April/May 2017 Counselors Newsletter

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EngageOK Counselors

April/May 2017

May is a Time for Transitions

By Shelly EllisI hope that all of you have survived the April month of testing! It’s now time to turn our attention to May: graduations, transitions, next year’s enrollment, class parties….and all things associated with the end of the school year. 

Beginning in May, I will be transitioning as well. I will change hats from the Executive Director of Counseling to the Executive Director of School Support. It has been my honor and pleasure to be your voice at the OSDE, and I am constantly amazed by all that you accomplish for students across Oklahoma. 

My move is bittersweet as I will miss my daily work with you all. Never fear though, as I hope to continue my work with School Counselors in a different way – one in which school counselors are systemically seen as leaders in school support efforts. 

Until a replacement is named for my position, I will remain your point of contact for all things school counseling. As you all transition into May, I hope that you will take the time in this last month of the 2016-2017 school year to reflect on all that you have done and the difference you have made in the lives of students, parents, and teachers. I hope that you will remember that your empathy and impact are powerful. 

I hope that you will breathe deep and enjoy your part in improving students' lives. Again, it has been my honor and privilege to work with each of you. Enjoy May…the excitement and the changes. Happy Summer….SOON!  

on the road

EngageOK On the Road Dates Announced

The OSDE has announced that we’ll be taking EngageOK “On the Road” again this summer. Each session will offer rich and meaningful professional development featuring a variety of education topics. The agenda for each session will be posted as soon as it’s available. Listed below is the EngageOK On the Road schedule:

July 10: Yukon High School
July 11: Union High School (Tulsa)
July 12: Enid High School
July 13: Weatherford High School
July 18: Durant High School
July 19: Ada High School
July 20: Cache 5th & 6th Grade Center

Some courses that will be offered this year include: Trauma Informed Practices; Empathy, the Anti-Bully; Crisis Response and Management for Schools; Identifying and Meeting the Needs of At-Risk Students; How to Academically Advise All Students to Prepare for Their Future; Individual Career and Academic Plans; and many more.

Please be sure to register for the date and location you’d like to attend. Registration is available here.

Link goes to: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/engageok-on-the-road-10658062825

Crisis Kit for Counselors Has New Items

Have you checked out our Crisis Kit for Counselors? It has many resources for prevention, intervention, and postvention in all types of crises. Check out the newest items in the kit: 

OSDE Crisis Team Go Bag

OSDE Crisis Response Protocols

OSDE Suicide Information Sheet

OSDE Prevention Resources Numbers and Links

Also, check out information we have recently sent to counselors regarding the new Netflix series, '13 Reasons Why.

Additionally, check out information you can also share with parents about the series.

Time Changes for Webinars Set for May

Two webinars will be held in May, and both have time changes on the same day they are scheduled. The new times and days are

10 a.m. May 2 - Community Collaboration: How to Work with Your Community to Serve Your Schools

2 p.m. May 11 - Engaging Parents in Prevention

Sign up here for either webinar or any other webinar offered by the SDE.

June Crisis Team Training Still Open

There are still spots available to anyone interested in signing up for Crisis Team Training.

This free training will be offered one more time this year on June 6 at the Francis Tuttle Technology Center - Reno Campus. Click here to sign up.

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, and then teams will have lunch on their own. From 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., teams will be guided through writing their crisis plans and work through real-life crisis scenarios. Trainers will be on hand during this time to assist teams.

Our friends at Wynnewood Middle School have their students looking toward the future. This College Graduate Wall inspires current students to aim high and plan big things.

Contact Information

michelle and shelly

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 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 have 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.