighted for KEES purposes. This means a student earning a “B” in a dual credit class will receive 1.0 additional quality point, making the grade the equivalent of an “A.”

Notifying KHEAA of Grading Policy Changes

KHEAA is requesting schools and/or districts notify it as soon as possible, but no later than June 30 if:

  • Pass-fail grades will be used for the spring semester (except for dual credit coursework that will receive letter grades); or
  • Students will be allowed to retake courses next fall so their 2019-2020 grades can be replaced and their KEES GPA can be recalculated.

Dual Credit Scholarship and Work Ready Dual Credit Scholarships

  • Some districts have asked about impact to the Dual Credit and Work Ready Dual Credit (DC/WRDC) scholarship programs. From a grading perspective, there should be no impact as the institutions are issuing letter grades for dual credit coursework.
  • The DC/WRDC scholarships pay the full tuition cost for DC/WRDC coursework. If a student fails or withdraws from a dual credit course, the institution is responsible for returning 50% of the scholarship to KHEAA. Students are held harmless, meaning the institution is not allowed to bill them when scholarship funds are returned. This is a normal procedure for dual credit programs that has been in place for years.

For questions or to discuss specific situations relative to your school, email Becky Gilpatrick, KHEAA director of student aid, or call her at (502) 696-7394.

Relief Clause for Dual Credit Scholarship

Dual credit scholarships awarded for the spring 2020 semester will not be reduced if the dual credit course is not successfully completed as a result of a student’s inability to properly access the new course delivery method due to the COVID-19 emergency, notwithstanding what is stated in 18 KRS 164.786(4)(d), 

CTE EOP Pilot Exams

Here are important updates related to the COVID-19 emergency from the Office of Career and Techncial Education and Student Transition (OCTEST) regarding career and technical education (CTE) end-of-program (EOP) pilot assessments for the 2019-2020 academic year.

2019-2020 CTE End-of-Program Pilot Assessments – Accounting, Financial Services, Automation Engineering, Civil Engineering, Engineering Design and Mechanical Engineering

All pilot assessments and testing windows have been canceled for this school year. OCTEST plans to complete pilots in fall 2020. Testing windows for the pilots will be released this summer or when more details are available to assist schools and students with planning for these pilot assessments. With successful pilots in fall 2020, the plan is to continue to offer these new valid EOP assessments in spring 2021. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

Should you have questions or concerns regarding this topic, email me or Sherri Craig or call (502) 564-4286.


Kentucky School Counselor Association Call for Proposals

The Kentucky School Counselor Association (KSCA) is looking for proposals for breakout sessions for the KSCA Annual Conference Sept. 18-20. This year’s theme is "Igniting Passion Changing Lives." Proposals are due May 15, so this is a perfect time to submit a proposal. The proposal has been simplified this year. We know there are many talented school counselors who are doing great things. Please consider submitting a proposal via the National Center for Youth Issues website.

April 7, 2020

Creating and Videoing School Counseling Curriculum Lessons During Emergency School Closures

Watch this webinar from March 27 about creating flipped classrooms for your students during school closures. If you need EILA hours, email me after watching. Do you have lessons you'd like to share with school counselors across our state? If so, add your content to this page!

Virtual Counseling Webinars

Check out these webinars from last week about virtual counseling in Kentucky during school closures:

Video 1

Video 2

Flourishing in Adolescence: A Virtual Workshop

The Forum for Children’s Well-Being will host a one-day virtual workshop, "Flourishing in Adolescence," on May 5The virtual workshop will include discussions about best practices in providing and supporting adolescent health services and key messaging and communication strategies related to adolescent mental, emotional, and behavioral health.

Additionally, the workshop will feature a panel of youth representatives who will share their own experiences related to mental, emotional, and behavioral health.

Webinar slots are limited, so please make sure to register soon at the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine's website.

Kentucky Digital Distance Learning Resources

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is curating collections of digital learning resources that might assist schools working to implement distance learning. This collection pulls together links to resources created by KDE digital learning coaches (#KYDLC), Kentucky library media specialists, Student Technology Leadership Program coaches (#STLP) and other digital learning leaders into one handy reference location.

California Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports Provides COVID-19 Resources Addressing Mental, Emotional and Behavioral Wellness

New resources have been added to the California Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports' ongoing and evolving resource folder, CV-19 Supporting Documents for Teachers, Students & Families, for addressing mental, emotional and behavioral wellness.

Free Ed Tech Games for All Ages Until the End of the School Year

With the closure of tens of thousands of schools across the United States and world due to the COVID-19 emergency, a group of government supported developers and researchers is now offering its learning games and technologies at no cost through the end of the 2019-2020 school year for use in distance learning settings with internet access. The resources are appropriate for young children to postsecondary students as well as for teachers in education and special education across a wide range of educational topics, such early learning, STEM, reading and language learning and social studies.

Visit the Institute of Education Sciences' website for a list of these games.

KDE helps schools through challenges of providing special education during NTI days

Visit Kentucky Teacher for the story and a link to a webcast.

KDE, KHEAA address impact of non-traditional instruction on KEES awards

Visit the Kentucky Department of Education Media Portal to watch the superintendents' webcast.

Padlet with Corona Virus Resources

Padlet for Social and Emotional Learning

I strongly suggest you start with the "Kernels of Practice" article.

Trainings on disabilities, anxiety and more offered

The Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities National Training Center is providing eight free trainings on disabilities, anxiety, depression, PTSD and more. Visit the center's website to access these resources.

Nourish to Flourish

Find a way to give to others to help yourself

To be sure, there is one thing the world can look to school counselors for when times get hard. School counselors are known as givers. Giving to others nourishes us.

How can we help our neighbors, our impoverished students, our community, et cetera, right now? Find a way to give to others and watch how your compassion puts a smile on their faces and subsequently yours.

Here is another unique way for you to give: Can you donate or manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE)? #TeamKentucky needs your support! Donations are being accepted at all Kentucky State Police posts and at Kentucky Transportation Cabinet offices in Louisville and Lexington. Visit this Team Kentucky webpage to donate PPE.