October 2019 Student Support Newsletter

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October 2019

In this issue:

Counselor Spotlight

Dawn Wallace

Dawn Wallace, counselor at Okmulgee High School, goes above and beyond for every one of her students.  Her colleagues love working with her and watching her guide their students through the ICAP process.  She works with teachers and support staff to implement Link Crew each year, a mentoring program that pairs Seniors with Freshman to help students successfully transition to high school.  Last year, Ms. Wallace led the effort of hosting a career fair for grades 6-12. Students chose three tracts to follow for the day, allowing them to pursue up to three post high school careers.

Additionally, Mrs. Wallace tutored and mentored an incarcerated student providing opportunities for the student to still feel connected to school.  Through her continued encouragement, this student is now a Junior in college.


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 beth.whittle@sde.ok.gov and we will reach out to you for a phone interview!

SEL and Mental Health

Promoting Positive Mental Health in Rural Schools

This guide provides resources specific to addressing the unique mental health training and technical assistance needs of schools serving rural and remote communities. School administrators, faculty, and support staff are facing increasing pressure to respond to a host of unmet mental health needs of students in K-12 and higher education. In response, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a resource to assist states and schools in addressing mental health and substance use disorders. 

State by State Research for School Climate (LGTBQ)

State Snapshots use data from GLSEN's 2017 National School Climate Survey to examine the school experiences of LGBTQ middle and high school students, including hearing biased language, experiences of victimization, incidents of anti-LGBTQ discrimination, and access to resources and supports at school. Click here to access the study.

The State of Mental Health in America

Click here for access to the annual State of Mental Health in America Report. There is a sub study regarding the implications of trauma on America's youth within this study that has up to date findings regarding what our students are experiencing. 

Promoting a Comprehensive School Based Mental Health Program

 The insights offered in Advancing School Based Mental Health Systems are designed to promote positive school climate and safety, strengthen social and emotional learning, and foster mental health and general well-being, while reducing the prevalence and severity of mental illness.

Career and College Readiness

We know that you need a variety of resources that is why we are excited to offer you three different ICAP implementation guides to meet any district where they are!

Individual Career Academic Plan Toolkit If you are ready to redefine what college and career readiness looks like in your district we recommend using this toolkit to start building your ICAP process from the ground up! View this resource guide designed to provide your team with best practices for creating a meaningful ICAP process for all students.

ICAP Implementation Examples This resource is perfect for districts who may already offer college and career readiness activities to their students, but desire a framework to expand their activities to meet ICAP requirements.

ICAP Activity Toolkits are best for districts looking for innovative activities to implement ICAP school-wide. Feel free to use these guides to engage your students, parents, and communities in monthly college and career readiness activities to give your students the Oklahoma Edge!

Work Based Learning and Industry Engagement

ICAP Monthly Webinar Series

Register to attend one of our monthly ICAP Webinar series on Individual Career Academic Planning (ICAP) which are held every third Thursday of each month from 1:00pm-2:00pm.

October’s ICAP Webinar has been canceled due to Fall Break.

The ICAP Webinar series will resume on November 21, 2019.

Topic: ICAP Career Fair

Voice from the Field: Falon Wilson, High School Counselor, Chelsea Public Schools

Join us to hear a first-hand perspective on how a rural school district was inspired by a large school district to host an ICAP: Career Fair.

To register, click here


Bullying Prevention Toolkit

The Parent Child Center of Tulsa has developed a bullying prevention toolkit. Click here for quick access to the toolkit! In addition they have created a quick guidance tool that identifies nonprofit partners that offer many no-cost to low-cost programs and services within the community everyday. Click here!

New Kognito Training FREE for All Staff.

All schools at one time may need resilience after a loss. This training is a new addition to the carousel of trainings that are provided to Oklahoma faculty and staff. 

Resilient Together: Coping with Loss at School by Kognito is available online 24/7 and can be completed in as little as 40 minutes. Resilient Together includes role-play conversations with students and colleagues in a virtual classroom that has been impacted by a loss. Learn how to effectively support students impacted by a death by spotting signs of distress, affirming and normalizing their emotions, and connecting them with support, if needed. Identify signs of compassion fatigue in colleagues and advocate for their self-care and support. You will also receive discussion guides for follow up workshops with additional resources to extend your staffs learning. Watch the trailer here. Made available to school districts at no cost through the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. For further questions please contact Julie Geddes at jgeddes@odmhsas.org

Academic Counseling

Oklahoma City Community Foundation Scholarship

Scholarship Season is Back!
The OCCF online scholarship application site has reopened to allow students to begin applying for scholarships for the 2020-21 academic year. Last year, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation awarded more than $2.5 million in scholarships to 803 students across the state.

Click this link to access a guidance handout for students regarding applying for scholarships. 

Financial Aid Glossary of Terms

FAFSA Opened Oct. 1!
Financial aid and FAFSA terminology is hard! We found a glossary of terms from College Board to help you learn the lingo. Click here for the link!

Tribal Education Department's Scholarship Forum

For the Save the Date click here!

Presidential Scholars Nominations Due Soon!

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? Click here to nominate a student. 

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION IS FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2019. Note: Recommendations do not guarantee nomination.  For more information or questions, email Petra.Woodard@sde.ok.gov

Academic All State

For information regarding  Academic All-State Scholarships for outstanding high school seniors, as well as Medal for Excellence awards for educators in Oklahoma public schools please contact bwheelock@ofe.org.

Family and Community Engagement

As we enter the month of October, many school schedules include a fall break. This is a great opportunity to share some of the many resources available for families through community-based organizations. Remember, many organizations may be regionally-based or even statewide, so although offices are in a nearby community they still serve your students and families. 

Sharing a list, including local contact information like the one below, is an easy way to make sure all families have access to basic necessities and educational supports when school is not in session. 

  •         Area Food Banks or Pantries
  •         United Way Offices
  •         Local Churches
  •         Parks and Recreation Departments
  •         Library Systems
  •         Infant Crisis and Respite Services
  •         Local Fall Festivals
  •         Child Care and Camp Options
  •         Area Museums

Upcoming Events

Student Success Summit (Next Monday 10/7/2019)

Individual Career Academic Planning & Hope For Students of All Ages

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. Register Here

Trauma Summit 2.0

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.

2019 Student Preparation Conferences

Click here for registration.


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


Tips for Teens Regarding E-Cigarettes 

SAMHSA has created a resource for students regarding the use of e-cigarettes. Click here for a downloadable copy!

Carl Perkins Grants

The office of CareerTech has comprised guidance instruction regarding the new needs assessment requirement when applying for Carl Perkins grants. If you need assistance navigating the new needs assessment requirement click here.


The Body Keeps the Score Book Study

If you would like to join the upcoming Project AWARE Trauma Informed Book Study please contact cheryl.mcgee@sde.ok.gov.

New Positions

If you are interested in joining our team we will be adding a Statewide Bullying Prevention Specialist as well as a Statewide Crisis Response Team. If serving in either of these roles is of interest to you, please check https://sde.ok.gov/jobs for the upcoming job postings.