School Counseling News You Can Use

Counseling News from the Indiana Department of Education

November 2020

Dear Counselors-

Just a heads up, this will be the last newsletter for this year! I am going to join forces with our SEBW team for the December Newsletter, and be back in January.

I hope you have the most wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. I know this year might look a little different, but I hope you can still find things to be thankful for!

Stay safe and healthy,


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Self-Care Tip

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Reminder: Ten Tips to End the Semester on a High Note

As schools are nearing the end of the first semester, please read this information for 10 tips to help end semester one on a high note. Please contact Christy Berger with any questions.

All Level Updates

Carrying the Torch to Student Success

The IDOE contracted with Butler University to complete a review of the Gold Star School Counseling Recognition Program in the fall of 2018. The results indicated no significant difference between Gold Star Schools and all others. An advisory committee of counseling stakeholders across the state have been working throughout 2019-2020 to update the process and requirements of the Gold Star Award with a 3-tiered intentional data-driven process for schools. This update will align the award with current IDOE initiatives and keep the program in house with no additional cost to local education agencies. The intent is to release the new program- Carrying the Torch to Student Success, early 2021. Watch the below video for more information! I am very proud of the work done so far.

Announcement of Columbia- Suicide Severity Rating Screener (C-SSRS)

IDOE is pleased to announce through collaboration with Stop Suicide Northeast Indiana, IDOE is able to provide to you a virtual training on the reason for and use of the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) screener. A special thanks to Colleen Carpenter, Dottie Davis and Janet Jordan Altmeyer for taking the time to create the training. This training is located on the Social Emotional and Behavioral Wellness team’s website for suicide prevention and response (

The C-SSRS is a proven method to assess suicide risk and has been recommended, endorsed or adopted by the CDC, National Institute of Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention to just name a few. This tool is a screener to determine if further assessment is warranted. If you would like to learn more or have any questions, please contact Jason Murrey (

Absentee Rate Memo

See the memo below for updated guidance regarding absences (from the Attendance Officer).

Learn More Indiana Magazines and Scholarship Opportunity

2020-21 Learn More Indiana magazines are available in both English and Spanish online at Juniors and seniors are encouraged to enter the NEXT Indiana magazine student scholarship contest for a chance to win $1500. To enter, students simply need to fill out the entry form here.

21st Century Scholars Enrollment Materials

Updated enrollment materials in English, Arabic, Burmese, Chin, French, Kinyarwanda, Kiswahili, Korean, and Spanish for 21st Century Scholars are available on the website.

New! Guidance on Complying with Assessment Requirements During Virtual Instruction

IDOE has received multiple questions and concerns from schools regarding how to comply with assessment requirements as more schools shift to a virtual instructional model. IDOE appreciates the burden this has placed upon Indiana schools and will continue to work with state and federal policymakers to identify ways to ensure all Indiana schools and students can participate in valuable assessment administrations in a safe and responsible manner. At this point, no assessment waivers have been granted. To this end, the attached guidance document seeks to inform schools of their duties during this time and the consequences for failing to administer required assessments.

CCI Monthly Video

Each month this year brief stories of the schools and organizations implementing Lilly Endowment’s Comprehensive Counseling Initiative (CCI) are being released online. These 10-15 minute videos highlight the strategies and activities schools and organizations are launching with the support of their CCI grant to improve student outcomes in Indiana.

For this month's video, guest Cindy Kacinski shares how Junior Achievement not only provides career information and exploration opportunities for students, its EduSpark programs offer tours and tools for counselors and educators too.

All videos, including the November video, can be viewed here:

Elementary (K-5)

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Secondary (6-12)

Next Generation Hoosier Educator Scholarship

As you may remember, in 2016 the General Assembly created the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship. This initiative encourages high-achieving students to pursue a career in education. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education provides 200 new scholarships of $7,500 each year (renewable up to four years) in exchange for agreeing to teach in Indiana for five consecutive years at an eligible school. Students interested in applying must:

  • be in the top 20% of their class, or have a top 20% ACT/SAT score to qualify
  • submit a clean and complete FAFSA

Students may apply at and applications are due by 11:59pm EST on January 30, 2019. Please contact with any questions.

There have been a few updates to the application process this year. We will no longer be requiring a nomination form or proceeding with interviews. For further information on the scholarship visit As always let me know if you have any questions!

Courtney Hott

Update! IU Turnkey Courses for High School Available for Download

Indiana University’s high school courses are now available for download. As many schools are transitioning to remote learning, these courses can be adapted and adjusted, as needed by Indiana educators. Register here to participate in office hours where educators can ask questions about the materials and implementation. Contact Jennifer Watson with any questions. Continue to watch for additional information on continuous improvements coming with Phase 2.

2021-2022 Course Titles and Descriptions Released with Guidance

The Indiana State Board of Education has approved 2021-2022 Course Titles and Descriptions. The information may be found on IDOE's Course Titles and Descriptions webpage. Please contact Matt Walsh with any questions.

Indiana Council for Community Mental Health Education Collaboration

The Indiana Council for Community Mental Health Centers (ICCMHC) has a training scheduled on December 3 to provide insight into social services fields, i.e. LMFT, Addictions Counselor, Social Work, etc.. Registration is free. The flyer is attached. I was wondering if you could pass this along to your school contacts.

From the GWC

Next Level Programs of Study

NLPS Webinar: Last Wednesday, the Office of CTE held a webinar focused on providing schools and career centers with the information necessary to determine if they plan to opt-in to offering Next Level Programs of Study courses during the upcoming school year. There was a high level of interest in last week's webinar and we encourage those unable to join to find time to view the recording. The webinar is available here.

NLPS Implementation Workshops: After participating live or viewing the webinar recording, schools and career centers interested in implementation are encouraged to register to attend a virtual workshop for your transition team. The workshops will begin the week of Dec 7th. The format of the workshops will include a brief introductory session, time for a school’s team to collaborate with a facilitator, a time for teams to share out their plans, and a brief wrap up. To group like schools together, we are asking that you complete the registration form by answering a few questions about your school and your plans for implementation.

NLPS Pathway Review Document: Our team continues to develop additional resources regarding Next Level Programs of Study. The NLPS Pathway Review Document will be available on our NLPS Resource Webpage by the end of the Thanksgiving weekend. The document will provide an overview of each pathway, including course title and description information for all 4 courses in the sequence, the postsecondary alignment for each course, and the key competencies required for each course. This document will be a living document for the next few months and we encourage you to review on a semi-regular basis.

Other Available Documents: As announced in our last update, additional documents are available with information regarding NLPS. Along with the NLPS Pathway Review Document mentioned above, the following documents can be found on our NLPS Resource Webpage:

  1. List of NLPS courses available for 2021-2022 – This document lists all available courses and is sorted by cluster (advanced manufacturing, health sciences, etc.)
  2. Master Pathway List – this document shows a side-by comparison of the 75 state approved Perkins V pathways with current courses vs. the Perkins V pathways with NLPS courses. The Master List will be a valuable tool to use in conjunction with the NLPS Courses Titles and Descriptions document (linked directly above) to determine which NLPS courses are included in each pathway.
  3. Career Guide – The Career Guide is a valuable resource for information about Next Level Programs of Study. It also includes sections on the benefits of CTE, Work-Based Learning, Graduation Pathways, and Career Clusters. The Career Guide is designed to be used by students, parents, and school counselors, but will be helpful to anyone who is involved in CTE. The Office of CTE will be distributing printed copies of the Career Guide over the next few weeks to each Indiana CTE District. Schools and districts interested in purchasing additional print copies of the Career Guide can do so here.

Subscribe to CTE Listserv HERE

Graduation Pathways

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


PRESENTER: Michelle Clarke and Anthony Harl

EVENT BEGINS December 9th 11:30 am

DURATION: 60 Minutes


Register Here:

Indiana school districts must make sure all seniors are meeting the state’s Graduation Pathway requirements in order to graduate. Although districts are familiar with this expectation, it is always beneficial for school counselors and administrators to be aware of any updates or best practices. One of the greatest challenges for all to understand is the CTE Concentrator Postsecondary Ready Competency option. This one-hour presentation will provide participants with the latest on Graduation Pathways from School Counseling Specialist Michelle Clarke as well as significant clarification on the CTE Postsecondary Ready Competency option from Assistant Director of CTE: Programming Tony Harl.

Professional Development

Reminder: Save the Date for the Third “Educating the Whole Child Summit”

The "Educating the Whole Child Summit" will be held virtually on February 24, 2021. Please find additional information, registration, and session proposal links here. Please contact Christy Berger with any additional questions.

What Are You Reading & Listening to?

It is so important to keep up with current best practices in our field. What books/podcasts/journals/articles 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!

Indiana School Counselor Directory

IDOE provides an array of supports to help counselors connect and promote networking and collaboration. As part of this initiative, an effort is underway to create a statewide school counselor directory. Please take time to complete this quick survey. The directory will be located on IDOE’s website under the School Counseling page.

Add your name to the Directory HERE.

SEBW Newsletter

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

SEBW Newsletter