March 2017 Counselors Newsletter

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EngageOK Counselors

March 2017


 Crisis Team Training Reaches Hundreds

Hundreds of counselors, administrators, teachers, nurses, school resource officers, and other staff and community members attended Crisis Team Trainings in Oklahoma City, Owasso, Lawton, Durant, and Enid in February and March. The OSDE partnered with the Oklahoma School Security Institute (OSSI) and took the training on the road for nine day-long presentations across the state.

Jennifer Newell and Gary Rudick of the Oklahoma School Security Institute and Shelly Ellis and Michelle Sutherlin at the OSDE provided the training at no cost to schools thanks to partnerships with Career Techs across the state that hosted the trainings for free.

“I believe the Crisis Team Training is already making a difference in school safety and security planning,” Newell said. “The partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Education has taken an important subject, emergency operations planning, to a higher level that schools seem to be embracing. We are grateful for this opportunity to reach so many schools.”

Participants were provided three books - two from the OSSI (Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools book and a participant workbook) and one from the OSDE - with resources for schools to take back with them to their schools and start putting into practice what participants learned in the training.

“We were so excited to be able to partner with the Oklahoma School Security Institute to provide these trainings across the state,” Ellis said. “The response from districts has been overwhelmingly positive, and it has been exciting  to travel across the state meeting various school personnel, learning together and exchanging ideas. The increased preparedness of these participating districts to crisis planning and response has been impressive.”

Special thanks to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for providing booths at many of the trainings. Appreciation also goes to Career Tech, Moore Public Schools and Kristin Atchley for helping making the training such a success.

One training is still available to anyone who is interested in taking it. The training is scheduled for June 6 in Oklahoma City. Although the training is free, registration is required. Click here to sign up before all the spots fill up. Space is limited.

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For Counselors Only Conference Huge Success

Hundreds of counselors from across the state attended the For Counselors Only Conference on March 2 in Oklahoma City. The conference was sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Career Tech and the OSDE.

Attendees were able to choose five of 40 sessions to attend that were targeted toward school counselors. Many school counselors also presented at the day-long conference.

Mid-Del Superintendent Dr. Rick Cobb was the keynote speaker of the event. He spoke to counselors about why their role in caring for kids truly matters.

The OSDE live streamed five sessions of the conference. This was the first time the OSDE has live streamed an event. Click here to watch one of the five archived sessions. Those sessions were Trauma Informed Counseling, Creating a Growth Mindset, Mental Health Resources: What Now, Therapy Dogs for Beginners, and What’s New in Counseling from the OSDE. Dr. Cobb’s keynote presentation is also archived and available to watch.

Also, many of the presenters have made public their presentations. To see and print presentations, go to the For Counselors Only web site and go to the Presentations tab.


New Skills For Youth Grant Starts to Take Shape

On March 7 & 8, Oklahoma sent a cross sector team to Louisville, KY, to meet with the other nine states that received the JP Morgan Chase New Skills for Youth Grant. This kickoff convening allowed for sharing of ideas among the states and an opportunity to work with Oklahoma’s coach on finalizing our 3-year plan for the implementation of the grant.

Each of the 10 states presented a TED talk emphasizing the impact the grant would have on its state as well as something unique to the state’s implementation of the grant. JP Morgan Chase provided 10 states across the nation with $2 million dollars over a 3-year time period to dramatically increase the number of students in the U.S. who successfully complete career pathways that begin in secondary school and culminate in postsecondary degrees and/or industry credentials with labor market value.

One piece of the NSFY Grant will be the implementation of Individual Career Academic Plans (ICAPs) for students. We have approximately 30 school districts across the state that have volunteered to do a pilot/study year in 2017-2018. These districts have chosen at least one grade level, 6-12, in which to implement ICAPs.

We are so appreciative of their willingness to volunteer in order for us to learn about effective implementation, necessary tools to assist with implementation, and ways in which we can best support students, families, and districts.

Contact Information

Shelly and Michelle FCO

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

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


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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

Awareness Days Calendar

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 curriculum, 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

Other Important Resources

OK Career Guide

OK College Start

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.