School Counseling News You Can Use

Counseling News from the Indiana Department of Education

February 2020

Dear Counselors,

I hope you all enjoyed celebrating our profession during National School Counseling Week. I took joy in seeing all of your tweets, posts, and tokens of appreciation you received, both big and small!

This month we celebrate Black History Month. Black History Month is an excellent time to highlight the power in young people, something I hope you're doing all year. I love the below Google Ad, “Most Searched”. It tells a powerful story about how the Black community has helped shape and influence American culture. I am also sharing a link to an amazing podcast with Brian Coleman (ASCA SCOTY 2019), and Rodney Robinson (TOTY 2019) titled Championing Equity in Education. These two educators do some really crucial work and share some meaningful conversation. I hope you can find time this month to celebrate diversity and share that black history is American history.

I hope you have a fabulous February. Hopefully Spring is near!



"Every day you all have the power to shape and mold these kids; to inspire them when they feel discouraged; to remind them that they belong; that no matter how much money they have or where their family comes from, this is their country too. You have that power. You have the power to show them that no matter what their race, or faith, or walk of life, they are valued for who they are…and no matter how alone or afraid they might feel, they are seen, and they are loved. " - Michelle Obama (ASCA, 2018)
The Most Searched: A Celebration of Black History Makers
Championing Equity in Education

A Conversation With Brian Coleman and Rodney Robinson from swampED on Apple Podcasts.

Self-Care Tip

Self-Love Affirmations

Positive affirmations are a great tool for personal development and finding self love that can change your whole life. Start by speaking self love affirmations to yourself on a daily basis. They can be grounding, life-saving, energizing, motivating and inspiring. It may seem silly at first, but if you build them in to your day, it can be so beneficial.

Read a daily devotional, post a few self-affirmations on your mirror or at your desk. Write or draw in a journal, color in an affirmations coloring book.

By starting your day with the repetition of one or more positive affirmations, you set the right intention for the day, brighten your mood and up your confidence.

77 Self-Love Affirmations To Inspire Your Life

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All Level Updates

2019-2020 School Counselor Survey

Each year, IDOE's School Counseling Specialist has given a survey to each school building to help us create programming, continue advocacy, create professional development, and receive school input. This year, due the School Counselor Specialist transition, the survey did not happen in the Fall. I would still very much like to see this data. If the department chair/

counseling leader from each building level could fill this out it is much appreciated!

This survey will close at the end of February.

Primary (Pre-K to Five)

Resources for Grief

With the recent death of basketball superstar Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, the topic has come up of how to talk with younger students about death and grief. This is a great resource on talking with children about tragic events.

Brooke's Place also has wonderful resources on how children experience grief.

Secondary (6-12)

Managing Your Graduation Rate: Installment Three: Tasks for Managing Your Graduation Rate

Ensuring the accuracy of the graduation rate takes a significant amount of work and communication by many individuals working in Indiana high schools. Registrars, school counselors, principals, and data personnel must work together for the best results to occur. This installment of “Managing Your Graduation Rate” outlines steps considered to be the bare minimum “cohort to-do list,” so issues can be found and corrected early. Read the article here.

College Goal Sunday

The second and final College Goal Sunday this academic year is at 2pm February 23rd at 37 locations across Indiana. Please feel free to direct your students and families to check out the resources available at to find the location closest to them, and items to help get organized and ready for the event. Also, College Goal Sunday is once again having a drawing for 5 scholarships worth $1,000 each for students who attend CGS and fill out a survey on February 23rd!

If you’d like to volunteer and help at the event, you can register at You don’t have to be a financial aid expert to help out at CGS, just someone willing to help. We always need experts, but general financial aid help, registration staff, and translators are always greatly appreciated.

Thank you all for any promotion or help you can provide and please feel free to email Bill Wozniak or call at (317) 715-9002 if you have any questions!

Midwest Sports Career Conference

Saturday, Feb. 22nd, 7:30am-2:30pm

700 West Washington Street

Indianapolis, IN

This conference is for Indiana high school students who may be contemplating a career in sports. This conference doubles as a career and college fair.

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Horatio Alger Career and Technical Scholarship

The 2020 Career and Technical scholarship application will open February 15!

The Horatio Alger Career and Technical scholarship application will open on Februrary 15 targeted to high school applicants. Applicants have until April 15 to complete the application here:

An additional application period targeted to students currently enrolled will begin on June 15.

Please share this information with your network and students. Direct them here for additional information:

Graduation Pathways

From Accountability:

    • The 2020 GR will be validating the students graduating on the CTE Concentrator or Industry Certification graduation pathway against INTERS data. The INTERS/RT-EM report has been updated for 2020 in the STN App Center (Data Verification\Reports\Graduate\INTERS Reported. This report shows who the Governor's Workforce Cabinet believes have earned the CTE Concentrator status or an Industry Certification. CTE staff should work with Chris Deaton at the Governor's Workforce Cabinet if there is an error.

If you have further questions you can email me or direct questions to

News From Other State Agencies

Office of Career and Technical Education Announces Grants for 2020-2021 School Year

Planning and Implementation Grants will assist selected Schools and CTE Districts with implementing Next Level Programs of Study.

The Office of Career and Technical Education (CTE) within the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet is currently working with K-12 teachers and administrators, Ivy Tech Community College, and Vincennes University to rethink and revitalize current CTE programming by developing Next Level Programs of Study. These programs of study contain intentional coursework designed to give Indiana students the opportunity to earn credentials, including industry certifications and postsecondary certificates, while they are in high school. Students who participate in these programs of study will be able to launch their careers sooner, while saving money on postsecondary tuition and training expenses.

To facilitate statewide rollout of Next Level Programs of Study during the 2021-2022 school year, Planning and Implementation Grants are available to any public high school, public charter school, or Perkins-eligible recipient interested in offering a pilot program for the 2020-2021 school year. Up to 36 Planning Grants will be awarded with a maximum amount per grant recipient of $5,000. Additionally, up to 12 of the Planning Grant recipients will receive an Implementation Grant of up to $50,000. Grant recipients will receive training and support from State CTE staff throughout the pilot program and will also have the opportunity to give feedback regarding implementation.

The grant application, including additional information, is linked below. If you are unable to edit the application when opening it, select “View” and then “Edit Document”. Responses can then be typed into the fields on the application. Completed applications should be saved as a PDF and emailed to Jerris Cross, Assistant Director of CTE and Perkins Administrator, at Additional questions can be sent to Anthony Harl, Assistant Director of CTE – Programs, at

Next Level Programs of Study Planning Grant Application: Link

Professional Development

Building District and School Capacity through Community Partnerships

Tuesday, Feb. 25, 4-5 p.m.

This webinar focuses on strategies to create innovative community partnerships to build district and school capacity to enhance student outcomes across multiple domains. A panel of university, school, and community-based practitioners will present a unique data-driven model that has demonstrated success at the local and national levels. Join us to hear how this model has changed the lives of at-risk students and their families.

Counselor Spotlight- Lydia McNeiley

This month I would like to celebrate Lydia McNeiley and the Scott MS Counseling Team in Hammond, IN! Lydia is leading the way with her team and by creating a Mentor Program to help her students feel more connected, which is crucial at the MS level. Lydia also did a wonderful job advocating for our work during National School Counseling Week, even getting the mayor of Hammond on board by signing a Proclamation! Thanks for sharing how your team is making an impact! We appreciate your hard work!

From Lydia:

I am very excited about the Comprehensive School Counseling program we have been building at Scott Middle School in Hammond, Indiana. We have been working hard to build a School Counseling Program that addresses the Social/Emotional, College, and Career Readiness needs of ALL of our students.

A few months ago, we held our Fall Advisory Council meeting. In preparation for this meeting, we took a long look at our data. One of the things we discovered while reviewing data and talking to students was that many of our students who had attendance and discipline issues failed to feel a real connection to the school. We wanted to work on changing that. One of the ways that we began to work on addressing this concern was to try to bring mentor programs into our school.

The mentoring programs that we have been fortunate enough to have working with us have been phenomenal. I am very proud of our scholars for actively wanting to participate in these after school initiatives. We want ALL of our students who want a mentor to have the ability to work with one. We also want our students to feel that they belong. I am proud to say that we are well on our way to help with just that! It is amazing to see how our students bond with their mentors and look forward to meeting with them. It is also amazing to see how our students have begun developing leadership skills within these programs.

I am proud of the work we are doing at Scott, and am grateful for our entire Student Services Department, Counselors, Registrar, and Interventionist, who work together to help make these programs a reality. We are also fortunate to have an administrative team that believes in our vision for our department and believes in the impact we can have on our scholars. It is one of the most rewarding feelings to see the impact mentoring programs could have on the lives of our students, and I am very grateful to be able to witness it.

You can follow Scott MS Counseling on Twitter:@guidance_ms

Each month I would like to showcase what IN School Counselors are doing around the state! If you are doing something you would like to share, please email me at I want to hear from you!

Indiana School Counselor Directory

One of my goals as School Counseling Specialist here at IDOE is to help counselors connect with each other to collaborate and network. I am trying to create a directory of school counselors in the state. Please take the time to complete this quick survey. I will house the directory on the IDOE Website under the School Counseling page.

Add your name to the Directory HERE.

What Are You Reading?

It is so important to keep up with current best practices in our field. What books/podcasts/journals are you finding to be helpful for school counselors? I will keep this list updated! Send recommendations to ME so I can share with others!

Dare to Lead

By Brene Brown

Raising Lions

By Joe Newman

Help for Billy

By Heather T. Forbes

SEBW Newsletter

If you are not receiving the Social Emotional Behavioral Wellness Newsletter, this is a great resource as well! Check out the February Issue and subscribe!

SEBW Newsletter