September 2019 Student Support Newsletter

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EngageOK: Counselors

September 2019

In this issue:

Counselor Spotlight

Sarah Kirk

The Oklahoma School Counselor Association (OSCA) is proud to share that under the leadership of School Counselor Sarah Kirk, Monroe Elementary School in Norman was awarded the prestigious RAMP School Honor from the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). In addition to completing the RAMP process, Ms. Kirk has served on the OSCA board for the past 5 years, was Oklahoma's 2019 School Counselor of the Year, a finalist for National American School Counselor of the Year and is a newly elected member of the of ASCA's executive board. While Ms. Kirk always serves the needs of students first, she is also a fierce advocate for the school counseling profession and Oklahoma school counselors. We are so proud of you Sarah, congratulations!!


We know you are doing amazing things for your students! Please tell us what you are doing and allow us to share with your colleagues across the state! If you would like to be featured in next month’s newsletter or would like to nominate a colleague please email and we will reach out to you for a phone interview!

SEL and Mental Health

Grant Opportunity

The goal of the Carolyn Watson Rural Oklahoma Community Foundation Classroom Enhancement Grant program is to enhance the classroom experience for rural students by providing opportunities designed to enrich traditional curriculum. The resources below offer a variety of ideas and opportunities in the program’s three focus areas that we hope will assist you in developing your project. The deadline is fast approaching, apply here.

Resilient Together

A new training offered by Kognito walks educators through coping with loss at school. Access the training here.

Equip, Adapt, Respond

Alton Carter, award-winning author of "The Boy Who Carried Bricks" and "Aging Out" as well as two children's books, "The Boy Who Dreamed Big" and "The Boy Who Went to the Library" will speak about his experiences going through an abusive home life and aging out of the foster care system. His presentation is emotional, motivational, and offers key insights from the perspective of a person who lived through the trauma starting at a very young age. The event is October 11 and free to the public register here.

Nobody Learns it in a Day.

College and Career Readiness

ICAP 101

How do I get Started?

Step 1. Choose an online tool

We are pleased to offer a choice of two free online tools OKCollegeStart and OKCareerGuide. Both tools have been designed to help support your ICAP implementation. To attend a free training, take a look at the links below!

OKCollege Start Trainings

OkCareer Guide Trainings

Step 2. Assemble your ICAP Core Team

Individual Career Academic Planning is implemented most effectively when there is whole-school and whole-community buy-in. While we know all teams will look different from district to district here is a list of suggested core team members to help you start planning. 

ICAP Core Team Suggestions

Step 3. Design your ICAP Process

The truth is you may already offer several activities to your students, so now comes the fun part! You and your team will work together to design the perfect ICAP Experience for your students to be sure ALL students graduate college and career ready! 

Work-Based Learning and Industry Engagement

We are pleased to announce that starting the 2019-20 school year, ICAP webinars will be held every 3rd Thursday of each month. These webinars will highlight successes from various pilot school districts, best practices on implementing the ICAP, ways to maximize online learning tools, guidance on career advising and advice on forging better partnerships with businesses and community organizations. Mark your calendars and we look forward to seeing you then!

Internships: Connection to Completion
This month’s ICAP webinar will focus on how to create an internship, requirements of an internship course, connecting to business in your local community, and resources to help you get started.

Register here.


September is National Suicide Prevention Month

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10 – 24 and it is also one of the leading causes of PREVENTABLE death. We lose approximately 130 young people in this age group to suicide each week. FOUR out of FIVE teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs. That means in 80% of these cases we have an opportunity to intervene and possibly save a young person who is at-risk.

National Suicide Prevention Week is September 8 – 14, 2019, with World Suicide Prevention Day on the 10th. During this day, week and month, individuals and organizations alike will be drawing attention to the problem of suicide and advocating for the prevention of this terrible tragedy. Anyone can participate in Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Join the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s campaign #BeThe1To for free resources and to promote awareness in your school.

For more information, click here!

Academic Counseling


2020 US Presidential Scholars

The Oklahoma State Department of Education is soliciting your recommendations of our state's top scholars for this prestigious award. We ask that you recommend an outstanding SENIOR male and/or female student graduating between January and June 2020 who you believe will represent the State of Oklahoma well if selected as a U.S. Presidential Scholar. Scholars will be selected based on outstanding leadership in academic achievement, community involvement, and positive character. As you form your recommendation, consider what makes the student stand out as having outstanding scholarship. Were there special challenges or hurdles this student has overcome while still achieving high academic success?

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION IS FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2019. Note: Recommendations do no guarantee nomination.  For more information or questions, email

US Presidential Scholars Page


2023 Graduation Checklists

The 2023 Graduation Checklists are on the way!  The newest checklist will include recent legislative criteria particularly surrounding ICAP.  We are working to provide counselors and other school guidance personnel a tool that will facilitate tracking student graduation progress in a complete and concise manner.  Thank you for your patience as we work to serve you better!

SY2020 Subject Codes

As things constantly change, be sure you are using the latest subject codes to identify courses in your Student Information System.  Stay abreast of changes and modify accordingly using the link here or visit the SDE ACCREDITATION website, scroll down past DOCUMENTS and select SUBJECT CODES to see all levels of course codes (PK-8, 9-12, or Career Tech).

Tribal Scholarships

Did you know most tribal scholarships will pay for concurrent enrollment?  Even when tuition is waived by the institution, tribal scholarships can be applied to fees, books or other miscellaneous expenses.  Please make sure any Native students you have, who are planning on concurrent enrollment this year, contact their tribe for scholarship information. 

FAFSA and College Application Week Resources

Just this week, the Oklahoma College Assistance Program (OCAP) announced a new FAFSA promotional tool designed to introduce the FAFSA, addressing basic questions such as “What is it?” and “Why should I submit one?” We hope that this simple tool will help to ensure that high school seniors will see the importance of completing the FAFSA before it becomes available October 1. If you’re not able to print a copy of the FASFA flyer for each senior, please consider posting a few copies around the school. You may also want to share the information during a senior meeting or assembly. Contact the OCAP Outreach Team: 405.234.4239 | 866.443.7420 (toll free) if you have questions.

Have you registered your school for College Application Week (CAW)? So far, participating schools have reported that over 7,500 seniors will have the opportunity to submit at least one online college application during CAW.

Family and Community Engagement

Monthly Planning Tools

Jennifer McKay, Senior Director of Early Childhood at OSDE, led a session on Family Engagement this summer at EngageOK on the road. Jennifer created a month by month template of ideas for Family Engagement and was generous enough to share. Thank you, Jennifer! Please check out the template that provides ideas for both elementary and secondary students and their families.  

Click here for the toolkit.

Upcoming Events (Free CEUs)

Student Success Summit

Every student deserves a clear pathway to success! Join morning keynote speaker Dr. Chan Hellman, The University of Oklahoma Hope Center as he discusses The Science of Hope and its connection to ICAP. We will end the afternoon with breakout sessions on effective ICAP implementation, Career Awareness, Exploration and Planning, childhood trauma, hope and resiliency for students of all ages. We are working on receiving CEUs for LPC/LMFT CEUs (3.5 units). Register here.

Trauma Summit 3.0

Please join Superintendent Hofmeister as she welcomes Dr. Bruce Perry with the Child Trauma Academy to speak on Monday, February 17, 2020, at the Cox Convention Center. This event is FREE and open to all educators, non-profit partners, tribal entities, other government agencies and any organization who currently works with at-risk children. We are working on having the summit approved for LPC/LMFT CEUs (2 units). Register here.


There are several new and exciting things happening in the Student Support Office at OSDE, we would really like your feedback as we work on the new direction as an office! We would love to hear from you! Please fill out the form below to help ensure we are meeting your needs. 

Student Support Counselor Feedback Form


EngageOK Presentations

All EngageOK 2019 presentations are now live on our website and can be found here.

Online Training for College Bound Foster Youth

OSU is doing extensive work regarding college opportunities for foster care youth/former foster youth. This effort started approximately six years ago on higher education campuses across Oklahoma. Last year they began offering online training and this year they have information specific to high school professionals (in terms of preparing a foster care youth for college) included in a training here.. To date, Oklahoma is the only state in the nation who has created this type of online training for these under served youth Click here for the online training.

Trauma Informed SoonerStart Resources

We are on the hunt for trauma informed resources for our youngest learners (0 to 3 years old). If you know of trauma informed resources in your community please let us know! Please send an email to

School Refusal

School refusal has emerged as an increasing area of challenge for parents and schools. School Refusal is a child-motivated refusal to attend school and/or difficulty remaining in class for the full day. It's different from absences due to circumstances outside of the students’ will like transportation, homelessness, caring for family members, or parents keeping children home. It is often accompanied by emotional stress at the time of attending school. We've found some resources we think you'll like. For parents, we recommend the book Getting Your Child to Say “Yes” to School: A Guide for Parents of Youth with School Refusal Behavior by Christopher A. Kearney. He also authored a great book for schools: Helping school refusing children and their parents: A Guide for School-Based Professionals 2nd Ed. 

If you're into podcasts check out “Understanding School Refusal” Series by Rogers Behavioral Health (May 2019). 

Early Matters

The transition into kindergarten, whether from a preschool or from home, represents an important milestone in a family's life. Attendance Works' new toolkit, Early Matters: Integrating Attendance into Kindergarten Transition, includes five key strategies, ideas, downloadable resources and inspiring examples from around the country. The examples show what works to integrate attendance awareness and positive attendance habits into transition practices. Explore Early Matters here.

Improving Student Success by Reducing Chronic Absenteeism Webinar

Access the free webinar here and archived webinars and resources here.