The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) School Counselor Advisory Council (SCAC) received updates on the Kentucky Time Use Survey and Best Practices Framework for School Counselors during its October 20 meeting.
Heather Bushelman, Comprehensive School Counseling Program Coordinator and member of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) team at KDE’s Office of Teaching and Learning, has shared updates on the changes to Senate Bill (SB) 102, related to survey time use and school mental health service providers.
Passed at the 2022 regular session, SB 102 requires superintendents to report annually to KDE by November 1 on a number of items related to mental health service providers, including:
- The number of school mental health service providers in a district;
- The position occupied;
- Placement of school mental health service providers in a district;
- The certification or license held;
- Source of funding for each position;
- A summary of the duties of each school mental health service provider; and
- The percentage of time spent on each task during the year.
“These school mental health positions are mentioned in this bill to start collecting data and information about what these workers are doing in our schools,” Bushelman said.
She also said that KDE will use the results of the time use survey to assess what supports can be offered to help schools ensure that more of a counsellor’s time is used for appropriate activities, because it is “ultimately what is best for the children”.
In addition to this data collection, statewide trainings are held for superintendents and various administrators to educate them on the legislation and the purpose of using temporal data collection.
Kentucky Best Practices Framework for School Counselors
The recently released American School Counselor Association (ASCA) ethical standards will be added to the Kentucky Framework of Best Practices for School Counselors, along with a sample comprehensive school counseling model in December. Bushelman also said KDE would like input from the board on creating statewide mission and vision statements that will be added to the framework. Advisory board members will email Bushelman with suggestions.
Working with the KDE Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) team and 4 MTSS school counselors, Bushelman said work has begun to create a Kentucky version of the MTSS triangle, aligned with the ASCA model. This model of tiered support systems will guide school counselors on how best to serve students. She said the new model will be released in February.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Updates
The board received updates from KDE’s DEIB Director, Damien Sweeney, and Nicole Fields, KDE’s Director of Community Engagement.
Sweeney said the DEIB team is working with the Kentucky Education Development Corporation and the University of Louisville to create six professional learning modules for educators around DEIB. Two modules will focus on developing a comprehensive curriculum and school guidance framework. Micro credentials will be offered for completion of the modules. KDE is also partnering with Kentucky Educational Television to create a professional learning module with a micro-certificate on safe spaces.
The DEIB team is working on A4 modules for districts not participating in the Equity Playbook, which will help introduce the idea of DEIB. The modules are meant to be reflective to help educators think about how they can support all students.
Fields shared that DEIB’s podcast, “Lifting Kentucky’s Voices,” will be available soon.
“Our vision is for every educator and student to have a sense of belonging, so we want to let Kentucky know what we do as educators to create that sense of belonging,” Fields said.
In other cases counsel:
- Discussed self-care practices and what self-care looks like for counselors, teachers, and students.
- Heard about the 2022 Calming Space grant winners, which include: Beechwood Elementary (Beechwood Independent); Crosby Middle School (Jefferson County); East Perry Elementary School (Perry County); Nelson County Early Learning Center; Painted Stone Elementary (Shelby County); Ponderosa Elementary, Cannonsburg Elementary, Catlettsburg Elementary, and Summit Elementary (all in Boyd County); Red Cross Elementary School (Barren County); Sublimity Elementary (Laurel County); and Webster County High School. Candidates had the choice of applying as a school or a district. These schools/districts will receive $10,000 each to begin implementing and building their Calming Space initiative, which includes options for all students in the school, as well as family engagement.