Counselor Connection

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National Suicide Prevention Week


suicide prevention week


Thank you for all you are doing to prevent suicide and teach resilience. Not only have you had to consider the best methods/pedagogy to deliver your lessons, but you've been intentional about making sure you are doing this in the safest way possible. You are appreciated!

Elementary School Counselors:

While suicide prevention is not mandated by law for you, it is never too early to teach our students resilience. Here are some lessons and resources that you may consider using to teach these skills:

The American School Counseling Association (ASCA) has teamed up with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the National Association of School Psychologists and the Trevor Project to create the "Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention: Model Language, Commentary, and Resources."

You may choose to share this document with district leaders, as it outlines model policies and best practices for school districts to follow to protect the health and safety of all students. In 2017, suicide was the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10-19. It is critically important that school districts have policies and procedures in place to prevent, assess
the risk of, intervene and respond to youth suicidal behavior.



Kentucky School Counselor Mixtape

We have so many students who are looking to us to make a difference. They are asking the following questions: Does my school really see me? Do they honestly care? How will they help me get through this loneliness, depression, anxiety, etc.? How will they help me cope with everything on my plate?

Listen to Lecrae's "Drown" as if he were one of your  high school students asking for your help. He says, "Tell me that you'll never let me down." How could you use this song or this theme of helping those you serve in a school counseling curriculum lesson?

I'd suggest tying this to ASCA's Mindsets and Behaviors for Student Success (your student standards). You may choose to create a lesson that teaches Mindset 3: Sense of Belonging in the School Environment and connect it to Behavior-Self-Management Skill 5: Demonstrate Perseverance to Achieve Long- and Short-term Goals along with Behavior-Social Skill 3: Create Relationships with Adults that Support Success.

Virtual School Counseling Video for EILA 

I recorded a 30-minute learning opportunity about virtual school counseling that may help spark some ideas and answer questions about how you can proceed with your services this year. I've had an opportunity to listen to several webinars from ASCA and other organizations on this topic, which helped me build this presentation for you. Enjoy! I

f you'd like 1 EILA hour, please email Here is the slide deck.

ASCA provides an elementary, middle and high school toolkit for virtual school counseling that contains a wealth of knowledge and resources to help your comprehensive school counseling program. 

FAQs: Virtual School Counseling Ethics from the American School Counseling Association (ASCA)

Check out this FAQ provided by ASCA. This resource answers many questions about ethics and confidentiality in virtual school counseling.

Free Trauma-informed Resource for Elementary School Counselors from Piplo Productions

Take a look at this story which was developed to help young children and families talk about their experiences and feelings related to COVID-19 and the need to shelter in place. In the story, the coronavirus has spread to Littletown, causing changes in everyone's lives.
The story opens doors to conversations about:
  • COVID- 19;
  • Ways that families and communities are working together to keep safe from the virus;
  • Family and community strengths;
  • Common challenges and reactions in children and adults;
  • Ways that families support children and each other; and
  • Our intense gratitude for front-line workers.


Intent for Early Graduation Deadline – Oct. 1 

All students planning to complete the early graduation pathway must complete the Intent for Early Graduation (IEG) form and be flagged in Infinite Campus prior to the Oct. 1 deadline. 

The Early Graduation Data Standard provides instruction for assigning the IEG flag. For more information on the early graduation pathway, see the Early Graduation webpage. 

To meet this requirement, the Kentucky Department of Education will provide EOCs for those students participating in the Early Graduation pathway during the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school year.

Advanced Placement (AP),  Cambridge, International Baccalaureate Exams Free for Low-Income Students in 2020-2021 School Year

All of the AP, Cambridge and International Baccalaureate exams will be free for students receiving free/reduced lunch in the Commonwealth. AP coordinators must ensure that they properly identify these students in AP Registration and Ordering.

After testing, the College Board will identify all students marked as receiving free/reduced lunch and bill the Kentucky Department of Education. Schools and districts will only be billed for students who are not identified as free/reduced.

All AP Computer Science Exams Free for the 2020-2021 School Year

The Computer Science/IT Academy at the Kentucky Department of Education will pay for all AP Computer Science exams during the 2020-2021 school year. The Computer Science/IT Academy at KDE will automatically be billed for these exams after testing in May.

AP Exam Fees from College Board

The cost per AP Exam has increased by $1 in 2020-2021. Exams will be $95. The amount of the College Board fee reduction is also increasing by $1 per exam for eligible students. Schools still retain a $9 rebate per exam. Click this link for more information about AP exam fees.

The deadline for ordering "on-time exams" is Nov. 13. For courses that start after Nov. 13, the deadline is March 12, 2021.  

Unused/Canceled Exam Fee Waived: College Board encourages students to register for their exams in the fall. Given this year’s unusual circumstances, the unused/canceled exam fee won't be applied (in 2020-21 only).

To ensure your school isn’t billed an exam fee for unused/canceled exams, submit known exam cancellations by March 12, 2021 (11:59 p.m. ET), or indicate as unused any exams that are ordered but not taken in AP Registration and Ordering before the school's invoice is generated.

Dual Credit Scholarship Report Due to KHEAA Sept. 15

By Scott U'Sellis, Kentucky Department of Education

This is a reminder of the Sept.15 deadline to submit your school’s Dual Credit Scholarship report to the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) -- including both Dual Credit and Work Ready Scholarship data). Please see the links below to assist with both how to run the report and how to upload to KHEAA.

Please verify that you are using valid state career and technical education course codes.

This is the first step in a student becoming eligible for the Work Ready Scholarship. The next step will be for your partnering postsecondary institution to turn in dual credit course offerings to KHEAA. KHEAA will determine if those courses are eligible for the Work Ready Scholarship.

For more information about this process, email Kiley Whitaker or Damien Sweeney.

September 10, 2020

Happiness Homeroom: Well-Being Strategies for High School Students by Dr. Laurie Santos

dr. santos

Dr. Laurie Santos, a professor at Yale University, created this YouTube video titled: 'Happiness Homeroom: Well-Being Strategies for High School Students," which discusses the current state of our world and how high school students can maintain their well being during the pandemic.

Helping Children with Traumatic Separation or Traumatic Grief Related to COVID-19 - 2 Pager

This tip sheet from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network is for caregivers or other adults supporting children with traumatic separation or traumatic grief related to COVID-19.

Especially in stressful times, in addition to the suggestions here, all children benefit from caregivers listening to and validating their feelings.

water for life


What Are You Watering?

How are you speaking to yourself? Are you waking up with a moment of gratitude or choosing to focus on a perceived failure or something else in your life that is negative?

Listen to this podcast "The Healing Power of Positive Self-Talk" between Christian Moore (founder of the WhyTry program) and Kimberly Boyd, a licensed professional counselor.