September 2016

EngageOK Counselors

September 2016

Counselor papers

New Information Available on Website

They are finally here! The documents you have been waiting for! We have been hard at work revamping important information that has changed since ACE went away. 

The new college checklists are different for every graduating year for each graduation year cohort. Please look at these new documents and save them. The graduation checklists are FILLABLE PDFs, so you are able to fill them out digitally if you would like.

All of these documents are listed on our counseling web site.

New! High School Graduation Checklists

New! Parental Curriculum Choice Letter Template (pdf)

New! Concurrent Enrollment Brochure (pdf)

New! Legislation

on the road

On the Road with Shelly

By Shelly Ellis - It has been a busy but productive September! Michelle and I have had the opportunity to visit with many of you over the past few weeks. We have been across the State of Oklahoma, from Afton to Ft. Cobb and many wonderful places in between! Thank you to all of you that have hosted our meetings. We appreciate you!

What I have learned in my last few weeks on the road is what I already knew to be true: Oklahoma is a state that is fortunate to have School Counselors who are dedicated to the well-being of children and families. Your professionalism, attention to details, and caring for the future of our state is to be applauded. THANK YOU!! 

In this first round of being “On the Road,” I have primarily talked with high school counselors about the changes in assessment requirements and graduation requirements.  Great strides were made in the previous legislative session to decrease the frequency and amount of assessments that must be given throughout the school year at all levels.

What will you do with that gift of time you have received with fewer assessments? How will you “Counsel with Intentionality”? How will you show your principal, parents, and other stakeholders the important work that you do for students? 

In one of my favorite research articles published in April 2002, in Professional School Counseling (Vol. 5, No. 4), Reese House and Richard Hayes boldly state, “In their role as school leaders, counselors are the “eyes and ears” of the school. An effective school counselor hears more, knows more, and understands more about teachers, parents, students, and the community than anyone else in the school” (p. 252).  

Throughout the article House and Hays claim that with this unique positioning, school counselors should be leaders in their buildings to promote school reform, equal access for students, and academic success for every student. When I read this article many years ago, it impacted me in a way that no other research has. This statement challenged me as a practicing school counselor to improve upon what I was doing for each of my students and to begin to advocate for my profession and the important work that we do. 

As we move forward into the year, I challenge you to add something new to your practice as a School Counselor that will even further enhance your effectiveness and your ability to lead in your school. Happy September and I look forward to meeting even more of you in person very soon!

Voice Your Voice

Please take a couple of minutes to fill out our brief survey. We want to hear from you! Let us know your wants and needs and how we can best serve you. CLICK HERE to take the survey.

What do you think

School Spotlight: Sandites Use Hotline to Address Bullying

Administrators and counselors at Clyde Boyd Middle School in Sand Springs wanted to see a change in the bullying they were seeing at their school. An idea sparked and the rest is history.

The Cyberbullying Hotline was created and now students can call or text if they are being bullied or if they see bullying. Students can remain anonymous. The hotline is in its third year and there has been a drop in bullying.

“We just felt that some kids are uneasy going to adults in the building and this give those kids who normally wouldn’t speak to an adult an avenue to report what’s going on with them, said J.J. Smith, Clyde Boyd Assistant Principal. “We don’t want to overlook them. We want their voices to be heard.”

When the program first started, there were a lot of reports made, Smith said. But now the hotline gets about 2-3 each week. Smith said the school has seen a drop in all behavior issues since the hotline has been installed.

The calls and texts go directly to principals and counselors and they respond quickly. Smith said administrators and counselors can also text reporters back through the line.

“It helps us to get a feel for the culture for our school,” Smith said.

Smith said other schools who are interested in getting a Cyberbullying Hotline can contact SchoolMesseger to find out more information.

We know that so many schools are doing great things! We want to hear from YOU about your counseling program or student group and what amazing things you are doing. CLICK HERE to nominate a school, a student group, or a program that is doing great things in your community.

Counselors Panel
Laura Buxton, OKC Public Schools GEAR UP Project Coordinator, Meagan Bryant, Coordinator of College and Career Readiness for Mid-Del Public Schools, and Erica Harris, Advisement Specialist for the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, represented counselors during a panel for: A Call to Action Summit for the New Skills for Youth Grant.

Webinars to Offer CEUs

We held our first webinar on Monday, Sept. 19, and it was a success! There were 120 participants from more than 50 districts and 75 schools from all across the state! All webinars will offer CEUs for licensed individuals. We will also provide a professional development certificate. The free webinars all should last about an hour.

Our next webinar will be "Building a Crisis Team" It will be held at 3 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 3. CLICK HERE to sign up to attend virtually with us!

Course Description: Many times schools don’t have a crisis team in place and have never thought about it until they are in the middle of a crisis. This training would include how to respond to a tragedy (including suicide, trauma, school violence, community violence, etc.), who should be on a crisis team, and how to work with your community and the OSDE to support your school community. Resources and best practices will be shared with attendees.

Our third webinar will be "Drugs and Alcohol in Schools: What is trending, how to spot it, and what is your role as a counselor" It will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13. CLICK HERE to sign up to attend virtually with us!

Course DescriptionAs Red Ribbon Week approaches, counselors need all the information they can to share with students, faculty and staff. Hear from an ABLE Agent on the most current information about drugs and alcohol and learn how to help students in your role as a counselor. Resources will be provided.

Webinar four is called, "Bullying in 2016." It is set for Thursday, Nov. 10 at 11 a.m.CLICK HERE to sign up to attend virtually with us!

Course DescriptionThere has been a problem with bullying forever. This course will address what specific prevention techniques, interventions and reports should your district should have in responding to these incidents and how counselors should handle bullying. This course will include: how to respond to students who say they are being bullied; how to ask for help from principals and other educators; and who else needs to know about the issue. Resources will be provided to attendees, as well as current data.  Scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 10  at 11 a.m.

While these sessions are in the works, Sutherlin said she is open to other ideas and needs of counselors and other educators. You can contact her at or 405-521-2106 for other sessions you would like to see. Or CLICK HERE to provide ideas. Sutherlin said she is also available to give in-person professional development on these sessions or others upon request.

Sessions in the works include:

October 3, 3 p.m. - Building a Crisis Team
October 13, 2 p.m. - Drugs and Alcohol in Schools: What is trending, how to spot it, and what is your role as a counselor
Thursday, November 10 at 11 a.m. - Bullying Prevention in 2016
January - Working with Students Returning from a Mental Health Crisis
February - Teen Dating Violence and Sexual Assault
March - How to Build Empathy in the Classroom and Beyond
April - Community Collaboration: How to work with your community to serve your school
May - Engaging Parents in Prevention

Alcohol Edu Picture

AlcoholEdu Offered at No Cost for Some Schools

Four in 10 Oklahoma 12th graders reported drinking alcohol in the last 30 days and 1 out of 4 Oklahoma 12 graders report binge drinking in the last 2 weeks. Underage drinking is associated with lower school performance and is an issue that must be addressed in our high schools and communities. 

The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) is proud to partner with EverFi to offer the online AlcoholEdu for High School program. This two hour course covers such topics as peer pressure, underage drinking laws, bystander behaviors, talking to parents and more! 

This program may be implemented in Advisory, Health and Physical Education courses with computer and internet access. ODMHSAS has the ability to cover the cost for schools across the state to get access to this tool, for more information contact Wyjuana Montgomery at 405-896-0002 or

Nominate Presidential Scholars Now

It’s time to nominate students for the 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. We encourage you to nominate those students who have displayed excellence in scholarship, involvement in school and community service, and leadership and character. In order to nominate a student, please fill out the survey found by CLICKING HERE. The survey is currently open and will close on Friday, October 21, at 4 pm. In order to be eligible, students must be seniors who will graduate between January and June of 2017, are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, and who attend public, parochial, or independent schools, as well as those who are home-schooled.

Bullying Prevention Day Set in Oklahoma

By Steve Hahn, Anti-Bullying Collaboration - Mark your calendars for Tuesday, October 11th as "Bullying Prevention Day" for Oklahoma!  Please encourage students, staff, volunteers, and community partners to wear a yellow shirt promoting bullying awareness and prevention on that day.  Some schools are designating the entire week an anti-bullying week some exciting student and teacher led bullying prevention activities for the entire building. Some ideas include: a "Campaign for Kindness," creating bullying prevention themes for each day defining bullying and other anti-social behaviors, discussing how students can take leadership roles preventing bullying among their peers, and learning how to report bullying at school and home.

October is a great time to take necessary steps toward getting your Safe School Committee up and running with staff, students, and community representatives.  In 2015, 20 percent of our youth in grades 9 to 12 told us they were bullied while at school and 14 percent told us they were bullied while online, according to the Oklahoma Youth Risk Behavior Survey.            

Enrollment Open for Fifth Annual Fall OSCA Conference Featuring Dr. Carolyn Stone

The Oklahoma School Counselor Association (OSCA) conference will be held November 17th from 1-4 and November 18th from 9-3:30 at the beautiful Northeastern State University-BA campus. This conference continues high-quality professional development that targets workshops and breakouts geared specifically to the role of the school counselor.

This year, Dr. Carolyn Stone, ASCA ethics chair, will lead a workshop on Thursday, be the keynote on Friday, and offer a breakout Friday morning. There will be timely topics related to creative counseling, brief-solution family counseling, college counseling, comprehensive programming and working with special populations, including trauma.  Workshop leaders include exemplary school counselors throughout the state, school counseling educators, and representatives from our state department. Eight CEUS for LPCs/LMFTs will be available, including 3 face-face ethics.  

Building Test Coordinator Trainings Available

Regional trainings regarding updates to the Oklahoma School Testing Program for the current school year are now scheduled. We will discuss the following topics: Oklahoma School Testing Program overview and changes; testing schedules and windows; access to state assessment resources; expected milestones; introduction to the various applications; accessing vendor reports and state testing accommodations. 

This training is highly recommended, but not mandatory.  We will be conducting Mandatory Test Prep Trainings for the DTCs in February 2017. Please see the two following options below, registration is required. To register, CLICK HEREWebEx trainings will be offered every Monday in October (October 3rd, 10th, 17th, & 24th at 9 a.m. or 1 p.m.).

Please print or bring an electronic copy of your ticket so we can confirm registration and attendance. 

Mass Communication Event Slated for Students

The Department of Mass Communication at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond invites high school students to participate in Mass Comm Week activities on Friday, Sept. 30.  Events will take place in the Mass Communication Building starting at 9 a.m. and continue into the afternoon.  

There will be workshops, panels and roundtable discussions on various areas related to communication and journalism. If students think they have an interest in journalism, photography, public relations, or advertising, this day would be a great way for them to find out more.  Additionally, many students really do not know what various majors are really about, nor do they know much about possible careers in communications. The event is free, but we would like students to sign up ahead of time at  so we can ensure room in workshops as well as sufficient food.  

Students Invited to Criminal Justice Day at UCO

UCO Criminal Justice Day will be on Friday, Oct. 14 on UCO’s campus in Edmond.  It will start at 9 a.m. and conclude by 2:30 p.m.  CJ Day gives high school, career tech, and community college students the opportunity to learn about the Criminal Justice and Forensic Science programs at UCO.  It also gives students a chance to see UCO’s campus in Edmond, meet faculty, and current UCO students. 

Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to meet and network with criminal justice professionals from local, county, state, and federal agencies.  Lunch is provided.  Registration is required.  Please visit to register and see the schedule of events for the day.  If you are bringing a group of students from your school, please contact Ms. Katie Richárd ( for the group registration form.  Please feel free to contact Dr. Maier ( if you have any questions about CJ Day.  We look forward to seeing you in October. 

National Trainings Offered in Oklahoma

The Oklahoma College Assistance Program (OCAP) is offering four National Training for Counselors and Mentors (NT4CM) workshops in late September. These half-day workshops will provide information from the Department of Education and highlight several State Regents’ financial aid and college planning resources, including: new and improved changes to the FAFSA; enhanced UCanGo2 and FAFSA Counselor Kits; Oklahoma Money Matters; Oklahoma’s Promise;; and Oklahoma State Department of Education, Office of Federal Programs.

NT4CM workshop dates and locations are provided below. Each workshop runs from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 28
Southern Oklahoma Technology Center
2610 Sam Noble Parkway

Thursday, September 29
Northwestern Oklahoma State University
2929 E. Randolph Avenue

Friday, September 30
Tulsa Community College – Northeast Campus
3727 E. Apache Street

Click each date above to register. Space is limited so be sure to reserve your place as soon as possible.

Contact Information

Shelly and Michelle

Shelly Ellis, M.Ed.
Executive Director of Counseling
(405) 521-3549

Michelle Sutherlin, MHR
Director of Prevention Services
(405) 521-2106


Both our counseling site and prevention site are changing! We are updating our most current information and resources. Check back often to see the updates!

Click below for: 


Professional Collaboration Network

The most effective collaboration, learning, and sharing happens when we share ideas. We encourage counselors, educators, administrators, parents, students, and the community to participate in our Professional Collaboration Network.

Web site:

Twitter: @PreventionOK

Instagram: YouthPreventionOK

Resource Button


American School Counselors Association

Oklahoma School Counselors 


International Bullying Prevention Association

Oklahoma Counseling Association



OSCA Fall Conference

Guidance Fest

IBPA Conference

ASCA National Conference

Bullying, Cyberbullying & Suicide in Today's World

Unity Day

Awareness Calendar 


Unity Day – Oct. 19

World Mental Health Day - Oct. 10

Mental Illness Awareness Week – Oct. 2-8

Red Ribbon Week – Oct. 23-31

Bullying Prevention Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month


World AIDS Day – Dec. 1

Human Rights Day – Dec. 10


Mental Health Month

National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month


Random Acts of Kindness Week – Feb. 14-20

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week – Feb. 21-27

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month


Self-Injury Awareness Day – 

March 1

Kick Butts Day (tobacco free) – March 15 


National Youth Violence Prevention Week – April 3-7

Day of Silence – April 15

Sexual Assault Awareness Month Day of Action – April 4

Alcohol Awareness Month

Child Abuse Prevention Month

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

National Counselor Awareness Month


World No Tobacco Day – May 31

National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week – May 7-13

Hotline 1Hotline 2


House Bill 2432 went into effect July 1, 2016. It requires schools to post the DHS hotline information in English and Spanish. Although you are not required to use our poster, we created them so you can print them off and use them if you'd like.