November Newsletter

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EngageOK Counselors

November 2016

Shelly in DC
Dr. Mary Waters, Northeastern Oklahoma State University, Shelly Ellis, State Department of Education, and Kelly Arrington, State Department of Career Technoogy Education, represented Oklahoma counselors at the White House Convening on School Counseling in October.

Collaboration is Key in Counseling

By Shelly Ellis
Teamwork makes the dream work. Two heads are better than one. There is no “I” in team. How many times have you heard these statements or even used them yourself?

This month we wanted our newsletter to focus on collaboration - collaboration within your school faculty, collaboration with your community, collaboration with colleagues from other districts, collaboration with parents and students. simply defines collaborate as “to work, one with another.” While this definition is simple, the outcomes of a strong collaborative relationship are not; they are powerful!

One recent collaborative effort in which I had the good fortune to participate was with Kelly Arrington from the Oklahoma Department of Career Technology and Dr. Mary Waters from Northeastern Oklahoma State University. We attended the White House Convening on School Counseling and are working together to provide greater access to college and careers for all students in Oklahoma with a focus on our underrepresented populations.

What an honor and what a strong voice we will have in three different but complementary realms of education. Most importantly, what an impact we can have on the lives of our students and our state! I was so proud and honored to get to represent School Counselors at this important convening.

While we heard many powerful speakers, I was most moved by the student panel that we heard from. One statement from a young man really resonated with me. The moderator asked, “In this room full of counselors, what would you want to tell them?” This young man’s answer was simply, “Be AVAILABLE. Be nosy, get to know who we are.”

Are you available for your students? Are you nosy? Do you know who they are? How will you form collaborative relationships with your administration, your teachers, your parents, your community in order to allow you to be AVAILABLE? How will you work with all of your stakeholders to ensure that you are able to “be nosy” and know all of your students?

Your work is heavy. Form collaborative relationships that allow you to do the work that you know matters. In this season of thankfulness, I am incredibly thankful for the work I do and the opportunity I have to collaborate with all of you. Take care of yourselves and know that I appreciate all that you do everyday. You are my heroes and my favorite people with whom to collaborate!


Strategy Team Meeting
OSDE Executive Director of Counseling Shelly Ellis works with educators from across the state on a strategy about individual academic and career plans at a recent meeting.

Crisis Team Trainings Added

Two more trainings have been added to Crisis Team Training in Owasso and Oklahoma City because of high demand.

The unfortunate truth for educators is that a crisis will inevitably affect their school community. From the unexpected death of a student or staff member, to other tragedies, having a crisis plan in place has never been more important. The Oklahoma State Department of Education, in partnership with the Oklahoma School Security Institute and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, is providing a day-long training for schools to send their crisis teams and come away with a crisis plan.

This free training will be offered this February at six regional locations over seven dates: two in Oklahoma City, two in Owasso, Lawton, Enid, and Durant. We are firming up our date and location for the second Oklahoma City Training. As soon as that information is ready, we will send it out to you. Please sign up for the waiting list at the first Central Oklahoma training. Those on the waiting list will be notified first of the new training date.

The training lasts all day and will provide attendees with tools, resources, and expert advice on how to respond as a school and/or a district to a crisis. The trainings are already filling up, so register yourself and have your team register today.

Participants will define a crisis, discover the importance of a crisis team, learn best practices in response to a crisis, and the benefit and details of training local staffs ahead of a crisis. Attendees will receive a paperwork crisis kit, an example of a best practice crisis plan, and other practical resources. Licensed professionals will earn 3 hours of CEUs for attending the training.

Check-in for each training begins at 8 a.m., and the training starts at 8:30 a.m. The morning session will last until noon, then teams will have lunch on their own. From 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., teams will get the chance to write their crisis plans and work through real-life crisis scenarios. Trainers will be on hand during this time to assist teams.

Enrollment is first come, first served. The locations and dates of the regional trainings are listed below. EVERY MEMBER of the crisis team is encouraged to attend. 

Additionally, please register individually for the the training so that we are ready to host each of you. Click on the links to register for the training. Registration is mandatory, as space is limited at each site.

If a site is full when you try to register, be sure to go ahead and register on the waiting list. If we have enough people on the waiting list, we will open an additional date of training at the same location.

Crisis Team Training - SW OK
Great Plains Technology Center - Lawton
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 7
Enrollment open for up to 50 people
SW OK Registration

Crisis Team Training - NW OK
Autry Technology Center - Enid
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 8
Enrollment open for up to 50 people
NW OK Registration

Crisis Team Training - Central OK
Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Reno Campus - OKC
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 9
Enrollment open for up to 125 people
Central OK Registration 

Crisis Team Training - SE OK
Kiamichi Technology Center – Durant
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 13
Enrollment open for up to 60 people
SE OK Registration

Crisis Team Training - NE OK 2
Tulsa Technology Center - Owasso
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 21
Enrollment open for up to 200 people
NE OK 2 Registration

Crisis Team Training - Central OK 2
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Enrollment open for up to 200 people

If you have any questions, please contact me by email at or by phone at 405-521-2106.

Contact Information

Halloween Group

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

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


Resource Button


Both our counseling site and prevention site are always changing with new updates and information! Check back often to see the updates!


Have you checked out our new TRAINING FOR COUNSELORS page? We have put all of our training in one location for you to find. Check it out!



American School Counselors Association

Oklahoma School Counselors Association

International Bullying Prevention Association

Oklahoma Counseling Association


OSCA Fall Conference

OCA Fall Conference

OCA Mid-Winter ConferenceIBPA Conference

ASCA National Conference

Bullying, Cyberbullying & Suicide in Today's World

Awareness Calendar 


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

Resource Library

Resources Always Available

The office of prevention services has a resource library with about 150 items that you can check out and have mailed to you at any time! There are 66 DVDs, 19 curriculums, and 64 books available. Click the links below to see the list and print the form to check out materials.

Resource Library Check-Out Form

Resource Library List

How Can We Help You?

There are many ways we can serve you as the counseling team at the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Here are some specific ways:

  • We offer webinars at least once a month on different topics. Each webinar is free and offers CEUs.
  • We are available to come to you to do live trainings in some cases.
  • We are available to conduct a direct webinar with your site only.
  • We are planning on hosting training for crisis teams this spring.
  • We have tons of resources available to you through our web site and our resource library.
  • We are available to answer your questions or concerns any time. Just call or email us!
  • We are able to respond to a crisis in your school district. We can help guide you through your process to respond with best practices.

AP Exam Fee Structure

CLICK HERE for the information you need about the 2017 AP Exam Fee Structure.